Torture Advocates: Welcome to Canada! (Visiting Canada – Temporary Entry to Canada)
By Author: Admin | November 8, 2009
Persons seeking entry to Canada on a temporary basis generally have to prove two things: they have enough funds to support their visit, and they will return to their home country in the foreseeable future. For those with a criminal record, a person seeking entry to Canada must prove that they have rehabilitated themselves or prove that they are unlikely to pose a risk to the safety of Canadians. This makes perfect sense; as a father of two young children, I don’t want Canada to invite persons who are going to pose a risk on the streets where my kids play and go to school.
In theory, you can also be barred from visiting Canada for more exotic reasons. You can have trouble entering Canada under section 34(1) of the Immigration Refugee Protection Act. This states as follows:
“A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on security grounds for:
(a) engaging in an act of espionage or an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;
(b) engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government;
(c) engaging in terrorism;
(d) being a danger to the security of Canada;
(e) engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada; or
(f) being a member of an organisation that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).”
Alykhan Velshi, the immigration department’s spokesman, has said that this part of the act was designed to protect Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism. I don’t think it should be confined just to conventional terrorism, but state-sponsored terrorism as well.
Alan Dershowitz is a prominent American legal academic. He has openly advocated the use of torture:
(See: “Dershowitz: Torture could be justified” at the following link:)
Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act states as follows:
6. (1) Every person who, either before or after the coming into force of this section, commits outside Canada…
(b) a crime against humanity, or
(c) a war crime,
is guilty of an indictable offence and may be prosecuted for that offence in accordance
with section 8.
In the same act, torture is defined as a ‘crime against humanity’ – makes sense.
The section where Mr. Dershowitz can be barred entry to Canada is as follows:
Conspiracy, attempt, etc.
6 (1.1) Every person who conspires or attempts to commit, is an accessory after the fact in relation to, or counsels in relation to, an offence referred to in subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence. [Emphasis Added]
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (1.1)
(a) shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life, if an intentional killing forms the basis of the offence; and
(b) is liable to imprisonment for life, in any other case
Let’s leave aside whether or not the US government has justified its policies of torture on the basis of Mr. Dershowitz’s beliefs on the usefulness of torture. If this could ever be proven in a Canadian court, he would be serving time in a Canadian jail. In reality, Mr. Dershowitz has spoken regularly in Canada with no harassment by the Canadian immigration authorities or the Canada Border Service Agency. This is curious given the Canada Border Service Agency’s enthusiasm to ban George Galloway from Canada during March of 2009, based on his alleged support of terrorism (he was supposed to speak at a peace rally in Canada). The CBSA conducted a ‘preliminary assessment’ of whether or not Mr. Galloway should have been admitted to Canada and determined he should not.
Mr. Galloway has challenged this ban in federal court and has thus far been successful. (see: British MP George Galloway hoping to testify in Federal Court over entry ban at the link:
Jaded Bottom line: if you advocate torturing of unpopular people, Canada will welcome you. If you’re loudly advocating for peace and/or Palestinian rights, your words will be scrutinized carefully, and you may not be able to enter Canada as a visitor.
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