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Senators and Family ask Stephen Harper’s government to do the right thing for Henk Tepper this Christmas and bring him home

For Immediate Release:


December 20, 2011


Senators and Family ask Stephen Harper’s government to do the right thing for Henk Tepper this Christmas and bring him home



Ottawa – This morning Senator Ringuette, along with Senator Mac Harb, Lawyer Joe Karam, Henk Tepper’s wife Ella, and sister Harmein held a press conference to ask Stephen Harper to do the right thing and bring Henk Tepper home.


Last week Senators Ringuette and Harb, along with lawyer Jim Mockler, went to Beirut to make a representation to Lebanese officials on behalf of Henk Tepper.


During this trip, they learned that a letter from the Government of Canada requesting the return of Mr. Tepper would allow them to send Mr. Tepper home.


Mr. Tepper’s lawyers have supplied government officials with samples to use and have offered assistance, but the government has yet to even indicate a willingness to send the letter of request.


The government has been talking about ‘quiet diplomacy’, but it has been so quiet that they didn’t even know that Mr. Tepper’s file had been moved to the Lebanese Minister of Justice for three weeks.


The government has done little since Mr. Tepper was detained and has been extremely reluctant to even provide information to Mr. Tepper’s lawyers. It has been 8 months since an access to information request was submitted for documents pertaining to Mr. Tepper, but all the government has sent were news clippings, even a copy of the Interpol Red Notice from Algeria wasn’t received until supplied by Lebanese officials.


The allegation level against Mr. Tepper would have been conducted on Canadian soil and he should have the opportunity to stand trial here under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the government can make that happen with letter of request. Paul Cavalluzzo, lawyer for Maher Arar, has confirmed in conversation with Senator Ringuette that Canada would be within its rights to charge Mr. Tepper and request his return to Canada having precedent over Algeria.


Since 2008, Mr. Tepper has filed a lawsuit with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that has not been able to proceed. It is only right that Mr. Tepper return to Canada and resolve these issues.


Many questions remain unanswered by this government;


If the RCMP and/or Canadian Border Services were aware of the Red Notice and the allegation, why did they not arrest Mr. Tepper here in Canada?


Why was Mr. Tepper allowed to go on an official government trade mission when the government was aware of a red Notice calling for his arrest?


What is the government hiding, is this a cover-up?


“Henk Tepper is not a terrorist, Henk has no criminal record, Henk is a potato farmer from New Brunswick. He is a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a caring person to his employees and community,” said Senator Ringuette. “Stephen Harper, do the right thing. Bring Henk home.”


Audio of the press conference will be available on Senator Ringuette’s website:


Also find attached copies of the Interpol Red Notice and the sample letters supplied to the government by Mr. Tepper’s lawyers, in their original language.



For Additional Information:


Tim Rosenburgh

Office of Senator Pierrette Ringuette

(613) 943-2248