Lalalala.. I don't wanna hear this! by Hilde Skjølberg (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Lalalala.. I don't wanna hear this! by Hilde Skjølberg (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


We Can’t Hear You: The Shameful Review of Bill C-51 By the Numbers

The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security will hold its clause-by-clause review of Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism bill, this morning. The government is expected to introduce several modest amendments that experts note do little to address some of the core concerns with the bill. While there is some tinkering with the information sharing provisions, the law will still allow for widespread sharing without effective oversight from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Moreover, key concerns with respect to the CSIS Act (warrants that can violate Charter rights) and broader oversight and accountability remains untouched.

None of this comes as a surprise. Earlier in the committee hearings, Green Party leader Elizabeth May lamented that “the hearing process is a sham. They’re not listening to witnesses.” Now that the hearings have concluded, the data bears this out. Witnesses from across the political spectrum called for changes to the information sharing rules, to oversight, to the CSIS powers, and to the advocating or promoting terrorism provision, yet Conservative MPs never bothered to listen.

Few legislative issues are as important as the security and privacy of Canadians, but the entire hearings were structured to avoid hearing from experts, to asking irrelevant questions, or to bringing in witnesses with scant knowledge of the proposed bill.  Just how bad was it? The Bill C-51 hearings by the numbers:

Conservative MPs (Roxanne James, Rick Norlock, Diane Ablonzcy, LeVar Payne, Ted Falk)

49: Number of external witnesses
16: Number of hours spent in committee with external witnesses
25: Number of times a Conservative MP asked a substantive question about a Bill C-51 provision (Payne (7), Falk (6), Norlock (6), Ablonzcy (3), James (3))
3: Number of times a Conservative MP asked a critic a substantive question about a Bill C-51 provision (Falk (2), Ablonzcy (1))
4: Number of times a Conservative MP asked one or fewer questions during their time due to long statements (Norlock (2), Ablonzcy (1), James (1))

3: Number of times LeVar Payne asked if CSIS or the RCMP is too busy to ask government for information on protesters (Davies, Morrison, Toronto Police Association)
2: Number of times Roxanne James interrupted critics of Bill C-51 with points of order or questions to the chair during their statements or responses (CCLA, Open Media)
4: Number of times Diane Ablonzcy asked about jihadi or ISIS threats (Cooper, NCCM, Heritage Foundation, CIJA)

1: Number of times Diane Ablonzcy questioned whether the witness was committed to fighting terrorism (NCCM)
1: Number of times Rick Norlock asked a witness if they “opposed taking terrorists off the street” (BCCLA)
1: Number of times Roxanne James asked witnesses to comment on “unhelpful information” being circulated about information sharing (Davies)
1: Number of times Diane Ablonzcy said she struggled with the relevance of former Senator Hugh Segal’s concerns (Segal)

The Witnesses

9: Number of witnesses who did not comment on C-51 specifics in their opening statements (Davies, Collacott, Gora, Neumann, Quigan, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Nawaz, Boisvert, Center for Security Policy )
8: Of those who were supportive of Bill C-51 (Davies, Collacott, Gora, Neumann, Quigan, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Boisvert, Center for Security Policy)

12: Number of Canadian privacy commissioners who have publicly criticized Bill C-51
0: Number of appearances by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
0: Number of appearances by any Canadian (federal or provincial) privacy commissioner
3: Number of U.S. groups with no Canadian connections who appeared as witnesses (American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Heritage Institute, Center for Security Policy)

135: Number of pages Professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach wrote in four background papers on Bill C-51
3: Number of questions posed directly to Forcese and/or Roach by Conservative MPs

1: Number of immigration “experts” who could not answer a direct question (asked three times) on the immigration provisions in Bill C-51 (Collacott)
1: Number of witnesses who argued that critics of Bill C-51 were unaware of the increasing threat of terrorism and tide of hatred at Canadian university campuses (Benlolo)
1: Number of witnesses who pointed to the need for Parliamentary oversight and claimed that Bill C-51 included it (Center for Security Policy)
1: Number of witnesses who, when asked what gaps Bill C-51 fills, responded that it allows police to monitor what people say in public (Sheehy)


  1. Are all you Harper-voters still happy with your choice?

    You’re seriously not going to make this mistake a third time are you?

  2. God help the innocent Canadians who get swept up and their lives destroyed for no reason other than the fact that this Federal government didn’t want the oversight necessary to protect against such damaging laws. Unfortunately we will probably never hear about that innocent person because of the way C-51 is structured. They will suffer in silence.

  3. This week the supreme court gave the Tories permission to destroy the long gun database, justified probably because they thought it was unfair for owners to be in a database when they had done nothing wrong.
    This week they will pass a bill to put me and my emails and my browsing and my phone calls and my etc. into a database because I might do something wrong, someday.

    Coherent, consistent policies are us….

    • I can tell you exactly why the government is stonewalling all opposition to C-51. It’s very straightforward. They know this law won’t survive its first Charter challenge. It’s doomed before it gets off the ground. This isn’t about implementing C-51–it’s about TRYING to implement it, as a sop to their voting base. It’s an election campaign move before the campaign starts, pure and simple.

