Special Report

Lucene Charles and Canadian Immigration Policy

The case of this Hamilton family is a situation in which being "humanitarian and compassionate" should be a no-brainer.

By Sarah V. Wayland
Published January 06, 2012

Canadian immigration policy has been designed with three objectives: growing our skilled work force, reuniting families, and helping persons in need of protection.

These three immigration streams (economic class, family class, and protected persons/refugees) are found in our current immigration legislation, The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Section A25(1) of IRPA grants persons who do not fit clearly into one of those categories another option: to apply for admission based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations.

Such applicants must demonstrate that there are sufficient and compelling reasons to be allowed to apply for permanent residence from within Canada.

In particular, immigration authorities want to see that applicants are self-sufficient and they already have strong ties to Canada.

A family falling through the cracks

Right now there are three boys, aged 14, 13 and 11 and living in Hamilton - Canadian citizens no less - who face separation from their mother and their younger and adoring half-sister.

Their mother Lucene first came here at the age of 16 and was married to a Canadian who could have sponsored her to become a permanent resident and ultimately a citizen, but did not. The marriage later ended, with Lucene becoming sole caregiver to the children.

The family applied to to stay together in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. By all accounts, they meet the criteria for such an application: Lucene earns a good salary in a skilled position, and the family is well-integrated into the community, with the children involved in athletics, Cadets, Scouts, Hamilton Children's Choir and more.

None of the children have ever lived in St Vincent, Lucene's home country.

Yet their application has been rejected, and the future is uncertain. As Canadian citizens, the boys have the right to remain in Canada regardless of what happens to their mother and sister.

They are currently doing well in school and thriving in their community, but they love their mother and separation from her would be difficult, to say the least. If they leave with her, they would lose the ability to visit their Canadian father, whom they also love but who is not able to be their guardian and caregiver.

Best interest of the child

Putting children in this situation is cruel and flies in the face of the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child, Articles 9 and 10 of which state that children have the right to be raised by their parents and, if separated, have the right to free access to their parents.

Moreover, Canadian law, Canadian jurisprudence and departmental guidelines within Citizenship and Immigration Canada oblige immigration officers to consider the "best interests of the child" in the context of H & C decisions.

As noted in a 2008 report [PDF] on this topic:

H & C decisions are critically important for children, as they represent in some circumstances the only provision in the immigration legislation to allow them to reunite or remain with family members, including parents. H & C decisions also determine whether some children will live in Canada or in another country where their rights may be compromised.

It seems that these were overlooked when the decision was made to deny this family the right to remain together in Canada.

Canadian legislation not only requires provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to be construed in a manner that complies with human rights instruments, but it enshrines the notion of "best interests of the child" directly into the section dealing with H & C applications:

25. (1) The Minister shall [...] grant the foreign national permanent resident status [...] if the Minister is of the opinion that it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to them, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected, or by public policy considerations.

In the 1999 Baker case, The Supreme Court of Canada established fundamental principles addressing the "best interests of the child" in the following terms:

Therefore, attentiveness and sensitivity to the importance of the rights of children, to their best interests, and to the hardship that may be caused to them by a negative decision is essential for an H & C decision to be made in a reasonable manner.

Despite these provisions, Canadian immigration officials have often been criticized for neglecting to consider the interests of children in their decisions.

For more details of Canadian jurisprudence in this area, please refer to the 2008 report, The understanding and application of "Best Interests of the Child" in H & C decision-making by Citizenship and Immigration Canada [PDF].

What we can do as a community

Supporters are taking advantage of this time of uncertainty to raise public awareness of the plight of this family and to collect signatures on a petition asking for this family to remain in Canada.

We are also submitting another application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for her to be allowed to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. We would like to include the petition along with her application, so time is short.

Please consider signing this petition, and asking your friends to do the same, either by email, Facebook, or other:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/12/stop-the-deportation-of-lucene-charles-and-her-daughter/

The petition site contains a link to a short video interview with Lucene that describes her situation:

You can also email (jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca) or phone (613-992-2235) Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office to express your concern. We want to act civilly and with respect to his staff to gain sympathy for this urgent matter.

