Volume 95, Issue 46

Thursday, November 22, 2001
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Warning: CNN is not the gospel

Bill C-36 taking your rights!

OLP never made anything famous

Bill C-36 taking your rights!

To the Editor:

There has been much well-deserved discussion of the tragedy occurring in Afghanistan, but there has been little mention of the tragedy developing in our own nation.

Bill C-36 is currently being discussed in parliament and it seeks to modify existing laws in order to combat terrorism, which requires the suspension of several key civil liberties of Canadians.

One such liberty is the right to free assembly and freedom of speech. This is because in Section 27, the definition of what is considered "prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State" includes negatively effecting financial markets and treaty negotiations.

That means anti-globalization and anti-poverty protests could be deemed acts of terrorism, as could the struggles of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi.

Other reprehensible aspects of this legislation include the preventative detentions that do not require warrants (in Section 83.3(4)) and the absence of a "sunset clause" that would require an evaluation in three or four years to assess whether Bill C-36 should continue or not.

Finally, part six of C-36 allows charitable associations suspected of supporting terrorism to be convicted, without appeal, using secret evidence they cannot examine.

Finally, it appears this new Canadian legislation is specifically designed to initiate a form of ethnic and religious profiling and harassment against Arab and Muslim Canadians.

Over 800 such individuals have already been illegally arrested and imprisoned and many Muslim charitable organizations have been closed, casting aspersions upon the honest Muslims who chose to donate money for humanitarian purposes.

Should this bill be passed, the number of Arabs and Muslims in Canada who have been harassed will increase, which will tarnish Canada's international reputation as a haven where different cultures can live in peace and harmony without fear of persecution.

Dmitry Guller

Medicine I

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Copyright The Gazette 2001