Sunday, January 30, 2011


Note this report from the Wall Street Journal: "The Canadian government said this weekend that one of Mr. Ben Ali's brothers-in-law has applied for refugee status in Canada, effectively blocking Tunisia's efforts to extradite him.".

While they have a right to make a refugee claim given our ABSURD laws that permit that, the claimants should be placed in custody as a fight risk.

Tunisian Islamic Party Leader Returns Home -


See story below. I think Mr. Volpe has a good sense of humour: he was the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration under the previous Liberal government, so he bears responsibility for the mess too. All immigration programs should be on the table to ensure benefits to Canada, efficient, tracking, enforcement and self-funding.

CBC News - Politics - Immigration programs still poorly tracked: Volpe

Saturday, January 29, 2011


This fast-developing story highlights the many shortcomings of our immigration system and its inability to deal with unsavoury characters in a speedy and firm manner.

Globe and Mail: Canada moves to extradite, freeze assets of exiled Tunisian billionaire

Friday, January 28, 2011


If they are placed in detention under IRPA, as the authorities have the power to do, their case will move a lot faster.... that would send a powerful message around the world to other dictators and their allies.

Trabelsi questioned by immigration officials, leaves Chateau Vaudreuil: report

Trabelsi questioned by immigration officials, leaves Chateau Vaudreuil: report

By Marian Scott, Montreal GazetteJanuary 27, 2011

Montreal Tunisians hailed news Thursday that Belhassen Trabelsi, the billionaire brother-in-law of deposed dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, faced questioning by immigration officials after Tunisia officially requested his arrest.

Trabelsi reportedly left the Château Vaudreuil Thursday afternoon for an undisclosed location, where he was to be questioned by officials.

He had been staying at the hotel west of the city since arriving in Montreal by private jet last week with his wife, four children and a governess.

Esme Bailey, a senior media spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), refused to confirm that Trabelsi faced questioning. A statement by CBSA noted that all “persons seeking to enter Canada must appear for an examination to determine whether they have a right to enter or become authorized to enter Canada.”

However, members of the local Tunisian community, which numbers 6,500 according to the 2006 census, were celebrating in the wake of media reports that Canada had revoked the permanent-resident status Tabelsi had obtained as an immigrant in a category reserved for wealthy investors.

“It’s a victory. We are very happy,” said Fadoua Mhiri, 39, a homemaker who has been glued to her computer to keep abreast of events in Tunisia since Ben Ali fled the country Jan. 14.

However, Mhiri and other Montreal Tunisians charged that Canada has been slow to react to the popular revolt that toppled Ben Ali and is now roiling Egypt and Yemen.

“The Tunisian revolution took everybody totally by surprise. The same people who were friends of Canada a week or two ago became enemies and wanted criminals overnight,” Mhiri said.

In Rabat, Morocco, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said members of the deposed regime in Tunisia are “not welcome” in Canada and that he supports calls for “democratic development” in Egypt. Harper made the comments after a meeting with Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi, where the two of them discussed the recent wave of unrest hitting nations in North Africa.

Middle East expert Henry Habib said the overthrow of the Tunisian dictator and violent protest in Egypt have been a long time coming.

“This has been going on for decades: the malcontent and unhappiness of the people from political corruption,” said Habib, an emeritus professor of political science at Concordia and lecturer at the University of Ottawa.

“What you needed was a spark to put the whole tinder box ablaze.”

That spark was 26-year-old fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, whose spectacular suicide touched off Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution. Bouazizi, who was the sole support of his mother and five siblings, died Jan. 4, weeks after setting himself on fire to protest the confiscation of his wares by a city inspector.

Bouazizi’s gesture symbolized the despair of a people struggling against poverty, unemployment and rampant corruption, said Haroon Bouazzi, a Montreal computer scientist and spokesman for a local Tunisian pro-democracy organization.

“Every Tunisian felt he was this person,” Bouazzi said.

Bouazizi’s case was nothing new, said Bouazzi.

“What’s new is that this time, people said, ‘It’s enough.’ ”

Bouazzi, 32 who came to Montreal 11 years ago, has been organizing demonstrations in front of the Tunisian consulate and film screenings on human-rights abuses in Tunisia for eight years. He said the events used to attract only a handful of people but Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution has galvanized the community.

“The people are still very angry,” said Bouazzi, who called on the Canadian government to help prosecute members of the former regime and to take an active role in restoring democracy to Tunisia.

On Thursday, the Tunisian ambassador, Mouldi Sakri, and Montreal consul Imed Sassi signed a letter announcing their resignation from Ben Ali’s party, the Rassemblement constitutionnel démocratique.

“We can say today that a new page has been turned for Tunisia,” said Sakri, who said he supported a return to democracy and stability for the country of 10 million.

In the letter, he also called on the Canadian government to seize any property held by members of the deposed dictator’s family.

In 2008, Ben Ali’s son-in-law Mohamed Sakher El Materi bought a $2.5-million house in Westmount but its current occupants say el Materi has sold it.

PQ international affairs critic Louise Beaudoin charged Quebec’s Liberal government is dragging its feet when it comes to making members of ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali feel unwelcome here.

Beaudoin said it’s time Quebec stopped acting “like a small province” and made it clear what it thinks about the presence of the family here.

Trabelsi’s right-hand man, Hamadi Etouil, was said to have taken a Montreal-bound flight from Paris to join him last night.


Thursday, January 27, 2011


The decision does not disclose who tipped CBSA and how. We can safely assume that it may have been a person with intimate details of the sitatuion.

Perez v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Biviana Elena Mendoza Perez, Applicant, and

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Respondent

[2011] F.C.J. No. 2

2011 FC 1
Docket IMM-2056-10
Federal Court

Montréal, Quebec
Beaudry J.
Heard: December 16, 2010.

Judgment: January 5, 2011.

(31 paras.)

1 BEAUDRY J.:-- This is an application for judicial review under s. 72(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 26 (IRPA or the Act) of the decision rendered by an immigration officer (officer), dated April 7, 2010, denying the applicant's application for permanent resident status under the Spouse or Common-law partner in Canada class, because the applicant's marriage was found to be not genuine, and entered into primarily for the purpose of immigration.

2 For the reasons that follow, the application for judicial review shall be denied.


3 The applicant is a citizen of Colombia. She left Colombia in July 2005 due to a threat to her life by a militia. She attempted to claim asylum at the USA/Canada border on August 1, 2005 but was denied because of the safe-third-country agreement. In October 2005, the applicant re-entered Canada and claimed asylum for a second time in November 2005. That claim was turned down because of the earlier refusal. The applicant was told to report for deportation on November 28, 2005 but did not appear for removal. A warrant for her arrest was issued on December 12, 2005, and later executed on May 14, 2008.

4 While in Canada, the applicant became pregnant while in a short lived relationship. She thereafter began a second relationship with Carlos Alberto Lanza Elvir, whom she married on June 9, 2006. The applicant claims to have been living with her spouse since that time. The applicant's daughter was born in Montreal on September 22, 2006.

5 The applicant's sponsored application for permanent residence was submitted on December 17, 2007.

6 CIC received an anonymous "tip" in December 2007 alleging that the applicant had married for immigration purposes, and that the couple had taken a lot of fake photos to prove their marriage. The person giving the tip also alleged that the applicant and her spouse were living separately.

7 An interview was held on March 31, 2010 to evaluate the bona fide of the marriage. The applicant and her spouse were questioned separately, and then confronted with discrepancies.

Impugned Decision

8 The officer determined that the applicant's relationship with her sponsor was not genuine and was entered into primarily for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence in Canada. This was due to several discrepancies for which the officer was not satisfied with the explanations given by the applicant and her sponsor.


9 The issues are as follows:
• a. Did the officer give intelligent and sufficient reasons for her decision?

• b. Did the officer breach her duty to act fairly by omitting to give any reasons for her decision concerning the purpose of the marriage with respect to the second part of the test provided in section 4 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (hereinafter the Regulations or the IRPR)?

• c. Did the officer err in identifying what she qualified as important discrepancies?

Relevant Legislation

10 The relevant legislation is in the attached appendix.

Standard of review

11 Determinations of whether a relationship is genuine and entered into for the purpose of obtaining status under the Act are factual determinations and therefore reviewable on the reasonableness standard (Kaur v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 417, [2010] F.C.J. No. 482 (QL), para 14). As such, the Court will only intervene if the decision does not fall within the range of possible, acceptable outcomes which are defensible in respect of the facts and law (Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190, para 47).

12 Questions relating to the applicant's right to a fair hearing and natural justice are reviewed on the standard of correctness (Sketchley v. Canada (Attorney General), 2005 FCA 404, [2006] 3 F.C.R. 392, para 53).

1. Did the officer breach her duty to act fairly by omitting to give intelligible reasons for her decision on the authenticity of the relationship?

Applicant's Argument

13 The applicant submits that the officer's review of the evidence does not constitute reasons, and that her conclusions are bald conclusions, not reasons. She therefore argues that the officer has breached her duty to act fairly, and the decision should be quashed. The applicant refers to Thalang v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 FC 743, [2007] F.C.J. No. 1002 (QL), para 15 for the argument that the duty to give reasons requires that the reasons be adequate, and that they address the major points in issue.

