OTTAWA — A British Columbia man who was deported at 59 despite living in Canada since he was seven months old has won a shot at returning home.
A federal court has granted Len Van Heest a judicial review of his permanent and temporary residency applications.
Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017, and court documents say he has been living in a shelter where he can’t communicate with anyone because he doesn’t speak the language.
They say he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 16, committed dozens of crimes in Canada and made several legal attempts to remain in the country before he was deported.
In his Feb. 7 ruling, Justice Yvan Roy says Van Heest was dealt a “tough hand” in life and the “extremely peculiar circumstances of this case” call for a more careful and nuanced examination of humanitarian and compassionate factors that goes beyond hardship.
Van Heest’s application will be returned to a different officer for review.
The Canadian Press