Bill C-16 Hearings almost over-contact the committee now
On May 17, 2001 CAIR CAN Executive Director Riad Saloojee and CAIR CAN Chair Sheema Khan presented testimony before the Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-16, the Charities Registration (Security Information) Act.
Bill C-16 permits the use of secret evidence supplied by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and foreign government agencies to remove or deny charitable status to organizations that make any of their resources directly or indirectly available for terrorism.
CAIR CAN stated to the Committee that while the goal of Bill C-16 is to protect the integrity of the charitable system in Canada, it will include legitimate Canadian humanitarian initiatives, make a fair trial impossible and will have an adverse, disproportionate impact on legitimate Muslim charities. CAIR CAN also submitted a formal brief to the Committee containing a critique of the Bill and suggested amendments.
The Committee has the power to amend the Bill and correct its weaknesses. A number of Committee members have already indicated dissatisfaction with the Bill's objective and a number of its provisions. The hearings are almost over. It is important that Muslims contact the Committee, voice their concerns, and demonstrate that this is a pressing issue of social and legal justice.