Bill C-51: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression – Open Letter

2015.03.14.Citizen Journalism.Toronto-NoBillC-51-22More than 100 organizations and individuals (including this journalist) have signed an open letter dated April 13 calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to scrap Bill C-51. The letter, drafted by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) calls for “the immediate and unconditional dismissal of Bill C-51: Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015” and points out that “amendments cannot repair such an extensive and dangerous piece of legislation.”

The Open Letter points out that the anti-terrorism act “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.”

The letter continues, “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 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.”

To read the list of signatories, click here


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