Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Minister, above all Van Heest's deportation was made possible by the regressive legislative changes the Harper regime had made lowering a convicted immigrant's prison sentence threshold for making him/her "inadmissible" to Canada and therefore deportable. It is unacceptable that your government has neither changed, nor is it planning to change this unfair law that makes someone like Van Heesst -- a Canadian for all practical purpose -- deportable.---You have the power to allow him back into Canada. You should use it.-----------Minister, I am deeply troubled and disappointed at your missing compassion and eloquence in defence of Van Heest; mentally ill Van Heest; a 59 year long Canadian; and so what if not so on paper. Van Heest's was and is exactly the kind of case in which you should have used your ministerial power and discretion to keep or allow anyone into Canada. In my humble opinion, you made a serious error of judgement by deporting Van Heest. You have the power to allow him back into Canada. You should use it. My dear minister, It is never too late to do the right thing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/ujjal-dosanjh/len-van-heest-deported_b_15246830.html
Milind Kandlikar ·
Professor at University of British Columbia
A sad story. Canada is better than this.
Like · Reply · 1 · Mar 12, 2017 9:44pm
Julie Ali ·
University of Alberta
I thought so too.
Like · Reply · 8 mins


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Former Liberal minister and B.C. premier

Dear Minister Hussen, Len Van Heest Deserves Canada's Compassion

Posted: 03/09/2017 5:20 pm EST Updated: 03/09/2017 5:33 pm EST
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Dear Minister Ahmed Hussen,
Many of us cheered when you were recently made the Immigration Minister. We felt that as an immigrant Canadian you would surely bring to your position a new and hopefully more compassionate perspective on what it may mean to be Canadian. But our cheers were short lived. You have brought disappointments to some hearts, mine included.
On Monday March 6, 2017 you deported Len Van Heest, a Canadian for the last 59 years. Yes, a Canadian but without the citizenship papers. At the age of seven months and in diapers, he legally landed in Canada with his family. At 16 he was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. He has several convictions for assault, mischief and uttering threats -- all stemming from and related to his mental illness, the bipolar disorder. His last offence was in 2012.
Mr. Minister, obviously as a minor under the old law, Van Heest would have been unable to apply for his citizenship on his own -- assuming that he even realized or knew in his mental state about the need for him to do so. His parents may not have applied their minds to this issue before he became a "criminal" and therefore barred from receiving Canadian citizenship.
ahmed hussen
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen answers a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Thursday, Mar. 9, 2017. (Photo: Patrick Doyle/CP)
Mr. Minister, you had the legal power and discretion to stop Van Heest's deportation. You chose not to because you didn't see it as fit and proper to do so. His deportation means that you must have felt the mentally ill Van Heest was responsible for not applying for citizenship that he had to before he had reached a certain age. It also implies that you and your officials felt it was just and fair for Canada to hold a mentally ill man responsible for piling up a criminal record that disqualified him from ever applying for Canadian citizenship, even though he had entered Canada as an infant. The mentally ill Van Heest -- criminal or not -- is the product of Canada. Citizen or not, he is undeniably Canadian. If he is a criminal, he is a Canadian criminal.
Minister, above all Van Heest's deportation was made possible by the regressive legislative changes the Harper regime had made lowering a convicted immigrant's prison sentence threshold for making him/her "inadmissible" to Canada and therefore deportable. It is unacceptable that your government has neither changed, nor is it planning to change this unfair law that makes someone like Van Heesst -- a Canadian for all practical purpose -- deportable.
But on the other hand you recently testified in support of your government's Bill C-6 that will amend Harper government's law that enabled Canada to revoke the Canadian citizenship of convicted terrorists holding dual citizenships. Under Bill C-6 the revoked citizenships of convicted terrorists including that of Zakaria Amar -- the ring leader of the Toronto 18 who wanted to commit mass murder and behead the Canadian prime minister -- would be reinstated, re-bestowed upon them.
You have the power to allow him back into Canada. You should use it.
Mr. Minister, you passionately and eloquently argued: "When you are a Canadian citizen you shouldn't feel less valued just because you have dual citizenship with another country." You also said an individual whose citizenship was already revoked will have it reinstated.
Mr. Minister, I support your government's view that one Canadian is like another despite some holding dual citizenships -- a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian. But in my view a Zakaria Amar is much less deserving of Canadian citizenship and compassion than a Len Van Heest.
Minister, I am deeply troubled and disappointed at your missing compassion and eloquence in defence of Van Heest; mentally ill Van Heest; a 59 year long Canadian; and so what if not so on paper. Van Heest's was and is exactly the kind of case in which you should have used your ministerial power and discretion to keep or allow anyone into Canada. In my humble opinion, you made a serious error of judgement by deporting Van Heest. You have the power to allow him back into Canada. You should use it.
My dear minister, It is never too late to do the right thing.
Diane Kennedy
Deporting Len Van Heest is dispicable and incomprehensible. This is a punitive law introduced by the harperCon and both the deportation and the law must be reversed.
UnlikeReply9Mar 10, 2017 9:42am
Jeremias Tovar ·
CIC could give him a grant via 5.4 , that's the way.

