Senators Downe and Hubley to Vote Against C-51

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May 20, 2015


Senators Downe and Hubley to Vote Against C-51

Senators Percy Downe and Elizabeth Hubley will vote against Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015, because the Bill does not provide for the public and parliamentary oversight necessary to ensure that the increased powers given to government agencies will be used responsibly.

“We have seen in the past what can happen when intelligence agencies act without public and parliamentary oversight,” said Downe. “In fact, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service was formed in response to the activities of the old RCMP Security Service. Good intentions and legitimate concerns about foreign and domestic threats do not justify the absence of a comprehensive system of review and oversight.”

“I will not be supporting C-51,” said Senator Hubley. “Expert after expert have voiced serious concerns about numerous aspects of this Bill, including the lack of oversight for government agencies’ increased powers.  Legislation like this should strike an appropriate balance between managing safety and security risks, and protecting citizens’ privacy rights and personal freedoms.  C-51 does not.”

“The existing review arrangement is inadequate for the expansion of powers included in this Bill. It is time for Canada to follow the example of countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and institute public and parliamentary oversight of Canada’s intelligence and security agencies. In the absence of such oversight, I cannot support this Bill,” concluded Downe.


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