By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexNeveAmnesty
How best to describe the rushed hearings the House of Commons’ Public Safety Committee held over the past few weeks examining Bill C-51, the government’s anti-terrorism law reforms? Circus, farce and disgrace all come to mind. I know, I was there on Amnesty International’s behalf earlier this month.
Having “heard” from the experts, today the Committee turns its attention to the text of the Bill itself. Indications are that the government is only open to a handful of tweaking amendments, so expectations are low.
Concern about these sweeping reforms grows daily. Experts representing the perspectives of Indigenous peoples, human rights and civil liberties groups, Muslim Canadians, environmental organizations, the legal community, the country’s privacy watchdog, immigrants and refugees, the labour movement, former judges and politicians and others have enumerated numerous shortcomings.