Canada asks U.S. court to toss case alleging it wrongly named woman a terrorist

Canada wants U.S. court to toss terrorism case

The Canadian government wants a U.S. court to toss out a lawsuit that accuses it of ruining the life of a British Columbia woman, who alleges it knowingly gave false information to the FBI and American border services that branded her a terrorist and an arms dealer.

A document filed in U.S. district court in Seattle by the Canadian government says the legal dispute has no place being heard outside of Canada because it was filed by a Canadian against Canadian defendants.

Perienne de Jaray is the former executive vice-president and co-owner of Apex USA, previously a multimillion-dollar subsidiary of electronics maker Apex Canada, which her father launched.

De Jaray contends in a legal submission that the Canadian government’s actions were motivated by a desire to appease the U.S. administration by proving it could robustly enforce U.S. arms export restrictions, which she argues could help Canada’s defence companies gain trade exemptions and secure access to lucrative American defence contracts.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. The lawsuit names the federal attorney general, Canada Border Services Agency and Global Affairs, as well as several bureaucrats.

The federal government declined comment on behalf of all the agencies and the named individuals in the lawsuit, saying it does not comment on matters before a court.

A complaint for damages filed earlier this year says Apex USA was forced to fold after the Canadian government passed along information to the FBI alleging the company illegally shipped weapons-grade electronics to Hong Kong in late 2008, which later turned out to be false.

The Canadian government admitted it was wrong in 2013 and dismissed the charges, later paying de Jaray’s father an unknown amount to settle a civil lawsuit, the document says.

De Jaray’s lawyer, Janis Puracel, said in an interview that an American court is the proper venue to hear the grievance because much of the harassment took place on U.S. soil and ultimately resulted in her client no longer being allowed to live in the country.

Additionally, she said the government’s suggestion of Canada as a “suitable alternate forum” to hear the complaint contradicts earlier, informal communications that de Jaray’s lawsuit would be barred in Canada under the statute of limitations because too much time has passed.

“Basically, what we’ve ended up in is a position where she doesn’t have relief in a Canadian court and she doesn’t have relief in an American court,” Puracel said. “So we’re stuck in this limbo in between, based on their argument.”

Her court submission refers to Canadian investigators dropping off business cards and meeting with U.S.-based employees of Apex in the U.S.

“(De Jaray’s) claims arise out of defendants’ unlawful acts to engage U.S. authorities, which allowed defendants to gain access to plaintiff’s employees, customers and suppliers on U.S. soil,” a court document says.

“It was that conduct that ultimately destroyed (de Jaray’s) life, work and ability to lawfully stay in the United States.”

— Follow @gwomand on Twitter

Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Biting and jumping are paw-sitives when raising a police dog puppy

18-week-old Maya is training with Delta police to one day take a bite out of crime

B.C. serves up $6.3 million boost to province’s respite program

The announcement, in Surrey, aims to give parents of special needs children a break

Hundial the latest councillor to split from McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition

Councillor says the mayor dissolving the public safety committee was the ‘final straw’ for him

Schedule released for South Surrey-hosted Americas Olympic Softball Qualifier

Canadian national women’s fastpitch team to open tournament against Cuba

OUR VIEW: Sometimes, Surrey, it’s hard not to get riled by rules

Imagine life without rules. We wouldn’t have to pay taxes, or eat our broccoli

Rents in most Canadian cities are unaffordable for lower-income earners: study

Roughly one-third of households, or 4.7 million, are renters

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

RCMP use helicopter and police dog to search for suspect on Sts’ailes First Nation

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

North Delta happenings: week of July 18

Events and community listings for North Delta

Missing Vancouver Island woman believed to be on mainland

Rhonda Stevenson, 43, last seen July 13 in central Nanaimo

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Missing Greater Victoria man last seen in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Jonah Donato, 40, travelled to the mainland in June

Most Read