Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.

CUPE is voicing strong opposition to Bill C-51 and the threats to the civil liberties and democratic freedoms of all people living in Canada the proposed law poses.

CUPE’s National Executive Board passed a resolution pledging to work with the NDP and civil societies in opposing the Bill, and to reach out to communities and organizations that are made vulnerable by the Bill.

“This Bill is a profound threat to the freedoms of all Canadians, and particularly to those who oppose the federal Conservative government,” said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “Laws that try to silence legitimate voices of protest by playing on fear and intimidation have no place in a free and democratic society.”

CUPE will work to inform members and all Canadians on the threats Bill C-51 poses to our freedoms of speech, assembly, human rights and democracy in Canada.

CUPE NEB Resolution March 2015

National Executive Board Meeting
March 11-12, 2015

Re: Bill C-51


  • Register our strong opposition to Bill C-51 by writing to the Prime Minister and Cabinet outlining the very real dangers to freedom of speech, assembly, human rights, and democracy posed by the Bill;
  • Provide tools to our members, including analysis and fact sheets, and ask all CUPE chartered organizations to write to the Prime Minister and Cabinet to oppose Bill C-51;
  • Encourage and assist all CUPE members to contact their MP and register their concern and opposition to Bill C-51 through letters, phone calls and e-mails;
  • Support the New Democratic Party of Canada in its opposition to Bill C-51 by signing their petition against the Bill and collecting signatures among CUPE members and by highlighting our support for their principled position through mainstream and social media;
  • Actively work with civil society groups who are already opposing Bill C-51 and reach out to communities and organizations that find themselves made vulnerable by this Bill;
  • Demand that the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) join with civil society organizations and participate in events to demonstrate the union movement’s opposition to Bill C-51; and
  • Make every effort to expose the contradiction between the stated intent of Bill C-51 and this government’s undermining of public safety and the health of communities by cutting funding to public services such as policing, food inspection, environmental protection and transportation regulation that actually ensure public safety.


  • Bill C-51 profoundly threatens the civil liberties and democratic freedoms of all people living in Canada, including the freedom of expression, assembly, security of the person, freedom from unlawful search, and freedom from arbitrary arrest;
  • Bill C-51 gives sweeping powers to CSIS to collect and share private information and to detain without due process, significantly changing the mandate of CSIS and overriding the rights of Canadians currently protected in the criminal justice system;
  • “National Security”, as defined to include interference with critical infrastructure and threats to economic and financial stability, renders trade unionists and activists who engage in strike action and other forms legitimate dissent vulnerable to unjust surveillance and criminalization; and
  • Bill C-51 is a systematic effort to create a culture of fear by targeting minority and marginalized communities which serves to silence legitimate dissent to government policy and threatens to undermine our solidarity as workers struggling to create a more equal society.