Senator Mobina Jaffer Differs With Party Leader And Slams Bill C-51

VANCOUVER – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and his caucus may have supported the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51 in the House of Commons, but B.C. Liberal-appointed Senator Mobina Jaffer will not follow suit, she told CBC radio.

Jaffer, the first South Asian woman to hold the Canadian Senate post, along with other independent Liberal senators, plans to vote against the legislation citing concerns about rampant information sharing between 17 government agencies, a lack of oversight of that information sharing, the ability of judges to issue warrants for preventative arrest and detention, and an overly broad definition of terrorism that could entangle citizens engaged in civil disobedience, reported CBC News.

“This bill will not keep us safe, but is just a rhetoric that will divide us,” she said to Rick Cluff, in an interview on CBC Radio One’s The Early Edition.

“I want us to work together to keep each other safe.”

Jaffer would not comment on Trudeau’s decision to support the bill, reiterating that, as an independent senator, she is free to vote how she chooses.

“For me, being a Liberal, it’s very important that we protect our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and I will fight to protect those rights,” she said.

Despite opposition from many Liberal-appointed senators, Jaffer expects Bill C-51 to pass by the end of June without any further amendments.

Bill C-51 has been criticized by security experts, former Prime Ministers, the Privacy Commissioner, former Supreme Court Justices, the Canadian Bar Association, Edward Snowden, a large group of academics and many more.

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