Security Certificates

GLOBE & MAIL: The costliest way is not the only way

posted on November 18, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by unsigned editorial
Source: The Globe and Mail
URL: [link]
Date: November 18, 2008

There is something about the story of secret agents following suspected terrorist Mohamed Harkat into an Ottawa washroom and sitting behind him and his wife in a movie - Bon Cop, Bad Cop - that nicely illustrates the way Canadian democracy bends over backward to ensure that due process and liberty survive in the age of terror.

Mr. Harkat's supporters say he is subject to severe conditions of house arrest: He may leave his home on preauthorized trips for only four hours at a time, and only 12 hours a week, and only if he is accompanied by his wife. He contends that these conditions are unnecessary and are ruining his life, and is challenging them in court. Canadian taxpayers may also wish to challenge them; it turns out that up to six officers for the Canadian Border Services Agency worked full-time tracking Mr. Harkat on foot, by car and electronically. The cost in 2006-07 was at least $576,886 ($868,700 was budgeted), plus $31,000 for a new car. Imagine all the displaced persons in refugee camps who could be brought to Canada for that amount.

There are no perfect alternatives. One option is to leave him in jail, but the Federal Court says, No, his risk can probably be managed in the community. Another is to drop the extra security and cross our fingers.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Watching an al-Qaeda suspect costs up to $1 million - a year

posted on November 17, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Colin Freeze
Source: The Globe and Mail
URL: [link]
Date: November 16, 2008

Keeping tabs on suspected al-Qaeda members who have been released into Canadian communities may be costing taxpayers $500,000 to $1-million a year in each case, according to new research.

A York University PhD sociology student has unearthed many of the controversial "security-certificate" program's specific costs by digging up the price the government pays for round-the-clock monitoring, including staffing costs, electronic bracelets, cars, gas and overtime.

In one case, federal department officials budgeted for six full-time agents to watch one released prisoner, at an annual cost of $868,700.

"It is a make-it-up-as-you-go-along policy and the Canadian cases are rather unique in this regard," said researcher Mike Larsen. "The government has adopted the worst of both worlds: You've got individuals subject to certificates in a legal limbo - and you've created this ongoing expensive policy with no end in sight."

Mr. Larsen said the government has never revealed the total cost of its surveillance programs. "It's interesting to note these costs aren't made public," he said. "They aren't part of the debate."

[ Read the rest ... ]

Balancing justice with national security: A look at security certificates in Canada

posted on November 12, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Deyra Fontaine, Carelton University School of Journalism Date: October 29, 2008 detained without charge

Sophie and Mohamed Harkat were at home preparing for their pre-approved outing when an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) knocked on their door. It was 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 22 - seven hours until the old security certificate for Mr. Harkat would be quashed. As the CBSA officer handed over the new certificate and allegation report claiming Mr. Harkat was a terrorist threat to Canada, it became official. The Ottawa couple had lost their first battle. Security certificate law is an immigration proceeding housed in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It allows the Government of Canada to detain any refugee, permanent resident or other non-citizen that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) consider a national security threat for an indefinite period of time. This includes anyone suspected of violating human or international rights, or of participating in organized crime or terrorist activities. If CSIS can prove its allegations, the person is deported to their country of origin. Closed proceedings ensure the subject of a security certificate can never see or hear the evidence against them. On February 23, 2007 the Supreme Court ruled that security certificates were unconstitutional because they didn’t provide sufficient protection for security certificate detainees. The government was given one year to rewrite the legislation before it was permanently struck down. A new bill was passed a year later, introducing the use of special advocates who get access to the evidence, but cannot share it with their clients without approval from a judge.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Cabinet Shuffle, New Ministers, New Contact Info

posted on November 07, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Stephen Harper,
Prime Minister of Canada

Mailing Address:

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Email: [email]
Phone: (613) 992-4211
Fax Number: (613) 941-6900


The Honourable Jason Kenney
Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
(no postage required)

Telephone: (613) 992-2235
Fax: (613) 992-1920
E-Mail: [email]


The Honourable Vic Toews,

Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0A6
(no postage required)

Telephone: (613) 996-7752
Fax: (613) 992-8351
E-Mail: [email]

Judge upholds security legislation

posted on November 06, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Colin Perkel
Source: The Gobe and Mail
URL: [link]
Date: November 4, 2008

TORONTO — It's simply too soon to decide whether parts of Canada's new national security legislation might be unconstitutional, a Federal Court judge ruled yesterday.

Chief Justice Allan Lutfy said that he did not have a factual basis to decide whether the revamped law tramples the rights of foreigners detained as suspected terrorists under national security certificates.

"This constitutional motion is supported with little, if any, adjudicative facts or evidence," the court held. "The motion is substantially based on legislative facts or ... constitutes a 'facial constitutional challenge' of the impugned provisions in the new legislation."

