Robert Oliphant ( Liberal – Ont )

Mr Oliphant is our Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

for his credit, looks like replied by himself. Kudos to that. He politely declined to support my petition and did not answer my last email. Too much trouble for something that is not going to fly. dc


Following is our email interchange until today.


Thanks for letting me know. It looks like he won’t reply neither do much about it. This is not a problem for him ( them ). They can see their family anytime they want to.


I need to find public support. Our parliament won’t identify with this type of issues, there is not money or political gain behind it.




From: []
Sent: October 23, 2017 04:18
Subject: RE: Petition to Parliament




Thank you for emailing the Office of Robert Oliphant, Member of Parliament for Don Valley West.


Please be assured that your message will be brought to Rob’s attention.




Office of Robert Oliphant, MP

Don Valley West





From: Diego Cobian []
Sent: October 22, 2017 12:26 AM
To: Oliphant, Rob – M.P.
Cc: Kwan, Jenny – Riding 1A
Subject: RE: Petition to Parliament


Hi Robert, thanks for replying to my email. I really appreciate that apparently you answer it personally. Considering how busy you should be with your new responsibilities, this details is something that speak very well about you. I apologize for my delay on replying to you. My job and family leave very little time for almost anything else. Even though, I consider this issue very important, not only for me but for many other Canadians, suffering from the same problem and I don’t want to drop it and turn my neck around.


If is true that I understand that the problem that I am trying to bring to the attention of our parliament is very sensitive and difficult, is also my opinion that our politicians are not only the administrators on shift of the country. You guys are there to represent us by finding solutions to our problems and this is a big problem that affect many of our citizens. I agree that the solution is not easy but if we don’t start talking on how to resolve it, how to create a mechanism that will allow honest citizen that just want to invite their families to Canada to visit them been able to do it,  we are not going anywhere and this is not going to be solve.


Is my opinion that many of you can’t identify with this situation. To understand what it is to have your family 10 hours away and not been able to see them for almost 2 decades because the immigration system of Canada doesn’t consider it a priority or too risky, or that I am not trustable enough with this, just makes me feel a second-class citizen on my own country. You see Robert, changing directions and asking for a petition to clarify the reasons why you denied me the chance to see my family by not supporting my petition, is like spending resources on a road sign to advice about a pothole ahead on the way. I don’t want to know that you deny the visa to my family because they are poor, or because they had never been on an airplane or because you don’t believe on my invitation letter. Why you ask me for an invitation letter in the first place if you won’t believe on what it says?. Our respect should be mutual, I believe in our government as the government believes on me as a citizen unless otherwise, but our relationship doesn’t seem fear so far, does it?


I am the vivid example of somebody that had directly benefit from the Canadian refugee program, and for that chance that you gave me I will be eternally grateful to this country. I have today a democracy that I ran like a new Chevrolet in a Saturday night. I have now, for example, the opportunity to talk to you about problems that are not anymore the ones from 20 years ago, when I was criticizing the Cuban regimen for its opportunistic lack of vision in the future and political discrimination. My problems today are the problems of your country, that is now my and my responsibility is to improve and respect this democracy that is now my own. But think if we are doing the right thing by conveniently putting everybody in the same basket and giving everybody the same treatment of suspects of a crime that haven’t been committed. Think why the same refugee program that helps many of us before is latter on our way to meet our loves ones?. Do we have a refugee system just because we like the sound of it but can’t actually look at how bright it is?


My petition proposes a mechanism to alleviate this situation. Is ingenue, not perfect and I don’t have any hope that will ever go anywhere, but if it at least brings the subject to the attention of you guys, that have the tools to do something about it. If it starts a conversation on how to implement a mechanism that will give a chance to those that are poor, that only want to see their families in their new homes for few weeks, that won’t break the law or get advantage of our immigration system, maybe you are becoming the type of politician that we expect and need. The one that find solutions for our problems and don’t find it problematic or inconvenient.


Thanks for reading my email, if you make it until here. My English is not my first language so sorry for any mistake.


Diego Cobian

Burnaby , BC

My family is still not welcome to visit my own country. There are many like me out there.




From: []
Sent: September 29, 2017 08:03
Subject: RE: Petition to Parliament


Dear Diego:


Thank you very much for your email of September 24 regarding your proposed petition on immigration related issues, particularly Temporary Resident Visas.  Thank you also for including the response from Jenny Kwan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, whom I respect greatly, particularly on issues related to immigration.


For three reasons, I am unable to be the sponsor of this particular e-petition. Firstly, I have a general rule that I sponsor any petition, whether I agree with it or not, from a constituent in my riding (unless it is hateful or somehow otherwise inappropriate). Unfortunately, you are not a constituent of mine. Secondly, I am the newly elected Chair of the Citizenship and Immigration Committee. As such I would prefer to be more neutral on issues which could come to the Committee for consideration. And thirdly, I do from time to time sponsor petitions from non-constituents if I strongly support the petition. In this case, I am not in full agreement with it.


While I agree with the sentiments of allowing visitors to Canada and to generally give them the benefit of the doubt regarding their intentions, particularly, their intention of returning home, I also know that we unfortunately need a system that will carefully screen visitors coming from countries that require visas. This is for their protection as well. We do not want to raise unreasonable expectations that they will be able to stay.  Additionally, as Jenny indicates, we need to protect the ability of people coming to Canada to claim refugee status, and to have a fair determination about what their status should be. While we hope that is rare and unusual, it still happens and that right needs to be protected.


That being said, I think there could be a petition that would be helpful in this regard. It should focus on the disclosure or reasons for a visa being refused and on the appeal processes that are available for people to ensure that their application was fairly assessed.  That is the sort of petition that I think many Members of Parliament could support and would sponsor.


Finally, I want to commend you for persisting on this issue. Canada is richer because you are here. I am sorry for the circumstances that force you to be unable to visit your country of origin. I hope that that will change in the near future. I am also sorry that you have not been able to see your sister and hope that that could change in the future as well.


And your English is just fine. Thank you for communicating your thoughts so clearly.


Yours sincerely,


Robert Oliphant, M.P.

Don Valley West


From: Diego Cobian []
Sent: September 24, 2017 10:03 AM
To: Oliphant, Rob – M.P.
Subject: Petition to Parliament


Good day Robert, My name is Diego Cobian, I am a resident of Burnaby, BC.


Robert, I am looking for a Member of our Parliament that will support my immigration petition, proposing a mechanism that could warrantee that members of our family and our friends will be able to visit us in Canada without our invitation been denied or our intentions been questioned.


In my particular case, I have been living in Canada since 2001 as a Political refugee from Cuba and I had not been able to visit home since. Last year my invitation extended to my sister to visit me in Canada was denied twice, and if the denial is painful, the reasons for it are even worst. It seems to me that we are evaluating visitors from poor countries, even if they are invited from members of their family resident in Canada, as delinquents that are trying to get advantage of our immigration’s benefits. My petition is trying to propose a solution or at least, to bring to light a problem that is affecting many of us and is not only unfair but also discriminatory on a situation that is very close to our hearts.


I will create my e-petition and find the necessary signatures once I have your official support but, could you please advice on what member of our parliament could be interested on supporting my petition?. I tried already NDP but Jenny declined to support it. Is there anybody else that I can contact?


We, the citizens of this country, should have the right to invite and see our family.


Thanks Robert, Please let me know.

Diego Cobian.