On the 9th podcast episode, Garth Barriere and Eric Purtzki joins Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss the constitutionality of laws that are retroactive or retrospective. Peter and Steven also discuss the recent election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Garth and Eric are both criminal defence attorneys in Vancouver. Both have appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous occasions.
A retrospective law is a piece of legislation that operates going forward, but looks to change the consequence for a past action.
A retroactive law changes the legal consequences of what the act was in the past. It changes someone’s legal status as it was in the past.
There is a presumption against both retrospectively and retroactivity in Canada, however, there is no general Charter protection against it.
The Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. K.R.J.can be found here. Garth and Eric both appeared as counsel in this case, which formed the basis for our discussion. In this case, the Supreme Court affirmed that while criminal laws should generally not operate retrospectively, an exception would be made in the case of sentencing for sexual offenders involving minors.
In reading this case, and listening to the summary of it, it is helpful to keep section 11(i) of the Charter in mind, which states:
11. Any person charged with an offence has the right …
(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment
It is also helpful to understand how s.Read more ›
On the 8th podcast episode, Lobat Sadrehashemi joins Peter Edelmann, Deanna Okun-Nachoff and I to discuss issues in Canada’s citizenship revocation and refugee determination processes. The recent controversy around Maryam Monsef guides our discussion.
Lobat Sadrehashemi is an Associate Counsel at Embarkation Law Corporation. She is also the Vice President of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (“CARL“).
CARL’s reform proposals for Canada’s inland refugee determination system and other aspects of the immigration system, which we recently submitted to the Ministers, their staff, IRCC, and the Immigration and Refugee Board can be found here.
Lobat’s paper on Refugee Reform and Access to Counsel in British Columbia can be found here.
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On the 7th podcast episode, Tom Davidoff and David Eby joins Peter Edelmann and I to discuss Vancouver’s housing market.
Tom Davidoff is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. He is frequently cited in the Vancouver media as being an expert on Vancouver’s housing market, and was part of a team of nine academics who created the B.C. Housing Affordability Fund proposal.
David Eby is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Vancouver-Point Grey, and was previously the Executive Director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. He is a passionate advocate for making Vancouver a more affordable place to live.
The questions that we discussed in the podcast are:
- What has been going on in the Vancouver housing market? How fast have prices been rising?
- Is there evidence that foreign investment / foreign funds has been the cause of the increase in Vancouver housing prices?
- What data is there regarding the amount of foreign home ownership in Vancouver?
- What is the property transfer tax, and what are the new rules on how it applies to foreign buyers?
- Is there evidence that high housing prices impacts the rental market? Does it matter if the landlord is a Canadian or a foreigner?
- Why should high housing prices matter? Why should people think that they should be able to live in a market that they cannot afford?
- Should we move beyond the paradigm of valuing single detached homes?
- What role do international students play in the increase in housing prices?
On the 5th podcast episode of Borderlines, Marilyn Sanford joined Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss whether the Canada Border Services Agency (the “CBSA”) can search people’s electronic devices.
In addition, we discussed the recent stay of proceedings in the Nuttall decision, a well publicized case in which two individuals were charged with attempting to blow up the BC legislature. Marilyn was counsel to Mr. Nuttall, and provided her insights on the case.
Finally, Peter and Steve touched on recent developments in Canadian immigration law, including the Owner Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment recruitment exemption, a puzzling case in which the Federal Court upheld an officer’s determination that people who extend their visitor status in Canada cannot complete short term courses during that extension without first leaving Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada dismissing leave in the Torres case.Read more ›
On the fourth episode of the Borderlines Podcast our guest is Jenny Kwan. Ms. Kwan is the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East and is the New Democratic Party of Canada’s Immigration Critic. Prior to being elected a Member of Parliament, Ms. Kwan was a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of British Columbia for the riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, and a senior member of the provincial caucus of the New Democratic Party.
2:30 – 16:13 – We talk about Bill C-6, the Liberal Government of Canada’s reforms to Canada’s Citizenship Act. Ms. Kwan both talked about what she likes and dislikes about Bill C-6. A specific concern that she has includes the procedural fairness afforded to those facing citizenship revocation due to misrepresentation. The current process, which is the subject of numerous court challenges, is that an individual’s Canadian citizenship can be revoked by a bureaucrat if the bureaucrat determines that the Canadian citizen obtained their citizenship as a result of fraud. Humanitarian & compassionate concerns are not considered, and the only recourse that a former citizen has once their citizenship is stripped is to seek judicial review in Federal Court. During this portion of the discussion we also briefly discuss the topic of language testing requirements for grants of citizenship, which Ms. Kwan believes is too stringent.
