At the end of 2015, two civil liberites issues persist and will certainly need to be addressed in 2016.
Civil Liberties and Anti-Terrorism Legislation
Bill C51 has yet to be amended by the new Liberal government. The concerns related to the bill remain and RMCLA has contacted the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, to encourage full public consultations on security and liberties. RMCLA suggests that consultation does not waver on the following principles in designing new legislation, such that:
- legislation be created to ensure civilian oversight of all efforts to monitor and implement security measures in Canada;
- any legislation made to protect Canadian security upholds the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and advances protection of our fundamental freedoms, not erode them;
- vague wording using terms such as “general terrorism” be eliminated and that terms in legislation be used with specific clear terminology, preventing overly broad interpretation of legislation that could erode our fundamental freedoms;
- drafting amendments be done with consultation with civil society and experts; and
- examination of resources used on security measures occur, and where resources are not sufficient they be increased, rather than new laws be created to compensate for under-resourcing of security measures.
Police Carding and Your Liberties
The Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association has received various requests about police carding. In Calgary these are called “Field Checkup Slips.” Little is known in the public domain about carding in Calgary. To ensure Calgarians know more about this police practice, RMCLA has made a freedom of information request about the practice. When information is forwarded, we will be making the results public sometime in 2016.
RMCLA would like your involvement. We are currently seeking new board members. We are also seeking volunteers to sit on committees to help research issues and press for change. If you are interested in becoming involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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Kelly Ernst, President, Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association