Hamilton aspires to be the best place to raise a child. In the end, we hope that an outcry from the people of Hamilton about the injustice of this situation and the potentially devastating outcome of tearing a family apart will have an impact.

We do not make immigration policy, but we can do what's right for members of our own community.

Sarah Wayland researches and writes for a living, mostly focusing on social issues such as immigration and settlement, employment, and poverty. She grew up in the southern United States and came to Canada the way most Americans do, by marrying a Canadian. She has been a proud Hamiltonian since 2001 and an avid RTH lurker since the advent of the Great Stadium Debate.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 11:40:23

Thanks for writing about this, Sarah. A real eye opener. Does CIC provide reasoning for their rejection of applications, and is this campaign part of an appeal (are appeals allowed?) Or is the decision just arbitrary and final? It will be very sad and unjust if a heartless bureaucracy breaks up this family.

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 12:46:44

@ Borrelli: there is no avenue for appeal, but it is possible to file a new application altogether, which is underway. The petition will accompany the application when it goes in next week. However, the process can take one to two years and having an application under review doesn't prevent someone from having to leave the country. So theoretically someone could leave Canada and then a year or more later find out that they are allowed to return. Pretty disruptive!

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By allan (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 14:39:28

i think if community want to put case to minister then govt. can do something as humanitarion
ground,
but govt. should scrap all parents and grand parents files old age people come here for free health care and old age pension, we have already healthcare crisis ,no new funding and more and more seniors want come here on family reunification base,i think govt. should stop all this kind of imotionnal catagory,and this kind of desperet people

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By michaelcumming (registered) - website | Posted January 06, 2012 at 17:21:09

Excellent article! Thank you Sarah.

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By anne g (anonymous) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 21:32:53

Thank you for your efforts to achieve justice for this family Sarah. I will be calling Minister Kenney's office to express my opinion.

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By Roy (anonymous) | Posted January 07, 2012 at 01:02:05

Thank you Sarah for bringing up this matter. Unfortunately, there are many, many cases similar to Lucene's, but the immigration laws are often very stiff when it comes to deportation and appeals are usually very cumbersome.

I do would like to point another immigration stream - the Canadian Experience Class. According to your description, Lucene "earns a good salary in a skilled position", and so she might qualify for this stream. Do have a look at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/index.asp

In the meantime, Lucene can try other alternatives such as enrolling herself in an educational institution which would then grant her a Study Permit (thus a permission to stay in the country). Once she is enrolled for a semester, she would also be able to apply for an off-campus work permit and seek a part-time job to help support herself and three children while her application is in process.

If Lucene already has a bachelor's degree, she could try applying to a master's program. A lot of master's programs in Canada offer FULL scholarships which would cover tuition and a modest living expense. After completing the master's program, she would be eligible for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Program - Master's Stream (http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/pnp/OI_PNPSTUDENTS_MASTERS.html).

Based on the above, she has at least three options to stay here. I hope for the best for Lucene and her children.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted January 07, 2012 at 09:07:44

The case isn't quite what is being presented in the article. Lucene married a Canadian man in 1997 but then left the country with him in 1999 to go and live in Gambia (where her mother lives) for the next 8 years. So yes, her children have never lived in St. Vincent; they lived in Africa for most of their lives. It would appear, given the dates, that only her first-born was actually born in Canada. The daughter was born in Africa to an African father.

So Canada isn't exactly her children's country; Gambia is. Of course she wants to live in Canada. Canada is awesome. But that didn't stop her from leaving back in 1999 to go and live in Africa.

It would have been better if the article at least presented the facts of the case objectively - this significant omission taints the author's case.

Comment edited by d.knox on 2012-01-07 09:10:30

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted January 07, 2012 at 19:33:37 in reply to Comment 72822

@ d.knox, In the interest of keeping the article a readable length and protecting private details of the family, I have not included every detail. Lucene acted in what she felt to be the best interests of her children, wherever that was.

