Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What is the Magnitsky Act (S-226) that Canada just passed?

What is the Magnitsky Act (S-226) that Canada just passed?

Good question. It was passed secretly.  Unanimously.  Absolutely no explanations to the Canadian people of what this bill contains.  We’ve kind of been kept in the dark, so to speak.  And I believe the reason for not bringing public attention to this bill is because it contains severe restrictions on the right to free speech and assembly in Canada but dresses it up in phony concern about human rights in other countries.  


The Magnitsky Act was first passed in the US and now here. The Act says that the Canadian government has the absolute right to censure any Canadian citizen who has financial transactions with any foreign country who they deem to be guilty of human rights violations.  Fancy that.  That is a very severe restriction on freedom of speech and assembly.  When we consider that the US finds some country guilty of violations of human rights every other day, yet not others with documented violations, or where petty President Trump – in a tweet – can use the act on any country he takes a notion to, we have to take pause. 


What would it mean if a Canadian, who now also lives under that same power invested in our Prime Minister, wanted to have financial or have financial family transactions in any country the US doesn’t like? They simply wouldn’t be able to. And now Prime Minister Trudeau also has this awesome power to bring any “rebellious” citizen to heel should he or she make a peep of protest if and when the Prime Minister falls directly in line with US sanctions on some country that needs their oil wells more “expertly” managed.


The Magnitsky Act (S-226) was passed primarily on the testimony of one man, William Brower.  Brower is an American-British financier, of Jewish heritage, who gave up his American citizenship in 1998 in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes on foreign investments. He was financially huge in Russia, owning and managing many billion dollar firms there. Brower fled Russia in 2013 amid two legal cases against him and one of his auditors, Sergei Magnitsky. They were being charged with libel in London and tax evasion in Russia.  Brower escaped, but Magnitsky died in a Russian Prison eleven months later.  Bower claims (without proof, and he wasn’t in Russia at the time) that Magnitsky was murdered in prison.


I don’t know what happened in Russia.  Neither does the US nor Canadian governments. But I know something of what happens in the US and Canada.  And for Canada to pass such a restrictive and potentially dangerous  law based primarily on one man’s testimony in revenge against Russia for daring to tax his enormous wealth made in Russia is so totally fascist I can’t believe it.  I’m stunned.  Truly.  In the US, Bernie Sanders (I voted for him in the presidential primaries) voted against this bill that Canada just signed.  More about Bernie later.  Next time.

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