Make terrorists pay up, PM says


Tories to introduce legislation this week allowing terror victims to sue their attackers

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Canadian Jewish Congress on the 90th anniversary plenary assembly at the Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue in Toronto on May 31, 2009.
Jun 01, 2009 04:30 AM
Bruce Campion-Smith


OTTAWA Victims of terrorism would be able to seek retribution against their attackers in Canadian courts under legislation to be unveiled this week.

"This week in Parliament we will introduce legislation that will give victims of terrorism the power to obtain just compensation from those responsible for their suffering," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a Canadian Jewish Congress event yesterday in Toronto.

"By amending the State Immunity Act, this bill will allow victims to sue perpetrators and sponsors of terrorist acts, including foreign states, in Canadian courts," Harper said.

The Prime Minister said the new legislation, building on previous private members' bills, would send a "clear message that our government will hold the sponsors and perpetrators of terrorism accountable for their crimes."

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff signalled his early support for the idea, which has been around Parliament Hill for several years.

"I have not seen the legislation ... but we have had extensive discussions about civil remedies for victims of terror and we support the principle of this legislation. Now it's simply a matter of details," said Ignatieff, who was also attending the Canadian Jewish Congress event.

Harper said more details would be provided this week when the legislation is unveiled by Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan

The announcement was greeted with warm applause from members of the Jewish community at yesterday's event and cheered by advocates who have been long seeking legal recourse against terrorists and their supporters.

"The idea is to cut off the flow of money to terrorist organizations because that's what keeps them going. It's also about exposing them for what they're doing. A lawsuit can do that," said Aaron Blumenfeld, a Toronto lawyer with the advocacy group Canadian Coalition Against Terror.

He noted that the record of finding terrorists criminally liable for their actions has been "fairly limited because of the challenges.

"But if you take civil cases, you've got a lower burden of proof," he said in an interview yesterday.

He conceded that the practical aspects of pursuing civil cases against either terrorist individuals or governments are not easy.

"Look, they're not simple cases. A lot of the evidence may be classified. They are complex and may involve a conspiracy that is not easy to prove," Blumenfeld said.

But he noted that strategy has had a "positive track record" elsewhere, notably in the United States, where laws were changed to allow victims to sue backers of terror attackers.

That opened the door to a lawsuit targeting Libya for its role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people. Families of the victims sued Libya, which negotiated a $2.7 billion settlement and ultimately got out of the business of supporting terror networks.

"That's an example of actually positively influencing state policy," he said. "It's exposure as well, being in the media. I don't think foreign governments like that."

The coalition represents families of terror attacks, including the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Founding director Maureen Basnicki, who lost her husband Ken on 9/11, has been a vocal advocate for change.

"We all must know that money is the lifeblood of terrorism and to be able to go to the transparency of the courts and follow the money trail would give me a great satisfaction and help create that proper legacy for Ken," she told The Canadian Press.

Currently, the State Immunity Act prohibits anyone from taking sovereign states or individuals from abroad to court in Canada, except for business reasons.

A private member's bill introduced in the Senate in 2007 proposed amending the act to allow victims of terrorism to sue here in Canada. That proposal had the support of Amnesty International Canada and human rights lawyers.

If the new legislation is similar to the private member's bill, it would apply to acts outside Canada, but some Canadian connection would be needed such as a Canadian victim or Canadian sponsor of terrorism abroad, Blumenfeld said.


With files from The Canadian Press





6/1/2009 10:29:43 AM
Mr. Harper, you won't find to many terrorists who can be sued.

If you want to see real terrorists, they don't carry AK-47's. Their improvised weapons of mass destruction is simply their appointment as a Family Court Judge in Ontario Superior Court.

They leave a trail of family destruction, they have their own set of crazy religious beliefs that come from the crazy world of Politically Correct Feminist Ideas, that have corrupted Canadian society with a Rule of Male Sharia Law that has one purpose, to remove children from men , criminalize men for asking the assistance of the very people who have a fiduciary responsibility to protect children and who would sooner send a father to jail indefinitely than make any order that would let a child have a father.

Mr. Harper, your worst child abusers are no in jail, they are not on list of offenders, they are on the list of Judges of Ontario Superior Court Family Division.

If you want to look corrupt public officials, and child abusers at the same time, take a walk over to 161 Elgin Street and just walk into any court room where the well known worst of the worst leave their trail of corrupt child abuse on a daily basis.





6/1/2009 10:18:06 AM
It's Steven Harper's latest "Diversion" a frivolous waste of the public's money to divert Canadian's attention away from the economy, its also a cheap political trick that preys upon the uneducated, the uninformed, the ignorance of the majority of voters.

Its similar to the red necked "get tough on crime approach". Its a chronic abuse of power and fiduciary duty, its contempt for the citizens of Canada by a public officer, the highest in the country.

Mr. Harper should instead deal with the real substantive issues that face Canada, the day to day corruption, the day to day flagrant abuse of judicial power by politically appointed Family Court Judges who engage in draconian decisions that are steadily a legal cancer, that undermines the Rule of Law, destroys families with the worst sort of child abuse imaginable, the termination of a child's relationship with a father.

Ontario Family Court Judges have amongst them, (not all of them) , an "underbelly" its a sizable percentage, of psychopathic personalities, with a pathological lack of empathy and a willingness to engage in blatant criminal offences such as fabrication of evidence, except judges call it by the unofficial legal expression, "the process of justification",
That's the same sort of mad schizophrenic reasoning that criminals use to justify crimes of extreme violence and depravity, except these crimes are by those entrusted by society to "uphold the law".

Take the "worst of the worst" as he is referred to by the Ottawa Legal Community, the dis-honourable Justice Allan Sheffield who effectively sends fathers to jail indefinitely for asking for an order to allow a child to have a relationship with a father.

Allan Sheffield is just one example, he also makes orders for "A Fine payable PERSONALLY" and if not paid a jail sentence applies.

Mr. Harper, go visit 161 Elgin Street.