Call and Write Governor General Michaëlle Jean: Demand that She Refuse Royal Assent to Secret Trials Bill


February 12, 2008 — Following the shameful passage last week in the House of Commons of a new bill that will perpetuate secret trials, two tier justice, indefinite detention without charge, draconian house arrest control orders, and deportation to torture (thanks in large part to Liberal Party cheerleading), the legislation then rapidly moved to the chamber of “sober second thought,” the Senate of Canada.

Yet after hearing from eight hours of witnesses on Monday who unanimously informed a special Senate committee that the secret trials legislation was a human rights disaster that would not survive a court challenge and would condemn the secret trial five, their families, and their communities to many more years of fear and misery, the Liberal-dominated Senate acted more like the chamber of thoughtless, drunken irresponsibility and rushed the bill through on Tuesday, sending it on to the third and final piece of Canada’s Parliament, the office of Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

The Governor General has the power to grant Royal Assent, which makes Acts of Parliament law.

The Governor General ALSO has the power, and the responsibility, to

Governor General Jean is a self-described caring and compassionate soul who CAN say that it would be wrong for her to give Royal Assent to a bill that every leading law association in this country has found violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Her website reads: “The governor general encourages Canadians to build a compassionate society,” and reminds us that “The Governor General almost always acts on the advice of the prime minister, but has the right to be consulted, to encourage, to warn, and to meet regularly with the Prime Minister and senior government officials. There are rare occasions when the Governor General does not agree with his or her ministers. The most famous example occurred when Governor General Lord Byng refused Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s request to dissolve Parliament in 1926.”

Let’s ask Michaëlle Jean to make some history and to stand up for the rights of ALL people in this country by refusing royal assent.

On January 17, 2008, Jean said “We have a duty to reach out to those most in need, those working through a difficult period or trying to find their place in the sun.” This would include, obviously, those whose lives have been ruined by security certificates and who face further years of solitary confinement and deportation to torture, as well as those threatened with future certificates should this bill become law later this week.

Call and email the Governor General as soon as possible to urge her to refuse royal assent to the secret trials bill, otherwise known as “An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate)”.

If you are in the U.S., feel free to call toll-free and let her office know what you think of the poor example Canada is setting for the Bush administration!

You may get a security desk, so please ask to speak to someone in her office or leave a message demanding that she refuse royal assent.

Phone: (800) 465-6890 (Toll-free in Canada and the United States)
Ottawa and area: (613) 993-8200
Fax: (613) 998-8760

This message brought to you by: Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, (416) 651-5800,