Last Updated on February 24, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
Much of the media attention towards Bill C-31 – the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act – has been focused on its shortening of the time periods for processing refugee claims and its removal of some appeal rights for refugee claimants that were supposed to be introduced under the Balanced Refugee Reform Act. This past week, members of the immigration bar raised concerns about another questionable change. In short, Bill C-31 will make it so that refugees who became permanent residents of Canada will lose their permanent residence status if their refugee status ceases.
Currently, the Immigration and Refugee Board may cease a person’s refugee status. Amongst other reasons, it may do so if the reasons for which the person sought refugee protection have ceased to exist, or if the person reavails himself to the protection of his country of origin. Until now, the cessation of refugee status did not result in the loss of permanent resident status. Accordingly, ceasing a refugee’s refugee status was rarely pursued where the refugee had become a permanent resident.
Bill C-31, however, changes this. It provides that when the IRB ceases a refugee’s refugee status, then the former refugee also loses his/her permanent resident status. Bill C-31 also provides that such an individual would be inadmissible toCanada. Through omission it also provides that there will be no appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division, meaning that humanitarian & compassionate grounds (such as hardship and establishment inCanada) cannot be considered in deciding whether to revoke the person’s permanent resident status.
This will apply to refugees who made their claims in Canadaand to those who were resettled to Canadafrom refugee camps from abroad. It would apply to refugees who recently obtained status,Read more ›
Last Updated on February 17, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
On February 16, Jason Kenney and the Conservative government introduced Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration Act. The Act makes many reforms to Canada’s refugee system, and amends previous amendments to Canada’s immigration legislation contained in the Balanced Refugee Reform Act which have not yet come into affect. Bill C-31 was greeted by many refugee lawyers and advocates with much criticism, and was received with particular indignation from the New Democratic Party.
It is not difficult to see why the NDP was outraged by the introduction of Bill C-31. Less than two years ago, the Conservatives and the NDP worked together to introduce the Balanced Refugee Reform Act. Its passage was seen as a good example of compromise, and how the parties in a minority Parliament can cooperate to introduce what was generally viewed as good legislation. I would also imagine that the NDP spent some political capital with its base by cooperating with the Conservatives and to makeCanada’s refugee system stricter.
Minister Kenney has now thrown all of that to the wind.
By abandoning the grand compromise that was the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, Mr. Kenney has taken several political risks. First, he has abandoned any good-will that he had with the NDP. Should the Conservatives ever find themselves in a minority government again, I doubt that they will find the NDP being very willing to work with them in the same away as they did in 2012.
Second, he has provided the NDP with the ability to criticize the upcoming reforms to Canada’s refugee system. Because the NDP were co-drafters of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act,Read more ›
Last Updated on February 14, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
One of the questions that I am most frequently asked is “where does British Columbia’s money from the Immigrant Investor Program go?” Indeed, at least two people today e-mailed me this question after they read an article in the China Daily about how $1.6-billion left China due to emigration under various investor scheme.
The answer can be found on the the B.C. Immigrant Investment Fund Ltd.’s (the “BC IIF”) website. The BCIIF receives and manages British Columbia’s portion of funds under the Immigrant Investor Program. Their 2011-2014 Service Plan can be found here.
According to the website and the 2011-2014 Service Plan, some of the money from the Immigrant Investor Program has been spent on the following projects:
- Loaning $60-million to aid in the construction of the BCIT aerospace facility near the Vancouver International Airport;
- Loaning $5-million to help facilitate the purchase of the University of Victoria Technology Enterprise Facility, which accommodates the Centre for Addictions Research B.C., the NEPTUNE Canada Research Project, and the Venus Research Project.
- Loaning $13.9-million for the construction of a student residence at the University of the Fraser Valley.
- Loaning $3.3-million for the construction of two residences at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.
- Loaning $5.1-million for two condominium units at Simon Fraser University Foundation.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $39-million for the Gateway Prince George Complex Care Project of the Northern Health Authority.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $29-million for the replacement of the J. Lloyd Crowe Secondary School.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $32-million for the renovation and replacement of Penticton Secondary School.
Last Updated on February 13, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
Does the Immigration and Refugee Board (“IRB”) violate the provisions of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) if it declines to postpone a hearing based on risk to life where there is a pending humanitarian and compassionate application also based on risk to life?
The above question was certified by the Federal Court in Laidlow v. Canada, 2012 FC 144, released today. The Federal Court of Appeal will soon answer the question.
The facts in Laidlow giving rise to the question were essentially that an individual had a pending H&C claim which was based on risk to life (availability of medical treatment reasons) at the time that he appeared for his refugee hearing. He asked that the refugee hearing be adjourned until the H&C application was determined. The IRB refused to do so, and heard the refugee claim, which was dismissed.
