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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/canadian/canadian-race-relations-foundation/press/Bill_36_Press_Release



Canadian Race Relations Foundation Urges Balance in Anti-Terrorism Act 

Provisions on hate crime lauded, but revisions to bill still needed

TORONTO (November 19, 2001) - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation 
has called for changes to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-36.  
In a letter to Justice Minister Anne McLellan from the CRRF's Chair 
Hon. Lincoln Alexander, the CRRF added its voice to the many 
organizations and parliamentarians who have raised concerns about 
a number of provisions in the proposed bill.

The CRRF applauded the inclusion of stricter provisions for hate 
crime and hate on the internet, but cautioned against the increased 
risk of racial profiling in policing and security, the broad 
definition of "terrorism", infringement on civil liberties, and 
the inclusion of a sunset clause.

"An anti-terrorism bill is long overdue in Canada, but we must 
caution against indiscriminate racial profiling, too broad a 
definition of terrorism and a dramatic curbing of civil liberties. 
More often than not, racial or immigrant groups are among the first 
victims of such laws," said Dr Karen Mock, Executive Director of the 
CRRF.  "Our challenge is to ensure that
while security is increased, safeguards are in place to preserve 
democracy and civil rights as we know them.  It is important and 
promising that a sunset clause is now seriously being considered, 
as well as other revisions to maintain the essential balance to 
preserve human rights for all."

The CRRF has also supported the Assembly of First Nation's request 
that Aboriginal peoples and their treaty rights be excluded from 
the definition of terrorist activity.

The letter to Justice Minister McLellan also drew attention to the
injustices suffered by the Japanese Canadian community during 
World War II and its resonance with the "backlash" faced by 
Muslim and Arab Canadians.  "We have witnessed grave injustices 
that befell a community and, from this, have a clearer 
understanding of what can arise in response to increased
security concerns in a society that has not yet stripped itself of 
racism," said Lincoln Alexander in the letter, which also 
highlighted the proactive initiatives taken by the CRRF since 
September 11th and offered assistance to the Minister in 
further deliberations on the bill.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation was created by the federal 
government as a part of the Japanese Canadian Redress Agreement 
and opened its doors in 1997.  The Foundation is committed to 
working towards the elimination of racism and for a future 
Canada in which there is equity, fairness and social
justice for all.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Patrick Hunter, CRRF Communications, (416) 952-8359 or phunter@crr.ca



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