VANCOUVER: Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, has urged Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney not to deport 83- year-old woman Surjit Bhandal to India.
Bhandal came to Canada four years ago on a visitor visa to be with her nephews whom she raised in India and now live at Langford in British Columbia. Her nephew want her to be admitted to Canada as their de facto family member. Bhandal’s three applications to stay in Canada have been rejected.
The NDP MP has asked Kenney to let Bhandal to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds by either granting permanent residence status or by issuing a temporary residency permit.
“Ms. Bhandal is a frail, elderly woman who has lived with her extended family for over 45 years,” said Garrison. “She raised her nephews and cared for this family all her life. Now they want to care for her in her declining years. Instead, Ms. Bhandal faces the possibility of being deported to die alone in a country where she has no immediate family, no support and no place to live,” Garrison said in a press statement.
“Under this Conservative government, Canada’s immigration policies are increasingly mean-spirited: removing healthcare benefits from Canada’s most vulnerable, and as we see here, separating families – removing grandparents from their grandchildren, rather than working to prioritize family reunification” added Jinny Sims, another NDP MP and Opposition Critic for Citizenship and Immigration.
Garrison said Bhandal cared for her nephews from the time they were born. Since her arrival in Canada her nephews have covered all of her living expenses and have pledged to continue doing so. “If this is not a case worthy of humanitarian and compassionate consideration, then this Conservative government has no compassion at all,” Garrison said.