Sunday, 5 June 2016

BREAKING (Richmond, BC): "Targeted" shooting results in death of 56 y.o. developer Amarjit Singh Sandhu

Prominent developer Amarjit Singh Sandhu died in hospital after suffering several bullet wounds from a shooting at the Ironwood Plaza on Steveston Highway in Richmond, BC. His truck was covered in bullet holes after what the RCMP call a "targeted" attack. No one else was injured. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has taken over the investigation.

Read the CBC article here.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

BREAKING: Gursimar Bedi convicted of accessory after the fact in Batalia Murder

Almost five years after 19-year-old SFU student Maple Batalia was gunned down in the parking lot of SFU's Surrey campus, the BC Supreme Court has convicted Gursimar Bedi of being an accessory after the fact. Evidence revealed Bedi spied on Batalial, as well as rented the vehicle driven by Batalia's ex-boyfriend and killer, Gurjinder 'Gary' Dhaliwal. A date for sentencing will be decided in court on June 9.

Read the CBC article here.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Ana's Experience: First Year Law

I had the opportunity to sit down with an inspiring and amazing human being who I am proud to call a friend. I know that many of the readers and members are worried about starting their first year of law or even applying, so I sat down with Ana who just finished her first year of law (1L) at UBC to get some insight and her experiences for others to read. Of course, we got side tracked a few times because there was just so much information and it was a meet up that was long over due since we had both been so busy with school. So hopefully this conversation answers a few questions or will probably make you question everything about law school.

Ana M, is an incoming second year (2L) law student at UBC. She graduated from SFU in 2014 with a BA in Psychology. After she graduated, she decided to take a year off before going to school again. In her year off she prepared for the LSAT and took on new work and volunteer experiences including creating a YouTube channel for pre-teens and teens. In terms of law, her interest focuses on human rights, women's rights and justice but she still isn't sure on what kind of law she would like to do.

1. What made you choose UBC and Why did you choose it?

There are many reasons why people choose their perspective school. Because Canada only has so many law schools, and so the quality of the legal education you will receive is pretty much standardized. What will differ is the specific legal programs offered (UBC has an Aboriginal Law specialization) and the overall school experience. I picked UBC because I had to factor in distance and expenses but I love UBC Law so I’m glad I picked it in the end over my other top choice.

2. Tell me about the courses you took?

First year is all about foundational courses; they're basically intro courses, and your schedule is handed to you like on the first day of high school. So for example you do Property Law, Contracts Law, Constitutional Law etc… you also do a research on legal research and writing as well. In total you have 7 courses in first semester and then two of those get swapped out for two new ones in second semester. So in total, first year is 9 classes but not all of them are worth the same amount of credits. As with all schooling, how interesting or boring a course was really reflected on the professor and I liked all of my professors so it was a good experience overall. It’s very much like undergrad in a way since each professor has their own teaching style and you spend as much time learning about their style and what they focus on (and how and on what they will examine you on) as you do learning the actual material. Older students can be really helpful for those insights as well as for study notes.

3. Compared to undergrad, how is law school?

Law school is hard not so much because the material is hard – it’s actually pretty common sense – but because no one really knows how to do law school coming in. So you waste a lot of time just trying to figure out what to read and how to read it (considering the crazy amounts of reading given to us even in the first month of school.) I remember on my first day of Constitutional Law, the professor, in her characteristically calm way, told us to read the entire Canadian Constitution for next class... And the first two cases in our casebook. I remember everyone chuckling as we all thought the same thing: “Yup. Welcome to law school.” Preparing for exams is also a learning process since law exams are open-book and even with your notes right in front of you, you could end up totally blowing it. That’s something that would never have happened to me in undergrad.

Law classes are also marked on a curve so your mark reflects how well you did compared to everyone else instead of how you did as an individual. This can get frustrating because you are competing with the top 10% of applicants in your year. It’s all the top-of-the-class people, from all over Canada, in one class. And the curve system forces high achievers like that to constantly try to one-up each other on exams and papers to make themselves stick out in a positive way. It gets exhausting trying to keep up with that intensity. Despite that, people always study together and share notes so it’s an odd sort of environment: collegial yet competitive.