Respondent's Arguments

14 The respondent submits that the officer gave intelligible and sufficient reasons for her decision.

15 The respondent states that the letter sent to the applicant by the officer, dated April 7, 2010 clearly indicates that the reason for her refusal is that the applicant was disqualified under section 4 of the IRPR. The respondent further adds that the detailed reasons of the officer indicate that CIC received an anonymous tip alleging that the applicant married her sponsor for "work" purposes and that they took a lot of deceptive pictures to prove their marriage.

16 The respondent also asserts that the officer described in detail the seven discrepancies she noted during the interview, after having compared the applicant's answers to the sponsor's replies to the same questions (see pages 10-13 of the applicant's record).

17 The respondent argues that the officer's reasons deal with the relevant issues concerning the application of section 4 of the IRPR. The respondent further advances that in her reasons, the officer adequately referred to the evidence that she relied upon in arriving at her decision to demonstrate the path of her reasoning (Ragupathy v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FCA 151, [2007] 1 F.C.R. 490, para 14, Doumbouya v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 FC 1186, 325 F.T.R. 186, paras 47-49).


18 I do not find that there has been any breach of procedural fairness here, as the officer has given intelligible reasons for her findings. The officer has listed all of the discrepancies that she noted, and it is clear that it is on this basis that she made her findings on the applicant's marriage to her sponsor. The officer's reasons contain a list of contradictions such as the applicant and her spouse's contradiction on their wedding date, the date they moved in together and the time they leave in the morning, amongst others. As such, it is possible to understand how the officer came to her conclusion.

2. Did the officer breach her duty to act fairly by omitting to give any reasons for her decision concerning the purpose of the marriage with respect to the second part of the test provided in section 4 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations?

Applicant's Arguments

19 The applicant states that the exclusionary test set out in s. 4 of IRPA requires reasons for each component (Khan v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FC 1490, 59 Imm L.R. (3d) 251, paras 4-5). The applicant contends that in this case, it is not even clear that the officer is aware of the two-pronged nature of the test, given that the officer made no effort to give separate reasons (Das v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) 2009 FC 189, 79 Imm L.R. (3d) 134, para 19).

Respondent's Arguments

20 The respondent submits that the officer made explicit reference to the second part of the test in her refusal letter (see applicant's record, pages 4 and 13). The respondent argues that the officer said that, based on the discrepant answers that the applicant and her sponsor provided at the interview, she was not satisfied that their marriage was genuine and considered that it was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring a status or privilege in Canada. The respondent advances that given the linkages between the two prongs of the test, this analysis was sufficient (Kaur, para 17). The respondent submits that the officer covered both prongs of the test in her conclusion.

21 The respondent further refers to Khosa v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 FCA 24, [2007] 4 F.C.R. 332, para 63 for the idea that the reasonableness of the challenged decision in judicial review is to be assessed not only in light of the reasons given by the decision-maker, but also considering the reasons that he or she could have given on the basis of the evidence at his or her disposal. In light of this, the respondent puts forth that the officer had before her the evidence that the applicant tried twice to obtain immigration status in Canada through a refugee claim, which was each time denied, and that she married her sponsor less than six months after a warrant for her arrest had been issued for a removal.


22 Justice Zinn stated the following at paras 15 and 16 of his recent Kaur decision:

• The applicant is correct that section 4 of the Regulations creates a two-pronged test to determine whether a relationship is a spousal relationship for the purposes of sponsorship. The applicant bears the onus of proving (1) that their relationship is genuine, and (2) that it was not entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act. In determining that an applicant is not a spouse pursuant to section 4 of the Regulations, if an officer fails to consider both prongs of the test "it is open to the court to find that a reviewable error has occurred:" Khan at para. 5.

• The officer's reasons in this case were focused on, although not limited to, the genuineness of the applicant's marriage. In Sharma at paras. 17-18, Madam Justice Snider held that there is a strong link between the two prongs of the test, and that a finding of "lack of genuineness presents strong evidence that the marriage was entered into for the purpose of gaining status." In my view, if the evidence leads to a finding that the marriage is not genuine, then there is a presumption that it was entered into for the purpose of gaining status. The burden of establishing a contrary purpose should be placed squarely on the applicant.

23 He further found that "[t]he officer covered both prongs of the test in concluding "that this is not a genuine spousal relationship and was entered into by the applicant primarily for the purpose of acquiring permanent residence in Canada." The officer did not commit a reviewable error in applying the wrong test or only a part of the appropriate test" (Kaur, para 18).

24 The citation in Kaur applies to the case at bar. I therefore cannot find that the officer made a reviewable error that warrants the Court's intervention.

3. Did the officer err in identifying what she qualified as important discrepancies?

Applicant's Arguments

25 The applicant argues that the discrepancies noted by the officer are so minor so as to constitute a microscopic examination of a body of each consistent answer by the spouses during three hours of questioning each, and as such, her conclusion is unreasonable (Siev v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2005 FC 736, [2005] F.C.J. No. 912 (QL), para 21).

Respondent's Arguments

26 The respondent submits that it was reasonable for the officer to rely upon many important discrepancies in the answers given by the applicant and her sponsor at their interview.

27 The respondent states that in her reasons, the officer indeed reviewed the many discrepancies arising from the separate interviews she conducted (see pages 10-13 of the applicant's record). The respondent suggests that this Court should reject the applicant's submission that the discrepancies found by the officer were only "minor". The respondent underscores that the discrepancies noted were significant, and when considered as a whole, they are sufficient to support the officer's conclusions (Kaur, para 32).

28 The respondent further contends that the discrepancies noted demonstrate both the applicant and the sponsor's lack of knowledge regarding significant events in the course of their relationship as well as ordinary daily events and points to a relationship where the parties do not have the intimate knowledge of each other's affairs that a married couple would normally have (Kaur, para 8).


29 The officer identified numerous discrepancies in the answers given by both the applicant and her sponsor. He confronted them and gave them the opportunity to respond but was not satisfied with their explanations.

30 Read as a whole, I find that the officer cannot be faulted when she concluded that based on the evidence, the marriage was not genuine and was entered primarily for the purpose of acquiring a status or a privilege in Canada.

31 No. question for certification was proposed and none arise.


THIS COURT ORDERS that the application for judicial review be dismissed. No. question is certified.



One is left to wonder why this appellant was treated so leniently while others with lesser offences are ordered deported. Why is a person with 27 criminal convictions, some of them serious, allowed to remain in Canada as a public charge? Why was there no evidence of the significant resources that are necessary to deal with the appellant?  Why was CBSA waiting for the appellant to amass 27 convictions before proceeding?  Did she receive preferential treatment? These are important questions that should lead to a reassessment of how we deal with those convicted in Canada multiple times.

Skyers v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness)

Marlene Angella Skyers, appellant, and

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,


[2010] I.A.D.D. No. 681

[2010] D.S.A.I. no 681

No. TA9-01777
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Immigration Appeal Division

Toronto, Ontari

Panel: Kenneth D. MacLean

Heard: April 8, 2010.

Decision: August 25, 2010.

(47 paras.)

Removal Order

Reasons for Decision

1 Marlene Angella Skyers (the appellant) is a 34-year-old citizen of Jamaica, born on April 21, 1976, who became a permanent resident of Canada in September 15, 1986 at age 10 years.

2 On October 16, 2008, the appellant was convicted of two counts of assault with a weapon contrary to section 267(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada. A conviction for assault with a weapon is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. In this case the appellant received a sentence of 10 days in jail on top of 20 days pre-sentence custody and 12 months probation.

3 According to section 36(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) a permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible to Canada on grounds of serious criminality for having been convicted in Canada of an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or of an offense under an act of Parliament for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed.

4 On January 21, 2009, the appellant was subject to Admissibility Hearing before R. Stratigopoulos, a Member of the Immigration Division, who found the appellant to be a person described by section 36(1)(a) of the IRPA where after Member Stratigopoulos made a Deportation Order against her.

5 The appellant filed Notice of Appeal that same day, said notice being received by the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) on January 28, 2009.

6 On February 19, 2009, the Immigration Division disclosed the transcript of the Admissibility Hearing in the documents upon which it was based.

7 On March 17, 2010, Minister's counsel (the respondent) filed disclosure which included RCMP CPIC and ICON reports of the appellant's history of criminal convictions, police occurrence reports, probations documents, social services information and related immigration documents.1

8 The appellant filed disclosure on March 11, 17, 19, and 25, 2010 which were entered as exhibits A-1 through A-4 respectively.

9 The panel heard the testimony of the appellant and her aunt (formerly her legal guardian), Desrine Barrows, and her daughter, Jillisa Skyers.

10 The appellant had been appointed a Designated Representative, Ms. Susan Woolner, who informed the panel that, based on her dealings with the appellant, it was her opinion that the appellant understood the circumstances that brought her to the hearing and that she comprehended the nature of the proceedings. The panel notes that at the time of the hearing the appellant had been detained on immigration hold for approximately one year and that while incarcerated she had been receiving medical treatment and was at that time compliant with her medication. The panel formed the opinion that the appellant was capable of giving sworn testimony, which was heard.

Submissions of the Parties

11 The panel requested and received detailed written submissions from the parties which it has considered in their entirety but which are only paraphrased below (out of order).

Respondent's Submissions

12 The respondent submitted (in reply to the appellant's written submissions that:
• - The removal order is valid in law.

• - The appellant has amassed some 27 convictions over 11 years.

• - The appellant's criminality is escalating.

