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Former KGB agent offered ticket to Russia

Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association wants former Burnaby resident Mikhail Lennikov out of Canada
Mikhal Lennikov
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is offering former KGB agent Mikhail Lennikov a one-way ticket to Russia. Lennikov has been facing deportation since 2009 but has been living in church sanctuary in Vancouver.

The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association is offering former Burnaby resident Mikhail Lennikov a Christmas gift - a one-way ticket back Vladivostok, Russia.
The civil liberties organization does not want Lennikov, a former KGB officer, in Canada, but Lennikov has been living in church sanctuary since June 2009.
Lennikov was ordered deported on June 3, 2009, but on June 2, he took sanctuary in Vancouver's First Lutheran Church, where he has been living ever since.
"We don't want KGB men in Canada," said Roman Zakaluzny, the association's chairman. "We don't understand why the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) has failed to do what it was ordered to do more than four years ago."
The Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association takes issue with the concept of sanctuary, which is often used as a last resort for asylum seekers who have exhausted all legal options. While sanctuary is not a legally enshrined right, Canadian authorities have not gone into the church to remove Lennikov and enforce his deportation order.
"There is no right of sanctuary. This man had no right to enter Canada. He has no right to be here. He is not a refugee. He was told so by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada," Zakaluzny added. "He has shown no remorse for having been an agent of Soviet repression. There are hundreds of thousands of genuine refugees whom this country could be helping so why would we want to let him stay? UCCLA will pay for him to leave. He can be back in his home country by Christmas and even catch the Sochi Games."
Neither Lennikov nor the church's new pastor, Lori-Anne Boutin-Crawford, were available for immediate comment, but in the past, Lennikov has told the NOW that the situation has been hard on him and his family. His wife and son have been allowed to stay in the country on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, and the two have stayed with Lennikov in the church over the years. The family's plight has garnered media attention from across Canada.
While Lennikov has many supporters who are arguing for him to stay, including Burnaby MP Peter Julian, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association has continually called for his removal. The association also regularly publishes postcards people can sign and send to politicians, urging authorities to deport Lennikov.
Lennikov came to Canada on a student visa in 1997. Under Canadian immigration law, anyone who was a member of an organization that spied on a democratic government is not allowed to stay in the country, unless the public safety minister deems they are not detrimental to national security.
Lennikov was a KGB officer in the 1980s and has said he is no threat to Canadian security. Lennikov mostly worked as a translator and was a lieutenant in a section of an office that was responsible for monitoring Japanese businessmen visiting Russia. Lennikov has also described himself as a reluctant KGB recruit.
"I was dragged into this organization, I was looking for a way out, and I found it in five years," Lennikov told the NOW in 2009.

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