Bill C-51: Backgrounder #1: The New Advocacy or Promotion of Terrorism Offence

In Bill C-51, the Canadian government wants to jail people who, by speaking, written, recording, gesturing or through other visible representations, knowingly advocate or promote the commission of terrorism offences in general, while aware of the possibility that the offences may be committed.

This offence raises many serious issues, and should (at best) be considered extremely concerning. The scope of the new offence is not clear and the offence is sweeping in its criminalization of advocacy and promotion of “terrorism offences in general”, because terrorism offences themselves are sweeping.

We have serious doubts whether it is consistent with the Charter. We have no doubts that it is capable of chilling constitutionally-protected speech, and ultimately proving an offence that undermines more promising avenues of addressing terrorism.

The backgrounder contains our full legal analysis.

Click here to access the download site.