Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper: Bill C-51 cannot be salvaged; it must be scrapped

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, call for the immediate and unconditional dismissal of Bill C-51: Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015. We are extremely concerned by the potential impact of this legislation, which fails to strike the balance between protecting Canadians and safeguarding our cherished rights and freedoms as protected in the Charter.

Bill C-51 has been widely criticized by experts and Canadians across the country as being irresponsible, dangerous, and ineffective. This law will detrimentally impact our social frameworks, democratic values and fundamental rights. Our security agencies currently possess wide-ranging powers to address security threats, and the need for this broad legislation has not been demonstrated. While minor amendments to the bill have been suggested, amendments cannot repair such an extensive and dangerous piece of legislation.

As Canadians learn more about and better understand the bill, their concern for its contents and potential impact continues to grow. The bill’s consultation process has been incredibly hasty, not even allowing for our own Privacy Commissioner to speak to the potential impact that this broad legislation could have. Legislation that could in any way affect our rights and freedoms cannot be created in such a rushed manner. Canadians must be consulted, and expert recommendations and criticism must be factored into shaping the country’s policies.

We agree with the over 179,000 Canadians who have called on the government to scrap this irresponsible, dangerous and ineffective legislation through StopC51.ca and other petitions. Bill C-51 is fundamentally flawed and the proposed amendments do little to mitigate the erosion of our rights and freedoms if it is passed into law. We write to you requesting that the federal government listen to the wishes of the majority of Canadians, and withdraw this piece of legislation. We will not be pressured or scared into sacrificing our rights and freedoms.

Yours sincerely,

 

Access

Amnesty Canada

Avaaz

Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation

BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)

BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA)

BC Library Association

Canadian Association of Professional Employees / Association canadienne des employés professionnels

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)

Canadian Library Association

Centre for Law and Democracy

Centre for Free Expression, Ryerson University

Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE)

CWA/SCA Canada

Democracy Watch

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Environmental Defence

Free Dominion

Greenpeace Canada

ifeminists.com

Institute for the Study of Privacy Issues (ISPI)

International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)

Keepers of the Water

Leadnow

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)

National Union of Public and General Employees

North American Association of Independent Journalists (NAAIJ)

OpenMedia

PEN Canada

Pirate Party of Canada

Privacy & Access Council of Canada

Privacy International

Public Service Alliance of Canada, BC Region

Pacific South Western Advocates (PSWA Canada)

Real Art Gaining Strength

Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia (RTKNS)

Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)

Stand Up for the North Committee

Telecommunities Canada

Youth Vote Canada

 

Dr. Adam Molnar, Lecturer, Department of Criminology, Deakin University

Alexander Ferworn, CD, Professor, Associate Chair and Graduate Program Director, Department of Computer Science, Ryerson University

Ali Miri, Professor, School of Computer Science, Ryerson University

Dr. Alvin M. Schrader, professor emeritus, University of Alberta

Andrew Clement, Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Privacy and Big Data Institute, Ryerson University

Antoinette Handley, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Professor Anver Saloojee, Ryerson University

April Lindgren, Associate Professor, Ryerson University School of Journalism

Arnold Amber, President, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Arthur Cockfield, Professor, Queen's University Faculty of Law

Avner Levin, Associate Professor and Chair, Law & Business Department, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Barry Grills, Past Chair, The Writers' Union of Canada, Past Chair, Book and Periodical Council

Bill Bonner, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Regina

Carl Benn, PhD, Professor, Department of History, Ryerson University

Charles Montpetit, Governor General Award-winning writer)

Chris MacDonald, Associate Professor, Director, Jim Pattison Ethical Leadership Education & Research Program, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Dr. Christopher Parsons, Managing Director of the Telecom Transparency Project, Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Cindy Blackstock, Associate Professor, University of Alberta

Professor Colin J. Bennett, Department of Political Science, University of Victoria

Dagmar Rajagopa, Ph.D., Retired Professor of Economics, Ryerson University

David H. Flaherty, Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario

Professor David Lyon, FRSC, Queen's University

Professor Dave Mason, School of Computer Science, Ryerson University

David Checkland, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Ryerson University

David J. Phillips, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Dawn Hemingway, Associate Professor and Chair, School of Social Work, University of Northern British Columbia

Duff Conacher, Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa

Dwayne Winseck, Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

Elysia Guzik, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Information, University of Toront

