OTTAWA - A New Democrat MP who has gone through thousands of pages of government documents says he sees no reason to deport a former KGB officer.
Peter Julian says he's gone through more than 8,000 pages of material obtained through the Access to Information Act and finds no evidence that Mikhail Lennikov is a threat to Canada.
The federal government deems Lennikov a threat to national security and wants to send him back to Russia.
Lennikov, who came to Canada 12 years ago with his wife Irina and son Dmitri, has been holed up in a Vancouver church since last summer, trying to avoid deportation.
He says his 1980s translator job with the notorious security agency was innocuous.
He and his family came to Canada in 1997 on a student visa, which was routinely renewed for the next two years.
But when they applied for landed-immigrant status in 1999, officials raised concerns about his KGB background.
A report summarizing Lennikov's past with the agency suggests the government's concerns are connected to anxiety in recent years about Russia increasing its foreign intelligence activity.
Julian says there's nothing to worry about.
"Mr. Lennikov's deportation has more to do with politics than it does with facts," the MP said. "Sadly, the Conservative government appears to using him to prove it is somehow tough on security.
"The time has come for the government to end the nightmare for this law-abiding family."