07 June 2015

Bill C-51—a chance for the Senate to redeem itself

In the words of Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, the Senate was created as a place of “sober second thought.” In the eyes of most Canadians today, it is more a place of corruption and sinecures for party hacks.

But now it has been given a chance to redeem itself. This Tuesday it will vote on Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, the government's omnibus security bill. This completely unnecessary legislation has been excoriated by a host of legal experts as well as tens of thousands of Canadians from all walks of life, including many conservatives, for its excessive intrusion on civil liberties, for its potential to chill freedom of speech, for creating a secret police force, and for its lack of oversight.

The bill has passed the House of Commons, now it is left to the Senate to do its duty and protect the rights and freedoms of Canadians. If the institution remains of any value to us at all, this is the time to show us. We are watching.

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