4. What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was trying to find another way to measure academic success because the grades you receive in law school, especially 1L are unlike anything you’ve probably ever received. You work so hard and stress so much and the marks may not reflect that at all. You struggle to not bring yourself down and there’s a lot of self -doubt (am I cut out for this? I think they made a mistake when they let me in here. I’m not good enough etc). It’s hard to stay positive when you’re constantly getting feedback that basically says “you suck.” Admin and profs and older students will tell you that the marks you’re getting are totally normal and fine but you won’t interpret them that way at first. It’s a blow to the ego but more seriously, your sense of self-worth and sense of self takes a hit since a lot of people at law school identify academic success as a core part of who they are. For a lot of people, it was one thing they could always control and fall back on.  So 1L feels like the rug got pulled out from under you and you don’t even know who you are anymore as a student and as an individual. But the reality of a curve-based grading scheme: most people will be average (~ 76%) with some people above and some people below. Mid-high 80s is basically the cap – those who get above 90% are far and between. It’s a constant struggle of reminding yourself of that and reminding yourself that average actually is good!

5. What was your most rewarding moment?

My most rewarding moment would have to be the "Time of the Month" Initiative – an event I spearheaded with a fellow 1L on behalf of the Women’s Caucus. All the other Caucus members were busy and I was told to either handle the event on my own or to leave it for another year. It was a risky move since the event was about periods and donating feminine hygiene products for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. I was quite nervous, honestly, because I didn’t want to be known as “that Period Girl” for the rest of law school and I didn’t know how the event would be received. But it was something I was passionate about and believed in and I decided to just go ahead and do it. And it was a great success! Male and female classmates donated all kinds of things from generous cash amounts to bags of tampon boxes. I even had a professor donate which was really motivating. And next year I’m going to be Co-President of the Women’s Caucus so it all worked out!

Participating in the Law Revue comes in at a close second. It was an extracurricular activity; it had nothing to do with academics but something I did for myself, for comic relief. It saved me in 1L because after constantly feeling defeated, I had an opportunity to do something I knew I was good at and thoroughly enjoyed. We had such an overwhelmingly positive response, I remember feeling like we were a football team coming home with the trophy or something  :P

6. Name some of the things you have done in 1L?

It wasn’t until I started writing up my resume, and now again after doing this interview, that I realized just how much I actually did in first year. In first semester I did LEO – Legal Education Outreach – where we partnered up with Law 12 classes in the Vancouver School District and taught a mini class on Criminal Law. It’s an opportunity for high school students to meet law students and ask questions as well as learn something new from someone currently learning the same stuff. I also got chosen to be the 1L UBC Law Blogger and write a monthly piece from the perspective of a first year. My experience with that got me hooked and I recently started my own, personal lifestyle blog! I also got involved with Women’s Caucus as a 1L rep, volunteering at their events, baking for bake sales, sending emails to sponsors, collecting clothing donations etc. The Caucus is there to help women in the legal profession since the law is still very much a “boy’s club” where even though women enter the field in equal or even greater numbers, end up getting outnumbered by the men due to issues of work-life balance that still disproportionately affects women. So the Caucus helps raises awareness regarding that and other issues specific to women in the law, it gives female law students unique opportunities to network with other women in the profession, notably, accomplished women who can impart advice and help with the job search and it engages a subset of the law community in a unique and important way. In the second semester I also became a student clinician for LSLAP (Law Students’ Legal Advice Program), where under the supervision of a lawyer we helped bring legal services through the form of legal advice and assistance to low-income clients in the community. And lastly I was part of the Law Revue which is your high school acting class meets SNL/MadTV and a ton of UBC Law-related inside jokes in the form of skits, short video clips, parodies of popular shows and songs (1L Direction…get it? ;P) etc. It was the most fun part of law school, honestly.

7. Any advice for those applying to law school or planning to go to law school?

When it comes to applying, people say to apply broadly but I didn't. I don't know what I was thinking but I only applied to two schools – UBC and UVic – and I got into both. It’s important to know not only why you want to do law school but to also know why you want to do it at that specific school and to write that in your letter with a sense of purpose and conviction. Be confident in your skills and what you can bring to that specific community – this is a great place to talk about your current or past volunteer positions in order to show your dedication to your current school and community. Then discuss what your interests are and how the school you’re applying to will help you achieve your goals. Be persistent. If you haven't heard back from a specific school by June, call them and let them know that they are a top pick and everything else is on hold until you get their response. Show them you give a damn and that you want to be there. Lastly, and this you already know, you have to have the grades. If not, amp up the community involvement or even take a few years, do some cool stuff, and apply as a mature student with tons of experiences under your belt. Law schools look for smart individuals who put in the effort (as reflected by your GPA) but who are also interesting, well rounded, and who can bring diversity to a pack of people that already have so much in common. Having people who can speak to your strengths and vouch for you is important so make those connections if you haven’t already.

