Will Zuzak; DESCROCK.007 = 1995-02-05 Gazette editorial; 1995-02-13
Dear subscribers:
     Despite my best intentions, I never found enough time and energy to
respond to the following editorial in the Sunday, February 5, 1995 issue of the
Montreal Gazette. Sadly, the Gazette continues promoting the subversion of
Canada's system of jurisprudence in the manner that has occurred in the United

Editorial Page Editor: Jennifer Robinson; Editor in Chief: Joan Fraser;
Managing Editor: Raymond Brassard; President and Publisher: Michael Goldbloom

Too soft, too slow on war crimes
     Having seen its modest efforts to prosecute suspected war criminals fail
miserably, Ottawa is now pursuing a less satisfactory but more promising option
. This past week, Justice Minister Allan Rock announced that deportation
proceedings would be started against four Toronto-area residents who, according
to war-crimes investigators, hid important information about their wartime
activities in order to enter Canada. The three who are Canadian citizens would
first be stripped of their citizenship.
     The plan is a good one, as far as it goes. But it does not go far enough.
     In announcing the proceedings against the four, Mr. Rock said that Justice
Department investigators believe they have the goods on 12 people suspected of
World War II-era war crimes.
     Given Ottawa's unsuccessful efforts to take action against war criminals
(with the exception of its successful 1992 deportation of Jacob Luitjens), the
onus should be on the government to make up for lost time and go after all 12.
     Mr. Rock has suggested that the major reason Ottawa is starting with only
four cases is that those four will establish precedents that will smooth the
way for the others, which will be pursued in the next couple of years. One
might think that the Luitjens case would provide ample precedent. But federal
officials say that the case, while helpful, still leaves some legal issues to
be addressed, partly because of changes to immigration forms and questions over
the years.
     Perhaps. But another reason for the slow start is that Ottawa evidently is
not willing to commit the resources to going after all 12 cases at once. The
Justice Department's war-crimes unit is to be cut to 11 employees from 24 on
March 31; and that is on top of substantial cuts that already have been made.
Obviously, those cuts cramp Ottawa's ability to go after suspected war
     Mr. Rock acknowledged that money was a factor, though he said it was not
the main one. However Jewish groups say they were told by federal officials
that a "lack of human and financial resources" was a key reason why Ottawa is
not pursuing all cases immediately. If that is indeed the real reason, it is
outrageous. Things have come to a sorry state indeed if Ottawa cannot afford to
bring criminals to account; that is one of the most basic roles of government.
     It is easy to understand the frustration of Jewish groups and others who
want to see justice done. About eight years have now passed since a federal
inquiry led by Justice Jules Deschenes recommended the prosecution of 20
suspected war criminals living in Canada, and the investigation of 218 others.
no one has yet been convicted in Canada under the new war-crimes law.
     Worse still, it looks as if no one ever will be. The court rulings in the
Imre Finta case all but preclude any successful prosecutions of suspected World
War II-era war criminals in the future. Mr. Finta had been charged in
connection with the 1944 deportation of thousands of Hungarian Jews to Nazi
death camps. He was acquitted by a jury. In upholding the acquittal, the Supreme
Court of Canada set criteria for conviction that would be practically
impossible to meet.
     Ottawa's only success against a war criminal was its deportation of Mr.
Luitjens, who was wanted in his native Holland for having collaborated with the
Nazis. Deportation seems to offer the best prospects for seeing that at least
some measure of justice is meted out to war criminals, and for ridding Canadian
society of those undesirable elements. The suspects are entitled to court
hearings. But the legal tests that apply are less onerous on Ottawa than the
ones needed to bring a criminal conviction. Federal officials merely have to
prove that someone withheld information about their past that would have been
grounds for barring their entry into Canada had Canadian officials known about
     Ottawa shoud press ahead with all 12 cases. Given the advanced ages of the
suspects, time is of the essence. Ottawa should not allow war criminals to
spend their last days in Canada.
Gazette, Montreal, Sunday, Feb. 5, 1995		page B-1
Will Zuzak; DESCROCK.007 = 1995-02-05 Gazette editorial; 1995-02-13