August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

New Canadian Terrorism Laws

New Canadian Terrorism Laws


British Columbia Civil Liberties Association BCCLA
Statement on Reintroduction of Anti-Terrorism Provisions

Censored News
Nov. 29, 2012

Bill S-7, also known as the ‘Combating Terrorism Act’, would allow persons to be detained for up to three days without charge (“preventive arrest”); strip individuals of their basic rights as accused under criminal proceedings to know and challenge evidence against them; threaten them with criminal punishment; and compel individuals to testify in secret before a judge in an “investigative hearing". Further, the judge may impose imprisonment of up to 12 months if the person does not enter into recognizance.
(enter into recognizance = imposed conditions to secure release, ie: avoid all contact with those engaged in, or participating in, pipeline protests) This note is not part of this news release: TD
Individuals subject to these provisions do not necessarily have to be suspected of committing any crime. It is enough that they are alleged to have information relating to a terrorism offence, or that they are alleged to be associated with another individual suspected of committing (or about to commit) a terrorism offence, or that they are otherwise suspected of potential future involvement with a terrorism offence. Furthermore, the scope of Bill S-7 extends beyond Canada’s borders, and could potentially result in a reliance on foreign intelligence. Without the ability to challenge evidence, there is no guarantee that the evidence is accurate, or was not obtained from a third country or source that conducts or condones torture as a method to elicit information. [It should be noted that the Canadian government has already given the green light to law enforcement agencies to accept information that may have been derived through torture, in violation of international agreements and standards].
In all such cases, individuals may find themselves caught up in these detention and interrogation provisions without any effective legal recourse.
Under these provisions, individuals could be forced to testify in a court of law, arrested, detained or made subject to bail conditions – all without charges being laid. Individuals have no right to know, and no opportunity to challenge, the basis on which they are being subjected to preventive arrest or required to attend investigate hearings.
While the proposed investigative hearings give the appearance of respecting due process, such as requiring judicial authorization, use and derivative use immunity, and the right to counsel, they still do not comply with the spirit of due process and the right against self-incrimination.
Investigative hearings not only introduce the notion of inquisitorial justice, they also transform the role of the judge who then becomes an actor at the service of police investigations. In addition, investigative hearings run counter to the essential principle of the separation of powers in a democracy and undermine the independence of the judiciary. Moreover, there are no safeguards to prevent a third country from relying on that testimony to unlawfully detain or lay charges against that individual, their family members or acquaintances while abroad.
The stigmatizing effect of being labeled a terrorism suspect, or an individual associated with terrorist activities, must also be considered. The stigma attached to an accusation of terrorism is severe, and comparable only to being branded a rapist or child molester. Yet the provisions proposed in this bill would effectively tar an individual as a terrorist, even though law enforcement officials may not have any grounds to lay charges or any evidence to secure a criminal conviction. The potential harm to individual reputations not to mention their livelihoods and continued employment cannot be discounted nor trivialized.
The Criminal Code, prior to the adoption of the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001, was already an effective tool to counter terrorism. It allowed for lawful surveillance, evidence-gathering, prosecution, conviction and punishment while also upholding an individual’s Charter rights to the presumption of innocence, due process and a fair and transparent trial. These so-called anti-terrorism provisions do not maintain these basic legal standards.
The reintroduction of these sun-setted provisions adds no value to our law or to law investigation and enforcement. Indeed, they may actually impede effective counter-terrorism measures by tipping off potential perpetrators that they are under investigation. This was reaffirmed by the Air India Inquiry Report, released in 2010, which stated that electronic surveillance is an important evidence-gathering tool in anti-terror investigations.
It cannot be emphasized enough that the effectiveness and necessity of these provisions have simply not been demonstrated. The preventive arrest and investigative hearing laws, in effect from 2001 to 2007, were never once used for their intended purpose, and every major criminal terrorism-related incident in Canada since 2001 has been disrupted and prevented without the need for preventive detention or investigative hearings.
