Suspended Hamilton national security adviser gets thank you letter from feds

Hamilton lawyer Hussein Hamdani was suspended as a federal security adviser at the end of April. He recently received a letter of appreciation from the government that made no mention of his suspension.

Hamdani: The suspension was 'completely and wholly politically motivated'

Hussein Hamdani, 42, is a Hamilton-based corporate and real estate lawyer – but he’s also one of the founding members of the Canadian government’s cross-cultural roundtable on national security. (Adam Carter/CBC)

A Hamilton lawyer who was suspended last spring from the federal security roundtable has just received a letter of appreciation from the government.

In the letter, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Justice Minister Peter MacKay thank Hussein Hamdani for his decade of work on the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security.

There is no mention of Hamdani's suspension from the roundtable following a media report alleging links to extremism — accusations Hamdani flatly denies.

"We are transitioning new members into the roundtable," the July 30 letter says, noting Hamdani's term ended July 15.

"Your participation over the last ten years has contributed to the success of the roundtable in establishing a long-term dialogue with communities on emerging developments in national security matters and their impact on Canada's diverse society.

"We would like to convey our appreciation for your efforts."

Roundtable members, drawn from various ethnic communities, meet several times a year for briefings from security and intelligence officials as well as outside experts about emerging public safety issues. Hamdani says he was security-vetted before joining the roundtable.

Hamdani publicly supported Liberal leader Trudeau

In May, Blaney told reporters a there was an "ongoing" review into Hamdani in response to "an allegation that we feel is serious."

"I believe and I am confident that this review will be done in a fair manner."

Hamdani says he received no reply from the government after asking how the review would be conducted, the timeline and whether he could put forward witnesses.

"There's been no correspondence with me at all, whatsoever, with the exception of that letter."

The letter only deepens his view that the suspension stemmed from his public support of Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberals, for whom he organized an April fundraising dinner. "This is completely and wholly politically motivated."

Blaney has said he was not aware of Hamdani's Liberal support — something Hamdani doesn't believe.

"The Conservatives have a habit of silencing, vilifying or defaming opponents to their policies, whether those opponents are scientists, environmentalists, privacy protectors or civil libertarians," he told CBC News. "I guess, sometimes, when you stand up to a bully, you might get punched in the face in return."

In May, Hamdani said he believes the decision was politically motivated, and denies all the allegations outright, noting that all members of the roundtable are vetted by CSIS and the RCMP.

The Public Safety Department had no immediate comment Tuesday.

With files from CBC News


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