Last updated on May 17th, 2021

Episode 1 – Deanna Okun-Nachoff, Peter Edelmann, Steven Meurrens on Canada’s Immigration System

In this introductory episode Peter Edelmman, Deanna Okun-Nachoff, and Steven Meurrens discuss recent developments in Canadian immigration law, as well as some recent news items and a specific case.

 

Episode 2- Refugee Resettlement and Charter Vetting Legislation, with Jennifer Bond

Jennifer Bond joins Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss refugee resettlement and ensuring that legislation is Charter compliant.

 

Episode 3 – Marriage Fraud, with Raj Sharma

Raj Sharma joins Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss marriage fraud.

 

Episode 4- Citizenship Revocation, Cessation, and War Resisters with Jenny Kwan, MP

Jenny Kwan is the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East and is the New Democratic Party of Canada’s Immigration Critic.

 

Episode 5 – Search of Electronic Devices at the Border, with Marilyn Sanford

Marilyn Sanford joins Peter Edelmann and Steve Meurrens to discuss whether the Canada Border Services Agency can search people’s electronic devices.

 

Episode 6 – On transitioning from a career with CIC to being an immigration consultant, with Dani Willetts

Dani Willetts joins Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss the decision making process at Canada’s immigration department, her experience transitioning from a career working for CIC to being an immigration consultant, some recent cases impacting international graduates in particular with regards to the Post-Graduate Work Permit program, a recent Parliamentary report on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and the discovery that Canada has started negotiating an extradition treaty with China.

 

Episode 7 – The impact of immigration on the Vancouver housing market, with David Eby and Tom Davidoff

A discussion of the role of immigration on the Vancouver housing market.

 

Episode 8 – Citizenship revocation for misrepresentation, with Lobat Sadrehashemi

Lobat Sadrehashemi joins Peter Edelmann, Deanna Okun-Nachoff and Steven Meurrens to discuss issues in Canada’s citizenship revocation and refugee determination processes. The recent controversy around Maryam Monsef guides our discussion.

 

Episode 9 – The Constitutionality of Retrospective Laws, with Garth Barriere & Eric Purtzki

Garth Barriere and Eric Purtzki joins Peter Edelmann and Steven Meurrens to discuss the constitutionality of laws that are retroactive or retrospective.

 

Episode 10 – Canadian National Security Law, Bill C-51 and Trudeau’s Reforms, with Professor Kent Roach

This episode contains an overview of the history of national security law in Canada, starting with the MacDonald Commission and the October Crisis of 1970, the formation of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, the Air India bombing, the Arar Inquiry, 9/11, and Bill C-51.

We also discuss the roles of CSIS, the Communication Security Establishment, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canada Border Services Agency, in administering Canadian national security legislation.

Finally, Professor Roach provides an in depth analysis of several controversial elements of the previous Conservative Government of Canada’s Bill C-51, and the current Liberal Government of Canada’s response under Prime Minister Trudeau.

 

Episode 11 – Tensions between political oversight and politicizing officer decisions, with Lorne Sossin

We discuss three topics. The first is the oversight of police, CBSA, and immigration officers in Canada. How do we ensure that there is political oversight and accountability without politicizing the day to day operations of individual officers? The second topic is a discussion of Charter rights and Charter values in the immigration context. Finally, we talk about whether it is OK that in Canada individual immigration officers can create an apply their own standards of the law.

Lorne Sossin is the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to his appointment, he was a Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Dean Sossin also serves on the Boards of the National Judicial Institute and the Law Commission of Ontario. He has also acted as Research Director for the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Task Force on the Independence of the Bar.

 

Episode 12 – Tips on making written and oral arguments in court, with Justice Alan Diner

The Honourable Alan S. Diner is a judge with the Federal Court of Canada. Prior to his appointment, Justice Diner headed Baker & McKenzie LLP’s immigration practice. He was also involved with managing the establishment and implementation of Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program for the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

We are grateful to Justice Diner for the time that he took in preparing for this podcast about tips and best practices in appearing before the Federal Court of Canada, including in providing a customised powerpoint, which can be found on our website at www.borderlines.ca. As Justice Diner notes, many of the tips and strategies contained in this episode are applicable beyond judicial review, and will be beneficial to anyone preparing written submissions or making oral presentations.

 

Episode 13 – Problems with the Safe Third Country Agreement and Interdiction, With Efrat Arbel

The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States requires that persons seeking refugee protection must make a claim in the first country they arrive in unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement. In other words, an asylum seeker who wishes to seek refugee status in Canada will typically be denied the ability to do so if they attempt to enter Canada by land from the United States.

