Safe Streets and Communities Act: Supporting Victims of Terrorism
As part of its commitment to help ensure the safety and security of Canadians, the Government has introduced the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which enacts the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and includes proposed reforms to the State Immunity Act. Designed to support victims of terrorism, these changes would result in supporters and perpetrators of terrorism being held accountable for their actions.
These amendments would:
- allow victims of terrorism to sue the perpetrators and supporters of terrorism in a Canadian court, including foreign states listed by the Government. Victims of terrorism can seek redress for terrorist acts committed anywhere in the world on, or after, January 1, 1985;
- allow victims of terrorism to launch a suit if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or if they can demonstrate a real and substantial connection between the claim and Canada; and
- allow suspension of limitation periods. In other words, victims would not be penalized if they were incapable of commencing an action because of physical, mental or psychological conditions, or when the victim would be unable to ascertain the identity of the perpetrator of the act, or those who supported this perpetrator.
These proposed measures complement Canada’s existing counter-terrorism measures. They are aimed at deterring terrorism, responding to the needs of victims, and demonstrating Canada’s leadership against perpetrators and supporters of terrorism around the world. The Government of Canada is determined to take decisive steps to protect Canadians from the threat of terrorism. By tabling this legislation, the Government of Canada is sending a clear message that perpetrators of terrorism and their supporters will be held accountable for their actions.