Canadian Terror Victims Laud Harper Government for Introducing Victims Legislation


The Canadian Coalition Against Terror (C-CAT), representing terror victims across Canada, commends the government of Canada for introducing The Safe Streets and Communities Act. The omnibus legislation will include the provisions of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which was passed by the Senate as S-7 in September 2010. This bill will allow Canadian terror victims to launch lawsuits against states, organizations and individuals that have sponsored terrorism.

It has now been seven years since C-CAT initiated the campaign for the passage of this type of legislation.  During this time no fewer than 10 such bills have been introduced including two government bills. C-CAT looks forward to the passage of the 11th and final version of this bill within the next 100 sittings days in Parliament as promised by the government.

The bill will take aim at the financial sponsors of terror who are rarely prosecuted successfully in criminal proceedings. By harnessing the additional possibility of civil lawsuits, the proposed legislation will open a vital avenue in interdicting and defeating terrorist funding. For unlike suicide bombers, the financial enablers of terrorism seek neither exposure nor martyrdom. They fear transparency and exposure, and are rendered vulnerable to both through civil suits. Civil action can hold them accountable by allowing seizure of their assets; exposing them to public scrutiny and preventing them from accessing Canada’s financial system. This bill will provide both accountability and deterrence – in a court of law.

C-CAT cofounder Maureen Basnicki, who husband was murdered on 9/11: “The Prime Minister is to be lauded for following through on his 2008 and 2011 election platform promises to bring this measure forward. Having just marked the tenth anniversary of that terrible day, I believe this decennial year is a truly appropriate time to enact this measure which will help frame this government’s legacy as an unyielding foe to terror and a stalwart advocate of its victims.”

C-CAT cofounder Danny Eisen who lost his cousin on Flight 11 on 9/11: “The justice we are seeking here does not require even a single bullet or a theatre of war – just a vote in Parliament and a court of law. That vote in parliament is now within 100 sitting days of becoming a reality.”

For more on C-CAT and the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act:

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