Efrat Arbel is Assistant Professor at the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She is an executive member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers. A list of Dr. Arbel’s recent publications can be found here.

During this podcast we talk about three areas that Dr. Arbel has recently focused her research on. These include the distinction between physical borders and legal borders in the refugee context, how interdiction works, and the Safe Third Country Agreement.

 

Episode 14 – How to overcome systemic barriers in LGBTQ asylum claims, with Sharalyn Jordan

In this episode we discuss how to overcome systemic barriers in LGBTQ asylum claims. Much of this episode is dedicated to establishing how LGBTQ asylum claimants must prove their sexual identity during their refugee claim. How does someone from a country where being gay is illegal and who has been a closeted homosexual for their entire life prove that they are gay? What do Immigration and Refugee Board members expect? How can counsel assist? Finally, we discuss whether LGBTQ asylum claimants should even be required to prove their sexual orientation as part of their asylum claim.

 

Episode 15 – New Can Consulting and the Biggest Immigration Fraud in Vancouver History, with Gordon Maynard

Xun (Sunny) Wang was a ghost consultant who is estimated to have made $10 million by filing fraudulent immigration applications for clients of his two firms, New Can Consulting and Well Long Enterprises. Mr. Wang, who is currently serving an eight year jail sentence, and his staff, apparently put fake passport stamps in peoples’ passports in order to lie about having spent sufficient time in Canada to qualify for various immigration programs. The Canada Border Services Agency is now endeavouring through what the Department is calling Project New Can to remove over 1,500 former clients of his for having committed misrepresentation to obtain Canadian permanent residency and/or maintain it.

 

Episode 16 – A History of the immigration consultant industry in Canada, with Ron McKay

In this episode we discuss the history of the immigration consultant profession in Vancouver and current issues that the profession faces from a regulatory and governance perspective.

Ron McKay is a past Chair of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council’s Board of Directors. He is a former Immigration Officer who spent ten years at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. He is also a past National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.

 

Episode 17 – Issues with PreClearance at Customs, with Michael Greene

The Liberal Government of Canada has introduced legislation that will expand the use of preclearance facilities by United States border officials in Canada, and authorize Canada to set up such facilities in the United States.

Michael Greene, Q.C. is an immigration lawyer in Calgary. He served as the National Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship & Immigration Section in 2000-2001.

Michael joins to provide an overview of Bill C-23, the Preclearance Act, and resulting issues including the presence of armed US border officials in Canada, detention, the application of the Charter and the potential denial of entry to Canadian permanent residents.

 

Episode 18 – The Deportation Consequences of Criminal Records

The Supreme Court of Canada in October issued its decision in R v. Tran, a case which Peter litigated. Deanna, Peter and Steve discuss the issues that the Supreme Court addressed in this landmark decision, including whether conditional sentences are terms of imprisonment for the purposes of deportation and retrospectivity in law.

This was the first of two Supreme Court cases that Peter arguedin Ottawa this year. While he was in Ottawa for the second case, he joined Michael Spratt and Emilie Taman, the creators of the Docket, a fantastic podcast about criminal law in Canada. Peter, Emilie and Michael discussed all sorts of issues regarding the intersection of immigration and criminal law, and Peter even explained how he got into practicing immigration law,

 

Episode 19 – How Canadian Extradition Law Works, with Amanda Lord

Amanda Lord is a lawyer in the Criminal Law and International Assistance group at the Department of Justice of Canada. Her work involves court proceedings regarding Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance requests from foreign states and civil litigation on behalf of government agencies.

In this episode we discuss  Extradition and the State of Law.

 

Episode 20 – Canadian Medical Inadmissibility Law, with Erin Roth

Deanna and Erin Roth discuss issues in Canadian medical inadmissibility law.  When can someone be inadmissible to Canada because they are sick?  How does one confront such an allegation? What changes are upcomming?

 

Episode 21 – What a Thirty Year Career as an Immigration Lawyer was Like, with Darryl Larson

Darryl Larson practiced immigration law in Vancouver, British Columbia for almost thirty years. He was a former Chair of the Canadian Bar Association of British Columbia’s Immigration Section, counsel to both individuals and corporations, at one point represented China’s most wanted fugitive, and successfully implemented a succession plan when he retired in 2018.

 

Episode 22 – The Implications of the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in R v. Wong

R v. Wong is a 2018 Supreme Court of Canada decision in which the Supreme Court of Canada had to determine whether a person could withdraw a guilty plea if they they did not know that their pleading guilty would lead to deportation.

