Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration hearings
on Bill C-18, the proposed Citizenship of Canada Act

NUMBER 033    |    2nd SESSION   |    37th PARLIAMENT
Friday, February 14, 2003

[The whole session is relevant to revocation of citizenship,
also known as the denaturalization and deportation process]

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price (Compton—Stanstead, Lib.)): Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We're off and running again.

We're very pleased to have our first witnesses before us. I guess you want to talk about Bill C-18. We would also like to hear your thoughts on this new proposal -- it's not even a bill yet -- for a Canadian ID card.

Thank you very much for coming. Please proceed, and then we'll have some questions after.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar (President, Afghan Association of Alberta): Thank you.

It's not so much a privilege to talk to you as it is my solemn duty as a Canadian to have driven all the way from Calgary to address a very serious issue that concerns all Canadians.

I wish to speak to you about my apprehension and deep concern about Bill C-18 and the injustices it may engender, the consequences of which we are already familiar with, as we recently had to atone for a similar decision made in Canadian history. It's my very deepest fear that Bill C-18 will produce such consequences that we, the Canadian people, will be atoning for it 50 years hence, when we will again be apologizing and acknowledging the injustices of a generation and a government that reacted for that moment, without thought of future consequences. There are only two things I see we have succeeded in doing by creating this bill, appeasing a small portion of our population that is panic-stricken and succumbing to the frenzy perpetrated by our sensation-seeking media.

The late Honourable Pierre Trudeau gave to all new Canadian citizens the same rights and privileges as if they were born Canadians. He was also responsible for the patriation of the Constitution, the basis of which is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This law, by depriving its citizens of their rights under the charter, fails justice. It's a perfect example of how the politicians have blatantly dismissed the courts of the land, which are the repositories of law and social justice. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a path of regression that will lead a fine democratic nation like ours to being a totalitarian state. By enacting draconian laws that circumvent the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is the basis of our democratic and civil society, we have set a precedent that will come back to haunt us all and change for the worse this democratic society our founding fathers fought so hard to establish. It would appear that this bill is telling every new Canadian that their citizenship is not worth the paper it is written on. It will polarize this democratic society and will cause fractures that will be near impossible to mend.

Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, this law is counterproductive to the purposes for which it was enacted, and it's counterproductive to creating peace and harmony in a just and democratic society. I strongly oppose this bill and urge you to do everything in your power to repeal it for a safe society for all citizens and for the betterment of all of society.

Thank you.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Mr. Faqiryar.

Lynne, do you have any questions?

Mrs. Lynne Yelich (Blackstrap, Canadian Alliance): What would be your main concerns about the bill? You have definitely said you're unhappy with or fearful of the bill. What particular clauses concern you?

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: I originally came from Afghanistan 22 years ago. My fear, and the fear of people in my country, is, let's say we went to school with somebody who, when all of a sudden the country is in a war, joins the Taliban group. Just because I know the person from high school, does that mean I'm part of the Taliban, when I have spent 22 years of my life here? If I know someone who was a member of a Mujahedeen group or with the Soviet Union or whatever or participated in a war, does that make me immediately --

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: So you're specifically concerned about the clause related to having citizenship revoked without any method of appeal.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: That's correct.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: All right.

Go ahead, Andrew.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Andrew.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.): Thank you very much for coming. I appreciate your driving up from Calgary, especially in this weather.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: Thank you.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: We have been experiencing some problems in our own travel as a committee.

I'm quite impressed with the number of groups coming through that have had experiences similar to yours, from the country you came from. Clearly, what I hear you saying to this committee -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- is that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be a cornerstone of any legislation that involves individual rights. And I take it, when you're referring to past injustices, you're referring to what happened to Japanese Canadians and people from Asia -- the Chinese head tax, the Asian Exclusion Act, and the internment in Canada of the foreign-born.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: That's correct. That's our fear. I was fortunate to be the last candidate in Calgary Northeast, where there are lots of people who are newcomers in this country. Their fear is, what if I know somebody? Am I going to be nailed? Am I going to be stamped as part of a terrorist group or something? On top of this whole thing, we, the new immigrants, leave our country to come to Canada to live in a peaceful country. We leave our country because of the fear. Then we live in Canada in fear again of losing our citizenship and being deported.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: One of the things the government's looking at is national ID cards for everybody. It would be a smart card for the purpose of God knows what; I suppose one could say it would be to keep track of people. That's one of the questions the minister asked us to ask Canadians. Can you tell me what kind of situation you have had in Afghanistan for the purposes of identification?

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: When the Soviet Union tried this in Afghanistan back in 1979 and 1980, they were trying to propose that everyone should carry an identity card. It didn't go very well. People showed reaction; that's why the country went to war. And I can see that this is going to backfire on the Canadian people. If Canada lasted so many years without having a national identity card, then I'm sure it will carry on. We don't want to be affected by September 11, so that what happened to the United States is going to happen in Canada. If a person is going to live in fear in Canada, having to carry his national identity card, there is no freedom. And we are living in Canada, not a country like Siberia.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: On this whole issue of having particular ethnic communities feel they are targeted or subject to unjust laws, when you fight something like terrorism, it's important that every citizen in Canada, or all the communities, be onside. One of the problems with unjust laws is that if a community feels targeted, we don't get cooperation from that community with the authorities, because they feel they are subject to unjust laws. The point I'm trying to make is that all of us Canadians, born abroad or born here, have a real interest in making sure we live in a peaceful society. Involving everybody means you cannot target any particular group, and in our case, those of us not born in this country, it is almost six million.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: I guess everybody's dream is to come and live in a peaceful country like Canada. When somebody leaves their homeland to come to this country, they don't have terrorism in their head. There are terrorists all over the world, but they are not popular, they are not famous. Fortunately, I don't think this war on terrorism is going to apply in our community, the Afghani community. The only fear the Afghani community has is because of the Taliban. People who lived under the Taliban regime back in 1995 or 1996 and came to Canada after that time were not asked any questions on whether they were part of the Taliban regime or what their connection was with the Taliban. And everybody had a family member with the Taliban. So the fear from our community is, if I am caught by a judge one day, are they going to ask me whether I told Canadian authorities that I knew somebody from the Taliban group or that I was part of the Taliban? The question was never asked, so will I be deported and my citizenship be taken away? It's not right.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Thank you.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: It was a pleasure.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Andrew.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: You refer to the charter. Is your background as a lawyer by any chance?

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: No.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: So you don't know if this would even withstand a test under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Many lawyers who have sat at that table do not believe it would even be able to stand up against that test.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: I think Bill C-18 is bypass legislation, in that they are trying to avoid the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to have power over civilians. Bascially, the government is trying to get power in their hands to, say, punish a community or a group of people without applying the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Your concerns are well taken. However, I think it may be of some comfort to you to know that many lawyers don't feel it would withstand the charter.

Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Lynne.

Do you have any other comments you'd like to make?

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: One of my basic comments would be that this country was made on the basis of new immigrants. It's nice to come to a country like this and see that it was built by immigrants two, three generations back. It's impressive to see how people came to Canada and built this country.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): And yet we're still a new country, a baby country, compared to countries like the one you came from.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: Exactly. And countries 5,000 years old are basically left far behind, while Canada has advanced. This country is rated number one in the world. Let's keep it like that. Let's not change our foreign policy or our humanitarian policy because of September 11 in the United States. The U.S. is differently respected in the world from Canada; Canada is well known as a leader of peacekeeping. So if such a bill applies in Canada, it will mean Canadians bring -- and I'm sorry to use this word -- slaves to Canada. We don't want immigrants to think we come to Canada as slaves, that Canada will use our energy for a certain time, that as soon as we get older, if they don't like our faces or skin colour, they will treat us like slaves: I don't like you, and you're kicked out of Canada. If this is the issue, please don't bring any more immigrants to this country or sign a contract with them.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): I'm absolutely certain that's not the issue. At any rate, that's the nice thing about Canada, that it is still a very free country.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: And I do believe it has a good system.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): You're very free to give your opinion, and we hope, with the opinions of everybody, we're able to build an even stronger and better bill out of it.

Thank you very much for your submission. We really appreciate it.

Mr. Hakim Faqiryar: Thank you.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Mr. Chairman, I have just one comment, since we are in Alberta and it was less than two weeks ago that the policy convention of the Liberal Party, the federal wing of Alberta, took place. The unanimous resolution that came out of the workshop read:

Whereas we regret past injustices such as the denial of human rights to aboriginal people of Canada, the Chinese head tax, the Asian Exclusion Act, massive deportation of immigrants, the arbitrary internment of tens of thousands of innocent people because of their ethnic origins, the forced repatriation of thousands of Canadian-born citizens of Japanese ancestry, and the turning away from Canada's shores of the Kamagatamaru and the S.S. St. Louis; and whereas the current legislation dealing with citizenship revocation denies naturalized citizens their legal rights under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by depriving them of an appeal through the Courts in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice; and whereas it is due process before the Courts that makes all Canadians equal; therefore, be it resolved that the Government of Canada ensure that in cases of citizenship revocation, questions of fact in law, and guilt or innocence must be determined by the normal judicial process, free of political interference.

