Canada Border Services Agency had charges stayed against a Prince George man so he could be removed from the country quicker.
Brett Reece Alderman, 38, could be deported as soon as Monday because he does not hold Canadian citizenship and was convicted of a crime for which the sentence was greater than six months or for which the maximum penalty is at least 10 years in jail.
Alderman maintains that's unfair because, although born in the United Kingdom, he has lived in Canada since he was three weeks old and also noted the 18-month term he received for two theft-related offences committed in Terrace in mid-2007 was served at home, not in jail.
An effort to have the decision overturned was dismissed because he failed to appear before an Immigration and Refugee Board panel that was considering his case.
While serving his sentence, Alderman had gained permission to move to Prince George but the IRB was not notified and notices of hearing dates were still sent to his Terrace address, he has said.
Since then, Alderman has been charged with assault and two counts of uttering threats from an alleged October 2010 incident and with assault causing bodily harm from an alleged December 2010 incident. None of the allegations have been proven in court and Alderman has maintained the charges were trumped up.
He also faces a charge of driving while prohibited under the Motor Vehicle Act.
However, clearing his name on any of the allegations may be a moot point as a CBSA official confirmed in a letter to Alderman's immigration lawyer that the charges have been stayed so he can be deported.
"Furthermore, committing a crime cannot be used as a means to remain in Canada, and it is incumbent upon the CBSA to enforce a removal order for someone ordered deported for criminality forthwith," the official said.
Alderman is in the process of filing an application for reprieve on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, but the official said it's too little too late given the time Alderman already had to make an appeal.
Alderman has maintained his removal will put undue stress on his family of a common-law wife, three biological children and two stepchildren but the official said that's not good enough, noting that he is a foreign national with no right to work in Canada without authorization.
At least one other Prince George resident is in a similar situation. Francois Christiaan Meerholz, 25, is a South African citizen but has lived in Prince George since age 10.
Police say Meerholz has tied to organized crime but according to court records, the most serious offence for which he was convicted were two counts of theft over $5,000, committed in January 2007, for which he received 60 days in jail.
Meerholz had been threatened with removal over firearms charges after police found a gun in a vehicle he and two others were occupying in October 2009, but those charges were stayed in March 2011 after Crown prosecutors concluded they would be unable to prove any of them knew the weapon was in the vehicle at the time.
However, Meerholz now faces several charges over four cases. The charges include kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, possession of a break-in instrument, driving while impaired, dangerous driving, flight from a peace officer and driving while disqualified.
Meerholz has remained in custody since his April arrest on the kidnapping, forcible confinement and assault charges.