A one-year-old girl from Sierra Leone — who was adopted in July by a Quebec man — appears to have become the first bureaucratic victim of Ottawa’s decision to suspend all visa applications from West African countries devastated by the Ebola epidemic.
Longueuil resident Claude Perras, who adopted Ella on July 2 in Sierra Leone, tried and failed twice to obtain a travel visa for his daughter to accompany him back home. In October, he filed a third request in Freetown — this time, on humanitarian grounds — for a temporary resident permit for Ella but has yet to hear from Canadian immigration officials.
The process for such a permit usually takes 12 days. The Canadian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, which processes all such applications from West Africa, received Perras’s carefully prepared documents on Oct. 8 — nearly a month ago. Since then, he has not received any information on his daughter’s request despite entreaties from the office of Perras’s MP for Longueuil, Pierre Nantel.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Perras said in a phone interview from Sierra Leone. “I am able to go back to Canada, but my daughter cannot because she carries a Sierra Leone passport. Of course, this is very stressful and discouraging.”
Perras was forced to cancel a scheduled return flight to Canada at a loss of $2,000, and is worried he might not be able to attend planned job interviews in Quebec while his daughter’s case is in bureaucratic limbo.
Many public health officials have already denounced Alexander’s decision as discriminatory and ineffective. Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, last week publicly questioned the wisdom behind Australia’s similar decision to restrict admissions of visitors from countries battling Ebola.
Ella was born on June 11, 2013. Her biological parents, who do not live together, are each 14 years old. Perras, who has worked for many years for non-profit organizations, was introduced to Ella at the Hillside Daycare Centre in Freetown last year.
OTTAWA - The man who shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before being gunned down in Parliament’s Centre Block was not one of the 90 radicalized Canadians on an RCMP watchlist, Mounties revealed Thursday.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, “was an individual who may have had extremist beliefs.”
His e-mail was found on a hard drive belonging to someone who’s been arrested for terror-related activities.
Born in Montreal, he later lived in Calgary and Vancouver, then went to Ottawa on Oct. 2 to deal with an issue regarding his passport application, Paulson said. Police believe he was hoping to travel to Syria from Ottawa. Continue reading →
OTTAWA — The Canadian soldier who was shot and killed as he stood guard on a bright and chilly morning at the National War Memorial is identified as Cpl. Nathan Frank Cirillo, family and military sources say.
A Parliament Hill security guard was wounded in the chaotic attack Wednesday just before 10 a.m. in the nation’s capital that police believe involved more than one assailant.
Cirillo, of Hamilton, was one of two Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada reservists standing guard in front of the monument when a gunman opened fire Wednesday morning. The shooter was killed inside the Parliament buildings after firing at least 20 shots.
Ottawa police would not confirm a CBS News report that has identified the dead shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. A high-ranking federal officer confirmed his identity to The Canadian Press. He was born in 1982 and is believed to be Canadian, the American news outlet reported, quoting U.S. officials. Continue reading →
In an email to the CBC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) said Erica Dipuo Barnes’s citizenship was approved in 2013, but not entered into its global case management system due to a technical error.
Spokeswoman Nancy Caron said the error has been fixed and Barnes’s citizenship papers are now on their way.
“We recognize that this has caused undue frustration. We apologize for the error and delay.”
Barnes is both pleased and angry after the mistake made by Canadian officials in South Africa meant she could not work, study or even get medical care for the last year. Continue reading →
Shafiq Rehman and his wife started the adoption process in 2011. A week after they got an approval letter this June from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services confirming them as suitable candidates, Ottawa announced it’d stop accepting adoptions from Pakistan as of July 2.
By: Nicholas Keung Immigration reporter, Published on Mon Aug 05 2013
Canada has stopped adoptions from Pakistan, citing a conflict with the Islamic law over adoption and guardianship.
The abrupt move, which took effect in July, has left Canadian adoptive parents heartsick and religious leaders baffled.
“I was shocked, upset and depressed,” says GTA resident Shafiq Rehman, who had been hoping with his wife to adopt a child from Pakistan. Continue reading →
CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR Tiffany Gillespie (in black shirt) watches as her newly adopted daughter Edan (in pink) greets her new sisters Cristiana (in purple) and Aliya (in white) at Pearson airport Wednesday. Tiffany was returning with Edan after adopting her from an orphanage in Ethiopia.
CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR
Tiffany Gillespie (in black shirt) watches as her newly adopted daughter Edan (in pink) greets her new sisters Cristiana (in purple) and Aliya (in white) at Pearson airport Wednesday. Tiffany was returning with Edan after adopting her from an orphanage in Ethiopia. Paul Hunter
The text to her partner came from the immigration line on the other side of sliding glass doors at Pearson airport’s Terminal 1.
“You’d better have Kleenex for me.”
Tiffany Gillespie was puddling up again. Inching closer and closer to one last border officer, the tears were flowing more frequently now. Soon, the 5-year-old at her side, the one with the trusting eyes, gap-toothed smile and colourful beads braided so perfectly into her hair, would officially be a landed immigrant. Continue reading →