Follow-up Letter of Support for Issam Al Yamani

Today, the Board of Directors sent the following letter:

Dear Mr. Goodale,

We, the Board of OPIRG Guelph, recently wrote to you requesting that you grant Issam Al Yamani ministerial relief and reinstate his permanent residency to allow him to continue to live with his wife, kids and granddaughter in Mississauga.

Over 500 people have written similar letters in support of Mr. Al Yamani’s application to stay in Canada where he has lived with his family for the past thirty years. Several churches and organizations have also sent in letters to this effect.

We would like to point your attention to the letter written by the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) which states that Issam “has never been found to have been complicit in or to have committed any acts of violence,” and that the government’s (CBSA) reaction to the video in question is “patently unreasonable.” The letter also states that “if a Canadian citizen had expressed exactly the same views and the citizen were persecuted by our government for these views, that citizen would have access to a process in full defence and the associated maximum sentence would in no way approach the disproportionate sanction contemplated by Canada for Mr. Al-Yamani.”

OCLA’s opinion, especially since both security certificates against him were thrown out by the courts, leads me to believe that this deportation order is at least partly targeting Issam for his activity in the Palestinian community and advocacy for Palestinians’ rights, which counters the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights, and has a chilling effect on freedom of speech, especially for those in our community who are not –or not yet– citizens.

We look forward to receiving your response to our letters. Thank you for your time,


The Board and Staff of OPIRG Guelph

The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen,
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

The Honourable Lloyd Longfield,
Member of Parliament for Guelph (Ontario)