June 21, 2002

Edmonton Sun         Fax: 780-468-0139

Letters Editor

Re: Peter Worthington's Comment - Tenuous, Vindictive & Unjust Denaturalization and Deportation of Wasyl Odynsky; June 15, 2002

The tenuous, vindictive and unjust actions by Canada's government is shocking and will be a shameful history for our children, if people like Odynsky are denied rights, by ignoring the law of the land and expelling him out of Canada and into oblivion. Will we ever know whether those people selected by our Immigration Ministers are guilty or innocent, or whether the crime they are accused of deserve the ultimate punishment of banning them from their home, Canada, their families, even their grandchildren who are witnessing all this. Mr. Odynsky, a Canadian law-abiding citizen in this country for more than 50 years had helped build this country when he was needed most. In his community, he is known as a good man. Now, 50 years later, our government put him in a position that he must defend himself against those in our government who are not treating all immigrants fairly, equally or even justly. In my opinion, the actions being taken against Mr. Wasyl Odynsky and others like him, is a crime against humanity, being perpetrated by our Justice & Immigration departments.

For years, we were inundated with only the horrors of the Second World War, questionable information was being disseminated unchallenged through the media and Hollywood. New terminology was being used, such as "Nazis", "War Crimes" and "War Criminals". Whether any legal definitions regarding these terms were ever defined or clarified is not known. So began the labeling, hating and targeting of certain innocent people, by those in our government who want to punish these people. In 1995, the Federal Justice Minister, Anne McLellan [Allan Rock], Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Elinor Caplan [Lucienne Robillard], made a new law: Denaturalization and Deportation. Ms. Caplan hired questionable American investigators to search for war criminals, not "murderers, rapists and thieves", who are destroying families as we speak. Our tax dollars are not being spent to protect us and give us safety but rather to hunt and harass vulnerable, helpless, sickly old Europeans, who had to serve as "soldiers" during that Second World War, 50 years ago.

Minister Caplan was seen and heard on television to say that everyone in Canada is treated fairly and judged according to the country's rule of law. We must hold people like her and those who are holding positions of power and authority to be accountable. Our letters to government officials, with these kinds of concerns go unanswered. The individuals on Ms. Caplan's list must be treated as equally as other immigrants who became Canadians. To first take away their Canadian Citizenship and strip them of their rights without legal accountability or a monitoring is setting a dangerous precedent. Taking away all Mr. Odynsky's rights in a country where he lived more than 50 years and deporting him into "oblivion". If this man committed a crime then let him have his due process and if convicted should still be serving his time in a Canadian prison. What kind of crime warrants this kind of punishment? Who can we say will be safe? The new Minister of Citizenship & Immigration, Denis Coderre, must ensure that people who have lived in this country for half a century deserve to at least have an appeal before they are removed from this country. When an ultimate punishment, such as banishing a citizen out of his country is meted out, then every rule of law must be applied to ensure there is no mistake. Recent errors by our Justice system have been costly to taxpayers but making a mistake with Odynsky does not give him a second chance. Our government is paving the way for people they do not like, to start disappearing in the night. Let us hope that this injustice can be stopped so that we do not have to wake up in the morning to find another Canadian missing from his home.

Thanks to Mr. Worthington for speaking out and thanks in advance to the Edmonton Sun for printing my response. Canadians must know about this horrible injustice.

Ollie O. Schulz
Edmonton, Alberta