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27 chapters take part in national day of action against C-51

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Twenty-seven Council of Canadians chapters protested against the Harper government’s proposed C-51 legislation today.

CBC reported earlier today that, “Protests are underway across Canada against the government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, which would give police much broader powers and allow them to detain terror suspects and give new powers to Canada’s spy agency. …According to the StopC51.ca website, there are currently more than 55 ‘non-partisan’ events slated to take place over the weekend, with protests outside the riding offices of 13 Conservative MPs…” Chapters took part in almost half of all the events organized.

The chapters participating in these actions were: Nanaimo, Vancouver/Burnaby, Comox Valley, Delta/Richmond, Powell River, Campbell River, Nelson (in the British Columbia-Yukon region), Red Deer, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Northwest Territories, Lethbridge, Regina (in the Prairies-NWT region), Sudbury, Guelph, Hamilton, Ottawa, London, Peterborough-Kawarthas, Toronto, Peel Region, Montreal, Brockville (in the Ontario-Quebec region), and St. John’s, Charlottetown, Saint John (in the Atlantic region).

Media references to their participation in these protests are starting to appear now.

The Sudbury Star reports, “Andre Clement, from the local chapter of the Council of Canadians, believes many Canadians don’t yet know enough about C-51 and potential problems with the bill – even those who have voiced support for new anti-terror legislation. …’Right now, we can’t trust the government in power to look after the concerns and the interests of Canadian citizens. We fear this bill is being rammed through the House with a majority government and we want people to know there are several very serious problems with the bill.'”

And Sudbury Northern Life adds, “Penny Earley, a member of the Sudbury chapter of the Council of Canadians, said it was key for everyone opposed to C-51 to speak out now. ‘The risks of Bill C-51, if it is passed, is we might never be able to protest the actions of the government again’, Earley said. ‘[C-51] paves the way to violations of our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression. It’s a very dangerous bill for many, many people. The right to voice a dissenting opinion to the government could be lost.'”

Commenting on today’s protests against C-51, federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney says, “The international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada. Canadians are being targeted by jihadi terrorists simply because they hate our society and the values it represents. …We reject the argument that every time we talk about security, our freedoms are threatened. Canadians understand that their freedom and security go hand in hand. Canadians expect us to protect both, and there are safeguards in this legislation to do exactly that.”

Voters will have their chance to respond to this in the upcoming federal election expected on October 19.

Further reading

St. John’s chapter blog about today’s protest, here and news article, here.

Guelph chapter news article, here.

Peel Region news article, here.

Sudbury chapter blog, here.