COLUMN: Keep Bill C-51 in mind on voting day

As public protests and online petitions are showing, Canadians have many issues with the legislation.

In recent years, questions have been raised about the Senate (Parliament’s Upper House) in the wake of scandal and controversy over the expenses that certain Senators were claiming.

While the maintenance or abolition of the Senate remains a question of debate, it is clear the Senate has a crucial role to play in dealing with a current piece of legislation which has triggered a response from Canadians from coast to coast:  Bill C-51.

As recently as this past Saturday, protesters in numerous cities voiced their opposition. At the date of writing, some senators either opposed or supported the legislation, and others were still expected to make a decision.

As I discussed in a previous column, individuals with expertise in the field of law, including lawyers, justices and scholars, have raised valid points of criticism with the proposed legislation. It has already passed in the House of Commons, despite the strong opposition from the public. Senator Grant Mitchell introduced amendments to the bill, but these were unsuccessful in the Senate’s National Security and Defence committee.

The Senate has options available to address issues with the bill, including the ability to introduce amendments or defeat the proposed legislation. It has used such options in the past. In 1998, the Senate defeated a bill which it thought would infringe on freedom of expression. In previous legislation that has crossed its table, the Senate has also introduced modifications. It must consider the great significance of the decision it makes, and instill in Canadians confidence the bill is being scrutinized in the greatest detail.

Although, the Senate’s National Security and Defence committee made some recommendations for Bill C-51, these do not go far enough in addressing the wide range of concerns that have been brought to light over the past few months.

As public protests and online petitions are showing, Canadians have many issues with the bill.

Canadians should also consider Bill C-51 a part of their decision-making process when determining who to vote for as their MP in the upcoming federal election.

 

World Environment Day

Today (June 5) is World Environment Day – a day to realize the importance of using resources in a responsible manner.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, notes: “Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”

Making changes to our usage of electricity, transportation, water, food and other aspects of our lives can help create a more sustainable vision.

Japreet Lehal is a student at Simon Fraser University. He writes regularly for The Leader.

 

Just Posted

WEB POLL: Is Surrey a safer city since the last election?

Crime and public safety continue to be hot button election issues

Gill says he’s ‘prepared’ to make handguns ‘biggest’ issue in Surrey civic election

Surrey First slate reveals second part of its public safety platform Thursday

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force?

Who’s on the right side of Surrey RCMP’s contract issue debate? That’s for voters to decide on Oct. 20

Surrey Eagles fall to Vees in BCHL Showcase opener

South Surrey-based squad still winless after 4-1 loss Thursday morning in Chilliwack

BREAKING: BC Housing withdraws application for Cloverdale supportive housing

Application withdrawn, open house cancelled following community opposition

VIDEO: Surrey’s Civic Hotel hosts grand opening

Hotel’s theme is ‘Celebrating B.C.’ with each floor representing a different region

Police probe suspicious death of man in Richmond

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Lower Mainland sets Grouse Grind record

Madison Sands sets a new best time on Vancouver’s fitness landmark

Tent city campers now allowed to stay in B.C. provincial park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no deadline for campers to leave Greater Victoria camp site

Bus company vies to replace Greyhound in Kamloops to Vancouver, Kelowna

Alberta-based Ebus applies to the Passenger Transportation Board to replace Greyhound

Former VP of lululemon joins B.C. cannabis cultivation facility

Kerry Biggs will be the Chief Financial Officer of True Leaf, in Lumby

Could cannabis help keep people in B.C. on treatment for opioid addiction?

People on opioid agonist treatment face lower risks of overdosing, BC Centre on Substance Use says

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

North Delta happenings: week of Sept. 20

Events, courses and clubs listing for North Delta

Most Read