WATCH: People protesting Bill C-51 and the Site C Dam gather outside Liberal Party convention
Federal Liberals are gathering in Victoria this weekend for a policy convention.
The party’s been re-energized with Justin Trudeau’s sweeping election win but as party members met inside the Victoria Convention Centre, protesters gathered outside along Douglas Street.
One group of demonstrators is demanding the Liberals repeal Bill C-51.
The controversial bill was passed before the last federal election, with Liberal Party support.
“Every expert looked a this and said this had nothing to do with terrorism, that we already had all the laws in place and the oversights in place and security establishment in place to fight terrorism,” says Seamus Wolfe of the Stop Bill C-51 Committee. “Bill C-51 was about squelching dissent, dissent within our country and it attacks our fundamental freedoms.”
Protesters say the Liberals are just as much to blame for the bill as the Conservatives and now that the Liberals are in power, they want Trudeau to repeal it.
Protesters demand Trudeau stop the Site C Dam
Across the street, dozens of other protesters from local environmental groups gathered to show their opposition to the controversial Site C Dam.
They say it’s not only bad for the environment, but also the biggest violation of treaty and aboriginal rights in the country.
“It’s going to put Treaty 8’s rights underwater, basically drowning all of the land they need for hunting, fishing, gathering,” says Susan Smitten, the executive director Raven. “On top of that, it’s going to leave us with a debt of billions of dollars.”
Protesters are calling on Trudeau to stop the dam, given that the Liberals campaigned on a promise to honour treaty rights.