There have been some developments–or rather, non-developments–in the case of José Figueroa, a long-term BC resident of Salvadoran origin who faces deportation on the grounds of his former membership of the FMLN (one-time guerrilla organization, now formal political party).
“We don’t know what will happen with you after we tell you what happened last week; but what I can assure you is that our jaws have not yet got back to its normal place!
“Do you remember that just a couple of days ago Jose was so eagerly waiting for December 7, 2015, to arrive. He’s been waiting for that date since August – which was when the Federal Court of Canada confirmed an oral hearing for a motion that was filed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in order to dismiss a Notice of Application for Judicial Review that Jose had filed on February 2, 2015. The date of the hearing had been set by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court himself.
“Jose was contacted at Walnut Grove Lutheran Church (WGLC) and was informed of the decision to allow the oral hearing on December 7, 2015. Immediately, Jose made a request of the Federal Court to be allowed to attend the hearing via video or teleconference. The Respondent Minister of Foreign Affairs (at that time was the Honourable Rob Nicholson) opposed Jose’s request and argued that he didn’t see any reason why Jose could not attend the hearing in person. The presiding judge (Mr. Justice Fothergill) eventually conceded to the Respondent’s position and directed that a decision on Jose’s request would be made on a date closer to the hearing date.
“The Court has known for a long time that Jose cannot leave the WGLC due to the fact that the CBSA – despite the positive decisions in the case from the Federal Court – are still upholding the arrest warrant. Jose reiterated his request and the Respondent requested to postpone the decision to a date nearer to the hearing. In doing this they argued that an affidavit existed from a CBSA officer stating that the order from Justice Mosley had been accomplished because the case had been assigned to a different minister’s delegate (as ordered under the Mosley decision). The affidavit also stated that a decision will be made later this year and that Jose might be able to attend the hearing in person.
“On Monday, November 30, 2015, the Court contacted the parties to learn whether or not the circumstances had changed. The reply form the parties was negative. After the phone call from the Court, the Respondent and Jose made submissions to the Court. Jose’s expectations grew as he was expecting a decision on his request by Thursday December 3, 2015, at the latest. That is when the jaw dropping decision occurred.
“The presiding judge, who had ordered that a decision be made on a date closer to the hearing, made the following surprise decisions on Thursday, December 3rd: a) Dismissal of José’s Judicial Review; b) and cancelled the hearing that had been scheduled by the Chief Justice.
“It has been hard to digest this very, very odd decision from the presiding judge, Mr. Justice Simon Fothergill. The main reason it has been hard to digest is because it doesn’t make sense that the Court would wait for several months (since August) to finally give Jose a splat on the face. If you can make any sense of this, you are very welcome to try.”