  4. DriveByCommentor says:

    Just a thought… all of my hunting permits seem to involve web pages and emails now a days.

    So emails about my long Guns are okay to collect in the government database?

  5. We ALL misunderstand this Bill so the criminals say, and we support terrorists donchya know. And we’re going to war, why? because the West is involved in a large clandestine operation pursuing interests its citizens are unaware of. No journos are working on that tho, just like there are no updates on Rashid, the canadian spy who helped 3 British girls join ISIL who’s handler was an x-rcmp bodyguard, apparently with such amazing diplomatic skills he is our diplomat in Turkey! You believe that, right?

  6. Professors Craig Forcese and Kent Roach are doing a beautiful job. They should use their research and expertise to restructure the bill. Those guys are the ones who teach this stuff. Same with Judge Richard Mosley, he wrote the book and all the conservatives are are book burners just like the Nazi’s. Once we get our 30-08 warrant information when a legitimate government is in power we are going to get everyone of those involved in the torture and assassination of our family and drag them before the courts under oath. Thanks.

  7. The RCMP, CSIS and CSEC are ignoring our request for our intelligence information. The RCMP replied back to my wife to try and give her the run-around so they can try not to give her her information but CSIS and CSEC won’t even reply back to her. The Justice Department Of Canada told us the RCMP, CSIS, and CSEC have our 30-08 warrant information and to contact them to get it and I contacted them but they won’t even answer my requests at all. We are having them investigated right now by their over-sight office so we are awaiting the outcome of their investigations. When we sent in our first request to the RCMP they got pissed at us. We went to Burnaby BC to go shopping and when we were walking down the sidewalk an RCMP cruiser swerved towards us at high speed and the cop inside had his hand to his head like a gun staring at us and he swerved away just before running into us. They are under investigation now so they are trying to intimidate us so we will leave the city. That’s what they were doing to us in Kamloops BC when we were trying to get them investigated there. They were threatening our children and trying to run them over on the streets. We are now getting anonamous emails threatening us to leave. I can’t wait to find out which one of those low lifes murdered our children, before our daughters were murdered they said they were working for the RCMP but when canadian intelligence are manipulating peoples children they will say anything to cover their tracks. Thanks

  8. I believe in it’s current form it makes me a terrorist, they will monitor all my activities, and feel free to give my data to the NSA. That’s the worst joke I’ve ever heard. For shame. Elizabeth May is the only one fighting for what we stand for.

  9. Atilla Garay B.Sc.M.E says:

    Dear editor,

    When and/or if this Bill passes then information would be shared between government agencies and even handed to foreign governments and information can be manipulated such that government agents are free to attack and/or harass targets without reprisal very much like former Soviet KGB and the State security service(Stasi) of former East German Democratic Republic.
    To some extent these kinds of activities practised by former RCMP SS continue today as underground activities after McDonald Commission shut down the RCMP security services and passing this bill will simply make ‘legal’ these underground activities of police and government agents like those in apartments 919, 917, 717, 719 and recent former resident of 817 to do things like their admitting toxic chemicals and drugs and/or sleep depriving gaseous substances into apartment 819-357 Kennedy St in Winnipeg.
    Even the #UN has laws forbidding the use of toxic gases against foreign nations but no such laws for governments’ domestic uses of gaseous toxins.
    Are these the kinds of activities by rogue fascist government and police agents we wish to see furthered and made legal by passing Bill C-51?!

    After posting above letter to Winnipeg papers using’s Stop C-51 tool, for 4+ hours I listened to government agents in 919 – 357 Kennedy Street in Winnipeg scurrying around in that apartment and tapping, rapping all over their floor and accessing wall spaces just as former resident of 817 did before moving to suite 717 below most likely to access and operate installed gassing equipment from below in 717. During their rushing about in 919 their gassing activities abruptly stopped. Two days following more people were coming into both 817 and 919, probably more ignorant or dumb government shits being led by the nose by crooked government agents in and running their building ‘tenant’ agents.
    I followed up that letter to editors using the same Stop C-51 tool to add the following but included the above letter also:

    Since writing the above, the frequency of the attacks using variously toxic, noxious sleep depriving gaseous drugs/substances have waned however continue by same government and police agents trying to refine their attacks by attempting to be quieter and giving access to apartments 717, 719, 817, 917 and 919 other than just tenants on lease and access to same when no persons are leasing one of these. Caught tenant from 917 at or near 919 on 4 different occasions when heard someone in 919 after tenant there was evicted.
    Clear gov/police want to continue these Fascist rogue activities
    I encourage Canadians to learn more about how we can work together to stop Secret Police Bill C-51 at:

    Now much of their activities have waned but not stopped and they continue to admit sporadically, a very drying gaseous substance/toxin that drys mouth, lungs and airway that awakens/induces insomnia or otherwise prevents sleep even after a 36+ hour day without sleep and with 25-35% relative humidity in my apartment. So they continue their illegal activities and simply try to refine their attacks and continue to threaten me with eviction and attack my credibility by suggesting mental problems etc.

    These are just a few of the things these crooked government and police agents have/are doing! Fascist Tories and their Bill C-51, supposedly an anti-terror bill WANTS to make this and their other bag of dirty tricks legal in Canada!

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