8. How did you balance school and everything else?

I cannot live without my planner/organizer. There’s so much to keep track of and many of the deadlines come in multiples and overlap. It’s very easy to let law school completely devour you and your time and the experience is ruthless. It’s very rare that you will just *have* downtime so you really have to work hard to make downtime. So one thing you have to do is schedule in work outs, family time, and dates with your significant other or friends just like any other thing. And you have to be strict with yourself and tell yourself multiple times that you need this and taking breaks is important and worth it. Another thing is that I learned to study in smaller chunks. I’m a flow studier so if I could have it my way, the only time I’d be studying would be on the weekends when I have huge stretches of time to do just that. But you quickly learn that you waste a lot of time in a week waiting to find the perfect study block and that there’s always way more work than can get done in a two-day span. Remember, law school is very fast paced and exhausting and some days you just want to sleep the whole day away to simply catch up on sleep. So I learned to do all of my small me-time things like social media checking, texting with friends, and email responding on the bus on the way home from school when my brain is the most fried. I also figured out a way to read on the bus without getting motion sickness so now if I’m too tired to finish a case or it’s bed time (and I became very strict about scheduling in my bed time too), I would just leave the reading for the bus ride to school the next morning. It helped to wake up my brain and prep it for the long day ahead. The best way to juggle it all is to be on top of it: know the deadlines, stay organized and work ahead if possible. Accept that it is tough and be easy on yourself. Law school can make you doubt yourself so it’s good to do things that you’re good at and make you feel good. Having non-law friends or partners to hang out with can help distract from the stress by having conversations about something other than law school. Let the waves happen, when it gets less busy, enjoy it, and recharge for when it starts to pick up again. Don't try to sprint the entire thing – know when to slow down the pace.

9. What are you looking forward to in your 2nd year?

I’m looking forward to some of the classes I’ve chosen and having another shot at getting the grades I think I deserve. I have more paper courses so I’m hoping that my overall GPA will also increase. In general I’mjust excited to give law school another go with the experience I’ve accumulated and the things I’ve learned. I look forward to having more responsibilities as Co-President of the Women’s Caucus, as a Co-Director or Co-Producer (and actress!) of the Law Revue and as an Orientation Leader and mentor for the new 1Ls coming in!

10. Anything you'd like to add?

Some students say that 1L is the worst but others say it only gets worse so I don’t know who to believe. It’s hard because as a Type A, ambitious, and success-driven individual, I like to be in control, to know what I’m doing and what’s expected of me, and to feel accomplished as reflected by my academic success. But a lot of the time, you don’t feel in control, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and you feel like you should just drop out. That’s why having a very strong sense of purpose and intrinsic drive is so critical for this field. Law school is a very big investment of time and money (and health, after all) – it’s not something you just “try” for fun, especially if you’re someone who takes academic success personally and seriously. If you’ve never faced adversity or setbacks, you will definitely face them at some point along the way and your goals will be what you fall back on. I’ve had to learn to be flexible and adaptive, to give new ways of learning and studying a try, to master new skills, to be more persistent than I’ve ever been, and to overcome my self-doubt about my abilities. If this is what you want, do not give up. 90% of success in law school comes from being persistent. It’s hard but it’s worth it and if you choose to do this, you will have all of us cheering you along the way.

I wanted to thank Ana for taking the time to answer these questions so that we could share it all with you. Good luck to everyone applying or who will be attending first year this Fall!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Women in Criminal Justice

Women in Criminal Justice

On March 11thSFU had the pleasure of having three guests from different areas of the criminal justice system join us for a night of Q&A.  It was a night where students from different faculties were allowed to come and ask questions about their careers, struggles and opinions on current issues.

The guest speakers were Janice Walton, an environmental lawyer with a diverse background who proves that it is never too late to do what you want. After doing many other things, at age 39, she decided her true passion was being a lawyer and in 1991, she achieved that. Our next guest was Caitlin Grisack, a coordinator for the youth restorative justice program for the Burnaby RCMP detachment who strongly believes that RJ is new and emerging. Her job consists of working with youth, victim-services, and crisis intervention. The third guest was Barb Bluscke, a member of the Vancouver police department since 1991—she was one of two female officers working the downtown eastside in the 90’s, the first female captain of the VPD boat team, first female motorcyclist reconstructionist and helped write the Quarantine Act for Vancouver ports.

