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On deporting Mikhail Lennikov

June 02, 2009 @ 17:01 By: gordon Category: In the news

Mikhail Lennikov, his wife and son have been living in Canada for the last twelve years. Before coming to Canada, he worked as a low-level translator for the KGB (which was disbanded in the mid-1980s) for five years, which probably isn’t as big of a deal as it sounds. Lots of people worked for the KGB as translators and agents, many of them involuntarily. His wife and son were granted permanent residency on “humanitarian and compassionate grounds” earlier this year, but that apparently does not extend to Mikhail.

Lennikov has been deemed a security risk according to a CBC report and is scheduled to be deported on June 3rd. He appealed to the courts to overturn the Minister of Public Safety‘s decision, but that was denied. Now, he has claimed sanctuary in a Vancouver church in order to avoid deportation. He fears being arrested and charged with treason should be be returned to Russia, something the judge decided was not well-founded.

The questions I have are these: If he really is a threat to national security, why was he even allowed into the country in the first place? Presumably he underwent some sort of background check when he first applied for permission to stay in Canada and whatever was found was not determined to be a reason to exclude him at that time.

And if he is returned to Russia but his wife and son remain behind, is the risk any less? Could not his family be coerced into spying for whichever organization has replaced the KGB by telling them that he’ll be arrested/disappeared if they don’t do as they’re told? Finally, he’s been in the news lately, so it’s not like he has a low-profile, so presumably any risk he posed has been significantly attenuated.

The way to deal with this is to allow him to stay, assuming he hasn’t been engaging in illegal activities, and simply deny him a security clearance if he applies for a job that needs one. And if the screening system is really broken, then fix it so that this problem doesn’t happen again in the future.

Canada has allowed much more undesireable individuals to stay in the country, so I really don’t see the point of deporting this person who doesn’t seem to be “undesireable,” at least based on the reports in the media.

3 Responses to “On deporting Mikhail Lennikov”


  1. Robin Hood says:

    The only way that he (lennikov) may get to stay in canada is to get a scumbag lawyer like that creep thai criminal in calgary has ,was ordered deported years ago,involved in a gang thats been involved in 8 murders in calgary he is still here ,he says that if deported it will bring hardship on his mother as he is here only source of income and the scumbag appleals every thing that the calgary police and canada border agents want to do to kick him out so lennikov find a low life scumbag lawyer (theres lots around) who can make up lots of plausible excuses to keep you here for years and you can walk the streets untouched

  2. Squid says:

    Just because Canada has (erroneously) allowed bigger scumbags to stay doesn’t mean this guy should get any lee-way. If we let him stay, it becomes harder to get rid of the bigger scumbags because they can point to his case and say “you let him stay, and he was KGB! I’m just a “

    • gordon says:

      Fair point. But unlike other cases where it’s clear that the person is really an undesirable because they’ve been caught by the police, this doesn’t seem to be the case, at least based on what’s been reported. If he had been involved in criminal activities, you would think the media would have picked up on that and made a fuss about it.

      Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know the true reasons, eh?



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