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Senator Pierrette Ringuette rejects the Canadian government’s claim to be unable to intervene to help Henk Tepper.

For Immediate release


August 9, 2011



Senator Pierrette Ringuette rejects the Canadian government’s claim to be unable to intervene to help Henk Tepper.



OTTAWA – The Canadian Government, through comments made by Ministers’ Ablonczy and Baird and representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, has repeatedly made the claim that they cannot intervene in the case of Henk Tepper, a Canadian citizen and potato farmer being held in a Beirut prison under an Interpol Red Notice originating from an allegation surrounding a shipment of potatoes to Algeria.


 Most recently, the following statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs was sent to CBC’s Power and Politics and read on air on August 5:


“…Also, it should be noted that the Government of Canada cannot intervene in the judicial affairs of a sovereign country, nor can it seek preferential treatment or try to exempt Canadian citizens from the due process of local law…”


This is an excuse they have been using for months to deflect attention away from their lack of required assistance to bring an honest potato farmer home


Senator Pierrette Ringuette has released the following statement in response to these claims:


“The Canadian government has already intervened in this case; they sent Mr. Tepper’s personal and business financial information to the Algerians, information that had nothing to do with whether an alleged forging of documents occurred. That goes beyond mere intervention, it is full on involvement.


And while the Canadian authorities has gone out its way to send the personal and business financial information of a private citizen to a foreign nation, it has been virtually impossible for Mr. Tepper’s lawyers to get information from the government, information that is Mr. Tepper’s right under The Access to Information Act.


The Canadian government should be protecting the rights of Canadian citizens as they have done in the past. This is not an issue of what the government can’t do; it’s a question of what the government has done since 2008 for the Algerians and what the government willing to do, now, for Henk Tepper, and the answer is very little. As a Senator representing my constituents and as a Canadian citizen I am appalled by the government actions aiding Algeria while refusing to act for a Canadian citizen. It’s beyond belief, the poor excuses they are giving to Mr. Tepper’s family.”


For Additional Information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248