Wednesday, August 3, 2011


See story below from the Toronto Sun. It appears from the story, albeit somewhat unclear, that the player does not qualify for citizenship as he spends too much time out of Canada. However, it must be noted that actual physical residency of 1095 days in Canada is not an absolute requirement if the applicant can convince the Citizenship judge to apply the principles set out in the Koo case which can allow for consideration of the "centralized mode of living" test, and includes six factors other than physical residency. It seems to me that Mr. Bonner needs a specialist immigration lawyer to handle this case and deal with the bureaucracy and make them understand that people like him will be a credit to Canada :-).

Immigration fouls Matt Bonner Editorial Opinion Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun
Wednesday August 3

Immigration fouls Matt Bonner

First posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 2:00:00 EDT AM

San Antonio Spurs Matt Bonner lives in Toronto, married a Canadian and wants to play for Team Canada in the 2012 Olympics. But the Feds aren't doing much to help. That's Bonner (left), attempting to slow down Raptors' Andrea Bargnani during a game last season. (REUTERS)

We're calling a technical foul.

The normally-inept defence of our borders by the Canadian immigration system seems to allow almost anyone into our zone and makes it impossible to get rid of them.

Even terrorists and criminals.

Much like the Toronto Raptors' defence, we lose track of the offensive types, letting them dance around our territory like it's theirs.

In 2008, Canada's former auditor general, Sheila Fraser, reported 41,000 illegal immigrants have gone missing.

They don't get citizenship, usually, but happily use all the perks of being Canadians - health care, legal aid, welfare -- often while fighting deportation.

Which brings us to Matt Bonner.

You might remember that name, especially if you follow basketball.

Bonner, an American from Concord, N.H., came to Toronto to play for the Raptors and immediately became a fan favourite.

How could you not love him? Bonner took public transit to the Air Canada Centre.

It earned him the nickname the Red Rocket.

While he signed a healthy $16-million, four-year contract in 2010, he was more humbly Canadian than most Canucks.

He married a Toronto girl, they have a daughter together, who is a Canadian, and today, when he's not playing for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, he calls Toronto home.

In 2008, he started the ball rolling on earning his Canadian citizenship.

But unlike bobsledder Lascelles Brown, who got the seal of approval in time for the 2006 Olympics, Bonner didn't get his immigration process sped up at all.

Instead he's been fouled all the way to the hoop.

Where's the call, ref?

Bonner missed last year's World Championships in Turkey and is in jeopardy of missing the Olympic qualifiers later this summer and the 2012 Olympics.

The stumbling block? Bonner spends so much time living in San Antonio -- during the NBA season.

Have government bureaucrats never heard of pro sports?

Neither pro athletes nor Canada's Olympic Men's basketball team are the most important item on the national agenda.

But instead of having federal bureaucrats waste their time grilling Bonner, how about moving to a a zone defence against the real abusers of Canada's borders?

Matt Bonner is dying to be a Canadian. It should be a slam dunk.

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