On to the Courts: Bill C-51 Passed by Senate


The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is deeply disappointed that Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) has today been passed by the Senate of Canada and will soon be made law by the Governor General.

Since C-51’s introduction, CCLA has actively opposed what we believe is fundamentally flawed and dangerous legislation. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians from all sides of the political spectrum agree. As we argued before parliamentary committees and in public statements, C-51 is overbroad and will not make Canadians safer. Further, the bill runs counter to the core values of Canada’s democracy, as enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With this decision today, the rights of all Canadians and the values we cherish — including privacy; freedoms of expression, association, and mobility; due process; independence of the judiciary; constitutional supremacy and the rule of law — are now at risk of being violated at will.

“CCLA has always supported the government’s duty to protect Canada against terrorist threats, but Bill C-51 is not the answer,” said Sukanya Pillay, Executive Director and General Counsel of CCLA. “The bill is fundamentally flawed and itself poses serious threats to Canadian rights, freedoms, and democracy.”

CCLA has long argued that respect for rights and freedoms is not an obstacle to security; to the contrary, it is a prerequisite for real and effective national security.

CCLA will continue the fight against Bill C-51 in the days to come, and will also ensure that the serious issues surrounding it are put on the national agenda for Canadians in the upcoming federal election.


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