The Ukrainian Canadian community is angered by Justice Minister Anne McLellan's promotion of a "two-tiered justice" policy toward naturalized Canadian citizens, reminiscent of another injustice in our nation's history.
Delegates from across Canada met in Alberta on the Remembrance Day weekend and described the mounting anger felt because of this issue. Ms McLellan's justice policy treats people who choose to be Canadians in a different way than people who are born Canadian. Specifically, Canadian-born citizens accused of crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and have the right to a criminal trial. Naturalized citizens do not currently have that right. Instead, accusations can be made and the person stripped of their citizenship and deported without ever being given the benefit of a criminal trial.
Delegates at the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association annual retreat are alerting members of Edmonton's many immigrant communities of Justice Minister Anne McLellan's continued support of what many regard as an undemocratic targeting of naturalized Canadian citizens.
There are over 5 million naturalized Canadians (persons not born in Canada) who, under Ms. McLellan's two-tiered approach to justice could be at risk of losing their citizenship without benefit of a trial. "That," said UCCLA's chair, John B Gregorovich, "is something we are certain voters will want to keep in mind when they vote in Edmonton on 27 November, particularly in the Ukrainian community, which remembers how its members (even naturalized British subjects) were unjustly imprisoned, disenfranchized, and even deported during Canada's first national internment operations."
For More Information Please Contact:
John B Gregorovich, Chair, UCCLA, 519 323-9349
Borys Sydoruk, Director of Special Projects, UCCLA, 403 251-5594
Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Calgary Office
48 Woodcrest Close SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2W 3P9
tel: 403 251 5594, fax: 403 238 4546