Joan Stirling, 99, denied citizenship despite living in Canada since 1933

Citizenship and Immigration doesn’t know or understand its own rules, says critic

By Rosa Marchitelli, CBC News Posted: Sep 28, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 28, 2015 4:19 PM ET

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 Woman denied citizenship despite living in Canada since 1933 2:14

CBC News investigates  ​

Joan Stirling’s application was rejected by Citizenship and Immigration Canada because she  couldn’t produce a specific piece of identification — her birth certificate from almost a century ago.

Her friend, Diana Watson, has been fighting since 2012 to get Stirling recognized as a Canadian citizen, in part, so the senior could access public health care.

Watson provided Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) with a mountain of proof, more than 20 documents that tracked Stirling’s birth in the U.K., her arrival in Canada, and her long history here.  

Ex-KGB agent leaves Canada after hiding in Vancouver church for six years to avoid deportation

Ex-KGB agent leaves Canada after hiding in Vancouver church for six years to avoid deportation

 | August 16, 2015 | Last Updated: Aug 17 8:42 AM ET
More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP

Mikhail Lennikov at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver in 2009.

Wayne Leidenfrost / Postmedia News file Mikhail Lennikov at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver in 2009.

A former KGB agent who spent six years hiding in a Vancouver church to avoid deportation to Russia has left Canada after surrendering to immigration enforcement authorities, his lawyer said Sunday.

Mikhail Lennikov, 55, voluntarily left the church in which he had sought sanctuary in 2009. He was escorted by Canada Border Services Agency officers to Toronto, where he boarded a flight to Moscow.

“I can confirm he left, he’s no longer in the country,” said Hadayt Nazami, his Toronto immigration lawyer. “It was a voluntary departure through negotiations. He wasn’t deported.”

He declined to explain why Lennikov had decided to give up his fight. He said the Russian had been negotiating an agreement with the CBSA for some time. The deal did not involve Lennikov going to any country other than Russia, he said.

NIck Procaylo / Postmedia News file

NIck Procaylo / Postmedia News fileFormer KGB agent Mikhail Lennikov and his wife Irina and son Dmitri at home in Burnaby, B.C. Feb. 28, 2009.

He confirmed CBSA officers had not entered the church. Lennikov still has several cases outstanding in the Canadian courts, Nazami added. “I’ll be continuing to represent him with those applications.”

Lennikov was one of a handful of asylum seekers holed up inside Canadian churches to avoid deportation. The CBSA has refrained from entering places of worship to make arrests.

His high-profile case became politicized, with the NDP calling Lennikov an example of “a really wrong-headed immigration policy by this government” and arguing the Russian was not a threat to Canada.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, supported his deportation, saying that as a former member of the notorious Soviet state security apparatus he was unwelcome in Canada.

Lennikov began cooperating with the KGB while he was at Far Eastern State University, where he was active in the communist youth league. Hired in 1982, he was assigned to the Japanese section of the Vladivostok office.

“His work included translating documents, assessing prospective Japanese informants’ credibility and continuing contact with some student informants from Far Eastern State University,” the Federal Court wrote in a ruling.


The lawyer said he had not heard whether Lennikov had arrived in Russia. Lennikov had earlier said he feared being charged with treason by Russian authorities because he had revealed the names of KGB agents.

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Sheila Lemaitre says her husband was used as scapegoat by Mounties after death of Polish immigrant at Vancouver airport in 2007

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By: The Canadian Press, Published on Fri Jul 31 2015

Pierre Lemaitre leaving the Braidwood inquiry, where he testified in 2009. ((CBC))

VANCOUVER — The wife of an RCMP officer who killed himself two years ago claims that her husband was used by the Mounties as a scapegoat in the death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport in October 2007.

In a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Sheila Lemaitre said her husband, Pierre, was told he would lose his job if he tried to correct misinformation given to the media about the night Dziekanski died.

The sergeant was the media relations officer who released information about the incident where the Polish immigrant was jolted with a police Taser and died on the floor of the arrivals area.

The lawsuit claimed Lemaitre wanted to correct the information, but was ordered not to say anything.

“As a result of this incorrect information, his immediate removal as RCMP spokesman, the subsequent public release of the private video . . . he was brought into public contempt where he was accused in the public of being the ‘RCMP liar’ and/or the RCMP spin doctor,” the statement said.

The bystander video released after the Dziekanski confrontation with police was much different that the original version of events given to media by RCMP.

In fact, the four officers involved were later charged with perjury for testimony they gave at the public inquiry looking into the death.

The officers were all tried separately and two were convicted, while two were acquitted.




