moved for leave to introduce Bill C-408, An Act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code (deterring terrorism by providing a civil right of action against perpetrators and sponsors of terrorism).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill which is an act to amend the State Immunity Act and the Criminal Code, co-sponsored by my hon. colleague from Toronto Centre.
Canadian law presently shields state sponsors of terrorism from justice for Canadian victims. Canadian law presently offers immunity to those countries that expressly seek to harm Canadians. Canadian law regrettably denies a remedy to victims of terror. This bill will right this injustice.
The bill provides justice to victims immediately. It comports with our obligations under international law to both prohibit and combat international terrorism and to provide such a remedy. It does not shield itself behind an escape clause that renders it completely ineffective until foreign states are named on a case-by-case basis. Such an approach politicizes justice.
As Victor Comras, formerly of the U.S. state department, testified here before a Senate committee, let us please learn from the American mistake.
We need to value Canadian rights over foreign state sponsors of terrorism, value action over acquiescence, and value justice over politics.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)