The boys have no family in the Gambia, and they are Canadian citizens. They have been in Canada for the past 4.5 years, they have adjusted to life here and are doing well, and this is their home.

Comment edited by BeulahAve on 2012-01-07 19:37:34

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 21:15:29

I wish Ms. Charles and her family well - I only know them from seeing them in church and from the video above, but Ms. Charles seems like a decent person. And I hope she gets to stay, for her sake and for her children's.

But I'll admit to being a bit put off by the difference between the story being but forward in the press and on the internet (though not so much in this article) - "came here in 1997"; "Canadian children"; "didn't fill out the paperwork because of poverty and abuse"; "shame upon our hard-hearted government" - and the fuller story which came out almost in passing in a later Spectator article.

I'd say that the family spending half of the past 15 years out of the country is not a trivial omission when we are being sold the story of a Canadian family being torn apart by the government.

And it hardens my heart a little bit.

Comment edited by moylek on 2012-01-07 21:34:18

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2012 at 09:59:08

Her youngest is a friend of my son... they go to church together, to choir together, etc. That girl is as Canadian as you or I, the circumstances of her birth are a technicality and deporting her on that basis is Kafkaesque.

I honestly had no idea this kind of thing was even possible. I'd always assumed we had laws preventing this sort of thing from happening - allowing only half of a family with young children stay in the country just seems utterly absurd.

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By N Baker (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2012 at 20:33:38

Further to the comments made by D. Knox. This is exactly the difficulty with not presenting a full set of the facts of a case and lookinh only at one side of a situation.

While the people concerned are likely wonderful people we are being presented with only a portion of the details in the case. Ms Charles in her video has failed to answer at least one of the questions directed and does not relate a clear understanding of what are the full facts of her particular case, regardless of privacy issues. She has put herself into the public by providing the video and a call for help and ought to be forthcoming with all of the facts necessary to assess whether the public should support her or not.

Canada has an legal obligation to enforce removal orders against those where they are issued.

I note that Ms Charles has not sought remedy through the Federal Court so it would appear she does not believe there was an error in fact or law made related to decisions in her case and presumably has had legal advice about this considering statements made that legal costs are being covered in part for her.

Ms Charles has many possibilities for the future and has in all likelihood had due process, which I will not detail since I believe my comment will be truncate/edited as in the case of D. Knox. However, I believe a full synopsis of the possibilities and summary of a likely scenario is something to be prepared and provided elsewhere.

Please readers think for a moment about those immigrants here or hoping to be who have followed all the rules, come to Canada or are still waiting their turn who also have family and are looking for the job that Ms Charles now has and perhaps they are better qualified for. Are they getting this attention? Should they? If not why not? Ms Charles should not benefit from coming through the back door to Canada. It is unfair and unjust if she does, based on what we know of her full situation.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2012 at 23:07:48

I really don't care for a detailed inventory of where she spent the last two decades, I still have yet to see any serious reason why she shouldn't be allowed to continue living here. What threat does she pose?

Most of us take for granted that we can move nearly anywhere on earth whithout anything like this kind of ordeal. Seriously...put yourself in her position? How would you feel facing the possibility of being dragged away from your children and deported?

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 08:08:32 in reply to Comment 72884

Most of us take for granted that we can move nearly anywhere on earth whithout anything like this kind of ordeal.

Well, actually, no. Name a country to which a Canadian can move and work without having to fill out forms and ask permission.

Even in the case of Canada and the States, you have to follow the rules. My own sister almost got herself deported from the States because she hadn't followed the rules when she was just going to school there - and our Mother is American.

Seriously...put yourself in her position? How would you feel facing the possibility of being dragged away from your children and deported?

Dreadful of course - sick about it, I should think. But that's one of the reason we have rules and procedures: to keep things fair and not let reason be overrun by sentiment.