 

Episode 23 – Appellate Advocacy Tips, with Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Marshall Rothstein

Marshall Rothstein served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada from 2006 – 2015. He previously was a Judge on the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.

Garth Barriere is a criminal defence attorney in Vancouver. He was counsel in Khosa v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration, a major Supreme Court of Canada immigration decision in which Justice Rothstein wrote a concurring opinion.

In this episode Justice Rothstein provides tips for written and oral advocacy. While the focus is on appellate litigation, anyone interesting in strengthening their advocacy skills will benefit from what he has to say. We also discuss the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Khosa v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), and its impact on administrative law in Canada. It is a frank conversation.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program, also known as the Labour Market Impact Assessment, is the main program through which Canadian companies hire temporary foreign workers. We discuss numerous aspects of obtaining Labour Market Impact Assessments, including prevailing wage, recruitment, transition plans, processing times, job match, the Global Talent Stream and the Owner – Operator LMIA.

 

Episode 26 – Representing Edward Snowden and an Overview of Hong Kong Refugee Law, with Robert Tibbo

Robert Tibbo is a Canadian lawyer previously based in Hong Kong, where he has an active human rights and refugee law practice. He has served as counsel in many notable cases, including Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the United States government who copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013.

Peter and Robert discuss what it is like to practice refugee law in Hong Kong and about Robert’s representation of Edward Snowden, which at one point included arranging for Mr. Snowden to stay with other asylum claimants in Hong Kong to avoid being detected by the authorities.

 

Episode 27 – Civil Forfeiture in Canada, with Bibhas Vaze

Civil forfeiture is a process in which the government seizes assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing. Did you know that in British Columbia the government can seize and forfeit your car if you speed? Or that police can “seize first ask later” for property that is less than $75,000? This was a fascinating look at an area of law that receives little scrutiny, especially in how it can relate to immigration.

 

Episode 28 – Canada’s Caregiver Programs, with Natalie Drolet

We discuss the history of Canada’s caregiver programs, current issues and what the future looks like.

 

Episode 29 – Immigration Detention and Habeas Corpus, with Molly Joeck and Erica Olmstead

Molly Joeck and Erica Olmstead are lawyers with Edelmann & Co. They, along with Peter Edelmann, acted for the Canadian Council for Refugees as interveners before the Supreme Court of Canada in Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina.

In Chhina the issue before the Supreme Court was whether immigrant detainees have access to habeas corpus. We discuss Chhina, how immigration detention works in Canada, habeas corpus and issues going forward.

 

Episode 30 – Excluding Family Members from Immigrating vs. Compassion, with Jamie Chai Yun Liew

Jamie, Peter, Deanna and Steven discusses humanitarian & compassionate considerations in Canadian immigration law, including the Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Baker and Kanthasamy. We also discussed Regulation 117(9)(d), which excludes unexamined family members from future sponsorship, and the recently announced pilot to mitigate the impact of this exclusion.
Sean, Deanna, Peter and Steven discuss his quantitative research which has used large data-sets to study extra-legal factors that influence outcomes in Canadian refugee adjudication. Does immigrating to Canada, getting refugee status or winning a judicial review simply depend on the luck of who decides your application?

A comparison of how the immigration systems of Canada and the United States each deal with the issue of immigrants and social assistance.

 

Episode 33 – Where Canada’s Political Parties Stand on Immigration

An overview of the immigration platforms, and general historic policies, of Canada’s political parties.

 

Episode 34 – Canada and the Compact for Migration, with François Crépeau

Peter Edelmann and François discuss migration issues generally, the Compact for Migration, and its implication for Canadian immigration and refugee law.

 

Episode 35 – The Implications of the Supreme Court of Canada Decision in Vavilov

Vavilov v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)is a 2019 Supreme Court of Canada decision in which the Supreme Court of Canada outlined a new framework for the standard of review in Canadian administrative law.

 

Episode 36 – The Canadian Immigration Consequences of COVID19

Deanna Okun-Nachoff and Steven Meurrens discuss how COVID19 has caused havoc to Canada’s immigration system, including border closures, operational slowdowns and the suspension of litigation proceedings.

 

Episode 37 – The Closure of the Canada – US Border and the Supreme Court’s DACA Decision, with Andrew Hayes

Andrew, Deanna and Steven discuss the closure of the Canada – US border during COVID-19 and how the agreement has been implemented in the two policies, recent Executive Orders regarding immigration, and the United States Supreme Court decision in Department of Homeland Security et al v. Regents of the University of California et al.