This resolution was passed, again, unanimously, in what has been the biggest and most successful policy convention held in the province of Alberta.

I might say, Mr. Chairman, that the same resolution was passed in the province of Ontario, in the province of Quebec, and in the province of British Columbia, making four provinces that comprise approximately 85% of the Canadian population. So the emotional appeal of people for the charter is something I'm very gratified about. I think it's worth having this in the record, since we are in the province of Alberta, where this event took place less than two weeks ago.

Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Andrew.

Thank you very much, gentlemen.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: It's really good that the Liberal policy is on record, but we also have found out that bureaucrats engage in a lot of interference. So we have to clean up the bureaucracy first, and then the Liberal policy, like our policy, will survive very well.

Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Good morning to the gentlemen from the Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary -- more travellers. It's great that you could come up this morning. We apologize that we didn't do something in Calgary. We probably could have, the way our flights have been the last little while. We had to go through Calgary anyway.

At any rate, we are very happy to have you here this morning. I have just taken a quick look at your brief, and I see it is quite complete, so we're looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Mr. Muhammad Rasheed (Board Member, Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary): Good morning, chairman and other members of Parliament.

The Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary is comprised of the following: Calgary Chinese Community Service Association; Calgary African Community Association; India Canada Association; Chilean Canadian Community Associations of Calgary; Council of Sikh Organizations; Pakistani Canada Association; Salvadorean Association of Calgary; National Indo-Canadian Council; National Federation of Pakistani Canadians; and a lot of other groups in Calgary.

My basic job is to introduce a volunteer who did a lot of work for us in this totally volunteer job, Mr. Umesh Vyas. He will be discussing the bill with you. As well, Vinay Dey is national president of the India Canada Association of Calgary. If there are any questions, he can answer some of them.

I now turn it over to Mr. Vyas. He will be discussing the bill with you.

Mr. Umesh Vyas (Counsellor, Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary): Thank you, sir.

Our basic concerns are with regard to clauses 3, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, and 54, and again, clauses 18, 21, 22, 24, and 28.

Clause 3 deals with the purpose. In dealing with the purpose of a particular act, one has to deal with the defects in the existing act that the proposed act seeks to remedy or cure. Second, what does the existing act lack that the proposed act seeks to supplement? These are guidelines provided by an English case going back to 1584, known as Heydon's case. It would be helpful if Parliament would consider that at second reading of the bill, so that it is reported in Hansard. Once that happens, it will be future guidance to the courts, as well as the minister, in the interpretation of the new act that is sought.

Paragraph 7(1)(b) deals with the residency requirements, which, in my submission, are discriminatory and arbitrary. They seem to be inconsistent with clause 3, which states:

The purpose of this Act is

(d) to reaffirm that all citizens, no matter how they became citizens, have the same status;

That would create some inconsistency in here.

In establishing the residency requirements, Parliament must be cognizant of the changing trends in world trade and business, which require Canadians, both citizens and permanent residents, to travel outside Canada for varying lengths of time. Hence, the paragraph 2(2)(c) provision requiring physical presence in Canada will create unnecessary impediments for permanent residents in meeting their residency requirements to qualify for citizenship and to travel abroad for trade or business or education.

In paragraph 7(1)(c) the minister requires an applicant for citizenship to have an adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada. The minister, in my submission, should require all the applicants for entry into Canada as permanent residents to undertake, at the time of filing their applications for permanent residence, to acquire adequate knowledge of one of the official languages of Canada upon entering Canada as permanent residents. Both the Immigration Act and the Citizenship Act of Canada must prescribe the standards of “adequate knowledge”. In the absence of what adequate knowledge is, one doesn't know what is expected of an applicant in knowledge of the language.

I now come to clause 9. The applicant for granting of citizenship on behalf of an adopted minor child should be accorded the right to a judicial hearing to challenge the minister's denial of citizenship on the ground that the adoption is not in the best interest of the child, or that the adoption is one of convenience and not genuine, or that the adoption was intended to circumvent the requirements under any legislation for admission to Canada or citizenship. Again, if the minister himself decides, under our system of justice, one has a right to a fair hearing. Without that opportunity of a fair hearing, the minister would be wrong in saying whatever decision he or she has made is the right decision.

Now I come to clauses 12 and 14. Clause 12 assumes that all Canadian citizens have the same rights, powers, privileges, obligations, duties, responsibilities, and status without regard to the manner in which their citizenship was acquired. However, there is no elaboration of their rights, powers, privileges, etc. But the provision of clause 14 dealing with automatic loss of citizenship creates an inconsistency with clause 12. The residency requirements of clause 14 will apparently restrict or abridge the guaranteed mobility provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that give Canadians the freedom to enter, remain in, or leave Canada. The committee should recognize that although permanent residents and Canadian citizens reside in Canada, they have not severed their ties or emotions with their country of birth or the country of birth of their parents. Canadians travel abroad in the course of their business and education or for other necessary purposes.

We submit that clause 14 should be replaced with a provision that individuals born after February 14, 1977, should be notified to apply for retention of their citizenship. If ignorance of the law is no excuse or defence, these individuals should have the opportunity to know what the law is, and it should be the minister's responsibility to make the law known to these individuals. Canadians receive notice to renew their driver's licence or to file their tax returns. Why should they not receive notice to preserve or protect their citizenship?

I move now to clauses 17, 18, and 54. First, paragraph 17(2)(b) should be enlarged to include specifically crimes against humanity. Subclause 17(4) provisions governing the judicial consideration of the minister's and the Solicitor General's certificate fall short of assuring a fair trial as generally understood in our system of law and as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically paragraph 11(d), that a person charged with an offence has the right “to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial trial.” In support of this submission, we wish to undertake to provide to the committee the views of Mr. Rocco Galati, a Toronto lawyer, as he expressed them in his interview with Mr. Michael Enright of CBC Radio.

These provisions also may be in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 15 provisions that guarantee equality before and under the law and equal protection and benefit of law, when read with the provision of clause 54 that “a person who is not a citizen is triable at law in the same manner as if the person were a citizen”. Without the assurance of reasonable notice of the case against the accused and of a fair and open hearing provision in the act, including the opportunity to know the minister's evidence against the accused, those provisions pertaining to judicial consideration do not ensure compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The minister, in introducing the Citizenship of Canada Act, has performed his function as lawmaker. The minister then gives himself or herself, under clause 18, the power to declare that the acquisition, retention, renunciation, or resumption of citizenship of a person is void. This is a judicial function that must be performed by a member of the judiciary, such as a Federal Court judge. The minister should not perform the dual function of legislator and judge. Further, the proclaimed rights under clause 18 are weak. Even though the person affected has the right to make a written representation with regard to the minister's allegations, it is the minister who is the judge in the matter. In other words, the minister is prosecutor and judge at the same time.

In clauses 21, 22, and 28, the Governor in Council is empowered to refuse a grant of citizenship to a person who is believed to have “demonstrated a flagrant and serious disregard for the principles and values underlying a free and democratic society”. Should we, the people, not have a right to know what “flagrant and serious disregard for the principles and values underlying a free and democratic society” means? This provision is vague, and prosecution under such vague allegations may be seen as a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The minister and the Governor in Council, within their capacity as lawmakers, seem to have given themselves the role of the judiciary. Further, legislating that the order of the Governor in Council is final appears to be a blatant denial of due process and fair treatment under the law. This is wrong. Paragraphs 28(c) and (d) pertain to charges and convictions outside of Canada. Parliament would be seen to be unrealistic if it did not take notice of the unlawful or undemocratic creation and enforcement of legislation in many countries around the world from where prospective Canadian citizens come. In our submission, the judiciary and not the minister or the Governor in Council should have their say in the matter of the refusal of citizenship. Finally, in clause 24, under the appointment to the review committee of a retired judge of a superior court, the appointee must also be required to take an oath of office to ensure honest, fair, and faithful performance of his or her duties as a “review committee”.

I was looking at Halsbury's Laws of England, third edition, on the digest of cases pertaining to aliens and citizenship. Some of these provisions appear to be reflected in British legislation from around the 1960s and late 1940s. At the time those provisions were enacted, they did not have, and even today do not have, the benefit of the written Constitution or the Charter of Rights. There also was a great fear of foreigners coming into Britain at the time, which was totally unjustified. In light of that, our Citizenship Act and Immigration Act should have some provisions of fairness, and they should not have any arbitrary provisions where people do not know where the allegations are coming from or what the charges are against a person.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much, Mr. Vyas.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Thank you, sir.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Lynne, would you like to start?

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Thank you.

Thank you very much for your presentation.

You talked about preserving and protecting your citizenship, saying in clause 14 there should a provision for notice to the individuals. Why do you suppose our government does not want to send that notice? What is your understanding of why they don't do this, as they do for a driver's licence? Would you say it's a cost factor?

