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Entrenching Anti-Terror Laws is Wrong Approach to Tackling White Supremacist Organizations

The BCCLA joins over 170 organizations and individuals in calling on federal leaders to re-consider their approach in using anti-terror laws to tackle the urgent issue of violent and hateful white supremacist organizations.

The growth, proliferation, and emboldening of White supremacist and far-right groups across Canada is alarming, and urgently requires a strong response. However, the entrenchment and expansion of problematic anti-terrorism tools threatens to further intensify racism, rather than alleviate it.

Serious issues with Canada’s terrorist listing procedure identified by civil liberties groups, lawyers, and legal academics include: the imposition of serious financial and possibly criminal consequences on the basis of unaccountable executive listing decisions; the use of secret evidence; the likelihood of false positives; and the absence of adequate avenues for challenging listings and obtaining redress.

As University of Toronto Law Professor and noted national security expert Kent Roach has observed: “Unfortunately, a few token additions [of far-right organizations] to long lists of proscribed groups does nothing to address the many due process and operational flaws of proscription.

Instead of expanding anti-terrorism in the name of anti-racism, we urge you to address the pressing concerns raised repeatedly by civil liberties and anti-racism organizations about the anti-terrorism apparatus itself.

Read our letter here.