Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Victims of Terror
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the foundational principle that victims of terror deserve a right of civil redress in Canadian courts against their terrorist perpetrators. At present, the exercise of this fundamental right is precluded by the operation of the State Immunity Act which immunizes state sponsors of terror from such suits.

    After studying the government’s proposed legislation in this regard, I regard it as necessary in terms of justice for victims of terror to have alternative legislation proposed and enacted that properly addresses the evil of transnational terrorism, that properly targets the impunity of those states that perpetrate, sponsor or finance acts of terrorism, that properly allows Canadian victims of terrorism to seek justice, and that removes the immunity that still operates even under the government’s bill against state perpetrators of terrorism against Canadian citizens.
     Simply put, we have an opportunity to provide redress for Canadian victims of terror anchored in domestic and international law.