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Maybe they haven't thought about it, or they want to create some jobs, I guess, for the bureaucracy.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: The suggestion is that it be done in a way similar to renewing your driver's licence. My daughter just didn't renew her licence, and she had a $550 fee. She thought she was going to be notified, but there was no excuse, they said. That's why I think it would be very difficult to suggest that we're going to have to send notification out. I can't see them doing a very good job of notifying people that citizenship is due or that it's time to act to retain it. So I just kind of wondered about that.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: It's a very significant right a person has, that of citizenship.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Should it be at the outset, though, that you're warned that if you do not renew it yourself, the burden is on you? That's what I'm wondering.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Look at the consequences, at what it means to lose citizenship of Canada. You are thrown out of the country. If a person who strived so hard to become a citizen of Canada at the end of five years or whatever wasn't able to renew their citizenship, there could be all kinds of reasons for that. Life can be complicated for lots of people. So if it's a statutory offence and because you do not comply with re-registering your citizenship, you are automatically thrown out, that does not seem fair.


Mr. Muhammad Rasheed: Once you are a citizen, why do you have to re-register or you're not a citizen any more? If you are born here, there is no way you can tell someone you were not born here. Once you are called a citizen, you have the same rights of citizenship any other Canadian has. So your citizenship, to start with, should not be revoked.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Yes. Thank you.

It was suggested, and I think it's a good idea, that the term residence be equated not with physical presence, but with the same definition that is contained in the Canadian tax law. Is that perhaps a way to go, instead of “physical presence”? Because I don't know how physical presence can be proven or disproven.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: This is it, you see.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Do you agree with that?

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Yes. There are all kinds of ways of dealing with a situation such as this one for residency requirements. If under the Income Tax Act you have a provision that you are declared to be a resident provided you comply with certain requirements, whatever they may be, then why not here in the case of citizenship? You can lump the provision of the Citizenship Act with that of the Income Tax Act and go from there.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: I suppose they want to show some attachment to Canada, but I think, if you pay taxes in this country, you probably are attached in some way.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: That's what they have in England. For example, they have opened up the House of Lords to people of different ethnic origins and so on. One of the requirements is that they pay tax to the British government.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: So you would like to see that, rather than the 1,095 days out of six years?

Mr. Umesh Vyas: It creates so many complications for people who are busy earning a livelihood, taking care of their children, their education, and so on and so forth. These are people who come from other countries, and it's not that easy for them. Having come to Canada myself 35 years ago, I know what I have gone through. I look at my daughter, who has been educated and is going to law school at the age of 22. Well, I was 49 when I was called to the bar in Alberta.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Very good.

Because you are a lawyer, I am going to ask you -- and I know this is perhaps hypothetical -- if you think subclause 17(4) will withstand a charter challenge at all. You said you're not sure it's in compliance with the charter. You also said clauses 21 and 28 were in violation of rights and freedoms.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: It's difficult to predict what the Supreme Court of Canada is going to say on a given situation, because they are very creative and far-thinking. That's the beauty of our system of justice, that there are the lawyers and then there are the judges, and there is a division between the two. You submit to them, and they decide what is best under the circumstances. It's just and fair.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: When it comes to “flagrant and serious disregard for the principles and values”, how difficult do you see that as being? Should it be worded differently? At one time it was “in the public interest”. Is there perhaps a way to make it so that it shows how serious this clause is? Because that's what the minister has told us, that this is someone who has done something against our democratic society or our views and our principles. They're trying to get the worst of the worst; there aren't supposed to be that many out there, but they want to make sure they get those few people.


Mr. Umesh Vyas: Yes, but rather than courts interpreting what the values are and so on and so forth over a period of time, these are people who are coming from different countries, different cultures, different things, and suddenly.... That said, this doesn't mean they don't have values or don't have --

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: But they're on Canadian soil. For example, I believe what they're trying to do with that clause is stop anyone who incites hatred.

I'll let my question go, because I can tell you're anxious, Andrew.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: It's just very vague.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: I agree.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: People have to know what they're expected to do in order to comply with a particular piece of legislation and to become law-abiding.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Yes. I do wonder in our province whether Mr. Ahenakew would have lasted with that clause if he weren't Canadian, and yet he was an exemplary Canadian in his time.

Go ahead, Mr. Chair, you can acknowledge Andrew. He's just going to jump out of his chair.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Mr. Telegdi.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Thank you to my honourable colleagues.

I can't help but think that Pierre Elliot Trudeau is smiling down at us to see how seriously we take the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to see what it means to Canadians by choice, and the really strong drive we have to make sure the spirit he gave us in the charter, of making all Canadians equal before the law, is not circumvented by any legislation. That really was the driving force behind the charter, and I'm really glad to see that it's very strongly supported by Canadians in all the opinion polls.

Lynne, you mentioned in relation to clause 21 -- and I think this is important -- that we want to get the worst of the worst. The reality is, we have a mechanism for getting the worst of the worst. Look at Clifford Olson. Look at Paul Bernado. Look at the recent terrorist conviction we had with the Air India bombing. We have the mechanism, and the mechanism is called criminal law. The reason we have that is to make sure we convict the guilty, but we don't convict the innocent, as we did with Guy Paul Morin and Donald Marshall. Steven Truscott is crying out for justice after having the best of the system. We, as a Canadian society, made that balance.

Let me tell you what's so very different in the process we use. If you are accused before the criminal court and the minister is saying you have committed fraud coming into the country, well, we deal with fraud cases, tens of thousands of them, in Canada each and every year, and we deal some very serious ones, so we know how to get the worst of the worst. But the process under criminal law is that you are served with a summons or, if you're considered dangerous enough, you are arrested. You are given the presumption of innocence, and then you have the right to appeal, at the end of the day, all the way to the Supreme Court, if the Supreme Court wants to hear it. There are thousands of cases.

This legislation that we're dealing with covers very few cases, and I don't know why we're trying to reinvent the wheel and lower the standard. When we lower the standard, we're saying to almost six million Canadians, your citizenship is not that important. If you look at section 7 of the charter, where it talks about the security of the person, few things are more important than your citizenship. So to try to circumvent the charter is, I think, a real miscarriage of intent.

In clause 21 they want to revoke citizenship because, as it says, the person has “serious disregard for the principles and values underlying a free and democratic society”. It's ironic when you look at the way they're trying to do it, with no judicial process, no appeal. The clause itself undermines the values of our society, and it undermines the charter. As a lawyer, do you not feel that's totally contradictory to what they are trying to enforce? They're trying to enforce the values of a free and democratic society, and they are doing it in a very un-charter-like fashion.


Mr. Umesh Vyas: When you look at any situation, the moment you set your principles aside, principles of good conduct, principles of fairness, principles of justice, the end does not justify the means.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: I want also to look at clause 18. I had this discussion with the minister, and the minister had this discussion before the committee. This is the annulment of citizenship. It is not done by the court, it is done by the minister. When I talked to the minister, the minister said, but they are guilty, we have strong information that they're guilty. I said to the minster, the day a bureaucrat or a minister decides on who is guilty and who isn't, we're taking a big step towards a totalitarian type of regime.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Tell the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada that the minister is intending to do this and see what they are going to say.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Finally, I have watched some 20 people go through the process of the present Citizenship Act, which does not accord charter protection to citizenship. What I have seen is a government with unlimited financial resources virtually bankrupting the individuals they charge, and the people are struggling to get a hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada. It's very hard for an individual--and I think it's important for the committee to understand this--to get to the Supreme Court. With legislation of this importance, I believe, if we have a question on it, the committee should ask the government to make a reference to the Supreme Court, because it should not be up to an individual who does not have the means to pay for the legal costs or the resources to get to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Just before the charter came into force, I recall a Member of Parliament by the name of Patrick Boyer. He was travelling the country and was on a CBC radio question and answer show. I put the same question that you are putting to me now at the time. I said, everything is fine in the Charter of Rights, but do you know how expensive it is to go and claim your rights before a court of law? I wasn't satisfied with the answer that he gave me, but it was something to the effect -- this was about 22 years ago -- that there is some provision to provide financing for people to claim their rights in the courts of law under the charter. People should have some recourse, not just legal aid, but substantive help from lawyers to argue their case before the Supreme Court, or the government should take it upon itself to go before the Supreme Court, without requiring the person who was charged to foot the bill to protect his rights.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: One of the most compelling pieces of evidence we heard was when we were in Toronto on Tuesday. Olya Odynsky came before the committee. Her father was charged under the present section dealing with revocation. Initially, he was accused of being a collaborator with the Nazis; that's what the government said and, initially, that's what all the headlines in the paper said. Yet in the court there was absolutely no evidence of that. The charge the government laid was, you committed fraud, because we believe you may have been asked a question 50 years ago and, on the balance of probabilities, you may have lied. The judge went out of his way to say the person was not a war criminal, went out of his way to say the person was not a collaborator, but when he was asked whether he told the truth, Justice MacKay said he probably lied. I think what is so compelling about Ms. Odynsky is the destruction to her family, the destruction to families when you have the unlimited resources of the state focused on an individual who does not have the means to defend themselves.

