Expatica news

Belgian family ‘hidden’ in Canada

13 January 2006

BRUSSELS – A Canadian rural Rights group says they are hiding a Belgian family in a safe place to protect them from deportation.

About 50 farmers from across the region gathered outside the family’s home in Navan to protest the deportation order for Michel Van Hauve, his wife, Suzy Myers, and their son, Blaise.

The family moved here eight years ago from Belgium, when Michel secured a work permit as a farm hand. A 26-year-old conviction for shoplifting in Van Hauve’s native Belgium is cited as the reason for the deportation order.

Six months ago, Immigration Canada denied the family’s application for permanent residency in Canada, allegedly because of a shoplifting conviction Michel had from when he was a teenager.

Their teenage son, Blaise, also got into legal trouble after crashing his mother’s vehicle during a joyride.

“They are trying to find anything they can to get us out. Why and who were we bothering so much that they have to treat us like criminals and throw us out? My son has not done anything a normal Canadian teenager has not done,” Suzy Myers told CBC.

They were told of their scheduled deportation on December 29, two weeks after immigration officers arrested them because their various visas had expired in August. Ms Myers said the government has ordered that they leave with nothing more than 32 kilogrammes of clothing.

“I have to leave a fully furnished home behind,” she said. “All of my sadness over this issue has now turned into anger.”

The family was scheduled for KLM flight out of Montreal on Thursday evening, but protestors said they were helping the family hide from authorities. “The landowners have taken them into sanctuary. We have provided them with safety, we will keep him here, and we will defy Immigration Canada,” said the protest organiser, Randy Hillier.

Hillier says the worst authorities can do is deport the family, and they’ve already ordered that.

In a press release, the Landowners say they will not allow the family to be “unjustly deported to serve crass political ends.” The house is surrounded by heavy equipment and area landowners who say they will prevent any and all attempts by any officials to enter the Van Hauve family farm.

The angry protestors barred the driveway with a large tractor in a symbolic gesture and refused to reveal where they’ve allegedly hidden the family.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news