CUSJ Joins CANRAC for Green New Deal

  The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2 The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P. Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Minister of Finance House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 CC. Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister Catherine McKenna, Minister Steven Guilbeault Dear Prime Minister and Deputy Prime … Read more CUSJ Joins CANRAC for Green New Deal

GAZA 2020

Lift the Closure CUSJ as an organization has signed on to this petition to lift the closure of the Gaza Strip.  The imprisonment of Gazans has gone on too long. Thanks to those organizations which have joined the Gaza2020 call. This is TIME URGENT as it will be delivered to the United Nations Human Rights … Read more GAZA 2020

Black Lives Matter

CUSJ Outraged at Brutal Murder of George Floyd. 2020 06 04 For Immediate Release As Canadian Unitarians we are touched profoundly by the events in the U.S., arising out of the murder of George Floyd by police. The massive uprising of anguish and rage that has gripped the U.S. has moved people around the world. … Read more Black Lives Matter

Congratulations to Frances Deverell,  2020 Knight Award Recipient!

CUSJ members were delighted at the news that Frances Deverell, long-serving board member and former president of the CUSJ, received the Knight Award at the May 16 online CUC annual meeting. The Victor and Nancy Knight Living Tribute Award is presented at the CUC National Conference. The Award is made annually from the income of … Read more Congratulations to Frances Deverell,  2020 Knight Award Recipient!

Frances Deverell Accepts Knight Award with Humility and Gratitude

Below is Frances Deverell’s acceptance speech upon  receiving the Knight Award. Well, you’ve done the impossible.  I’m speechless. Thank you for this great honour, this very special recognition. First let me say that nobody does this work alone.  I have been most fortunate to have many brilliant people and caring activists working tirelessly at my … Read more Frances Deverell Accepts Knight Award with Humility and Gratitude

Help workers not oil companies

LA VERSION FRANÇAISE SUIT Canadian Unitarians For Social Justice joined with many other NGO’s, unions, and faith organizations to call our Federal Government to direct subsidies toward helping workers through transition rather than bailing out oil companies once again. March 23, 2020 To the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,  Cc: Federal Cabinet Ministers  COVID-19 is presenting … Read more Help workers not oil companies

Why do elected and hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs disagree?

Editor’s note: Former JUSTnews editor Philip Symons published this timely op-ed in the CUSJ Googlegroup, and we felt it was so informative we had to share! Why do elected and hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs disagree on whether pipelines should go through their territory? Just like our elected members of parliament, Wet’suwet’en elected Chiefs and Councils keep … Read more Why do elected and hereditary Wet’suwet’en chiefs disagree?

CUSJ supports the Wet’suwet’en

Letter of January 21, 2020, from CUSJ President Bill Woolverton TO: Honourable Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources; Premier John Horgan; Adam Olsen, Interim Leader, Green Party of BC; Andrew Wilkinson, Leader of the BC Liberal Party; Federal Justice Minister David Lametti; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Jagmeet Singh, New Democratic Party of … Read more CUSJ supports the Wet’suwet’en

Climate Action Network Sets PM’s Clock

CUSJ is a member of the Climate Action Network and signed on to this long but informative letter detailing what is needed in a government oriented to acting on the climate emergency. Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Congratulations on your re-election to lead Canada’s government at this pivotal time in history. The next few years are … Read more Climate Action Network Sets PM’s Clock

Massive victory for dying with dignity

On September 11 2019, a Quebec judge ruled that parts of both the federal and Quebec assisted dying laws are too restrictive and violate people’s rights. Specifically, Quebec Superior Court Justice Christine Baudouin struck down the controversial “reasonably foreseeable” rule in Canada’s federal assisted dying law, as well as the “end of life” clause in Quebec’s … Read more Massive victory for dying with dignity

Segal Report Misses Point

For immediate Release

The Murray Segal Report Misses the Point

The Board of the Canadian Unitarians For Social Justice (CUSJ) call on Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately to establish a full independent public inquiry on the case of Dr. Hassan Diab.  Its purpose would be to examine the Canadian system of extradition and to recommend how the law should be changed to better protect the democratic and human rights of Canadian citizens.

CUSJ is a national faith-based organization of members that works for social justice, democracy, human rights, a healthy environment, and peace.  We have been following the case of Dr. Diab and supporting him and his family since he was arrested in November, 2008. 

The Segal report claims that the Government of Canada is completely exonerated because they followed the law in every detail.  Bill Woolverton, President of CUSJ challenges the conclusion. “This is a whitewash report to protect the government,” he said.  “The unjust and unconscionable treatment of Hassan Diab over the past 11 years cannot be acceptable to Canada as a standard of practice. If this can happen, then there are serious flaws in Canada’s extradition laws. If Canadians are to be protected from unfair arrest and extradition on flimsy evidence, the law must be improved.”

The litany of injustices:

  • Dr. Diab was incarcerated without charge for 160 days in maximum security in Canada. 
  • On bail for over 6 years, he had to pay $2000 a month for his own security anklet. 
  • He was not allowed to see the evidence against him.  Some of that evidence had no known source and could have been obtained by torture.
  • The federal team tried to help the French improve the handwriting evidence, to make the case credible.  Our government was working for the French, not for our Canadian citizen. 
  • Canada extradited Dr. Diab to France in 2014, even though the judge said the evidence was too flimsy to meet Canadian legal standards.  The Supreme Court decision (Ferras: 2006) that directed judges to refuse extradition if the evidence is flimsy was ignored.
  • In France Dr. Diab was held in maximum security with two hours a day to read or exercise.  He was held without charge or trial for 4 years.  There was never enough evidence for charges or a trial.
  • Judicial investigators from France proved that Hassan Diab was not in Paris at the time of the incident.  They recommended at a minimum a release on bail but the French prosecutor refused to release him.
  • A case could be made that both Canada and France took advantage of the societal fear of terrorism to scapegoat Dr. Diab because he was Arab and Muslim. 

Dr. Hassan Diab has conducted himself peacefully and with dignity through all these trials.  He has only ever asked for justice.  He has demonstrated over and over who he is as a human being.  What was done to him, in both Canada and in France, is both unjust and unconscionable.

It is time that we demonstrate who we are as a democratic country that respects human rights.  Canada must take a strong independent look at our extradition law with a view to improving it to better protect Canadians.

For further information contact

Bill Woolverton, president

Devastated by his ordeal, Hassan still fights for justice and change so No Canadian will ever have to face what he has faced.

Campaign to stop killer robots

Note: This post was updated on April 27th to show that CUSJ had joined the campaign. CUSJ has joined the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that is working to ban fully autonomous weapons. Lethal autonomous weapons are independent artificial-intelligence-driven weapons such as drones, that can make decisions to kill … Read more Campaign to stop killer robots

Book review: Hard choices for a soft landing

CUSJ member Philip Symons’ concise guide, Surviving Civilization’s Collapse, explores humanity’s history, its quirky psyche, and its options for survival. I recently attended a small group video presentation (Regeneration by Daniel Wahl) and discussion on the subject of climate change. It was evident from the reactions of the attendees, that for some (activists and news … Read more Book review: Hard choices for a soft landing

CUSJ endorses call to boycott B.C. Ballet to protest its support of a rogue regime

How sad that the BC Ballet chose to support Israeli war crimes and apartheid, by performing as a Canadian cultural ambassador to the Zionist Israeli state in January 2019. The Canadian BDS Coalition, of which CUSJ is a member, has decided that, since B.C. Ballet will not boycott Israel, we will boycott BC Ballet. BC … Read more CUSJ endorses call to boycott B.C. Ballet to protest its support of a rogue regime