Couple facing deportation

A former British solider, who is married to a Victoria woman, is facing deportation after his refugee claim was denied.

It sounds like the beginning of a romance movie — a British man and Canadian woman meet, stay in touch for years and then the woman makes the impulsive decision to fly to England and marry him.

That was the beginning of John and Anne Collins’ love story.

The couple originally met at an emergency management conference in the U.S. John, a former British soldier, was there speaking about security, while Anne, a First Nations woman, was attending as part of her job.

“I just said, ‘why don’t you come to England and marry me’ and she did,” John said, adding they’ve been married for 10 years.

Since September 2013, the duo have made Victoria their home.

Anne, 63, is in a wheelchair after escaping a previously abusive relationship and can’t work. John, also 63, is her sole caregiver.

In August, their world was torn apart.

Upon arriving in Canada three years ago, John was denied entry and told that if he wanted to work in Canada, he would have to return to the U.K. In frustration, Anne suggested he make a refugee claim.

But John’s refugee application has been denied and was told by the Immigration and Refugee Board to be on a plane back to the U.K. on Nov. 29.

However, there have been no arrangements to transport Anne, so she can voluntarily return with her husband. The total cost of the trip is roughly $10,000 — money the couple doesn’t have since John’s work permit was revoked.

“I get flown out of the country and if I can’t get something put together my wife ends up homeless and desolate in her own country with no one to support her,” John said. “I laugh because I feel like crying.”

Anne can’t believe her husband is being kicked out of the country.

“I’m supremely disappointed that things like this would happen to a man who has worked all these years,” she said, adding she has to leave behind a brother who is in an assisted-living facility. “He’s done so much for people, he’s a real giver.”

Over the past few weeks, the Collins have reached out to the public for financial help, since they need to leave all of their belongings behind and start a new life in Britain.

Most recently, a member of the Muslim community, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated $500 to pay for Anne’s flight.

“We went to thank him and he said ‘no, don’t thank me’, every person should help each other,” John said.

They have also written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in hopes he could help them.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria Fire Department advises cigarette safety after two fires started in one week

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

VicPD faces ‘significant pressure’ following Victoria’s 2019 budget decision

Chief Const. Del Manak says council continues to micromanage his department

28 years later: Dunahee disappearance remains largest investigation in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Saanich could become the new home of the world’s largest gnome

Galey Farms could find out Tuesday whether it will host the eight-metre-tall structure

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Jr. B Cougars advance to both league finals and provincials

Victoria beats Nanaimo 4-3 in Game 6 Friday night to win series

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

Most Read