Deportation to separate Ottawa-area family
Refugee status denied by officials after 4 years in Canada
Posted: Jun 28, 2012 7:31 AM ET
Last Updated: Jun 29, 2012 11:02 AM ET
A family south of Ottawa will be deported back to their home country of Trinidad and Tobago because the federal government does not consider them refugees.
The Maharaj family has received a deportation order to leave Canada by early Friday morning. That is despite concerns their safety is at risk back home.Vashti Maharaj will be deported along with her husband, their daughter and infant grandchild. (CBC)
Motilal Maharaj told the CBC's Waubgeshig Rice police threatened his children's safety and demanded protection money in the Caribbean country, which they felt was cause for departing to the United States 12 years ago.
The Maharaj family then moved to Canada in 2008 and claimed refugee status.
Since then, one of Motilal's sons has married and had a child. The family also owns and operates a store in Kemptville, Ont., about 60 km south of Ottawa.
"I can't understand this. We've worked, we've been honest," Motilal's wife, Vashti Maharaj, said.
The family said it would be broken up due to the deportation. Ricky Maharaj, son of Motilal and Vashti, will remain in Canada with his wife, who is a Canadian citizen, and their two-year-old son Navin. Everyone else, including infant grandson Messiah, have to leave Canada.
Family 'lacks credibility', officials say
"Why they turned down my papers, because my country's democratic," Motilal said. "So then why didn't they refuse me the first day then and say we cannot give you refuge?"
An independent review board refused the family's refugee status last year. The family appealed to the federal court but last week learned that appeal was denied.
In a statement to CBC News, officials said the family has not produced enough evidence to prove they would be in danger in their home country. They also said the family "lacks credibility" and the decision was based on that.
Friends and neighbours of the family say they should stay. They created a petition to keep them here, which has garnered 600 signatures.
Latest Ottawa News Headlines
- Feds look to snag corporate sponsors for Ottawa events
- McDonald's golden arches on Parliament Hill? Tim Hortons billboards at the Governor General's residence? Nothing quite so crass is in the works, but a cash-strapped federal agency is actively looking for corporate sponsors to fill gaping holes in its budget. more »
- PM's credibility at stake in growing Senate expenses crisis
- With the prime minister's credibility at stake in a growing political crisis, has Stephen Harper done enough to explain his former chief of staff's $90,000 cheque to Senator Mike Duffy? Listen to CBC Radio's The House with Evan Solomon here. more »
- Audit of city's Orgaworld contract not expected until fall
- A long-awaited audit of the controversial deal between the City of Ottawa and Orgaworld won't be released until an ongoing commercial arbitration process ends, likely in the fall. more »
- Ottawa Race Weekend road closures
- There are several temporary road closures in the city during Ottawa Race Weekend. more »
Top News Headlines
- 3 more suspects arrested in slaying of U.K. soldier
- British police investigating the savage killing of an off-duty soldier in London have arrested three more suspects. more »
- Hockey Canada votes to ban bodychecking in peewee hockey
- Hockey Canada's board of directors voted to eliminate bodychecking from peewee-level hockey on Saturday in Charlottetown. more »
- Neil Macdonald: How serious is Obama about curbing the drone surge?
- In a key speech this week, the U.S. president set out a host of supposed new safeguards for America's controversial practice of remote-controlled rough justice. But as Neil Macdonald writes, the underlying rationale for drone use has not fundamentally changed. more »
- Ontario man lost in Australian mountains has survival skills
- The sister of an Ontario man who disappeared in Australia's Snowy Mountains nearly two weeks ago says she remains hopeful he will be found, partly because of his training as a Canadian Forces reservist. more »
- Senators' unlikely playoff run ends in Game 5 disappointment
- Ottawa Race Weekend road closures
- Ottawa Senators thank fans after pesky season
- Canada Post tells residents that junk mail is useful
- Ottawa residents use green bins more, landfills less
- Fire destroys 100-year-old barn near Kemptville, Ont.
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denies using crack cocaine
- Train travel back to normal after fatal crash in eastern Ontario
- The Ottawa Senators love their dogs