The Senate of Canada took their final vote and approved the controversial anti-terrorism Bill C-51 today in Parliament.
“I am pleased to announce that the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015, was adopted at Third Reading and passed by the Senate today,” said Minister Blaney in a release. “This legislation demonstrates our government’s leadership in the global fight against terrorism.”
The piece of legislation went through its final read in Senate, resulting in a 44-28 vote. The Ottawa Citizen reported saying the Senate was distracted by a “scathing audit report into their expenses,” but managed to take a vote on the bill.
Bill C-51 will mean broader national security measures, extending the authorities of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to arrest citizens on the premise of a security threat.
The bill was initially put forward amidst the Ottawa shooting in October.
Critics have raised concerns over bill, calling its definition of national security threat “vague” and “broad,” as its targets are anything that “undermines the national security of Canada.” This could even indirectly mean an environmental protest.
The bill is backed by both the Conservatives and Liberals. New Democrat Party Leader Thomas Mulcair previously stated his party will be opposing the bill.
A report by Open Media suggests that the bill lacks public support, and has drawn over 200,000 demonstrators against it across Canada.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association released a post today calling the bill’s approval a disappointment. CCLA, who is actively opposed to the bill said it is a “fundamentally flawed and dangerous legislation.”
The bill is now awaiting Royal Assent.