There were hugs and tears of joy when Fliss Cramman, a hospitalized woman who was facing deportation to Britain in less than a month, had her permanent residency restored Friday, after a lengthy battle.
Cramman, who has lived in Nova Scotia since she was eight years old, never obtained Canadian citizenship.
In 2014, she was convicted of offering to traffic heroin, sentenced to 27 months in prison and detained again when the Canada Border Services Agency looked into her citizenship.
The decision comes as a result of the intervention of federal Immigration Minister John McCallum a day after the Nova Scotia government said it would not provide health coverage to Cramman.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s helped me through this,” Cramman said Friday.
It has also been ordered that Cramman be released from detention, with McCallum recommending there be no conditions placed on her release.
Cramman’s lawyer said an appropriate release plan is in place, where she’ll have access to support services she needs.
The Elizabeth Fry Society was advocating for Cramman to be removed from a detention list and released into its care at a halfway house in Sydney, N.S., to recover from colon surgery she recently had.
“We want to thank government for doing the right thing; for taking a stand for vulnerable women. We believe this decision shows just how far you can go when you rally community, caregivers and volunteers,” Emma Halpern, a lawyer with the society said in a release.
“We also want to express our sincere gratitude to Fliss’ health-care team at Dartmouth General Hospital. In particular, we want to acknowledge the advocacy of Dr. Alex Mitchell, Fliss’ surgeon. Without Dr. Mitchell’s support and advocacy, we may not have had such a positive outcome.”
According to society spokesperson Darlene MacEachern, Cramman will be moved from the Dartmouth General Hospital to a housing facility in Cape Breton.
Cramman is a 33-year-old mother of four.
— With files from The Canadian Press.