moved for leave to introduce Bill C-359, An Act to Protect Canadian Citizens Abroad.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce a bill to protect Canadian citizens abroad in support of the foundational principle that all Canadian citizens, without discrimination, who are detained, stranded or captured, or who have disappeared abroad, deserve the protection of the Government of Canada.
There are a number of high profile cases, including those of Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and Abousfian Abdelrazik, and those who were the subject of the Iacobucci commission report, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin, as well as the related jurisprudence, that have underscored the need for legislation. This legislation would set 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 in Canada, 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 would like to thank the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for seconding the bill. I trust it will be supported by all members in the House.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)