Racist Act of Internment Must Not Happen Again: Repeal C51

December 03, 2016
National Security Consultation in Vancouver

National Security Consultation in Vancouver

I had the opportunity to speak at the December 3, 2016 National Security Consultation in Vancouver. The Liberal government voted with the then Conservative government to pass C51 into law. This is wrong and they need to repeal it. I expressed my concern that the thousands of voices (including judges and lawyers, organizations) who spoke against then Bill C51 have not been heard.

I shared the history of Japanese Canadians including my family who came in the 1800’s. My family was called enemy aliens and forcibly uprooted, dispossessed, and incarcerated in 1942 without any evidence and without due process. 22,000 Canadians of Japanese ancestry including children and seniors had their rights and possessions taken from them. Japanese Canadians are going through a horrible deja vu now with Canadians who are Muslim being attacked.

There are laws in place to deal with anyone who is breaking the law. C51 is creating a secret police force lacking in accountability and a system which is eroding our rights and not providing any security. We can not let fear dictate policy. We are creating circumstances where people feel excluded, and depriving them of the necessities of life, which is making them disconnect from our society.

We are seeing increasing acts of racism in the US, Canada, and around the world. We have a US president-elect who is sowing the seeds of hate with his ugly rhetoric which started during the election campaign and has continued with his choices for cabinet postings and his surrogate who said Japanese American internment is a precedent for what they will do with Americans who are Muslim including a proposed registry.

All of the citizens who spoke said that C51 was not needed.

Representations from BC Civil Liberties and Open Media were also present to share their analysis about why C51 is not needed.

The lone MP from the committee made some closing remarks and he said he heard the overwhelming comments that  C51 not needed & fear should not dictate policy.

You can share your voice by providing written feedback to the government by December 14, 2016. You can find more information at the BC Civil Liberties website and Open Media’s campaign website, Save our Security.

GVJCCA Written Submission about C51

GVJCCA Written Submission about C51

Postscript: I did a radio interview on December 19, 2016, which can be heard on the website www.antiterror.ca 

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