BenchPress--Vol 41-5.

Author:Mitchell, Teresa

Get Going Minister!

Morteza Momenzadeh Tameh was a member of a resistance group with links to terrorist groups in Iran in the 1980s. He was imprisoned by the Iranian government from 1982 to 1987. After his release he fled to Canada and requested permanent residency in 1994, after being found to be a UN Convention refugee. He was turned down because of his association with the resistance group. He requested, on the recommendation of an immigration counsellor, that the Minister of Public Safety grant him relief. Then Minister Stockwell Day turned him down. Appeals followed. In 2012, Canada removed his resistance group from its list of terrorist organizations. Delays continued. The government changed. Still, Mr. Tameh waited. Finally, he applied to the Federal Court of Canada to ask for an order of mandamus, meaning the Minister must make a decision. The Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale, argued that because of his many duties and responsibilities, he should not be held to any timelines whatsoever in making a decision. Chief Justice Crampton of the Federal Court disagreed. He wrote: "Ministers of the Crown are typically very busy people. But they are not so busy that they can take as many years as they see fit to respond to requests made pursuant to validly enacted legislation, by persons seeking determinations that are important to them. At some point, they will have an obligation to provide a response." Justice Crampton set out a very stringent set of timelines for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Mr. Tameh to follow, and ordered the Minister to make a decision within 60 days of receiving submissions and a recommendation from the President of the CBSA.

Tameh v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2017 FC 288 (CanLII)

The Maple Syrup Caper

In November 2016 Richard Vallieres was convicted of theft, fraud and trafficking in stolen goods as a ringleader in the theft of $18.7 million worth of maple syrup. The case made headlines around the world. The elaborate scheme bypassed the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which regulates the syrup industry in Quebec. On April 28, 2017 he was sentenced to eight years in prison and a fine of $9.4 million. If he cannot pay the fine, his jail term will be extended by an additional six years. Pretty hefty price to pay for sticky fingers!

R. c Vallieres, 2017 QCCS 1687 (CanLII)

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