June 15, 2002

The Hon. Allan Rock, P.C., M.P.
Room 157, East Block
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Rock:

Re: Wasyl Odynsky

Thank you for your response date stamped June 07, 2002.

"The Government of Canada is committed to bringing to justice those involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity or other reprehensible acts in times of war, past or present."

Who could argue with this statement? Certainly not I. The issue is that this statement has nothing to do with Wasyl Odynsky. As you well know, Justice Andrew MacKay found that Odynsky committed no war crimes, and never hurt anybody anywhere at anytime.

Mr. Rock, you stated in a press release in 1995 that only those cases with evidence of criminality would be pursued. As you know, Odynsky was never charged with war crimes in the Statement of Facts and Findings produced by the War Crimes Unit. That document stated that Odynsky was a collaborator, that he persecuted the Polish population and that he misrepresented himself upon application for immigration to Canada. You must know that the government expert witness Mr. Baker conceded during the discovery process that Odynsky was not a collaborator. You must know that Justice Andrew MacKay excluded all reference to persecution of Polish peoples and this was completely stricken from the record and not allowed to be read into the transcript of the hearing. You must also know from the transcripts of the hearing that Justice Andrew MacKay asked why there were so many filed documents and did anyone actually think that he was going to read them. When the prosecution answered that yes this was all evidence, Justice MacKay noted that of the over 2000 documents listed, only approximately 120 were being presented. He then stated that he would only read that which was read into the transcript as evidence.

I wish to also inform you that I personally poured over all of the "evidence" which included such items as massive volumes that contained the daily troop movements of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Odynsky was never accused of even being at the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising - as he couldn't be in two places at once, so why were these volumes even presented? As you can imagine, the review of 1750 plus documents took some time and money to process. And then they were not even admitted into evidence. This is a familiar and very disreputable litigation tactic of attempting to drown a party with few resources in a sea of irrelevant paper. All of this "evidence" and paper was simply a blatant attempt to draw out the proceedings and bankrupt my family.

I have never understood why this case proceeded. If the government conceded that Odynsky was not a collaborator and did not persecute anybody, what would he have to lie about upon his application to Canada? Please note that if my father obtained citizenship through false representation (which was never determined beyond a reasonable doubt), that representation was not because he was a war criminal, since Justice MacKay found this not to be the case. Therefore, if you pursued Odynsky for allegedly being a war criminal and he was cleared of that, then what is it you say he misrepresented?

Mr. Rock, this process has ruined a man's life, drained his resources, accelerated his aging and devastated his family emotionally and financially.

I ask you to consider the very positive comments that Justice Andrew MacKay made in his closing statement. Odynsky

  • was an involuntary conscript into German auxiliary forces
  • never committed any atrocities or hurt anybody anywhere
  • was not a Nazi
  • lead an exemplary life in Canada as testified to by members of the community and uncontested by the prosecution.

    These comments give you and your cabinet colleagues the basis of NOT revoking the citizenship of Wasyl Odynsky.

    I thank you for your consideration and truly hope that you will vote in favour of allowing Wasyl Odynsky and his wife Maria, to live out their final years in Canada.

    Please note that I will be copying this letter to the Honourable Denis Coderre, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration as well as to the Honourable Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and all members of Cabinet.


    Olya Odynsky
    Etobicoke ON