Chantier Politique

July 7, 2017

English Edition, No. 19

PMLQ Opposes Trudeau Government's Bill C-59

PMLQ Opposes Trudeau Government's Bill C-59
Bill C-59 Strengthens Secret Police Powers


PMLQ Opposes Trudeau Government's Bill C-59

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ) opposes Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters tabled in the House of Commons on June 20, by the Trudeau government. The bill strengthens the secret police powers that the government is seeking to legalize. To this end, it grants new powers of disruption to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and new powers of espionage and surveillance of Quebeckers and Canadians to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). All this, according to Trudeau, is being done to "balance security with rights and freedoms."

Our experience, however, is that far from protecting national security, the measures target the people and their resistance to the anti-people, warmongering and annexationist aims of the ruling elite. Within that context, Quebec is always the first target of attack of Canadian state terrorism and the dirty tricks of the political police.

A climate of anarchy and violence is being imposed on the entire world as a result of the unbridled pursuit of the rich for global markets and their exploitation of the peoples for their resources and labour. This includes their wars of occupation and the terrorist forces in their hire that carry out their dirty work everywhere. The rich then accuse the people of being terrorists and Quebec and Quebeckers are always singled out for attack. Recently, Premier Couillard joined those who blame the people for the atrocities committed against the peoples of the world. Like the U.S. imperialists, he made shameful and unacceptable statements, such as that it was legitimate to target Muslims by saying that they also had a responsibility. "No religion can disassociate itself from acts of violence perpetrated in its name and it's up to the members of that confession -- not only the rest of society -- to denounce it in very strong terms," he said.

The Premier is trying to hide the fact that it is the responsibility of the modern state and governments to guarantee the rights of all in order to ensure the security of all. No to police powers and the excuses given to justify them!

The PMLQ organized a picket at Complexe Guy Favreau, the location of federal government offices in Montreal on July 5, and will continue to organize a series of actions to alert the public about the content of this bill and the need to take a stand against measures that impose a police state on the people. As if a government of police powers could be considered a government of laws! All out to ensure that state terrorism is not legalized in Canada and Quebec!

Our Security Lies in our Fight for the Rights of All!
A Modern Constitution and Democratic Renewal Must Provide Our Rights with a Guarantee! All Out to Oppose the Trudeau Government's Bill C-59!
No! to Bill C-59 Means No!

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Bill C-59 Strengthens Secret Police Powers

On June 20, the eve of Quebec's National Holiday, June 24, and Canada Day, July 1, the Trudeau government tabled Bill C-59 in Parliament, an Act respecting national security matters. The 130-page bill proposes to give new sweeping powers to intelligence agencies such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to impose a police state. The legislation is an omnibus bill that amends or enacts various laws making changes to the powers of the security agencies.

Measures put forward in Bill C-59 include enhancing CSIS' powers of "disruption " and surveillance, ending the formal ban on the CSE's collection and storage of information on Canadians as well as granting the agency extended powers to conduct cyber-operations, both ''defensive'' and ''offensive.'' According to the Liberals, those who participate in ''activities against the constitutionally established system of government in Canada" are fair game to target.

The Trudeau government claims that the measures will be exercised under control, surveillance and civil responsibility, even though such secret police powers are by definition above the rule of law. The fact that the Trudeau government wants to legalize such activities through Bill C-59 despite opposition to Bill C-51 and other similar legislation from one end of the country to the other shows that the civil power is subordinate to the police authority. That's what a police state looks like.

In 2015, hundreds of thousands of people demanded that the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, the Harper government’s Bill C-51, be repealed and that demand still stands. Intellectuals, researchers, political figures, unions, members of First Nations, environmentalists and others have exposed how Bill C-51 allows for the creation of a police state where all opposition can be criminalized in light of the broad definition of what constitutes a threat to Canada's security. Instead of addressing that demand, Bill C-59 responds instead to the demands of the secret agencies within the imperialist system of states to maintain and expand their powers.

The Trudeau government claims that Bill C-59 supports ''the consistency of these powers with the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms]," but the fact of the matter is that the Charter itself is subordinate to police powers and their "reasonable limits" decided by the state, not the people.

On the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism on June 23, Trudeau declared that the best response to acts of terrorism is ''to deepen our resolve to uphold democratic values of pluralism, diversity, and inclusiveness.'' Linking terrorism with those who do not endorse the  ''values'' promoted by the Canadian state shows that the enhancement of secret police powers contained in Bill C-59 is aimed at all those who are opposed to the neo-liberal and pro-war policies of the ruling elite. Trudeau also reiterated that Canada condemns terrorism in all its forms and works hand in hand with its allies to counter radicalization.

Past experience in Quebec with the so-called fight against radicalization and terrorism shows that it leads to the youth being subjected to profiling. In that regard, all the headlines surrounding the youth who were arrested at Trudeau Airport in 2015 are but one example. Although no charges were laid against them, it prepared the ground for the depiction of the youth as potential radicals and the creation of a climate of suspicion and of snitching on one another. Two other students arrested in April 2015 at Collège de Maisonneuve on charges of alleged terrorism are still in jail awaiting their trial. The trial is expected to begin this September, with a partial ban on evidence on the grounds of security. Where is the defence of rights, the rule of law, the end of arbitrariness and secret powers? With such legislation targeting all those who oppose Canada’s pro-war and anti-social direction and who take a stand in defence of the First Nations, Quebec's right to self-determination and for a modern constitution, there is cause for concern. Another reason for concern is the attack on the right to conscience.

The security of Quebeckers and Canadians lies in their struggle in defence of the rights of all, not in a police state. The adoption of Bill C-59 will render people's lives even more insecure as a result of the intensification of state organized dirty tricks, covert operations, defamation and disinformation. Such activities would be declared acceptable in practice as well as legal. Quebeckers and Canadians said No! to Bill C-51 and its secret police powers. They now have the mandate to say No! to the Justin Trudeau Liberals' Bill C-59.

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