April 1, 2002
Hon. Martin Cauchon Fax: (613) 995-0114
Minister of Justice
Room 312, West Block
House of Commons
Hon. Denis Coderre Fax: (613) 995-9755
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Room 656-D, Centre Block
House of Commons
Our organization, formed in 1927, has over 1,000 members in Alberta and about 4,500 Canada-wide. It is a founding member of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - that was in 1940, when the Canadian government turned to our community for further assistance in their war effort.
As both of you likely know, there has been much opposition to your government's denaturalization and deportation policy. Since our community's meeting with then Justice Minister Anne McLellan on November 13, 1997, our organization has regularly voiced displeasure with this grossly unfair and un-Canadian process. A review of letters sent to your predecessors will illustrate that opposition to denaturalization and deportation has not abated, and will not abate, until your government comes to its senses and scraps the policy.
Books can, and will, be written on why denaturalization and deportation is a blot on Canada's justice system. A short review of the principal shortcomings of the policy follows:
Probably the best summary of the egregious character of denaturalization and deportation has been coined by Dr. Will Zuzak, who has studied the "war crimes" prosecution issue for over two decades. Dr. Zuzak describes "d and d" as (and we paraphrase here): "a process wherein, during a hypothetical interview (that no one can prove took place a half century ago), the accused was asked a hypothetical question (that no one can prove was asked), to which the accused gave a hypothetical response (that no one can prove he did), that is today judged to have been probably untrue and which is today judged to have been material when it was hypothetically given."
In short, denaturalization and deportation is a complete farce.
We remind you that denaturalization and deportation is opposed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Bar Association, and over 20 other organizations which are on record as petitioning your government to rescind the policy. You must also be aware that Canada's leading authority on evidence, retired Justice Roger Salhany, in a critique of the Oberlander decision, essentially dismembered the reasoning of the presiding Judge (who was quickly assigned to hear yet another "d and d" case!)
In terms of the driving force behind "d and d", our position is that lobby groups such as the CJC and B'Nai Brith do not hold a patent on dispensing justice in Canada.
Therefore, do the honorable thing now - scrap denaturalization and deportation, and return to determining a citizen's guilt or innocence using the proper criminal forum. And do so by seeking out all war criminals or perpetrators of crimes against humanity, no matter in which era their alleged deeds were committed.
Once the denaturalization and deportation process has been properly removed, your government must take steps to ensure that politics "never again" be allowed to wear the mask of justice in this country, and that justice "never again" be made available to the highest bidder.
Eugene Harasymiw, LL.B.
Chair, Civil Liberties Committee