The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association still has its eyes on former Burnaby resident Mikhail Lennikov, an ex-KGB member who has been living in a Vancouver church, avoiding deportation since 2009.
"We find it hard to believe that the Canada Border Services Agency is unable to remove a man whose claim to being a refugee was rejected, who was ordered deported by a federal court judge and whose whereabouts are well-known to the authorities," said the association's chairman Roman Zakaluzny, in a media release. "His continued presence in this country calls into question the rule of law and Canada's immigration and refugee determination procedures."
The association is sending 2,500 postcards to the general public, members of media, senators and MPs, stating that Lennikov has no right to remain in Canada.
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association has sent several rounds of postcards about Lennikov over the years, raising concerns and awareness about his presence in Canada.
Lennikov has been living in Vancouver's First Lutheran Church since June 2, 2009. He was ordered deported by Canadian immigration officials because of his past with the KGB. Lennikov worked with the Soviet secret police in the 1980s, mostly translating documents and meeting with informants monitoring Japanese businessmen visiting the area.
Lennikov is relying on the tradition of religious sanctuary, a practice where people seek asylum in churches, often as a last resort. The right of sanctuary is not upheld in Canadian law, but authorities tend to avoid removing people from churches. Vancouver's First Lutheran did not return the NOW's call by press time.