Imagine you're Ernst Zundel
Peter Lindsay & Chi-Kun Shi,
counsel to Ernst Zundel
Toronto, Canada, Saturday, March 5, 2005
IMAGINE that you're 65 years old and you're in jail. In solitary
confinement. You are strip-searched whenever you see your lawyer.
Once before. Once after. For two years.
Imagine that you're there because two politicians signed a piece of paper
("security certificate") saying that you are a security risk.
You are not charged with a crime. You don't have a criminal record.
You have lived in Canada for 42 years.
Imagine that those two politicians don't have to be right, so long as a
judge thinks that they are "reasonable". So long as they are "reasonable",
they can deport you to a country where you go to jail for saying something
that you have the right to say in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada had
promised you that right.
Imagine that the prosecutor and the judge get to meet secretly without you
and your lawyer and you never find out what they did in secret, what they
read, who they saw. Again and again.
Imagine that your lawyer thought he was at a critical point in your trial.
He thought the lunch break was longer then usual. Turns out the judge and
the prosecutor were having a secret session again while you had lunch. They
refuse to tell you or your lawyer what happened.
Imagine that you are accused of causing violence so bad that you are a
danger to Canadian national security. When you ask when and where, they say:
can't tell you. You ask why not, they say: national security.
Imagine that the judge making so many mistakes that it took more than 100
pages of transcripts to show them all. Imagine the judge making the same
mistakes again and again. And always to your detriment.
Imagine this judge having the power to deport you and you have no right of
Imagine that a prominent civil libertarian tells you this process is wrong
and he will stand with you to say so, only to back out at the last minute.
Imagine that he comes back as soon as you were deported, condemning this
process as your plane left Canada.
Imagine that a judge says she thinks this process is unfair to you and will
say so in court, only to change her mind at the last minute.
Imagine that a newspaper counts the number of security certificates and
yours is never included. Imagine the moment you have been deported, everyone
talks about how awful and illegal security certificates are.
Imagine that the media is suddenly interested in you, as soon as they are
sure that you will be deported. Your deportation and upcoming jail time is
reported in meticulous detail.
Imagine that this is Canada in 2005 and you've been named in a security
Imagine that everyone says that security certificates are a disgrace to
Canada but somehow it was fine to use one on you.
Imagine that you may be Ernst Zundel, or you may be someone with an opinion
disliked by many.
© Globe and Mail 2005
Globe and Mail, as posted at