• - The appellant has not complied with orders of the court and with the conditions of her immigration bond (the appellant was at the time of the hearing in detention having been taken into immigration hold after violating the terms of her release).

• - The appellant has been non-compliant in taking mediation she has been prescribed for her medical condition.

• - The appellant's medical condition is ill-defined.

• - The appellant's length of time in Canada, 24 years, is the only Ribic2 factor weighing in her favour.
• - The appellant is poorly established in Canada.

• - The appellant is poorly educated, has a minimal work history, has amassed no identifiable assets and is not a contributing member of society.

• - The appellant has a father (with whom she has not marinated contact) and a mother (who she has not seen since 1993) in Jamaica.

• - The majority of her family is in Canada with whom she has had intermittent contact, some emotional but no financial dependency.

• - The appellant has given birth two seven children, three of whom were seized at birth.

• - None of the children live with the appellant. Several are no longer minors. Given their various custodial situations their interests are not tied to the appellant presence in Canada.

• - The possibility of future familial support must be considered in the context of its relative absence in respect of the development of her criminality or her obtaining treatment for her mental illness.

• - The community support has previously been available to the appellant but it has not contributed to the correction of her behaviour nor is it likely that will help in her future rehabilitation.

• - The appellant is not old and speaks the language of Jamaica.

• - The nature of familial support that might be available to her in Jamaica is unknown.

• - The appellant has no employment or education history in Jamaica; however, she does not have much of one in Canada either.

• - Evidence of the inferiority of the health care system in Jamaica relative to Canada was produced by counsel. The appellant has had access to the Canadian mental health care system but has not used it. The availability of mental health care in and of itself is not a determinative factor for this appellant.

• - The Ribic factors on balance weigh against the appellant.

• - The appellant is unlikely to be compliant with the conditions of a stay.

• - The hardship she will face is not disproportionate and there are insufficient grounds to grant equitable relief.

• - The appeal should be dismissed.

13 The respondent reminds the panel of the words of Kelen J. in Grant who wrote, at paragraph 8, that:
• A fundamental principle of immigration law is that non-citizens do not have a right to remain in Canada. Canada is not and will not become a haven for criminals. If a non-citizen commits a crime they are subject to the loss of their right to remain in Canada. The jurisprudence has established that a mental or other illness does not give a non-Canadian the right to remain in Canada. The cases have also established that criminal activities, drug addition, and illnesses cannot be the foundation for a claim of irreparable harm. Evidence proferred by the applicant regarding irreparable harm that will result from his separation from his children, separation from his treatment for PTSD, and lack of establishment in Jamaica is speculative at best, and has been addressed at length by the IAD in its original decision.

The Appellant's Written Submissions

14 Appellant's counsel submitted (including her response to the respondent's submissions noted above) that:

• - The appellant has been diagnosed with both a bi-polar condition and more recently with schizophrenia.

• - Schizophrenia is a "devastating mental illness" and probably the most distressing and disabling of the severe mental disorders, (referring to an article filed in Exhibit A-1).

• - The appellant has responded well to her current medication regime.

• - Medication is crucial to treatment and relapse rates are high when discontinued.

• - Treatment is not curative and patients require long-term treatment plans.

• - Family support is crucial.

• - The appellant is receiving community support and assistance from the Rouge Valley Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team.

• - The appellant is no longer in immigration detention and is residing with her aunt, Desrine Barrows.

• - The appellant is compliant with the conditions of her release and the instruction of the ACT Team.

• - While her criminal offences are numerous, they have not been particularly serious when viewed in terms of the Courts sanction.

• - The appellant's criminality must be viewed in the context of her personal circumstances and mental illness.

• - The appellant has been in Canada for 23 years, since she was 10 years old.

• - The appellant has made one trip to Jamaica in 1993 and has no contact with anyone there since then.

• - She was educated in Canada.

• - All her immediate family is in Toronto.

• - The appellant has been dependent on social assistance.

• - The appellant would face serious hardship if removed to Jamaica given her vulnerability because of her mental illness.

• - The Jamaican health care system is limited in its ability to treat people with mental illness (exhibit A-1, various articles concerning the treatment of mental illness in Jamaica, pages 31-84).

• - The appellant would face treatment interruption, would have no way of supporting herself and would face homelessness and discrimination.

• - Mentally ill and homeless people are frequently subject to violence.

• - Deportees to Jamaica are shunned, have difficulty securing accommodation and employment, and their options are limited if they have not family support available to them.

• - The appellant's previous failure to comply with immigration release (and Court orders) reflected the absence of community support which she has now accessed through the ACT Team.

• - There is more to establishment than assets.

• - The custodial situation of her children does not denigrate from their best interests.
• - The relative inferiority of the Jamaican health care system is not the issue, rather it is the hardship the appellant would face if removed and forced to seek treatment and medication and support in that system.

• - Grant is not applicable to this matter as it dealt with a stay of removal application and the tripartite test in a stay motion (Toth) is distinguishable from the test to be applied on equitable appeal before the Board.

15 The appellant seeks relief by way of a three-year stay of removal with conditions, including conditions pertaining to her treatment. The appellant understands what a stay of removal means and the consequences that would flow from her failure to comply with any conditions imposed. The appellant submits that she is a good candidate for a stay.


16 For the reasons set out below the removal order is stayed for four years with conditions.


17 The appellant brings her appeal pursuant to sections 67(1)(c) and 68(1) of IRPA. The analytical framework for determining the appeal includes the nonexclusive factors first outlined in Ribic and endorsed in the Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Chieu and Al Sagban.3 These factors include the seriousness of her criminal convictions, the possibility of her rehabilitation, the length of time the appellant has been in Canada, her degree of establishment in Canada, the impact the her removal from Canada would have on members of the appellant's family, the family and community support available to the appellant and the hardship the appellant would face in the country to which she would likely be removed.

Seriousness of Criminal Convictions

18 The appellant did not contest the legal validity of the deportation order and, on the basis of her criminal record, the panel finds that the removal order made against her was valid in law.

19 The appellant has an extensive criminal record beginning in 1997. As detailed in Exhibit R-1, the appellant's record includes the following criminal convictions:

• - 1997 November, Theft under $5,000 and Assault with Intent to Resist Arrest (suspended sentence & 1 year probation);

• - 2000 April, two counts of Uttering Threats & Fail to Attend court (5 days jail concurrent plus 5 days consecutive & 12 months probation);

• - 2000 June, three counts of Assault (30 days jail concurrent);

• - 2005 August, Assault & Fail to Attend court (7 days & 12 days Pre-sentence custody, 1 day consecutive & 1 year probation);

• - 2006, two counts of mischief under $5,000, Possession of a Substance, Obstruction of Justice & Failure to Re-attend Court (suspended sentence on top of 88 days pre-sentence custody concurrent & 12 months probation);

• - 2007 April, Theft under $5,000 and Assault while Resisting Arrest (Suspended sentence & 12 months probation);

• - 2007 May, Failure to Re-attend Court & Failure to Comply with Probation (1 day jail);

• - 2007 June, two counts of Possession of a Substance, and Mischief under $5,000 (1 day jail on to of five days pre-sentence custody concurrent & 1 day jail on top of five days pre-sentence custody);

• - 2007 November, Failure to Comply with Probation (3 days jail on top of 2 days per-sentence custody);

• - 2008 March, Failure to Comply with Probation 3 days jail on to of 2 days pre-sentence custody); and

• - 2008 October, 2 counts assault with a Weapon and 4 counts Mischief under $5,000 (10 days jail on top of 20 days pre-sentence custody concurrent, 12 months probation concurrent).

20 Certainly a long litany of offences. However, the appellant has received very lenient treatment by the Courts with her longest sentence being 88 days (counting pre-sentence custody).

21 Turning to the referable offences of assault with a weapon, the Police Incident Report of September 27, 2008 describes a number of incidents for which the appellant was charged with the 4 counts of Mischief under $5,000 and 2 counts of Assault with Weapon. As described, having been denied entry to a shelter the appellant went on a destructive rampage during which, by various means, numerous building windows were broken and the owner of a restaurant who was defending his property from damage was assaulted with a chair and swung at with box cutter knife.

22 While the appellant's reportable convictions meet the statutory test of serious criminality and her criminal history speaks to a pattern of recidivism, the panel considers that there is a significant mitigating factor which reduces the significant negative weight that would otherwise attach to such a criminal history.

Ribic Factors

23 While the respondent is correct in his position that the Ribic factors balance against the appellant; however, in the panel's opinion, not as heavily as suggested. The fact that the appellant has been in Canada since she was 10 years old favours her remaining in Canada. Admittedly she has a limited degree of establishment and considered in the context of her accomplishments and her assets she has very little to speak of.

24 The appellant came to Canada in 1987 along with two sisters accompanying their maternal grandmother who had adopted them sometime in the 1980's. They all initially came to live in Calgary with an aunt, Ms. Desrine (and her children). The appellant claimed to have little memory of her biological mother4 and she never had contact with her biological father, both of whom the appellant believes still reside in Jamaica.

25 In 1989, after having moved into a house away from her aunt, the appellant and her sisters were left without parental support when her grandmother died. The appellant was then 13 years old and she testified that her aunt travelled to Texas to marry and that she and her sisters were left on their own. Her aunt moved to Toronto in 1989 the appellant came to live with her there in November of that year.

