AFP, May 7
Canadian lawmakers passed a new anti-terror law on Wednesday dramatically expanding the powers and reach of Canada’s spy agency, allowing it to operate overseas for the first time.
The move came in response to the first terror attacks on Canadian soil last October, when a gunman killed a ceremonial guard and stormed parliament, and a soldier was run over in rural Quebec.
A large number of critics — including celebrated author Margaret Atwood — have vehemently decried bill C-51 as an unprecedented assault on civil rights, saying it lacks oversight and is overly broad.
It criminalizes the promotion of terrorism, makes it easier for police to arrest and detain individuals without charge and expands the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s (CSIS) mandate from intelligence-collection to actively thwarting terror plots and spying outside Canada.
The government insists the new measures target “terrorists” and not law-abiding citizens.
But the opposition New Democratic Party said the law is “vague, dangerous and won’t make Canadians safer.”
“Thousands of Canadians took to the streets to protest this bill which will erode our rights and freedoms,” NDP MP Randall Garrison said.
Wait a minute… All this time they were spying on themselves?
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