On Saturday, March 14, dozens of communities across Canada held a national day of action against Bill C-51. The proposed bill is awaiting a decision from the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on whether it will be put into law. The Bill has been met with criticism for its expansion of law enforcement powers, and many who believe privacy rights are at stake.
Thousands gathered at Nathan Phillips Square, on the overcast afternoon to show their outrage at the bill. A long list of speakers included Paul Copeland, a Toronto-area human-rights lawyer, Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, and Judy Rebick, a Canadian political journalist. Green Party leader Elizabeth May, as well as Peggy Nash, Andrew Cash, and the other Toronto-area NDP MP’s and candidates also spoke. Protesters marched from Nathan Phillips down to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, also the home of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service’s (CSIS) Toronto offices.