THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN OF CANADA

Human Security

Ottawa

April 26, 2002
The Right Hon. Jean Chrétien, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Chrétien,
Speaking on behalf of members of the National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC), a non-partisan federation of women’s organizations, founded in 1893, we are pleased to learn that Bill C-42 as it was written is being withdrawn, and that a new omnibus bill will be introduced on Monday, April 29. We commend the government for taking this action in response to the many concerns voiced over the proposed legislation.

Members were concerned last fall, following the attacks of September 11, that many national governments would feel constrained to enact sweeping legislation in an attempt to deal with the need to curb possible terrorist actions. We were also concerned that Canada, because of the long open border with the United States, would be under tremendous pressure to act in a manner that might compromise individual’s civil and political rights unnecessarily.

Accordingly over this year, NCWC has studied a Resolution entitled Balancing Protection Against International Terrorism and the Protection of Human Rights in order to inform ourselves better, and develop a Policy position on this extremely sensitive and difficult issue. NCWC will be adopting a Policy position on this issue at the 109th Annual General Meeting, to be held in Halifax, May 29 – June 2. Members look forward to including the text of the new bill, as much as we can at short notice, in our debate.

NCWC has been a member of the International Council of Women since 1905; it currently holds Consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations, and has been accepted as a participating non-governmental organization with the Organization of American States.

With best wishes, Catharine Laidlaw-Sly
President, National Council of Women of Canada

c.c Hon. John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister
Hon. Arthur Eggleton, Minister of National Defense
Hon. Ralph Goodale, Government House Leader
Hon. Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice
Hon. Claudette Bradshaw, Secretary of State for the Status of Women

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