Renewing these provisions would normalize exceptional powers inconsistent with established democratic principles and threaten hard-won civil liberties. Commitment to the rule of law means that counter-terrorism measures must adhere to the values embodied in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and cannot infringe on basic rights.
The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and La Ligue des droits et libert├ęs are united in their opposition to the reintroduction of controversial security provisions into the Criminal Code of Canada. All are in agreement that the current powers of law enforcement already allow security agencies to pursue, investigate, disrupt, and successfully prosecute terrorism-related crimes.
We urge Canadians to reject these unnecessary encroachments on fundamental liberties and to call upon their elected representatives to do the same when this bill comes to a vote.
Endorsed by:
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN)
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)
La Ligue des droits et libert├ęs
To view this and other articles visit Terrace Daily at
APTN National News
OTTAWA--Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo says the Conservative government is headed for conflict unless it stops trying to unilaterally ram through legislation impacting First Nations who hold the future of $500 billion worth of resource development projects in their hands.
In a speech delivered during the First Nations Fisheries Council gathering earlier this month on Hupacasath First Nation, Atleo said the recent rash of proposed legislation introduced by the government ignores over 40 court cases on consultation, the Canadian Constitution and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The speech was reported by Ha-Shilth-Sa, a newspaper published by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council of which the national chief’s home community on Vancouver Island is a member.
Atleo said First Nations are being forced into a corner.
“We don’t have a constitutional crisis like we had in the 1990s…We don’t have Oka that produced the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples,” said Atleo, according to the report. “So what are our choices? Do we foment that crisis ourselves?”
Debora Steel, the reporter who wrote the original story, said Atleo left the question open.
Atleo said there is $500 billion worth of natural resource projects slated to unfold on First Nations territories.
“We will have a say and we’ll let this country and the international community know that we will have a say,” said Atleo, according to the report.
The national chief suggested that First Nations might be outnumbered by federal forces but they will push back nonetheless, the report said.
“It doesn’t matter the size of the dog in the fight. (What) matters is the size of the fight in the dog,” he is quoted as saying.
Atleo recently wrote Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying that the words and promises stemming from this past January’s Crown-First Nation Gathering have not translated into actual change.
The AFN is holding its annual special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que., next week.
Merv Ritchie
This past week has presented two sides of a potential civil war of ideas regarding Canadian civilization. The sides are being formulated as if they were absolute opposites and issues of nationality and ethnicity are being used to ferment hostility. It may not be long before we face another Oka Crisis or Gustafsen Lake style military conflict. And this will be a fully planned and anticipated hostile event. In fact it even appears as if it is a desired conflict.
Presently the British Columbian and Canadian governments are allowing their intermediaries and lobbyists to incite further hostility by pushing projects, which have been explicitly opposed. The furtherance of these projects, without resolving any of the underlying issues, exposes all of Canadian society to harm; a condition both levels of government have a responsibility to protect against. The failure to address the blatantly obvious is a breech of fiduciary duty.
During the recent National Energy Board (NEB) Joint Review Panel (JRP) hearings on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, dozens of speakers from across Northern British Columbia have detailed their combined opposition to any projects on any territory without their direct consent. Children as young as 10 and elders who still speak their original language have attended and spoke at these hearings with hundreds of supporters in the audience. Media from across Canada along with numerous government officials have all attended to document this expressed opposition. No one can claim, what is happening today, the roadblock on Wet’suwet’en territory wasn’t anticipated.
In Smithers on January 16, 2012 (Video’s of presentations here) and on January 17, 2012 in Burns Lake (Video’s of presentations here) the Wet’suwet’en Nation and more attended to ensure the Government of Canada was made fully aware of their full opposition to not just Enbridge but to any encroachment on their territory without their full consent.