16:13 – 31:48 – Ms. Kwan explains that one thing that she hopes is urgently changed in Canadian immigration law is the current situation involving the cessation of refugee status. Ms. Kwan has introduced into Parliament Bill C-294, which calls on the government to end the automatic loss of permanent resident status when a refugee’s status as a protected person is revoked.Read more ›
In the 3rd episode of Borderlines, Raj Sharma joined Peter Edelmann and I to discuss marriage fraud.
Raj Sharma is the managing partner of Stewart Sharma Harsanyi. He is a well known commentator on immigration law. In addition to his active blog and numerous presentations that he has given at immigration conferences and seminars, he has written numerous op-eds on immigration, diversity and multi-culturalism that have been published in many manjor Canadian newspapers. He has debated Martin Collacott of the Fraser Institute and Centre for Immigration Reform on whether Canada accepts too many immigrants; Deepak Obhrai (MP and Parliamentary Secretary) on additional and stricter language requirements for citizens; David Seymour of the Manning Centre on whether Canada’s new immigration policy is too exclusionary; Imam Syed Soharwardy on honour crimes in Canada; and a CSIS agent on the profiling of Muslims.
2:33 – 44:20 – We discuss marriage fraud, and how the previous government introduced several measures to try and prevent it. These measures included introducing a disjunctive test in which a marriage would not facilitate immigration if the marriage was not genuine or if the marriage had been entered into primarily for the purpose of immigration. It also included the introduction of conditional permanent residency, in which immigrants who immigrate to Canada as a result of a marriage or common-law relationship would lose their permanent resident status if the relationship broke down within 2 years of immigrating. Finally, the previous Conservative Government of Canada also introduced a five year spousal sponsorship bar, in which a permanent resident who immigrated after marrying a Canadian could not sponsor a new spouse or common-law partner for five years after immigrating.
Raj was a fantastic guest to have for this topic, given that he represented a Canadian citizen who sued the Canada Border Services Agency to compel them to complete an investigation into whether that person had been the victim of a marriage fraud.Read more ›
In the 2nd episode of Borderlines, Jennifer Bond joined Peter Edelmann and I to discuss refugee resettlement and ensuring that legislation is Charter compliant.
Jennifer Bond is a professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, and is also a Special Advisor to Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. Jennifer sat on the founding national executive of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and is founder and current co-director of the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Assistance Project, a multi-year, national initiative aimed at mitigating and researching the access to justice implications of Canada’s new refugee legislation. She is also the Faculty Coordinator of the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub, supervisor of the Refugee Law Research Team, and a member of the Public Law Group.
00:26 – 21:31- We discuss international refugee resettlement law. Specific topics include whether countries are obligated to resettle refugees, Canada’s commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, and the role private sponsorship programs in the global refugee resettlement effort. Jennifer also explained the security screening that Canada undertakes when it resettles refugees, and how this security process compares to Canada’s other immigration streams. Finally, we asked Jennifer for her take on what we discussed last week, which is whether in the wake of the BREXIT vote and the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, the aslyum crisis in Europe, the potential rise of protectionism and isolationism in the United States with the election of Donald Trump, and now the recently failed coup in Turkey, Canada can continue to buck global trends and remain a nation that loudly and publicly announces its intentions to continue to welcome a record number of immigrants and refugees.
21:31 – 35:50 – We discuss Jennifer’s 2014 paper titled “Read more ›
Peter Edelmman, Deanna Okun-Nachoff, and myself have started the Borderlines podcast. The goal of the podcast is to provide a forum for the discussion of immigration law and policy. We are currently creating a website and social media channels. In the meantime, our first episode is available on Soundcloud.
In this introductory episode the three of us discuss recent developments in Canadian immigration law, as well as some recent news items and a specific case.
00:30 – 8:39 – We discuss how immigration policy in general has changed under the Liberal government, with a specific emphasis on the Liberal’s repealing the portions of Bill C-24 which revoked the Canadian citizenship of certain individuals convicted of certain offences related to national security.
8:39 – 19:03 – The conversation shifts to Donald Trump, BREXIT, and whether Canada under the Liberal government is bucking an international trend towards increased protectionism.
19:03 – 25:06 – In discussing immigration policy under the new Liberal government, we note that unlike under the Conservatives, where Jason Kenney seemed to be directly or indirectly responsible for all government departments related to immigration law, the Liberals are providing autonomy to the Ministers of each Ministry, and what impact that this may have.
25:06 – 38:50 – Peter Edelmann leads off a discussion on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s current consultations regarding immigration levels planning in Canada. The discussion becomes a very philosophical one about whether centralised planning is necessary, what Canada’s population should be, and how Canada attempts to meticulously control permanent resident numbers while at the same time does not have an overall plan for how many temporary residents are admitted.
38:50 – 41:25 –Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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