That said, there is obviously a case for making an exception here. But I don't at all like the strident claims that Ms. Charles has a "right" to stay. If she gets to stay here, it will be due to an act of mercy, not a recognition some "right".

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By compassion (anonymous) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 08:14:20 in reply to Comment 72892

Or perhaps a "humanitarian and compassionate" act... which follows our immigration rules and procedures.

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 08:36:26 in reply to Comment 72893

Not quite, again. Humanitarian and compassionate grounds acknowledge that sometimes there is room for exceptions to our rules and procedures. Exceptions, not entitlements.

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 11:57:57 in reply to Comment 72879

This situation concerns a family unit, not just the mother. Certainly she is a capable and can make a life for herself under dire circumstances, but it is the children -- three of whom are Canadians -- who will suffer most.

Re: federal court, my understanding is that there is a very narrow window of cases that are accepted for judicial review, as you say when there is an error in fact or law. It is difficult to make such a claim even though it seems that the adjudicator had not really read the application as it came through a backlog clearance centre, did not address the merits of the case, and was written in French for some reason. Also, going this route would cost upwards of $5,000 which is not affordable at this time.

I also note that D.Knox edited his own comments. RTH does not edit the comments of posters, though it will delete posts that contain offensive language or clearly meant to inflame.

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By BeulahAve (registered) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 12:05:33 in reply to Comment 72897

Yes, such an exception is exactly what is required in this case. Nowhere in my article above, nor in the petition and coverage in The Spec, does anyone claim that Lucene has a right to stay in Canada.

As Canadian citizens, the boys do have a right to be here, and the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child (ratified by Canada in 1991) states that children have the right to be raised by their parents and, if separated, have the right to free access to their parents.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2012 at 12:08:16 in reply to Comment 72879

I believe my comment will be truncate/edited as in the case of D. Knox.

RTH does not truncate or otherwise edit reader comments, though registered users can edit or delete their own comments within 90 minutes of posting them. In the case of the comment you mention, d.knox edited it him- or herself.

We do delete commercial spam and insult spam, or comments by anonymous users that have no content other than personal insults.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2012-01-10 12:09:20

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted January 10, 2012 at 15:40:19 in reply to Comment 72914

You certainly haven't said that Lucene has a right, nor did I intend to accuse you of that. I was responding to other posts and considering other sites which do assert that Lucene has a right to stay in Canada and even that her daughter is as much a Canadian as I am. Both assertions are of course false.

Your article was well-written and argued, although I did fault you for the omission of several pieces of information (which I know make the argument for clemency less compelling and were likely omitted for this reason). I'm sure this case will end in clemency; I just don't think it's a necessary outcome given the actual details of the case.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 11, 2012 at 22:45:50 in reply to Comment 72892

I have friends who've been deported from plenty of countries, particularly for committing crimes there. Canada, America, even South Korea (mostly for committing crimes). I have far more who've travelled to most corners of the globe (including a few which aren't easily reached) without much more than the occasional bribe or week-long wait for papers to clear. It's still far easier for a Canadian (especially white, middle-class Canadians) to do this, and the punishments for violating the rules are far lighter.

I'm bringing this up for more than reasons of fairness or sentiment. This is an ability we really value, with good reason. Where would our society be without immigrants, or the large range of ideas brought back by travellers from our own lands? Did the anti-immigrant (Italian, Irish, Jewish, Chinese etc) policies of the past really do anything positive for us?

It's not Ms. Charles who deserves the microscope here, it's our immigration laws and procedures. If her deportation is really what the law demands (and it probably is), then I want no part of these laws.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2012 at 08:24:11

Did the anti-immigrant (Italian, Irish, Jewish, Chinese etc) policies of the past really do anything positive for us?

I'm not sure what this case has to do with anti-immigration laws or sentiment. Ms. Charles came to Canada as a tourist and never left. Which is not to say that clemency is not an option - but she did break the law.

Is it that you are opposed to immigration restrictions in general?

