Senate approves anti-terror Bill C-51
The Senate chamber is seen in Ottawa, on Thursday Jan. 13, 2011. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015 8:58AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2015 2:57PM EDT
The Senate has rubber-stamped new anti-terror legislation that will beef up Canada's policing and spying powers, despite an outcry from those worried the bill will infringe on individual privacy.
Bill C-51 will amend the Criminal Code to make it easier for CSIS officers, border guards, and other law enforcement officials to monitor and arrest potential terror threats in Canada, including individuals seeking to leave the country to commit terror acts abroad.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair expressed disappointment about the bill’s passage in the Red Chamber.
“I will share with you my shock that the Senate … proceeded to support Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau in voting for Bill C-51, which constitutes an unprecedented attack on the rights and freedoms of all Canadians,” said Mulcair following his party’s weekly caucus meeting.
Critics of the bill warn that it will make it easier for security officials to place Canadians under surveillance, as well as monitor their actions online.
Protesters held several rallies in recent months to call for the bill to be rejected.
The bill passed with 44 votes in favour and 28 against.
Bill C-51 is now awaiting royal assent from the governor general, the last step before it becomes law.