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Media Release: Canadian human rights groups release letters on national security reform

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For immediate release

Vancouver – Coast Salish Territories (March 10, 2016) – Today, in two separate letters to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a coalition of Canadian human rights organizations laid out recommendations with respect to national security reform in Canada.

1) Recommendations on consultation: A first letter * proposes seven principles to guide the government’s approach to upcoming consultations on national security, which the organizations stress must go beyond Bill C-51.

That letter is available here.
Disponible en français ici

2) Recommendations on accountability: A second letter ** highlights that long overdue accountability measures must go far beyond a parliamentary oversight committee.

That letter is available here.
Disponible en français ici

Micheal Vonn, Policy Director for the BC Civil Liberties Association said “Civil Society organizations are issuing two big messages at this critical time in reshaping our national security landscape. One, that national security accountability will not be achieved by a Parliamentary Committee alone. Two, that the promised national security consultation needs to go beyond C-51 and be timed so that its work is genuinely incorporated into the process of legislative reform.”

“Canada’s record in this realm is dreadful. We have gaping holes in our accountability framework shamefully left unaddressed since the Arar Commission. Now with Bill C-51 in the mix, we have legislation that both violates our rights and fails to make us safer. However, the continued legislative scrutiny of C-51 and the promised consultation on national security provide an essential opportunity to reflect and reform our system in ways that genuinely promote both security and human rights. Today civil society spoke in concert to tell government that this opportunity must not be squandered,” said Vonn.

*Amnesty International Canada (English branch)
Amnistie internationale Canada francophone
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
Canadian Civil Liberties Association
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
La Ligue des droits et libertés
National Council of Canadian Muslims

** Amnesty International Canada (English branch)
Amnistie internationale Canada francophone
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Canadian Association of University Teachers
Canadian Council of Refugees
Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada
Ligue des droits et libertés
National Council of Canadian Muslims
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