Will Zuzak; DESCHENE.006 = 87-08-09/Mulroney/Turner/Broadbent; 1993-10-05
Dear Subcribers:
The following letter was sent to the leaders of the three major
political parties in Canada:

August 9, 1987

The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

The Honourable John Turner
Leader of the Liberal Party

The Honourable Ed Broadbent
Leader of the New Democratic Party


Reference is made to the "Sunday Morning" CBC radio broadcast, August 9, 1987, during which Robert Kaplan announced his intention to once again press for the speedy passage of Bill C-71 through the House of Commons. I strongly object to Mr. Kaplan's persistent efforts to circumvent the democratic process and have Bill C-71 rammed through Parliament without allowing for proper study by committee and for free parliamentary debate.

The Deschenes Commission Report was presented to the government on December 30, 1986. An expurgated version was released to the public in March, 1987. Upon reading the 966 page document, I was appalled by its contents and implications. In my opinion, the whole Report is an apologia for the Office of Special Investigations in the United States and an attempt to have a similar type of institution created in Canada. Many of my concerns are detailed in the 31-page CRITIQUE of the Deschenes Commission Report which I am enclosing for your consideration.

The original pronouncements made by Justice Minister Hnatyshyn that the government would opt for a made-in Canada solution and present legislation of universal scope to include all extraterritorial crimes committed by Canadian citizens or residents of Canada (in contra-distinction to the blatantly narrow terms of reference of the Deschenes Commission) were encouraging. I naturally assumed that there would be full consultation with the Canadian people and that there would be opportunity for a full debate in Parliament on the issue in general and the legislation in particular.

I was therefore shocked to learn that Justice Minister Hnatyshyn was attempting to sneak Bill C-71 through Parliament without debate or amendment by arranging a three-party agreement to pass the legislation by unanimous consent just before adjournment of Parliament. [The 1978 Holtzman Amendment which resulted in the creation of the OSI was sneaked through Congress in a similar manner.]

I was even more shocked when I obtained a copy of Bill C-71 and realized that it was even more narrow and discriminatory than the recommendations of the Deschenes Commission.The contents do not correspond to the public pronouncements of the government. One can only conclude that the lawyers in the Justice Department were acting in bad faith and/or perhaps had developed a too-cosy relationship with their counterparts in the OSI.

Whereas I expected that Bill C-71 would apply to all extraterritorial crimes (past, present or future) committed by Canadian citizens or residents of Canada, Clause (191)(a) of Bill C-71 in reality restricts its application to:

     (i)  born-in-Canada Canadian citizens,
     (ii) so-called "Nazi war criminals" of World War II vintage
          as defined in the Deschenes Report,
     (iii)immigrants from countries now behind the Iron Curtain 
          who fought against Communist tyranny during World War II.

It does not apply to terrorists of any persuasion.
It does not apply to war criminals functioning in the ongoing Middle East conflicts.
It does not apply to Soviet war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated since 1917.
It does not apply to the many tyrannical dictatorships flourishing throughout the world.

Indeed, by restricting application of Bill C-71 specifically to armed conflicts in which Canada has participated, it can be argued that the legislation actually encourages criminals of the above categories to emigrate to Canada and/or seek refuge in Canada.

The second major danger to our democratic society presented by Bill C-71 is its attempt to incorporate retroactively so-called "international law" into the Canadian Criminal Code. Such vague and misleading terminology as "customary international law", "conventional international law", "general principles of law recognized by the community of nations" abounds throughout the document. The Criminal Code should be as logical and precise as possible and not made incomprehensible by legal gobbledegook such as this.

There has never been any consensus among the nations of the world or within Canada itself of the validity or applicability of "international law" in the general sense, and certainly not in the area of war crimes or human rights. No free nation on this planet would unilaterally accept foreign laws into its Criminal Code. Neither should Canada. As with all other parts of the Criminal Code, those pertaining to international obligation must be made in Canada, discussed and debated in parliament, and made explicit in their applicability and enforcement upon Canadians. The responsibility of Canadian citizens in this area must be made explicitly clear.

The third major area of concern to me is the bureaucratization of the judicial process that Bill C-71 implies. For example, consider proposed subsection 6

"(9) A certificate issued by..[some bureaucrat]..stating
     (a)  that at a certain time any state was engaged in an
     armed conflict against Canada or was allied with Canada in
     an armed conflict,
     (b)  that at a certain time any convention, treaty or other
     international agreement was or was not in force and that
     Canada was or was not a party thereto, or
     (c)  that Canada agreed or did not agree to accept and apply
     the provisions of any convention, treaty or other
     international agreement in an armed conflict in which Canada
     was involved,
is admissible in evidence in any proceedings under this Act
without proof of the signature or authority of the person
appearing to have issued it, and is proof of facts so stated."

Such definition of historical events by bureaucratic decree without legal recourse is absolutely unacceptable in a free democratic society. One cannot legislate historical truth!

There are a great many other such sections which appear to be written in bad faith and which should be carefully examined as to their implications.

In view of the fundamental deficiencies of Bill C-71 it is recommended that it be replaced by completely new legislation of universal applicability and relevance to Canadian society. It should be drafted by people external to the Department of Justice who have no direct vested interest in the legislation. Such legislation should clearly indicate (without any legal double talk) that all immigrants, refugees, temporary workers, visitors, etc. to Canada, as well as Canadian citizens, should expect to be judged by Canadian laws of jurisprudence for any criminal acts which they have perpetrated outside of Canada.

Mr. Mulroney, I also urge you to implement the recommendations listed in the CRITIQUE, especially:

     Recommendation 5:  that the government broaden the mandate
     of the Deschenes Commission to include all extraterritorial
     crimes committed by Canadian citizens or residents of
     Canada, and

     Recommendation 19:  that the government instruct the
     Deschenes Commission to inform all people whose names have
     been submitted to the Commission, in particular, those whose
     names have been submitted to hostile organizations and/or
     governments by the Commission and by Robert P. Kaplan.

Mr. Turner, pursuant to Recommendation 10 of the CRITIQUE, "The actions of Robert P. Kaplan, both as a member of parliament and as Solicitor General of Canada, in actively seeking the extradition of Canadian citizens, is reprehensible in the extreme." I would urge you to remove Mr. Kaplan as spokesperson for the Liberal Party of Canada on this issue and to disassociate yourself and the Liberal Party from his reprehensible actions.

Mr. Broadbent, I would urge you to instruct your spokesperson, Mr. Svend Robinson, to educate himself more fully on this issue and to refrain from making ill-conceived and inflammatory statements.

Finally, I expect all three of you gentlemen to insist that any legislation in this area be fully discussed in committee and throughout Canada, and that it be freely debated in parliament before being passed into law.

Yours sincerely,

William W. Zuzak, Ph.D., P.Eng.


Will Zuzak; DESCHENE.006 = 87-08-09/Mulroney/Turner/Broadbent; 1993-10-05