ontario news watch

Link to Canada’s security needed to bar suspected spies under immigration law: court

OTTAWA — The Federal Court of Appeal says people can be barred from Canada under espionage-related provisions of the immigration law only when their activities have a clear link to Canadian security. 

The finding comes today in a pair of rulings involving men from Ethiopia who were found inadmissible to Canada for being members of an organization that had engaged in spying.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provisions bar permanent residents and foreign nationals who belonged to organizations involved in espionage “against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests.”

At issue in the two cases was how to define the phrase “contrary to Canada’s interests.”

The men are Ethiopian citizens and former employees of the African country’s Information Network Security Agency, a state security and intelligence organization.

In both cases, the Court of Appeal sided with the men, finding no evidence the intelligence agency’s acts were targeted at Canada as a state, or at Canadian companies, institutions or individuals, including members of the Ethiopian diaspora.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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