Friday, December 7, 2007

Activists protest security bill


Teams of activists launched a one-day blitz of 17 Montreal-region Members of Parliament Friday morning to underline their opposition to new security-certificate legislation which could be given third reading as early
as next week by the House of Commons.

The round of visits is expected to culminate at 3 p.m., with a visit to the St. Laurent-Cartierville riding office of Stéphane Dion, Liberal Opposition leader.

About 50 people are on the road as part of the effort, said Mary Foster, an organizer with Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui.

"It's going to be up to the Liberals to stop this" new bill, Foster added, given the current balance of power in the Commons. The Conservative government has a minority and both the Bloc Québecois and the New Democratic
Party have been indicating their members will vote against the bill.

Last February, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered the federal government to come up with a new law governing security certificates by Feb. 23, 2008.

Bill C-3, the legislation that resulted, was introduced by the Conservatives Oct. 22.

"Notably," according to the Coalition, the bill "will continue indefinite detention without charge, secret hearings without the detainee or their lawyer present, use of unreliable evidence obtained under torture, house
arrest, deportation to torture and a two-tiered system of justice."

Representatives of the Canadian Bar Association have told a Commons committee studying C-3 that they believe some provisions of C-3 would not be ruled constitutional.