A Canadian permanent resident who was wrongfully deported to Australia almost two years ago because of a government agency's slip-up in processing his file can legally return to Canada and reunite with his daughter.
Madam Justice Eleanor Dawson of the Federal Court yesterday quashed a deportation order from April, 2006, that stripped Tavis Lamprell, 37, of his permanent residency and barred him from returning to Canada.
"I feel really relieved and happy. I can't even put it into words really," he said from Australia yesterday. "I can't wait to see my daughter."
Mr. Lamprell had been a permanent resident of Canada since arriving from Australia as a nine-month-old with his Canadian mother and Australian father in 1971.
News two years ago that he was being deported to his country of birth because of a relatively minor procedural error by the Canada Border Services Agency - not verifying his status in Canada after he was convicted of several minor offences - came as a surprise.
The error left Mr. Lamprell struggling to find work in a country where he knows no one, thousands of kilometres from his family. His ex-girlfriend is taking care of his 13-year-old daughter, Natasha.
Permanent residents, according to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, cannot automatically be deported as a result of a conviction in Canada. They are eligible for a hearing in front of an immigration judge and are to be informed of their right to appeal.
But none of that happened, and his deportation order was based on provisions that apply to foreign nationals.
Yesterday's court order means that the government, which consented to a judicial review of the case, acknowledged that the deportation order was issued in error. The government will pay for Mr. Lamprell's flight back.
"To think that the last 20 months, I've been struggling to keep my head above water financially here in Australia when I was earning [a living]as a roofer in Canada," Mr. Lamprell said.