Our C-51 book about to be released

After working flat out for now more than six months, we are on the brink of releasing our full book on Bill C-51 (and the other recent security laws).  This is a big book that goes well beyond and does much more than recast the backgrounders on this website.  It is as much about how Canada is getting security wrong as it is about how recent laws are jeopardizing rights. Some may regard the title (over which we mulled for much time) as provocative.  We regard it as measured, honest and accurate.   Our readers can be the judge.

The book is available for advance purchase from the publisher and on Indigo-Chapters.  As a free extract, we have also posted the Preface and Chapter 1 on line here and here or through the publisher’s website.

Despite its length (much longer than we originally planned), we worked with the publisher to price the book at as accessible a price point as possible — much lower than for a conventional work of this nature.  And we worked hard to meet rigorous academic and legal analysis standards.  But we set out to write a book that it is also a rewarding read for readers without a background in law or security but who are interested in really getting into the details behind all the smoke and rhetoric over anti-terrorism in Canada.  Put another way, we hope that people will read this book — and no, we don’t expect to make money, or really care if we make a dime.  (In any event, royalties for this kind of book usually are enough to pay for a nice gourmet pizza for our families.)

This has always been a project in active citizenship and we believe that we are duty-bound as handsomely paid law professors to contribute to an informed citizenry, able to parse complex issues.  An open society needs an open law, and national security in a democracy depends on informed consent.

We have tried to frame the basis for our conclusions as transparently as possible — so people can trace our sources to test why we take the views that we do.  See our Preface, linked above, for what we have tried to do with this book, who we are, the perspectives we bring, and how we have found our facts.

Of course, there will be people who will disagree with us.  We do not have all the answers.  So let us start the polite, informed and thorough discussion between people of good faith that we never had during the C-51 debates; a discussion about how we can achieve REAL security in a rights-observing country.  This is as grave an issue as any a society might encounter, and it should never be fodder for slogans and partisan positioning.

A shout out to our publisher who has, from day 1, also joined us in this vision of civic duty.  More than anything else, we hope that this book sells well so that publishers willing to support these kind of efforts are able to make ends meet, and continue to play their vital role.

Thank you to the many people who have written to us over the months with their questions, comments and insights.  We have not been able to respond to all, but have responded to many.

As we did throughout this project, we always welcome polite, dignified and substantive comments, with apologies again if we cannot respond to all such missives.  After all: classes start this week!