Toronto Sun | June 18, 2002 | V. Halchuk

Canadian citizenship is irrelevant

COLUMNIST PETER Worthington raises a good point in "This is justice?" (Toronto Sun, June 14, 2002). In Canada, when no evidence of wrongdoing has been produced, the principle of innocent until proved guilty must stand.

As a naturalized Canadian, I am appalled by the fact this federal government can, using my own tax dollars, institute immigration proceedings 50 years after I became a citizen, even though all government records have been destroyed.

This government is putting all immigrants on notice: granting us Canadian citizenship is irrelevant and subject to "guilt by association" and innuendo proceedings.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to us. So-called crimes need not stand up to scrutiny. In such cases, what "probably" happened is acceptable. Proof is not necessary, nor is appeal allowed.

Keep all your documents and a lot of money on hand to defend yourself in court against this federal government (millions of dollars in some cases) - as you never know when the immigration minister may choose to come knocking on your door.

V. Walter Halchuk
Ukrainian Canadian Congress
Ontario Council President
Sudbury, ON

(And that should be a frightening thought for ALL Canadians, not just immigrants)