(Published in the Kingston Whig-Standard, Oct. 26, 2011, Editorial-Opinion, Page 5)
Law and Security
Man openly mocks so-called law-and-order agenda
By: LUBOMYR LUCIUK
This particular KGB man arrived in September 1997. He was found out in 2002. So Mikhail Lennikov said he was a refugee. He failed to convince the Immigration and Refugee Board of that, in May 2006. So he appealed. In June 2009, the Honourable Mr. Justice Russel Zinn of the Federal Court of Canada upheld the deportation order. The same judge, on June 4, 2009, ruled Ottawa must return Abousfian Abdelrazik from Sudan, a decision applauded by those who otherwise studiously ignore his contemporaneous decision in this KGB man's case.
Justice Zinn wrote: "The applicant has had the benefit of every procedure available to him under the Act. At some point, a deportation order must be carried out otherwise the integrity of the process is called into question." He also cited Mr. Justice Evans: "…the balance of convenience does not favour delaying further the discharge of either the applicant's duty…to leave Canada immediately, or the Minister's duty to remove them as soon as reasonably practicable…This is not simply a question of administrative convenience, but implicates the integrity, and fairness of, and public confidence, in Canada's system of immigration control."
The applicant's duty was to leave. Instead he decamped into a pre-prepared suite in Vancouver's First Lutheran Church, asserting a right of sanctuary. There is no such thing.
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, is responsible for the Canada Border Services Agency. On Jan. 28, 2010, he insisted: "The Immigration and Refugee Board and the courts have determined that Mr. Lennikov is not admissible to Canada under our laws." He has done little since.
Supposedly, Conservatives favour a law-and-order agenda. Yet, someone openly defying our laws remains untroubled. Recently Harper's government circulated descriptions of alleged war criminals, encouraging snitches to help the Canada Border Security Agency deport bad guys (a few were). Since this KGB man's whereabouts are known why wasn't he removed?
The Conservatives also cater to ethnic communities. More than 1.2 million Canadians are of Ukrainian heritage, many thousands more are of other eastern European origins, and more than a few have family members who suffered persecution by the Communist secret police, known variously as the CHEKA, NKVD, SMERSH, and KGB. Some victims were even Lutherans. Giving 'Captain KGB' the boot would earn "ethnic votes."
Supporters plead this former Soviet agent should stay because he is a well-educated family man and Mozart aficionado who only worked as a translator. They argue he poses no security threat since the U.S.S.R. collapsed more than two decades ago.
Would they rally behind someone with a PhD who treasured Tchaikovsky and was 'only' a Russian-language translator while in the Gestapo or SS? Not likely. Simply being part of an organization that perpetrated crimes against humanity, even if you were 'only' a cook, bottle washer, or translator, renders you inadmissible. All KGB veterans fit that description. That's Canadian law, like it or not.
Of course our KGB man is a white European. Most other n'erdo- wells being hunted down are Third Worlders. And although Communists are atheists by definition, this one was clever enough to steal away into a church. Since the remarkably delicate souls of the CBSA won't enter a place of worship to do their jobs, God forbid any of Canada's other most wanted read this. Any law-breaker who absconds into a mosque, synagogue, or temple can apparently chortle home free!
Offering citizenship to KGB or Gestapo veterans is unconscionable. And Canadians want federal laws upheld. Yet that's not happening. Deploying the usual remedies — chiding Ministers, sending protest cards to MPs, alerting the media — has had little consequence. The taxpayer- funded CBC even broadcast reports sympathetic to this bogus refugee claimant and illegal alien, obfuscating the KGB's murderous role. Those claiming there's no left-wing bias at the CBC must be joking.
So we hired a private investigator and put this KGB man's bolthole under surveillance. If he leaves, the authorities will be alerted immediately and will deport him. Alternatively, he can spend the rest of his days in his hidey-hole at First Lutheran. That's fine with us.
Some hint that this once loyal servant and beneficiary of the Soviet regime "found God" in their midst. How nice, if true. As Christians we might have "turned the other cheek" if there was credible evidence this KGB man genuinely sought forgiveness for what he was, made public his repentance. He hasn't. So we say: "No wolf in sheep's clothing will ever be welcome in the flock."
Lubomyr Luciuk, PhD, is director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association (www.uccla.ca)