Trump torture embrace increases pressure on Canada to repeal directives

Trump torture embrace increases pressure

OTTAWA — U.S. President Donald Trump’s embrace of torture is prompting renewed calls for Canada to scrap federal directives that allow the use of information obtained through brutal means.

Several human rights groups and the federal NDP are calling on Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to repeal the instructions, introduced by the former Conservative government.

Goodale has said the ministerial directives raise troubling issues.

Since becoming president, Trump has expressed openness to the return of torture during interrogations.

Groups including Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said Monday in a letter to Goodale there’s a real risk that intelligence-sharing between Canada and the U.S. may again become tainted by concerns about torture.

In the House of Commons, NDP public safety critic Matthew Dube asked whether the Liberal government would repeal the federal instructions in light of Trump’s “frightening normalization of torture.”

Goodale said torture is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code and international conventions to which Canada is a party.

“Most importantly, torture is found to be abhorrent by Canadians, and we reject it.”

But Goodale added that the ministerial directives are still “under review to ensure that they are consistent with the policies and practices of the government of Canada.”

A 2010 federal framework document says when there is a “substantial risk” that sending information to — or soliciting information from — a foreign agency would result in torture, the matter should be referred to the responsible deputy minister or agency head.

The directive specific to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, based on the framework, says the agency must not knowingly rely upon information derived from torture.

But it adds that in “exceptional circumstances” CSIS may need to share the most complete information in its possession, including details likely extracted through torture, to deal with a threat to life or property.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at Delta farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

LETTER: Township has much to do the day before Christmas

A Langley letter writer shares her prose about Township Langley council preparing for Christmas Day.

Santa, Moana drop in on Aldergrove children’s party: PHOTOS

Annual Christmas party for children hosted by Aldergrove Elks

North Langley boys fight to finish ahead of Clayton’s Lord Tweedsmuir

Tsumura Basketball Invitational action wrapped up Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

Langley families spend time with the man in red

Willows Church hosted a Santa Claus Breakfast Saturday morning, attracting lots of folks.

VIDEO: Goalie of Langley-based Giants kept door shut to U.S. league-leaders

Vancouver G-Men defeated the Winterhawks Tuesday 5-3 at LEC, now 1-0 in Portland Friday night.

Aldergrove Secondary celebrates 60th anniversary

Aldergrove Secondary School is celebrating “60 years of Totems” with an open house on May 12, 2018.

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

VIDEO: Man frustrated that Vancouver taxi driver won’t take him home to New Westminster

Kuldip Gill says that not being able to get a ride to the suburbs is a constant problem

Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

Todd’s mother Carol stresses the importance of putting the phone down and talking with children

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

Most Read