Believing that she was not fit to stand trial and recognizing Dominica’s inability to properly treat her, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Dominica requested that Canadian officials make arrangements to have her repatriated for treatment and guarantee her return to face charges when she was fit to do so. Despite our best efforts the response from Canadian Foreign Affairs was, surprisingly, that there was nothing that they could do to help to facilitate this. This is not true.
While Canada and Dominica do not have an extradition treaty, the Canadian Extradition Act does make provisions for the FA minister to enter into specific agreements with non-treaty countries with the consent of the Minister of Justice.
In the face of Canadian Foreign Affairs’ inexplicable refusal to own up to its moral obligation to facilitate his request, the Dominican DPP (since replaced) undertook to discontinue my sister’s trial and grant our family permission to have her repatriated.
My sister was repatriated in January of 2012 and, since there were no official restrictions or orders in place in Canada, was voluntarily committed to the CAMH in Toronto where the good people there treated her till she uncommitted herself some months later. She has discontinued communication with our family and we have no assurance that she is receiving the ongoing care that she needs and, though she has been released from treatment, her trial has been left unfinished. There is no verdict, no orders for treatment and there are no official restrictions or obligations resulting from this incident whatsoever.
I am calling on the Canadian and Dominican governments to work together to honour their responsibility as the guardians of justice and protectors of the public good to work together to conclude this matter. Specifically:
1) For the current Dominican DPP, to continue the trial and for Dominican Foreign Affairs to re-issue their request to have my sister treated and returned to Dominica for trial when she is deemed fit to do so.
– AND –
2) For the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister to enter into and enforce a specific agreement with Dominica for her treatment, evaluation and extradition for trial in accordance to the powers granted him under the Extradition Act Sec 10(1).
This is a horrible situation where there are no winners but we have a responsibility to see to it that justice is served and that society is protected. I expect, if she is tried, that she will be found not-guilty by reason of insanity, will be ordered treated, repatriated for treatment, will be restricted from working with children and that appropriate supports will be mandated if she has any more children of in the future.
As a citizen of Canada and Dominica, I call upon you, my fellow citizens, to join me in this call to action to demand our governments do the right thing and 1) see to it that this matter is concluded in accordance with the law and the will of the public and 2) that provisions be put in place to help ensure that such incidents are dealt with appropriately in the future. I believe that this is the least we as a society can do to honour this tragic loss of life. Please do your part and sign this petition today.
With gratitude for your support,