Sign the Petition to

Vic Toews (Conservative Minister of Public Safety; Jasbir Sandu (NDP Justice Critic); Irwin Cotler (Liberal Justice Critic); Don Head (Commissioner of CSC); Howard Sapers (Correctional Investigator)

We are writing in regards to a deportable prisoner, Peter Collins. He is a British citizen serving a life sentence in Bath Institution just outside of Kingston.

In 1990 an immigration hearing was held and Mr. Collins was ordered deported. At that time Mr. Collins was advised that he was still eligible for Work Releases(WR), Unescorted Temporary Passes(UTA) and Day Parole(DP), all part of a gradual release process to prepare prisoners for a structured, safe and supported release to the community. Mr. Collins was also advised by his Correctional Service of Canada(CSC) Case Management Team(CMT) that, upon receiving full parole, he would be removed from Canada and returned to the UK.

In 1992, Canada introduced the Corrections and Conditional Release Act(CCRA) and at this time Mr. Collins was again advised, by his CSC CMT to follow his correctional treatment plan and participate in upgrading, employment and to continue working toward his rehabilitation and eventual gradual release. In 2002, amendments were made to the CCRA which completely excluded deportable foreign national prisoners from being permitted to participate in the very conditional release opportunities (WR, UTA, and DP) which help to reduce risk and ensure more successful community reintegration of prisoners.

Mr. Collins was under the impression that he was still eligible to participate in conditional releases under the Canadian Interpretation Act (AI). It was not until the day before his 2008 parole hearing that he was advised, because of legislation changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act(IRPA) and the CCRA, that he was excluded from any community-based conditional release programs and therefore could not participate in the gradual, structured release program that CSC and National Parole Board(NPB) were demanding of him prior to his release.

We are very concerned that Canada’s legislation excludes Mr. Collins from participating in the very conditional release opportunities which CSC and the NPB are demanding of him. The NPB and CSC have a mandate to provide correctional and conditional release opportunities to those prisoners who can be reintegrated into Canadian society. Surely Canadian legislators did not intend for deportation orders to be used to perpetually hold foreign national prisoners while imposing discriminatory and exclusionary policy interpretations. This situation creates a ‘catch 22’ that prevents any realistic opportunity for a release on par with Canadian citizens.

Mr. Collins completed his correctional plan in 1998 and there are no other programs for him to participate in. He has been rated as a low risk for general or violent recidivism. His human rights work has earned him an award for his work in HIV/AIDS harm reduction. For these reasons, we urge his release and return to the UK at the earliest opportunity.

Signed,

Joan Ruzsa

This petition closed over 3 years ago

How this will help

Peter is in the 29th year of a Life 25 sentence. He completed his correctional plan in 1998, and has participated in many positive and pro-social activities while inside. With the ongoing...

Peter is in the 29th year of a Life 25 sentence. He completed his correctional plan in 1998, and has participated in many positive and pro-social activities while inside. With the ongoing support of friends and family, and through almost 4 years of one-on-one counseling while in Bath, he has gained great insight and awareness into the experiences in his childhood that contributed to the choices he made. He is thoughtful and self-reflective and devotes much of his time to helping others, including donating his artwork to social justice causes to be used as fundraising tools.

Peter is deportable, and as such has created a comprehensive release plan in England, and has the support of family, friends and community agencies. He has been classified as a low risk to re-offend, and has done everything his Case Management Team has asked of him to prepare for parole.

There is no legitimate reason, related to rehabilitation, release planning or community safety, for CSC to hold Peter in prison any longer. Peter is suffering from the effects of long-term incarceration, and we are concerned for his well-being. We are asking for your support in helping him to get full parole for deportation to England.

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