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Conservative MP calls for 'review' of Canada in UN

An Ontario Conservative MP has called for "a review of Canada's participation in the UN" in response to criticism of Canada by UN agencies.

In a news release on his website, Larry Miller (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) wrote:

The United Nations' Committee Against Torture has voiced displeasure with Canada for its refugee reform bill. Furthermore, the UN "regrets" the CBSA's Most Wanted List which targets war criminals and it also urges Canada to compensate Omar Ahmed Khadr and to bring him back to Canada promptly.

Miller was further disappointed when a UN Food Rapporteur was sent to Canada to review food security. This 11-day visit could have been better spent in many other countries that are facing severe food shortages, rather than a high food producing country such as Canada.

"The United Nations is an organization that was designed to work collectively to solve the major problems facing the world," said Miller. "If this is the type of action that the UN will be taking then I think that it is high time that we review our participation in the United Nations."

Miller will be contacting the Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs on this matter and will urge Government to review Canada’s participation in the United Nations. For more information on the UN report on Torture please visit

The report by Olivier De Schutter, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, is available here.

The Concluding Observations of the Committee Against Torture are available here as a downloadable Word file (CAT/C/CAN/CO/6). In part, it states:

The Committee is seriously concerned at the apparent reluctance on part of the State party to protect rights of all Canadians detained in other countries, by comparison with the case of Maher Arar. The Committee is in particular concerned at: (arts. 2, 5, 11 and 14)

• The State party’s refusal to offer an official apology and compensation to the three Canadians despite the findings of the Iacobucci Inquiry. Their cases are similar to the case of Arar, in the sense that all of them were subjected to torture abroad and the Canadian officials were complicit in the violation of their rights.

•Canadian officials' complicity in the human rights violation of Omar Khadr while detained at Guantánamo Bay (Canada (Prime Minister) v. Khadr, 2010 SCC 3; and Canada (Justice) v. Khadr, 2008 SCC 28) as well as the delay in approving his request to be transferred to serve the balance of his sentence in Canada.

In light of the findings of the Iacobucci Inquiry, the Committee recommends the State party to take immediate steps to ensure that Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin receive redress, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to promptly approve Omar Khadr’s transfer application and to ensure that he receives appropriate redress for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled he experienced.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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