February 24, 1984
The Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Mr. Trudeau.
Re: Bill C-169
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is concerned about section 72 of Bill C-169. We recognize that this section is addressed to the good of making the spending of political funds more checkable, and we are sympathetic towards thus regulating them in the interest of giving all political parties a more equitable opportunity to be heard.
We do, however, oppose that amendment. It is of fundamental importance to any self-governing community that there be untrammeled access to all information relevant to matters of public interest. This requires that no one in the community should be denied the opportunity to address such issues as forcefully or frequently as he/she wishes. To compromise this is to compromise self-government, and that can only properly be done, if ever, in the most extreme circumstances.
In our view we are not now faced with a sufficiently clear and present and extreme danger to justify the abridgement of freedom of speech in question. Our Association is currently working towards preparing a full brief on this issue, and we hope to make this available to you sometime in the next couple of months.