Canada's war crimes program hasn't publicly updated its activities in eight years

OTTAWA — A federal government unit tasked with keeping war criminals out of Canada has not published a report on its activities in more than eight years.

The War Crimes Program is a joint partnership involving the federal departments of justice and immigration, the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP.

The idea of a joint government effort on war criminals arose in 1987 after the Deschênes Commission on war criminals confirmed that Canada allowed former Nazis into the country following the Second World War.

The program issued reports on its activities to investigate, prosecute and deport suspected war criminals annually for 10 years, but then issued only two reports between 2008 and 2015 and nothing since then.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice says the program is in the midst of trying to collect data since 2016 so it can publish an update.

Canada’s efforts have been under increased scrutiny since Parliament applauded a man last September who was later identified as having fought with a Nazi unit in Ukraine during the Second World War.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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