Another critical thing about proceeding by way of criminal trial to get the worst of the worst of the worst is that at least at some point in time you get the right to legal aid. Seeing that this is a civil procedure, you do not get that right, even though next to life, your citizenship is the most important thing you have.


Mr. Umesh Vyas: I would take it a step further here. If you throw a person out of the country because he is deemed not to be a citizen, you send him back to where he came from. If the country to which that person is sent back comes up with legislation that whoever is convicted of wrongfully getting Canadian citizenship is not a citizen of that country, therefore we do not accept that person, where do you send that person? Can we discover some other planet? It was common for the British to send people to Australia at one point in time. That is not the situation now. We live in a different world, which we think is more fair and more just and more equitable, and we have to strive for that.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Andrew.

I thank you very much for your submissions. You can rest assured that they're going to be part of our report. A lot of the information runs along common lines we've heard.

Before you leave, I do have another question to ask you. The minister is looking at the possibility of a Canadian identification card, something with biometrics on it, a possible combination of photo and fingerprint, fingerprint and eye scan, or something like that. It's just something out there now floating as an idea. As it is now, you have a citizenship card. The citizenship card would be eliminated, and all Canadians would have this Canadian ID card.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: You have a Visa card, driver's licence, the health card.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): It's a very open, floating idea right now, and we're just looking for opinions on it and what people think of it. Anything that you have to say would be appreciated.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: It's like having a small hole for a small cat and a big hole for a big cat, when the same hole can serve for all cats to come in and go out. What I'm trying to say is, what is the purpose of doing it? What is it they are trying to fix, if whatever we have right now is working?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): That's exactly what we want to hear, feelings on it.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Further, the government is spending so much money on this gun registry system. I'm living in Alberta, but it doesn't mean I don't think like a human being anywhere else in the country. So much money is wasted. There is no accountability. Honesty seems to go out the window once power comes into play, which is not right. If you want to create trust in the government, people have to be taken on your side or you have to be on the side of the people.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Mr. Dey.

Mr. Vinay Dey (Treasurer, Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary): When the British wanted to bring in a card in India, Gandhi opposed it. That card is what? Does information go to Interpol, the CIA, the FBI? You are becoming a card, that's all you will be, and that card can be used against you. What chance is there that somebody will forge that card? Why do you want to bring in something they used to have in the Soviet Union? Do you want the same thing all over the world? I think it is our right to live as free citizens. This card is something like a prison card.

Mr. Muhammad Rasheed: We will be making a written submission on the card. I can probably even mail it to all of you. We are really opposed to this card, because it will encourage racial profiling. If the government wants to keep track of all of us, they have so many other cards that they can do it now. We will have eye scan and fingerprints and your picture and everything on there. We know some of the members of Parliament used to be on the police force, and you can imagine that when they were in the police force, they were doing those kinds of racial things -- one policeman can do a lot of damage to any citizen of Canada.

I think someone mentioned already Paul Bernardo. What are we going to do with him? If I had committed that crime, I would have been thrown out. Is the punishment different for the born citizen and the naturalized citizen? Once you are a citizen, you are a citizen of Canada. There should be no discrimination between born and non-born Canadians. And when I took my citizenship, I gave up my Pakistani citizenship. Where you are going to send me if I commit some crime?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Okay, thank you.

Andrew, just a quick question for clarification, because we don't want to run over time.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Morris Manning, a Queen's Council from Toronto, very quickly came out with a brief, and I wish we on the government side had come out with a similar brief trying to justify this at the start. I just alert the people that you can get a copy of the brief.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): There is nothing on the books at this point. This is strictly a fishing expedition. We're just looking to see what people think of it. There is no intention of putting a card out at this point. The minister has been approached by different people who say maybe we should have a way of making sure this particular person is really that person. Of course, one of the reasons behind it is September 11, the problem of going across the American border, but that's just the background of it. This is just an idea that's floating.


Mrs. Lynne Yelich: If I understand correctly, Muhammad, you are going to put a presentation forward about the ID card from your community.

Mr. Muhammad Rasheed: Not today.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: But you're sending one in. I really look forward to that. I'm sure it will match Mr. Manning's as well.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Today your submission was on Bill C-18, which is something on the books, and we appreciate it very much. This is what we're really looking at; if this bill is not right, let's get it right, let's fix it. As I say, the card thing is a whole different issue. We're just getting feelings on it.

Mr. Umesh Vyas: Sir, I would ask if you can convey to the Prime Minister -- this is my personal submission and message -- that this war against Iraq and Canada's participation are totally uncalled for and unjustifiable, and if the Parliament took that position, they would not be worried about tinkering with identity cards.

Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much.

Mr. Muhammad Rasheed: If the card is only way to go to the States, look at September 11 and all those terrorists -- none of them crossed the border from Canada to the States. So why should we cave in to some other government's pressure to have a card that you can show to them at the border?

Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Eugene Harasymiw, welcome to our travelling road show. As you know, we're here to get input from Canadians right across the country. We have another group travelling right now in the east, the other half of the committee, doing the same thing. So we're looking forward to your submission on these items. Please proceed. Even though the others are out there, they're listening.


Mr. Eugene Harasymiw (Chair, Standing Committee, Civil Liberties, Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

The organization I represent is the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada, an organization that was formed as far back as 1927. Its principal objectives are set out in the detailed submission that was sent in in mid-January. I'm very grateful to Mr. Farrell that this document was translated into the other official language.

While the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League supports efforts of the state to deal effectively with any citizen who can be found to have engaged in criminal activity outside Canada prior to his entry here, such dealing must be conducted only in the proper forum, never by violating the individual's civil liberties and never on a selective basis. Bill C-18, as presently written, invites all these undesirable, unconscionable, and unnecessary consequences.

Our organization will leave the critique of many civil liberties violations found primarily in clause 17 to other intervenors who are or profess to be civil libertarians. Having read some of the transcripts, I understand that there's been a fair amount of criticism along those lines, so we're not going to touch those at the present time. I am, of course, referring to those matters that primarily deal with the court hearing evidence in the absence of the accused, the court not being bound by legal and technical rules of evidence. I'm very surprised I'm even reading this, but let the civil libertarian experts tackle that.

The root of the problem posed by Bill C-18 lies in the use in clauses 16 and 17 of the vehicle of stripping a person of their Canadian citizenship and then deporting them based on allegations that the individual acquired that citizenship by false representation, fraud, and knowingly concealing material circumstances. By and of themselves, false representation, fraud, and knowingly concealing material circumstances may be useful touchstones in certain limited circumstances. However, it is absolutely inappropriate where the accusations involve criminal activity and where no other proceedings related to that alleged criminality have been taken. The worst example, quite obviously, is found in the government's record since 1995 in dealing with citizens who have been charged with illegally obtaining their citizenship by supposedly hiding war criminality; and that refers to acts that supposedly occurred 60 years ago.

In short, our objection is the use of citizenship proceedings in clauses 16 and 17 as a substitute or a surrogate for criminal proceedings in the proper forum, that is, a criminal court of law. Only when the individual has been found guilty of criminal activity based on the onus placed on the state of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt should the matter then proceed to deal with the person's citizenship. This is covered in our recommendations 2, 4, and 5.

The application of the grounds of false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances ostensibly to deal with allegations of war criminality from 1995 to the present has exposed serious shortcomings in the nine cases decided so far, which our organization has studied very carefully. What this process, as abundantly set out in our formal submission, has done is the following. It has created two-tiered citizenship. It has removed the due process rights of its victims. It's based most of its so-called evidence on KGB-supplied mendacity. It has perverted the maxim dealing with the validity of official acts -- I will be pleased to explain that. It's stretched the concept of collaboration to suit present-day lobby-inspired demands. It has unlawfully utilized the insupportable notion of complicity -- you don't find that word anywhere in the legislation, but it's used. It's invited flagrant misuse or misapplication of the rules of evidence. It has perpetrated the notion of guilt by association, which has no place in Canada's justice system. And it has toyed with the concept of materiality to the detriment of the accused.

In summary, any time that the government uses a process against its citizens like that proposed to be continued in clauses 16 and 17 primarily of Bill C-18, it represents a triumph for those who oppose transparency, integrity, and the principles of a free and democratic society. The institutionalization of the process of citizenship revocation found in Bill C-18 without regard to its destructive impact can only result in minimizing the humanity of a targeted segment of its citizens. Such legislation must be vigorously opposed. The Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada will not sit by and watch Canadians of Ukrainian descent, or anyone else for that matter, continue to be demonized and savaged by an un-Canadian process. It is incumbent on this standing committee to impress upon Parliament that frontier justice must not be allowed to drive any legislation and that politics must never again be allowed to wear the mask of justice.