The Court’s answer to the question was that refusing to adjourn the hearing did not breach section 7 of the Charter. Relying on Poshteh v. Canada,  3 FCR 487, and Gosselin v. Quebec (Attorney General of Canada),  4 SCR 429, the Court articulated the following principles:
- A finding of inadmissibility does not engage an individual’s section 7 Charter rights. The reason is because a number of proceedings may take place before an individual reaches the stage at which his deportation from Canada may occur.
- Section 7 does not place upon the state a positive obligation to ensure that each persons enjoys life, liberty or security of the person. Rather, it restricts the state’s ability to deprive people of these.
Last Updated on February 9, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
Many people have been wondering whether the release of the new National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) will have an impact on future Federal Skilled Worker Program (“FSWP”) applications. One of the FSWP streams provides that someone can immigrate to Canada if they have experience in one of 29 occupations under the 2006 NOC list. Now that the 2006 NOC list has been replaced with the 2011 NOC list, with occupations being added, removed, and edited, the inevitable question of how this would impact the FSWP arose.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has posted the following its website:
On January 31, 2012, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Statistics Canada replaced the 2006 edition of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) with a 2011 version. For the purposes of the Federal Skilled Worker Program list of eligible occupations, new applicants are advised to refer to the HRSDC website for the latest job descriptions and duties for each NOC.
CIC will assess FSW applications received at the Centralized Intake Office before January 31, 2012 according to the old NOC system as they were the conditions under which the candidate applied.
CIC is examining the impact the NOC changes will have on immigration programs and will publish updates as soon as they become available.
So as of writing the answer is clear: no one knows yet.Read more ›
Last updated on July 22nd, 2018
Last Updated on July 22, 2018 by Steven Meurrens
It’s not often that you see a Federal Court decision specifically discussing whether an officer’s decision to reject an Application for Criminal Rehabilitation was reasonable. That’s why I read the just released decision in Hadad v. Canada (The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism), 2011 FC 1503, with much interest.
The case affirmed several important principles of rehabilitation applications, including that:
- The Minister should take into consideration the unique facts of each particular case and consider whether the overall situation warrants a finding that the individual has been rehabilitated.
- That rehabilitation is forward looking.
- That an officer commits a reviewable error if he/she attributes too much importance to the fact that an applicant has past criminal activity as opposed to the likelihood that the applicant would be involved in future or unlawful activity.
I have embedded in this post Justice O’Keef’s discussion of these principles.
Read more ›
Last updated on July 22nd, 2018
Last Updated on July 22, 2018 by Steven Meurrens
I was recently asked where one can learn how to request that an “enforcement flag” against them be removed so that an individual does not have to go to a secondary examination every time they enter Canada.
This is actually a question that comes up rather frequently, so for all those who are interested, here is the relevant section from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Manual:
There are other ways to remove enforcement flags where the procedure outlined above is not working.Read more ›
Last Updated on February 3, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
Many people who work for industries that involve the international transport of cargo and passengers frequently enter Canada. These include truck drivers, bus drivers, shipping and airline personnel. We often receive inquiries as to whether these individuals require work permits.
The determination of whether crew on a maritime vessel require a Work Permit to work in Canada depends on whether the vessel meets the definition of “coasting trade” as defined in Canada’s Coasting Trading Act, SC 1992, c 31. The Coasting Trade Act defines “Coasting Trade” as:
the carriage of goods or passengers by ship… from one place in Canada… to any other place in Canada… either directly or by way of a place outside Canada.
Subject to certain exceptions, when a vessel meets the above definition of “coasting trade”, then the vessel’s foreign crew will require a work permit to work in Canada. The reason is because the vessel is involved in cabotage (domestic transportation of goods and services) activities within Canada’s domestic labour market.
A helpful indicator of whether a foreign vessel meets the definition of “Coasting Trade” is whether the vessel is required to possess a coasting trade license. If it does, then it is very likely that the vessel meets the definition of “Coasting Trade.”
The following situations are examples of scenarios where a foreign crew on a vessel would require a Work Permit:
- Where a cruise ship embarks passengers at a Canadian port and disembarks any of these passengers permanently at another Canadian port. For example, a cruise ship which embarks in Vancouver, disembarks permanently some people in Victoria,
Last Updated on February 2, 2012 by Steven Meurrens
The media is aflutter with stories about six Citizenship and Immigration Canada bureaucrats attending a citizenship reaffirming ceremony. Frankly, as long as neither of the two people on the left are CIC bureaucrats processing immigration applications, I consider this to be a non-story.Read more ›