The security certificate is a measure of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, by which a refugee or permanent resident in Canada can be imprisoned indefinitely without charge on secret evidence, and deported to his/her country of origin, even if such deportation bears a substantial risk of torture or death.
A security certificate is signed by two federal cabinet ministers who decide, based on secret intelligence, that a refugee or immigrant is a danger to Canada. Citizens of Canada are not subject to the security certificate process. Neither the person named in a security certificate, nor his/her lawyer, is given access to the precise allegations or provided with the secret evidence against him/her.
The decision to issue a security certificate may be reviewed by a Federal Court judge, who is allowed to decide only whether or not the ministers had “reasonable grounds” to sign the certificate (i.e., whether or not there is a possibility that the allegations are true), not whether or not the allegations are based on normal standards of evidence. The judge’s ruling cannot be appealed, and, if the certificate is upheld, the ruling is automatically converted into a deportation order.
The Canadian security certificate process suspends the rule of law and violates fundamental human rights that are protected under both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These rights include entitlement to rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind such as religion, national origin, birth or other status; the right to life, liberty and security of person; the right to equality before the law; the presumption of innocence; freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention; the right to a fair trial; etc.
Accordingly, the Canadian Peace Alliance calls for the abolition of the security certificate process in Canada, and for the release of all persons detained under Canadian security certificates, unless charges can be laid, and an open, fair trial conducted with full disclosure to an accused person of the evidence against him/her.
The Canadian Peace Alliance also calls for an end to the practice in Canada of deportation to torture, and, specifically, for those currently detained in Canada under security certificates not to be deported, since they are all from countries where they could face torture or death.