DEEPAN BUDLAKOTI is a Canadian-born Indian (South Asian) who neither the Canadian government nor the Indian government wants – he is in reality stateless. Budlakoti was ordered deported in 2011 after being sentenced to three years for weapons and drug offences, but India’s position is that he is not an Indian citizen. Because of a technicality – his parents were reportedly employed with the then-Indian high commissioner which meant that their kid had diplomatic immunity – his Canadian birth didn’t give him the automatic right to citizenship. But Budlakoti says he was born a few months after his parents stopped working for the high commission and that has been confirmed by the then-high commissioner. He has an Ontario birth certificate and was issued a Canadian passport, but the government maintains that he shouldn’t have been issued a passport. Budlakoti is alleging racism and his lawyer pointed out to The Globe and Mail last year that some convicted white felons, like Conrad Black and Brenda Martin, get the red-carpet treatment. Budlakoti is still trying to publicize his case through the media and got some attention in B.C. this week.
TARSEM SINGH GILL, former real-estate developer, was back in the news as B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terence Schultes said this week that the lawyer who had been appointed to assist the court would remain in that capacity because he didn’t want to see the case against Gill drag on. Gill, who had suddenly entered guilty pleas on two counts of fraud in the B.C. Supreme Court last May and then claimed last January that he was suffering from depression and anxiety at the time, had been allowed to withdraw those pleas last February. The trial is now expected to commence next year in January. Lawyers this week discussed pre-trial applications that are expected to get underway in September, the Province newspaper reported. Gill has had five lawyers. Gill and his lawyer Martin Wirick allegedly ripped off homeowners and financial institutions of some $40 million. Gill pleaded not guilty in the scheme that was uncovered back in 2002. The RCMP and Vancouver Police investigated the matter and charges were finally laid in 2008. Wirick pleaded guilty the following year and received a seven-year jail term. Owners of as many as 77 different properties were impacted by the mortgage scam. The Law Society of B.C. paid out almost $40 million to the victims.
SURREY NIGHT MARKET: Now there will be a night market in Surrey. It will open in the first weekend of July. The Surrey Night Market will be an open air summer market for local residents to sell and consume a variety of local foods, services and goods. This night market will be a multicultural family friendly event for all the residents of Surrey and neighbouring cities. The Surrey Night Market will also attempt to showcase a variety of local talent in performing arts and create an environment that promotes both community spirit and inclusion across the board. Every night, local bands, singers, and dancers will get an opportunity to perform on the stage. The existence of night markets have a long and established tradition in other parts of the Lower Mainland in communities such as Richmond, Vancouver, and North Vancouver. Now Surrey will have its own night market in Surrey. It will be located at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds and will run until the end of August on Fridays and Saturdays. To find out how you can become a vendor or a sponsor for the event, or to get more information, check website www.surreynightmarket.com.