Academics publish open letter in opposition to anti-terrorism bill

March 3, 2015

More than 100 academics from across Canada have signed an open letter calling on the federal government to make drastic changes to proposed anti-terrorism legislation. The letter describes Bill C-51 as a "dangerous piece of legislation in terms of its potential impacts on the rule of law, on constitutionally and internationally protected rights, and on the health of Canada's democracy." The letter suggests that the bill would be ineffective in achieving its purpose, and expresses concerns over its vast scope as well as the changes it would make to the function of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). It further notes that C-51 does not adequately support efforts that have been proven to prevent radicalization, such as community outreach initiatives, and says that the bill does not stipulate anything close to adequate oversight of proposed anti-terror measures. The academics suggest that the bill would constitute a "deep and broad intrusion into privacy," and that it "completely subverts the normal role of judges." The letter closes by calling on "all Parliamentarians to ensure that C-51 not be enacted in anything resembling its present form." CBC | Open Letter