Bill C-51 A Legal Primer: Overly broad and unnecessary anti-terrorism reforms could criminalize free speech

C. Ruby , N. R. Hasan
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
February 17, 2015
Bill C-51: A Legal Primer

by Clayton Ruby and Nader R. Hasan

Six Muslim young adults stand in front of a mosque late at night in heated discussion in some foreign language. They may be debating the merits of a new Drake album. They may be talking about video games, or sports, or girls, or advocating the overthrow of the Harper government. Who knows? There is no evidence one way or the other. Just stereotypes. But the new standard for arrest and detention – reason to suspect that they may commit an act – is so low that an officer may be inclined to arrest and detain them in order to investigate further. And now, officers will no longer need to ask themselves whether the arrest is necessary. They could act on mere suspicion that an arrest is likely to prevent any terrorist activity. Yesterday, the Muslim men were freely exercising constitutional rights to freedom of expression and assembly. Today they are arrestable.

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