Protests Mount Against Bill C-51
Prince George, B.C. – Protest rallies voicing opposition against the Harper government’s contentious Bill C-51 were the order of the day across Canada on Saturday.
In Prince George, protesters raised placards as motorists passed by on the bypass, while others gather outside the 7th Avenue office of Prince George-Peace River Conservative MP Bob Zimmer. The MP did not attend.
Mike Dallaire of Prince George addressed the crowd as a petition, which is being forwarded to Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, was circulated for signatures of those opposing the bill, which some critics say threatens to trample, if not destroy some of the democratic rights of Canadians.
Dallaire says the issue is so critical that no matter who you normally support or which party you might belong to, if they are not opposed to this bill you cannot support them in the coming federal election. “You know how we can be so team adamant, well this isn’t one of those times we need to be supporting our team members. If they’re not supporting you, this is a time when we need to wake them up and remind them who they represent.”
The federal government calls B C-51 an anti-terror bill, but some in the crowd outside Zimmer’s office said it’s really an anti-rights bill which threatens the freedom of Canadians. They feel the bill, as is, has to be opposed at the grassroots level, because, as one said, “it won’t be opposed by the politicians or through the media.”
Opponents feel the legislation issue is so critical that it should go to a referendum and should be an election issue. One also wondered aloud how many of the recent rash of incidents in Canada which have been labelled acts of terrorism may have been staged to stoke the fire under Harper’s legislation.
Four former Prime Ministers, 5 Supreme Court judges, the BC and Canadian Civil Liberties Association and scores of legal experts have all voiced opposition to Bill C-51. The B.C. Federation of Labour held a major rally against the legislation in Vancouver on Saturday.