OTTAWA – The federal government argues that an organization formally branded a terrorist entity last year — and prohibited from raising money — should not be given a state-funded lawyer to wage the first phase of its legal fight.
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney denied the Canadian branch of the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy permission last November to raise money to fight the listing.
The organization has asked the Federal Court of Canada to set aside Blaney’s decision — saying it’s unconstitutional — and affirm its right to solicit funds to pay a lawyer.
Meantime, the organization — known as IRFAN-Canada — is asking the court either to provide a state-funded lawyer or advance monies under a special provision for such cases.
“The absurdity of this dilemma cries out for state ordered funding in novel circumstances that have not previously been encountered in Canadian law,” the organization says in a new court submission.