There were many questions that night but here are some of the few audience members asked these ladies. The Q&A started off with a student asking whether any of our guest speakers had faced any obstacles as women and what they did to overcome them. Janice mentioned that she had been very fortunate to have not faced many obstacles but she did state she faced challenges. Some of these challenges she faced were more of her career being demanding in the first years. She mentioned that she faced more pressure pre-law, mostly in her engineering career. She did not face much during her law career because she was older and so were her children, which reduced the pressure. Janice added on by saying that although law can be a man’s world, the makeup in law is about 50/50 in law and there are choices in which direction you want to go with in law.

Caitlin also discussed that because she works in Restorative Justice, which is usually woman-dominated field, it has been inclusive and respectful and so she has not faced many obstacles. She continued to mention that although men from institutions can surround her, it has not been an obstacle. Barb on the other hand, mentions that women in policing have had a long road and that there were situations that were sexist. She mentions that many of her female colleagues could not handle it and quit policing. There were some males who believed that their female partners should just “sit in the car, shut up and not touch anything". She states that this has changed, women are now at the same level as men, all that matters is that you can protect each other. She stated that you always have to prove yourself, prove you can do the job, regardless of gender. She adds on that if someone does make a sexist remark, to draw a line and if you do not allow them to cross it, they will not.

Question two focused on the current issue of Bill C-51, they did not have much to say on the topic because they still had to do some more research on the topic but Barb summarized in nicely by saying “the way things are done need to be changed”. I think we can all agree that a lot of things need to be changed!

The third question a student asked was whether they had faced any sexual harassment. Janice began with stating that in the 1980's sexism existed in her first field of engineering. She stated that women were usually office staff not part of the project. She added by stating that sexual harassment was both covert and overt. She believes that things have changed in our time, that this type of behaviour is no longer tolerated and likes to think that all professions abide by that. Caitlin began with mentioning that she has worked six years in the detachment and that sometimes the media has a big role with how things are shown. She clarifies that she has been lucky to be in an environment that communicates and receives training on how to be respectful towards one another.  Barb continued to just add on to her previous statement about not letting them cross the line and that things have changed since from when she started. She stated that about 24% of Vancouver police officers are now women and that it was really high compared to other places, so it shows that things are changing. Their experiences were eye opening, especially from Janice and Barb who were basically firsts in their fields to show us how much has actually changed from when they started to now. It gives us hope that things will continue to change for women in all areas. 

The fourth question for the guest speakers focused around whether they faced any obstacles getting to their careers. Janice started off the conversation by stating that when she first started it was hard because it was difficult finding a job because there was a lack of environmental law firms. She proudly mentioned that she went out and made it happen for herself. She did face pressure because you had to work really hard in order to make partner, there were targets you had to accomplish but she provided us with a solid piece of advice by saying that we have to make it happen for ourselves, that we should take the chance because there will always be obstacles. As for Caitlin, she stated that when she started Restorative Justice was just an emerging field, so she was able to gain lots of experience as it RJ also grew. She added on that she was able to apply her work into her life and life into work because RJ focuses on self-care, so that made it easier for her. Like Janice, Caitlin mentioned that you have to put yourself out there and self-promote. Barb answered her question by discussing that she never finished her undergraduate degree and that she had a lot of grunt jobs, which taught her how to cope. She then provided us with advice that "education is never a waste" and that you can always change what you do with your life because it will not be wasted. She then shared a story about her experience in the DTES. She stated that we should take jobs that teach us to cope because what she saw was difficult. 

She mentioned that in the DTES, there are two types of people: the predator and the prey. She said that the DTES was never like that from the stories that she heard from people she met. It was overwhelming for her to see that happening--people being victimized and targeted by these predators. She then criticized that the "four pillar" system was not helping anyone, especially those with mental health issues. She concluded with saying that she loves her job (even if it can be hard) because it provides variety, it keeps her busy and that she has done things we could not even imagine--of course, she also mentioned she loved her pay cheque (and so did Janice!). 

The final question of the night consisted of an audience member asking our guests, if they could change one thing, what would it be? The guest speakers asked "just one?, which shows that there is probably a lot of things that they wish they could change. Caitlin started the conversation with wanting to move away from punishment and take a new approach to punishment. I assume she meant more of a restorative justice approach. She added on that as a society, we should take more chances and lose our fear. Barb said she would change political correctness, she said life is hard and basically, we should be able to face them and not be naive about it. Janice ended the discussion with her change being that the political system should be balanced--by that she meant that there should be more women involved in politics.