5 key cases of police shooting deaths involving mentally ill individuals

Mental Health Commission of Canada releases recommendations on improving police interactions

TORONTO: Vadim Kazenelson guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death

Project manager found guilty on 5 criminal charges in 2009 incident

The Canadian Press Posted: Jun 26, 2015 9:42 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 26, 2015 3:32 PM ET

In this 2010 photo, Uzbek refugee Dilshod Marupov stands in front of a Toronto apartment building where he was almost killed in a scaffold collapse the year before.In this 2010 photo, Uzbek refugee Dilshod Marupov stands in front of a Toronto apartment building where he was almost killed in a scaffold collapse the year before. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

An Ontario Superior Court judge found Vadim Kazenelson guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Kazenelson was aware that fall protections were not in place, but he nevertheless allowed his workers to board the swing stage, the judge said.

“In his failure to act, he showed wanton and reckless disregard,” Judge Ian MacDonnell said.

li-620-scaffold-cbcFour died in the Dec. 24, 2009, collapse. (CBC)

Kazenelson sat quietly as his judgment was delivered. Family members of the victims gave each other sombre high-fives and pats on the back as they left the courtroom Friday.

The crew was 13 storeys up when the stage split in two on Christmas Eve in 2009. Kazenelson managed to hold onto a 13th-floor balcony but five men plummeted to the ground. Four died and one suffered serious injuries.

Gala Bakery in Hamilton to receive refugee employment award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Jun 22, 2015 | Vote0   0

Gala Bakery wins immigration employment award



John Rennison,The Hamilton Spectator

Alen Dodik tosses dough for bureks at Gala Bakery.
Hamilton Spectator

Gala Bakery in Hamilton will receive a refugee employment award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Gala Bakery owner Jacqueline Janosevic

The east Mountain company which was nominated by Wesley Urban Ministries, has been hiring newcomers since 2002.

“They are definitely a model employer,” said Stephanie Taylor, director of neighbourhoods and newcomer services for Wesley.

“This employer is very accommodating with employees. They have hired some of our refugees and they support them quite strongly.”

She said Gala works to ensure training and supports are available to help new workers settle into their jobs.

Taylor said work stability is one of the key factors of success for refugees and other newcomers to Canada. Wesley has worked with between 40 and 50 employers over the past year to help newcomers integrate.

“Through our refugee hiring initiative, we have been able to meet and develop dedicated Gala Bakery employees. We are proud to be leaders in the Hamilton community,” said bakery owner Jacqueline Janosevic in a federal government press release.

She could not be reached for comment Monday.

The rapidly growing Gala specializes in European-style baked goods. Its burek, a stuffed pastry popular in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa, is sold at Costco.

In a Spectator story last fall, Janosevic said making burek is so specialized, she has to bring bakers from Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia because no machine can replicate the technique.

Gala’s sales have grown 450 per cent since 2002, thanks to contracts with Fortinos, Sobeys, Highland Farms, Longos, Loblaws and a range of independent retailers.

Other winners recognized for the national award are Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc., nominated by Calgary Catholic Immigration Services, and Dexter Construction of Halifax, nominated by Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.

More than 12,300 refugees settled in Canada last year.

Ethnic communities feel betrayed as Rogers Television cuts back its multilingual newscasts

Jun 17, 2015 | Vote0   0

Diversity uncut as Rogers dismantles multilingual TV: Goar

Ethnic communities sound the alarm as Rogers Television cuts back its multilingual newscasts

Rogers Broadcasting Building

Rogers Broadcasting Building

Rene Johnston / Toronto Star

The Rogers Broadcasting Building, home, until recently, to newscasts in Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi.

“The math didn’t work,” Colette Watson said matter-of-factly. She is the vice-president of television and operations at Rogers Television.

It wasn’t a question of math, insisted the Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi-speaking viewers whose newscasts had been chopped. It was a betrayal, pure and simple.

In their view, the media giant’s latest cutback broke a long-standing commitment by Ted Rogers, the founder of the network. It violated the broadcaster’s 35-year pledge to champion diversity. It threw Canada’s ethnic minorities off the bus to make room for big-bucks sports franchises and lucrative digital platforms.

“Rogers has stripped bare the first-ever multilingual television licence,” said Dr. Joseph Wong, founder of the Yee Hong Foundation for Geriatric Care and a longtime member of the Chinese Canadian National Council. “We are asking the federal government and the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) to make sure Rogers does not systematically dismantle an important part of Canada’s multicultural broadcasting heritage.”

He spoke for a coalition of community groups — the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and the Toronto chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council — fighting to the reverse the cutback.

There is no simple truth in this cash-verses-culture battle.