Volpe gets Sgro's job

posted on January 15, 2005 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

Original author: Canadian Press (CP) Source: The Toronto Star URL: [link] Date: January 14, 2005 Immigration minister resigns amid controversy, promises to fight

OTTAWA - Judy Sgro, who was already on political life support, succumbed today to a fresh allegation of wrongdoing and resigned as federal immigration minister. But she said she was only stepping down to allow her to prove she's innocent and fight to clear her name. She became the first casualty in Prime Minister Paul Martin's seven-month-old minority government, which limped back to power in June on promises of being squeaky clean after the sponsorship scandal. Sgro's departure came after allegations made by a Toronto pizzeria owner, reported in today's Toronto Star, that she promised him asylum in return for providing food and workers for her re-election campaign last June. Harjit Singh, who is fighting deportation to India, claims in a sworn Federal Court affidavit that when word of their arrangement leaked out, she ordered his deportation to "save her job."

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Canadian Minister Sgro Quits Immigration Post; Volpe Gets Job

posted on January 14, 2005 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

Original author: Alexandre Deslongchamps Source: Bloomberg.com URL: [link] Date: January 14,2005 Immigration Minister resigns

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Canada's Immigration Minister Judy Sgro resigned the post, saying she wants to clear her name after an illegal immigrant alleged she had offered him asylum in exchange for help in her election campaign. Sgro, who will be replaced by Joe Volpe, was already under investigation for speeding up a Canadian citizenship application to a Romanian stripper who helped her campaign.

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Protest at Anne MacLellan's Office in Edmonton

posted on January 13, 2005 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Linda Leibovitz of The Campaign to Stop Secret Trials and Deportations, Edmonton Chapter reports back on their recent action (January 11th) in front of MacLellan's constituency office: Edmonton action, Jan 2005
Click to enlarge

"It was very cold yesterday but several tough activists met outside Ms. McLellan's constituency office. We protested from four to five thirty and as the demonstrators went into the office to send a personal message to Anne (which made more work for the staff who do very little) they closed early. Good speakers and free hot chocolate from the local coffee shop who know us very well. A very lovely Muslim family."

CSIS tainted terror suspect's case

posted on January 12, 2005 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

Original author: Sue Montgomery Source: The Montreal Gazette URL: N/A Date: January 12, 2005 lawyer: Charkaoui should be freed after evidence destroyed

MONTREAL - Since Canada's spy agency destroyed what could be key evidence in the case against Adil Charkaoui, the security certificate keeping the Montrealer detained without charge should be quashed, his lawyer argued yesterday. Dominique Larochelle said the destruction of notes and transcripts of interviews the Canadian Security Intelligence Service conducted with Mr. Charkaoui in 2002 is a violation that could prejudice her client.

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[REPORT-BACK] Rally In Edmonton on December 10th

posted on January 06, 2005 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Original author: Sarah Holland
Source: Alberta-Arab News
Date: January 5, 2005

Edmonton - As the world marked International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, human rights groups across Canada were fighting for the release of five Muslim men who are languishing in prison and could be deported based on evidence unknown either to them or their lawyers.

Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, Hassan Almrei, Mohamed Harkat and Adil Charkaoui have collectively spent more than 164 months in detention. They are lonely, confused and scared because they could face torture if sent home.

At a rally in front of the RCMP K Division Headquarters during the evening rush hour, supporters donned prisoner and lawyer costumes, and introduced the five men individually. The "defence lawyer" wore a blindfold and gag. Supporters also walked up and down 109th Street wearing sandwich signs and carrying banners that read, "No one is illegal" and "Stop secret trials and deportations."

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Not-Quite Silent Night at the Toronto Refugee Jail

posted on December 27, 2004 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

Original author: TASC, tasc at web dot ca Source: TASC Listserv Date: December 27, 2004 Carolers Bring Candlelight and Songs of Hope on Xmas Eve December 24, Toronto -- The stretch of Rexdale Blvd. between Martingrove Blvd. and Highway 27 is one of the dreariest in Toronto. A desolate airport area strip with the constant roar of transport trucks and flights overhead is home to a nondescript government of Canada building, a converted hotel which is now a jail for refugees. Run by the Corbel Management Group, a private security company, the 72-room Heritage Inn, replacing the former Celebrity Inn refugee jail, but without any particular signage, is just another building that thousands of people pass by every day, few knowing the purpose of the facility. And while we do not know the details of the contract with Corbel, one might readily assume that, as with other privately-run prison facilities, profits are made by keeping as many people behind bars as possible.

