By Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexNeveAmnesty
Want to feel more secure? Bill C-51, which is being examined by a Parliamentary committee in three weeks of truncated hearings, offers up criminal offences that infringe free expression, unprecedented intrusive intelligence powers, breathtakingly vast definitions of security, unbridled sharing of information and stunning levels of secrecy; all while doing nothing to enhance review, oversight and accountability of Canada’s national security agencies.
The message is that human rights have to give way to keep terrorism at bay. The relationship between the two is seen as a zero-sum game. More safety means fewer rights. Stronger regard for rights leads to greater insecurity.
It is time to turn that around. Human rights do not stand in the way of security that is universal, durable and inclusive. Human rights are in fact the very key.