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By cdnmom (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:42:54 in reply to Comment 72879

...so you think her children should suffer for her mistakes? What about their rights?

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By cdnmom (anonymous) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:48:58 in reply to Comment 72892

She may not have the right to stay, but her Canadian children have the right to stay AND to be raised by their mother.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2012 at 13:47:20 in reply to Comment 72988

Is it that you are opposed to immigration restrictions in general?

In a word, yes, I am.

They bother me on several levels, from the obviously slanted and racist laws on the books to the connotations of closing our borders (in part or in whole) for the sake of 'protecting' a nation quite obviously comprised of immigrants. Most of all, letting those who desire to come to our country settle peacefully is the least we can do considering what we've done (and continue to do) to the rest of the world.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2012 at 14:24:11 in reply to Comment 73003

In a word, yes, I am.

Ok - I disagree with you both reflexively and after brief reflection. But at least your earlier comments make sense ... in an anarchist sort of way.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 12, 2012 at 15:17:16 in reply to Comment 73004

Kenneth,

Law's are law, and must not be broken - we are told that law is black and white.

So how does one reconcile willful actions of individuals who stick multiple-units into zones which are designed exclusively for single-family residential homes in Westdale?

Is law something that can be used selectively by people of means or influence?

Does the propensity for breaking zoning regulations via multiple-units in homes make one an anarchist too?

Law does appear grey depending on which side of the argument one is. Much of contemporary law as practiced is made from prudent interpretations of words initially etched out - as they relate to evolving times and circumstances.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-12 15:23:35

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted January 12, 2012 at 23:25:55 in reply to Comment 73006

Your comment veers quite far away from the issue, but you obviously missed the very old decision that a "family unit" is whatever people who decide to call themselves a "family" are. So several people living together in a house are a "single-family". This ruling happened quite a few years ago.

Also, Westdale actually isn't plagued with multiple-unit homes to any great degree.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 14, 2012 at 23:25:46 in reply to Comment 73015

d.knox, thank you! Sure my comment veers far away from the issue. But it is only momentarily to look at the issue being discussed here from a better vantage point.

A point from which we begin to clearly see how we choose to perceive and comment on laws when our lives are not impacted directly as in the case of Lucene Charles -- or how we choose to look at laws when our lives may be directly impacted by situations such as highlighted by my veering off.

I think I have not missed any rulings on this to the best of my knowledge. But yes, Westdale is indeed plagued with multiple-units in homes to make it the focus of a city wide inquiry.

My point here being: are real-estate speculators in Westdale the true anarchists rather than those who stand up for social justice in order to protect the human-rights of a women to not be separated from her children? Something worth debating.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted January 15, 2012 at 09:44:34 in reply to Comment 73044

But yes, Westdale is indeed plagued with multiple-units in homes to make it the focus of a city wide inquiry.

Mahesh, I sat on the initial city committee investigating licensing in wards 1 and 8. I can assure you that we were primarily talking about houses with too many bedrooms, not houses with multiple living units. If you browse the McMaster Off-campus Housing Office listings, you'll see the same thing: single houses with anything from five to twelve "bedrooms."

It was determined in a court case in the late 80's that a "family" - for the purposes of housing - is any group which lives like a family: they eat together sometimes, share a kitchen, share chores, share common space. Most student houses are "single-family homes" by this definition. So anarchy doesn't enter into it: it's legal.

Personally - I am a Westdale resident first and a (small-scale) landlord second - I don't like the situation. But it is legal, whether I like it or not.

Comment edited by moylek on 2012-01-15 09:47:13

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 15, 2012 at 13:48:43

Kenneth,

While one application of law breaks up a natural family, another application of law makes up a family out of selective imagination.

"But that's one of the reason we have rules and procedures: to keep things fair and not let reason be overrun by sentiment." ~ Moylek

The notion of anarchy disappears when a sufficient number of people coalesce behind a cause and lean on the system to redefine/reinterpret laws. Which is why law is grey and not black & white.

