Saturday, July 6, 2013
Canadian Immigration Ruse - Glynis M. Belec
For eleven years I wrote a column in our local newspaper. That was the beginning of my writing career.
I had mustered up enough courage to submit an article for consideration. Before I knew it our wonderful small-town editor was requesting 'more.' She invited me to write a weekly column and she said they would pay me $2 a column inch. God was blessing me mightily. Life was good. My family were incredibly decent sports. Sometimes I would pick on them or I would write about inspirational moments or day to day joy-filled experiences. I talked about parenting and the weaknesses and worries I experienced as I tried my best to be a good mom. If I could find a snippet of humour in the everyday, I was off and running.
It was mid afternoon. The telephone rang.
"Yes," I replied, wondering who the official sounding voice was. (No call display back then!)
"This is Mr. Soblofski from Immigration Canada."
"Hello," I continued in a cheery voice.
Then I heard it.
"Mrs. Belec. I am afraid I have some bad news," the voice on the other end announced.
I felt my heart sink and I gulped.
"It seems there is a problem with your paperwork and when you came to Canada as a child in 1967 there was some incomplete information and you have been living in Canada illegally. I have to advise you that as of the end of the week you will hereby be deported back to England until this matter can be resolved."
"What?" I was horrified and devastated. And confused and, and...well suffice to say I responded in high frequency tones.
"I can't leave. I have young children and a husband. I can't just pick up and leave Canada. There must be some mistake."
I was slowly losing my cool. I was bordering on frantic.
It seemed Mr.Soblofski from Immigration Canada was getting equally upset as he heard me getting upset. As I rambled...he started giving me suggestions like how my husband could take time off work or perhaps I might consider hiring Raymond for a babysitter...
Raymond? What was this government official talking about?
I had been had. It was Raymond hamming it up, egged on by my hubby. It was all a prank. The rollicking laughter on the other end of the phone was a clear indicator that their mission was accomplished. Oh did I have fun with them in my column the following week. The rascals had me for a moment but I sure had fun writing about their dastardly deed.
P. S. I ended up getting my Canadian citizenship at the end of 1991 without a hitch. Funny though, I never met Mr. Soblofski. Probably fired him!