Overall, it was a great night with great people, guest lecturers and free food. Janice, Caitlin and Barb taught us very powerful things that allow us to succeed. They taught us through their experiences that there is still a lot to change in the world but we can do it, if we educate ourselves, live our lives and stand up for ourselves. They are successful because of those things. Janice always knew what she wanted to do but worked in other areas before she got to her goal of being a lawyer. Caitlin started off wanting to be a sommelier, then was a history major and finally found her way into criminology, crime analysis and dabbled with the idea of law, but now is the coordinator for youth RJ and loves it. Barb wanted to be a physiotherapist (because of her bad knee), she then considered the army because she knew she wanted to defend rights, which then led her into policing. These ladies are examples of how life can take us in different directions and if you work really hard, you can get to where you really want to be or do something you did not expect and love it. 

--Martha Espinoza

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Solitary Confinement Challenge

The majority of individuals who commit suicide suffer from a mental illness at their time of death. In 2011 alone, there have been 3,728 suicides committed in Canada. The suicide rate in federal prisons alone is "7x the public...with nearly half taking place in solitary confinement. According to the Globe & Mail, 1 out of every 4 prisoners are put into solitary confinement in the federal prison system. Clearly the numbers show that suicide by inmates held in solitary confinement is an issue. Solitary confinement or segregation in a prison system is the practice of confining a prisoner in a cell while depriving him/her from meaningful human contact for 23 hours a day which could last from days to months to years. These statistics are not just numbers, but rather numbers representing people such as Ashley Smith and Edward Snowshoe.

Ashley Smith was a self-harming inmate. She was 19 when she chocked herself to death in 2007 while prison guards stood outside and watched as they were ordered not to enter her cell if she was still breathing. Within her 11 months of confinement, she was transferred 17x, and spent the majority of her time in segregation. The Coroner's Inquest has offered 104 recommendations regarding Ashley's death, but little has changed. Key recommendations include:
  • Transferring inmates with serious mental health issues/self-injurious behaviour to federally run treatment facilities.
  • Not requiring frontline staff to seek authorization if they determine immediate intervention is required to save life.
  • Abolishing indefinite solitary confinement, prohibiting long-term segregation of more than 15 days and making conditions of segregation least restrictive as possible.
The recommendations were offered in 2013, 6 years after Ashley Smith's death. Within that time, Edward Snowshoe killed himself in 2010 after spending 162 days in segregation. Edward was not well when he went into prison and "as his condition deteriorated, the system responded with solitary confinement." BobbyLee Worm was also an individual placed in solitary confinement who is not part of the previously mentioned statistic.

BobbyLee Worm, a 26 year-old Aboriginal woman from Saskatchewan, was in solitary confinement for over 3.5 years.  She was 19 years-old and a first time offender when she entered prison, where her only human contact was usually through a food slot in the door of the cell. The program she was placed under was known as a "Management Protocol" but she was removed 2 days after a lawsuit was filed on her behalf by the British Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) for illegal and inhumane treatment. She was given access to programs to support her rehabilitation. The "Management Protocol"  program was for high-risk women prisoners that allowed prison officials to isolate women in solitary confinement. The majority of women placed in this program were Aboriginal.

The BCCLA and the John Howard Society of Canada launched a constitutional challenge in the use of solitary confinement in Canadian federal prisons. They state that indefinite solitary confinement is torture. It is causing individuals' mental health to become worse, as was the case with Edward Snowshoe. It violates constitutional rights as it is discriminatory in its use towards the mentally ill and Indigenous prisoners since they are placed in solitary confinement more frequently than other prisoners. Solitary confinement violates Section 7 (protection of life, liberty and security of a person), Section 9 and 10 (protections against arbitrary detention), Section 12 (prohibition against cruel and unusual treatment), and Section 15 (protection of equality) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The suicide rate in federal prisons are 7x that of the public, with nearly half taking place in segregation. How many more people will be added to that statistic before the Correctional Service of Canada does something about it? How many more people will suffer from mental illness due to being placed in isolation? How quickly will the government respond to this constitutional challenge before the numbers rise?

