Canada has implemented economic sanctions to suppress international terrorism under three complimentary legal mechanisms:
1. The United Nations Al-Qaida and Taliban Regulations, imposed pursuant to the United Nations Act;
2. The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Suppression of Terrorism, also imposed pursuant to the United Nations Act; and
We are going to discuss the third mechanism today because less is known about it (generally speaking). Many Canadian businesses operating internationally know about Canada’s multi-lateral economic sanctions. Many do not realize that there are unilateral economic sanctions imposed under the Criminal Code.
Part II.1 of the Criminal Code imposes domestic prohibitions against dealing in property of certain domestic and international terrorist groups. The Criminal Code also sets out several offences relating to money laundering, the financing of terrorism, imposes specific reporting requirements, and imposes asset freeze obligations relating to terrorist property.
Pursuant to subsection 83.05(1) of the Criminal Code, “the Governor in Council may, by regulation, establish a list on which the Governor in Council may place any entity if, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Governor in Council is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that (a) the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity; or (b) the entity is knowingly acting on behalf of, at the direction of or in association with an entity referred to in paragraph (a).” This means that the Federal Cabinet may add any entity to the list and then the prohibitions apply to that entity.
The currently listed entities are posted on the Public Safety website. On June 21, 2019, the Federal Cabinet added to the Regulations Establishing a List of Entities (1) Blood & Honor and (2) Combat 18 to the list of terrorist entities. Both entitles are neo-Nazi extremist networks founded outside Canada. The addition of the two networks occurred after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service released its 2018 public report.
Also on June 21, 2019, the Federal Cabinet added to the list three organizations aligned with the Iranian regime (Al-Ashtar Brigades, Fatemiyoun Division and Harakat al-Sabireen) to the terrorist roster. These organizations were not added to the United Nations list and, therefore, the Criminal Code list is a form of unilateral economic sanctions.
The penalties under the Criminal Code for dealing with a listed entity (or a person acting on behalf of the entity) are:
(a) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both; or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.
On 14 December 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) unanimously affirmed in R v Khawaja, 2012 SCC 69, that the terrorism laws in Part II.1 of the Criminal Code are constitutional. The companion appeal was Sriskandarajah v United States of America, 2012 SCC 70.
Canadian businesses often do not think about these Criminal Code economic sanctions and are not searching the listed entities list. It is a mistake to miss this list.