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Edmonton chapter protests Trudeau’s support for Harper’s C-51

Photo: Protest in Edmonton yesterday against Justin Trudeau's support for C-51. Photos by Council of Canadians organizer Chris Gallaway.

Protest in Edmonton yesterday against Justin Trudeau’s support for C-51. Photos by Council of Canadians organizer Chris Gallaway

The Council of Canadians Edmonton chapter protested Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau’s support for C-51, the Harper government’s so-called anti-terrorism bill, yesterday.

Trudeau was in Edmonton for the launch of Amarjeet Sohi’s campaign to become the Liberal MP for Edmonton Mill Woods-Beaumont.

The Edmonton Sun reports, “While inside the hall, Liberal Party supporters cheered, outside protestors chanted ‘kill the bill’, calling out Trudeau for his support of the conservative’s controversial counter terrorism Bill C-51. ‘We are committed to repealing parts of Mr. Harper’s anti-terrorism legislation that are causing so much concern’, said Trudeau in his speech at Sohi’s campaign launch at the Maharaja Hall on Thursday, after first addressing the concerns of the protestors directly.”

Metro News has explained, “The legislation gives the Canadian Security Intelligence Service more power to thwart suspected terrorist plots — not just gather information about them. It also increases the exchange of federal security information, broadens no-fly list powers and creates a new criminal offence of encouraging someone to carry out a terrorist attack. In addition, the bill makes it easier for the RCMP to obtain a peace bond to restrict the movements of suspects and extend the amount of time they can be kept in preventative detention.”

C-51 was passed in the House of Commons on May 6 in a 183-96 vote. The Conservatives and Liberals voted in favour of it, the NDP, Green Party and Bloc Quebecois voted against it.

Council of Canadians chapters have protested against C-51 on national days of action on March 14, April 18 and May 30.

On the issue of Trudeau and C-51, St. John’s chapter activist Ken Kavanagh has commented, “The Liberals supported Bill C-51 right from the start because they’re afraid to look like they’re against security — they’re afraid of political backlash. …To say that they would attempt to change this [bill] when they get into power, and not take a stand against it now, to me is the most cowardly thing I’ve heard of. That doesn’t make any sense. Your job in opposition is to challenge legislation and policy of the governing party, and if there are some serious issues with it, to stand up against it.”

The final Senate vote on C-51 is pending. The Council of Canadians is supporting this petition calling on Senators to stop C-51.

Further reading
What’s in Harper’s proposed Bill C-51 ‘Security of Canada’ legislation? (February 2015 blog)