Protecting Canadians Abroad Act

An Act to Protect Canadian Citizens Abroad

This bill was last introduced in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session, which ended in March 2011.


Irwin Cotler  Liberal

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Introduced, as of June 17, 2010
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment confirms and particularizes the obligations that the Government of Canada owes to Canadian citizens outside the country who are detained, stranded or in captivity or who have disappeared.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Protecting Canadians Abroad ActRoutine Proceedings

June 17th, 2010 / 10:20 a.m.
See context


Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-554, An Act to Protect Canadian Citizens Abroad.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce an act to protect Canadian citizens abroad in support of the foundational principle that all Canadian citizens, without discrimination, deserve the protection of the Government of Canada while detained, stranded, captured or disappeared abroad.

There are a number of high profile cases, including those of Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and Abousfian Abdelrazik, and the related jurisprudence that have underscored the need for legislation setting forth both the rights of Canadian citizens, as well as the threshold obligations of the Government of Canada and its consular services.

Accordingly, this legislation, the first ever of its kind, would affirm these rights and obligations, including rights to consular access, consular visits and repatriation; reporting requirements for Canadian officials when they suspect a Canadian detained or captured abroad has been or may be tortured; and requiring that the government request the repatriation of a Canadian detained abroad in situations where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Canadian has been or may be tortured, is being subjected to conditions constituting cruel or unusual punishment, or is being arbitrarily detained.

I trust that this bill will enjoy the support of all members of the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)