Bill C-51 under review as public hearings take place in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax

When Bill C-51 passed in 2015, a public outrage ensued that Canadians rarely experience.

This past Wednesday, the Canadian government revisited the bill by holding a public hearing in Toronto where citizens were able to voice their views. Motherboard reports that the turnout was dismal compared to the protests that took place just under a year ago, but that those who did show up were passionate.

While the bill was under discussion, Canadians protested that their personal privacy was being “eroded by giving the police latitude to essentially do whatever they deem is necessary to stop domestic terrorism,” wrote Motherboard reporter Jordan Pearson. 

Speakers took to the mic with just three minutes to voice their concerns. Politicians reportedly looked exhausted, having gone through the same routine the night before in Calgary and the night before that in Vancouver. Motherboard reports that the hearing will continue in Montreal on October 20th and in Halifax on Friday.

Ahead of the hearings, the Canadian government published a green paper which opened the possibility that police could be given Canadians’ telecom subscriber information. A green paper is a statement by government that details propositions put before the whole nation for discussion.

While it’s important to note that this was the third of five public hearings on the subject, Pearson reported that government representatives didn’t seem overly engaged.

Related: Privacy Commissioner warns modernization of privacy laws is sorely needed