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Okanagan MP, community rallies to keep young family from being deported

Hardeep Singh Chahal, his pregnant wife Kamaldeep Kaur and daughter want to stay in Penticton

Richard Cannings, member of Parliament for South Okanagan-West Kootenay and his staff are doing everything they can to keep a Penticton family from being deported to India.

“We are working very hard to get a stay on the deportation order and get this family permanent residency status,” said Cannings on Wednesday.

Hardeep Singh Chahal, his pregnant wife Kamaldeep Kaur and his three-year-old daughter will be deported back to India on June 13 unless the federal government grants a stay or delay.

Their daughter was born here and they want their baby to be Canadian too.

Cannings said he has spoken to federal immigration on this matter twice as well as the ministry of public safety.

“We have received a lot of positive emails from members of the public, Hardeep’s employer and others in support of this family staying here,” said Cannings.

In fact, more than 100 emails of support have been sent to Cannings’ office which is a testament to this family’s character, said Cannings.

“All those emails have been sent along to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to show the level of support for them.”

Canning’s Penticton constituents’ assistant Jula Sukumar-Dyer has been working to stay the deportation or at least delay it until they receive answers on their permanent residency application.

“They are very much contributing members of our community. Their employers are advocating hard for them to stay. We are anxiously awaiting to hear from the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) on the permanent residency status,” she said.

Hardeep’s employer at Lake Breeze Winery in Naramata said he has come to rely on him as his main tractor guy in the vineyard who has been reliable, keen to learn and hard working.

“He came to work for me two years ago and he’s been stellar. He got his pesticide application ticket and even came to bring me food with his daughter when I had a hip replacement,” said Pierre Levesque who is the vineyard manager.

“This is so crazy that when we are in great need of good vineyard workers, the government wants to send him away,” he said. Levesque has received around 90 applications to fill Hardeep’s job but none have his qualifications.

Kamaldeep had worked at the Penticton Wal-Mart.

But now their work visas have been cancelled and the pair had to stop their volunteer work at Penticton Regional Hospital.

After being productive members of the community for nearly a decade, the family was ordered out of Canada last month.

The reasons for why they are being deported can’t be disclosed for privacy reasons.

Originally the couple was given 10-year visitor visas to come to Canada and subsequently work visas after. They also applied for refugee status.

READ MORE: Time running out for Penticton family ordered deported to India

Chahal and Kaur appealed twice to the federal government but were unable to provide adequate documentation to substantiate their claim.

While time is running out, there are many who are hopeful that a last minute reprieve will take place and the family can stay in Penticton.

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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