The Council of Canadians, Williams Lake Chapter, is hosting a public meeting Tuesday, March 31, to discuss the new anti-terror legislation as proposed by the federal government.
“Many feel this new “anti-terror” legislation could endanger the rights and security of all Canadians, and criminalize dissent,” the chapter noted in a press release.
Author and columnist Peter Ewart from Prince George, spokesman for the Stand Up for the North Committee, will be the main speaker.
The proposed legislation, Bill C-51, casts an extremely wide net and could potentially be used against workers on strike, environmental campaigns, First Nations protests, people involved in civil disobedience, or even activities such as BC’s recent anti-HST campaign, the press release noted.
“The legislation is so broad it could be directed against practically anyone or any group opposed to federal government policies, including opposition parties. It also includes measures that curtail freedom of speech and allow CSIS, with open-ended judicial warrants, to break Canadian law, violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and invade the privacy of citizens and organizations.”
Many prominent Canadians have spoken out against this legislation, calling it dangerous, excessive and dictatorial, as well as alien to the legal norms of the country.
Besides the NDP and Green parties in Parliament, critics include six former Supreme Court justices, as well as dozens of other legal experts, law professors, media pundits, and even four former Prime Ministers. Premier Christy Clark has questioned how the legislation will balance security and freedoms.
Considering that it has serious implications for the rights of all Canadians, it is important that people have the opportunity to fully discuss and deliberate on this controversial legislation. For this reason, the Council of Canadians and the Stand Up for the North Committee are organizing this public meeting and warmly invite everyone in the community to come out and participate.
The meeting takes place at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, 549 Carson Drive, at 7 p.m.