Government Security Bill Is One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Bill C-59 gets one thing right, but includes changes that weaken our national security.

The Trudeau government has released their national security bill.

It’s a big piece of legislation, amending the anti-terror Bill C-51, and making many additional changes.

Notably, the bill contains serious flaws that will have negative consequences for Canada. Before I address the flaws however, there is a positive aspect to the bill.

As reported by the National Post, “Under the bill, the Communications Security Establishment would be allowed for the first time to conduct active cyber operations against terrorist groups and other governments, and to partner with the military on foreign operations. Currently, the CSE’s role is kept to collecting signals intelligence, defending against threats and assisting other agencies if requested to.”

This is a common-sense move. The Trudeau government rarely does anything right, but moving the CSE into the modern era was a no-brainer.

A small shift in words, a big shift in security

Now, here’s the problem with Bill C-59. It changes the provisions around preventative arrests by saying any such arrest must be “necessary” to stop a terrorist attack. However, Bill C-51 said such an arrest must be “likely” to stop an attack.

The change in C-59 will create a chilling effect, as far more evidence will need to be gathered in order to arrest someone planning a suicide bombing or other horrific attack. As a result, the government could hesitate before acting, and any hesitation could mean the difference between life and death.

There is another big problem with C-59, and it is blatant hypocrisy.

While the Trudeau government has been pushing to enforce political correctness and even compel speech under the law, they are actually making it easier for ISIS and ISIS supporters to spread Jihadi propaganda. That’s because they are changing what is considered criminal speech. Before, speech “promoting” terrorism was illegal. But under the new legislation, promoting terrorism would be allowed. The new bar is set at “counselling” terrorism.

So, someone could apparently promote the actions of those who want to butcher innocent Canadians and that would be legal. They would have to actually begin an active plot and push someone to make a direct attack before it was considered illegal.

That will make it far easier for terrorists and potential terrorists to spread propaganda and recruit, which could greatly increase the danger to our country.

One step forward, two steps back

Bill C-59 makes one positive change, while making two other negative changes that weaken our national security. So all in all, it is a step back for our security. Though some are also praising the centralization of security oversight into one powerful agency, I’m skeptical of whether a single large bureaucracy will be helpful. That one could go either way, and it’s too soon to tell.

While the legislation could have been worse – as some were calling for all of C-51 to be totally abandoned – Bill C-59 still leaves Canada less safe overall. Additionally, it does not address the issue of known ISIS supporters leaving Canada to fight for ISIS and then returning to Canada bringing the terror home. That is among the biggest security threats facing our country – as well as much of the western world – and it is being ignored by the political elites.

As reported by the Montreal Gazette, a 2015 CSIS report said “Even a small minority of returnees with combat experience and continued allegiance to ISIL represent a major threat.”

That report also stated that, “The latest figures, provided by CSIS director Michel Coulombe last year, suggest that 180 Canadians have been involved in terrorist-related activities overseas — 100 of them in Turkey, Iraq or Syria — and about 60 have returned. But those figures do not include those who support terrorist groups at home, or who have tried to leave the country but were prevented from doing so, including at least a dozen youths from Montreal.”

That is deeply disturbing, and governments around the western world still seem completely unable and/or unwilling to deal with it. Of course, the solution is to charge those who fight for ISIS with treason, revoke their citizenship and imprison/deport them. We can’t have terrorist war criminals walking free in our nation. And yet, those in power are ignoring this problem as if ignoring it will somehow make it go away.

That’s not how it works. Until that huge problem is dealt with, Canada is in serious danger, and any security overhaul will be missing the bigger picture.

Spencer Fernando

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The elites want to hide their many failures behind political correctness, deception, and manipulation. We need to push back and spread the truth.

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