Syrian-Canadian to sue federal government -

Syrian-Canadian to sue federal government

Man was held for eight years on suspicion of terrorism


“Just acknowledge what happened to me.” So goes the plea from Hassan Almrei, the Syrian-Canadian  held for eight years on a national security certificate before being released without charges last year. On Tuesday, Almrei announced he will sue the Canadian government for false imprisonment and negligence. “I need to know why all this happened,” he explained. Almrei is seeking damages from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. But the real goal, says his lawyer Lorne Waldman, is to get the federal government to fess up to what it did: “I would have expected that there would have been some kind of soul-searching, and some kind of acknowledgment and recognition, that something went horribly wrong in this case. But the only thing that we’ve had so far is absolute silence.” Almrei arrived in Canada in 1991 on a fake passport; he was detained shortly after 9/11 and then arrested on suspicion of terrorism.

The Globe and Mail

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Syrian-Canadian to sue federal government

  1. I don't mean to minimize Alrei's case, but if he's a Syrian-Canadian (i.e., a Canadian originally from somewhere else) why did he need a false passport to come home?

    Or is the headline just misleading.

    • He's a Canadian citizen. You gain your citizenship in this country after three years of being a permanent residence. I think the timeline is longer if you're an illegal like Almrei.

      • Seriously? Okay, I think that needs tweaking. So, you come here on a fraudulent passport, and we lock you up in jail. Seems reasonable to me, since you committed fraud. If for some reason that prison sentence is three years (which I acknowledge wouldn't normally be the case) you leave prison a Canadian? This doesn't sound like the kind of due diligence I was hoping was done when the privilege of Canadian citizenship was granted.

        Yes, I know those of us who were born here don't get due diligence either, but I think we should (at least have to pass the citizenship test before our driver's test, for example)

        • You cannot detain people in jail because they have no status in the country. They are afforded the same rights as any hard-working Canadian citizen. They can be granted bail on their criminal charges, if they are caught that is, before going in front of the immigration courts to solve the matter of immigration bail. They can still be afforded that bail.

          I remember reading an article not long ago about an illegal criminal who racked up 80+ convictions in Ontario from the mid-80s to now and only in 2010 being escorted back to his place of birth. So the federal government simply does not care for its citizens and continues to allow criminals who squat here illegally to have the same rights as everyone else.

          • This is a good conversation. If you are someone who came here illegally and you commit a crime over and above coming here illegally, I suppose you deserve to have your day in court (I don't suppose you deserve any such thing, but until you've been proven to commit a crime, I don't know that you did, if you see what I mean). In the same way that you came here illegally. That still needs to be proven. This should be done much more 'right away' than is currently the case, apparently. There would be a good place for Harper's Law and Order money.

            Once either or both of those things have been proven by a proper court hearing, I can't for the life of me understand why we would release you back into our society. Depending on the crime committed, I also can't see why we should be the ones paying for your incarceration. Release you off the plane into the custody of law enforcement officials once we've returned you to whence you came would be the more reasonable thing to do, I'm thinking.

            I believe I read that same article, and that is just wrong and sad and maddening.

          • You know what, Jenn, I work in the field and it is incredible the amount of abuses perpetrated in the name of what Maclean's bloggers often call "Trudeaupia." People of non-white appearance are treated with kid gloves because no judicial officer wants to be labeled racist. Aside from that, the Criminal Code is just soft on crime over all. The police do their job, but by the time it comes to court it's a completely different animal and the focus shifts away from the victim to the offender standing before you only because his mommy didn't hug him enough in his childhood. Treating people like they can't help themselves is enabling a feeling of victimhood — among perpetrators.

          • That may be true (no, it probably is true a lot of the time) but then they go and turn completely in the other direction. Arresting people simply because they are non-white (and not even so much arresting, as just not taking legitimate grievances seriously–who cares if the oriental man's car was keyed, sort of thing), to only giving lip service to the rule of law, and minimum sentences for all the wrong crimes. The CEO who bilkes people out of their life savings so he can afford that second mansion on the Riviera or whatever, the soccer coach who systematically abuses the kids on his team, or the guy who has seven marijuana plants. We are only concerned with the marijuana grower. I don't mean to suggest that the grow-up guy should go free, but if the CEO gets a fine and the child molester gets house arrest, doesn't that seem a bit skewed to anyone else?

            I'm just saying both extremes are bad, and a balance is what's needed here.

