Last updated on June 13th, 2019
The subject unreasonable delays often arise in the immigration context. In one case that I was previously involved with, an individual was in Canada for 11-years before the Canada Border Services Agency expressed concerns that he might be inadmissible to Canada for previous involvement in a group accused of terrorism. In another case, an individual who had been in and out of Canada numerous times was suddenly denied entry to Canada because of a criminal conviction that occurred eight years ago. In both cases, the client asked whether the delay amounted to an abuse of process, and if so, what the remedy was.
As the Federal Court of Appeal noted in Mahjoub v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2017 FCA 157, the Federal Court of Canada has the jurisdiction to issue a permanent stay of proceedings, and less drastic measures, as a result of an abuse of process. It is less clear whether the Immigration and Refugee Board can issue stays of proceeding for delays. In Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Najafi, 2019 FC 594, Associate Chief Justice Gagné held that it does, but certified the following question:
Do the Immigration Division and the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board have the jurisdiction to grant a permanent stay of proceedings based on an abuse of process on the basis of a delay which is alleged to have occurred following the signing of the s. 44(1) report and/or s. 44(2) referral?
Blencoe v. British Columbia
The leading Supreme Court of Canada decision on this issue is Blencoe v. British Columbia, 2000 SCC 44 .
In Blencoe,Read more ›