26 The appellant testified that while she started school in Toronto she only attended for two months because she became pregnant at the age of 14, giving birth to her daughter Jillisa in 1991. The appellant has only complete Grade 9. The appellant testified that she lived on her own with a boyfriend and cared for Jillisa until 1999 when the Children's Aid Society (CAS) intervened and took her into custody. The appellant testified that she gave birth to six more children in 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2008. After the birth of her last child she had a tubal ligation to prevent further pregnancies.

27 Jillisa is now 19 years old and lives on her own. The children born in 1995, 1999 and 2001 live with their biological father. The children born in 2003 and 2005 were taken by the CAS and put into foster homes. The last child was apprehended at the hospital and has been adopted. The appellant admitted that it has been some time since she has seen her children. The appellant testified that she has maintained some contact with Jillisa. She testified that she last saw Jilisa in March, when she and her aunt, Ms. Desrine, travelled to visit her at the Vanier centre where she was then in custody and at the time of the hearing.

28 The panel considered Jillisa's letter of support5 and testimony. It is evident to the panel that after Jillisa was taken into custody by the CAS she suffered significant abandonment issues which she has not fully resolved in respect of her relationship with her mother. Jillisa eventually came to reside with Ms. Desrine with whom she stayed until 2009 when she moved to Ajax with her boyfriend. Jillisa admitted to not having much of a relationship with her mother; however, she claimed that she would like a relationship and to give her the support she needs as she struggles to deal with her illness. As observed by the respondent, Jillsa does evidence some affection for the appellant and expressed her willingness to forgive her.

29 The historical evidence of the appellant's mental health is not good. However, she testified that in 1999, after the CAS took Jillisa and her two other children into custody, she began roaming the streets and started to smoke crack cocaine. The appellant testified that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia after the birth of her last child although she was not really certain after which child she was diagnosed. There are no contemporaneous hospital records. However, the panel considered the pre-sentence report prepared in October 2008 and notes that the appellant reported to the probation officer and that she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia three years earlier, which would put the possible date of diagnosis in 2005 around the time of the birth of her sixth child.

30 Throwing further light on the appellant's past, the probation officer reported that the appellant admitted to using crack cocaine daily for five years prior to the interview and to "drinking a lot," almost daily. Checking with St. Michael's Hospital where the appellant had sought treatment, that psychiatric records were not found. The probation officer's 2008 conclusion was that of likely serious mental health concerns and he recommended a psychiatric assessment which, it appears, was never performed.

31 Ms. Desrine testified that after the birth of her child in 1999 the appellant started to act strangely. She testified that they took her to the hospital but were told she was okay and that perhaps it was just stress. The appellant's condition deteriorated such that the CAS intervened as the children were being neglected. Eventually the appellant was admitted to the Clarke (CAMH) for three days, but that she was discharged without any diagnosis. Ms. Desrine testified that it was not until three years later that she spoke to a doctor at the Toronto East General Hospital and learned that the appellant had been diagnosed as bi-polar. She claimed that she learned of the schizophrenia diagnosis from the appellant's then Designated Representative when she attended the appellant's detention review in March.

32 While the evidence of her mental health condition is not good prior to 2009, requiring the panel to draw certain inferences, clearly by the time of the hearing she has been assessed and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Counsel has disclosed considerable documentary evidence on schizophrenia which the panel has considered. Furthermore, the panel has participated in ongoing professional development training which dealt with the diagnosis and presentation of schizophrenia, its treatment, problems of medication compliance and prognosis. The panel also dealt with a fair number of removal order appeals where appellants have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

33 Based on the available evidence, the panel finds that a likely nexus exists between the appellant 's criminality, which began in 1997, and her socioeconomic circumstances, lack of parenting, poverty, early and serial childbearing, cocaine and alcohol addiction and likely undiagnosed bi-polar and/or schizophrenia. Clearly the appellant's circumstances are such as to induce pathos, and while her circumstances do not excuse her criminal conduct, they certainly go a long way to explaining it.

34 In this context, having considered the available evidence, the panel finds that the appellant is suffering from serious mental illness. She is currently under medical supervision and taking Risperdol, an antipsychotic mediation used to treat schizophrenia. The appellant has been receiving the medication by injection. She is taking other antipsychotic medication. The appellant is under the supervision of the ACT Team in Ajax where she is residing, as a condition of her release with her aunt, Ms. Desrine.

35 At the time of the hearing the appellant was complaint with taking her medication. Previously her symptoms, which include agitation, violent behaviour, self-medication through drug and alcohol abuse) and hearing voices will return. The appellant appears to have good insight into her condition and she reported that on medication she feels more in control, although she reported some difficulty in organizing her thoughts. This insight is subject to continued compliance with mediation as the panel is aware that when patients feel better they often stop taking their medication which restarts the downward spiral leading to acute psychotic episodes.

36 The appellant expressed her remorse at her conduct, stating that she felt badly and that what she did was not right. The appellant testified that she would not re-offend, claiming that now she would be living outside Toronto in Ajax where she would no longer be around bad influences.

37 The appellant testified that her plan was to stay clean of cocaine and continue her treatment living her life in Ajax. She thought that she eventually might be able to upgrade her education by getting a GED.6 Ms. Desrine testified that the appellant is doing well on treatment at Vanier and that the plan was that she would live with her as is presently the case. She also testified that she would provide support by taking the appellant to appointments with the ACT Team, her physicians, social workers and dietician. She also testified that she would take her to her appointments at the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre.

38 The respondent is sceptical of the appellant's ability to rehabilitate and be complaint with the terms of her stay given that she has failed to comply with the reporting requirements of both her probation order and previous immigration release. The panel would agree that taken on its face the evidence supports this conclusion. However, the panel must also consider that on previous times the appellant was not diagnosed, she was non-compliant with medication and using crack cocaine and alcohol. The situation appear to have changed and the evidence of her condition while she has been on medication while at Vanier gives the panel some confidence that if the appellant can stick to her plan, remain compliant with medication, lives with her aunt (away from negative influences) in Ajax and stays away from both alcohol and illegal drugs, she has some possibility of rehabilitation. The key to everything is compliance with her treatment plan and medication regime.

39 While the appellant has seven children she is largely estranged from them and they are cared for by others or in the case of Jillisa, independent. Their interests are not engaged to any significant degree.

40 Turning to hardship, it is not clear that anyone would be unduly affected by the applicant's removal. She is not in any relationships. No one depends on her for support. Certainly her aunt and Jillisa would be sad at her departure but they would not face any undue hardship.

41 The panel cannot so conclude in respect of the appellant herself. The panel is satisfied that if removed the appellant would likely face undue, disproportionate and undeserved hardship. The seriousness of her criminality does not out weigh the potential for hardship in this case. The appellant is seriously mentally ill. She requires medication, she is unemployed and reliant on Ontario Disability Support Payments to support herself in Canada. Her medication is no doubt provided by the Trillium Plan in Ontario. In general, that deportees are treated poorly in Jamaica is an unfortunate consequence that provides no shield from removal. The fact that the healthcare system in Jamaica is different or even not as good as the system in Canada is not the condition of equitable relief; however, in this case, the panel is persuaded based on the documentary evidence in respect of the treatment of the mentally ill in Jamaica that the appellant would be at serious risk if removed. She would have no support in Jamaica (Ms. Desrine is of the opinion that her mother is in a bad way and in no position to support her) and she would be unemployed and virtually unemployable given the likelihood that her condition could be expected to deteriorate in the absence of the support she is currently receiving in Canada from the various sources identified above.


42 The panel gave careful consideration to the oral testimony and all of the submissions and fully considered the impact of the same on the issues in this appeal in the context of the evidence as a whole. In the fullness of that context and in the totality of the evidence, the panel has determined that the appellant has met the onus to establish to the panel's satisfaction that sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds warrant special relief in light of all the circumstances of the case.

43 The panel finds that a longer stay of removal is warranted given the challenges faced by the appellant in addressing her mental health issues and the need to demonstrate that the possibility of rehabilitation exists.

44 The panel stays the removal order for four years with conditions including discretionary conditions that the panel feels are warranted under the circumstances.

45 The appellant is advised to carefully review ALL the conditions of this stay with her counsel to ensure initial and continued compliance with ALL the requirements. In particular, the appellant's attention is directed to requirement to keep the peace and be of good behaviour which has been interpreted such as to require that she not be in violation of any statute of Parliament, a province or municipal by-laws.

46 The panel cautions the appellant that if she appears before another member of the Appeal Division in the future because she has been convicted of new criminal offences or because she has ignored other conditions of her stay, she may find her stay cancelled and be facing deportation from Canada.

47 Furthermore, should the appellant be convicted of an offence that brings her under the definition of serious criminality, the IAD will loose its jurisdiction, pursuant to section 68(4) of IRPA, her stay will be automatically cancelled by operation of law and she will be deported.



The removal order in this appeal is stayed. This stay is made on the following conditions - the appellant must:

• Inform the Canada Border Services Agency (the "Agency") and the Immigration Appeal Division in writing in advance of any change in your address.
• The address of the Agency is:

Canada Border Services Agency, The Greater Toronto

Enforcement Centre

6900 Airport Road, Entrance 2B, P.O. Box 290

Mississauga, Ontario

L4V 1E8.

