Lady loses identity in bureaucratic catch-22


Image credit: Ercole Gaudioso

After losing her wallet, Alisha Kaplan—as she was formerly known—is no longer a citizen of Canada.

Upon realizing her wallet was not in her purse after a night of heavy drinking, the unbeknownst person began to sort out her paperwork at a Service Ontario branch. After a long wait, she learned that proof of identity is required to obtain a new driver’s license—which is obvious to most people.

Inside her apartment was all the identification she needed, but her building uses a hotel-style keycard locking system. Because her keycard was in her wallet, she couldn’t get into her apartment. Her phone charger was also locked away in there, which she needed to recharge her dead battery to contact either her boyfriend or landlord. Even if she couldn’t get ahold of them, she could have at least been able to call a friend to help her out.

But even after hours of waiting out front of her apartment, none of her neighbours were trusting enough to let her through the security entrance. It was later revealed (after her starvation) that when her boyfriend did come home from work, security cameras spotted him using the rear entrance of the building while his forgotten girlfriend waited at the front.

The woman’s mother was the only other person in possession any government-issued documentation belonging to Alisha, but her mother hadn’t recognized her existence since moving in with her boyfriend out of wedlock.

High ranking members of the public service, such as police officers or politicians, may vouch for the identity of a personal acquaintance, but the girl who was once “somebody” never knew anybody important.

The “foreign” woman eventually wandered to a homeless shelter she volunteered at recently. However, due to security measures implemented when a former resident launched an attack on Parliament Hill, the shelter could not accept any unidentifiable bums.

“This is unacceptable treatment for a Canadian. But having said that, we have not yet confirmed that this woman is Canadian,” said Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander in an email to Mooseclean’s. “Until we can confirm her nationality, she’ll have to find a Tim Hortons or a McDonalds to stay at like everybody else.”

The “alien” woman was later seen panhandling beside the Wiener Wagon in a Canadian Tire parking lot in Ottawa on Friday when a police officer demanded she present a busking permit, to which non-citizens are not eligible. Additionally, busking permits are only permitted to “quality buskers, not beggars,” a city official said.

When she could not produce one, the police officer let her off with a warning, citing the hassle of processing sketchy people with no identification.

Due to the parasitic nature of non-citizens, efforts to identify her were being fast-tracked, Mr. Alexander said, but cost-efficiency was at the heart of the matter. With a bumlife expectancy of 16 years, draining the public service of approximately $14,000 per-bum per-year year, the woman was expected to cost $224,000 before perishing.

Mr. Alexander maintained that the Harper Government wouldn’t have spent more than 80% of her expected burden ($168,000), but admits that “we as taxpayers kind of lucked out in this case, because disposing of her body was essentially our only expense.”

Dan Walton

Dan Walton

Between Draxel's apartment, a supervised injection site, and the free Internet here at the library, I get a lot done every week. Just today I clipped my nails and brushed my teeth. And I can run really fast even though I only eat once each day. When I lived with my parents, I would make Kool-aid, and I put a lot more sugar in the pitcher than the package called for. That was then. Now I can't even think about drinking it because I don't have sugar or a pitcher. And where am I gonna get enough water to make a whole jug of Kool-aid? Plus if I did make Kool-aid, who's gonna let me keep it in their fridge?

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