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‘He’s ready to live life in peace’: Federal Court overturns Abdoul Abdi’s deportation but future still uncertain

The Federal Court has overturned the deportation of former child refugee Abdoul Abdi, who grew up in foster in care in Nova Scotia but never received his Canadian citizenship.

The Federal Court released its decision Friday, after Abdi sought a judicial review of the federal government’s decision by arguing his Charter rights had been violated and his treatment was not in keeping with Canada’s international law obligations.

In a written decision dated July 13, Justice Ann Marie McDonald said a delegate of the public safety minister failed to consider the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law in arriving at her decision, despite being statutorily mandated to render a decision consistent with the charter.

“Most blatantly, the (delegate’s) decision discloses no indication that the (delegate) even considered the charter values,” said McDonald, who does not name the delegate in her decision.

“In fact, the charter is not mentioned anywhere in the (delegate’s) cover letter outlining the issues she considered or in the body of her decision. This is so despite Mr. Abdi’s extensive submissions on the charter.”

Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, says this is the second time the Federal Court has overturned his deportation. The first time the federal government’s decision was overturned was in October 2017.

Abdi, who is in his early twenties, was recently released from prison after serving a five-year sentence on multiple charges, including aggravated assault.He arrived in Canada as a six-year-old child refugee with his sister and was placed in foster care shortly after, but officials never applied for his citizenship.

His case became a rallying point for advocates of immigration reform.

Justice for Children and Youth was granted intervenor status at the judicial review. Staff lawyer Jane Stewart said Monday the case was a chance for the court to weigh in and correct what had happened to Abdi.

Read more: ‘He’s ready to live life in peace’: Federal Court overturns Abdoul Abdi’s deportation but future still uncertain

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