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Another blue Christmas for Harkat

posted on December 26, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Tobi Cohen
Source: The Ottawa Sun
URL: [link]
Date: December 26, 2004

Sophie Harkat still chuckles when she remembers the first Christmas she spent with her husband Mohamed. A Muslim refugee from Algeria, he'd never shopped for Christmas presents or greeting cards before, but nonetheless accepted an invite to Sophie's annual family gift exchange.

When Sophie opened her card, she found a lovely wedding shower greeting and with their engagement and wedding still a year in the future, this was no cutesy marriage proposal.

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Balancing liberty and security

posted on December 22, 2004 | in Category Bill C-36 | PermaLink

Original author: Carol Goar
Source: Editorial in The Toronto Star
URL: [link] (subscribers only)
Date: December 22, 2004

Just before leaving for Christmas, Members of Parliament took care of one last piece of unfinished business. They announced a review of the Anti-Terrorism Act, passed in the wake of the 9-11 tragedy.

They had little choice. Section 145 of the act requires a re-examination of all of its provisions and operations after three years. The deadline for launching it was Dec. 18.

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Second Open Letter by Adil Charkaoui

posted on December 21, 2004 | in Category Misc | PermaLink

Original author: Adil Charkaoui Source: Coalition Justice pour Adil Charkaoui Listserv Date: 21 decembre Adil Charkaoui, a father of two and a Permanent Resident of Canada, has been in a Montreal prison since May 2003, although he has been neither convicted nor even charged with any crime. Using a "security certificate", the Canadian government has the power to imprison refugees and permanent residents without charge, under secret evidence. Deprived of his liberty, of his right to be presumed innocent, and of a fair trial, Charkaoui, like the other four Muslim men held under certificates, faces deportation to his country of origin, Morocco, even though there is a serious risk that he will be tortured upon his return. In his second open letter, Charkaoui responds to the Federal Court of Appeal decision on the constitutional challenge to security certificates which he has launched. An Immigrant, Big Brother and the Three Judges Second open letter by Adil Charkaoui 20 December 2004 This is neither a Kafka novel nor a mediocre tale unfolding in a banana republic, but quite simply the state of human rights in the very best country in the world. The judgement on the constitutionality of security certificates, made public on 10 December 2004, international human rights day, is a revealing illustration of post-September 11th Canada.

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{Report-Back] Canada-Wide Day of Action Against Sec. Certificates

posted on December 16, 2004 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Original author: N/A Source: The Marxist-Leninist Daily URL: [link] Date: December 15, 2004 Protests Demand End to Security Certificates and Secret Trials

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, actions across the country demanded an immediate end to the use of security certificates and secret trials in Canada. The National Day of Action drew attention to five Muslim men imprisoned under security certificates who have waited a combined total of more than 174 months in Canadian jail cells without bail, charges or evidence being produced against them. These men are: Hassan Almrei, Syrian, held since October 2001; Adil Charkaoui, Moroccan, held since May 2003; Mohamed Harkat, Algerian, held since December 2002; Mahmoud Jaballah, Egyptian, held for nine months in 1999, cleared of allegations, held again since August 2001; and Mohammad Mahjoub, Egyptian, held since June 2000. Actions were organized in Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax, among other cities. In Ottawa, a statement calling for the outlawing of security certificates and secret trials was released to the press. The statement was endorsed by more than 300 organizations and individuals, including CPC(M-L) national leader Sandra L. Smith, NDP national leader Jack Layton, MP Carolyn Parrish, CAW president Buzz Hargrove, singer Bruce Cockburn and other personalities and citizens representing a wide spectrum of Canadian society.

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