Friday, March 27, 2015
Bill C-51: The Cons Surrender and Will Make Changes
For weeks Stephen Harper and his Cons have been insisting that their dangerous anti-terrorism bill C-51 is perfect and doesn't need any changes.
And ridiculing anyone who suggested otherwise.
But now it seems they are feeling the heat, and are prepared to make some changes.
The government will propose a handful of amendments to the proposed anti-terror bill when it goes to clause-by-clause review on Tuesday, CBC News has learned, including a proposal that would protect protests from being captured by the new measures.
Other government-backed changes in the works include limits to information-sharing and adjusting a provision that would have given the public safety minister the power to direct air carriers to do "anything" that, in the minister's view, is "reasonably necessary" to prevent a terrorist act.
And the interesting thing is while these protests no doubt helped them understand that they had stirred up a hornet's nest...
It seems that what made them back down is pressure from their own supporters.
Bill C-51 was supposed to unite conservatives in the latest round of the War on Terror™. Instead, it’s dividing them — both on and off Parliament Hill.
Because when you have right-wingers like Connie Fournier, from the wingnut site Free Dominion, saying this:
“I feel like we’re in some kind of alternate universe,” she recently told the Tyee. “You spend your life working for the Conservative party, and the Conservative party finally gets in, and (now) you’re saying, ‘I hope the NDP really steps up and protects us from our Conservative government.'”
You know they're in trouble.
Conservatives, beware: The closer your supporters look at C-51, the less they seem to like it. If the Tories are planning on campaigning on this bill at election time, they’d better make some changes — or risk the wrath of their own people.
And desperate, because they couldn't even wait for the Con dominated public security committee to make any changes. You know, the one Cons like Roxanne James have been turning into a star chamber...
Only to have the PMO move in and make it clear that they don't care what she has to say about the bill either.
But unfortunately the changes they now seem to be proposing don't go far enough.
Thus far there is no indication the government will heed the calls for increased oversight. The Tories could, however, introduce separate legislation to expand the mandate and boost the powers of the Security Intelligence Review Committee that oversees CSIS.
Not when that committee can only review what CSIS has done after they have done it. And not when the members of that committee are appointed by Stephen Harper.
And he clearly wants to keep that power, or even boost it, to serve his own purposes...
And the whole bill needs to be scrapped, and totally rewritten.
So the struggle will continue.
But the good news is that the Cons are clearly on the defensive. Just a week ago they were trumpeting this on all their deathly sites...
Now they are being forced to make changes to a bill they said didn't need any. And they clearly underestimated how many Canadians hated it.
So we can still use the bill to rally the opposition.
And help drive the Cons from power...
This our first victory in a long time.
But the biggest one is still to come...
Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.