One of my first tasks as the new reporter for this newspaper was a street side poll.

One of my first tasks as the new reporter for this newspaper was a street side poll.

With all the recent controversy over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s newly proposed anti-terrorism bill it felt fitting to ask the people of Rossland what they thought of Bill C-51. After all, Nelson and Castlegar held their own rallies just last week to show the discomfort the new legislature brought them.

For a couple of hours, I roamed Columbia Ave. asking anyone that would listen, what their position on the proposed bill was. The answers, or lack thereof, was quite surprising.

Not only did most people have no stance on the bill, they had no knowledge of the act or what it proposed.

Now, I’m not here to wag my finger and say “shame on you” or anything. I realize people may have legitimate reasons why they are out of the loop on this, but hopefully this piece can help shed some light on the matter, albeit a slightly skewed light.

Bill C-51 if passed, may never directly affect you or anyone you know, but it will be bad for Canada.

First, some background.

C-51 was formally introduced to the public at the beginning of 2015, in the wake of October’s Parliament Hill shootings. The bill aims to encourage and facilitate information sharing between federal institutions in order to protect Canada against activities that undermine its security.

In short, Harper and his government would like to see more power in the hands of law enforcement and security institutions such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

The prime minister promises this anti-terrorism act will make Canadians and Canada safer as a whole. In reality it allows the government to keep an ever-watchful eye on Canadian citizens.

This may sound like paranoid thinking to some, but a very vocal majority thinks this is going too far, myself included.

By all means, do what you can to prevent terrorism if it is such a large threat within this country, but a large sweeping bill such as this most certainly should not be forced upon the people with only a few months’ notice. It seems the government is trying to push this act through before anything arises to impede its progress.

Furthermore, C-51 does a poor job of defining what exactly terrorism is and many believe this bill could infringe upon the rights to peaceful protest and free speech.


Of course, there is much more to this bill, but I hope this piece prompts you to take a look for yourself and form your own opinion whether your government is looking out for you in the end.



Just Posted

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

Warfield elementary school celebrating 70 years

Webster Elementary School officially opened April 23, 1949; open house and events planned next week

Trail workshop offers path forward for affordable/supportive housing

Columbia Basin Trust, BC Housing and the CMHC all spoke during the Tuesday morning session

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read