Mr. Speaker, I am among those who believe that after the second world war too many governments did too little for too long to deal with the presence of alleged war criminals in Canada. What I can do today is provide an accounting of the efforts made by the government since it took office in late 1993.
Immediately after taking office we intensified efforts to prepare for prosecution those cases we felt were appropriate for criminal proceedings. In 1994 a Supreme Court of Canada judgment in the case of Finta made criminal prosecution a very remote prospect and very difficult practically.
As a result, in January 1995 the then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and I announced that we would commence 12 cases within the following three years, civil proceedings asking the court to denaturalize and deport those against whom we would allege that there was a lack of candour when they applied for entry into this country and those against whom we would allege there was evidence of complicity in war crimes during the second world war.
We will do better than the 12 over three years. By the end of this month we will have commenced all 12 of those cases. That is not to say we have done enough because we have not. We will continue to work on other cases where there is evidence to justify proceedings.
The government will continue to work because there is no statute of limitations on the moral imperative to act where there is evidence that there are such people among us.
One last thing, if I may, there are those in this country with information to assist us. I urge them to go to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provide that evidence so we can act on it.