April 05, 2015

You won't believe why this CFL great can't become a citizen

Brian LilleyArchive

CFL quarterback Henry Burris, who has completed 3,987 passes for 55,254 yards over his Canadian football career, can't seem to gain any yardage in his attempt to become a Canadian citizen.


Burris first played in Canada back in 1997 spending time with Calgary and Saskatchewan before playing with the NFL and NFL Europe but he has been back in Canada since the 2003 season.

He and his wife have have spent thousands of dollars on an immigration lawyer trying to find a way for him to become a Canadian citizen but so far, Burris says he has been stopped because his job as quarterback of the Ottawa RedBlacks is considered a part-time job. 

“They said it’s not deemed a full-time job because it’s only six months. It’s not (a job) that anybody can just walk up and apply for or there’s not an ad in the paper for people to apply, so, I mean, it seems like every angle we’ve tried we just get turned away,” Burris told the Ottawa Sun.

“We’re still at Square One. I guess there’s this whole points process now … all the attributes you bring to the table qualify for a certain amount of qualification points, and for some reason we don’t qualify.

“Everything we’ve done in the community and how long we’ve lived up here and started our own pizza franchise out in Calgary, all these different things don’t even give us any points towards getting us into the system of being a landed (immigrant).”

Burris, who has been very active in Ottawa as a community booster in the off-season, has been told that if he were to get a full-time office job that might help he acquire the Canadian citizenship he and his family want.


UPDATE: See update on Burris getting citizenship here.

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commented 2015-04-14 21:12:16 -0400
He should be able to qualify as an Investor Immigrant. That will open the doors immediately.
commented 2015-04-06 14:28:13 -0400
What skills does he have to offer Canada? Throwing and catching a ball?
commented 2015-04-06 01:05:38 -0400
This is stupid.
commented 2015-04-05 21:29:23 -0400
Has he tried Obamanation Persecution?
commented 2015-04-05 20:50:39 -0400
How many qualification points would a niqab get you?
commented 2015-04-05 20:00:52 -0400
Actually the press coverage is likely to prevent him from “jumping” any queues. No way the government will be seen doing so, publically, in an election year. Unless he can convince the minister to issue him an exception certificate he has painted himself into a corner.
commented 2015-04-05 19:25:58 -0400
He also runs a $1 million charity for kids. No way Canada won’t let him stay. He is worried about nothing. The press coverage should help him jump queue though.
commented 2015-04-05 19:24:29 -0400
CIC says they will make sure he can stay in Canada. The press will help him too.

It appears that while he may have lived here for ten years, he only began his application three years ago. It may be much ado about nothing based on big bureaucracy tardiness.
commented 2015-04-05 19:13:24 -0400
Oh come on! You telling me no wealthy investor can immigrate to Canada? That you must have a full-time job? I frankly don’t believe it.
commented 2015-04-05 19:08:07 -0400
Absent Common sense, compassion and reason, “the law is an ass”
commented 2015-04-05 17:39:57 -0400
The trouble is once rules are in place, the bureaucratic system takes over. Bureaucrats may be human beings (well, some of them are) but bureaucracies are not. They’re machines, incapable reason, but only capable of performing the function they were designed to perform. Once you accept a job in the government bureaucracy, you simply become a cog in the machine. You are not allowed to use common sense or discretionary powers if the rules are clearly spelled out. If you do, it could be your ass on the line. I know, because I worked for the government. (BC Forest Service). We need some new legislation. Every Ministry should have a formal application process whereby individuals can apply for a Ministerial review of their individual case. The Ministerial review panel, after doing their due diligence, should be able to decide (subjectively) whether applying the letter of the law makes sense in the individual case, or if applying the letter of the law was in the best interest of Canada. The Minister should still have the final say and, thus, bear the responsibility for the decision. But individuals should have that opportunity. I know this would result in howl and cry of "Unfair!! Unfair!!’ from the lefties. That’s why this should be a purely Ministerial review process, rather than Parliamentary review. Once you start getting the other parties involved, you start introducing wing-nuts to the procedures.
commented 2015-04-05 17:24:52 -0400
Some liberal jackass in immigration making trouble again.
commented 2015-04-05 16:48:34 -0400
The bureaucracy is inert until considerable external farce moves it. If it wasn’t for some news services bringing the case to attention of the politicians nothing would ever change. The union movement over the years made the use of individual discretion too risky for management and they in turn do not want to ruffle the feathers of their bosses! The first victim of the system was common sense!
commented 2015-04-05 16:35:57 -0400
. . . But if he was a Syrian refugee?

All kidding aside, it makes one wonder how many other people with just as good of a track record but not a big profile end up just walking away and taking their talents elsewhere.
commented 2015-04-05 16:09:23 -0400
I think I know why he didn’t get in, he put pork on his pizza.
commented 2015-04-05 15:41:46 -0400
Probably a minority/racist or maybe even an islamic type of bureaucrat hired years ago by some liberal buffoon with an agenda to only allow people of dubious character to become citizens and not upstanding folks like Burris who actually contribute to the city/community that they reside in is behind this bs.
commented 2015-04-05 15:40:23 -0400
Part time work is one thing, but trying since 2003, in the CFL while being a productive community member, and started a pizza franchise (business). I would venture to say that after 12 years, he has a lot more skin in the game to become a Canadian citizen, then 90% of the rest who weasel their way in. Being that it is approved or denied in the offices of Ottawa, I would guess that it is being held up by some liberal progressive federal employee who thinks it would take a slot away from some poor muslim.
commented 2015-04-05 15:39:14 -0400
George and Al, if his wife were to wear a tent, his acceptance for Canadian citizenship would almost be guaranteed, particularly if she said that Henry applies Sharia Law in their lives. Kidding aside, though, I regret how immigration laws are applied subjectively so that people who REALLY want to embrace our way of life and our Canadianisms get turned down, while thousands of others who say the oath through gritted teeth, with fingers crossed behind their backs, get the red carpet treatment.
commented 2015-04-05 15:29:37 -0400
It’s all about petty beurocrats who make up these stupid rules in order as Mel Brooks says “we must protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen” without regard to the hardships they create for others.
commented 2015-04-05 14:15:40 -0400
Rules are rules. Especially “pro” football in Ottawa.

That would be TEMPORARY part time.
commented 2015-04-05 14:07:47 -0400
GEORGE i had to chuckle when i saw your comment, but there is probably a lot of truth to it
commented 2015-04-05 13:47:09 -0400
Interesting. The first three comments are cynicism. All seem to be the case, though. I guess even though Jason Kenny improved Immigration, it still needs work.
commented 2015-04-05 13:19:23 -0400
Claim refuge status, and break a few laws. That should help.
commented 2015-04-05 13:10:40 -0400
If he learns French then he can apply through Quebec and be subsidized by Canadians once he becomes a landed immigrant.
commented 2015-04-05 13:09:19 -0400
Henry, convert to Islam, then re-apply.