Mr. Speaker, we cannot sacrifice the fundamental freedoms that are central to Canadian society in the name of bolstering public safety. We can and must protect both. The government must listen to the experts who testified before the committee on public safety who warned against Bill C-51 and the overarching attack on fundamental freedoms. The experts agree with the NDP that the bill gives broad and new powers to CSIS, without enhancing oversight, including provisions that could impact legitimate dissent, and does not produce a plan to counter radicalization in Canadian communities.
My main concern is the vague definition of what constitutes a terrorist in the bill. Being born as a Tamil in Sri Lanka, I have experienced what a broad definition of terrorism can mean for an entire people. I have seen and heard from innocent people who have lost everything because of vague definitions of “terrorist”.
As a Canadian parliamentarian, I demand oversight and a clear definition of what is a terrorist and what is legitimate protest. I will stand with the NDP to defend our charter of rights for our fundamental freedoms and for what makes us a strong nation.