On November 29, Hanaa Al Sharief, acting as co-counsel with Naseem Mithoowani, on behalf of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association (CMLA), intervened in the Supreme Court of Canada case of Earl Mason, et al. v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
The case raises important questions about the proper interpretation of s.34(1)(e) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a provision that renders a person inadmissible to Canada on security grounds for engaging in violent conduct that may endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada.
The CMLA argued that in the context of statutory interpretation, consideration must be given to the practical operation of the law, including its effect on vulnerable and marginalized populations. In this case, the impact of the law when placed against the social phenomena of over policing of marginalized communities needs to be carefully assessed. Given the profound impact on racialized populations that may follow from a broad interpretation of s.34(1)(e), including deportation and loss of status without right of appeal, a more narrow approach that does not have the potential to further entrench inequity against vulnerable populations should be adopted.
A summary of the case and a full webcast of the hearing can be viewed at https://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/info/sum-som-eng.aspx?cas=39855.