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October 28, 2017 4:38 am

Business Leaders Speak Out Against Bill C-51

Friday, April 24, 2015 @ 7:55 AM

60 business leaders, a number of whom are in the high tech and financial sector, have come out strongly against the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51.  In a letter published in Openmedia (1), these business people charge that Bill C-51 “threatens to undermine Canada’s reputation and change [its] business climate for the worse.”

In their opinion, the Bill hands over too much power and leeway to the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) to take arbitrary and unjustifiable action against their businesses, including the taking down of websites.  “As it stands,” they argue, the Bill “criminalizes language in excessively broad terms that may place the authors of innocent tweets and the operators of online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, along with Canada’s Hootsuite and Slack (2), at risk of criminal sanction for activities carried out on their sites.”

Furthermore, the legislation empowers CSIS to take “unspecified and open-ended measures, which may include the overt takedown of multi-use websites or other communications networks with or without any judicial supervision.”  The open letter questions why this legislation is necessary given that, under existing Canadian law, hate speech and promotion of criminal offences is already prohibited.

Of particular concern is the power being given to federal security institutions like CSIS and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to take offensive and disruptive action within Canada.  For example, “new CSE digital disruption activities can include measures such as the false attribution of disreputable content to individuals, and even planting of malware on individual computing devices.”

Recently, Jochai Ben-Avie, Internet Policy Manager for Mozilla, the organization that produces the Firefox web browser, raised a similar concern about CSIS and CSE being given the authority to launch cyberattacks within Canada and abroad with little or no oversight (3).

As Mozilla’s Ben-Avie points out, the problem is being compounded by extensive information-sharing to be allowed under the Bill between 17 different federal government agencies (and possibly foreign ones also).  This information-sharing erodes “the relationship between individuals and their government by removing the compartmentalization that allows Canadians to provide the government some of their most private information (for census, tax compliance, health services, and a range of other purposes).”

How else could the invasive powers of Bill C-51 impact the interests of technology, financial and other businesses in Canada?  The Open Letter argues that it will directly affect data security.  “We know that many of our clients, including our government,” the authors say, “will only host services in Canada because of the invasive privacy issues in the U.S.  The U.S. tech industry has already lost billions in revenue because of this, and we don’t want it to happen here.”  However, as a result of Bill C-51, existing business clients in Canada could leave for Europe where privacy is more valued.

In addition, a consequence of the proposed sharing of information between 17 federal government institutions will be “duplicated data flowing between multiple unsecured federal government and foreign government databases [leaving] Canadians and Canadian businesses and Canadian businesses even more open to being victimized by data breaches, cyber criminals and identity theft.”

Even without Bill C-51’s permissive information sharing, there has already been “over 3000 breaches of the highly sensitive private information of an estimated 750,000 innocent Canadians in recent years.”  As a result, we have “a privacy deficit in Canada that erodes trust in both commerce and trade – Bill C-51 deepens that deficit.”

What is not said but appears to underlie both the Open Letter and the Mozilla statement are other fears as well.  The first is the fear that certain factions of big business will be allied with the federal government to use CSIS, CSE, the Canadian Border Services Agency, and so on to use disruption and dirty trick tactics against other sectors of business or competitors who are not part of the inner circle of big state.

Already, there is close information-sharing and surveillance alliances between certain giant technology companies and government such as Google in the U.S. (4), as well as between big oil and the Harper government in Canada (5).  In that regard, it should be noted that there are some sectors of business in British Columbia, especially in the real estate, tourism, and fishing industries, who are not on board with the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline proposals.  And there are even competing interests within the North American oil industry itself.  What kind of dirty tricks can those business interests currently out of favour with the government expect from Bill C-51?  And what kind of anarchy could result?

The second is that technology and financial sector businesses will be forced to cooperate with CSIS, CSE, etc. in violating the rights of Canadian citizens, i.e. becoming part of the “big brother” machine, whether they like it or not.  Not to do so will mean that they, too, could become targets for repression and disruptive tactics, and being put on an “enemy of Canada” list.

One thing is clear – these technology companies that have signed the Open Letter have an intimate knowledge of how modern technology can be profoundly misused by government.  To their credit, they are speaking out.

For its part, the federal government has just announced in its budget that it will be plowing more than $300 million into ramping up the operations of CSIS, CSE, RCMP and other security agencies.

There is some irony here.  The Reform Party, which was a forerunner of the current Conservative Party, used to beat the drum back in the 1980s and 90s about the “big state” policies of the ruling federal Liberals.  However, to their everlasting shame, the Harper Conservatives have outdone even the Liberals in unleashing a Frankenstein monster on our society.

