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September 02, 2009


Werner Patels

Let me say first that I don't blame you for representing this particular client. You act according to your mandate and work within the (flawed) system we have in place today.

It is the system that needs to be changed. Immigrants must be seen as "future citizens on probation". In other words, I don't care how "dangerous" your client is considered to be by the public, media and the courts, because to me any immigrant who even so much as shoplifts should be deported immediately.

Immigrants waiting to meet the eligibility requirements for citizenship must be on their best behaviour, which means that any criminal behaviour (including shoplifting a chocolate bar) should be grounds for immediate deportation.

Immigration is a privilege, not a right, and so we must, and have every right to, expect the absolute best behaviour from those we grant the privilege of settling in Canada.

Being an immigrant myself (and by now Canadian citizen), I can tell you that I merely apply the standards and expectations that I have applied to myself all my life.

I expect of the other immigrants no less and no more.

Raj Sharma

There is a principle in law and criminal justice. It's called proportionality. IE. shoplifting a chocolate bar should earn perhaps a fine, or community service. Deportation would seem above and beyond any proportionate sentence and would approach a draconian response to a minor offence. Obviously there must be a balancing, but establishing ludicrous standards of behavior for residents of Canada is just that - ludicrous.

Werner Patels

Somehow I don't see how requiring newcomers NOT to break the law is a "ludicrous" proposal... that should go without saying...

Raj Sharma

Sure, who would argue with requiring immigrants to "keep the peace and be of good behaviour"? But, do we deport for traffic offences? Or unpaid parking tickets? Or summary judgment matters? A line has to be drawn and a balance needs to be struck. This is not a problem that lends itself to simplistic thinking.

Raj Sharma LLB
Barrister & Solicitor
Suite 204, 1228 Kensington Road NW
Calgary AB T2N 3P7

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