On 20 February, the South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC) in Montreal met with two NDP members, Mme Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Official Opposition Critic for Citizenship and Immigration) and Hélène Laverdière (Member of Parliament for Laurier-Sainte-Marie).
During the meeting, Mme. Blanchette-Lamothe committed to supporting SAWCC’s demand that the NDP publicly support Deepan and endorse the statement calling for acknowledgement of his citizenship and an end to double punishment.
Here is a report from the meeting, as published in SAWCC’s March Bulletin:
“SAWCC supports migrants navigating the Canadian immigration and refugee system, with the hope that people can gain status and live in dignity. This often translates into the centre endorsing public campaigns where migrants make courageous decisions as they fight for justice and freedom. Currently, SAWCC endorses both the Justice for Deepan and Justice for the Awan Family campaigns. For SAWCC, this act entails several forms of commitments, including that of ensuring that politicians are held accountable for the power they wield over the lives of refugees.
Subsequent to a request on the part of the New Democratic Party (NDP), the Official Opposition Party of Canada, on Thursday, February 20th, 2014, some members of SAWCC’s staff and executive council met with Mme Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe (Official Opposition Critic for Citizenship and Immigration) and Hélène Laverdière (Member of Parliament for Laurier-Sainte-Marie, riding in which SAWCC is located). During this meeting, Mme. Blanchette-Lamothe expressed support for SAWCC’s demands:
- That the NDP take a clear public position on Deepan’s case, as well as sign onto the public statement in support of Deepan and against double punishment that appears on his website;
- In the context of Mr. Mulcair’s expressed public support of the Awan family on Friday February 14th (see Awan Family website), that the NDP ensures that Mr. Mulcair will remain committed to his word. This includes speaking about the family’s demands in parliament, and using all channels necessary in order to regularize Mrs. Awan’s status and to ensure that her husband, Mr. Mohamad Khalil Awan can be brought back to Canada and be granted permanent status.
- That the NDP take a firm position against the proposed two-tiered citizenship legislation (Bill C-24).
In this light, SAWCC members who were present felt that it was a fruitful conversation and are currently trusting that Mme. Blanchette-Lamothe and Mme. Laverdière will remain true to their commitments.
SAWCC continues to demand justice for Deepan and the Awan family. For more information on both these campaigns, please visit their respective sites: