BILL C-51: ROACH and FORCESE submissions to the Senate Standing Committee

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Thank you for allowing me to appear again before this Committee. Professor Forcese and I have produced over 200 pages of detailed analysis of parts 1, 3 and 4 of Bill C-51. It is a complex omnibus bill that would add two new security laws and amend another 15 existing, including most notably the Criminal Code and CSIS Act. We have provided and also published to a table proposing many carefully considered amendments. We will not have time today to go into them but would welcome any questions on them.

In the Commons, the government has made a few amendments, but they do not alleviate our concerns that the bill will have major implications for rights and unintended but harmful effects for security, particularly criminal investigations and terrorism prosecutions. The amendments also do not respond to the fact that the bill ignores or contravenes major parts of the 2006 recommendations of the Arar Commission, the 2010 recommendations of the Air India Commission and 2011 recommendations of the special Senate committee chaired by Senator Segal. The bill’s radical rejection of the evidence compiled by these commissions in large part explains the persistence of our critique of the bill.

This content has been updated on 21 October 2015 at 15 h 53 min.