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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In the name of security

While not a perfect parallel, the current border issues with the US implementation of tighter border security, and the Canadian government's efforts to remove a former KGB agent living in Vancouver are both examples of power mis-applied.

I'm not a hand-wringing Liberal by any means. But clearly the US should be making it easier for Canadians to travel to the US to visit and do business, rather than make it more difficult. The "one size fits all" mentality of the Department of Homeland Security demonstrates leadership that is either too dumb or too lazy to develop programs that recognize the special relationship the US has with Canada.

Similarly, the case of Mikhail Lennikov should be reviewed carefully, as should all cases of would-be immigrants with less than ideal pasts. It is easy for a pencil pusher, who will never have to justify his/her decision to say "no" to someone like Lennikov, who was recruited by the KGB as a young man. Especially if you don't care to note that he left the agency as soon as he could (after the fall of the Soviet Union) and has lived without incident in Canada for 11 years. It's easier to throw him out of the country. Easier to pass the buck. Easier to let a judge decide. Easier just to hope he can't afford a lawyer and will go away.

What kind of security do immigrants have if proof of their good character - in this case 11 years of living peacefully in the country, mean nothing? Does the CIC seriously think Lennikov is some sort of sleeper agent?

It's sad, the injustices that are done in the name of security.

Read about Lennikov's case here.

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