OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s sweeping national-security bill doesn’t go far enough to protect the rights of people ensnared by Canada’s no-fly list, academics and civil-liberties advocates told senators Monday.
The bill does take aim at the recurring problem of mistaken matches for names on the no-fly list, opening the door to a new system of redress numbers — unique identifiers that are meant to help people who share names with suspected terrorists avoid being barred from flights.
However, critics say the legislative changes will do little to help those actually on the no-fly list who are stopped from getting on planes.
As now, someone prevented from flying could ask for reconsideration of their case and appeal an unfavourable decision to the courts.
However, the person is given only a summary of the intelligence and evidence used against him or her, which could include hearsay, Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said Monday.
In addition, the judge dealing with a case can rely on secret evidence that was not included in the summary, she told the senators. “The appellant’s right to be heard is not meaningful if she or he does not know the case to meet.”
Zwibel said the process could be improved by assigning a special legal advocate, one with the clearance to review and test the government’s case, as a means of assisting the person contesting their presence on the list.
Such security-cleared lawyers already have a role when someone is arrested under a national-security certificate, a legal provision for deporting non-citizens suspected of involvement in terrorism or espionage, independent Sen. Marilou McPhedran pointed out an earlier committee meeting.
A federal official replied that a judge already has the ability to appoint an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, to assist in no-fly appeal proceedings if it is warranted.
At Monday’s meeting, Zwibel told McPhedran the civil-liberties association would like to see the routine assistance of a special lawyer built into the no-fly list provisions, not left to the discretion of a judge.
Errol Mendes, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, said the law should “definitely include special advocates” to represent people the government puts on the list. He also stressed to the committee that there is a “big difference” between a special advocate acting on behalf of a listed person and an amicus, who is effectively a servant of the court.
Craig Forcese, who also teaches law at the University of Ottawa, emphasized the importance of including special advocates not just in no-fly proceedings, but also to ensure fairness in passport-revocation cases.
The wide-ranging security bill would limit — but not eliminate — powers that allow the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to actively disrupt terror plots.
It opens the door to new paths for security services in data-crunching and cyberwarfare, and enhances accountability and review through creation of a super-watchdog.
The legislation would also tighten provisions on information-sharing among federal agencies, redefine terrorist propaganda and narrow a general prohibition against promoting terrorism offences to the crime of counselling someone to commit a terrorist offence.
Although several witnesses suggested changes to the security bill Monday, it was generally seen as an improvement over a previous incarnation passed under the Conservative government after a gunman stormed Parliament Hill in 2014.
Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said Monday that as a result of revisions to the proposed Liberal legislation adopted by the House of Commons, it is “now fairly balanced and clearly an improvement over the current law.”
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Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press
Minority Government passes Bill C10 on internet freedom. Opponents pleading with Senate to block it.
Bill C 10 which is expected to fundamentally affect how Canadians experience the internet, has been hammered through the House of Commons. At 1:30 AM Ottawa time, the minority Liberal Government with help from the BQ and the NDP were able to pass the bill. In opposition were the federal Conservatives and lone Independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould. The urgency to pass C 10 before an election call expected later this summer resulted in the Liberals actually shutting down debate at the committee level. That’s only happened twice in the history of the country before now! The Liberals also attempted to pass secret amendments which were caught by the Conservatives and ruled “out of order” by the House Speaker.
Why the rush? Opponents are concerned the Liberals, BQ, and NDP are far more concerned with regulating social media use, than they are with boosting individual Canadians creating new content. It appears the urgency has to do with giving themselves the ability to guide internet content, just in time for the federal election campaign.
OpenMedia.org, a group striving to keep the internet “open, affordable, and surveillance-free” calls the government’s bill “outrageously flawed”. The group published an article called “What’s wrong with Bill C 10?” which asks and answers 8 key questions surrounding C 10. The article provides excellent background knowledge for Canadians concerned about the future of the internet.
