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The Godfrey–Milliken Bill, officially Bill C-339: The American Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Loyalty) Act was a Private Member's Bill introduced in the Canadian parliament by Liberal MPs Peter Milliken and John Godfrey. The bill has been viewed as a parody of the American Helms-Burton Act.
The Helms-Burton Act set up stringent punishments on any business or person that profited from property of American businesses and people that had been seized in the Cuban Revolution. The bill included a policy of punishing foreign nations and companies who had profited from this seized property (which in practice means trading with Cuba at all, since everything in Cuba is in some way connected to such property). This included a number of Canadian companies.
The 1996 bill responded by calling for descendants of United Empire Loyalists who fled the American Revolution to be able to reclaim land and property that was confiscated by the American government. The bill would have also allowed the Canadian government to exclude corporate officers, or controlling shareholders of companies that possess property formerly owned by Loyalists, as well as the spouse and minor child of such persons from entering Canada. In total some three million Canadians are descendants of United Empire Loyalists, including Milliken and Godfrey. The current value of the land and property seized during the American Revolution is many billions of dollars.
The bill received widespread attention in Canada, and also some publicity south of the border including a feature on 60 Minutes.
The Godfrey–Milliken Bill did not become law; however, a more serious piece of legislation sponsored by Milliken called "An Act to amend the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act" did pass. Bill C-54[dead link] contained no reference to Loyalist property claims, but it did serve to neutralize the Helms-Burton Act within Canada.
- [dead link] The text of the Godfrey-Milliken Bill (C-339)
- [dead link] The text of Bill C-54
- [dead link] Parliamentary record of John Godfrey's co-sponsorship of C-54
- Who's isolating whom?: Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and compliance with international law, Antroy A. Arreola, Houston Journal of International Law, Jan 1, 1998
- The Godfrey-Milliken Bill - A Canadian response to the Helms-Burton Law, Sam Boskey, October 29, 1996