 

Episode 38 – R v. Zora – The Supreme Court of Canada Addresses Breach of Bail Conditions, with Sarah Runyon

R v. Zora is a 2020 Supreme Court of Canada decision involving the criminal offence of breaching bail conditions. It is relevant in the Canadian immigration context as individuals who are convicted of this crime in Canada, or who are convicted of or commit an equivalent offence abroad, are inadmissible to the country.

 

Episode 39 – Immigration Detention Hearings after Brown v. Canada, with Aris Daghighian

Aris Daghighian is a senior associate with Green and Spiegel LLP in Toronto. He represented the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers as intervenors in Brown v. Canada, 2020 FCA 130.

In this episode we discuss the issues raised in the case, including how immigration detention works in Canada, what the disclosure obligations should be on the government in an immigration detention proceeding and whether there should be a maximum time that someone can be held in immigration detention.

 

Episode 40 – Family Law Concepts That Immigrants and their Sponsors Should Understand, with Ari Wormelli

In this episode we provide an overview of family law issues that immigrants and their Canadian sponsors should be aware of, inlcuding the recognition of foreign marriages, how divorce works, threatening to have an ex-spouse deported and the difference between common-law and marriage and getting a marriage anulled.

 

Episode 41 – Judges Virtue Signalling Inside and Outside of Court, with Andrew Hayes

In R v. Kattenburg Justice Stratas of the Federal Court of Appeal cautioned judges against giving “virtue signalling and populism a go.” This prompted a largely philosophical discussion about the role of judges, a Toronto judge who wore a Make America Great Again hat in court, a Quebec judge who proclaimed herself a feminist before making statements about Quebec’s ban on religious attire, Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticizing President Trump, and defining what virtue signaling even is.

 

Episode 42 – Section 15 of the Charter and Canadian Immigration, with Aidan Campbell

Section 15 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination. Aidan Campbell joins to discuss the application of s. 15 of the Charter to Canadian immigration law and the implications recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Fraser v. Canada.

 

Episode 43 – An Interview with John McCallum, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 2015-2017

The Honourable John McCallum served as Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada from November 2015 to January 2017. A Member of Parliament from 2000 – 2017, he also served as Defence Minister under Jean Chrétien, and Veterans Affairs Minister, National Revenue Minister, Natural Resources Minister and as Chair of the Expenditure Review Committee under Paul Martin.

As Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, Mr. McCallum led Canada’s effort to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees over a period of three months. He also increased the age of dependency from 18-22, repealed conditional permanent residency and reduced family class processing times.

 

Episode 44 – An Interview with Chris Alexander, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 2013-2015

The Honourable Chris Alexander served as Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada from July 2013 to November 2015. He represented the riding of Ajax—Pickering in the House of Commons of Canada from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that spent 18 years in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving as Canada’s first resident Ambassador to Afghnistan from 2003 – 2005. Subsequent to being an Member of Parliament he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

As Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Mr. Alexander presided over the launch of Express Entry, the termination of the Immigrant Investor Program and the introduction of the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, which prohibited forced and underaged marriages.

 

Episode 45 – Spousal Sponsorship Delays and Refusals, with Chantal Dube and Syed Farhan Ali

Syed Farhan Ali shares his Canadian immigration story. During the time that his spousal sponsorship application was in process he was denied temporary entry to Canada, missed the birth of his first child and missed her first steps. He recently arrived in Canada after a three year application process.

Chantal Dube is a Spokesperson for Spousal Sponsorship Advocates, a group with more than 5,000 members in Canada that argues for reforms to the family reunification process.

 

Episode 46 – An Interview with Sergio Marchi, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 1993-1995

Sergio Marchi was Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1993-1995.

 

Episode 48 – Responding to Procedural Fairness Letters, with Raj Sharma

A discussion about responding to procedural fairness letters with digressions on possible bias against people from Punjab, unreasonable documentation requests, tunnel vision amongst visa officers, how if an officer goes out looking for misrepresentation in an application they will probably find it, aggressively banning people from Canada as a deterrance policy, IRCC misleading Parliament about whether it bounces applications for incompleteness and more.

 

Episode 53 – Thoughts on Starting a Career in Immigration Law, with Joshua Sohn

Joshua Sohn practiced immigration law for over 25 years. He is a past president of the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration section. He worked both as a sole practicioner, at a small firm and at a big 4 accounting firm. We discuss Joshua’s career, what made him go to law school, whether he took immigration courses in law school, how he started in refugee law, differences between working as a solo practicioner, small firm and eventually at a big 4 accounting firm, and then back to a small firm, differences working in a downtown core vs suburb, and managing the stress of practicing immigration law and running a business. There are a lot of nuggets in here for aspiring lawyers and current practicioners.