I'm prepared for questions.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much.


Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Thank you very much.

Your group has probably the most organized, thoughtful analysis of the present legislation, and of course, you are able to comment very ably on the proposed legislation.

One of the reasons we have the Charter of Rights is to deal with past injustices and recognize where we have been -- we don't want to go there again. I think it's important for the committee to know that right now the Ukrainian Canadian Congress is partaking in project roll call, trying to identify the remaining people of Ukrainian ancestry who were interned during the First World War. Your community has been fighting that injustice ever since. The history of the treatment of Canadians of Ukrainian background over the years has really been a black eye in our history, and I wonder if you could make some comments on that, because you have felt the injustice.

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: I'm very pleased the honourable member has brought this up. Certainly, we perceive, and we believe justly so, that there's been a continuation of an injustice. We're not suggesting for a moment that the Canadian justice system went off the wheels for the first time with the internment during the First World War and after, 1914 to 1920. There's a lot of debate about when the wheels of justice did come off the rails. It's possible that it could have occurred as long ago as the trial of Louis Riel.

In any event, there is no doubt it is extremely painful to review the comments that are found in academic circles. When they look at this issue of injustices handed out to groups, they always seem to mention the Japanese and German, rightly so, and these other instances that are mentioned in that wonderful resolution you read earlier this morning. But they simply will not go back to 1914 to 1920 and see the gross injustice of taking over 8,500 men, women, and children and throwing them into 24 concentration camps. That's a term I don't apologize for. It's a term used by the government. So the answer to your question and your comment is that it is painful.

This particular process, which started in 1985 with the Desch�nes commission -- under a previous administration, of course, to make that clear, a non-Liberal administration--and culminated in 1995 with the totally arbitrary adoption of denaturalization and deportation by former justice minister Rock, is not just a Ukrainian issue, it is a Canadian issue.


Mr. Andrew Telegdi: I think it's a minority issue, if you will.

One of the challenges we have in a multicultural society is making sure we appreciate the background of our citizens, where they come from, and know each other's stories. But this demonization of a particular ethnic group, what does it do to the kids trying to be knowledgeable about what their legacy is? Are they proud of it? Does it make it a problem? Does it make it a problem to continue the heritage that they're looked upon as being targeted?

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: Over the years I've been called a lot of things, but I've never been called a sociologist, and that's really a sociological question, but I will try to answer it anyway, despite the fact that I don't have the qualifications.

There's no doubt that the younger generation, as it comes up through the ranks, has serious doubts about its worth, its value. It has doubts about pursuing a very rich cultural heritage, because of things like the internment and, more recently, the denaturalization and deportation fiasco. It has had a major impact. We're very pleased to have one young person here who has braved the elements and so on and is interested in this, but that person is in a minority.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: The Canadian population has approximately 1.1 million of Ukrainian background, and a similar situation exists with people of German background, some 2.7 million. Add those numbers together, and we're at 4 million. And add on to that other ethnic groups. It gets to be a real problem for the psyche of the nation. That's a side effect of legislation like this, legislation where we try to demonize particular portions of our population in a very unfair process.

Thank you very much, because you have done a whole lot of work on this, and I would recommend that committee members visit the website, because it's very extensive.


Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much.

To follow up on Andrew's line, we can go back many generations and look at every ethic group that came over. I look at my background, the Scottish people who came over. They were all bandits and robbers, and they were shoved off into the corners, got the worst piece of lands possible, and were told to survive. And they did. It's happened all through our history, unfortunately.

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: I can certainly appreciate and relate to that. The difference is that your group is not targeted and is not sacrificed by the so-called justice system. The attempt is being made to use the citizenship and immigration area to deal with something that belongs totally out of that area. Of course, that's one of the main thrusts of our submission. You already have legislation -- it's been mentioned here by other people. If the government is so concerned about so-called war criminals from 60 years ago, there's a Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, sections 6 and 8. It's retroactive. Use that. Why can't they face these people? The answer Mr. Chairman, is that they don't have the evidence and that the exercise has nothing to do with justice, it has everything to do with politics.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you.


Mrs. Lynne Yelich: I really appreciate your presentation. It gives a lot of understanding of just how and why this bill affects you. I'm very impressed with it. I have met with some of the people from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, and I'm very impressed.

I think the Citizenship Act is coming to the point where perhaps some of the sections should be just wiped out. Do you think there any place in our Citizenship Act for any of those clauses in any sort of language at all, clauses 16 to 18 in particular, though it looks like there could be a few more? From travelling and hearing the witnesses, I think we could concentrate more on immigration, take care of all these problems through immigration, and if it fell through the cracks, it fell through the cracks. As Andrew says many times, we have a judicial system to handle people who are what we're trying to stop in this bill in clauses 16 to 18. So I would just like you to tell me, do you think there is any room for any of those clauses in any form at all in this bill?

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: It is only the infinite politeness of, let's say, western Canadians that has prevented us from saying, just scrap most of those clauses. It's just been a polite attitude, a cautious attitude. I would say, at the least, clauses 16, 17, and 18 must be excised from the proposed bill and must be thoroughly reviewed. We're not saying, for example, false representation, fraud, and knowingly concealing circumstances could never be used. Certainly, they could be, where an individual came to Canada, for example, with an absolutely false identification: he says he's person A, when really he's person B. But for heaven's sake, where an individual is charged with what are called heinous crimes against humanity, the least you could do is afford the individual a fair shake. So the answer is that clauses 16, 17, and 18 need major surgery.

Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Nobody's advocating that we cannot at the end of the day revoke citizenship, but if you are going to revoke citizenship, it should be done on the basis of fraud, the charge should be substantial. Realistically, when you listen to paranoia, there may be some basis to it, but if somebody came to this country to partake in a cell and we can prove that, citizenship should be revoked, but it should be revoked by a charge of fraud, with the presumption of innocence, the way we handle the criminal justice system. I think on that we agree, and I believe that's the position the Ukrainian Congress has taken.


Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: I don't speak for the Ukrainian Congress, but in a nutshell, there is no reason we can see to sacrifice due process of law at the altar of someone's insistence on some kind of political agenda.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): We have heard some witnesses say, scrap the bill totally. You have touched on quite a few parts of it. Do you think the bill is salvagable?

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: We haven't looked at the entire bill and given it a word-for-word analysis, because of the preoccupation with what is now happening. You have nine cases decided so far on this particular issue of the use of false representation, fraud, and knowlingly concealing material circumstances, and there are three more that have been heard where the decisions are to be coming out. What we're saying is, before we do this word-for-word, clause-by-clause analysis, let's do what we can to stop this totally outrageous process.

I might add this as a parting thought. I want this committee to think carefully about our end note 3, and there was an appendix. You don't have it here, but I have the Internet press release. It relates to a story Citizenship and Immigration has not denied, that our government so far has allowed 81 former terrorists into this country and is allowing 20 or 22 in a year, ostensibly on the grounds that they don't pose a security threat. They don't represent a security threat? What about an 88-year-old man who's dying of cancer and is forced to peel potatoes in some kind of camp? You think he's a security threat?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you.

Before you do leave, I have a couple of quick questions.

As you probably heard, I asked the others about the idea of a national ID card. I would like to know what your thoughts are. If you don't want to give any thoughts now, we would love to have a written submission, if you would like to present that later.

Then I have a question of my own that I have asked a couple of people, off the subject really. What would your thoughts be on the idea of inviting people who have been here a good period of time to become citizens? A lot of the time people just sort of forget about it, it gets put aside, they don't bother. Do you think it might be an idea for the government to invite people to become citizens who have been, let's say, sitting on the shelf for a while?

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: I would have to know a little bit more about these people who have been sitting on the shelf. I don't quite understand who they would be. Can you identify them?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Landed immigrants who have been here with full intention of staying here forever. Quite often, they come to the country and get busy, they have no intention of going out, but they don't bother to apply for Canadian citizenship, and right now we don't invite them to become citizens.

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: I think that actually is on top of what we are discussing here. With the exception of this process we are talking about, it seems to be the Canadian way to open our doors and to be friendly and receptive to other groups. Of course, that raises the issue of the background of these individuals, and our submission is simply this. You don't deal with these kinds of problems by passing laws, by passing regulations, you deal with them through enforcement, through putting in more resources. For example, Bill C-36, a year or so ago, was a knee-jerk reaction to a situation stemming from 9/11. The answer, as so many other exalted groups pointed out, lies in the enforcement area and who you're letting into this country. Is the government putting some more resources in to make sure we don't have terrorists coming in here and that our security is looked after in the same fashion as so-called war criminals or people who perpetrated genocide? You don't deal with it by passing a law, you deal with it by going to the border and grappling with it there.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much.

Mr. Eugene Harasymiw: You're welcome. Thank you very much.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Now we'll take a break.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): We can resume now with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Catherine Chichak. Welcome to the committee. We look forward to your brief.