• The address of the Immigration Appeal Division is:

74 Victoria Street, Suite 400

Toronto, Ontario

M5C 3C7.
• [1] Provide a copy of your passport or travel document to the Agency or, if you do not have a passport or travel document, complete an application for a passport or a travel document and to provide the application to the Agency.
• [2] Apply for an extension of the validity period of any passport or travel document before it expires, and provide a copy of the extended passport or document to the Agency.
[3] Not commit any criminal offences.
• [4] If charged with a criminal offence, immediately report that fact in writing to the Agency.
• [5] If convicted of a criminal offence, immediately report that fact in writing to the Agency and the Immigration Appeal Division.
• [6] Provide all information, notices and documents (the "documents") required by the conditions of the stay by hand; by regular or registered mail; by courier or priority post to the Canada Border Services Agency, 6900 Airport Road, P.O. Box 290, Entrance 2B, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1E8. It is the responsibility of the appellant to ensure that the documents are received by the Agency within any time period required by a condition of stay.
• [7] Provide all information, notices and documents (the "documents") required by the conditions of the stay by hand; by regular or registered mail; by courier or priority post to the Immigration Appeal Division, 74 Victoria Street, Suite 400, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 3C7; or by fax to the Immigration Appeal Division at (416) 954-1165. Include your Immigration Appeal Division file number. It is the responsibility of the appellant that the documents are received by the Immigration Appeal Division within any time period required by a condition of the stay.

• [8] Report to the Agency at 6900 Airport Road, Entrance 2B, Mississauga, Ontario on Friday February 25, 2011 between 7:30 a.m. to 16:00 p.m., and every six (6) months after that date on the following dates:

August 26, 2011

February 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

February 22, 2013

August 23, 2013

February 21, 2014

The appellant shall report in person (with a written report)

The reports are to contain details of the appellant's:

• - current living arrangements;

• - marital status including common-law relationships;

• - attendance at any educational institution and any change in that attendance;

• [9] Engage in or continue supervision and counselling with the Rouge Valley Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team. (Note: If you withdraw your consent to the foregoing condition, you must bring an application in writing to the Immigration Appeal Division forthwith to have this condition removed.)
• [10] Make reasonable efforts to maintain yourself in such condition that:
• a) your schizophrenia will not cause you to conduct yourself in a manner dangerous to yourself or anyone else; and

• b) it is not likely you will commit further offences.
• [11] Not knowingly associate with individuals who have a criminal record or who are engaged in criminal activity, except contact that might result while attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.
• [12] Not own or possess offensive weapons or imitations of offensive weapons.

• [13] Respect all parole conditions and any court orders.

  [14] Refrain from the illegal use or sale of drugs.
• [15] Remain under the care and supervision of your treating physician and remain compliant with all medication prescribed.


Take notice that the Immigration Appeal Division will reconsider the case on or about the 26th day of August 2014, or at such other date as it determines, at which time it may change or cancel any non-prescribed conditions imposed, or it may cancel the stay and then allow or dismiss the appeal. Until your final reconsideration is decided (or your stay is otherwise ended), your stay remains in effect and you must comply with the conditions of your stay, including advising the Agency and the Immigration Appeal Division in writing before any change in your address.

The Immigration Appeal Division may contact you by letter in advance of final reconsideration to ask you to provide written confirmation that you have complied with the conditions of stay.


This stay of removal is cancelled and your appeal is terminated by operation of law and you may be removed from Canada if you are convicted of another offence referred to in subsection 36(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (sentence of more than six months imposed or punishable by term of imprisonment of at least ten years) before your case has been finally reconsidered.

"Kenneth D. MacLean"

26 August 2010


This somewhat naive story appeared in the Ottawa Citizen. Of course, as the Russian diplomat notes, not a Russians are "illegal immigrants", in fact most of the visitors are not even interested in "migrating" to Canada to live here, BUT they are very interested in obtaining Canadian residency mostly as "insurance" in case of eventual difficulties in Russia. Also, and more important, Russia poses specific security concerns, particularly with some of its "wealthy" citizens who may have questionable connections and require special scrutiny. Note my precious post this week discussing the case of a Russian woman denied a visitor visa due to questionable employer connections (Monday, January 24,2010)

Russia unhappy with tough visa rules

Russia unhappy with tough visa rules

'Not all visitors are illegal immigrants,' consul argues
By Jennifer Campbell, Ottawa CitizenJanuary 26, 2011

Canada and Russia have a different philosophy about mobility of people. That's the only conclusion the Russian consul can make after dealing with Canada's increasingly difficult visa regime.

"We believe that it should be the procedure of all countries to make the movement of people easier but to our surprise, Canada has made it tougher," said Andrey Varlamov, first secretary and consul at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

As an example, in order to come to Canada for a weekend conference, the form he has to fill out for a visa asks him for information about all of his children, step-children, and adopted children, and all of his brothers and sisters, including their present addresses and occupations. He must provide the dates and employers (including name, address and telephone number as well as monthly salary) relating to his job history for the past 10 years, as well as information about former spouses, and any political activity.

"It seems like a form you'd use if you'd want to emigrate," he said, "but instead, it's the form you fill out to come to Canada for a few days, on business, or for a vacation."

The issue isn't new, nor is it restricted to Russian residents. The form is the same for residents of any country with which Canada doesn't waive the visa requirement (Canada doesn't require visas for short-term visits from Americans or from citizens of most member states of the European Union.)

And Russia isn't the only country annoyed by this. Several countries in the Middle East and in South America are also feeling alienated by it.

Varlamov said that after a group of vocal countries put up a stink about the new forms, Citizenship and Immigration simplified them slightly, but he still likens it to "one step forward, three steps back."

He said he understands Canada's concerns about illegal immigration, but said that flaws in our immigration system are the problem and it would make more sense to fix those than to apply a band-aid solution that makes it more difficult for business travellers and tourists to get into the country for short stays.

"Not all people who would like to visit Canada are illegal immigrants," Varlamov said.

Ireland Update

Ireland's ambassador to Canada recently gave a group of Canadian Irish business people a frank assessment of the state of the Irish economy.

Raymond Bassett's talk to the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce of Ottawa was titled "An Update on the Irish Economy: Implications for Irish Associations In Canada" and he described how Ireland went from a country commonly nicknamed the Celtic Tiger of economies, which had a gross domestic product growth well ahead of Germany's, to a country that's being bailed out by Germany and its European Union counterparts.

"We've been in the news a lot lately," the ambassador said, with more than a hint of understatement.

The Irish were "the poster boys for what to do," the example for most countries to follow, with balanced budgets and a widely envied debt-to-GDP ratio, Bassett said of the economy's heyday.

But after the country's dramatic fall, things are looking up. He said 2010 was the year Ireland came out of the recession and started to see some recovery, albeit "anemic recovery."

And now, its performance and strategies are being monitored by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank.

"To say it's been difficult isn't an exaggeration," Bassett said, and added that Ireland was hit by two crises at the same time, one fiscal and one with the banking system. "In 2007, we had full employment," he said and added that then an explosion of demand for services, a revenue slowdown and a budget deficit all resulted in what the world witnessed in 2008 and 2009, the legacy of which is "still affecting the country badly," he said.

But he ended his talk on an optimistic note. "It's been a difficult year. I hope were at the bottom of the banking crisis," he said, and added that he hopes there aren't further revelations to come out. He noted that things are going well with the Canada-EU trade talks (negotiators sat down last week for their sixth round of deal-making) and told the group of business people that "there will be greater opportunities in 2011 and 2012."

Jennifer Campbell is a freelance writer and editor in Ottawa. Reach her at


Every now and then we hear about a similar story. People should be reminded to retain only qualified, well known lawyers who are experts in immigration law, and to avoid individuals or organizations who promise quick fixes, jobs without interviews with employers, or fast results.

Police say man posing as immigration lawyer stole thousands from Russian immigrants - South Florida

South Florida
Russian 'immigration lawyer' charged with fraud
Bilked fellow immigrants, police say
By Robert Nolin and Danielle A. Alvarez, Sun Sentinel

10:43 PM EST, January 26, 2011


A Russian with a portfolio of false identities posed as a South Florida immigration lawyer and bilked hundreds of thousands of dollars from compatriots by promising to assist them with immigration and other legal work, police said Wednesday.

David Vyner, 35, of Hallandale Beach, faces five counts of practicing law without a license and one count of fraud based on claims he stole about $370,000 from a husband and wife, a mother and daughter, and two other emigres.

He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison if convicted on the fraud charge and up to five years if convicted on the other counts.

"He stole tons of money," said Detective John Calabro of the Broward Sheriff's Office, who arrested Vyner when he turned himself in to Broward's Main Jail on Tuesday.

The detective said Vyner at times passed himself off as a Russian doctor trying to find work in area hospitals. He also sought work in local doctors' office.

"He actually got in [a doctor's office] and maybe worked for a week before the doctors figured it out," Calabro said. "He didn't see any patients."

Vyner didn't limit his impersonations to doctors and lawyers. "Recently, he said he was a rabbi," Calabro said.

Vyner is a Russian native whose given name was Bagrat Mochkarovsky. He later changed his name to Bagrat Ambartsumyan before legally adopting the name Vyner.

Federal authorities put an immigration hold on him and could deport him after his state charges are resolved.

Vyner, considered a flight risk after previously fleeing while on bail, is being held under a $900,000 bond.

The investigation into his activities started about a year ago, based on Florida Bar complaints.

