The Omar Ghazal case reminds us that sometimes mum really does know best: you should always keep your hands clean!
Mr. Ghazal was convicted in Canada of criminal offences which are considered under immigration legislation to be serious. As a result, he was ordered deported. When the time came for him to leave Canada he did not show up for his scheduled departure, and he misidentified himself to the police.
It is not clear from the facts of this case set out in the reasons for decision whether Mr. Ghazal had lived in Canada for a long time, had family here, or was rehabilitated. What is clear is that Mr. Justice Shore of the Federal Court felt that none of those issues made a difference as Mr. Ghazal did not have “clean hands”.
As the Court stated, “A stay of the removal is an injunction, therefore an exceptional measure. It is a measure that is not granted to a person who does not have clean hands. Knowing that the applicant did not appear for his last removal date, with his criminal past and that he was arrested and detained to ensure that he not become illegal again is sufficient to refuse to hear the stay motion”, and so Mr. Ghazal was sent packing without the opportunity to make his case to remain in Canada.
Unfortunately for him, Mr. Ghazal’s past had finally caught up with him. He had run afoul of the principle that “he who seeks equity must do equity”, which I feel is more clearly stated as “equity will not grant relief from a self-created hardship”.
While it is not uncommon for those facing removal from Canada to obtain an order that their removal be stopped, Mr. Ghazal was denied the opportunity to even argue for one. The Court found that because he had broken the rules he had created the hardship from which he now wished to be extricated, and therefore he was not deserving of the exercise of the special authority the Court has to relieve unfairness in the application of the law. Mr. Ghazal was out of luck because he had failed to keep his hands clean. Don’t let it happen to you!