A Canadian flag flies in the the wind on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Photo: Matthew Usherwood/CP)
Just 2 citizenship revocation casesThe consultants examined data, surveyed staff and interviewed 49 people — including federal employees and representatives of foreign governments, NGOs and academic institutions. However, they found complete annual performance data existed only through 2010-11, making the assessment challenging and highlighting a desire for "more accountability," even among program personnel. There was "indirect evidence" the program had been effective, such as the denial of more than 3,000 visas over 10 years on grounds of war crimes or crimes against humanity. Still, there had only been two citizenship revocation cases for modern war crimes, with most revocation files involving Second World War cases.
'Indications of strain'In the same vein, the program had undertaken just two prosecutions for modern war crimes, reflecting the "difficulty in having sufficient evidence to lay charges and the high cost of prosecutions." "Some key informants questioned the preference for immigration remedies, arguing that this approach displaces criminals rather than holds them accountable." Many believed the program was effectively managing files, though there were "indications of strain." The percentage of program personnel who indicated they were somewhat or highly satisfied with the program as a means of denying safe haven fell to 59 per cent in 2015 from 74 per cent in 2008. Other findings: — Over two-thirds of those surveyed said the amount of training was inadequate. — Co-operation among partner departments was generally seen to work well, but communication regarding active files "could be improved" and the relationship between the RCMP and Justice Canada "remains a work in progress." — Loss of expertise due to retirement was a key risk for the program. In addition, various program subcommittees "appear to have stagnated" in the last five years, the presentation says. The research and virtual library committees did not seem to have met since 2011, the standardized training committee had been on hold since 2013 and there had been no major refresh of the War Crimes Program website for five years.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: