Tag Archives: C-51

Keeping Up With The Neighbors

The relationship between Canada and the United States is friendly for the most part. We share a common border. Official business is done in English for the most part in both countries. Until a couple years ago, you didn’t need a passport or Real ID to travel between the two countries. However, as will happen in friendships sometimes, one of the two becomes envious of something the other has, and they decide that they need that item themselves.

Canada felt that way about us. We had something called the Patriot Act which we could use as “legal” justification to violate the civil and/or constitutional rights of people or groups that the government deemed threatening, and Canada didn’t – until yesterday.

Graphic: Government of Canada

Graphic: Government of Canada

Yesterday, Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, welcomed the royal assent of C-51, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015.

Graphic by Government of Canada

Graphic: Government of Canada

We’ve written about C-51 before. In our previous article, we pointed out that among other things, C-51 allows a judge to impose up to a year of house arrest on someone who has neither been convicted nor charged with any crime, as well as require him/her to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet at all times. It also criminalizes the communication of statements advocating what the state deems to be terrorism. Continue reading

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Canada’s War On Activists

On October 20, 2014, Martin Couture-Rouleau deliberately ran into two Canadian Armed Forces soldiers with his car in a shopping center parking lot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, killing one soldier and injuring another. Couture-Rouleau was killed by police after he rolled his car while trying to escape.

Two days later, on October 22, 2014, a series of shootings took place in Ottawa, Canada. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a 32 year old Canadian, shot and killed a soldier on ceremonial guard duty, and shot at and missed two other guards. Zehaf-Bibeau then went to the Canadian parliament building, where he shot a guard in the foot during a struggle. He was shot and killed by Kevin Vickers, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons.

Stephen Harper. Photo by World Economic Forum - Remy Steinegger [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Stephen Harper. Photo by World Economic Forum – Remy Steinegger [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Canadian government was quick to call both events acts of terrorism. Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to the October 20 incident as an ISIL-inspired terrorist attack in his address to the Canadian people following the October 22 shootings. Interestingly enough, in a poll conducted after the Ottawa shootings, more Canadians considered the shootings an act of mental illness than considered it an act of terrorism. But, we digress… Continue reading

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