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'It's been a nightmare': Kitchener, Ont. father faces deportation after 31 years in Canada – CTV News Kitchener

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A Kitchener father, who has been living in Canada for 31 years, is fighting to stay.

Jamie Carrasco is facing deportation to Nicaragua after being accused of crimes against humanity while serving under the Sandinista National Liberation Front Government from 1983 to 1989.

“It’s been a nightmare being in this situation. Every year in limbo, you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Carrasco said.

He moved to Canada in 1991 after fleeing the Sandinista government. He said he was open and honest with immigration about his involvement with the regime, but said he never took part in any of the cruelties carried out by the group.

“I never killed nobody. I can say my conscience is free of that. I never tortured nobody. But [the Canadian government] presents me like I’m a criminal, but I’m not that kind of person.”

Canada Border Services Agency started its deportation process against Carrasco in 1992. He’s been appealing the process ever since.

A deportation date was set for July 26, 2022, but the removal order is back under review over concern for his safety. Carrasco fears he may be tortured or killed upon his return.

“[If] you left the army, [the Sandinista] said the only way you have to pay is not with jail, but with your life,” Carrasco explained.

Carrasco said he fled the regime in 1989 after realizing the harm it was causing to the people of Nicaragua.

“I see how they treat the prisoners. I didn’t agree with that, it wasn’t human what they were doing.”

“Now [the Canadian government] accuses me I did crimes against humanity because I was part of that group, but I never did nothing like that. The only thing I did was try to protect my life”

Border Services would not comment on this specific case, but a statement said in part: “The timely removal of inadmissible foreign nationals plays a critical role in supporting the integrity of Canada’s immigration system, and the CBSA has a legal obligation to remove individuals who have no legal right to stay in Canada as soon as possible. Those being removed have either exhausted or chosen not to pursue further legal recourse and have no legal right to remain in Canada.”

Carrasco and his family said the fighting to stay in Canada for over three decades has taken a toll on them.

“I love this country, that’s why I came here,” he said. “But the way they treat me, they treat me like a criminal, they treat me like nothing. You know, I’ve been rejected all this time, all these years and sometimes I feel nothing. I feel like I don’t deserve to be here because they made me feel like that.”

“It’s been a lot of stress. I’d say it’s been pretty hard on the family because at any moment he can be sent back,” said Javier Carrasco, his son. “We’re such a tight-knit family because we have nobody else here. It’s only ever been us, so to lose him makes it hard, not just on him, cause he has to go back, but my mom. She has to choose whether she’s going to stay here with us.”

Javier said he’s trying to spend as much time with his dad as he doesn’t know if or when he’ll be kicked out of Canada.

“We’re left in limbo and unsure.”

“The only thing I want is peace with my kids,” Carrasco said.

IMMIGRATION LAWYER WEIGHS IN

A Toronto-based immigration lawyer, who is not connected to Carrasco’s case, said he has a number of clients in similar positions, where the deportation process has stretched on for decades.

“Immigration doesn’t give up or they give up very reluctantly,” Ronald Poulton said. “So if they’ve got someone in their sights who they believe – and often wrongly believe – has committed war crimes or crimes against humanity… they’ll continue to try and deport him.”

Once a deportation order is issued, a risk assessment is required to determine whether the person’s constitutional right to life, liberty and security of person would be in jeopardy if they were sent back to their country of origin, regardless of what they are accused of. This includes whether the person would be subject to torture, arbitrary arrest, or possibly murder if deported.

While the deportation order itself is rarely challenged, the risk assessment can be. If a court rules it hasn’t been conducted properly, and the person is in fact at risk, it’s sent back to immigration to be reconsidered, Poulton said.

A deferral request can also be made to delay the deportation pending a court challenge.

“They [immigration officers] make a decision, the court overturns them, it goes back, they make the same decision again and around and around you go,” Poulton said.

Poulton said the process is “terrible” and expensive for people facing deportation and their families.

“It creates terrible anxiety for them over and over again,” Poulton said. “And particularly when the court has overturned the immigration officials repeatedly, which sounds like what happened here because otherwise he wouldn’t here for such a long time, it’s an unfair process, quite frankly.”

