Actor who played iconic ‘Benny the Bear’ surprised to learn he’s not a Canadian citizen

Actor who played iconic ‘Benny the Bear’ surprised to learn he’s not a Canadian citizen

Actor Jim Lewis took to Facebook to express his outrage when he learned that after nearly seven decades in Canada, he’s not actually a Canadian citizen.“I will not be celebrating Canada Day this year, because I’m apparently not a Canadian,” Lewis wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.The 72-year-old, who played Benny the Bear in the beloved Calgary-based television series The Buck Shot Show, said he received the unexpected news when he applied for a British Columbia licence. Story continues below

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Officials there took his Alberta identification card and told him he couldn’t get a permanent B.C. licence because he wasn’t a Canadian citizen, his son Casey told News Talk 770.They told him he needed to get a permanent resident card.

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Lewis was three years old when he moved to Canada 69 years ago.He was never issued a landed immigrant card upon arriving to Canada because of his age.His son Casey said it’s been a headache. He’s had issues dealing with his will and estate and has problems with his mortgage and banking because he doesn’t have photo ID.He’s also been unable to get a permanent resident card.“They still seem to be accepting his taxes and they still seem to be giving him his pension,” his son Casey said.“Nobody has been giving him any straight answers with regards to how he can get this situation resolved.”LISTEN: Jim Lewis’ son Casey discusses the difficulties his father has had applying for permanent residency


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Lewis said his dad has gone to the Home Office in Britain to try to secure his British passport. He has also obtained the passenger manifest from the boat his family sailed to Canada on, in the hopes it may help him get a permanent resident card.Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma suggested to News Talk 770 that Lewis may have better luck if he were to apply directly to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.“The minister has the discretion to grant almost anyone citizenship,” Sharma said. “So instead of doing this runaround, Lewis should call an immigration lawyer and file one application with a couple hundred dollars in processing fees and he should be fine.”LISTEN: Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma on Jim Lewis’ case

Bev Lewis said her husband has contacted a lawyer with experience in immigration cases and that he also spoke to the minister about obtaining a permanent resident card.“To be really honest, with all the treatment he’s had from the Canadian government, at this point he’s not thrilled about becoming Canadian,” she said.Immigration Canada told News Talk 770 they are unable to comment on the specifics of Lewis’ case without a consent form signed by Lewis. They also declined to provide a general comment on similar cases.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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