Ms. Catherine Chichak (President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress—Alberta Provincial Council): Distinguished members of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, we welcome the opportunity to give our presentation. I'm president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council. I'm also provincial president of the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada and a former member of the Alberta provincial legislature. My co-presenter, Dr. Bohdan Klid, is vice-president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council. He has a PhD degree in history from the University of Alberta, specializing in the histories of Russia and eastern and modern Europe. He's currently employed as assistant to the director of research at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies of the University of Alberta. He has written scholarly articles and book reviews that have been published in academic journals and books. Our presentation will be shared by both of us. I will ask Dr. Klid to respond to the majority of questions, if any, during the discussion.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council is an umbrella organization that acts as the official voice of Alberta's Ukrainian community, representing some 300,000 Albertans of Ukrainian ethnic origin. Our executive has examined and discussed the proposed Citizenship Act of Canada, Bill C-18. We believe it is seriously flawed and changes should be made to it before its adoption as law. Although there are numerous other parts of the bill that perhaps need closer examination, we want to concentrate on specific clauses. We have approached our assessment of Bill C-18 from the broad standpoint of whether it would promote or hinder the construction and functioning of Canada as a liberal democratic society. We are most concerned with clauses 16, 17, and 18, because we believe provisions found in these clauses do not reflect fundamental ideals and values of a liberal democratic society and contravene the principles upon which a democratic state should be built and governed.

I will now call on Dr. Klid to expand on our concerns regarding these clauses of Bill C-18.

Dr. Bohdan Klid (Vice-President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Alberta Provincial Council): Thank you, Catherine, members of the committee.

Why did we conclude that these clauses hinder the development and functioning of Canada as a liberal democratic state and society? It's because clauses 16 to 18 grant extraordinary and even inordinate powers to the state to strip naturalized Canadians of citizenship and then deport them.

Clause 16 gives the government power to accuse a naturalized citizen of committing a crime constituting grounds for citizenship revocation and then proceed with denaturalization in a judicial proceeding that does not offer the safeguards and protections a Canadian-born defendant would enjoy if faced with a similar charge. The procedure uses civil, not criminal, standards and allows for assumption of guilt by fraud during immigration or citizenship acquisition. The current citizenship law allows this practice, and it has been shown to lead to abuses or, at the very least, questionable outcomes in cases against alleged World War II war criminals. Here the Crown has failed, despite lower than criminal standards, to prove criminality on the part of the accused. Yet it is proceeding with denaturalization anyway, on the assumption that the accused fraudulently entered Canada during immigration, although no direct evidence has been provided to substantiate these charges either. If criminal standards had been used in the above cases, the accused would probably have won or, what is more likely, the Crown would never have proceeded to lay charges, because the evidence was simply flimsy.

Clause 17 sanctions the hearing of evidence, even from foreign governments and with information inadmissible in court, in secret on national security grounds or to protect the sources in citizenship revocation proceedings, without the presence of the accused and her or his counsel. There are no provisions, as far as I can see, for parliamentary oversight or verifiability on the secret evidence or information presented. Confidential information in courts constitutes, in my view, the withholding of evidence from the accused, and thus it constitutes a denial of due process. While one might expect such practices in authoritarian or totalitarian states, can one really sanction secret trials and continue to call Canada a democratic country?

Clause 18 allows the government to denaturalize a citizen by ministerial order within five years of naturalization. Stripping anyone of citizenship by what seems to be a purely bureaucratic procedure is simply a denial of due process. Granting such powers to the citizenship minister should not even be considered. The extraordinary powers granted to the government proposed in Bill C-18 would encourage abuses against individuals or groups, especially in politically charged or crisis situations where security becomes an issue.

There are a number of examples from world history I could cite where dictatorships or reigns of terror resulted from exaggerated or fabricated security claims and fears. The Government of Canada has on a number of occasions abused its powers, sometimes with tragic consequences to individuals, members of minorities, and entire ethnic communities. During World War I, thousands of Ukrainians were interned as enemy aliens. In World War II the entire Japanese Canadian community fell victim to security excesses that led to internment and loss of property. Overreaction against a communist threat in the McCarthy era led to people being branded, losing their jobs, and more. The MacDonald commission of the 1970s concluded that the RCMP had abused its powers. So we really have to be careful about what sort of powers we grant the state, and if we decide to grant the government greater powers, we have to ask ourselves what sort of countervailing measures are available to verify checks and make sure the state is not abusing or will not abuse its trust.

We repeat that Bill C-18 hinders the development and functioning of Canada as a liberal democratic state and society. The revocation processes in the proposed bill lead to, and even require, the undermining and denial of the civil rights of naturalized Canadians. It deprives naturalized citizens of charter rights, section 7 and 15, undermines the principle that all have equal status before the law, and denies due process. The law subjects naturalized Canadians to legal procedures not allowed against Canadian-born citizens. The bill's drafters have also ignored the maxim that the state and its functions should be constructed and limited by checks and balances and that the state's citizens must have remedies to check abuses by the state.

Bill C-18 makes first-class and second-class citizens. In principle, we should recognize that once a person is accepted as a citizen, becomes a member of the body politic, her or his citizenship should not be subject to revocation. We are prepared, however, to accept a compromise that if citizenship revocation is allowed, it should be based on findings of fact according to criminal, not civil, standards, and the amount of time a person could be subject to denaturalization and deportation should be limited to five years after citizenship acquisition.

Thank you.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much.


Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Thank you very much.

I appreciate your presentation. I was reading your section on the witch hunt for war criminals in Canada. If some of these clauses do not get altered at all and go through, I'm wondering if a statute of limitations -- the Ukrainian community has a great concern about this -- would be a good thing, so that there aren't war criminals or persons accused of World War II war crimes who have lived in Canada for about 50 years. Would a statute of limitations of five years or something like that be a good suggestion? I think you referred to clause 17 when you were speaking about the war criminals. What do you think?

Dr. Bohdan Klid: Suggesting limits on the possibility of initiating procedures is a compromise. If we give out or offer citizenship to someone, it means we accept them into our Canadian family. It's not just a question of citizenship being a licence, it's also a status. So in principle, it shouldn't be subject to revocation, but bearing in mind the reality in which we live and that the immigration law is flawed and this bill is built upon a flawed law, that there are these contradictions and the immigration procedures that are followed are sometimes not up to standard, the revocation process should be allowed as a compromise, but only under strict criminal standards. There should be a statute of limitations. You have three years minimum for the person to be in Canada before he can even apply for citizenship; add on five years, and that's eight years. If you haven't found anything out about this person within eight years, you are really opening up a can of worms, I think.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Thank you.

Ms. Catherine Chichak: If there is consideration of a statute of limitations, I would suggest that at the start the person's background be more seriously and more carefully examined, so that we minimize the possibility of terrorists or criminals being given citizenship approval.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Clause 17 probably shouldn't even exist.

Dr. Bohdan Klid: Clause 17 is potentially dangerous, as I tried to point out. I can give you an example off the top of my head. A lot of people who come here to Canada come from conflict regions where there has been bloodshed or where there are two or three sides fighting. We can think of the former Yugoslavia, for instance, the Middle East. Say a Kurd comes to Canada and wants to seek refugee status, and then CSIS receives a report from the Government of Turkey that this person was a terrorist. If I were a Kurd, I wouldn't accept this evidence. Would the Government of Canada accept evidence from the Government of Iraq? How would one verify this evidence? We're really opening things up to a lot of problems.


Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Very good.

Finally, on the power of the minister to annul and deny, do you think that should not be in the power of the minister? Should it be a judicial process as well, or do you think those parts should also be eradicated?

Dr. Bohdan Klid: If you give citizenship, this is an important, almost a sacred act, and you're saying, we can revoke it by throwing a letter in the mail and by giving powers to the minister. This is cheapening the whole concept of citizenship.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: If any of these hearings carry any weight, I'm sure those clauses will be under intense review. It will be interesting to see if they go through, because you are echoing exactly what Canadians from Toronto to Edmonton now have said.

Thank you.

The Acting pr�sident (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Lynne.


Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Thank you.

I think it's important to point out that we are signatories to the International Criminal Court, and there is no statute of limitation on war crimes and crimes against humanity. I personally don't think there should be, because if you end up with someone like Eichmann or somebody from the killing fields of Cambodia, I think justice has to be done. But what I have heard across the country is that we want justice, we don't want a lynch mentality, where you demonize a group, never go through due process, and put them through a show trial of the kind Joseph Stalin and other tough totalitarian regimes are noted for.

In our country what we have a consensus on is the Charter of Rights of Freedoms, and the legislation that deals with something as important as citizenship has to be under the charter. We haven't got the luxury, in a way, of saying, well, we're not going to deal with this bill, because if we don't deal with the bill, the present injustices continue under the present bill, and it's dealing with very real people who are having their lives destroyed without the certainty, without the process of a criminal conviction. So I think it's important that we make appropriate amendments.

