rafe arnott/metro vancouver
Paralyzed refugee claimant Laibar Singh is still in Canada after roughly 1,000 supporters surrounded the van carrying him at Vancouver International Airport yesterday, protesting his scheduled deportation.
Singh, 44, waited outside the departure terminal while friends urged the Canadian Border Services Agency grant him a stay based on a doctor’s note stating he was too sick to fly.
His third deportation order was finally stayed, less than an hour before his flight back to India was scheduled to leave.
Surdev Singh Jatana, general secretary of Gurdwara Kalgidhar Sahib Society, where Singh had been seeking sanctuary, said Singh is a nervous wreck.
"He’s run out of tears," said Jatana. "They gave him 20 days, they gave him two months, so he gets some hopes, then they’re dashed."
He said deporting a sick man is un-Canadian.
"It puts a question mark on our claim to be compassionate and humanitarian," said Jatana, adding it’s ironic Singh’s deportation date fell on International Human Rights Day.
Singh was ordered deported after coming to Canada in 2003 with a forged passport. He was left paralyzed two years ago after suffering a brain aneurysm.
He says he would be persecuted by police if he returns to India.
Harsha Walia, with No One Is Illegal, said Singh should be given permanent status.
"We can’t keep doing this every three months," she said.
Another deportation date has yet to be set.
kristen thompson/Metro Vancouver