Statement   

1st Session, 42nd Parliament, Volume 150, Issue 103

  Wednesday, March 8, 2017
 
Question to Senator Omidvar on Bill C-6: An Act to amend the Canadian Citizenship Act

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: I would like to follow up on the question with regard to dual citizenship and committing a terrorist act. Has the senator had an opportunity to look at the penalties in the Criminal Code for a terrorism act? Of course there are various levels, and I don't know if the bill speaks to the different levels. For instance, if you are convicted of instructing someone to carry out a terrorist act, the sentence is life imprisonment. So that is a very serious offence. The person may come up for parole, but the chances are not likely they would be granted parole.

Has the senator taken the penalties for the various criminal acts related to terrorism into account with respect to this issue of whether or not citizenship would be revoked, and whether that argument is really valid, that somehow we are going to be releasing these people who will continue to be a danger to Canada?

Senator Omidvar: I have not studied the Criminal Code and the variety of sentencing options available. I did remark a month ago on the release of Inderjit Singh Reyat, who probably committed the most serious terrorist crime against Canadians. He was released into community service after 25 years in prison. So I think there are variations. Life imprisonment, per se, I don't have the complete answer to your question. I apologize.

Senator Dyck: After a 25-year imprisonment, would you consider that that person wouldn't really be connected to any groups that he had been connected with previously, so that his threat to Canada would probably be diminished considerably? What are your views on that?

Senator Omidvar: I'm a little challenged with that question, Senator Dyck. I frankly don't know. At the Human Rights Committee, we are doing a study on prisons. Ask me two years from now when the study is complete, and maybe I can let you know.