News from ICLMG

Press release: Amendments to Bill C-22 weakens oversight committee before it even begins, says civil liberties watchdog

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Ottawa, March 21, 2017 — The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is expressing its deep concern over amendments to Bill C-22 passed last night in the House of Commons. Bill C-22 aims to create a Committee of Parliamentarians to oversee national security activities and policies.

The amendments, moved by Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger, undid important changes brought to the proposed legislation by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU).

The improvements brought by the SECU committee served to strengthen the future Committee of Parliamentarians’ ability to access the information they required, to call witnesses, and to generally conduct effective and timely oversight.

Instead of agreeing to these amendments, adopted through bipartisan debate and discussion, the government has struck the most important changes from the bill, which will now go to third reading in the House.

“We need a national security oversight committee in Canada. That is clear,” says Tim McSorley, ICLMG national coordinator. “We are disappointed, though, that the government would not ensure that we start with the strongest possible committee, with sufficient powers to access information and carry our timely, in-depth reviews.”

“We believe that the amendments passed tonight will serve to tie the hands of the committee, before it is even officially formed,” he adds.

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ICLMG urges the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs to act now for the return of Hassan Diab to Canada

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The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6
Email: Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.ca
Cc: The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Re: The case of Dr. Hassan Diab

Dear Minister Wilson-Raybould,

We are writing today to follow-up with you regarding the case of Canadian citizen and university professor Dr. Hassan Diab. We originally wrote to your office about Dr. Diab in April 2016, but did not receive a response. Since then, his case has grown even more concerning, and we would urge you to raise the issue with your French counterpart to ensure that Dr. Diab’s rights are protected.

Read the full letter

Sign the new petition

Watch the short documentary “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”

Join the Bring Hassan Home Campaign and visit the Justice for Hassan Diab website

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Fighting Hate in the Wake of the Quebec City Mosque Shooting: 5 Ways the Trudeau Government Can Act Now!

Solidarity chain against the Muslim and refugee bans at US Embassy in Ottawa on January 30, 2017 (Photo credit: Claude Panneton)

By Anne Dagenais Guertin and Tim McSorley – So much has happened in the last few days, we are struggling to keep up. The sheer volume of bad news can be overwhelming, so we are elated to see that people are taking to the streets, to their communities and to social media to show their solidarity against violence, racism, Islamophobia and injustice, with no sign of that outrage fading soon.

Our thoughts and solidarity are with the families of the victims and survivors of the shooting at the Centre culturel Islamique de Québec in Ste-Foy, and we firmly condemn all forms of violence and discrimination, especially Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism.

In the weeks and months leading up to this heinous crime, we have seen so many attacks on the rights and lives of numerous people and communities coming from so many sides, that they often feel chaotic, even unrelated. But as others have pointed out, and as we strongly believe, the events of January 29th cannot be seen in isolation from the overall political environment. They must be seen as linked, and denounced as such.

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