Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2003

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Victoria, British Columbia, Friday, May 09, 2003


Even Zündel merits fairness

ERNST Zündel is an odious individual. His hateful neo-Nazi views are, or should be, repugnant to all Canadians. He is not the sort of immigrant this country wants, and he deserves to be sent back to Germany.

But the way the federal government is trying to get rid of Zündel is wrong -- it is using law that is so sweeping in its scope that it may be, as Zündel's lawyer Doug Christie argues, unconstitutional.

It would allow him to be deported on evidence that amounts to mere assumption and subject him to a kangaroo court process where no defence can be mounted.

The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service calls Zündel the patriarch of Canada's white supremacist "movement."

It argues he is a risk to national security -- a finding essential for his deportation under this procedure -- because he is trying to "destroy the multicultural fabric and underpinnings of Canadian society."

Most Canadians aren't aware of any "movement," apart from the weirdos that turn up every once in a while on the fringe of other demonstrations to yell and wave swastikas.

And most Canadians would be surprised to learn that the country's multicultural fabric could be torn apart or society toppled by Zündel's rants which are not, in fact, broadcast widely.

But this is the basis for CSIS's security certificate against Zündel. And the Federal Court judge who begins hearing the case today is instructed by the new immigration law that facts constituting inadmissability to Canada include those for which there is a reasonable belief "may occur."

There's no need for evidence that what Zündel is preaching is harming national security.

CSIS and other government officials can present evidence to back up this claim. But the hearing will be closed. Zündel won't be able to hear what evidence they submit against him.

The judge will make up his mind after hearing only one side of the case, in secret.

Only one of more than 30 security certificates issued since the early '90s has been rejected. The Federal Court is being used as an administrative convenience to remove Zündel without having to go through a long judicial process.

Zündel is a bad man. This procedure is just as bad and should never be used again.

© Copyright 2003 Times Colonist (Victoria)



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