Friday, February 23, 2007
In this case, the Court ruled that it's unconstitutional to detain non-citizens indefinitely without giving them access to the evidence (or even the charges!) against them. And yeah, yeah, I know, this law way pre-dated Harper, but I like to think of this judgment as a little love letter to "Canada's new government."
I almost puked during the federal election, when Harper staged convenient photo ops with various cultural communities, spreading the message that gay marriage would threaten their religious rights. He used oppression of the queer community as leverage to try to attract immigrant voters.
And now he's at it again, surrounding himself with the families of the Air India victims, trying to bolster his bid to maintain some of the most egregious aspects of Canada's anti-terror legislation (preventative arrests and investigative hearings) ... claiming that he is somehow protecting minority communities by severely restricting their human rights. Because who is suffering the brunt of the anti-terror madness? People of colour, particularly of Arab descent, who are subject to racial profiling and discrimination based on their immigration status.
To read more about the experiences of minority communities under Canada's new anti-terror regime, check out the final report of the People's Commission on Immigration "Security" Measures.
I imagine that the Anti-Terrorism Act will land on the Supremes' desk some time soon ... no wonder "Steve" hates the courts so much.
- Cross posted to BlogThis!
Still, this is a very, very exciting day.
-- Ariel (toes still frozen from protesting against Condi Rice in the blistering, sunny cold)
Top court rules against security certificates
Last Updated: Friday, February 23, 2007 | 7:51 AM ET
The Canadian Press
The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the security certificate system used by the federal government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects.
In a 9-0 judgment, the court found that the system, described by government officials as a key tool for safeguarding national security, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But the court suspended the judgment from taking legal effect for a year, giving Parliament time to write a new law complying with constitutional principles.
Critics have long denounced the certificates, which can lead to deportation of non-citizens on the basis of secret intelligence presented to a Federal Court judge at closed-door hearings.
Those who fight the allegations can spend years in jail while the case works its way through the legal system. In the end, they can sometimes face removal to countries with a track record of torture.
The system was challenged on constitutional grounds by three men from Morocco, Syria and Algeria — all alleged by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to have ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. All deny any such ties.
More to come
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
A message from the Council of Canadians ...
Rice and Chertoff visit Canada
Find out what they won’t be telling you about North American integration!
On Friday February 23, U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice and Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff will be in Ottawa to discuss North American integration with their Canadian and Mexican counterparts. This is part of a series of meetings aimed at bringing Canadian and Mexican policies in line with U.S. demands through an agreement called the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).
The SPP is bad for public interest and bad for the environment. So far, only the CEOs of North America’s biggest corporations have been invited to the table. There has been no parliamentary debate and the public has been left out completely.
The Council of Canadians will be setting up an SPP information station outside the meeting to expose the facts about this corporate-led plan for North America. Join us on the 23rd to find out more and to let our leaders know that we will not let them shut us out any longer!
9:00 am – 11:00 am
3:00pm – 4:30 pm
In front of DFAIT -- 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
This will be a family-friendly event.Visit www.canadians.org for a citizens' perspective on the SPP.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I have just joined the team of web-savvy writers over at BlogThis, This Magazine's group blog. For those you that don't know This, it's a progressive news and culture magazine with a 40-year history. I was a ThisMag intern in 1999, and have been a faithful reader for over 10 years ....
So add BlogThis to your RSS feed. And check out my first entry here.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Nicaraguan wins reprieve in bid to remain in Canada
Alvaro Orozco, a gay Nicaraguan teen runaway who faced imminent removal from Canada after his asylum bid was rejected, has won a last-minute reprieve.
The Justice Department agreed yesterday to defer his removal for two months, giving him time to file an application to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, his lawyer El-Farouk Khaki said late yesterday.
Mr. Orozco, now 21, says he ran away from home before his 13th birthday after being beaten by his alcoholic father, who was angry about his sexual orientation.
Mr. Orozco's refugee claim was rejected because Immigration and Refugee Board member Deborah Lamont didn't believe he was homosexual.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The article mentions that Alvaro has been recieving help from the Supporting Our Youth (SOY) group in Toronto. At least someone's in his corner. Click here to find out more about SOY, and to make a donation.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
For more information about the harmful impact of the Safe Third Country Agreement, visit the wonderful folks at the Canadian Council for Refugees. Their website is sadly lacking in functionality, but their reports are excellent ...