Monday, 25 October 2010

Update on the Court Case Between CAF and Jason Kenney

Dear Friends,

It has been a while since I communicated about the status of thelawsuit launched by the Canadian Arab Federation against Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration and Citizenship. Mr. Kenney had accused CAF ofbeing an anti-Semitic organization and used this as a pretence for cutting funding of some settlement programs run by CAF.

In addition, Mr. Kenney used every occasion he could in order to smear CAF and associate its activities with terrorism and anti-Semitism. Of course, he stopped doing so after the lawsuit was launched but the damage has already been done.

The community, more or less, came together to help CAF with its lawsuit.

Financial, moral, and legal support were generous enough to launch the lawsuit and keep it going for almost a year and a half. Mr. Kenney did not expect the Arab community to fight and if they did he did not expect them to keep it going for that long.

His office used every legal loophole to delay and postpone the process in the hope of draining CAF's financial resources and/or turning the Arab community against itself. Mr. Kenney's office has changed its legal representative 5 times already causing a significant delay to the process and hoping to find a law firm that can do miracles and guarantee him a win.

Time does miracles. This delay tactic seems now to be working against Mr. Kenney.  As the Conservatives make more political mistakes on issues of interest to mainstream Canadians, the public mood starts to shift against them and sympathize with their victims including advocacy and human rights organizations among others. The political and legal process is catching up with Mr. Kenney and the Conservatives and we are already seeing the results like their loss on the "Gun Registry", the legal case win by George Galloway against Jason Kenney, and the failure to get a seat at the UN Security Council. All high profile cases that saw the Conservatives invest a lot of efforts and political capital in them just to reap a resounding defeat in the end. As I write this email, we are seeing another high profile case develop into a defeat for the Conservatives and that is the Omar Khader case.

The pendulum is now swinging the other way.

The same law firm that handled the George Galloway law suit is also handling CAF's. The parameters of the two cases are similar but not exactly the same. In each case, criticism of Israel is the only driver of the decision by Mr. Kenney and his office for political interference into border control or settlement funding or smearing of opponents. The Judge in the Galloway case was very clear on that. CAF’s case is stronger than Galloway's since Galloway went to Gaza and delivered money and medical supplies to the authorities there. This Conservative government has usually appealed court decisions that were not in its favour. The fact that they did not appeal the Galloway decision means that they know they would lose again and they are bound to further irritate and frustrate the judicial system, a system that Canadians hold in high regards. The irrationality and ferocity with which the Conservatives and their allies and media outlets reacted to the UNSC seat rebuke shows that they know where things are heading for them from here on: down hill

Mr. Kenney's office has till mid-November to present its defence.

After their recent losses, I expect them to try more underhanded tricks to delay the process or enlist shady evidence. The expectation is that in the end CAF will win its case. Jason Kenney and his associates will be exposed for what they are and they will never dare again attack an Arab organization simply because it stands firm against them and their pro-Israeli policies. CAF and the Canadian Arab community will be in a much better and stronger position when the dust settles. We will then have crossed the chasm and won our right to a full and real Canadian citizenship where we act like and are treated like every other fully integrated community in a multicultural society. That is when the Arab community in Canada will come of age.

Samih Mokbel

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

No comments: