HUMAN RIGHTS Dear Minister

Dear Minister

November 19, 2001

Hon. Anne McLellan
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario


I am writing to express my disapproval of your Bill C-36, the Anti-terrorism Act.

I am concerned that the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, a parade of constitutional and civil-rights lawyers, the national commissioners of privacy and information, the head of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the citizen oversight committee for CSIS, and the former judge who sits watch on the military's Communications Security Establishment have all criticized this proposed legislation.

They are saying the bill strips Canadians of their civil liberties. That it guts privacy and human-rights legislation, overrides Charter of Rights and Freedoms protection, puts political dissent at risk of being criminalized, gives the government and its police and spies exorbitant powers to eavesdrop on, investigate, detain and blacklist citizens. That it's unbalanced, that it threatens the innocent.

Preventive detention? Detention without charges?

Over the past few years, I have written to a number of tyrants around the world, asking that they cease this very sort of behaviour. I did not expect to be telling my own government not to abrogate our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I must add my voice to those who have pointed out that, if we surrender our liberties in the name of security, the terrorists have won.


Wayne Smith

HUMAN RIGHTS Dear Minister