REPORTING · 9th September 2011
Green Party of Canada
In a few weeks, Parliament will resume and Elizabeth May, Canada’s first elected Green MP, will be in the House raising the issues that so many others won’t speak to.
Harper’s Conservatives plan to table an omnibus crime bill that contains some very bad legislation. Three of the more disturbing items lumped in with the omnibus Crime Bill are collectively known as the “Lawful Access” legislation:
Improving Access to Investigative Tools for Serious Crimes Act (C-50)
Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act (C-51)
Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act (C-52)
The Green Party supports efforts to tackle cyber crime, but is deeply concerned about the erosion of Canadians’ privacy. Currently, government agencies must show probable cause and obtain a court order before tapping your phones, and intercepting your mail and online communications.
If this bill is passed, government agencies will be able access your online communications without a court order-they need only tell your service providers that they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’.
In this context, reasonable is a dangerously flexible word that threatens your right to privacy. A reasonable government would give each section of the crime bill the attention that it deserves, encouraging debate and a clarification of possible, unforeseen consequences.
Omnibus bills are known to make profound changes to unrelated aspects of administration and policy, especially because Parliament can’t properly study them.
With a majority government, knowing that it can pass every piece of legislation that it creates, the Conservatve government shows a disturbing contempt for Canadians by continuing the practice of linking highly dubious laws to those upon which we can all agree.
Elizabeth forced the Conservatives to take the Mega-Trials section of the omnibus bill to committee and we were able to help fix serious flaws in that section. Now she needs your help in reminding the Conservatives that Canadians care deeply about our justice system and right to privacy.
This bill should be divided into logical segments and debated with the attention and seriousness that Canadian voters deserve from their MPs. Contact your local MP, the Justice Minister, and the Prime Minister’s office.