          • Bilking people and abusing kids are, I believe, in the Criminal Code. And I am sure I have read reports of people being arrested, charged, tried, convicted, fined and incarcerated for these offences.

            But if someone who is here illegally and EVERYBODY KNOWS that he is here illegally, AND he is arrested and/or charged and/or tried and/or convicted and/or fined and/or incarcerated, it quite completely blows my mind that the system doesn't ship him out at the end of the sentence. Not sooner. Punish the offender first — THEN kick him out. (The use of the masculine gender is for simplicity and may be assumed to — ah, who am I kidding…)

          • To your first paragraph: Yes, they are illegal. But sometimes the punishments (the ones I hear about, anyway) don't seem what you could call onerous (house arrest, seriously!) for what I consider a crime possibly worse than murder (for the child abuse) and certainly worse than marijuana selling (for the bilking people). That bothers me.

            To your second paragraph: I'm surprised, MYL. Not that I don't appreciate the sentiment, but I'd prefer after their conviction they received their punishment without it coming from my pocket. However, if we've paid for the accommodation, it blows my mind as well that when his time is up (use of masculine gender is for simplicity. . .) he isn't given a one-way, non-refundable ticket back to wherever.

          • I'd prefer after their conviction they received their punishment without it coming from my pocket.

            Well, ok, but you will have a hard time convincing the receiving country that THEY should pay for breaking Canadian law. And if we just ship them out without any additional punishment, that is just live-catch-and-live-release that I tried this spring on the mice in our kitchen cupboards. Here's a secret: rodents return.

          • Well, point taken. It's just that usually when a person is stupid enough to come into another country and immediately commit a crime, chances are they gained experience at the crime in the country they came from. So, if we can't convince the country of origin to do the punishment part, I'll agree with you.

            And I know that secret about rodents. I don't like that I know it, because the learning it has given me a phobia about rodents.

          • On what evidence, please, do you assert that it is "stupid" to enter Canada illegally and immediately commit another crime? So far the evidence I see indicates that it is not all that stupid. Or at least not yet stupid enough. But that is because Canada is wearing the stupid instead.

          • it blows my mind as well that when [the illegally-entered criminal non-Canadian's] time is up… he isn't given a one-way, non-refundable ticket back to wherever.

            Missed that on the first go. He should not be GIVEN the ticket. Whatever assets he has in Canada shall be seized in order to pay for his incarceration. Any leftover funds shall pay for his travel. And if all that is left cannot pay for a seat on the plane, Canada can pony up for a large-animal crate in cargo underneath…

          • Stop with the common sense talk. We should support him in suing the Canadian goverment (us) for millions. They were not very polite with him and said mean things, like "you are under arrest" He deserves our money…….

          • in Canada they do this all the time Hold someone had they have illegaly for years. I moved there now back in the US. A regional pd there who has made false warrants that never existeed just sent me an illegal notice to my home fedex threatening me. I filed a local PD report in the US who said SUE!!! Your govt is as corrupt as can get. Your media writes about our govt because they can and not get sued and can access govt info very easily.
            In Ontario the cops for example have 6 laws and 6 orgs that are there just to protect them not to protect you the public. I am blogging about this on the US side of the border safe and sound. Your own supreme court just ruled against the press there. DO not fool yourself. You have laws and policies that mean you can be jailed there for no reason and good luck suing. go to and see the immigrant abuse story from the local police.
            Abuse of power in a legal dept that owns no one anytting and totally self regulating is a system gone wrong.

          • I agree, some unknown person arrives on a false passport we should then release him on the Canadian public on bail (because he respects the rule of law and will show up for his court date). I think all terrorist should be allowed to live next to me and my kids… why not, terrorist have rights to.

          • He is NOT a terrorist. Stop your paranoia. Unbelievable.

  2. The question is whats he still doing here when he entered on a fake passport. ? He entered under false pretenses and therefore is not entitled to Canadian protection. Send him home on the next plane with alife ban on reentering.

    • you might find arizona a more natural fit for your worldview.

      • Ya, let him move in with sea_n_mountains. That way you can share your view point with this unknown criminal/possible terrorist (no wait its normal for everyone to enter a country with a forged passport)

  3. Ok, you caught me. I am biassed against criminals.

  4. How to sue the Canadian government is what I am wondering about. because not only Syrian-Canadians are suffering with this Gestapo type of government.… If you do know, please send me at email at: and subject title: How to sue the Canadian government. They broke my life so my finances went to hell as well. I do not want to have a LIAR but a LAWYER. Thank you.