Canadian Security Magazine

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Liberals’ national security bill under further scrutiny

OTTAWA - Dozens of civil society voices are calling for changes to the Liberal government's national security bill to protect privacy and freedoms.

It’s the latest sign that the high-profile legislation could be in for a rocky ride.

Groups including Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association have outlined their concerns in a letter to the ministers of public safety, justice and immigration.

The letter is also signed by several academics from the fields of history, law, privacy and technology.

The government’s sweeping security legislation, tabled in June, fleshes out Liberal promises to repeal some elements of C-51, a contentious omnibus bill brought in by the Harper government after a gunman stormed Parliament Hill in 2014.


But the Conservatives have accused the government of making things harder for security forces, while the NDP has said the Liberals had not done enough to reverse the Harper measures.

The bill would limit — but not eliminate — powers that allow Canada’s spy agency to actively disrupt terror plots, and blazes new paths for Canada’s security services in data-crunching and cyber warfare.

The groups and individuals calling for change say while the bill makes some meaningful and necessary improvements to the national security regime, it fails to reverse the overall thrust of the Tory measures in C-51.

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