Young Canadian Man’s Appeal is Rejected by OHIP
24 November 2014, Ottawa, Algonquin territory – In a highly unusual move, the Ontario Provincial Government has told Deepan Budlakoti, a young Canadian-born man, that the free health care he has utilized for the past 25 years is no longer accessible to him.
The decision comes after Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, contacted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to inform them that Mr. Budlakoti is not a citizen, despite Budlakoti holding an Ontario Birth Certificate since 1989 and a Canadian passport since 2003. Although Budlakoti is fighting this ministerial decision in Federal Court, OHIP has already rescinded his access to health care, leaving the young man without basic coverage for the past year.
“Denying OHIP coverage to any person residing in the province of Ontario is needlessly cruel, and sets a dangerous precedent. Health is a basic human right, and the denial of health care coverage to any person should not be tolerated. OHIP should be made available to all Ontario residents, regardless of their immigration status,” says Melanie Spence, a doctor with Health for All.
11 September, Canadian Labour Congress
The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says it’s time for the Minister of Immigration to intervene in the plight of a Canadian-born man facing life as a stateless person.
Born to Indian diplomats in 1989, Deepan Budlakoti has lived his entire life in Canada. He’s got the Ontario birth certificate to prove it and has twice been issued a Canadian passport. Despite this, he now faces having his citizenship stripped away and deportation to India – a country in which he has never lived and which does not recognize him as an Indian national.
Ottawa-born Deepan Budlakoti will challenge decision that leaves him stateless
Ottawa – Unceded, Unsurrendered Algonquin Land, 10 September 2014 – A shocking and deplorable decision handed down yesterday by Justice Phelan of the Federal Court claims that the stripping of Deepan Budlakoti’s citizenship is consistent with the laws of Canada. At the age of 21, Budlakoti, who was born in Ottawa, was suddenly informed that he was not a citizen. This resulted in his inability to hold a job, access health care, or receive other benefits of citizenship. Justice Phelan claims that this process of denationalization is not an infringement of Deepan’s charter rights (s. 6 & 7).
“Obviously, I will appeal,” said Deepan Budlakoti. “I refuse to be exiled from my homeland, to be made an outcast in my own society. This case is important for everyone in Canada, it sets a precedent that we should all be worried about.”
(Le français suit)
Ottawa, Algonquin Territory, 12 June 2014 – Deepan Budlakoti’s charter challenge to reclaim his citizenship will be heard at 9:30 Monday morning. If successful, the motion will force the Canadian government to admit that their actions violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and cost Budlakoti undue hardship. It would also force the government to recognize Budlakoti as a Canadian citizen.
Call on government to restore Deepan’s citizenship ahead of the Charter challenge
SEE PHOTOS HERE!
On Wednesday 9 April, 2014, in a strong demonstration of nation-wide solidarity, over 10 cities from coast to coast dropped banners in support of Deepan Budlakoti and his fight to have his citizenship restored. Communities from Ottawa, to Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catherines, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver, dropped banners in solidarity with the Justice for Deepan campaign.
In May 2010, Deepan Budlakoti, a construction worker born in Ottawa, Canada, was informed by the government that his passport was issued to him in error.
“Although Deepan was born in Ottawa and has lived here his entire life, the government is trying to deport him to India”, said Lena McFarlane a member of the Justice for Deepan Support Committee. “Deepan has been rendered stateless by his own government – the government of Canada. She added, “the government’s actions are outrageous and inexcusable.”
A dozen supporters and friends of Deepan accompanied Deepan on 22 January 2014 to deliver the following letter to Trudeau’s office. Trudeau’s staff refused to lift a finger to help; despite repeated requests they refused to try to schedule a meeting or even commit to responding by email. Meanwhile, a picket took place outside the office, informing passers by of Deepan’s case and Trudeau’s refusal to intervene.
LETTER TO JUSTIN TRUDEAU FROM MEMBERS OF HIS CONSTITUENCY AND FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS OF DEEPAN BUDLAKOTIHand-delivered to 529 Jarry East, Montreal on 22 January 2014
Dear Mr. Trudeau,
We are friends and supporters of Deepan Budlakoti, many of us also members of your electoral riding, who have come to your office today out of a sense of deep frustration at your refusal to support Mr. Budlakoti.
As you know, Mr. Budlakoti is an Ottawa-born man who is living under a deportation order to India, a country where he does not even have citizenship. The threat of deportation against Mr. Budlakoti is the result of an unjust immigration system, and specifically of legislation within the immigration system that doubly punishes non-citizens with criminal convictions. The fact that Deepan’s citizenship is even being questioned, despite evidence that the basis for this questioning is false, is another dimension of the injustice of his situation.
Supporters call on Ministers Alexander and Blaney to halt deportation of Canadian-born man, recognize his citizenship at a press conference in Parliament
Ottawa, 18 September 2013 — New evidence in Deepan Budlakoti’s case, received yesterday, has shaken the foundations of the government attempt to deport the 23-year old, Ottawa-born construction worker.
Speaking at a press conference in Parliament this morning, immigration lawyer Peter Stieda announced, “We have just received confirmation from S.J.S. Chhatwal, the former High Commissioner of India in Canada, that Deepan’s parents were not working for him at the time of Deepan’s birth. There is absolutely no reasonable basis to doubt that Deepan is Canadian. Rather than stripping him of status, this government is legally obliged to restore his citizenship and remove all conditions against him.”
Supporters of Deepan Budlakoti will be attempting to hand-deliver letters to Minister of Public Safety, Steven Blaney, and the Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, in Ottawa on Wednesday. The letters call on the Ministers to reinstate the citizenship of the Ottawa-born man. The 23-year old Canadian construction worker has been facing deportation to India, where he has never lived and is not a citizen, since last year. Deepan’s legal team is challenging the deportation order on constitutional and other grounds.
WHAT: Press Conference and Delivery of letters to the Ministers of Public Safety and Citizenship and Immigration
WHEN: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:00am
WHERE: Charles Lynch room, Centre Bloc, Parliament Hill, Ottawa
Peter Stieda, Legal Counsel
Harry Ghadban, Eastern Ontario Director of UNIFOR.
Stan Kupferschmidt, Justice for Deepan support committee
Lena McFarlane, Justice for Deepan support committee
Yavar Hameed, Legal Counsel
Deepan Budlakoti: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Stieda: 613-304-1763 or 613-236-1111, Lawyer
Yavar Hameed: 613-232-2688 ext. 228, Lawyer
The Justice for Deepan support committee was formed in July 2013 to support Deepan Budlakoti in his quest to have his citizenship restored. Justice For Deepan rejects the Canadian state’s systematic, racist policy of ‘double punishment’ in which im/migrants, refugees and those without status are punished twice for the same thing.