Support for Bill C-51 hits all time low

The support for outgoing Conservative government’s controversial anti-terror legislation has fallen to an all time low, a new poll suggests.

Only 16 per cent of Canadians want the incoming Liberal government to keep Bill C-51 as it is, while 26 per cent want it amended and a further 23 per cent wish to see it repealed completely, according to numbers from a Google Consumer Survey commissioned by ThinkPol.

35 per cent of the respondents did not wish to express an opinion on the matter.


Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, who lead his party to a comfortable majority at Monday’s election, has vowed to amend the legislation, which the Tories passed with Liberal support in the House of Commons in the summer even after Canadians held rallies coast to coast today in a bid to prevent the passage of Bill C-51.

The opposition to Bill C-51 is strongest in Atlantic Canada, where Liberals swept up all 32 ridings, with 51 per cent in favour of repealing the act, and a further 16 per cent wishing to see it amended, and only eight per cent in favour of leaving it intact.

The support for the anti-terror law is under 20 per cent across all age groups except the 65-plus group, where 28 per cent favour keeping the bill as it is.

The NDP and the Green Party voted against the bill that drew criticism from all quarters including four former prime ministers, First Nations Chiefs, legal scholars, the Canadian Bar Association representing over 36,000 lawyers, more than 100 academics, civil liberties advocates, Canada’s privacy commissioners, former justices of the Supreme Court, former attorneys general, Canadian business leaders, the union representing over 51,000 Canada Post workers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, former CSIS agents, NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden, Conrad Black, and Ralph Nader.

Trudeau’s unexpected support for the bill prompted hundreds of supporters to post photos of symbolically cutting up their party membership cards on social media earlier this year.

“Supporting Bill C-51 is the stupidest thing the Liberal party has ever done,” supported Doug MacNaughton wrote on the Liberal Party’s Facebook wall. “You could have changed your mind today, saying that the Conservative amendments didn’t go far enough. Instead, we’re left depending on the Supreme Court to declare that the bill is unconstitutional. Your father brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – you just voted to tear it up.”

Trudeau defended his party’s support of Bill C-51 claiming that it was in the best interest of Canadians.

“We took a position based on what is in the best interests of Canadians,” the Liberal leader said in an interview with Ottawa Citizen in June. “And ultimately this is a line of work in which you have to know that if you’re making decisions and taking positions that are reasonable and that flow from your values and your fundamental principles, then people will make informed choices.”

The Google Survey of 400 Canadians is accurate to within five percentage points, 19 out of 20 times.

[Photo Credit: Toronto Coalition to Stop Bill C-51]