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CBA to Appear Before Finance Committee on Proceeds of Crime Bill (C-25)

CBA to Appear Before Finance Committee on Proceeds of Crime Bill (C-25)
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For Immediate Release
November 2, 2006

OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association will appear before the Finance Committee on the Proceeds of Crime Act amendments, on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 at 12:30 p.m. in Room 237-C, Centre Block.  Appearing on behalf of the CBA is Ron Skolrood, of Vancouver, Chair of the National Constitutional and Human Rights Law Section. 

“The Canadian Bar Association commends the government for recognizing the fundamental importance of solicitor-client privilege, by explicitly removing legal counsel and law firms from the reporting requirements under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act,” says Ron Skolrood.  “This will protect an individual’s right to speak to their lawyer knowing that what they say will go no further.”

At the same time, CBA is concerned that Bill C-25 is being rushed through without adequate time for stakeholders to assess the full impact.  For example, the bill would significantly expand the regime for sharing information with foreign governments.

“Recent experience has shown that unchecked information sharing can lead to gross violations of the human rights of innocent Canadian citizens. This highlights the need for effective independent oversight and accountability of all Canadian security institutions,” says Skolrood.

The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.

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CONTACT: Hannah Bernstein, Canadian Bar Association, Tel: (613) 237-2925, ext. 146; E-mail: hannahb@cba.org.

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