News from ICLMG

Funding of redress system just a first step towards addressing the problems with Canada’s No Fly List

(Ottawa – February 27, 2018) The International Civil Liberties Group welcomes today’s announcement of federal funding for redress system to address false positives in Canada’s Passenger Protect Program, better known as the No Fly List.

“For far too long, the Canadian government has avoided taking action to resolve the cases of individuals being wrongly flagged as being on the No Fly List,” says Tim McSorley, ICLMG national coordinator. “With today’s promise of funding, we hope that we will see a swift solution put in place to protect travellers from undue delays, interrogations and other indignities when flying to and from Canada.”

The government is promising $81.4 million in funding over 5 years to develop a “centralized screening model and establish a redress mechanism.”

Over the past decade, the problem of false positives has led to hundreds of documented cases of individuals mistakenly identified as being on the No Fly List, revealed thanks in part to the relentless work of the collective #NoFlyListKids. This includes not just adults, but children as young as only a few months old.

The impacts these individuals have faced are not negligible, including significant delays, unforeseen costs when flights and connections were missed as a result, intensive secondary questioning by airport security, impacts on work because of difficulties travelling, problems returning to Canada, and worries even of arrest by authorities because they are viewed as possible threats.

Advocates, including the ICLMG, have long called for a centralized redress system to address these false positives. The federal budget opens the door to that becoming a reality and the issue of false positives finally being resolved.

However, a redress system is just one piece of the puzzle in fixing Canada’s No Fly List program. The issues facing individuals who have been wrongly flagged as being on the No Fly List serves to highlight even deeper concerns with the regime. These include:

  • The secretive nature of the list: Individuals are not able to find out if they are listed unless they have been denied travel;
  • Problems of due process: If an individual appeals their listing, they are not guaranteed access to the full information or evidence used to place them on the list (undermining the possibility of a full and adequate defence).

The ICLMG will thus continue to urge lawmakers to repeal the No Fly List, including by amending Bill C-59, the National Security Act, 2017.

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
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ICLMG joins call for a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia

The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group has joined the National Council of Canadian Muslims, along with dozens of Muslim organizations and their allies, in calling on the federal government to designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.

Below is our full letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (PDF here).

You can join this call by taking action on the NCCM’s website, here.

For a list of events across Canada, click here.

 

24 January 2018

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister,

The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group is adding its voice to the call from the National Council of Canadian Muslims, supported by so many across the country, requesting that January 29 be designated a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia.

We believe a National Day would be an important and powerful way to remember the six Muslim men who were murdered at the Centre culturel islamique in Quebec City one year ago, as well as those who were injured and bereaved.

The killing of Azzeddine Soufiane, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Ibrahima Barry and Abdelkrim Hassane marked the largest mass murder in Canada in the past 25 years, and the deadliest attack on a place of worship in Canada’s recent history.

It is imperative that this day be remembered, in the hopes of stamping out the racism and Islamophobia that inspired the shooter and others who perpetrate anti-Muslim acts of hate, which have drastically increased over the past several years.

Such a national day would also help people to focus their energy and efforts, allowing for positive links between communities, and new initiatives to promote equality. Already, we see interfaith, artistic and cross-community events being planned from coast to coast. Just imagine how powerful an official day of remembrance, similar to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, would be.

In our work defending civil liberties in the context of national security, anti-terrorism and the “War on Terror” in Canada and internationally, we have seen how Muslims and Arabs in Canada have increasingly been stigmatised and scape-goated. The rise of the extreme-right, white supremacist and nationalist groups, and the backlash against immigration fuelled by spurious security concerns and racist stereotypes must be addressed. In the face of this, we must uphold that such a massacre must never happen again.

Attacks on one community, on one religion, on one race, are in reality an attack on us all. They tear apart the threads that bind us together as neighbours, allies and friends. The attack one year ago in Quebec City ripped at those threads.

We ask that you designate, by order-in-council or by proclamation, January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, on or before the first anniversary.

Yours sincerely,

Dominique Peschard & Kevin Malseed

Co-chairs
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Our Brief & Testimony at the SECU Committee on Bill C-59, the National Security Act of 2017

As we’ve said before, while Bill C-59 contains some positive provisions around new review and oversight bodies, as well as some changes to the criminal code, it does not go far enough and introduces many very problematic elements. Bill C-59 fits into the steady progression, since the first Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, of expanding and enshrining significant, secretive and dangerous powers in the hands of Canada’s national security agencies.

We’ve submitted an extensive analysis of Bill C-59 to the House Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU). In our brief, we present realistic and necessary recommendations, suggestions and areas of examination that we believe will help to strengthen not just Canadians’ rights, but also our security. A summary of our recommendations is listed below. You can read the full brief here. And share it on Facebook and Twitter.

We also testified at the SECU committee alongside our partner OpenMedia on February 8th, 2018. Watch our testimony here:

Don’t forget to take action to fix Bill C-59
and protect our rights!

Summary of Recommendations

Part 1: The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency
While welcome, the new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) could be strengthened. Among other things, we recommend:
  • Increasing the number of members
  • Appointing NSIRA members through parliament and not through the Prime Minister
  • That the Agency be given binding powers
  • More precision and clarity in public reports
  • Greater accountability and transparency around how the agency will deal with public complaints
Part 2: The Intelligence Commissioner Act
The creation of the Intelligence Commissioner (IC) is also welcome, but needs serious strengthening, including:
  • Intelligence Commissioner appointments should be approved by a 2/3 vote in the House of Commons, and the position should be full-time
  • Increased public reporting and greater transparency in decision making
  • Stronger powers to impose conditions on surveillance operations
  • Oversight of cyber operations
Part 3: The Communications Security Establishment Act
Our recommendations include:
  • Narrow the Communications Security Establishment’s (CSE) new cyber-operations mandate, and place greater restrictions and oversight on what cyber actions the CSE can take
  • Take action to further restrict the collection of Canadian and foreign data, and to prevent mass surveillance operations
  • Include a definition of metadata and restrict its collection and use
  • Restrict the definition, collection and use of “publicly available information”
  • Increase human rights safeguards when sharing information with other countries
Part 4: Amendments to the CSIS Act
Our recommendations include:
  • Eliminate disruption powers brought in with Bill C-51
  • Remove provisions granting broad immunity to CSIS agents to break Canadian law
  • Restrict CSIS’ new data collection powers and increase its oversight
  • Restrict the definition, collection, and use of publicly available information as CSIS datasets.
Part 5: The Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act
  • We recommend that SCISA, established with Bill C-51, be repealed in favour of new legislation to protect privacy and information that is shared for national security purposes.
Part 6: Amendments to the Secure Air Travel Act
Our recommendations include:
  • Establishing effective and transparent processes for both redress and appeals
  • Ultimately repealing the Secure Air Travel Act (brought in with Bill C-51) and ending the No Fly List program in general
Part 7: Amendments to the Criminal Code
We recommend:
  • Removing redundant “counselling terrorism offenses” provisions
  • Repealing the “Terrorist Entities Listing” process in favour of existing criminal code provisions
Part 9: Review
  • We recommend reducing the review period to five years for new oversight and review mechanisms and to three years for new CSIS and CSE powers.
What’s missing from Bill C-59
  • A strong review mechanism to look at the CBSA and its activities outside of national security.
  • Bill C-59 should include a provision that puts an end to the security certificate regime.

Read our full brief here.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
make-a-donation-button

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