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Updated on Thursday, February 26

#20603


OMG: Hey OMGUW!

Right now, the Conservative party is trying to fast-track the "anti-terrorism" bill C-51 through parliament. While they would have you believe it should be passed to protect Canadians, the powers of the bill would extend far beyond basic protections, and would:


- bypass the ability of elected officials to vote out laws
- allow non-elected officials to pass and enforce laws
- allow the non-warranted search and seizure of property
- reduce health screening of new pharmaceuticals entering the market
- label criticism of the government, or organization in ways opposed to government policy, illegal

These things threaten our basic freedoms of speech and association, and we have to get it across to the government and the university that we, as students, are NOT OKAY with our rights being infringed upon in the name of false security.

I will be organizing an on-campus presence to push the university to adopt an official stance against Bill C-51, and to inform students about the threat that faces them. If you are interested in getting involved, please shoot me an email at stopc51uw@hotmail.com ! With enough involvement, we could organize a meeting as early as next week to strategize and outline goals for raising awareness and delegating tasks to bring more people into the fold and to bring this bill down!

Hope to hear from the UW community soon!

4 comments

  1. i didn't realize the pharmaceutical implications...do you have a link to that?

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  2. Wish I could help but I'm on co-op abroad :(

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  3. You think anything you believe even matters?

    You aren't the one with money involved in this, you have no say in whether or not it gets passed.

    Don't trick yourself into believing this is a democracy.

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  4. The University, as an organization, will almost certainly not take a stance on this bill.

    UW is a publicly-funded institution that serves as an independent operation overseen by the Government of Ontario. While there is nothing in its mandate specifically that prohibits it from taking a political stance, it must be very careful. It depends a lot of funding from both the provincial and federal governments, and accepts that its role as an institution is not a political one.

    On very rare occasion, the University Senate may take a political position when the policy in question directly affects the University, such as if the government were attempting significant post-secondary reforms. But such a measure would be a last resort, effectively expressing that if the government were to implement the policy differently, then the fundamental character of the University would be at risk.

    I don't like C-51. It's a terrible law and the politics that the government are using to get it through are worse than usual. It sounds attractive at first glance, but the reality is, it's a bill that threatens the basis of our society. It's a truly terrible law.

    But C-51 doesn't threaten the University directly, so it would be very unusual for the University to take a stand. If you were trying to argue for a stand, however, you could possibly do so by arguing it might affect freedom of speech, which does impinge on the core function of the University.

    If you want this to happen, though, you'd have to act fast. The bill is being pushed through incredibly quickly (which is ridiculous!). The only opportunity for this to happen would be the University Senate meeting on March 23, and the Senate Executive meets tomorrow to set the agenda. Delaying to April is probably too late, although there's a slim chance the bill will still be in the Senate at that point.

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