My name is William Ray. I served for 10 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. I hold the Governor General of Canada's decoration for bravery for halting ethnic cleansing in the Medak area of Croatia in 1993.
The first member of my family to get to Canada arrived here in 1759 and fought for General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham. One of his descendants was a man named Sir Samuel Benfield Steele, known as Sam Steele to anybody from the west. He was the third member of the North-West Mounted Police, now the RCMP, and one of its leaders for about half of its existence.
All of that is to say that I and my family have been involved in the defence and security of Canada since before it was Canada.
As written, Bill C-51, or law Bill C-51, will provide for neither our security nor surely our liberty. Nothing in this bill would have prevented the occurrences we have had here in Canada: nothing. This bill, and the security services of Canada, unfortunately, for the last couple of years have been pursuing the unethical use of security service powers against social groups, against anti-resource activists. We've seen this by the Canadian Armed Forces, my former organization, whose sole purpose is to literally fix and destroy those who pose a threat to the security of Canada. Following around native activists: this is not acceptable. It is not acceptable in this country.
Bill C-51 needs to be revoked in toto. I would remind you all that the darkest periods in the history of our nation have occurred when we have traded the liberty of our citizens for what we perceived to be our security. I would include in that residential schools. I would include in that the forming of concentration camps for German, Italian, and Japanese citizens during World War II.
Anything that the security services need to do, as Mr. McSorley very ably pointed out, is covered by the Criminal Code of Canada. You may not destroy property. You may not threaten others. You may not injure others. There is no need for this bill. It is a massive overreach by the RCMP and CSIS. The RCMP does not have a good history with this sort of thing. We threw them out of the national security business for a good reason, most of which happened here in Quebec. I know their history very well, because part of it is my family history.
I would ask you all, as parliamentarians, to exercise your duty to the people of this country to protect not just their physical security but their liberty and the society that generations of people have fought to bring about and continue to improve.