Federal Court


Officer did not have discretion to act for oblique motive

Adoptive father adopted two teenagers. Quebec Court recognized adoption judgment rendered in Haiti. Applicant received letter indicating citizenship application was granted. Clerical error happened and citizenship application was ultimately refused nearly two years later. Applicant was convicted of offences and removal order was made against applicant. Applicant was permanent resident. Applicant’s application for citizenship for person adopted by Canadian citizen was refused. Applicant’s adoption was found not to comply with rules of country where adoption took place because Institute not Social Affairs Officer approved adoption. Application for judicial review was allowed. Decision was unreasonable. Citizenship officer did not personally verify procedures that applied in Haiti and in Quebec at time of applicant’s adoption. Authenticity of adoption judgment and applicant’s Haitian birth certificate were not in issue. Evidence on record showed officials were uneasy about applicant’s criminality and were working toward outcome. Officer engaged in selective reading of evidence and ignored all evidence submitted in support of citizenship application. Final judgment of foreign court became res judicata particularly since judgment received judicial recognition in Quebec. Applicant was legally adopted. Argument that adoption was entered primarily for purpose of acquiring status was pretext. Adoption was in best interests of child and created genuine parent-child emotional bond. Parental authority of biological parents was transferred to adoptive father. Officer did not have discretion to act for oblique motive or to not approve citizenship application that otherwise met conditions of legislation.

Dufour c. Canada (Minister de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration) (Apr. 4, 2013, F.C., Luc Martineau J., File No. T-802-12) 231 A.C.W.S. (3d) 41.

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