Peter Ewart is a columnist and writer based in Prince George, British Columbia.  He can be reached at: peter.ewart@shaw.ca

(1)  “Business leaders pen an open letter warning the government that Bill C-51 will cause serious damage to Canadian businesses.” Openmedia.ca. April 21, 2015.

(2) Hootsuite is a social media management company based in Vancouver with 500 employees in a number of countries and 10 million users worldwide, while Slack is a communications company recently valued at $2.76 billion (Wikipedia).

(3) Ben-Avie, Jochai. Mozilla Official Blog.  March 25, 2015.

(4) Assange, Julian.  “Google is not what it seems.” https://wikileaks.org/google-is-not-what-it-seems/

(5) Hume, Mark.  “RCMP, intelligence agencies accused of spying on pipeline opponents.” Globe & Mail, Feb. 6, 2014.


The citation just made me laugh. Basically, called the contact us for Mozilla and did a wiki search. A high school student would get a fail for this speculative drivel.

Harper wants to be able to spy on all of us at his whim..he is violating our privacy and he doesn’t care, if the war monger would keep out of the Middle East ,where they have been fighting over religion since religion was first made up, we wouldn’t have any threat of terrorism.. Harper has been destroying canada one bill at a time but this one is a assault on all of us.

I heard a rumour, they were going to make a statue to a critic. I thought it might be incorrect because it has never happened in the history of man kind. Turns out they really were, but the critic did not like the design, so they scraped it. :-)

Have a great day!

How many statues of Harper are there..none because you can’t make diaharrea stand still :)

I wonder if when Justin takes power . Will he get the secret police to target radicalized conservatives ? He wouldn’t have to look very hard to find some here .

csis will have alerts on all forms of media.. Blogs etc.. People planning bad stuff won’t be posting on cbc websites or the like.. But blogs etc. the Internet has eyes everywhere.. In the USA the target words like bomb, terrorism, suffice etc so they can follow up on them. That where Harper is bringing us…

Bill C-51 is like Catch 22 X 2 + 7

I recall when Harper first made overtures toward China for the purpose of negotiating increased trade. Harper’s critics asked of him how he could possibly justify increased trade with China in light of their abysmal human rights record.

Canada’s Prime Minister said that he thought by associating with China, Canada might have a positive effect on their human rights. I wonder if China had a behavioural modification effect on Canada’s Conservative Government. Bill C-51 appears to clearly document a deterioration of the human rights of Canadians.

Q. What do you get when you cross an artificial majority government with unregulated multinational corporate elits?

A. C-51 and a potential Police State

I am not certain that Harper has a grasp of the Rule of Law. I propose that Harper and all those that voted to approve airstrikes over Libya are subject to prosecution as war criminals.

There, now I feel a lot like John Yossarian in Catch 22 discovering that Milo’s syndicate was the ultimate authority of the war. There is money to be made… and debts to be paid…

“artificial majority government”? Really John. A bit early in your posting career here to play your nutbar card. Oh well, a card laid is a card played.

Hey dow7501

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Like you said, “a card laid is a card played”. No Mulligans… Your handy use of the nutbar card says more about… Oh nevermind!

The mention of “artificial majority government” was a reference to the 38% vote received by the Conservatives… of the ~60% of eligible voters who bothered. I have no time now. I invite you to do the maths. Have a nice day!

Have a Snickers Marsha…

George Orwell’s utopian fiction *1984* was an interesting read.

I believe this is a small part of what he meant when he said you wouldn’t recognise Canada when he was done with it.

Most ‘majority’ governments in Canada and the provinces have been “artificial majority governments”. Very few are ever elected with an over 50% majority of the popular vote supporting the Party that got in. That’s simply the way the system works, and to try to improve on it as other countries have done when they abandon the ‘first past the post’ model in favor of some other set-up supposedly more ‘representative’, hasn’t seemed to materially improve the way those countries are governed relative to their governments actually being able to better determine what their citizens really want done, and then doing it.

What I don’t understand is with all these powers of Bill C-51, it is clear that the citizens of our country are the targets… I don’t understand how this legislation can be for anything but to make citizens of the country enemies of the people in power.

Espionage for the corporate insiders, like we seen in the Brazilian mineral rights auctions, is just the insiders making some extra money on the side… the Canadian asset recruiting for isis from the Canadian embassy in Jordan is getting closer to the activities these people will be involved in with no oversight. This variety of intelligence corruption concerns the business interest as we see in the article above because it has a commercial impact when the protections of a rule of law can not be counted on, but it goes far beyond mere rule of law for commercial interests and comes down to our very survival as a society and who we become when we come out the other side of turmoil to come.

The depth of this legislation doesn’t speak to the ability for government to just target for corporate espionage, as it has a wide scope and all encompassing… bigger than even Canada. This is about enabling total surveillance of a society as if that society itself will be the enemy. This is important to the globalists throughout the Five-Eyes because the Canadian legislation allows for the Canadian intelligence to violate the law of friend and foes alike to acquire the data that is all encompassing… thus collecting the data those intelligence agencies can not get legislation in their own countries to allow them the legal protection to carry out that kind of surveillance. Harper is the draconian patsy for greedy power hunger globalists.

They need an enemy for the people to fear to take our rights away. This enemy overseas are those that stand in the way of a One World Order under the money control of the Central Banking cartel that monopolizes money creation in their control (they print the money and charge us and our government the usury for it). Russia, China, and Iran find common cause in resisting global domination by a bankster cast that spawned from a distant Kazzarian warrior kingdom… a kingdom of banditry and mafia like protection rackets enforced on surrounding peoples and critical trade routes until the Kazar Empire was finally defeated by the Rus Empire… thus the eternal payback where the dispersed nation assimilated into neighboring populations, and once powerful enough through the power of intelligence in the events of the world that concern finance, they tried to destroy their centuries old foe by eliminating all that had assets or power, and making good communist slaves of the rest during; and in the decades after the bolshevik revolution; the Ukraine forced famine; and the great terror leading into WW2; heinous crimes that saw 60 million people die from politics and the attempt to eliminate the Russian Orthodox religion that bound the Russian people together… only relenting when a greater threat arose in hitler. These powers that control the US Federal Reserve and the City in London are like an alien parasite in control of the body politic in the west… where the power to create money has also been the power to create patsies in an ages long quest to consolidate all the power in the world into the hands of a small elite. They have the art of co-opting centers of power, and influencing events with game theory, so as to generate the future events they desire to consolidate power.

So I firmly believe isis is by all indications a Western intelligence creation operated with heavy influence from Israel through the Golan Heights where the lines of communication are kept open by Israeli fighter jets bombing any hezbolla advances on isis positions vis-à-vis Golan Heights. Heratz even published pictures a few weeks back of Netanyahu visiting an isis fighter receiving medical treatment in an Israeli hospital (hailed as a hero for the fighters efforts against hezbolla in Syria). Both Iran and the West use proxy forces and game theory terrorism to influence events in their favor. The general chaos plays well for campaigns of fear to enable draconian domestic legislation and power grabs by the elites.

All of this for what? I will tell you what. Nobody wants to hear it, nobody wants to imagine it, and nobody wants to do anything about it, because no matter what when the chips fall few if any will escape the collapse, and nobody will have the power to stop the collapse once it happens, not even the central bankers themselves… but a select few will have all the reins of power to ride out the depopulation events that will follow.

We are in for a currency collapse of the monetary ponzy scheme that will take everything down with it… stocks, bonds, treasuries, commodities, real estate… there will be no escape and the economy and society will to some extent collapse into chaos. Groceries stores will be empty within days and where will the money come for anything… already we pay income taxes to cover the interest payments on the national debt and not much of anything else. The numbers of currency growth in recent years are staggering… over 400% growth in most countries since 2008… yet inflation has only been at 2%, indicating not much of that 400% increase in currency has made it into the general economy. We are talking tens of trillions of dollars printed in recent years under the too big to fail quantitative easing program designed to mortgage up the whole world, the national assets and all…

but to collect these NOW banksters are going to needs guns and militarized police forces centrally controlled with full spectrum dominance of intelligence to put down any revolts before they can grow to big to handle…

we can just look at how the people of Eastern Ukraine are treated by their government for a foreshadow of how the central bankers will treat us after we have been asset striped, and made functional slaves to the New World Order.

Time Will Tell

Socred, that is because the countries that went with a different way of voting mostly were small countries where constituency is the country itself for the most part so they went with a proportional representation… and that is asking for political failure, because that enables the tyranny of unelected party insiders that control that list for appointments.

The transferable ballot on the other hand takes power away from the parties and gives it to the voter, which is why all parties oppose the transferable ballot when used in a general election, but are ok with it during nomination races. IMO

I don’t think so, Eagle. The simple FACT of the matter is that there is really not a whit of difference amongst ALL the mainstream political Parties when it comes to ‘POLICY’. Their only differences are in the method they would use to implement it. Having a transferable ballot under that scenario isn’t going to bring about anything other than an increase in inefficiency through mixing methods. Hardly a good excuse for such a change. The overall Policy will remain exactly the same, and unchanged, and unchangeable by the electorate. To put it shortly, that Policy is one of “full-employment” ~ which is ridiculous in a world where every increase in real productive efficiency means displacement of labor, and incomes derived therefrom.

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