At issue are gag orders that apply to security-cleared lawyers known as special advocates, appointed to test the government's secret intelligence used against detainees.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Sweeping gag orders in new security law unfair to suspects, suit argues

posted on September 27, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Canadian Press
Source: Canadian Press
URL: [link]
Date: September 26, 2006

TORONTO — Gag orders under Canada's revamped security law make it impossible for special lawyers with top-secret clearances to effectively represent foreigners detained as threats to the country's safety, a lawsuit slated to be heard Friday claims.

As a result, the reworked legislation is still unfair to terrorist suspects and needs to be changed or, at the very least clarified, the suit before Federal Court argues.

The constitutional challenge - supported by several special advocates - was filed by suspected Syrian terrorist Hassan Almrei. He has been detained in Toronto without charge or trial for seven years based on secret information.

The law was enacted earlier this year in response to a Supreme Court of Canada condemnation of the old legislation as unfair.

At issue was the secrecy that left detainees, and their lawyers, in the dark regarding the evidence used to detain them as a national security risk.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Supreme Court of Canada refuses to consider question of deportation to torture

posted on September 18, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Press Release Source: Coalition Justice pour Adil Charkaoui URL: [link] Date: September 18, 2008 SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO CONSIDER QUESTION OF DEPORTATION TO TORTURE

Montreal, 18 September 2008 - The Supreme Court announced today that it will not consider the question of whether it is legal for Canada to deport someone who is recognized to be at risk of torture. Me. Johanne Doyon, Adil Charkaoui’s lawyer, asked the Supreme Court in April 2007 to consider the constitutionality of the law allowing the Minister of Immigration to balance the alleged risks in national security cases and to deport non-citizens to death and torture. “I am saddened that the Supreme Court has not taken the opportunity to consider this important question and give the Conservative government a clear directive about the absolute ban on deportation to torture. There is a frightening trend. There are growing numbers of both non-citizens and citizens whom Canada has failed to protect from torture, from Sogi Singh to Maher Arar and more,” said Adil Charkaoui, a Montreal-based teacher and father of three. Charkaoui was first arrested under the much-contested security certificate – a deportation procedure established by Canadian immigration law - in May 2003.

[ Read the rest ... ]

MPs who voted for secret trials: Remind them of this in election

posted on September 16, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by "TASC"
Source: Secrettrials-org Email List
Date: September 15, 2008

List of shame: MPs who voted for two-tier justice, deportation to torture and indefinite detention

Below is a list of shame, individuals who voted in Parliament on 6 February 2008 for secret trials, two-tier justice, indefinite detention without charge, invasive surveillance and control orders, and deportation to torture. Note that many Liberals, who had the choice to vote no or abstain, chose to vote yes. Among those who will still try to campaign on the "we love the Charter" hypocrisy are Navdeep Bains, Carolyn Bennett, Irwin Cotler, Michael Ignatieff, Sue Barnes, Dan McTeague, and many others.


MORE --->

[ Read the rest ... ]

Special advocates decry gags in security certificate cases

posted on September 08, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Cristin Schmitz
Source: Lawyer's Weekly Magazine
URL: [link]
Date: September 12, 2008

Canada’s revamped security certificate legislation is under Charter attack by the very lawyers the government hoped would ensure the new law’s constitutionality and credibility — the special advocates.

In an ironic twist of events, two court-appointed special advocates have filed affidavits in Federal Court complaining that they will not be able to properly defend the interests of security certificate detainees at upcoming closed-door judicial reviews which will determine whether secret government evidence proves that the detainees are threats to national security.

The special advocates for three of the five men currently held under security certificates, Gordon Cameron of Ottawa’s Blake Cassels & Graydon and Paul Cavalluzzo of Toronto’s Cavalluzzo Hayes, point to what they contend are overly broad gag rules in s. 85 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

The senior counsel say the gags drastically constrain their communications far beyond what is justifiably necessary to protect the confidentiality of sensitive government information.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Ottawa's efforts to deport terror suspects to resume this fall

posted on August 30, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy
Source: Canwest News Service
URL: [link]
Date: August 29, 2008

OTTAWA - The federal government is about to resume its epic legal campaign to deport five high-profile terror suspects.

All five of the country's security certificate cases have been scheduled to go before Federal Court judges in November and December - although there is one legal hurdle yet to clear.

The federal judges will be asked to determine the "reasonableness" of the security certificates based largely upon Canadian Security Intelligence Service evidence heard in secret. Reasonableness is a legal standard that is lower than those applied in criminal and civil court.

The five men targeted by the certificates include the Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui, Hassan Almrei of Syria, Egyptians Mahmoud Jaballah and Mahamed Zeki Mahjoub and Algerian refugee Mohamed Harkat.

[ Read the rest ... ]

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