OTTAWA – Liberals today unveiled amendments to Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, which, if accepted, will address Canadians’ broad concerns, including the need for more robust oversight and accountability of Canada’s national security agencies.
“Bill C-51 contains significant measures to keep Canadians safe,” said Liberal Public Safety Critic, Wayne Easter. “But we have heard Canadians’ concerns about this bill, and believe our amendments will address them.”
While Liberals welcome measures in Bill C-51 that make better use of no-fly lists, build on the powers of preventative arrest, and allow for greater information sharing between government departments and agencies, they have introduced 10 amendments to narrow the legislation’s overly broad definitions, ensure parliamentary oversight, and institute mandatory legislative reviews. Should the Conservative government reject these proposals, the Liberal Party of Canada has committed to presenting them as part of its platform in the upcoming federal election.
“Canadians understand that there need be no contradiction between protecting our rights and freedoms, and protecting our collective security,” said Liberal Rights and Freedoms Critic, Irwin Cotler. “And while Bill C-51 responds to the government’s obligation to protect Canadians, our response to terrorism cannot be confined to legislative measures alone. It must also include a serious plan for preventing radicalization before it takes root, and ensure that our security agencies are adequately resourced so that they are able to carry out the tasks required of them.”