In this grey murkiness of laws the very definition of 'family' is easily expanded - thus providing the legal rational, the gossamer skirts of law if you will, behind which anarchy is legitimized and is now safe to operate with the sophistication of the term: "fair".

Such planned murkiness results in obscene profits for Westdale anarchists - profits that are much higher then those who operate legal multi-unit apartment buildings, for the Westdale anarchists do not have to pay the much higher property taxes that they should be paying in order to be "fair".

Such profits and the safety of that gossamer skirt affords real anarchists the luxury of ruminations on 'fairness and sentiments of law' regarding invented families, while natural families are being broken up.

One can only imagine if the Westdale anarchists were issued an order-to-comply to install layers of type-x, five-eighth dry-wall fire-separations and fire dampers in air-ducts between each sleeping area, with fire-rated doors to each of the 'invented' family member's bedrooms; and told to meet the same parking needs and pay the higher property taxes as that of legal multi-unit buildings -- would they really have time left to ruminate on the "fairness" of immigration laws or refer to those who stand up for social justice in our city as anarchists?

If at all the Westdale anarchists are allowed to retain their profit machines - the 'invented family' single-homes, it would be because of: "an act of mercy, not a recognition [of] some "right".

We are living in a society where laws classify 'natural' and 'invented' families by the number of hydro meters one has installed in a home. We simply cannot afford to talk with conviction about what is right and what is wrong in our times. Everything is grey - or shades of white, depending on which side of the fence one stands.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 15, 2012 at 16:24:13 in reply to Comment 73048

Small caveat there, moylek. Many of these 'bedrooms' are in attics and basements which are most assuredly NOT legal. This is why the city needs to tackle licensing and inspection of these homes. But yes, they are not multi-unit homes.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 15, 2012 at 16:32:32 in reply to Comment 73051

I don't like it any more than you do, but these 'made up' families were 'invented' by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when an attempt to limit these types of homes in Waterloo was successfully challenged in court. That dastardly Charter and its 'planned murkiness'. I bet Trudeau was in cahoots with the Westdale Anarchists...

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted January 15, 2012 at 20:34:20 in reply to Comment 73053

I think we need another thread for this.

This thread is meant to be about whether the government will or won't grant clemency to a woman who's about to get kicked out of the country and possibly separated from most of her children because she didn't jump through the right hoops, not about Hamilton by-laws and the Charter of Right's expansive definition of a family.

Comment edited by moylek on 2012-01-15 20:35:21

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2012 at 00:38:29 in reply to Comment 73051

This conversation has indeed taken a strange turn. On behalf of actual anarchists, I'd like to publicly disavow any relation to proprietors of rental housing. That just isn't terribly anarchist.

It's a few years, as far as I know, since any 'anarchist' houses existed in Westdale, the last one being a rather notorious group of students. Most current and more recent 'anarchist houses' exist closer to downtown, where rents are far cheaper and we tend to fit in a little better. In these houses (like my own) we share rents and expenses, host projects and events (libraries, meetings, shows, movies etc) and provide couches for travelling comrades. For a while, there were even quite a number of us on James North, before it was cool, of course.

As far as the (worsening) case of Ms. Charles, it's pretty safe to say that you won't find anyone in any of these houses that supports her deportation. You want an example of how governments are inherently violent? This is it. What exactly has this woman done to harm anybody?

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2012 at 00:57:19

Kenneth,

I don't want to delve on the Westdale Anarchist issue anymore than you do, for I do sense the discomfort such scrutiny or comparison generates -- but we could start as many threads as we want, unfortunately they all will eventually weave into one singularity, which raises pointed questions such as:

Are we as Canadians truly as compassionate as we claim to be? Or are some privileged within us, with excess means and time, using the 'compassionate Canadian identity' as a mask to promote self-serving interpretations of what constitutes a legal act and what doesn't?

If an 'invented-family' argument works for the Westdale Anarchists, then a 'broken-family' argument should morally work for a mother whose natural family is about to be ripped apart.

