IN THE NEWS ~ 13 federal MPs add support to Mikhail Lennikov
13 federal MPs add support to Mikhail Lennikov

Mikhail Lennikov (left) is currently in sanctuary in a Vancouver church.

By Grant Granger - Burnaby NewsLeader

Thirteen more members of Parliament have signed a multi-party letter calling for the rescinding of a deportation order of Mikhail Lennikov to Russia.

That brings the total of MPs urging Minister of Public Safety Peter Van Loan and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney to allow Lennikov, a Burnaby resident, to remain in Canada.

"There is a growing consensus that the government is being heavy-handed in Mr. Lennikov's case," said Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julian. "I hope that the community and political support will help these ministers see that Mr. Lennikov poses no threat and should be allowed to stay with his family."

Of the 36 MPs, 25 are members of the New Democratic Party, including Julian. Five Liberals and five Bloc Quebecois members have also signed. Dona Cadman (Surrey-North) is the only Conservative MP to sign the letter.

Lennikov is a former employee of the Soviet KGB agency who has been living in Canada for 11 years. His son Dmitri recently graduated from Byrne Creek secondary. He has been ordered deported but is currently living in sanctuary at First Lutheran Church in Vancouver.

Last week, Lennikov signed a waiver authorizing Julian as his MP to request all records and information the government has on Lennikov.