July 06, 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.
I remember one column way back in 1991.. Happy Hubby and Raymond were the focus. Raymond was a sweet young lad who had just started working for my hubby in his sign business. I guess they didn't have too much on the go on this particular day. Oh how well I remember.

It was mid afternoon. The telephone rang.

"Glynis Belec?"

"Yes," I replied, wondering who the official sounding voice was. (No call display back then!)

"This is Mr. Soblofski from Immigration Canada."

I perked up a little since I had recently applied for my Canadian Citizenship. Maybe they were calling me to tell me that all was in order and that I could come and be sworn in as an official Canadian.

"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.

And so my joy continued. It seemed I was never short for material. God opened my eyes to the everyday opportunities and ideas. That editorial was my sweet beginning. Eventually, in 1997 it was time to retire my column and get busy with other things. Every so often when I need a reminder about how life made me laugh back then and how blessed I was with a wonderful family (and others) who let me write about them week after week, I pull out the faded newspapers and 'have a read.'

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!


  1. Glynis, thanks for sharing this small glimpse into your past. I had a good chuckle. It sounds like you are rich in many ways, including having a fun-loving husband :)

  2. I really enjoyed reading this too. It must have been so much fun writing that newspaper column!

  3. A belated welcome to Canada, Glynis. I always enjoy seeing the July 1 excitement of new Canadians receiving their citizenship. What an amusing and enjoyable story! It was probably your readers who had the last laugh.

  4. This one brought a smile to my face. That was a pretty 'good' prank, I must say!

  5. What a great story! So appropriate for this month. Thanks for the laugh!


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