Eva Hourihan Jansen, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

François Lavigne, former CSIS Counter-Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Officer and senior advisor on national security to the federal government

Franke James, Artist/author, Banned on the Hill, BCCLA Winner, Liberty Award for Excellence in the Arts

George F. Bielmeier, Professor Emeritus, School of Social Work, Ryerson University

Grant Buckler, Journalist, Member of CJFE Canadian Issues Committee

Greg Elmer, Professor of Media, Ryerson University

Heida Mani, Mining Consultant

Professor Henry Navarro, School of Fashion, Ryerson University

Jaclyn Law, Co-Editor, CJFE Review of Free Expression in Canada

Dr. Javad Alirezaie, PhD, PEng, SMIEEE, Professor, CVIP Lab Director, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Ryerson University

Jonathan Obar, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Joseph H. Carens, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto

Karen Selick, Litigation Director, Canadian Constitution Foundation

Kathleen Greenaway, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Privacy & Cyber Crime Institute, Ryerson University

Kathryn Church, PhD, Director and Associate Professor, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University

Kelly Lyons, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Laurence Kearley, Barrister and Solicitor, Associate Professor (Privacy Law), University of Alberta

Leslie Regan Shade, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Lib Spry, Theatre Director/PhD student

Linying (Lin) Dong, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University

Lynn Lavallee, PhD, Associate Professor, Associate Director, School of Social Work, Ryerson University

Dr. Marcia Jenneth Epstein, Department of Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary

Margaret Lonsdale, Life Member, Canadian Democracy

Margo L. Matwychuk, PhD, Director, Social Justice Studies, Dept of Anthropology, University of Victoria

Marni Soupcoff, Executive Director, Canadian Constitution Foundation

Mary Elizabeth Rubens, Entertainment lndustry Professional, Producer, Writer, Actor

Matthew Bouchard, Doctoral Student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Dr. Mehrunnisa Ali, Professor, Ryerson University

Mel Watkins, Emeritus Professor, University of Toronto

Michael Carter, PhD Candidate, Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen’s University

Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, University of Ottawa

Mitu Sengupta, Associate Professor, Department of Politics & Public Administration, Ryerson University

Nalini K. Singh, Academic Librarian, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Neil Thomlinson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Politics & Public Administration, Ryerson University

Omar Mbengue, teacher at Peel District School Board

Patricia Berton, Berton Assurances, membre de Courtiers Unis, Courtier en assurance de dommages

Dr. Paul D. Boin, Assistant Professor of Communication, Media, and Film, University of Windsor

Paul Jonathan Saguil, Barrister and Solicitor, Member of CJFE Canadian Issues Committee

Paul Knox, Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Ryerson University

Peter Ewart, Coordinator, Stand Up for the North Committee & columnist

Peter Jacobsen, Founding partner, Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP, and Chair of CJFE Canadian Issues Committee

Peter Puxley, Former Parliamentary Bureau Chief, CBC Radio News, former Senior Producer on CBC TV's The National Magazine

Philip Coppack, Ph.D., Professor of Geography, Ryerson University

Philippa Lawson, Barrister & Solicitor

Rainerio Tayco, Communist Party of Canada

Rebecca Noone, PhD Student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Reza Hamidizadeh, CEO, Ontario International Trading Inc.

Robert Hudyma, Professor Ryerson University

Ron Deibert, Director, The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Ronald Stagg, Professor, Ryerson University

Samuel Trosow, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Information & Media Studies, University of Western Ontario

Dr. Sandra Smeltzer, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario

Sarah Spinks, Secretary-Treasurer, Spin Free Productions Inc.

Dr. Sedef Arat-Koc, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

Seyed M. Hashemi, Professor, Ryerson University

Sharon Polsky, President, Privacy & Access Council of Canada

Stephanie J. Melles, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biology, Ryerson University

Stephanie Perrin, PhD candidate, University of Toronto

Suanne Kelman, Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University

Terry Costantino, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Professor Toni Samek, University of Alberta

Tony Seed, journalist and publisher, New Media Services Inc

Valerie Steeves, Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa

Valentina Capurri, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University


This letter of concern was sent to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

Cc: The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Official Opposition

Mr. Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

Mr. Mario Beaulieu, Leader of the Bloc Québécois

Ms. Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada

Mr. Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada


This letter is open for endorsements throughout the "Stop C-51 Week of Education," from April 13-19. To add your organization's name to the statement, please email Laura Tribe ltribe@cjfe.org.

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