Have your say on National Security
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is calling on supporters and fellow Canadians to participate in the federal government’s online consultations on national security.
The NCCM has made frequent submissions on national security issues, including providing analysis and commentary regarding the much critiqued Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, commonly known as Bill-C51.
Meeting with the Ministers
On October 19, 2016, the NCCM presented the community impact of harmful legislation in a meeting held with federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybold. The invite-only meeting was held in Ottawa and included representatives from over 17 major NGOs across the country.
The NCCM has also been taking part in public consultations on Canada’s national security currently being held across the country.
Our key messages have included:
- The Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 should be repealed;
- The need to build and maintain trust with Canada’s diverse Muslim communities;
- That the government should signal its commitment to rectifying wrongs by immediately compensating and apologizing to three Canadians who were tortured overseas and by rescinding the previous government’s torture directives, which permit the use and sharing of information with foreign regimes that practice torture;
- That there needs to be more information and clarity regarding the newly established Passenger Protect Inquiries Office to provide redress for individuals who find themselves unjustly listed on no-fly-lists;
- That there needs to be more information about how the government plans to create its strategy to combat violent extremism and how it plans to engage credibly with communities.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE HEARD!
Go directly to the online consultation page. You will find a list of questions based on the Government’s recent Green Paper on National Security. Below are some sample responses.
SAMPLE RESPONSES TO FOUR KEY QUESTIONS:
1/ What steps should the Government take to strengthen the accountability of Canada’s national security institutions?
- There needs to be real and effective accountability of all national security law, policy and operations across government; secrecy should not be part of the culture of a democratic and accountable system of government and a free and democratic society.
- Current information sharing is too broad, vague and is a recipe for future national security mistakes and abuses. It creates a system to breach the rights and privacy of many innocent Canadians.
- CSIS should not be given disruption or any other “enforcement-like” powers. Rather, CSIS ought to be encouraged to work closely with RCMP to bring real threats to the criminal justice system.
- Establish an independent agency with full national security clearance, robust resources and staff and the mandate to do systemic reviews and audits, investigate particular issues, consider complaints and offer remedies. Some experts have called this “Super-SIRC”.
- Appoint a full-time contingent of special advocates to challenge evidence when closed hearings are required.
- Appoint an Independent Reviewer of National Security Law and Policy.
2/ Preventing radicalization to violence helps keep our communities safe. Are there particular prevention efforts that the Government should pursue?
- The Government should work with communities to craft a made-in-Canada solution to these issues, as well as provide resources as required;
- The Government should work to ensure that violent extremism and radicalization across all communities are a priority, including all forms of supremacist violence;
- The Government must build trust by apologizing to and compensating three Canadians who were tortured due to actions by government officials;
- The Government must further build trust by nullifying the torture directives of the previous government.
3/ In an era in which the terrorist threat is evolving, does the Government have what it needs to protect Canadians’ safety while safeguarding rights and freedoms?
- Human rights and freedoms cannot be held hostage by the terrorist threat. Securing our rights and freedoms goes hand in hand with securing overall public safety.
- The Government must constantly review and update laws and their interpretation in order to ensure consistency with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
4/ Do you have additional ideas or comments on the topics raised in this Green Paper and in the background document?
- It’s critical that the Government immediately repeal the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015 as has been widely recommended by legal experts and civil society representatives. This Act is reckless, dangerous, and ineffective. The Government can and must do better to safeguard Canada.
- I fully support the recommendations and submissions made by the NCCM as well other civil society groups including OpenMedia, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the CCLA, the BCCLA, the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, and many others who have outlined their concerns with the current national security framework.