- Rachelle Tolentino

Bill C-51: Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act

            By now, most of us who read the news should be well aware of the Conservative’s proposed Bill C-51, an anti-terrorism act focused on combating the growing threat of terrorism within Canada’s borders.  Consider for a moment that only six months ago at Canada’s National War Memorial in Ottawa, Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed while on sentry duty by Michael Zihaf-Bibeau – a man presumed to have been motivated by radical Islamic ideology, likely stemming from the highly publicized ISIS occupation in the Middle East.  It is also worth acknowledging that just one month ago, a Somali terrorist group known as Al-Shabab publicly appealed to sympathizers within the Somali community in Edmonton to carry out an attack on West Edmonton Mall (the largest mall in North America for those who are unaware).  Keeping these events in mind, it would seem odd that many Canadians dispute the implementation of Bill C-51.  So the questions is; why are so many people opposed to this anti-terrorism act, legislation that the Conservative government assures will enhance Canada’s ability to fight terrorism at home and abroad?
            The answers to these questions are evident once the contents of Bill C-51 are inspected.  For starters, the Bill broadly expands the definition of ‘security’ to include “interference with the capability of the Government of Canada in relation to… the economic or financial stability of Canada”1.  Under this definition, the peaceful protests in Burnaby against the Kinder Morgan pipeline could have been considered a national security threat, as hindering the construction of the pipeline may be construed as interfering with Canada’s economic stability.  What’s more, the bill establishes an immense scope for what is considered to ‘undermine’ Canadian security.  British Columbia’s Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) explains that these far-reaching concepts will allow warrantless sharing of information between and outside of government agencies as well as grant unfettered access to Canadians personal information2.
            Bill C-51 will also enact the Security Air Travel Act, which provides a framework for identifying individuals who pose a potential threat to transportation security. Although the purpose of the Act is justifiable, the means by which the Act achieves its purpose is questionable at best.  The Act allows government to establish a no-fly list that is largely secretive, meaning individuals who have been listed as a threat have no way of knowing the reasoning for there ban, or obtaining evidence associated with their listing.  Moreover, the Act suffers from serious procedural flaws concerning the process of appealing a no-fly listing.  Specifically, if a listed individual is successful in initiating an appeal, the judicial process is authorized to take place in secret. 
            There are also two serious drawbacks to Bill C-51 concerning its proposed amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC), foremost being the creation of a new offense that targets individuals found ‘advocating or promoting terrorism’.  The new offense would criminalize any speech in support of terrorism without requiring an actual terrorist offense to have occurred.  In other words, a speaker may be accused of advocating terrorism even if they do not intend for a terrorist offense to occur.  As a result, this amendment to the CCC will severely restrict Canadians’ freedom of expression.  The second drawback concerns a CCC amendment that would lower the legal threshold required for police to arrest individuals for terrorist activity.  Currently, the language of the CCC allows police to detain, arrest, or impose conditions on individuals (who have not, and may never commit a crime), if they have a legitimate belief that a terrorist activity will occur.  The amendment will lower this threshold, allowing police to detain individuals on the mere suspicion that terrorist activity might occur sometime in the future, while also doubling the amount duration of time that an individual may be held without charge. It would be reasonable to speculate that this amendment could have the result of innocent Canadians being detained or punished based on sheer speculation that they represent a danger to the public.
            It is clear by examining the evidence above that the Conservative’s proposed Bill C-51 has many critical flaws, all of which would directly impact the lives and democratic freedoms of Canadians.  What is interesting is that although much of the media publications on Bill C-51 refer to the legislation as ‘damaging’ to the democratic rights of Canadians, a poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute indicates that 82 per cent of Canadians are in support of the Bill3. What’s more, opposing parties such as the Liberals or NDP have not actively opposed the anti-terrorism bill due to the upcoming federal election.  Opposition governments contend that fighting Bill C-51 is counteractive, as Canadians are seemingly in support of the legislation (causing damage during election period if they were to oppose it) and also because the Conservatives maintain a majority government. Instead, the task of stopping Bill C-51 has fallen into the hands of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). The SCC will review the legislation for its constitutionality and hopefully restrict many of the proposed amendments for impeding guaranteed Charter rights or freedoms. 
            If anyone is interested in joining the petition against Bill C-51 please click this link à  Otherwise, it seems likely that the fate of Canada’s proposed anti-terrorism bill will be determined in court.

- Kyle Doyle

1 – Bill C-51: Security of Canada Information Sharing Act. (2014). s. 2(2)(a)
2 - BCCLA (2015, March 09). Submission to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security: Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015
3 - The Globe and Mail (2015, February 19). New poll finds Harper's anti-terror bill is a political juggernaut.