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The great Canada Day deportation

By Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Gerald Lizano, his wife and three children aged 15, 14 and 2 ( the 2-year-old was born in Canada and not subject to the removal order), were finally removed last Saturday to their native Costa Rica after spending five years in Canada, most of it successfully playing the system.

While the handwringers boo-hooed (most notably Michele Mandel of the Toronto Sun which is starting to resemble the Toronto Star in all ways save circulation) about the fact the family was removed on Canada Day, the date chosen to remove the family was a nice symbolic touch.

While the rest of the country was busy celebrating the founding of Canada as an independent nation there was no better way to illustrate that Canada is a strong and sovereign nation, than by very publicly removing the Lizano-Sossa family from the country on that day.

The family came to Canada in 2001. They "fled" their native Costa Rica (although they took the time to apply for and receive valid visitors' visas) because Mr. Lizano's brother worked in drug enforcement and the family claimed that they were targeted by drug lords. They made an unsuccessful claim to be Convention refugees and a subsequent application for judicial review of that decision in Federal Court was turned down.

The family was scheduled to be removed last February but they failed to show up for removal. The parents went underground while the two oldest children attended Toronto area schools. The Lizano-Sossa family came to the public's attention when Border Services agents apprehended the teens at school and held them in a bid to get the parents to surface. The family then applied to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds and that decision had yet to be made when they were finally removed. A last minute bid in Federal Court to stay the execution of the removal order until such time as the humanitarian and compassionate application was denied was denied two days prior to their removal.

As far as the Lizano-Sossa's claim to have been targeted by Costa Rican drug lords goes, many of the actions of the family in Canada were simply inconsistent with a genuine fear of serious harm or death. After the controversy arose about the agents going into schools to grab students, the family willingly put themselves in front of the media. These are not the actions of people who are genuinely afraid; they are the actions of someone whose prime motivation is not protecting their lives but staying in Canada.

The family's 2-year-old daughter who was born in this country had a right to remain here. The Lizano-Sossas have a lot of friends and support in Canada. Although it would have been difficult, they could have left their daughter behind if they really did have a serious concern about not only their well being but their lives. They could have at least allowed their youngest daughter to remain in Canada until they went back and assessed the present danger for themselves. But they showed no real concern for the safety of the child who had the legal right to remain safe in Canada, if in fact the toddler was in danger in Costa Rica.

Many of the statements that the family made before leaving the country were typical of those made by phony refugee claimants. It seemed more important for Gerald Lizano to talk about how Canada remained in his heart than the danger, not only to himself and his wife but his young children that supposedly awaited him in his country of citizenship.

Many otherwise law abiding Canadians (including the Toronto Star Sun) seem to think that immigration laws don't have to be enforced; as long as people are willing to work hard and are not terrorists or criminals (the Lizano-Sossa family fits into this category), they should be allowed to remain in this country even if they have broken immigration laws. One of the few who seemed to "get it" was Justice Richard Mosley who dismissed the application to stay the removal order. Justice Mosley spoke about how the family flouted the law, failed to show up for removal and failed to keep Canada Immigration aware of their whereabouts in Canada.

On a day when some other Canadians chose to celebrate this country's birthday by flying Portuguese flags or urinating on Canada's National War Memorial, the deportation of Gerald Lizano made a perfect statement about Canada as a sovereign nation. Whoever scheduled their removal for Canada Day should be commended.

Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. His work has appeared on, Men's News Daily, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck and The Rant. Arthur can be reached at:

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