Conservatives Call on Liberals to Strengthen Restrictive Measures against Human Rights Abusers
OTTAWA, ON – Financial expert and human rights advocate, Bill Browder, and a team of investigators have tracked more than $13 million dollars associated with an elaborate tax fraud in Russia to bank accounts in Canada. Mr. Browder and his team echoed their earlier calls for Canada to adopt legislation to freeze the assets of corrupt foreign officials. In response, James Bezan, Official Opposition Critic for National Defence, issued the following statement:
“The findings that were brought to light by Mr. Browder and his team are evidence that Canada is not immune to the world of corrupt foreign officials. Individuals accused of gross violations of human rights have been using our banking system to hide their assets. Canada needs legislation to bring this alarming practice to an end and to hold these individuals accountable.
“In May I tabled Bill C-267, “Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law). This Bill seeks to strengthen restrictive measures against foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights. Motions calling for the Government of Canada to adopt Magnitsky legislation and sanctions were unanimously adopted by the House of Commons and the Senate. These measures were supported by the three main parties during the 2015 Federal Election. However, despite support from within his own caucus, Foreign Affairs Minister Dion, has backtracked on this promise.
“This legislation will further enable the Government of Canada to quickly sanction individuals that are responsible for events like the ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine. Similar legislation has been adopted our allies in the United States and Europe.
“Gross violators of human rights must be held accountable; they must face repercussions for their actions. Sanctioning these individuals is the right thing to do.
“Bill C-267 is one way that Canada can take a stand against those responsible for human rights violations. I urge Minister Dion to listen to members of his caucus, to Mr. Browder, and to the international community, and support the Sergei Magnitsky Law.”