Political Association and the Anti-Terrorism Bill
Posted: 9 Mar 2002
In the aftermath of September 11th, Canadians appear to be more willing to give up their civil liberties in exchange for enhanced feelings of security. This paper examines the impact of Bill C-36 on rights and freedoms, focusing on the politics of associational life. The authors contend that the definition of "terrorist activity" is overbroad, potentially capturing individuals and groups engaged in a broad range of political activities, both lawful and unlawful. Peaceful anti-globalization protestors or illegal striking workers could fall within the definition of "terrorist activity" and the related offences of participating, facilitating or financing terrorism. In a society where pluralistic associational life is expected to flourish, and where public spaces for political expression are shrinking, the anti-terrorism bill poses a significant threat to political association and protest in Canada.
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