“This is about the soul of the country and a question of whether we understand what Canada stands for” – Elizabeth May
(OTTAWA) – The Green Party has renewed its call for legislation that will genuinely address Canada’s security needs, following a vote in favour of Bill C-51 at third reading by both Conservative and Liberal MPs. “The fact is that this bill will not make Canadians safer – it will actually do the opposite and that’s the big lie being told to Canadians,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands).
Ms. May continued, “We need outreach programs that counter radicalization of our youth, oversight over our intelligence agencies, and improved coordination between CSIS and the RCMP. If this bill becomes law before the federal election, we will ensure that it is an election issue that must be repealed by the next Parliament.”
Bruce Hyer, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Thunder Bay – Superior North), added: “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that both the Conservative and Liberal leadership have decided to support this dangerous bill instead of considering legislation to make Canadians safer. Bill C-51 is a poorly drafted and risky bill disguised as effective security policy. Canadians are rejecting the politics of fear and asking for reasoned legislation. When will the Conservatives and Liberals listen to Canadians?”
All Possible Changes Rejected by Conservatives
The Green Party was the first federal party to oppose Bill C-51. Elizabeth May and Bruce Hyer proposed over 60 amendments based on expert testimony during committee hearings, more than either Opposition party sitting on the committee combined. Conservative MPs rejected every amendment proposed by the other parties and returned the bill to the House of Commons for report stage.
As Elizabeth May said in her speech at report stage on Bill C-51: “This is not an ordinary bill and this is not about politics anymore. This is about the soul of the country and a question of whether we understand what Canada stands for – for ourselves and what we represent around the world.”