By Sukhram Ramkissoon
A 44-year-old woman from the Caribbean who I will call Ann was recently ordered released from immigration detention on a $52,000 performance bond.
Ann came to Canada in 2001 as a visitor. After the expiration of her status she applied for Convention Refugee Status which was denied in 2007. She was given written instructions to leave Canada.
She failed to depart and was arrested by Canada Border Services (CBSA) on June 10, 2015, and was the subject of a detention review on June 12.
At this review her former representative proposed a large performance bond of $50,000 and $5,000 cash, arguing her release was necessary so she can undergo surgery which was planned several weeks before her arrest.
Her surgery was to take place at a Toronto hospital on June 24. The same procedure is not available in her home country.
Immigration officials continued her detention as it was determined that she was booked to depart Canada on June 18, she previously failed to abide with instructions and she would not leave Canada as she was a flight risk.
Ann then applied for an administrative deferral of her removal, submitting that her surgery was booked before her arrest and that she could not have it in her country of citizenship. This request was made to the Enforcement Officer of CBSA but was denied as the officer was not satisfied her medical condition warranted deferral of her removal from Canada.
She then applied to the Federal Court for an interim stay of the removal order. The judge accepted that the officer failed to properly consider evidence about the harm Ann would suffer if she was removed from Canada prior to the surgery and also failed to properly consider evidence that the surgery could not be carried out in her country.
The judge granted the stay motion and ordered that she apply for an early detention review and, if released, she was to comply with all conditions imposed by the Immigration Division.
The stay of removal was granted on June 17 and another detention review was convened as per the judge’s instructions. I represented Ann at this hearing and proposed a $10,000 performance and another $2,000 performance bond to be posted by two separate individuals.
This proposal was rejected by the presiding member who told me that at Ann’s previous hearing a $50,000 performance bond and $5,000 cash was offered by the same person who was willing to sign the bond.
I told the member this was news to me but if Ann’s former counsel did so it must be with the instructions of the bondspersons. I had no alternative but to agree to the bond but argued the cash of $5,000 should be replaced by a performance bond of $2,000.
The member ordered release with strict conditions on the posting of a $52,000 performance bond to be signed by two separate individuals.
The bonds were posted and Ann was released. She is in the process of having the surgery.
In my experience, this is the first time such a huge bond has been ordered for a person from the Caribbean for failing to leave Canada.
Good luck, Ann!
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.