When it comes to information sharing for national security, everything is a balancing act – the government needs to protect its citizens from outside threats without depriving them of their civil liberties in the process. Both of these important concerns are fundamental to our freedom.
Parts of the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act, according to the CBA, may tip the scales a little too far toward national security.
Bill C-6, which contains amendments to the Citizenship Act, continues to make its way through Parliament. The CBA’s National Immigration Law Section first appeared in support of its submission on the proposed legislation last May before a House committee; in February, it brought the same submission to a Senate committee.
Well, almost the same submission. After the CBA appeared in the House, the government made a few tweaks to the bill in response to recommendations from the Immigration Law Section (and others), and the submission was reflected to update those changes.
The primary objective of Bill C-6 is to “return Canadian citizenship law to its state before the changes introduced by Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act. In 2014, the CBA Section largely opposed the changes introduced by Bill C-24, and so in general we support reversing those changes,” the submission says.
If you’re a dual-nationality Canadian who was surprised by the requirement that you have a Canadian passport for travel to Canada over the holidays – well, the CBA’s Immigration Law Section is not surprised at your surprise.
In fact, it warned the government in a letter last month that not enough notice had been given to the requirement under the new Electronic Travel Authorization policy that Canadians holding dual citizenship would have to travel on their Canadian passports or risk being denied boarding.
As part of its broader review of environmental and regulatory processes, the federal government is looking at changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act that came into effect in 2014, and asking the Canadian public for input.
“The Government of Canada has promised to review the recent changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, restore lost protections and incorporate modern safeguards,” the government says on the consultation website.
The CBA’s Maritime Law Section, which responded to the online consultation questions in December, says it does not believe additional protections are needed under the Act.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, the CBA National Women Lawyers Forum will launch a podcast that grew out of their campaign about sexual harassment in the workplace.
After passing a resolution at the February, 2015 CBA Council meeting calling for an end to sexual harassment in the workplace, the WLF ran a campaign called #WriteYourWrong, inviting lawyers – male and female – to write in about their experiences with sexual harassment in law firms.
The podcast, Not Just a Bystander, is the next stage in the campaign. The title of the podcast is meant to emphasize that it’s everyone’s job to end sexual harassment – witnesses have to speak up, especially when victims can’t.
Kim Covert is a writer and editor at the CBA. / Kim Covert est rédactrice et éditorialiste à l’ABC.