Federal Court


Citizenship

LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP
Court could not stay action despite extraordinary and totally unexplained delay

Motion by Minister for summary judgment and declaration that defendant obtained Canadian citizenship by false representation. Applicant became permanent resident of Canada in 1997. Applicant applied for citizenship in December 2000. In 2002, defendant was convicted of uttering threats, possessing weapon and failure to comply with recognizance and was placed under probation order. In July 2002, defendant provided his fingerprints to Toronto Citizenship office. In October 2002, defendant was charged by Toronto Police with possession of controlled substance, possession of property obtained by crime, failure to comply with recognizance and of carrying concealed weapon. In January 2003, defendant attended citizenship hearing, and signed attestation stating that statements made were true and correct and he confirmed that he had not been subject to immigration or criminal proceedings since filing application for citizenship. Defendant was granted citizenship in March 2003. In January 2005, defendant was convicted of robbery, aggravated assault and theft. In January 2006, defendant was charged by Toronto Police with making false statement for citizenship and defendant pleaded guilty to charge. On December 19, 2011, defendant was served with Notice in Respect of Revocation of Citizenship. Minister provided no explanation for more than five-year delay in taking that action after guilty plea. Defendant contended that Minister’s delay constituted abuse of process, thereby rendering proceedings unfair. Minister’s motion for summary judgment granted; court declared that respondent obtained Canadian citizenship by false representation or fraud knowingly concealing material circumstances. In order to be considered abuse of process, there must be evidence that delay directly caused significant prejudice to amount to abuse of process. Defendant here offered no evidence of impact delay had on him. Given absence of evidence of impact of delay on defendant, despite extraordinary and totally unexplained delay by Minister, court could not conclude that this action ought to be stayed.

Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Bilalov (Aug. 21, 2013, F.C., Russel W. Zinn J., File No. T-1688-12) 234 A.C.W.S. (3d) 842.

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