June 28, 2003
Faxed to: (613) 995-9755
Hon. Denis Coderre
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
To refresh your memory, our organization comprises over 1,000 members in this province. One of our key objectives is to inculcate in our members democratic values, respect for Parliamentary institutions, and adherence to the rule of law and due process.
This letter concerns extremely serious inroads that your actions have recently made into these ideals.
We are shocked and appalled today to have received copies of your official notification recommending the revocation of the citizenship of Mr. Wasyl Odynsky.
There are at least 3 things wrong with your decision:
1. Mr. Justice MacKay’s March 2, 2001 decision made it patently clear that Mr. Odynsky is neither a war criminal, nor a perpetrator of crimes against humanity, nor a willing collaborator, nor a volunteer in the service of the enemy over a half century ago. These findings were made as a result of the application of what amounts to criminal onus of proof, plus a correct application of the evidence.
2. On the other hand, Mr. Justice MacKay’s reasoning that, on a balance of probabilities, Mr. Odynsky “must have” obtained citizenship in the circumstances described in section 10 of the Citizenship Act, could only be arrived at by making at least 4 fundamental errors in the application of the rules of evidence:
admitting and relying on evidence that is inadmissible in law making an erroneous finding of fact from evidence presented and then relying on such to reach a conclusion drawing unreasonable inferences from witnesses and relying on same to reach a decision; and failure to apply correct onus of proof or incorrectly applying such onus.
3. Your decision is made in the face of statements you made to the Ukrainian Canadian Congress that you would refrain from taking any further action until the fate of Bill C-18 was decided. By taking this precipitous route, you are deliberately ignoring the representations made in 200 submissions before the Commons Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (November, 2002 to March, 2003) all but one group of which interveners condemned sections 16 to 18 of the Bill, which contain the process you are now attempting to foist on yet another victim, Mr. Odynsky.
A Minister of the Crown who possesses honour and integrity would halt these grossly unfair and unjust proceedings against Mr. Odynsky forthwith. There is no case whatsoever to be made as to why Mr. Odynsky and others must be dealt with before Bill C-18’s future is resolved. Justice, sir, in this country must never be “for sale” to the highest bidder, and politics must never be allowed to wear the mask of justice.
Eugene Harasymiw, LL.B.
Civil Liberties Standing Committee
Cc: Faxed to:
Peter Goldring, MP 495-5142
James Rajotte, MP 495-4485
Rahim Jaffer, MP 495-8403
Deborah Grey, MP (613) 996-0785
Leon Benoit, MP (780) 763-6132
John Williams, MP (613) 995-8880
Ken Epp, MP (613) 995-3612
Stephen Harper, MP (613) 947-0310
Peter MacKay, MP (613) 992-2337
Diane Ablonczy, MP (403) 282-3587
Lynne Yelich, MP (613) 995-0126
Hon. Gene Zwozdesky 427-0188
Michael Zaleschuk, Pres. USRL (306) 729-2173
MP’s in relevant committee