Ex-spy loses lawsuit over Canada's refusal to let her return
The Globe and Mail
December 22, 2006
A lawsuit launched by a former Russian undercover agent who spied for the Russian government and then sued Canada's Immigration Department for refusing to allow her to return here has been dismissed.
Elena Miller, a 43-year-old ex-spy, was deported in 1996 after her cover was blown by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Her second husband, Toronto physician Peter Miller, has tried for eight years to sponsor his wife, only to see the application rejected by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Now the Millers' lawsuit, which sought unspecified damages for negligence and damages caused by the delay in processing Ms. Miller's immigration application, has been dismissed by Mr. Justice James Hugessen of the Federal Court.
“The evidence here does not show that the officials concerned ever had any duty other than to the Canadian public, namely, to assess as best they could a claim by an unmasked Russian spy to an exemption and special treatment by the country whose hospitality she so grossly abused,” he ruled in a Nov. 30 judgment.
“It also shows that they [the officials] never at any time gave . . . any reasonable expectation of a favourable decision.”
The decision comes just days before another unmasked Russian spy is due to be deported.
A 45-year-old Russian intelligence officer, who lived under the false name Paul William Hampel and whose true identity is sealed by a court order, spent more than a decade posing in Montreal as a Canadian before being apprehended at that city's Pierre Trudeau Airport on Nov. 14.
The arrest followed a lengthy CSIS investigation that concluded he is a Russian “illegal,” an undercover spy. He is due to be removed next Wednesday.
Ms. Miller came to Canada just before Mr. Hampel, in the early 1990s, with her first husband, also a Russian spy. The pair established Canadian identities, taking names from Canadian babies who had died at birth. Ms. Miller, whose real name is Yelena Olshanskaya, found a job at an insurance company. The Russian spies were deported to their homeland in June of 1996 — but not before their own marriage had disintegrated and Ms. Miller had begun dating Dr. Miller.
Back in Moscow, Ms. Miller renounced the world of international espionage and married Dr. Miller. He tried in vain to sponsor her, but their application was rejected after the Canadian Border Services Agency ruled that she had not demonstrated that her presence in Canada would not be detrimental to the national interest.
Sergio Karas, an immigration lawyer, said it is “ludicrous” for an applicant who misrepresented her identity to then sue when the file is subject to delays.