In a four-page affidavit, investigators said between August 2007 and February 2009, Vyner, posing as an immigration law expert, defrauded Sergey Ponyatovsky of nearly $274,000 for legal services in the prospective immigrant's case. The work was never done, and Ponyatovsky was returned to Russia.

In 2007, the affidavit said, Vyner, billing at $360 an hour, charged two other immigrants, Natalia Maher, 51, of Key West, and her daughter, Olga Vorobyov, 31, a total of $52,000 to obtain a Social Security number and work permit for Vorobyov.

That same year, the affidavit stated, Vyner charged Juarate Ferreira, a Lithuanian native and naturalized U.S. citizen, $5,000 for unspecified legal work.

In the fourth case, Anna and Sergiy Bereza of Chatham, Mass., paid Vyner a total of $41,000 to assist with a political asylum application, the affidavit said. That application is still pending.

"He told every one of them that he was a lawyer, plus he had outrageous fees," Calabro said. "These immigrants trusted him and they came across a crook."

Vyner never appeared in court, just prepared legal paperwork. "He knew how to fill out applications," the detective said.

In all cases, Vyner billed himself as part of the Nerdinsky Law Group, a Hallandale Beach law firm headed by Leonid Nerdinsky.

Nerdinsky's wife and partner, Dina Nerdinsky, said they had no affiliation with Vyner.

"We were informed a couple of months ago that he was stating he was part of our law firm and forging our letterhead on documents," she said.

The Florida Bar lists Leonid Nerdinsky as a member in good standing who has never faced disciplinary action since being admitted in 2003.

Calabro said Vyner has a multi-count fraud warrant out for him from Canada and has been in trouble in his native country. "I think he's done time in Russia for fraud," he said.

Upon learning there was a Florida warrant out for him on Dec. 16, Vyner fled to Washington, D.C. He was arrested there on Dec. 28, then skipped out on a $5,000 bond. Tuesday night he called Calabro and arranged to give himself up.

"I guess he got tired of running," Calabro said.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Should we have an "automatic arrest" category? Under current legislation, individuals in similar circumstances can stall the process for several years, particularly if they have unlimited funds to file a series of applications in different courts to make the process as protracted as possible.

Ousted Tunisian leader’s brother-in-law in Montreal - The Globe and Mail


Interesting study, but with few clear conclusions. Also "a degree" really means nothing unless the occupation is in demand in the labour force. Many people have masters and PhD's which are not marketable skills, not all degrees are equal, and not all universities are equal either.

Child immigrants likelier than Canadian-born to get degree

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I was struck by the number in the report: 125,000 refugees (and presumably also included are refugee claimants whose cases have not yet been determined to be legitimate) are being covered for prescription drugs. Canadian legal residents and citizens aer generally not covered unless they have supplementary private insurance, or are senior citizens, or are on socila assistance. Should this practice continue? If a refugee claimant is determined not to be legitimate, should he or she be responsible for repayment of those costs? What is your opinion?

Quebec pharmacists want money up front before supplying drugs to refugees - The Globe and Mail


If indeed they obtained residency, how did they maintain it if they do not live here?

Canada probing ex-Tunisian president's residency status

Monday, January 24, 2011


Very interesting case, leaves many questions open.....

Grapendaal v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Margarita Grapendaal, Applicant, and

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Respondent

[2010] F.C.J. No. 1633

2010 FC 1221

Docket IMM-5137-08

Federal Court

Ottawa, Ontario

Mosley J.

Heard: August 23, 2010.

Judgment: December 3, 2010.

(35 paras.)

1 MOSLEY J.:-- This is an application for judicial review pursuant to section 72 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27 ("IRPA") of the decision made on May 12, 2008 by a visa officer at the Embassy of Canada in Moscow, Russia. The visa officer refused the applicant's application for a temporary residence visa in Canada on the ground that the applicant did not provide truthful information during her interview.


2 The applicant, Ms. Grapendaal, was born on 6 March 1969 in Russia. She currently works for the private investment fund Onexim Group ("Onexim") in Russia. The Owner/President of Onexim is Mr. Mikhail Prokhorov. The applicant is Advisor to the Vice-President, Ms. Elena Anikina and is also responsible for managing Mr. Prokhorov's personal assets. In the past, she has worked for Interros, one of Russia's largest holding companies.

3 Onexim was created in June 2007 and named after "Onexim Bank", started by Mr. Prokhorov and his long-time business partner Vladimir Potanin in the early 1990s. It controls assets of over $US 25 billion with a diversified portfolio of investments in the following sectors: metals, mining, energy, financial services, insurance, media and real estate. As business partners, Mr. Prokhorov and Mr. Potanin controlled shares in Norilsk Nickel, Polyus Gold, Interros and Onexim Bank until they had a falling out in early 2008.

4 According to the open source information contained in the record, Mr. Potanin is described as having been one of seven so-called "oligarchs" who donated large sums of money to Boris Yelstin's 1996 re-election campaign. This group of seven has been alleged to be associated with capital flight, money laundering and organized crime. Mr. Potanin was made First Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the government's financial and economic section from August 1996 to the spring of 1997.

5 On April 3, 2008 Ms. Grapendaal applied for a temporary resident visa ("TRV") to come to Canada. Her application stated that the purpose of her visit was "to visit friends" and "to attend [the] 2008 Ice Hockey Championship". In her interview with the visa officer, the applicant added that she also wanted to visit Canada.

6 On May 12, 2008 the applicant received a letter from an officer at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow refusing her application for a TRV. Following receipt of this letter, on May 30, 2008, counsel for the applicant submitted an Access to Information request to Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC"). On August 28, 2008 CIC provided Ms. Grapendaal with the officer's Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System ("CAIPS") notes. These notes consist of a transcript of the applicant's interview as well as other information relating to the applicant such as: date of birth, family status and partial employment history.

7 In September 2009 the respondent filed an application for non-disclosure of certain pages from the Certified Tribunal Record (CTR), pursuant to s.87 of the IRPA. The respondent argued that some information in the CTR contained classified information which would be injurious to national security or to the safety of any person in Canada should it be disclosed.

8 On October 9, 2009 counsel for the respondent faxed the applicant copies of the redacted pages of the CTR that it had been determined could be made public. These pages provide information pertaining to the relationship between Mr. Prokhorov and Mr. Potanin, and the allegedly illicit activity associated with the companies which they owned and controlled, as noted above. In January 2010 I ordered certain information redacted from the CTR not to be disclosed in the underlying judicial review application.

9 On March 2, 2010 the respondent brought a motion to strike the application for judicial review on grounds of mootness. The respondent argued that the primary purpose for Ms. Grapendaal's proposed visit to Canada was to attend the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships (the "Championships") in Quebec City in May 2008 and the occurrence of that event has since elapsed. As such, it was argued, there was no live issue for the Court to determine and the case was bereft of any chance of success. Justice Dolores Hansen dismissed the motion, holding that the Court's discretion to hear the application was a matter to be determined by the application judge on a complete record at the time of the hearing. The issue of mootness therefore forms part of this judicial review.


10 The visa officer's decision of May 12, 2008 was recorded on a standard-form template. In rejecting the application, the visa officer checked the box that read: I am not satisfied that you have provided truthful information and/or answered truthfully all questions put to you.

11 The CAIPS notes, which transcribe the interview and include any comments made by the visa officer, also form part of the decision if they provide sufficient details concerning the reasons for which the application was denied: Ogunfowora v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2007 FC 471, 63 Imm. L.R. (3d) 157 at para. 60. Here, the CAIPS notes indicate that certain open source information suggested that the companies which employed Ms. Grapendaal, along with certain individuals who owned or worked for those companies, are, or were, involved in questionable business activities. When repeatedly asked in the interview about what she had heard regarding such "questionable activity", Ms. Grapendaal claimed she was not aware of any such activity.

12 At the end of the CAIPS notes, the visa officer stated the following:



13 This application raises the following issues:
• 1. Is this application moot?

• 2. Did the visa officer provide adequate reasons?

• 3. Was the visa officer's decision reasonable?


Is this application moot?

14 The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the question of mootness requires a two-step analysis. First, it must be determined if the dispute is still "tangible" and "concrete". If so, the Court must then decide if it should exercise its discretion to hear the case: Borowski v. Canada (Attorney General), [1989] 1 S.C.R. 342 at para.16.

15 At the second stage, courts must consider: (1) whether the dispute is rooted in the adversary system; (2) if hearing the case would be judicially economical; and (3) the need for courts to be sensitive to their role and to the effectiveness of judicial intervention: Borowski, above, at paras. 31-40.

16 In the case at bar, the applicant argues that no change in circumstances occurred between the time the leave application was commenced and the present judicial review. The applicant still wishes to visit Canada and her friends here. The respondent contends that the primary purpose of the applicant's trip to Canada was to attend the 2008 Championships which took place over two years ago. Because this event has passed, there is no longer a reason for her to come and so there is no longer a live issue to be decided by this Court in the context of a judicial review.

17 I am satisfied that there continues to be a live issue between the parties as the applicant still wishes to visit Canada. It will be two years since the commencement of these proceedings. In that time, the procedural steps in this case have included a leave application, opposition by the respondent to the application for leave, a motion to strike, a non-disclosure request, and a judicial review. Both the applicant and the respondent have demonstrated the adversarial nature of this case through their written advocacy and their commitment to the issues.