OpenMedia says the goal of the bill is to expand “Canada’s Broadcasting Act to apply to all streaming audio or video content on the Internet, including Netflix, Spotify, Youtube, and other popular streaming services.” Streaming services will be forced to make higher payments to the Canada Media Fund which would mean higher rates paid for Canadian users. According to OpenMedia streaming services will charge higher Canadian specific fees, and may even avoid Canada altogether.
OpenMedia calls C 10 a “cash-grab for traditional broadcast industries” which actually does nothing to serve the new wave of content creators who could really use a boost on the international stage. As a last ditch attempt to stop the bill, OpenMedia.org is urging Canadians to email the Senate right now to ask for a REAL democratic examination of Bill C-10.
Conservative critic Pierre Poilievre is especially concerned with the federal government giving itself the power to block unapproved ideas from popular content creators like himself, just in time for the next federal election. Surprisingly, and maybe most concerning of all, both OpenMedia and Pierre Poilievre point out the bill ‘DOESN’T ADDRESS WHAT CANADIAN CONTENT IS’. The current definition of “Canadian Content” was last updated in 1984, more than a decade before the internet changed everything.
Loss of Brother to Addiction and Mental Illness Inspires Sister to Raise Money by Selling Face Masks.
Starting June 10th, until midnight Sunday, June 13th customers across Canada can help raise funds for Mental Health Organizations in their own provinces by purchasing much needed luxury cotton face masks.
Jodee Prouse, from Sylvan Lake, Alberta, co-owner of Service Mask Supply (SMS) is the provider of one of Canada’s best-selling luxury 3-layer Cotton Face Masks. She announced today that they will be donating $1.00 from every mask purchase on June 10, 11, 12 and 13th to Mental Illness Programs and Organizations in communities across Canada. “We all look forward to when we no longer need to wear face masks,” says Jodee, “and we are getting really close. I am proud that we can provide a much-needed product and at the same time allow others the opportunity to come together to raise money for Mental Health in their own communities.”
SMS is excited to announce that for 4 days this week, $1.00 from every mask will be donated to different Mental Health Organizations across Canada. Customers can place their order online, each mask is $5.00, and will ship directly to their homes or businesses. Jodee is proud of her team and orders quickly ship the next business day, leaving from their warehouse in Alberta. All monies collected will go back into each province to where the order was shipped. As an example, Alberta portion will go back to Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta Division, Manitoba to Rainbow Resource Centre and so on. This allows every Canadian the opportunity to make a difference and take part.
From the beginning, SMS had an amazingly simple business model, originally supplying schools and oilfield companies: provide comfortable and affordable masks (each is only $5.00) with patterns that make people smile. Smile. It is what Jodee and her business partner son Ryan believes we need more of right now during these unprecedented times. “My son and I, at different times in our lives, have both struggled with anxiety and depression. We lost a much-loved member of our family when our brother/uncle lost his battle with mental illness and alcoholism when he took his own life in March of 2012. He was only 39. This helped solidify our commitment to helping to eliminate the shame and stigma surrounding mental health.”
Now more than ever we want to bring communities together. And remind people they are not alone.
SMS is proud to be celebrating over 17,000 customers across Canada this week. They know that much of their success has been driven by their passionate customers, repeat business and recommendations to family, friends, and co-workers. “It fills my heart to receive not only Facebook messages and emails daily on how much they love our masks,” says Jodee, “but also the heartfelt words where strangers feel comfortable and safe enough to share some of their own mental health or addiction challenges.”
SMS has over 150 unique colors and patterns with such unique designs as sunflowers, flamingo’s, tie dye, dog lover, pretty kitties, fishing lures, butterflies, hearts, breast cancer, yoga, fine wine, pride, cupcakes and many more. Great for work, play, indoors and outdoors too with sizes for the whole family.
Learn more visit: www.servicemasksupply.ca
For more information you can email [email protected]
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