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Monday, February 20, 2006

Portnoy Family Press Release

The following press release was sent to me yesterday. I thought I'd pass it on.


Press Release Portnoy Action Committee
P.O. Box 368, Marystown Newfoundland and Labrador
AOE 2MO Email: portnoyactioncommittee@hotmail.com Webpage: www.supporttheportnoyfamily.com

Contact Persons (Committee Co-Chairs):

STOP, LOOK & LISTEN: Basic advice aimed towards children apply to Portnoy’s bid to stay in Canada: February 19, 2006 Immigration lawyer, Lee Cohen, upon meeting with the Portnoy family in Marystown and local support committee, insists that the family will win this battle for the privilege to stay in Canada. The Portnoy Support Committee is preparing to launch a Petition Campaign with the theme STOP LOOK and LISTEN.

Ms. Joanne Mallay-Jones explains the message is: “STOP the deportation order. LOOK at the best interests of the children involved and LISTEN to the local community when we state we want this family to stay! We are asking the new government to review this case on its own merits. This is the essence of this humanitarian and compassionate application and is the nucleus of this struggle.

The petition campaign will occur in a number of facets: through schools, churches, community service groups, online petitions and the public as well as federal and provincial politicians are urged to weigh in positively on the issue”. Ms. Mallay - Jones also explained that, “contact made by Mr. Cohen, prior to the announcing of the new Conservative Cabinet, with local Canadian Border Services Agency officer states unequivocally that Angela Portnoy will be arrested if she leaves sanctuary for any reason. This is contrary to earlier statements made by local MP Bill Matthews.

Ms. Mallay -Jones acknowledges that the family was fearful of accepting this statement from Mr. Matthews when the comments were made, as we had nothing in writing at any level to support this. By deciding to maintain this deportation order, a serious oversight of the previous Liberal Immigration Minister, the family especially Angela is subjected to a cruel “cat and mouse game” with the federal government and this bullying behavior has to come to a stop!

“Accountability has been an issue in the past; we are hoping that our experiences in the past will prove useful in dealing with the new government. Official contact will be made shortly to see how the new Immigration Minister will handle this case. The mountain of evidence why this family should stay is impossible to ignore. This will be done through legal representation and through the campaign soon to be underway”.

“The family and committee are hopeful that the New Minister of Immigration will see the irony and total lack of logic in continuing this deportation order when a New H & C document is on the books. It would make complete sense to allow this family to return to their home in Marystown until the decision concerning the H & C is completed. Loyola Hearn has spoken publicly on this issue in the last number of weeks and we are hopeful that means there is room for discussion on this issue with the new Immigration Minister Monte Solberg”.

Ms. Mallay-Jones notes that many continue to ask how they can help with the family, legal and committee efforts, the family is most grateful for all support they continue to receive. Financial, and pledges of support is needed anyone wishing to; download petitions, sign online petition guestbook, or make a donation or participate/organize a special event, visit the website for contact information www.supporttheportnoyfamily.ca or email portnoyactioncommitte@hotmail.com.

In closing, Ms. Mallay-Jones explains that, “the next few weeks will be spent organizing and executing this campaign locally and federally. Of course the new government is still settling in and through the family’s legal representation and the public campaign we hope that this issue will not go unnoticed and may resolved positively for all involved sooner rather than later”. Newfoundlanders are quite use to struggles and hardship, maybe that combined with our own sense of Immigration history is what makes many relate so well to this family. This is not going away and as more people are becoming aware of the case, it is growing exponentially

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