18 As the applicant points out, if the case is dismissed for mootness without a determination of the merits, the likely result will be that the applicant will reapply for another visitor's visa. If, at that time, the applicant is rejected, she may again choose to seek judicial review. Adding yet another step in the applicant's process would result in the expenditure of additional judicial resources. Thus, it is more economical to decide this case on the merits at the present time.

19 In hearing the present matter, the Court would not be extending its jurisdiction beyond its normal scope. To the contrary, much of the Federal Court's work is dedicated to reviewing decisions exactly of this kind. In addition, because leave was granted, it is appropriate to proceed by way of a full judicial review: Skobrev v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship & Immigration), 2004 FC 485 at para. 6. Accordingly, I will exercise my discretion to hear the case.

Was the visa officer's decision reasonable?

20 Although the applicant frames it as such, this case is not about the visa officer's reliance on extrinsic evidence to make a finding of inadmissibility based on the applicant's potential involvement in criminal activity. The question that must be answered is whether the visa officer's decision to find the applicant inadmissible based on truthfulness, pursuant to s.16(1) of the IRPA was reasonable in that it fell within a range of possible, acceptable outcomes which are defensible in respect of the facts and law: Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick, 2008 SCC 9, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190 at para. 47. For the reasons below, I conclude that it did.

21 The CAIPS notes, which transcribe the interview and form part of the decision, clearly demonstrate a particular line of questioning surrounding the applicant's employment and certain "questionable activity" associated with the companies and individuals with which and with whom she works or has worked.

22 In the interview, the visa officer told the applicant that the basis for asking about such "questionable activity" was certain open source materials. When asked what she knew of this alleged activity, the applicant responded that she had never heard anything negative about the companies. She asked if the visa officer was referring to an incident involving Mr. Prokhorov in France that was unrelated to the allegations of money laundering and criminal activity. The visa officer said, "Not specifically about that incident, more regarding the various companies and their activities". Again, the applicant said she knew nothing. She went on to speak about the individuals for whom she worked and the regular interaction she had with them. The visa officer then asked her, "and in all your time with them (since 2001) you have never heard or witnessed anything that might suggest any questionable business activities, either from within the companies or rival business partners or the newspapers". The applicant said, "No" and proceeded to mention the fact that there was a splitting of assets between the companies which the newspapers had been noting. This was not responsive to the question about her knowledge of questionable activities.

23 Although the visa officer did not refer to specific open sources, in light of the line of questioning asked it is difficult to accept that an educated individual with a long history of having close connections to companies allegedly involved in this kind of criminal activity would have absolutely no awareness of issues which were openly discussed in the media. At the very least, taking into account the fact that the information was available in open sources, including newspapers, it is hard to believe that the applicant did not know that the companies and/or individuals were the objects of suspicion. There is no indication in the record that the applicant is a naïve or unsophisticated individual who might have been unaware of such matters. To the contrary, she is a businesswoman with considerable employment experience and responsibilities.

24 In passing, as this was not raised in argument, I note that the CAIPS notes state that the applicant was to bring along a "detailed CV" to the interview. She did not do this. When asked why not, she responded, "This interview notification came late and our office is close[d] so there is nobody there to print my CV". When the visa officer noted that she was given a choice to come in on a different date, the applicant replied that she is "busy". The visa officer asked why she could not prepare her own CV at home, to which the applicant responded, "I don't have a computer at home". The visa officer told her a handwritten CV would have been acceptable. The applicant said she did not think that was professional. Section 16(1) of the IRPA requires those who make applications for TRVs to produce "all relevant evidence and documents that the officer reasonably requires". The applicant's failure to produce her CV when specifically asked to do so would hardly have cast her application in the best light in view of the focus of the officer's concern.

25 The visa officer had the benefit of interviewing the applicant in-person. By watching how she responded to the questions - by observing facial expressions, voice inflection, pauses in speech, etc. - the visa officer would have been in a better position than the Court to assess the credibility and truthfulness of the applicant: Aguebor v. (Canada) Minister of Employment and Immigration (F.C.A.) (1993), 160 N.R. 315 at para. 4. The visa officer's observations of her demeanour undoubtedly contributed to the finding that the applicant was not truthful in answering the questions in the interview such that it diminished the credibility of her submission and that the applicant failed to discharge the burden of proof that her admission to Canada would not be contrary to IRPA. On the basis of the record before me, I am unable to find that the officer's conclusions fall outside the range of acceptable outcomes defensible on the facts and the law.

26 The respondent is correct to emphasize that it is not for the Court to second guess a visa officer's findings or to substitute its own conclusion for that of the visa officer: Obeng v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2008 FC 754, 330 F.T.R. 196 at para. 40. Visa officers' special expertise entitles them to considerable deference in making a TRV finding: Obeng, above, at para. 21; Ngalamulume v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2009 FC 1268, 362 F.T.R. 42 at para. 15; Wang v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 201 at para. 10.

Did the visa officer provide adequate reasons?

27 Adequate reasons are those that serve the functions for which the duty to provide them was imposed: Via Rail Canada Inc. v. Canada (National Transportation Agency), [2001] 2 FC 25 (Fed. C.A.), 193 D.L.R. (4th) 357 at para. 21. The applicant relies on Canada (Minister of Citizenship & Immigration) v. Charles, 2007 FC 1146, 69 Imm. L.R. (3d) 153 at para. 32, which cites Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship & Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817, 174 D.L.R. (4th) 193 to assert that visa officer's reasons fulfill a number of purposes: "they ensure that issues and reasoning are well articulated; they allow parties to see that the applicable issues have been carefully considered; and they are invaluable if a decision is to be appealed, questioned, or considered on judicial review".

28 The applicant argues that she was not provided with sufficient reasons in order for her to know the case against her. She points to the "boiler plate" form which indicated the TRV rejection, claiming that it was devoid of any reference to the information provided by her in the application or the interview. The applicant further contends that the CAIPS notes did not provide sufficient details for her to know why the application was denied. Thus, she claims her procedural rights were breached.

29 The duty of fairness does oblige visa officers to provide reasons that are "sufficiently clear, precise and intelligible so that a claimant may know why his or her claim has failed": Mendoza v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2004 FC 687 at par. 4; Alem v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 148 at para. 13. However, the principle of procedural fairness does not extend to the point of requiring a visa officer to provide an applicant with a "running score" of the weaknesses in their application: Rukmangathan v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2004 FC 284, 247 F.T.R. 147 at para. 23; Paramasivam v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 811 at para. 29. When rejecting a TRV application, a visa officer's duty to provide reasons is minimal: Ngalamulume, above, at para. 20.

30 I agree with the respondent that the visa officer's reasons meet the minimum standard required. It is clear from the CAIPS notes that the main issue for the visa officer was the applicant's responses to the questions put to her concerning the "questionable activity" of the companies for which she had worked. Throughout the interview, the applicant had ample opportunity to address these issues and to disabuse the visa officer of any concerns. She made no attempt to do so. In fact, when pressed on the subject, she made reference to another, unrelated issue, namely a trip Mr. Prokhorov took to France. I think it was made clear to her what the officer's concerns were during the interview and the CAIPS notes reflect that. I therefore find that the visa officer provided adequate reasons and did not breach the applicant's right to procedural fairness.

31 No serious questions of general importance were proposed and none will be certified.


32 The applicant seeks costs for the proceedings and in particular for the motion to strike. Counsel argues that there could not have been a complete absence of merit to the application as it had been found to meet the threshold of an "arguable case" for leave to be granted.

33 The respondent submits that costs for the motion to strike should be awarded to the party who is successful on the underlying judicial review application.

34 As noted by Rule 22 of the Federal Courts Immigration and Refugee Protection Rules, SOR/93-22, costs are not to be awarded in respect of any application for leave, application for judicial review or appeal unless the Court, for special reasons, so orders.

35 There are no "special reasons" for awarding costs in this application. There has not been an abuse of process nor has either of the parties undergone any serious hardships. While the motion to strike may have been an unnecessary additional step in the proceedings, it is understandable why the respondent brought such a motion in light of the fact that the primary reason the applicant had cited for wanting to visit Canada had lapsed.


IT IS THE JUDGMENT OF THIS COURT that the application is dismissed without costs. No questions are certified.


Sunday, January 23, 2011


Matter for debate: Why is it that so many individuals associated with despotic regimes choose Canada as a destination? Is it because our enforcement is so lax? Or because they are able to make imaginary refugee claims and stall for years? This incident should be part of a larger debate as to how we enforce our laws.
Canada should never welcome despots, tyrants, human rights violators, or members of genocidal regimes of any stripe, they make a mockery of our legal system and it is disrespectful towards other immigrants, many of whom fled such regimes. Sadly, in some cases, many remain here for years even after the courts have given the green light for their deportation. It is time for a change.

AFP: Ben Ali family members arrive in Canada

Ben Ali family members arrive in Canada

(AFP) – 20 hours ago

MONTREAL — Relatives of Tunisia's ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali have arrived in Canada, a government official in Ottawa told AFP on Saturday.

The official confirmed, without offering details, a report in Le Journal de Quebec, which said one of Ben Ali's many brothers-in-law arrived in Montreal Friday morning aboard a private jet accompanied by his wife, their children and a governess.

Ben Ali's wife Leila Trabelsi has several brothers, and neither source specified which one had arrived in Canada. The family reportedly checked into a hotel in Montreal.

An official at Citizenship and Immigration Canada said Ottawa was not offering asylum to Ben Ali's family.

