Letters: José Figueroa case an example of Canada’s ‘loss of democracy’

Editor: My mom was born in Russia into a Mennonite culture.

During the civil war period from about 1918-1929 many of the pacifist Mennonites formed a self-defense militia against government forces to avoid getting slaughtered. Mom’s family left Russia in 1929 for fear of reprisals.

José Figueroa is still living in the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church because of a deportation warrant issued in October 2013, by the Canada Border Services Agency for being a terrorist.

On July 10, 2014 a federal court judge declared José was not a terrorist and demanded that Citizenship and Immigration Canada restart his permanent resident application.

A call to a friend who works at CIC confirmed that invariably they comply with the federal court orders.

A call to CBSA confirmed that in all cases they cancel a deportation order with such a federal court order. But neither was done.

If José is a terrorist, then so were many Mennonites.

A meeting with Mark Warawa, my local Conservative member of Parliament, himself of Mennonite heritage, proved disappointing.

Officially, Mark is on record as supporting José, but said that it’s a private matter and his meetings with others in government on the case are secret.

Actually, it’s everybody’s business if the process of government is not just or democratic. There actually is an official terrorist list passed by Parliament. The intent is that CBSA use it, but they don’t. José’s name is not related to this list in any way. Individual agents pass judgment as they please with Gestapo-like powers.

I’m inherently non-partisan. Political labels mean nothing. It’s the current thinking of leadership that counts.

Justin Trudeau (Liberal), Tom Mulcair (NDP), Elizabeth May (Green) all warned about this loss of democracy and lack of oversight with present Conservative policies on security.

My own fear is that most Conservative policies are tilted in favour of the wealthy, powerful, and concentrated government leadership. This is flavouring government departments with the resulting loss of democracy.

Ben Weins,

Langley