Mark Alistair Stables has no criminal record and has been a permanent resident of Canada for more than four decades.
But a court has ruled that the government has the right to expel him because he is not a citizen and was a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels.
“Non-citizens do not have an unqualified right to enter or remain in Canada,” Mr. Justice Yves de Montigny said in a Federal Court decision earlier this month.
Mr. Stables had tried to challenge the section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that says people can be barred from Canada on grounds of “organized criminality.”
Mr. Stables admitted in court that he was a full-patch Hells Angel but he would not concede that the biker club is a criminal organization.
The judge, however, said the evidence was overwhelming that the Angels were “first and foremost” a group involved in drug trafficking, extortion, theft and murder.
“This is not a case where the applicant did not know the nature of the organization until it was too late – either he did not care or chose to be willfully blind to its activities,” Judge De Montigny wrote.
“Clearly, the framers of the Charter [of Rights]could not have intended that the applicant’s membership in the Hells Angels could be protected through his freedom of association and expression, despite the overwhelming criminal history of the organization.”
Mr. Stables came to Canada from Scotland when he was seven years old.
After joining the Hells Angels in 2000, Mr. Stables held senior positions. For seven years, he was the treasurer of 10 of the Ontario Hells Angels chapters. Also, at one point he was a sergeant-at-arms, a position another court ruling has defined as being in charge of the security of a chapter’s members and clubhouse.
His immigration troubles began in November of 2006, when he landed at Vancouver International Airport and officials found Hells Angels paraphernalia on him.
Immigration and Refugee Board judge Ama Beecham ruled in 2010 that he is not admissible to remain in Canada.
He has appealed to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. But he argued in his court bid that the law is no longer constitutional because of delays in obtaining ministerial relief.
Judge De Montigny acknowledged there were “troubling” delays but said he had not been given evidence that the minister was rejecting a higher rate of appellants.
Mr. Stables said he left the bikers in 2009 but the IRB ruling noted that his gang tattoo still showed no “exit date.”