Under the old Immigration Act there was the process where you proceed by way of a certificate that was applied against visitors and refugees. In the new Immigration Act that passed it also got applied to permanent residents. With this Citizenship Act, we would apply it now to citizenship. What Alan Borovoy had to say in the hearings in Toronto -- he's the head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association -- is that while it is justifiable in a free and democratic society to make the acquisition of citizenship difficult, it's never justifiable to make the revocation of citizenship easy, because there's a difference. Once you've got citizenship, without question, you should have the benefit of the charter.

We mentioned some of the war-torn places we get refugees and immigrants from, and one of the inherent dangers in this legislation is that when you lower the bar, when we make accusation of a crime and denouncing people so easy, we are encouraging people from those war-torn places who come here to denounce each other. For any of us who have lived in a country where you can be denounced and disappear, it's a very dangerous thing. So I see these hearings as the canary in the mine shaft. The canary in the mine shaft is the person who has experienced it. To us it's not an academic exercise, it elicits real fear. I know many of my colleagues in the LIberal party wish I would shut up and go away, but I continue to be that canary, because I lived under the heels of Stalin and Khrushchev and I've seen people disappear.

So as an academic on this issue and having studied it and having studied totalitarian regimes and the whole issue of denunciations, where people in the Soviet Union disappeared and were sent to Siberia, not to be seen again or to come back decades and decades later, would you agree with my assessment on the standards?


Dr. Bohdan Klid: I wanted to make a clarification on the statute of limitations. Certainly, the congress would be against limiting going after war criminals or people who have committed heinous crimes, but if a person is accused of these crimes, of course that person should be given the full protection available under the law; otherwise, we're just not equal. And in the citizenship revocation procedures the standards are not the same. The way that the current law has been used -- and you've heard this many times, I think, by now -- the standards are lower. In effect, you're not giving that person equal treatment before the law. You're accusing him of a crime, and in the newspapers people are called Nazis, but it's a falsehood even to call someone from the Eastern European countries a Nazi, because one had to be a member of the Nazi party to be a Nazi, and only pure Germans were allowed into the party. So that's one falsehood already. But the impression among the public is that this person must be guilty. He or she is already tried before the court of public opinion in the newspapers, and it's all falsehoods.

We really have to be careful. Anyone who understands the relationship between the state and the citizen should know we have to be careful about the powers we give the state and the state has responsibilities before the citizens, as well as the citizens before the state. So we have to keep a balance and not use the powers of the state to score political points.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you.

Did you have a comment?

Ms. Catherine Chichak: We have taken one aspect in our presentation from our standpoint, but I do want to add on the presentation of the the Canadian {Civil Liberties???} [Bar] Association that we have followed very closely their examination of the legislation from the legal point of view. We were not including that point of view in our presentation, but I want to say that we have had discussions, we have reviewed the submission, and we fully support the submission. We've had copies of their submissions at the national level. We certainly have to underscore that aspect of the concerns with regard to this legislation.

Also, although much of the reference has been to the war crimes and the internment during the First World War and the Second World War, there are situations now in examination of citizens, as with our 88-year-old man, that are going on the basis of probability where evidence could not be proved. So some of these cases are being reviewed on a lower standard than that of the true justice system.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you very much.

You said, “You've probably heard this before”. Yes, we've heard much of this testimony before, but it's very important that we keep hearing it again. If any changes are going to be made, we have to hear from everybody. If everybody's singing from the same song book, that means we have to look at it that much more closely. So there's no problem with hearing it over and over again.

I have just a brief question. I'd like to get your opinion on the Canadian ID card. The minister is just floating the idea out there right now. Many people in the country have citizenship cards, and a lot of Canadians born here don't have citizenship cards. What we're looking at is a national form of ID with biometrics on it, so we'd know a person is the person they say they are. There's nothing down solid yet. It could be fingerprints, it could be photo, it could be eye scan. We're just very open right now, looking for opinions on it. If you want to say something verbally, fine, and if you want to submit something in writing, that's fine too.

Dr. Bohdan Klid: The congress itself hasn't examined this issue, so as far as the congress is concerned, we don't have an opinion on this, but as a personal opinion, I tend to be from the traditional liberal school, and I am naturally suspicious of the state. I think the Privacy Commissioner has come out against this quite strongly. Again, we have to be careful about how we proceed with this, although I understand that there has to be some kind of regularity, there has to be some way in which a person's identity can be verified. I really don't have enough information on this to give an opinion at this point. I just say, though, that all our laws and regulations have to be based on some philosophy. We can perhaps pass a law or regulation that might go beyond the framework of this philosophy on occasion, but if we pass enough of them, what we're doing is undermining the basis of our society, and then we have to pose the question, are we building, in fact, a democratic state, or are we building something else that might be different and we might not want?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you.

Did you have anything to add?

Ms. Catherine Chichak: The question of the ID card is not something we have considered, because our concentration was in these areas that immediately are very troublesome for us. However, we will examine that, and perhaps the board will feel they would like to provide some input. However, we would need a fair bit more information on what is being proposed as to how this would be functioning and under what circumstances.

I do want to thank you very much for this opportunity. Although we have concentrated on three clauses of the bill, I would hope there's a re-examination of several others that are troublesome as well.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): I can assure you that the whole bill is certainly being examined. That's why we're out here, to get the input. Every little nook and cranny in that bill is going to be looked at.

Ms. Catherine Chichak: Then I hope your bosses will take seriously what I am expecting will be positive recommendations with respect to our concerns.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Well, thank you very much for appearing and for your submissions.

Ms. Catherine Chichak: Thank you.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Dr. Zuzak, welcome. We look forward to your submission. Proceed, please.

Dr. William Zuzak (As Individual): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I expect to summarize my 10-page presentation in about eight minutes. After that I will try to answer any questions you may have.

I was born in Canada in 1941 of Ukrainian immigrant parents. I have retained and developed an abiding interest in Ukrainian affairs, both in Canada and in Ukraine. In the eighties and nineties my late wife Lily was head of a charitable committee in aid of John Demjanjuk's family in Montreal. Over the years I have written extensively on the John Demjanjuk case, the Desch�nes commission, Bill C-71 enabling criminal prosecution of alleged war criminals in 1987, the denaturalization and deportation process initiated in 1995 by Allan Rock, and the subsequent cases of Vladimir Katriuk, Helmut Oberlander, and Wasyl Odynsky. Much of this material is archived on my two websites as listed in my brief.

In section B I identify five concepts missing or inappropriate in Bill C-18. First, benefits of Canadian citizenship, as well as rights and duties, should be stated explicitly. Second, dual or multiple citizenship is not mentioned, but should not be allowed. Third, the balance of probabilities criterion in paragraph 17(5)(a) for revoking citizenship in civil proceedings is inappropriate and dates back to when an old boys' club decided who was worthy of being allowed to come and stay in Canada and who should be incarcerated and deported. Fourth, delegation of authority to bureaucrats, as in subclauses 44(1) and (2), leads to the perception that it is the bureaucrats, rather than our elected representatives, who develop policy, write legislation, set the regulations, and then implement and execute them. External checks and balances on these bureaucrats must be implemented. Fifth, “British subject” and “Commonwealth”, as in clauses 47 and 48, are not defined. Frankly, I resent being referred to as a British subject.

In section C my oath of citizenship, which is actually very similar to that proposed by John Bryden, reads as follows:

In accepting Canadian citizenship, I pledge my loyalty to the citizens and land area of Canada and hereby renounce any other citizenship which I may hold. I join with other Canadians to promote and uphold the following five principles: equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law.

The Oath of Allegiance Act should be modified accordingly. I recognize that the monarchy is important to a large segment of Canadian society. It is part of our Canadian heritage. Nevertheless, my loyalty is to the land area of Canada and its inhabitants, not to the Queen. I also note that the five principles to which we aspire in the oath have been facetiously categorized as inequality of opportunity, curtailment of free speech, dictatorship of the PMO, abuse of human rights, and rule of lawyers and bureaucrats.

To come to section D, revocation of citizenship provisions in clauses 16 to 18 clearly contradict paragraph 3(d) and clause 12, which affirm that all citizens, whether naturalized or born in Canada, have the same rights and status. Although this contradiction can be alleviated by modifying these clauses, by explicitly stating that naturalized Canadians are second-class citizens whose citizenship is not protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or, alternatively, by extending revocation to include citizens born in Canada, I submit that it is far more logical to remove the concept of revocation from Bill C-18 altogether.

I believe Canada, as well as all countries in the world, should adopt the principle that citizenship cannot be revoked by the state. There should be no stateless person, there should be no person with dual or multiple citizenships. On the other hand, a person should be able to give up his or her citizenship to become the citizen of another country if that is his or her desire and he or she is accepted by the other country.

Secondly, if the person in question is truly a criminal and a danger to Canadian and world society, why dump him onto an unsuspecting world to continue with his criminal activity? Would it not be more logical to expose his criminality in a Canadian criminal court of law, convict him, and administer the appropriate penalties according to Canadian legal standards?

