Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Justice):
Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am. I do so in answer to a question raised by the Leader of the Opposition and also one raised by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam, but it has to do chiefly with a question put by the Leader of the Opposition with regard to whether or not my parliamentary secretary had any communications with others in connection with this matter.
The statement is as follows. After the extradition warrant had been sent out a telephone call was received by my parliamentary secretary from Mr. Ray Perrault, speaking for himself and on behalf of what he described as a legal committee, asking for further consideration of the point that Wasy-lenchuk ought not to be surrendered for extradition because he was on parole, and for consideration of the point that the habeas corpus judge had not actually issued an order dismissing the application.
Inquiries of the Ministry
Mr. Perrault indicated that the execution of the warrant was imminent and suggested to Mr. Macdonald that he should telephone the warden of Oakalla prison with a view to delaying execution of the warrant while these points were being considered. Mr. Macdonald complied with the request, and when he reached the warden he was informed that Wasylenchuk was already in the custody of United States officers and on his way to the United States.
With reference to the question raised by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam with regard to my looking into the point having to do with section 24 of the Extradition Act and section 11 of the Parole Act, I have this to say. I do not wish to be drawn into a legal argument, and I do not believe it would be in accordance with the practice for me to engage in one. Therefore I shall restrict myself simply to saying that I have been advised by the legal officers of my department that neither by force of section 24 of the Extradition Act nor section 11 of the Parole Act, nor both, is a person who is at large on parole to be considered as a person who is, to use their words, "undergoing sentence" within the meaning of the Extradition Act.
Subtopic: JOHN WASYLENCHUK
Sub-subtopic: DEPORTATION PROM B.C.