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  •  Bangladesh Heritage and Ethnic Society of Alberta · Promoter of Bangladeshi Culture and Heritage in and around Edmonton
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Local News Alberta

During the campaign start of the Edmonton City Councillor for Edmonton Mill Woods-Beaumont, Amarjeet Sohi, a crowd was gathering in front of the Maharaja Hall in Edmonton. The protesters sought to ask the Liberal Party, and expected guest Justin Trudeau, to stop the support for controversial Bill C-51, which will give police authorities greater powers to target activities that could undermine the security of Canada or that are deemed detrimental to Canada’s interests.

Protesters demand to stop support for Bill C-51

Protesters demand to stop support for Bill C-51

Bill C-51, also known as the "Anti-Terrorism Act", gives the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) more power to act against suspected terrorist plots rather than just gathering information, supports an increased exchange of security information on national and international level, extends powers of the no-fly list, and makes the act of encouragement to a terrorist attack a criminal offence. In addition it increases the abilities of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in regards to restrict suspect movement and preventative detention.

Bill C-51 was introduced by the federal government as an extension of Canada’s anti-terror laws in an attempt to protect Canadians from terrorists. The bill was passed in House of Commons in May 2015. Now the Senate will have to decide if the legislation will become Canadian law.

Many critics see in the bill a danger to increased censorship, a limitation to the right of free speech, a violation to privacy rights, and even a legitimization for a police controlled society. Protests have been seen all across Canada, and voices against the legislation have been heard even from members of the approving political parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals.

With banners like "Do not silence legitimate protest" and "State terrorism is no solution" our Edmonton protest reminds of the difficulty to weigh the freedom and security of us all with the effort to fight against the crimes of a few.