“It is worrisome, Minister, that in the face of this evidence Canada would continue to refuse to recognize Mr. Budlakoti’s Canadian citizenship. Such a stance runs contrary to international human rights commitments this country has made with respect to statelessness and other related human rights provisions. Once again, we urge you to move immediately to restore or recognize Deepan Budlakoti’s Canadian citizenship.” – James Clancy, National President, NUPGE
J4D in Solidarity with Barriere Lake! More Ottawa support needed
The Justice for Deepan Support Committee stands in solidarity with the families of Barriere Lake who are being unjustly denied their money from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. In tandem with these families, we call on Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, to stop denying this money. Moreover, we say loudly that Aboriginal Affairs is engaging in a deeply unethical denial of finances during the holiday season and as cold temperatures set in. Shame on the federal government and their flagrantly punitive tactics against this dynamic community that is resisting the colonial tactics of Harper’s newly minted ‘Transparency Act’. For more on Barriere Lake’s resistance to the double standard regulations of this Act, as well as how you can support, please visit:
Deepan Budlakoti was born on October 17, 1989 in Ottawa and issued an Ontario birth certificate. His parents had moved to Canada in 1985 to work for the Indian Ambassador. A few years later his parents became Canadian citizens. When Deepan was issued a Canadian passport, it listed his nationality as Canadian.
Then, suddenly, in 2010 government officials informed Deepan that he was not a Canadian citizen, and that he never had been. Their argument is that Deepan is not automatically Canadian even though he was born here because his parents were employed by a foreign diplomat when he was born (which they were not – they had both left their work at the embassy before his birth).
Dec 10 Justice for Deepan Support Committee: A call for political action.
More than 65 years ago, John Humphrey, a Canadian, authored what was to become the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Around the world people rightfully applauded their governments for unanimously supporting the 30 articles, detailing Human Rights protections that everyone is entitled to and which governments are obligated to uphold.
Article 15 of the UN Declaration states;
“Everyone has the right to a nationality.” Further more, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality…”
Despite the historic significance of a Canadian citizen being credited with crafting of this important text and despite Canada’s ratification of the UN Declaration over 6 decades ago, – it is travesty that today’s Conservative government would purposefully strip Deepan Budlakoti of his Canadian nationality making him stateless and recently stripping him of access to healthcare services.
Since the Federal Court decision that came down we decided not to pursue the issue that I am not a citizen in front of the appeal board. We indicated that we would be challenging the OHIP regulation that they were using against me.
OHIP argued that the appeal board cannot make constitutional remedies to invalidate a regulation or law.
We made the argument that there is a caveat to the general rule that says that for a matter where a determination has been made on health care status prior to 2002 you can proceed to challenge the law. We also were told of a recent court decision that says that the appeal board must respect the charter in interpreting its rules.
The matter is now adjourned until February 24 after submissions by us and the government. The hearing will be in Ottawa.
“Deepan is currently appealing the state’s refusal to grant him health care coverage. We know that the denial of coverage was triggered by OHIP’s conversation with Immigration Canada. The Minister has since day one in Deepan’s case had the authority to acknowledge Deepan as a Canadian citizen or to grant him such status. Knowing that Deepan cannot be deported from this country, his denial of health care simply adds insult to injury. In view of the Minister’s response to the recent Federal Court decision of July 4, 2014 on refugee health care and his unwillingness to abide by all aspects of the decision it appears that Deepan, like refugees to Canada, is being subjected to cruel and unusual treatment by virtue of an intentional effort by the Minister to deny him health care.” – Yavar Hameed, Counsel for Deepan Budlakoti
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