News from ICLMG

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The act repealed the two-tiered citizenship regime created by Bill C-24 that discriminated against dual nationals.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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RELEASE: Coalition Calls On Federal Leaders to Commit to Defending Civil Liberties in 2019 Federal Election

For immediate release

Coalition Calls On Federal Leaders to Commit to Defending Civil Liberties in 2019 Federal Election

OTTAWA (Sept. 25, 2019) – Federal leaders and their parties must do more to show their commitment to defending civil liberties in Canada, particularly from the impact of national security and anti-terrorism laws, says a national coalition of 46 organizations.

“Despite pressing concerns, we have heard very little from Canada’s political leaders about what they will do to address issues like mass surveillance, political and religious profiling, Canada’s complicity in torture, or secret watch lists – all implemented in the name of ‘national security’,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. The ICLMG was founded shortly after the adoption of Canada’s first Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001 to serve as a watchdog on the effects anti-terrorism laws and the “War on Terror” have on civil liberties in Canada.

Since then, the coalition has observed a troubling trend of “national security creep”: ever expanding powers for Canada’s secretive national security agencies, with a clear impact on the civil liberties of people in Canada, as well as internationally.

To combat this trend, the ICLMG has written to party leaders, laying out ten commitments they could make today in order to ensure civil liberties in Canada are strengthened and promoted heading into the next parliament. These asks are:

  1. Stop and effectively outlaw all mass surveillance.
  2. Stop the surveillance, profiling and harassment of Indigenous people, Muslim communities and environmental defenders.
  3. End all deportations to torture, including Mohamed Harkat’s, and abolish security certificates.
  4. Launch an independent and public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab and the Extradition Act.
  5. Fix the many problems created by the National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59), and address the ongoing issues it perpetuated.
  6. Abolish the No-Fly List and the Terrorist Entities List.
  7. Ensure justice and full redress for victims of torture.
  8. Bring home Canadian citizens being detained in Syria.
  9. Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.
  10. Address Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate, racism, gendered and domestic violence, unemployment, poverty and more to create a better society for all.

A more detailed list, with explanations of each ask along with sources, is available at

The coalition is also asking the public to weigh in by writing to the candidates in their riding, using an online emailing tool on the ICLMG’s website at

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Tim McSorley, National Coordinator, ICLMG
(613) 241-5298

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