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Iran protests: Canada sanctioning 'morality police' – CTV News

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Canada will be imposing new sanctions on Iran as a result of a continuing violent crackdown on protesters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

The sanctions will be levelled on “dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran’s so-called morality police,” the prime minister said.

“We’ve seen Iran disregarding human rights time and time again, and now we see with the death of Mahsa Amini and the crackdown on protests,” Trudeau said, referencing the death of a 22-year-old who was detained for allegedly violating the country’s forced veiling laws. Her death has sparked outrage and has prompted a wave of international demonstrations, seeing some women cut their hair or burn their hijabs in revolt.

“To the women in Iran who are protesting and to those who are supporting you, we stand with you. We join our voices, the voices of all Canadians, to the millions of people around the world demanding that the Iranian government listen to their people, end their repression of freedoms and rights, and let women and all Iranians live their lives and express themselves peacefully,” Trudeau said.

While no official notice of the new sanctions has been published by Global Affairs Canada, the prime minister noted they come in addition to outstanding measures Canada has taken against Iran.

In an email to CTV News, Adrien Blanchard, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said that Trudeau “announced Canada’s intention” to issue these sanctions, pledging more details “in due course.” 

Joly, as well as MPs from all parties, have spoken out about the escalating tensions and use of force against civilians in Iran, with the House of Commons unanimously passing a motion last week offering “solidarity to the women of Iran who are fighting for their rights and freedoms.”

With files from CTV News’ Michael Lee 

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Maine power workers cross border without incident to help in Nova Scotia

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OTTAWA — Nova Scotia Power says there were no issues delaying American power crews from crossing the border to help repair the electrical grid from the devastation of hurricane Fiona.

On Sunday, the utility company and Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston had both said an issue related to the controversial ArriveCan app was delaying power crews from crossing into Canada.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said this morning that the order making the app mandatory and requiring that foreign citizens be vaccinated to come to Canada will expire on Friday.

Power crews helping to restore electricity are considered essential workers and are exempt from the border measures.

In a new statement Monday afternoon, Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Jacqueline Foster says there was some confusion about the app but it is now confirmed there were no problems.

Versant Power says 15 line workers and two mechanics left Bangor, Maine, for Canada early Monday morning without issue, and Central Maine Power reports more than a dozen two-person crews and 10 support workers crossed the border without incident at around 7 a.m. Monday.

“We now know there were not any issues with ArriveCan,” said Foster. “Our contractor crews have made their way over the border and we are grateful to have them as part of our restoration efforts here in Nova Scotia.”

The Canada Border Services Agency reported that it cleared 19 power trucks at the Third Bridge border crossing in St. Stephen, N.B., just after 7 a.m. Monday. The CBSA said the average processing time was between 30 and 60 seconds per vehicle.

The ArriveCan app has been fodder for heated political debates for months and Conservatives have repeatedly demanded that the government shut it down.

During question period on Monday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre cited the allegations that ArriveCan delayed power crews to demand that the app be scrapped ahead of schedule.

He asked, “Will the prime minister suspend the ArriveCan app today, not Saturday, so that no more holdups happen at the border for those who are trying to help those in desperate need?”

Trudeau said he can “confirm that there were no delays at any border because of ArriveCan or otherwise.”

The utility company had said Sunday that crews were physically stuck at the border, but confirmed a few hours after question period on Monday that this had never been the case.

Foster suggested the error was a result of “confusion” after a concern arose Friday — before the storm actually hit — that crews from Maine might not be able to cross the border because of ArriveCan.

No New Brunswick border crossings reported issues over the weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

 

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Former top civil servant, medical association president appointed as senators

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OTTAWA — Ian Shugart, a longtime bureaucrat and the country’s top civil servant during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been tapped for a seat in the Senate.

Dr. Gigi Osler, a Winnipeg surgeon, University of Manitoba professor and president of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada, is also set to become a senator.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the picks today after the two were recommended to him by the independent advisory board for appointments to the upper chamber.

Shugart, who will represent Ontario, stepped down as the clerk of the Privy Council in early 2021 to undergo cancer treatments and formally retired in May after a long public service career.

Trudeau also appointed him to the King’s Privy Council today, adding his name to a list that includes past and present cabinet ministers and people “honoured for their contributions to Canada,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Osler, who will represent Manitoba, became the first female surgeon and the first racialized woman to hold the presidency at the Canadian Medical Association in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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