Past actions

Urgent Action: Ask all Federal MPs to vote against Bill S-7 Combating Terrorism Act

Update: Bill S-7 was adopted by the House of Commons on April 24, 2013.

The debate at 3rd reading on Bill S-7, the Combating Terrorism Act, is now on the Parliamentary agenda.

The proposed “anti-terrorism” legislation aims to re-introduce the two provisions of the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act that were subject to a sunset clause and which Parliament refused to extend in February 2007: the “investigative hearings” and the “preventive arrest” provisions (section 10). We are opposed to this bill because:

– First, the Criminal Code, prior to the adoption of the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001, was already an effective tool to counter terrorism. It allowed for lawful surveillance, evidence-gathering, prosecution, conviction and punishment while also upholding an individual’s Charter rights to the presumption of innocence, due process and a fair and transparent trial. These so-called anti-terrorism provisions do not maintain these basic legal standards.

– Second, Bill S-7 would allow persons to be detained for up to three days without charge (“preventive arrest”); strip individuals of their basic rights as accused under criminal proceedings to know and challenge evidence against them; threaten them with criminal punishment; and compel individuals to testify in secret before a judge in an “investigative hearing”. Further, the judge may impose imprisonment of up to 12 months if the person refuses to testify.

– Third, the preventive arrest and investigative hearing laws, in effect from 2001 to 2007, were never once used for their intended purpose, and every major criminal terrorism-related incident in Canada since 2001 has been disrupted and prevented without the need for preventive detention or investigative hearings.

– Fourth, the two provisions rest on the very broad definition of what constitutes a terrorist activity and of what constitutes participating in such an activity. As a result, they could allow for arresting and compelling to testify people involved in lawful activity and legitimate political dissent.

Reliance on arbitrary powers and a lower standard of evidence can never replace good, effective police work. It is highly likely that these provisions could target innocent individuals, lead to violations of rights and freedoms and bring into disrepute the administration of justice in Canada.

Please click here now and take action by sending an email to all federal MPs urging them to oppose Bill S-7

N.B.: The link opens a Word document. A new window should open to this effect but if it does not, please check your web downloads and double click on the “Model letter S-7” document to open it. 

For more details:

Read lawyer Denis Barrette’s testimony here. He has testified on behalf of ICLMG before the Public Safety Committee of the House of Commons against the bill on December 3rd.

Read the Joint Statement against the Reintroduction of Anti-Terrorism Provisions signed by the ICLMG, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and La Ligue des droits et libertés here.

Tell Stephen Harper: No Attack Drones!

Stephen Harper’s government is planning to spend $1 billion on a fleet of attack drones for Canada.

Please add your voice to campaign, and send an email to Prime Minister Harper telling him that you oppose his plan to buy attack drones now.

These controversial weapons have been used for CIA assassination missions, killing civilians in their path by the houseful. Legal experts have been raising the alarm about the way these weapons are used.

Attack drones just aren’t right for Canada. is a very effective network of more than 20,000 Canadians who want Canada to be a peace leader. Steven Staples from the Rideau Institute co-founded with others ten years ago to allow people to stay informed and to speak out for peace.

Take action now!

Stop Online Spying, Stop Bill C-30

Update: Victory for Internet freedom: Conservatives won’t bring back online surveillance bill

The government is trying to ram through an anti-Internet set of electronic surveillance laws.

These laws will invade your privacy and cost your money. The plan is to force every phone and Internet provider to surrender our personal information to “authorities” without a warrant.

Read more on Why Internet Monitoring is Bad for Canada 


Watch the videos: 

Mini-documentary “(Un)lawful access”

BCCLA Report – Toward a Surveillance Society

Micheal Vonn, Policy Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association speaking on BCCLA report “Moving toward a surveillance society” with Dr. Kate Milberry, Producer of the mini-documentary “(Un)lawful access”.

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