Ottawa is being urged to grant permanent residency to a Quebec man who was wrongfully arrested, charged with attempted murder of a police officer and detained for six days before being let go.
A lawyer representing Mamadi III Fara Camara says a request was filed on Friday asking the federal immigration minister to grant his client residency based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Guillaume Cliche-Rivard says Camara is in Canada on a study permit that expires in mid-May and that the minister has the power to grant him residency.
Camara was arrested Jan. 28 after a police officer was allegedly disarmed and attacked with his own service weapon, and he was originally charged with attempted murder and other serious offences before he was fully exonerated.
He recently told Quebec talk show Tout le monde en parle that he had been traumatized by the events, which included being roughly arrested and forbidden to speak to his family while detained.
The House of Commons unanimously adopted a Bloc Quebecois motion today calling on the immigration minister to grant Camara permanent residency as soon as possible, while in Quebec City, the leaders of the Liberal party and the Parti Quebecois said they were in favour of helping Camara remain in Canada.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address the ongoing health crisis, Quebec Premier François Legault added that, like all Quebecers, he was shocked by what happened to Camara.
“I can’t imagine what he felt, what his wife and his family felt,” he said, pledging his support.
“So this morning, I asked the Minister of Immigration to ensure that, as soon as he has the papers for permanent residency from the federal government, that the Quebec government will issue a CSQ, a certificate of selection of Quebec.”
In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the federal Office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said it appreciates the unanimous motion passed by the members of the House of Commons.
“We are deeply disturbed by the treatment of Mamadi Fadi Camara. It was unacceptable and we want to have clear answers about what happened,” wrote press secretary Alexander Cohen.
According to Cohen, those applying for permanent residency can “include extenuating circumstances” as part of the process.
“These factors are seriously considered,” he said, adding that each case is thoroughly reviewed and carefully analyzed before a decision is rendered.
Cohen said the ministry is ready to lend its assistance to the Camara family.
“We stand ready to support Mr. Camara and his family as they navigate the immigration process.”
— With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise and The Canadian Press