Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Permit Authorization Order: SOR/2020-215
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 21
SOR/2020-215 October 2, 2020
SPECIAL ECONOMIC MEASURES ACT
Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Permit Authorization Order
P.C. 2020-780 October 2, 2020
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act footnote a, authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction that is restricted or prohibited under the Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Regulations footnote b.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
In August 2020, following a fraudulent presidential election marred by significant irregularities, ensuing mass public protests in Belarus against the national government were brutally suppressed by government security forces resulting in gross and systematic human rights violations. Canada, its like-minded international partners, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have condemned the violence by Belarusian authorities. Further, Canada and its like-minded partners have characterized this election as neither free nor fair and have refused to accept the results. Both the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Union have offered to facilitate dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. However, the Government of Belarus has yet to respond positively to these proposals. The President of Belarus has continued to employ aggressive rhetoric towards the opposition, has refused to engage in dialogue, and has rejected calls for the holding of new presidential elections. Human rights violations continue and there has been no accountability for past or current violations.
To put pressure on the Government of Belarus to change its behaviour, to communicate a clear message to the Government of Belarus that Canada will not accept that gross and systematic human rights violations continue to take place at the hands of the State with impunity, and to encourage progress towards a negotiated solution, the Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Regulations list 11 individuals and prohibit persons (individuals and entities) in Canada and Canadians outside Canada from conducting the specified activities, such as dealing in any property, wherever situated, that is owned, held or controlled by a listed person or by a person acting on behalf of a listed person or providing any financial or related services to or for the benefit of a listed person.
Typically, when the Government imposes sanctions, individuals or entities in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada can be permitted to carry out activities that are otherwise prohibited if authorized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- To enable the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue permits.
Description and rationale
The Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Permit Authorization Order (the Order) authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any individual or entity in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction that is otherwise restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Special Economic Measures (Belarus) Regulations.
The Order will create additional compliance costs for businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited. However, costs will likely be low, as it is unlikely that Canadian businesses have dealings with the newly listed persons.
One-for-one rule and small business lens
The one-for-one rule does not apply, as there is no change in administrative costs or burden to businesses.
The Order potentially creates additional compliance costs for small businesses seeking permits that would authorize them to carry out specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited.
Eastern Europe and Eurasia Relations Division
Global Affairs Canada