Havana Syndrome: Ex-SCC judge to help settle claims


Former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell will mediate claims in opposition to the federal authorities from 9 relations of Canadian diplomats who suffered unexplained illnesses in Cuba.

The improvement is a step towards resolving some parts of a Federal Court motion filed in 2019 by diplomats and dependants — now numbering 18 plaintiffs — who search thousands and thousands of {dollars} in damages from the Canadian authorities after changing into mysteriously ailing whereas posted to Havana.

They have reported difficulties since 2017, together with complications, lack of recollection, incapacity to focus, cognitive and imaginative and prescient issues, noise sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, sleep disturbances, mood modifications and nosebleeds.

As of July final 12 months, Global Affairs Canada mentioned 15 Canadians had acquired a confirmed working analysis of “acquired mind harm.”

The events have agreed to the appointment of Cromwell, who served eight years on the highest court docket, as mediator at a session slated to happen in late February or early March subsequent 12 months.

The transfer follows path from the Federal Court in early October on subsequent steps within the case.

Paul Miller and John Phillips, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, mentioned in an announcement to The Canadian Press that they admire the federal government agreeing to proceed with mediation for the claims of seven youngsters and two spouses who suffered traumatic mind accidents whereas in Cuba.

“Our households have been ready a very long time to have this matter handled. They proceed to endure from the accidents they acquired throughout their time in Cuba, which have had a direct and vital influence on their lives, the youngsters, their childhoods and schooling,” Miller and Phillips mentioned.

“We count on the federal government to come to the desk with significant proposals, and implore the federal government to develop the mediation to embody the complete complement of presidency workers that additionally suffered extreme accidents in Havana.”

The diplomats say the Canadian authorities failed to defend them, hid essential data and downplayed the seriousness of the dangers. The authorities has denied wrongdoing and negligence.

Canadian and U.S. investigations haven’t pinpointed a reason behind lots of the illnesses, with theories starting from focused sonic assaults by an adversary to pesticide spraying.

Global Affairs Canada declined to reply particular questions concerning the deliberate mediation.

The division mentioned in an emailed response that it maintains a strict safety protocol to reply instantly to any uncommon occasions or well being signs affecting Canadian diplomats.

“Global Affairs Canada continues to monitor the well being and security of its diplomatic workers posted in Havana. We additionally proceed to examine all potential causes of the unknown well being signs. For privateness and safety causes, we can not touch upon the specifics of the continuing investigations, particular person instances, nor on particular safety measures.”

The division mentioned it will not remark additional on condition that the matter is earlier than the courts.

Several U.S. personnel who labored in Cuba have reported comparable well being points, generally generally known as Havana Syndrome. More just lately, there have been experiences of signs amongst U.S. personnel in locales together with Washington, Austria and China.

In October final 12 months, Global Affairs issued a message to all workers around the globe, outlining the signs and the way to report considerations.

The RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service have despatched comparable messages to their workers, the division says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Nov. 11, 2022.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here