UNIFOR Supports Deepan


“I am appealing to you to use your Ministerial discretion to act on behalf of Mr. Deepan Budlakoti in Ottawa by recognizing his legitimate Canadian citizenship. […] It is particularly concerning to learn because of your actions in rendering him stateless, the provincial government has withdrawn Mr. Budlakoti’s access to health care. I remind you that Mr. Budlakoti has
lived his entire life in Canada and it strikes us as cruel and arbitrary to now deprive him of health care when he is undergoing a very stressful period in his life.” – Jerry Dias, National President, UNIFOR

Download complete letter here.

May Day Statement

Dear Friends and Allies,

On May 1st, May Day, join our allies at the Solidarity against Austerity march.

Where?                 Human Rights Monument, Ottawa Ontario (Elgin and & Lisgar) 

When?                    4pm gathering & 5pm march.

We express our deep gratitude to our allies in the Labour movement who have and continue to provide solidarity and support in many ways with Deepan Budlakoti and his struggle against double punishment.

As we celebrate the 129th year of the origins of May Day, and the contributions the labour movement has made to promote a decent work agenda, equality and justice for all, we recognize the continued struggle of countless sisters and brothers who live and work within our borders without status or with temporary status.  Like Deepan, they contribute countless work hours often in precarious jobs.  Tens of thousands each year are told, although their labour is welcome, they and families left behind, cannot make Canada their home.  They typically have no or limited access to health care or other social services for which their meager wages contribute to supporting.   On May Day around the world, workers are rallying up against such injustice.

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The Right to Have Rights

Event March Event 12 2015Statelessness, Citizenship and Belonging

download posters as pdfs: English; French.

Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6pm
Carleton University, Dunton Tower, #2017

Tickets: 10$ (students), 20$ (community members). Available online here.

Refreshments will be served.

Speakers: Daiva Stasiulis (Professor of Sociology, Carleton University); Alex Neve (Secretary General, Amnesty International); Yavar Hameed (Human Rights and Constitutional Lawyer).

This Event is Moderated by: Dr. Monia Mazigh (a human rights and social justice activist who is best known for her efforts to free her husband Mahar Arar from a Syrian prison)

Sponsored by: NUPGE, CCLA, Amnesty International, Opirg Carleton, GRIP Ottawa U, Carl, CPEP, CUPE National, CUPE 4600, CUPW, UNIFOR, PSAC.

Nationality, Statelessness and the Case of Deepan Budlakoti

Monday, March 9, 2015 – 13:05, Amnesty International

by Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada’s Secretary General. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexNeveAmnesty.

Most of us (sic) never give it a second thought; our nationality.  We were born with it or may have gained a second or third nationality by moving to another country, through our ancestry or by marriage.  We are usually proud of it.  We enjoy, need and may boast about it when we travel.  But we don’t often think about what it would be like not to have it or to lose it.

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‘Completely cruel and unnecessary': Deepan Budlakoti fights for healthcare

Metro News, Joe Lofaro, 24 February 2015

Deepan Budlakoti, a Canadian-born man who was told more than four years ago he is not a Canadian citizen, is not giving up a fight to get his life back.

The 25-year-old has been in and out the courts trying to restore his citizenship after being convicted of drug charges and selling a hunting rifle to an undercover police officer.

The federal government argues Budlakoti did not become an automatic Canadian citizen at birth in 1989 as his parents worked for the Indian High Commission in Ottawa.

Read full article here.

Ottawa man ordered deported fighting for access to OHIP

Niagara Falls Review, Dani-elle Dubé, February 25, 2015

An Ottawa-born man ordered deported to India after a stint behind bars is now fighting for access to OHIP.

In September 2014, Deepan Budlakoti, 25, lost a bid to have a federal court judge declare him a Canadian citizen which he vowed to appeal.

In addition, the man’s legal woes have denied him access to provincially-funded health care.

Read here article here. This article also appears in the Ottawa Sun.

Pack the courtroom! Deepan Health Hearing

Tuesday, 24 February 2015 at 1:45pm
170 Laurier Street West, Ottawa, Ontario


As you may have heard, Deepan was forced to buy private health insurance to obtain health coverage. However, he is challenging the Ontario government for refusing to provide him with a health card and access to basic medical services that everyone in Canada should be able to access.

One of the many hoops Deepan must go through to challenge the provincial government’s decision is a constitutional hearing in front of the Health Services Appeal and Review Board where Deepan will argue that his Charter rights have been infringed.

The Justice for Deepan committee is asking for as many supporters as possible to observe and show their support during this part of the adjudication process. Please come out and help us pack the court!

Meet in the main lobby of 170 Laurier (room still unknown) at 1:45. Hearing starts at 2pm. Someone will be downstairs for a while to let people know which room it is in.