News from ICLMG

Press release: Liberal government walking away from commitment to strong, effective national security oversight, says ICLMG

Ottawa — The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is disappointed that the Liberal government continues to refuse to make important changes to Bill C-22, which would create a Committee of Parliamentarians to oversee national security activities and policies. Last Friday, March 24, the government voted down an NDP motion to send Bill C-22 back to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) for further study.

Earlier that week, amendments moved by Liberal House Leader Bardish Chagger were adopted by the government,  undoing important changes brought to C-22 by the SECU committee after thorough study, and bipartisan debate and discussion.

The improvements brought by the SECU committee were based on expert testimony, significant consultation, and were supported by many rights and civil liberties groups who studied the bill. The amendments served to strengthen the future Committee of Parliamentarians’ ability to access the information they required, to call witnesses, to investigate national security matters in a timely manner, and to generally conduct effective oversight.

“The government has repeatedly stated their commitment to establishing a committee that will bring strong, effective oversight to Canada’s national security policies and agencies,” said Tim McSorley, ICLMG national coordinator. “It is frustrating to see the government walk away once again from an opportunity to meet that commitment.” At the same time, he pointed out that while SECU’s amendments improved the bill, the coalition was hoping for further changes, including making the committee responsible to Parliament, as opposed to the Prime Minister.

Bill C-22 is slated for third reading in the House on Monday, April 3, after which it will most likely go on to be studied by the Senate.

“We cannot support this bill in its current form,” said McSorley. “Not only will it not create a Committee of Parliamentarians capable of real and strong oversight over our national security apparatus, its mere creation will give Canadians the impression that proper parliamentary oversight exists – which will not be the case. The bill is irresponsible.”

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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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