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Five years ago, the Chretien government passed the Anti Terrorism Act, a reactionary and ineffective response to the attacks on the World Trade Center three months prior. The legislation blurred the definition of “terrorism”, restricted civil liberties, authorized new powers to the Attorney General, and did little to make anyone any safer.

Two of the most extraordinary provisions of this act were subject to sunset clause, expiring in five years unless renewed by a vote in Parliament for a further period.  The provisions in question – preventative arrest and investigative hearings – allow for arrest without charge and compelled testimony, both of which are stark departures from Canada’s legal values.

The Harper government has placed a motion before Parliament to renew these extraordinary provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act.  The vote takes place on Tuesday February 13, 2007. 

CUPE was in vocal opposition to this legislation five years ago,” stated Paul Moist, National President, referring to the concerns we raised before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in November of 2001.  “We call on our government to approach this vote with a clear head and an eye on democracy.  This legislation threatens the rights of all Canadians and must not be renewed.”

CUPE asks its members to be in touch with their Members of Parliament today, and demand they vote against renewing the provisions in question.