29 Sep 09
OTTAWA- Today New Democrat Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas) tabled a Private Member’s Bill that would repeal all sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act dealing with security certificates. Siksay and the New Democrats have a longstanding commitment to repealing this process.
“Security certificates have turned into one of the worst violations of civil liberties in Canada. Detaining individuals without charge, without trial, and without conviction for seven and eight years should not be possible in a country that has confidence in its justice system and that values fairness and due process,” said Siksay. “Security certificates were never intended to make it possible to imprison someone indefinitely, they were intended to be a mechanism for expedited deportation from Canada. But today that is not how they are being used, and that is why they must be ended.”
“Security certificates should never have been allowed to replace basic police and intelligence work and the full engagement of our justice system which should have resulted, if warranted, in charges, a fair trial, and a decision by a judge or jury given the facts of the case,” concluded Siksay.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the original security certificate regime was unconstitutional. Changes were made to the legislation which introduced a “special advocate” process in an attempt to make the process fairer. Critics have pointed out that the special advocates only add a façade of respectability to a very flawed process.
Recently the courts have expressed concerns about the use of security certificates and have in some cases relaxed the conditions under which some detainees have been held. Five men are currently subject to security certificates in Canada: Hassan Almrei, Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohamed Harkat, Adil Charkaoui and Mohamed Mahjoub. Mr. Mahjoub is the only one currently being held in detention at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (KIHC) where he is on a hunger strike seeking to have the jurisdiction of the Canada prison ombudsperson extended to KIHC.
For more information:
Office of Bill Siksay, MP, 613-996-5597