Supporters Of Disabled Man To Present Anti-Deportation Petition And Hold Rally

Supporters of disabled man to present anti-deportation petition and hold rally

Refugee claimant's flight home to hospital in India scheduled for next Monday

Kelly Sinoski, with files from Catherine Rolfsen,
Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Supporters of paralysed refugee claimant Laibar Singh plan to present a petition to Parliament and hold a rally this week in a last-ditch attempt to convince Canada to allow him to stay here.

Singh, 48, is slated to be deported to the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi next Monday, two days after a 60-day stay on his deportation order expires, his lawyer Zool Suleman said Monday.

The flight to India, which will include medical personnel, is expected to cost Canada $68,700.

Laibar Singh, 48, is a widower with two daughters and a son at home and a married daughter, all in India.

Suleman said the Canada Border Services Agency must have decided that Singh is physically fit to travel if it plans to enforce the order.

But he argues that Singh, who suffered an aneurysm last year after entering Canada on a fake passport in 2003 and failing to gain refugee status, will not survive in India.

A widower, he has two daughters, aged 20 and 13, and a son, 16, at home as well as a married daughter, all in India.

A delegation will present a 28,000-signature petition to Parliament mid-week supporting Singh's application.

A rally is also being planned for Saturday.

“He's really scared to go back because he knows disabled individuals in India don't have the same level of care they do in Canada,” Suleman said.

“My guess is [the CBSA] will pay for a minimum amount of time [in hospital] and then Singh will be on his own. What's the government going to do when Laibar Singh finds himself on the sidewalk in New Delhi?”

The CBSA did not return phone calls Monday.

Melissa Anderson, spokeswoman for the Immigration Review Board, said Singh still falls under the original deportation order by the CBSA.

Singh was ordered deported in June, but was whisked by supporters to sanctuary in the Abbotsford Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar temple the day before he was scheduled to fly out.

Suleman said the CBSA should wait for the results of an application filed with Citizenship and Immigration Canada for Singh to be allowed to stay in the country on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

If he is deported before the hearing, he would not likely be allowed to come back to Canada even if his application was successful, Suleman said.

Singh entered Canada on a fake passport in November 2003, and said he had been falsely accused of having links to a Sikh militant group.

He claimed refugee status, saying he would face persecution and arrest if deported.

So far, his applications for refugee status, which included an application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, and a judicial review of his rejection, have all failed.