"Mr. Ben Ali, deposed members of the former Tunisian regime and their immediate families are not welcome in Canada," said spokesman Douglas Kellam, who declined to comment on any specific cases for privacy reasons.

"Anyone entering Canada must pass a number of tests. In the case of Tunisians, they must have a valid visa issued by the government of Canada."

The official added that visas "are only issued by our officers when they are satisfied that the individual will leave Canada once the visa expires. Given that members of the regime cannot return to Tunisia, that would be a challenge."

The news of the arrivals drew protests from Tunisians in Montreal, many of who had demonstrated in Canada against the former regime.

"These people need to answer for their actions before Tunisians, in Tunisia," said Sonia Djelidi, a member of a group organizing protests.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia earlier this month after weeks of violent protests against his iron-fisted 23-year rule.

The protests were in part fuelled by widespread allegations of corruption and reports that Ben Ali's family members, particularly his wife's relatives, had gorged themselves on state funds at a time of economic hardship.

The deposed president's daughter Nesrine Ben Ali and her husband, businessman Sakher El Materi, purchased a $2.5-million villa in the upscale Westmount neighborhood of Montreal two years ago.

The house is currently uninhabited and partially under construction.

On Thursday, Tunisian authorities arrested 33 members of Ben Ali's family who were under investigation for plundering the nation's resources.

The European Union has agreed in principle to freeze the assets of Ben Ali and his family, a source in Brussels told AFP earlier this week, though the final details were still to be worked out.

The Swiss government had earlier ordered a freeze on any funds held by Ben Ali in a move aimed at helping the country's new authorities to retrieve public assets illicitly taken from the country.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Stay away from  the UAE, there is no reason to go there.

Toronto businessman stranded at UAE airport after being refused at customs - The Globe and Mail

January 21, 2011

Toronto businessman stranded at UAE airport after being refused at customs


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Darius Mosun, CEO of Soheil Mosun, feels he's the victim of a deepening dispute between Canada and the United Arab Emirates
A Toronto businessman has discovered how unlucky it is to be a Canadian in the United Arab Emirates right now.

Darius Mosun, CEO of architectural fabricator Soheil Mosun, found himself stranded at a UAE airport Friday - a victim of a deepening dispute between Canada and the Arab country.

Bilateral relations soured last fall after Ottawa refused to meet demands by the Mideast country's carriers for additional landing rights at Toronto's Pearson airport. The UAE responded by kicking Canada's soldiers off a staging base near Dubai used to supply the Afghanistan war.

The UAE escalated the fight in December when it slapped visa requirements on Canadians.

Mr. Mosun ran afoul of the new visa system Friday, finding himself confined to the Abu Dhabi airport after authorities told him he had the wrong paperwork and refused to let him clear customs.

He had obtained a visa to enter the UAE but then made a side trip to Saudi Arabia and on his return was told his visa was a single-entry-only document.

Unable to leave the terminal, the businessman missed a meeting with a client in Abu Dhabi and faced a 15-hour overnight wait in the airport for a flight home.

"I lost my meeting. My client was very upset and I might lose the job as a result," he said.

"How did we get to this point? We're in this diplomatic spat and the people that are suffering are the little guys trying to drum up export business," he said.

The UAE had sought lucrative landing rights at Pearson from Ottawa after nearly a decade of allowing the Canadians to use an airport near Dubai as a staging base for the Afghanistan war. But Air Canada and federal officials alleged the UAE carriers merely wanted the flights into Toronto in order to steal international traffic.

Mr. Mosun is fed up with the Canada-UAE dispute and is disappointed the Canadian government hasn't managed to resolve its disagreement with an important Mideast trading partner.

"I am deeply concerned we are not exercising enough good will and good faith at its highest possible potential to embrace a reconciliation," the Toronto businessman said. "I just get the feeling it could have been handled differently."

Mr. Mosun's company manufactured the Wheel of Conscience monument unveiled at Canada's Immigration Museum in Halifax this past week, a ceremony attended by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Designed by U.S. architect Daniel Libeskind, it commemorates the nearly 1,000 Jews aboard the MS St. Louis turned away from Canada on the eve of the Second World War.

He said it appears UAE officials are targeting Canadians for extra security checks during airport screening.

"We were singled out as Canadians and had to submit to eye retina scans," Mr. Mosun said. "It's embarrassing."

The businessman said his latest visit to the UAE starkly contrasts with two previous ones.

"We were welcomed with open arms" in past trips, Mr. Mosun said.

"It's very troubling to me as an entrepreneur trying to drum up work globally. We face enough challenges on the world market as it is and we're trying to solidify relationships here and the dispute isn't helping."

Speaking to The Globe on Friday, Mr. Mosun said he expected to sleep in the terminal while waiting for a return flight to Toronto.

He said being stuck inside the Abu Dhabi airport was particularly uncomfortable because his luggage had already been forwarded to Toronto.

"It's like a remake of The Terminal with Tom Hanks," Mr. Mosun said, referring to a 2004 movie about a man who was stranded inside an airport.

He said he doesn't fault the UAE government or his air carrier, Etihad, except to say that the instructions for purchasing visas were not clear.

Mr. Mosun said Canada must patch up relations because the dispute has created roadblocks for conducting business in the UAE.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Having done a few hundred of these hearings, I find it incredible that this Immigration Division Member has released a person with such a questionable track record. Most people are never released even if they have lesser records, even when trying to post higher bonds and with better supervision.

B.C. criminal released by immigration officials ahead of deportation

B.C. criminal released by immigration officials ahead of deportation

By Kim Bolan, Vancouver SunJanuary 21, 2011 10:29 AM

VANCOUVER — A South African-born criminal who police say is a member of the Game Tight Soldiers and Renegade gangs was released by immigration officials Thursday over the federal government's objections.

Francois Meerholz was already out on bail in Prince George, B.C., on seven firearms charges when he was picked up by the Canada Border Services Agency earlier this month on an outstanding deportation order.

He made an appearance before one Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator a week ago and was ordered held in custody pending his Jan. 31 removal from Canada.

But at a second hearing Thursday, a different adjudicator, Daphne Shaw Dyck, said Meerholz could return to Prince George with his fiancee and brother on several conditions, including a $5,000 bond.

Shaw Dyck said she was confident Meerholz "would appear for removal if released."

She rejected the submissions of Marian Foucault, who represented the federal public safety minister, that Meerholz's pattern of disregard for earlier conditions meant he should not be released pending deportation.

"He violated multiple conditions," Foucault said, noting that he did not report a new address to government officials, or the fact that he had two new convictions and several new criminal charges laid against him in 2010.

Shaw Dyck was the adjudicator who released a Salvadoran refugee claimant in 2008 who admitted killing at least four rival gangsters in gunfights and grenade attacks as a member of a Central American gang.

She deemed Jose Franciso Cardoza Quintero was not dangerous enough to be locked up pending his deportation, and let him go on a $1,000 bond on condition that he report once a month and not drink alcohol while living with relatives in Surrey, B.C.

Meerholz, 23, came to Canada with his younger brother in 1999 to live with relatives.

But they ended up in the foster care system and Meerholz was soon before the courts.

After convictions for theft and possession of stolen property in 2007, Meerholz was ordered deported in November 2008.

The federal government agreed to give the young man another chance in March 2009 by staying his deportation for 18 months as long as he lived by a number of conditions, including "not commit any criminal offences," and "if charged with a criminal offence, immediately report that fact in writing" to the CBSA.

Foucault told Shaw Dyck that Meerholz repeatedly violated the conditions — getting both convictions and new charges — and the removal order was reinstated.

"Mr. Meerholz is a member of the Game Tight Soldiers and has the bottom rocker (part of the three-piece patch given to those working to become full gang members) of the Renegades," Foucault said, before Shaw Dyck cut her off and said simply making statements about gang affiliation was not providing evidence of such.

The Vancouver Sun earlier reported that there are up to 40 Game Tight Soldiers' members running the street level drug trade in Prince George in close association to the Renegades, a local gang connected to the Hells Angels.

Prince George RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass confirmed Thursday that Meerholz is linked to both the GTS and the Hells Angels puppet club.

"He is a member of the Game Tight Soldiers and wears the bottom rocker of the Renegades," Douglass said.

In October 2009 — six months after getting his second change to stay in Canada — Meerholz was arrested on a series of firearms charges, including possession of a restricted weapon, careless use of a firearm and two counts of occupying a vehicle in which there was a firearm.

He was also charged last summer with impaired driving and flight from a peace officer.

Foucault said the Crown has agreed to drop the charges if Meerholz is deported.

Meerholz's lawyer Bahar Mashregi said it is true he did violate earlier conditions, but only because he was under the mistaken belief that he no longer had to report to CBSA.

And she said both his brother Dillon and fiance Ashley Freake had also been unaware he was still on conditions or would have ensured he comply.

Both testified before the hearing, saying they would be lost if Meerholz is forced to leave the country.

Freake said he has cared for her daughter as if the toddler was his own child, providing financially and physically for her.

"He is my best friend. He is the father to my daughter. He is my whole world," she said tearfully before Shaw Dyck explained she didn't have the power to allow Meerholz to stay.

Dillon said, "it has just been him and me for the last 13 years."

"He is the only thing I have ever had and you just can't take that away — it isn't fair," he testified.

Meerholz is expected to be released Friday.