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Letter: Family’s plight ignored by politicians

The plight of Widlene Earle, a young girl with scary prospects if she remains stuck in the Dominican Republic, has captivated the hearts and minds of thousands of caring Canadians.

I, like many others, have written many letters to whomever I thought could make a difference.

I wrote the prime minister, and his office replied that the prime minister could not get “personally involved” in matters such as these. I wrote back and said it sure looked personal when he met and hugged the refugees arriving at Pearson Airport. I did not get a response back on that point.

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I wrote Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, when I thought he behaved poorly on the Earle matter. I got a bounce-back from the automated mailer telling me I should contact my local MP.

So, I wrote my MP, Seamus O’Regan. No response. I wrote him again. Still no response. I heard on social media that he had personally intervened to block Widlene Earle’s application to come to Canada. I wrote him again and asked if it were true, and, if so, could he explain why. Still no answer. I wondered if he had gone away somewhere. Was there no one in his office handling mail for him?

I, like many others, have written many letters to whomever I thought could make a difference.

Irony of ironies! I received a flyer in the mail today from Mr. O’Regan. He stated, “My office is always happy to hear from you. We can provide assistance with immigration issues…” How exciting! Just what I’ve been writing about — immigration for Widlene Earle! I believe he does have an office staff, after all. The flyer listed his email address, and I see I’ve been sending my correspondence to the correct address. He’s just been ignoring me.

The first time he spoke in the House of Commons, he thanked the electorate for having confidence in him and said, “I promise to serve them all with honour and with vigour.” Wow! Serve us all … with honour and vigour!

Well, I don’t believe you’ve kept your word, Mr. O’Regan. I don’t believe I’ve been served with honour, nor with much vigour.

I see on page four of Mr. O’Regan’s flyer that he’s looking for heroes. Well, I have a hero — Vaden Earle! Here’s a guy we can all be proud of: born in Newfoundland and Labrador, became a humanitarian who brought hope to countless lives; brought other Canadians to impoverished regions of the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Asia to experience firsthand the squalid conditions in which the Third World lived so that they could be motivated to seek social justice. And now, he has to fight his own government, Mr. O’Regan included, to come back home without abandoning his daughter. But he refuses to abandon her. Now, that’s a hero.

Gotta go — it’s time to fill out Mr. O’Regan’s application for hero. I’m nominating Vaden Earle. And I believe I just may write Mister O’Regan. Again.


Ronald Sheppard

St. John’s

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