Banning Iranian regime members from entering Canada could extend to family members: minister

Measures to bar Iranian regime members from entering Canada that the federal government says it intends to pursue could include their relatives, immigration minister says. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that his government is taking steps to use provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to make top members of the Iranian regime, including members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Islamic Government (IRGC), are inadmissible to Canada. .

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said the ban could include family members of targeted people.

“It may be a bit nuanced, but to get to the point: When someone is found inadmissible as a result of their connection to the regime, their family members may also be found inadmissible,” Fraser said at a news conference on Thursday.

Fraser said there are some exceptions, such as when a family member is traveling alone and is not complicit in the regime’s actions.

But Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino said Canada is still working on gathering evidence to meet the legal threshold for applying IRPA provisions to the regime.

“Right now, the Canada Border Services Agency is working hard to gather the evidence to ensure we meet this threshold, as we are confident we will,” Mendicino said during Thursday’s news conference.

When asked why the government didn’t gather the evidence before making the announcement, Mendicino dodged the question, pointing instead to what the government has done in the past when it comes to Iran.

Last week’s announcement came after immense pressure from both the Iranian-Canadian community and opposition MPs.

University of Ottawa professor Thomas Juneau told the CBC he had a feeling Trudeau’s announcement “was a bit rushed” but said it won’t be difficult for the government to find the evidence it needs to enact the provisions. of the IRPA.

“There is no question that the IRGC has been directly responsible for the mass atrocities inside Iran. [and] outside of Iran,” Juneau said. “So yes, of course we want the government to do the due diligence, but in this case we know what the bottom line will be.”

CLOCK | Canada to ban top Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen in new sanctions:

Banning Iranian regime members from entering Canada could extend

Canada bans top Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen in new sanctions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, barring the top 50 percent of members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from entering Canada.

However, Juneau said it could take months or even years for the government to fully implement the measures it says it intends to follow.

Trudeau said last week that the IRPA provisions would affect the top 50 percent of the IRGC, roughly 10,000 members, and would be permanent.

Former Canadian Security Intelligence Service officer Jessica Davis questioned the government’s ability to enforce IRPA measures with the information currently at its disposal. Speaking to the CBC last week, Davis said the idea that the government had enough information on 10,000 IRGC members is “far-fetched.”

Members of the Iranian diaspora community have said that Canada is a haven for Iranians with ties to the regime who use the country as a place to launder money.

Opposition MPs and advocates have also been calling on the government to add the IRGC to Canada’s terrorist list, a move that could have serious criminal and financial consequences.

Under section 83 of the Penal Code, it is an indictable offense to “raise property…provide or invite a person to provide or make available property or financial or other related services” to a terrorist entity.

The designation also allows banks to freeze assets and allows police to charge those who financially or materially support such a group.

1665955770 182 Banning Iranian regime members from entering Canada could extend to
Burning objects on a Tehran street on October 8 amid protests that have rocked the capital and other Iranian cities. Iran has been rocked by unrest since Masha Amini, 22, died on September 16 in police custody in Tehran after being detained for allegedly violating the country’s strict rules on veils and modest clothing. (AFP/Fake Images)

But Justice Minister David Lametti said adding the IRGC to the terrorist list would be a “blunt instrument” and would affect Iranians who do not support the current regime.

“[The terrorist list provision does] it doesn’t give us the precision we need to target the real bad guys without also catching innocent people,” Lametti said at the news conference.

Those people could include Iranians who have been drafted into the armed forces or Iranians in Canada who send money to family members who have been drafted.

Juneau said that even if the government were to add the IRGC to the list and then establish exemptions for those who have been conscripted, it would be difficult to determine who would qualify.

“How do you actually verify that that individual qualifies for waivers? Intelligence community requirements would be completely unenforceable,” he said.

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