Baby of alleged drug trafficker deported!

A court is trying to decide the fate of a baby who was deported to Saint Lucia three months ago from Canada. The child, the STAR was reliably informed, travelled to Canada with her mother who was caught with two packages bearing an illegal substance. The packages, it has been alleged may have been given to her by a local politician. However, the woman, who is currently in custody in Canada, says she was unaware of what the packages contained. One source has told the STAR that since then the unnamed politician has been making several enquiries at human services about the status of the child.
Over the years a number of OECS nationals (including Saint Lucia) have ended on the wrong side of the law in Canada, while an alarming number have also been applying for refugee status there. However Stephen Julien, Saint Lucia’s Consul General in Canada told us that though there have been some cases of misdeeds by Saint Lucians in Canada, “most are hard-working and the reputation of Saint Lucia is not quite as sullied as some would believe.”
“However one of the issues we are faced with is that immigration authorities here (Canada) do not readily share information with us about our nationals. Most times persons arrive here on a flight from Saint Lucia, apply for refugee status and the process begins without our knowledge,” Julien said.                 “Even in the case when persons are arrested and are being deported we often have to rely on our own sources and intelligence to find out what is going on,” he added. The Consul General told the STAR of one incident where a Saint Lucian National who had served time for a “serious sexual offense” and was being deported. “Our office only found out because that person’s passport had expired and after we heard more about the case we at least felt it necessary to alert law enforcement officials in Saint Lucia, that this person was being sent back,” Julien said.              However, according to him he would like to see greater collaboration with immigration authorities in Canada, his office and the authorities here. “In December I had a
meeting with Reg Williams who is Director of Immigration Enforcement and I shared with him some of my concerns. I also expressed interest in a new “act” —“the balance refugee reform act”—which when implemented will pose great difficulties for OECS nationals seeking refugee status,” Julien warned.
Bill C-11, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act is expected to improve Canada’s asylum system and resettle more refugees from abroad. However according to the Consul General, the reform will weigh in favour of persons seeking political asylum and refugee status from places like the Middle East. “It will I think deal with things like persecution because of sexual orientation and religious beliefs. So as you can see already we are not really faced with those situations in Saint Lucia and the OECS. But these are the things we need to start talking about and discussing with the officials here,” Julien says.
The Saint Lucia Consul General told the STAR that he has arranged a meeting for March 12, 2011 with the Saint Lucian authorities and their counterparts in Toronto Canada. “I have already spoken to Guy Mayers who has already agreed to be a part of this meeting and I would also like to have the [acting] police chief Vernon Francois here as well,” Julien told the STAR. He says he has arranged for the Saint Lucian authorities on immigration and crime to meet with Reg Williams as well as the Chief of Police of Toronto and the Deputy Chief who is the most senior black officer in Toronto.
While Stephen Julien would not comment directly on the case involving the baby and mother, he says any news of drug interdiction involving a Saint Lucian national is sad news.
“So while things are not as alarming right now, I think the time is right for us to start discussing the issues both of crime and refugee status,” he added.
Just last April another story involving a Saint Lucian mother and child made headlines. Back then a two-year-old girl who was in the midst of a bitter custody battle was reunited with her mother who was being deported to St Lucia.
Amanda Noel, 29 who arrived in Canada in 2005, and Makyla, were deported back here after the child was found by police with her father in some woods near his home. The father had allegedly refused to return the child after a visit and police were called. The mother had applied for refugee status and turned down and was awarded custody of the two-year-old by an Ontario Court.
The most recent case involving the mother and child is currently under nvestigation in Canada.

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