We can all choose to be crooks hiding behind selective laws that suit our immediate purposes to perpetuate unlawful acts - or we can all be saints and forgo the privileges of selective laws that legalize selective immoral acts.

In our stage of evolution as human beings on this planet, Canadians have still managed to hold a special stature to do the right moral thing by people - which leaves no room for pretenses to appear moralistic on one unlawful act that does not directly hurt our lives - while appearing to be saintly on another issue which financially benefit us.

In more plebeian terms: Don't throw rocks at others when you live in a glass home; or do unto others as you wish done to yourself.

Or even more like: Don't get unnecessarily legalistic on a complex human issue which is merely calling out for sympathy in a personal 'natural-family' tragedy -- something which could very easily turn into a collective social tragedy that could tarnish the very stature of a nation which has been providing you the mask of civility to engage in a quiet profitable enterprise on the untenable notion of an 'invented-family'.

Hopefully, I have managed to segue back to what you so crassly frame as being the reason of this thread:

"...whether the government will or won't grant clemency to a woman who's about to get kicked out of the country and possibly separated from most of her children because she didn't jump through the right hoops..."

Disparate threads have a way of weaving themselves into one humanistic fabric eventually - in spite of our educated tendencies to compartmentalize our dysfunctionalities. My apologies for veering off topic.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-01-16 01:01:09

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By anarchists (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2012 at 09:14:56 in reply to Comment 73056

anarchist (plural anarchists)
One who believes in or advocates the absence of hierarchy and authority in most forms (compare anarchism), especially one who works toward the realization of such.
One who disregards laws and social norms as a form of rebellion against authority.
By extension from previous sense, one who promotes chaos and lawlessness; a nihilist.
One who resents outside control or influence on his or her life, in particular a government, and therefore desires the absence of political control.
[edit]Usage notes

In other words an anarchist by definition does not believe in any social order thereby caring little for public safety or social benevolence. Not nice people in other words

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2012 at 14:38:13 in reply to Comment 73061

Once again the great scholar amazes us with his ability to find a word starting with "a" in the dictionary, the be-all and end-all of all research and knowledge.

Using words like "chaos" and "nihlist" makes it pretty clear you've never read a single actual paragraph about the matter.

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By anarchist (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2012 at 15:09:39 in reply to Comment 73086

Got the definition from a dictionary, so whats your point

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 16, 2012 at 22:06:05 in reply to Comment 73089

That was my point. Your insulting post was completely inaccurate, mostly as a result of your poor choice of sources.

Condescension: fail.

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By its deadly accurate (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2012 at 23:02:31 in reply to Comment 73104

You just don't like the truth. I've read all sorts of information about abolitionists and it all comes down to those definitions.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted January 17, 2012 at 17:36:34

On a positive note here is a bit of news which can reaffirm our belief in the compassionate Canadian identity.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 18, 2012 at 13:25:00 in reply to Comment 73106

Abolitionists? Don't hear that term often (mostly from the Liberarian crowd). Care to elaborate?

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By typo (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2012 at 14:10:00 in reply to Comment 73157

Sorry that was a typo. BTW thats Libertarian. They make more sense. They want to limit government regulation not elliminate government altogether. You should read Lord of the Flies. A GREAT social commentary on the relative merits of organized society vs anarchy

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted January 18, 2012 at 17:46:11 in reply to Comment 73162

Anarchists have been using the word Libertarian (typos abound, apparantly) for a century longer than conservatives. In most places around the world, it still has far more socialist connotations than anything else.

As for Lord of the Flies, it's a work of fiction. Moreover, it's about a bunch of upper-crust British children, all of whom are male. For an actual literary description of an anarchist society that actually happened, I'd recommend Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 17, 2012 at 15:55:47

Lucene Charles granted six-month stay:

A federal judge has granted Lucene Charles a six-month stay on her deportation order. ~ Carmela Fragomeni. The Spec.com - Feb 17, 2012

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-02-17 16:09:22

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