Four of the country’s former prime ministers — Paul Martin, Jean Chrétien, Joe Clark, and John Turner — added their voices to the debate last month, calling for increased oversight over Canadian intelligence to balance proposed sweeping changes in Bill C-51.
They pointed out the “lack of a robust and integrated accountability regime” impedes their overall effectiveness, making it difficult to meaningfully assess the efficacy and legality of Canada’s national security agencies.”
“This poses serious problems for public safety and for human rights,” they said in a statement.
If passed, Bill C-51 would expand the powers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and give police the authority to make preventive arrests and detain individuals without a warrant.
The legislation passed a second reading vote last month.
When asked about the Conservative government’s proposed anti-terror bill, Snowden reminded the audience “terrorism is an extraordinarily rare natural disaster.”