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THE HONOURABLE SENATOR Omidvar
This enactment provides for the reporting and disposition of assets seized, frozen or sequestrated under the Special Economic Measures Act, the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, and the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law).
Whereas there is a greater number of forcibly displaced persons than ever before in the world today;
Whereas their displacement is frequently the result of bad governance that has led to violence, armed conflict or persecution;
Whereas those responsible for that bad governance have often unlawfully enriched themselves through corrupt practices and then placed the illicit proceeds as assets in other jurisdictions, including Canada;
Whereas Canada, upon becoming aware of the presence of those assets, has ordered them frozen in order to deprive corrupt officials of the benefit thereof;
Whereas Parliament enacted the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) to provide for the taking of restrictive measures, including freezing their assets in Canada, in respect of foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights;
Whereas Parliament wishes to build on the foundation created by the Sergei Magnitsky Law by establishing a method that is consistent with due process and transparency and by which those frozen assets can be repurposed for the benefit of the forcibly displaced and the communities that are hosting them;
And whereas Parliament’s dual objectives are to achieve a measure of accountability and to make additional resources available for the benefit of the forcibly displaced;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Frozen Assets Repurposing Act.
2 The following definitions apply in this Act.
foreign national has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (étranger)
foreign state has the same meaning as in section 2 of the State Immunity Act. (État étranger)
frozen asset means any property that the Governor in Council caused to be seized, frozen or sequestrated by order under
(a) paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Special Economic Measures Act;
(b) paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act; or
(c) paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law). (bien bloqué )
3 The purpose of this Act is to establish a regime by which certain property related to international human rights abuses that is seized, frozen or sequestrated under Canadian law may be repurposed.
4 Despite any other Act of Parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs must publish, in a registry accessible to the public and available on a website maintained by or for the Minister,
(a) the name of the person or entity associated with a frozen asset; and
(b) the value of the frozen asset.
5 (1) On application of the Attorney General or of any other person with the written consent of the Attorney General, a judge or justice of the superior court of the province in which a frozen asset is located may, despite any order made under a provision referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c) of the definition frozen asset,
(a) order that the frozen asset be paid into court;
(b) order that the frozen asset be sold and that the proceeds from the sale be paid into court; or
(c) otherwise deal with the frozen asset as the court considers appropriate in the circumstance.
Non-application of previous order
(2) An order made under a provision referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c) of the definition frozen asset ceases to apply in respect of a frozen asset for which an order is made under subsection 5(1) on the date on which the order made under that subsection takes effect.
6 An order under subsection 5(1) may only be made if the court is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the frozen asset is associated with a foreign national who is responsible for or complicit in
(a) extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights;
(b) the forced displacement of peoples;
(c) ordering, controlling or otherwise directing acts of corruption that amount to acts of significant corruption when taking into consideration, among other things, their impact, the monetary amounts involved, the foreign national’s influence or position of authority or the complicity of the government of the foreign state in question; or
(d) violations of human rights standards that are based on customary international law and international human rights conventions to which Canada is a party.
Notification and hearing
7 (1) Before making an order under subsection 5(1), the court
(a) must give notice, in accordance with subsection (2), to any person or entity, including a foreign state, that, in the court’s opinion, may have a valid interest in the frozen asset; and
(b) may, if it considers it necessary or advisable to do so, hear evidence from any person or entity, including a foreign state, that, in the court’s opinion, may have a valid interest in the frozen asset, whether or not that person or entity received a notice in accordance with subsection (2).
(2) A notice must
(a) be given in the manner that the court directs or that is specified in the rules of the court; and
(b) specify the effective period of the notice that the court considers reasonable or that is set out in the rules of the court.
8 (1) Moneys paid into court under this Act may be distributed by the court to any individual or entity, including a foreign state, in any amount or proportion that the court sees fit if, in the court’s opinion, the funds will be used for a purpose that the court believes is just and appropriate in the circumstances, including
(a) benefitting persons harmed or otherwise disadvantaged by
(i) the actions of the foreign national with whom the frozen asset was associated, or
(ii) actions described in paragraphs 6(a) to (d);
(b) supporting humanitarian relief or the relief of forcibly displaced persons; or
(c) assisting a foreign state in accommodating refugees.
(2) An order under subsection (1)
(a) must include a requirement that any recipient report to the court on its spending of any moneys received in accordance with any terms that the court considers appropriate in the circumstance; and
(b) may include a prohibition against certain uses of the moneys received.
(3) For greater certainty, nothing in this section affects any remedy available under any other Act of Parliament or the legislature of a province.
9 (1) Within five years after this section comes into force, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by any committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that may be designated or established by the Senate or the House of Commons, or by both Houses of Parliament, as the case may be, for that purpose.
(2) The committee referred to in subsection (1) must, within a year after a review is undertaken pursuant to that subsection or within such further time as may be authorized by the Senate or the House of Commons, as the case may be, submit a report on the review to Parliament, including a statement of any changes that the committee recommends.
Published under authority of the Senate of Canada