Do it for a Canadian Minister.
LikeReply2Mar 10, 2017 10:50am
Betty Henderson
IF he commits any other offense WE have a Pretty good Justice system in Canada. He should be here with his Family, a Support system.Bring him Home.
Linda Nessel-Treen
It appears to be a despicable act, but there is more history to look at...you have a person with a disability with several conditions which include staying on his meds.
With this particular disorder, it is very easy to forgo those conditions...ultimately it is a choice to comply, or be the victim of a mental illness where your judgment is compromised. When someone does assaults, supposedly wreaks havoc in the community, etc. and our system apparently can't handle it, it is because of the law imposed recently by the Harper government. Inhumane? Yes. Legally? No. That he is now under the watch of a humane government? Hopeful. Sad that families are ripped apart because of this. Which cracks did this person fall through in our mental health system?
LikeReply1Mar 10, 2017 11:11pm
Julie Ali ·
In Alberta the cracks in the mental health system are enormous and cannot be navigated by a person with a severe handicap. I believe the bias against the mentally ill patient is incredible. I have had a doctor call me from the Grey Nuns Hospital to ask about resuscitation of my handicapped sister even though the personal directive indicated full resuscitation.
We have had doctors at the Grey Nuns Hospital repeatedly put do not resuscitate orders on my sister who was without insight based just on her CO2 narcosis status. Somehow these professionals were able to withdraw services based on her "competency" to refuse care.
The list goes on and on. A social worker from the Grey Nuns Hospital who told me that she had to pay the taxi more because my sister was unable to do her self care.
The heart breaking stories of the mentally ill are not in the public eye because they cannot speak for themselves.
It is over due for families to get out of the silenced mode and into full public revelations of the abominable lack of interest by the GOA for these patients.

Based on our family's experiences this poor man did not have any way to manage the broken mental health system all over Canada.
LikeReply11 mins
John W Gelston
This article totally overlooks a substantial criminal record in Canada. Please tell me again why we are fighting to bring a criminal back? We have enough of those already
LikeReply2Mar 11, 2017 3:08am
JT Bukowiecka
He is a sick person, you heartless thing.
LikeReply3Mar 11, 2017 5:09pm
Betty Henderson
JT Bukowiecka AND c'mon, he's been here since he was a BABY ! He's as Canadian as I am. HAVE A HEART Canada!
LikeReply3Mar 11, 2017 8:04pm
Jeff Wurzer ·
JT Bukowiecka There may be many points to be made but using a logical fallacy doesn't help your position.
LikeReplyMar 12, 2017 2:51pm
Julie Ali ·
If you have no experience with mental illness you would have no understanding or sympathy for the man.
I hope you don't have the experience of mental illness which is a disease of the mind which removes insight and ability to regulate behaviour. If you do have a future mental illness, remember your lack of empathy here.
LikeReply8 mins
Milind Kandlikar ·
A sad story. Canada is better than this.
LikeReply1Mar 12, 2017 9:44pm
Julie Ali ·
I thought so too.
LikeReply8 mins
Julie Ali ·
The unbelievable failure of Team Trudeau in this case indicates to all citizens that the federal Liberal Party is as indifferent to the problems of mentally ill citizens as the federal Conservatives ever were.
When you have a mental illness you lack insight about acts. Why doesn't the justice system understand this matter? I guess because everyone is moving along the problem of mentally ill citizens who are not getting the mental health services and supports they need.
In Alberta, a mentally ill patient at the Grey Nuns Hospital can be issued a Trespass to Premises ticket even though he may not have any insight into his actions. Failing to pay for the ticket or without any sort of help that person is in big trouble.
What the heck is wrong with all of this junk? I would say the system in Alberta at least has no interest in mentally ill citizens but like the federal government is only interested in getting rid of the problem.
I expected better of Mr. Trudeau.
Where is the action on this file?
This man should never have been deported and Team Trudeau needs to reunite him with his elderly mum.
LikeReply16 mins
Do the right thing even if you did the dumb wrong thing in the first place.


On Monday March 6, 2017 you deported Len Van Heest, a Canadian for the last 59 years. Yes, a Canadian but without the citizenship papers. He has several…
HUFFINGTONPOST.CA


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