One week ago today, November 20, 2012, the Wet’suwet’en were finally pushed to take the stand they advised the Canadian Government they would be forced to take. In the same fashion as the Gitxsan and the Tsimshian one hundred years and more earlier, they ordered the surveyors off of their territory.
This is the beginnings of the conflict we predicted the Canadian Government would push when the Terrace Daily published the article Do You Believe The RCMP And Government Will Protect You ?.
And on the third day following this eviction of the surveyors by the Unis’tot’en from their Wet’suwet’en Territory, Roger Harris, an undeclared lobbyist for various entities and former Liberal MLA delivered a presentation at the Regional District Kitimat Stikine (RDKS) on the numerous financial rewards available to industry and local communities from these pipeline projects. See Video Attached Below Following Harris a representative of Spectra Energy described their proposed massive Natural Gas pipeline plans. It is intended to slice through more Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan territory straight into the middle of Nisga’a territory to end up in Tsimshian territory. Although the final design and route has not been determined it is clear the intent of the initial proposal is to provoke the maximum amount of outrage imaginable. See Video Attached Below
The absurdity of this initial proposal; down the Cranberry Connector following the Nass River and then across the Khutzeymateen/K’tzim-a-Deen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary into and onto the ocean floor to Prince Rupert, appears to be designed to determine exactly how much opposition might be discovered.
Following these two gas pipeline presentations at the RDKS was a group representing local governments and industry attempting to develop a corridor for the export of all of Canada’s resources directly through the Northwest called the Northwest Corridor Development Corporation (NCDC). See Video Attached Below
As a small group, (the last remaining vestige of Indians true to their traditional way of life), stand up for the same principles their ancestors did over one hundred years ago, the Government of Stephen Harper dedicated a stained glass window to represent a monument for the atrocities of the Residential School genocide. This is a remarkable gesture of insincerity and recalcitrance on the part of the Government of Canada. The stain on Canadian history by the actions of those employed by the Government to eradicate the Indians cannot be resolved by ignoring the pleas of the last survivors of the race.
Most elected Indian Chiefs do not represent the wishes of the surviving Hereditary families of the Tsimshian, Gitxsan, Wet’suwet’en, Nisga’a, Tahltan or Haisla; those Nations directly impacted by these proposed projects.
Treaty Societies, First Nation Development Corporations, Central Councils and Band Administrations represent primarily the interests of the former jurisdiction of the “Indian Agents”; those whose role it was to subjugate the Indians. All of these organizations/Societies are accepting money to allow corporations and explorers to access territory not under their jurisdiction. The land is owned by the true Matriarchs and those men they select to hold the responsibility to protect their land, the Sm’oogyet (Sim oy get). In most cases these organizations; registered to the Crown through the Societies Act, have accepted monies in the order of tens of millions of dollars. This would be difficult for most people to not accept, let alone a people left destitute and broken for a hundred years. But it must be made clear, they do not represent the true land owners. Read more on Understanding Northwest First Nations here
Today we are witnessing the start of a civil war. A war the Canadian and British Columbian Governments are actively pursuing on behalf of corporate entities from across the globe to take advantage of the people they collectively broke the backs of over one hundred years ago.
Stephen Harper apologized for it but the apology was an empty meaningless gesture. The stained glass however was symbolic. There is a stain on Canadian society and we, as a Nation of apparently compassionate people, must rise up together to stop this war.
As the Canadian Government uses the word “Iconic” to describe historical events or items considered to be truly representative of the Canadian identity we forget to include the truly “Iconic” Canadian brand, the genocide of the Indian Peoples. The Northwest is the last remaining homeland where Indians could potentially regain and rebuild what the Canadians, and British before them, so savagely destroyed.
Why would Canadians today allow this atrocity to continue? Will Spectra Energy, Roger Harris, Enbridge, NCDC and the rest take the lead and demand the Federal Government assist the hereditary families to rebuild what was taken or will they continue to assist and fund the organizations working to destroy the last remaining remnant of the true Indians, the real “Iconic” Canadian identity; that which even Queen Victoria recognized when she issued her Royal Proclamation of 1763 in an effort to stop exactly what Stephen Harper is promoting today.
Will Canadians ignore the impending war or will they demand a cessation of all activities in the northwest until these issues are properly resolved?

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