The Honourable Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
June 22, 2007
Dear Hon. Stockwell Day.
On behalf of The National Council of Women of Canada, I am writing to express our concerns regarding the introduction of a “no fly list”, as officially introduced by the Government of Canada on June 16th.
The ”no-fly list,” based on the U.S. model, was compiled by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The number of the names on the list remains a secret, but some reports say there are possibly as many as 1,000.
Our concerns are related to the secrecy of the process, the protection of the individual’s rights, and the false sense of security that this unproven security measure may have on Canadians. We also would not support the sharing of a Canadian list with other countries.
We will never know how many Canadians have been so specially designated on more than a dozen lists maintained by the United States. The proliferation of these watch lists around the globe has been a troubling development in the “war on terror.”
NCWC policy states:
a) that basic individual human, political and civil rights not be curtailed except in cases of extreme danger proclaimed as such by the Parliament of Canada to the safety of a community or the country;
b) that provisions be put in place so that any necessary curtailment of basic individual human, political and civil rights be only for the limited period of the duration of the peril;
c) that the definition of terrorist activity be narrowed to exclude civil disobedience, including advocacy, protest, dissent or stoppage of work.
Further, the National Council of Women of Canada adopted as policy in 2004 the recognition of the need for a balance between the administrative use of “…instruments used to protect the Canadian Public against terrorism and the parallel need for the protection of the individual’s rights to due process and fair treatment under the law, that is, the right to know the charges, their origin, knowledge of the process by which a deportation is to be issued, and the right to appeal before any deportation is carried out.”
As we consider the need to improve our intelligence and law enforcement systems, we must have an open and informed dialogue about what measures truly make us safer while ensuring that our fundamental values and liberties are not sacrificed.
With approximately three-quarters of a million members, The National Council of Women of Canada is a federation comprised of Local Councils, Provincial Councils, and National Organizations. Founded in 1893, it was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1914 and has been designated by the Government of Canada as being of national historic significance for its role in Canadian women’s history. For more information, consult our web site at www.ncwc.ca or contact our national office at #205, 251 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1X3.
National Council of Women of Canada
Text Prepared By: Mary Scott, Vice President Legislation and Justice
cc: The Honourable Jack Layton
The Honourable Stéphane Dion The Honourable Gilles Duceppe