Tensions Simmer at Bill C-51 Hearings

Tensions Simmer at Bill C-51 Hearings

Postby Oscar » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:10 am

Tensions Simmer at Bill C-51 Hearings

[ http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/03/27/Bill-C-51-Hearings/ ]

Activist and Tory committee member spar over anti-terrorism law.

By Jeremy J. Nuttall, March 27, 2015, TheTyee.ca

Appearing before the House of Commons public safety committee this week was a disappointing experience, punctuated by one Tory MP's "arrogant and elitist" attitude toward the public, says Vancouver activist Steve Anderson.

"The government reps there weren't there to listen; they're obviously there to just make their talking points known and try to get the people they invited to agree with them on the record," Anderson, national coordinator for internet freedom advocate OpenMedia, said in an interview Wednesday after he had returned to Vancouver.

"That was disappointing, but I guess not that surprising."

Anderson, who testified on Bill C-51 -- the government's Anti-Terrorism Act -- took particular exception to a comment made by Conservative committee member Roxanne James, who vigorously defended the government's controversial legislation.

James at one point suggested that people opposed to the legislation "actually think" they could be arrested as terrorists.

During his testimony before the committee, Anderson responded to that comment.

"I just want to say... I found that the comments mentioned a second ago from MP James kind of insinuate that Canadians are not informed and are stupid. I find that really distasteful for a public office holder."

James responded by saying she wasn't calling Canadians stupid and was just trying to make a point about "misinformation" surrounding the bill.

Anderson also brought a 100,000-person petition against C-51 and said he felt Canadians were actually well informed on the topic and should be encouraged to enter debates over it rather than be "disrespected."

Bill C-51 has met a barrage of criticism since it was introduced by the government in January. Among other things, the bill would allow the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to disrupt suspected terrorist activity and give new authority for 17 federal agencies and departments to share information on Canadians. It would also allow the no-fly list to be expanded and would make it easier for the RCMP to get court orders to restrict the movements of terror suspects.

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[ http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/03/27/Bill-C-51-Hearings/ ]
Oscar
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