March 21, 2018
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, PC, MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Dear Minister Freeland,
We are writing in response to reports that various parliamentarians are encouraging the Government of Canada to add the “Magnitsky Law” to the agenda of the upcoming G7 summit in Quebec, to encourage our allies who have not already done so to adopt similar legislation.
We strongly support this initiative, which comes in the wake of the unanimous passage of Canada’s own Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act. There is a clear Canadian consensus that foreign nationals who have not been held accountable in their home countries for gross human rights violations should not be allowed to travel or hold assets in Canada with impunity. The fact that this law has already been used to sanction dozens of perpetrators demonstrates that it is a practical tool in ensuring Canada’s foreign policy reflects the high value Canadians place on respect for human rights.
While Britain and the United States have similar laws, France, Germany, Italy and Japan have no such legal measures to hold foreign nationals accountable. We applaud your work in making this law a reality in Canada, and encourage you to raise this issue with your counterparts at the upcoming G7 summit. Legislation like the Magnitsky Law sends an extremely powerful message to repressive, totalitarian regimes around the world that they cannot violate human rights with impunity.
Thank you for your consideration, and for all that you do to represent Canadians and our collective values in the international community.
Shimon Koffler Fogel
CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
Central and Eastern European Council of Canada, Latvian National Federation in Canada
Dr. Ruki Kondaj
Albanian Canadian Community Association of Toronto
Czech and Slovak Association of Canada
Canadian Hungarian Heritage Council
Estonian Central Council
Canadian Polish Congress
Ukrainian Canadian Congress