In my brief, I go into quite a bit of detail in three subsections to examine the Historical Background of D and D, the 2002 Annual Report of Canada's War Crimes Program and the Goss Gilroy report, which is an evaluation thereof, and Consolidation of the D and D process.

Under “Historical Background” I note that in 1987 Ray Hnatyshyn stated that Canada had opted for a made-in-Canada solution. There would be no denaturalizations and deportations.

Since 1995 these so-called war crimes trials have now morphed into civil processes using lax rules of evidence, a single judge, rather than a jury, and a balance of probabilities, rather than reasonable doubt, as the criterion for determination of fraud. Furthermore, war criminality is no longer the issue. The issue is whether or not an immigration infraction occurred. Canada's war crimes program justifies its existence and budget by fraudulently claiming that immigration infractions are somehow equivalent to war criminality. Spending over one million dollars of taxpayers' money per case, they are building their careers on the backs of old people like Wasyl Odynsky, who have to spend their life savings and mortgage their homes to try to defend themselves. Since May 1, 2002, when Denis Coderre indicated that he would seek the revocation of Wasyl Odynsky's citizenship, the Ukrainian community has made a concerted effort to talk to their various members of Parliament. The MPs all appeared to agree with the Ukrainian position on D and D. The revocation provisions in clauses 16 to 18 do not reflect the views and pronouncements of our elected representatives.

In examining the 2002 annual report, I surmise that the bureaucrats running Canada's war crimes program are maintaining huge secret lists and secret denunciations supplied by the Holocaust industry. The people on these lists have not been informed that they are being or have been investigated. I'm not particularly surprised that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre is pleased that Canada is using D and D rather than prosecution. Mr. Wiesenthal, an icon within the Holocaust industry, was chastised by Justice Jules Desch�nes for making claims he could not support before the commission. I would urge the standing committee to obtain and read the “structured interviews with 110 key informants from inside and outside the program's delivery agencies” carried out by Goss Gilroy personnel.

Consolidation of the D and D process proposed in subclauses 16(2) and (5) and 17(6) and (8) to make revocation and deportation automatic if fraud is determined further reduces the checks and balances on the process and places a major extra burden on the judge. The original proposal can be traced to a 1985 report to the OSI, the penultimate creation of the Holocaust industry.

From the above analysis, we conclude that it is the Holocaust industry, rather than our elected representatives, who are running Canada's war crimes program. The bureaucrats who drafted clauses 16 to 18 of Bill C-18 are responsive to the Holocaust industry and not to the Canadian people via their elected representatives. For these three reasons, I fervently hope the standing committee recommends that the concept of revocation of citizenship be removed from Bill C-18.

Thank you.


The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you.


Mrs. Lynne Yelich: I thank you, doctor. I'm glad you brought up dual citizenship. It was brought up at a previous meeting, and I was told dual citizenship is recognized here and around the world, but I can see that it would help in some areas not to hold a dual citizenship, if you're worried about losing your Canadian one. If you only had a Canadian one, you wouldn't really have to worry about it, because we have an international treaty that says we can't be stateless. So that would be my argument for not having a dual citizenship, and I'd like to know what would be yours, why you brought this up, and what you think is the important part of this.

Dr. William Zuzak: The world is getting more and more complicated. People are living in Norway and they're Canadian citizens. They're living all over the world, and they could be travelling all over, and it seems to me you're far better off having only one citizenship. That way you know who the person is and you know who you are. If for some reason the circumstances are that you want to change your citizenship to that of another country, you go through the process, not only in the country you're leaving, but also in the country you're approaching. And there would presumably be interaction between the bureaucracies of the two countries.

I actually feel there's nothing wrong with trying to keep track of people who are travelling between countries. I think there's no choice but to try to keep track. The problem I think is organized crime. Organized crime has penetrated all our societies, right across the world, and terrorism is only a small fraction, just a small subset.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: So you think this is somewhere where dual citizenship would be detrimental?

Dr. William Zuzak: Yes. How many citizenships can you have? You hear people say, well, he went on this passport or that passport. It's almost like the Guinness Book of World Records. People are gathering citizenships, which I don't think really is helpful. I'd sooner have one citizenship. I'm a Canadian, and I don't want any other citizenship.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: The balance of probabilities has been mentioned, and that it should be beyond a reasonable doubt.

As to the oath, this isn't the place to debate the Queen. This is why the oath will probably contain allegiance to the Queen. It was also brought to my attention, when it comes to the specific oath, with the five principles, equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law, that people know their basic rights, but perhaps the oath should have more responsibilities in it. Anyone who lands here knows the charter protects them, they know their rights, but do they know what their responsibilities are?

Dr. William Zuzak: Responsibilities are very important to include, I would agree.

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Do you think there is enough accent on responsibilities in this oath John has?

Dr. William Zuzak: Perhaps not. Frankly, I struggled with this oath of citizenship. I looked at the existing one, the proposed one, and John Bryden's one, and I said, well John Bryden's is actually the best. I feel strongly that responsibilities are important, but it should not be just the responsibilities of the immigrant, but those of Canadian citizens also. We shouldn't hold the immigrant to a higher standard than we hold ourselves to. I think Canadian born citizens are falling down on the job, if you want to put it that way.


Mrs. Lynne Yelich: I agree with you. We've talked at the table about the fact that the new citizens should know more about Canada. I'll tell you, there are new citizens who can tell me places they've visited and things they know about this country that I didn't know about, because they take a real interest. So I agree with you on that.

We met with Ms. Odynsky. It was really something to listen to that story. I'm glad you brought it up in your presentation. Andrew has alluded to it. It's quite a story. It gives us very good reason to look at this bill seriously. She did an excellent presentation, and it's a very sad situation for Canada.

Dr. William Zuzak: How can a citizen take on the state?

Mrs. Lynne Yelich: Exactly. Thank you very much for including that in your very thorough presentation.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Thank you, Lynne.


Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Thank you for appearing.

We talk about responsibilities of citizenship, and I think we in Canada fall down. We have one of the lowest participation rates in the democratic process in involvement with the political parties. They have something less than 2% of the population, which is really the lowest of the longer-term democracies, if you will. In responsibilities of citizenship we'll have to do better, because that's the underpinning of our democratic system.

An interesting thought comes to mind, and I think this is one the committee will have to struggle with as well. There isn't a whole lot of space between trying to prosecute somebody for a crime, which we all agree should happen, and persecution. I think in the present process we have on citizenship revocation we cross that line. I remember Robert Kaplan, a former Solicitor General for the Liberal party who actually proposed the whole D and D process, said, “To accuse someone of war crimes and present absolutely no evidence to back that up in court is an indecent thing to do.” I bring his name up because he was very much involved in trying to deal with an issue Canada didn't think about, and I think they finally started dealing with it -- they closed the barn door after the horses had left. There's no question that we have had people in this country we probably wouldn't have let in had we looked at it differently, but I certainly haven't seen any of the cases we are currently dealing with as falling in that category.

I just want your comments about persecution on the one hand, prosecution on the other.

Dr. William Zuzak: It's certainly persecution, as far as I'm concerned. In principle, if you say one thing and you go around the back door and say, okay, we can't get you on this thing, we'll get you this way, that lowers the standards of your justice system and everything. The D and D process should not have been even tried. They had the criminal courts and they had the Imre Finta case. Sure, Imre Finta was acquitted, the jury simply said he was innocent, you have to accept that. To then try to go through the back door does not enhance our justice system, it certainly doesn't enhance our citizenship.

I'm actually quite afraid. Look at the Soviet Union. You start talking about enemies of the people, you start talking about quiet neighbours, these are criminals, or stuff like that. Once you start accusing each other, that is the basis of a totalitarian system.


Mr. Andrew Telegdi: Thank you very much.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): I have asked everyone else what their thoughts are on the possibility of a national ID card. You did mention we should know where people are travelling.

Dr. William Zuzak: I'm not just thinking about keeping track of who came into Canada or not. I think that is a good idea, but I very much detest secrecy. All evils hide in secrecy. I don't mind anybody getting information about me, but just make it public to the whole world. Do not have it just for the police forces, because if your police forces start fooling around.... Look at the people who were wrongly accused, Sophonow, Marshall, and so forth. The police forces somehow fell down on that. There have to be checks and balances with all segments of society right across the world, and it seems to me that if you know who is entering your borders and leaving, you at least have a hope of trying to keep tabs on things. As far as I'm concerned, they can do that as long as they publish on the Internet in real time who is entering Canada and who is leaving Canada. That would be my solution, and that's far better than having some entity, police force or whatever, that does something with this information. I'm really worried the way the world is going. Blackmail and bribery are the way the world operates right now, and that's quite evident, in my estimation.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Price): Well, thank you very much for your thoughts on that, and thank you for your submission. I'm sure it will help us out.

Meeting is adjourned.