June 18, 2002
Hon. Denis Coderre
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
648-D Centre Block
House of Commons
I am writing to you regarding the matter of Mr. Wasyl Odynsky, which has been referred to Cabinet to consider a proposal to revoke his citizenship, based on the charge that he misrepresented himself during his immigration hearing.
Coming from Edmonton, an area with a history of post-war influx of Eastern European immigrants, I have grave concerns about the actions taken by, in this case, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. What is the purpose of pursuing this matter further? In Mr. Odynsky's trial, Federal Judge W. Andrew MacKay determined that Mr. Odynsky could not be found guilty of war crimes; that he served in the German army involuntarily; that he was confined to barracks during the Jewish massacre at the forced labour camp and that he was not a Nazi.
The argument of Citizenship and Immigration Canada is they speculate that Mr. Odynsky lied in his immigration hearing. From what I've heard and read, it seems to me that there is enough reasonable doubt about the depth of the interview; that Mr. Odynsky may in fact not have been asked to reveal any information about his involvement. If there is irrefutable proof that he lied, why don't we see it and end the matter? If the evidence is murky, then perhaps we should look at his history since he has come to Canada. From the anecdotal evidence I have received, Mr. Odynsky has been a hard working member of society. He has quietly worked when he was able, raised a family and did everything asked of him by the government, including paying half of the costs for a court expedition to Ukraine. Sounds pretty Canadian to me.
The question again claws into my mind. Why are we doing this? What is the purpose? I hope you consider this when reviewing the case. If you do decide to revoke his citizenship, I am looking forward to learning of the rationale.
Hon. Tommy Banks, O.C.
cc: Hon. Members of the Cabinet