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)