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Election 2004 Vote for Equality - Home > Issues > Anti-Racism

 

CALL to ACTION: Stop Racist Backlash in Canada

March 11, 2004

The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) needs your help. The Canadian government is reviewing a new bill in the house of commons called Bill C-2, An act to amend the Radiocommunications Act.

Bill C-2 will make it illegal for anyone to watch Al Jazeera, ART Global, ART movies, Dubai Satellite Channel, ESC-1, Future TV, LBC, MBC, Nile Dram even if you pay for a subscription by a non-Canadian provider.

Anyone caught watching these channels will be liable to a $25,000 fine or a year in jail under the new proposed law. Bill C-2 will treat as criminals those who watch Arabic language channels.

MPs Carolyn Parrish and Alexa McDonough have been active and vocal about this problematic bill.

Make your opposition heard by writing to the chair and vice-chair of the Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, MP Brent St. Denis at St.Denis.B@parl.gc.ca. Marlene Jennings is the Vice-Chair and she can be reached at Jennings.M@parl.gc.ca.

Please be sure to copy (cc) your own Member of Parliament and CAF at communications@caf.ca.


Points to be raised:

  • This bill criminalizes those who enjoy cultural programming that is not made available by Canadian providers

  • The bill fails to distinguish between those who steal satellite signals and those who pay for it legitimately

  • There are over 500, 000 Arabs in Canada who are being deprived of their right to programming that maintains their links to language, culture and religion

  • This is a violation of freedom of expression and the targeting of specific communities and their civil liberties

  • Clause 5 of the bill is very problematic in that it allows extraordinary powers to inspectors who can enter any place where these channels are being received and to remove or copy any item or document.

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