November 27, 2017 Ralph Goodale’s new omnibus bill C-59 was voted on after the first reading process. The vote ended 164 for and 118 against, Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois were the dissenting nay votes. The bill was drafted to abrogate the less palatable elements of C-51 or which will ultimately face legal challenges. It confounds me, we believe we have democracy and a say in our political outcomes, however, all votes completely align with party line. If your feeling particularly pugilistic, you can approach your local MP and convince them to vote against party lines and discover the decisions are made far from our local MP.
Nevertheless, the bill has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. After committee the bill should be returned for consideration and debate. The attached link below has a presentation on the major points of the bill and how it compared to bill C-51. One of the critical areas of the bill refers to free speech and the offences someone may commit in the name in terrorism. Today, in C-51, you could spend up to five years in jail if you are accused of advocating or promoting terrorism. This broadly defined section of the act could be applied to almost anything and reduce our freedom of speech. Blog’s such as Liebrary could even be accused of extremism although our goal is only to find and document facts not promoted in main stream media. C-59 hopes to improve this by including a higher evidentiary requirement and thus require proof of a crime.
To me the whole process of debating C-51 or C-59 just takes a discussion to where we assume it is required at all. It’s a myth and an allusion that monitoring our technical devices, social media or flying habits are going to have a drastic improvement to our quality of life. The people who are going to avert these new acts are still going to find ways to abuse them. Meanwhile, the majority of us who attempt to be good participants in our local community have to give up our freedoms. Where does it lead and how soon before we need internet licenses or youtube permits with small fees requiring us to work even harder to enjoy technical achievements.
Furthermore, omnibus bills are so large and complex it is extremely difficult to understand and debate the impact of the bill. Even for the current bill NDP Matthew Dube asked Goodale if they could vote on the individual aspects of the bill separately. It has been proposed bill C-51 was only approved due to the parliament attack that happened right outside chambers. What perceived act will need to take place for this bill to pass? World War III or some other travesty that will shake the foundation of parliaments courage?
Please read the attached article and leave your comments.