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e-3810 (Justice)

Initiated by David Mivasair from Hamilton, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of Justice

  • The Foreign Enlistment Act states that “[a]ny person who, within Canada, recruits or otherwise induces any person or body of persons to enlist or to accept any commission or engagement in the armed forces of any foreign state or other armed forces operating in that state is guilty of an offence.”;
  • The Israeli consulate in Toronto has advertised on several occasions an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) representative available for personal appointments for those wishing to join the IDF, not just those who are required to do mandatory service;
  • The IDF has intentionally targeted, shot and injured at least two Canadian citizens since 2015;
  • The IDF has repeatedly contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention, and illegally attacked Syria and Lebanon by missile or by drone;
  • The Ambassador of Canada conducted an event on January 16, 2020, honouring Canadians serving in the IDF; and
  • A formal complaint has been filed with the Minister of Justice regarding recruiting taking place within Canada to enlist persons into the IDF.
We, the undersigned, citizens or residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of Justice to undertake a thorough investigation of those who have recruited or facilitated recruiting for the Israel Defense Forces, and, if warranted, lay charges against those involved in recruiting and encouraging recruiting for the IDF.

Response by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Parliamentary Secretary Gary Anandasangaree

The Foreign Enlistment Act (FEA) prohibits Canadians from enlisting “in the armed forces of any foreign state at war with a friendly foreign state” and prohibits anyone in Canada from inducing another person to enlist with such armed forces. Specifically, the FEA prohibits:

  • A Canadian leaving or attempting to leave to join the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly foreign state;
  • Inducing or tricking a person to leave to join the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly foreign state;
  • Anyone in Canada transporting such a person;
  • Anyone in Canada building, supplying or militarily enhancing any ship that is to be used by the armed forces of any foreign state at war with any friendly foreign state; and
  • Anyone recruiting anyone in Canada to join the armed forces of a foreign state or other armed force operating in that state – except for the recruitment by foreign consular or diplomatic officers or agents in enlisting persons who are nationals of the country they represent and non-Canadians, in accordance with the law.

The FEA defines “armed forces” as including army, naval and air forces or services but excludes medical and other services engaged in humanitarian work for or under the Canadian Red Cross or other recognized Canadian humanitarian group.

The responsibility for the investigation and prosecution of offences under the FEA rests with independent law enforcement and prosecution services.

Open for signature
January 26, 2022, at 4:38 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
March 27, 2022, at 4:38 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Matthew Green (Hamilton Centre)
June 20, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00621)
Government response tabled
September 20, 2022
Photo - Matthew Green
Hamilton Centre
New Democratic Party Caucus