Outrage toward the bill mounted throughout the day. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, which is suing the federal government over its surveillance programs, released a statement saying: “Canada has utterly failed to respond to the urgent need for national security oversight and instead, proposes an unprecedented expansion of powers that will harm innocent Canadians and not increase our public safety.” The group says it’s especially concerned about the provision that will allow police to detain people who haven’t been charged for longer periods of time.
Hamed El-Said, an advisor to the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task and author of the book New Approaches to Countering Terrorism released earlier this month, said in an interview that the laws Canada already has on the books are “more than enough to deal with terrorism.” And new criminal offences coupled with more powerful police forces will likely translate to more convictions that carry long prison sentences.
“New legislations like this will fill up the Canadian prison system,” he said. “The number of inmates will only go up.” Having conducted research on radicalization in prisons around the world, he says the chances of people becoming radicalized, when they weren’t so already, can increase when they are convicted and imprisoned for crimes around freedom of expression.