News from ICLMG

Open Letter to PM: Minority Government Must Act to Promote, Defend Civil Liberties

During the recent federal elections, there was very little discussion of national security and anti-terrorism laws, and none of it related to its impact on human rights and civil liberties.

On the eve of the opening of the 43rd parliament, though, there is an urgent need for action on several fronts, including:

  • Growing state surveillance;
  • Ongoing complicity in torture;
  • Secret evidence undermining the right to a fair trial and due process;
  • The continued use of the secret and rights-violating No Fly List;
  • The refusal to reform Canada’s flawed Extradition Act; and
  • Countering racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and all other forms of hate.

Today the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group sent the following open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, copied to all party leaders, outlining where the government must take action.

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Read our related blog post: Eight Steps the Liberal Government Must Take to Protect and Promote Civil Liberties 

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Justice for Hassan Diab: ICLMG’s New Video

Hassan Diab tells us about his fight for justice.


Hassan Diab, a Canadian university professor and father, was extradited to France based on weak, confusing evidence, where he spent more than three years in prison, without charge or trial. He is thankfully free and back in Canada, but justice hasn’t been served. Dr. Diab deserves answers and we need changes to Canada’s broken extradition act. The only solution is a full, independent, public inquiry.

Send a message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: A public inquiry must be a priority for his new government!

Since you’re here…

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National Security Info Card 2015-2019

A good way to know what will be a party’s position on national security in the next Parliament, is to know how they have acted on that topic in the past. On this page, you’ll find:

Votes on national security legislation from 2015 to 2019

These votes are the votes in the House of Commons at 3rd reading for the bills to be adopted and sent to the Senate, unless specified otherwise.

Laws/Parties Liberals CPC NDP Greens Bloc
C-6, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act
The act repealed the two-tiered citizenship regime created by Bill C-24 that discriminated against dual nationals.

Yes No Yes Yes Yes
C-21, An Act to amend the Customs Act
This act authorizes the Canada Border Services Agency to collect, from US border agents, personal information on all persons who are leaving or have left Canada. It also allows this information to be kept for 15 years.

Yes Yes No No No
C-22, An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians
Additional review mechanisms to our national security apparatus are welcome, however this one includes several shortcomings.

Yes No No Yes No
C-23, Preclearance Act, 2016
Preclearance areas in US and Canada allow for people and goods to go through customs before boarding transportation to the other country, rather than at destination, for expediency reasons. There are, however, several issues with this legislation including: the granting of sweeping civil or criminal immunity to US preclearance officers; losing the right to withdraw from preclearance without further questioning; and US officers being allowed to proceed with a strip search even if a Canadian officer declines to carry it out.

Yes Yes No No Didn’t vote
C-59, the National Security Act, 2017
Among many other things, the act introduced important albeit flawed oversight and review mechanisms, legislated huge mass surveillance powers, created dangerous cyber hacking powers, and gave immunity to CSIS agents for actions or omissions that would otherwise be crimes.

Yes Yes No Yes No
C-98, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act – NOT ADOPTED
This act amends the RCMP Act to rename the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP as the Public Complaints and Review Commission, and amends the CBSA Act to grant to that new Commission powers to conduct a review of the activities of the CBSA and to investigate complaints concerning the conduct of any CBSA officers or employees.

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
S-205, An Act to amend the Canada Border Services Agency Act – NOT ADOPTED
Introduced in the Senate in December 2015, it aimed to create an Inspector General of the CBSA whose mandate is to receive and consider complaints about the Agency. It passed third reading in the Senate but was never read in the House of Commons.


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