First off, it's very weird to see the politics of my country discussed on El Reg. :)
So, Bill C-51 is probably one of the most contentious bills ever passed in Canada and the Liberals' support of it probably marked the moment where they went from being the most likely party to replace the Conservatives to being a distant third, elevating the more left NDP to the lead.
Even if you accept a need for C-51 - and that's not at all a given since Canada has experienced very little in the way of terrorist action so far - the construction of that bill far overstepped the usual governmental limits by being so broadly worded that gathering like protests could magically become illegal at the whim of the government. It technically doesn't even require the protests being branded terrorist or supporting of terrorist groups, amazingly. Even if they're just disruptive they can be stopped.
The constitutionality of C-51 has yet to be challenged - most people suspect (or hope) it won't pass, but the fact that the Conservatives think this is a necessary bill and that the Liberals supported it has drawn political lines.
Oh, and Canada's national sport may be hockey (well, actually it's lacrosse - but you know what I mean), but politics may be a close second. Canadians are VERY aware of their political system and the people who run it. In fact, it's a saying here that in Canada, politicians aren't so much elected as thrown out of office.
Case in point, the election earlier this year of the provincial NDP in the far right, Texas-like province of Alberta which has had a strong majority Conservative government for the past 37 years. In one election, both right wing parties, the Progressive Conservatives and the Wild Rose Party were gutted and replaced with a left wing party majority mainly over the arrogant and disrespectful way those parties were behaving.
The Federal Conservatives under Brian Mulroney experienced this first hand in 1992 when they went from being the majority government to having just six seats. And the Liberals had a similar moment in 2006 when Harper's Conservatives took the minority lead and held onto it for 10 years to now.