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82 minutes | Oct 21, 2021
#63 - Artificial Intelligence Deciding Visa Applications, with Mario Bellissimo
A discussion about the increasing use of artificial intelligence to decide immigration applications. Mario Bellissimo is a Canadian immigration lawyer in Toronto, and the former past Chair of the Canadian Bar Association's National Immigration Law Section. 4:00 How imprecise wording in the forms can result in misrepresentation findings where immigration becomes a game of gotcha. 10:30 How the laws of procedural fairness and discretion will need to be re-written as a result of the implementation of artificial intelligence and predicative learning in immigration systems. 13:30 How using AI to triage applications is itself a form of automated decision making and why is there a lack of transparency about this? 19:25 The history of the introduction of AI at IRCC. 28:20 What is Chinook and ? 36:00 How processing delays can lead to applications being denied simply because they are moot. 39:00 How does one learn what AI is being used or whether a decision was made by AI? 44:45 If AI flags a file as being problematic does that create a proxy decision wherein a visa officer will want to affirm the AI. 55:00 Is it possible that AI will lead to a better immigration system as the AI will be able to thoroughly scan applications that humans have to skim given the limited number of decision makers and the large number of applications. 1:03 AI as counsel 1:13 The future. When AI analyzes the social media of a representative when assessing their client’s application.
93 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
#62 - Tips from a Former CBSA Inland Enforcement Officer, with Carl Brault
Carl Brault worked for almost twenty years at the Canada Border Services Agency. His roles included Border Services Officer, Intelligence Analyst and Inland Enforcement Officer. He currently provides consultation services to authorized immigration representatives and can be reached at email@example.com. 3:00 Working as a summer student as a Border Services Officer. 6:30 September 11, 2011 9:50 What kind of training does a CBSA officer receive before they start working at the border? 18:10 Working as a CBSA Intelligence Analyst 21:30 Working as an Inland Enforcement Officer 25:00 Is CBSA understaffed or overstaffed? 28:30 Level of autonomy officers have in deferral requests. 38:30 What should lawyers or individuals do when making deferral of removal requests? 42:30 The ability of CBSA to make positive decisions by not acting. 48:30 What is the difference in culture across different offices? 51:15 What are examples of where counsel harms their clients cause at CBSA? 54:00 Do CBSA officers care about how lawyers are dressed? 56:30 Has the attitude towards removals at CBSA regarding removals gotten more rigid? 1:05:00 Do CBSA officers want more discretion when it comes to removals
75 minutes | Sep 23, 2021
#61 - What Constitutes Sexual Assault in Canada, with Sarah Runyon
Sarah Runyon is a criminal defense lawyer on Vancouver Island. 3:00 What is sexual assault? 5:30 Is all sex between an employer and employee deemed to be non consensual? 6:00 Why was sexual assault separated from general assault? Is rape a distinct offence from sexual assault? Are there degrees of sexual assault? 7:30 If someone is at a nightclub and they start dancing with another person without their consent does that fit the definition of sexual assault? 15:00 Evidentiary issues. 16:30 Often the criminal defense bar wants judges to have a wide discretion in terms of what they can consider. Is this the same in the case of sexual assault? 21:00 Does the maxim “it is better that five guilty people go free than one innocent person go to jail.” Is the legal system moving away from this in sexual assault? 27:00 Is a restorative justice approach better than the current criminal justice system? 28:45 Can sexual assault be verbal? 33:00 Is revenge porn sexual assault? 34:00 Is there a statutory limitation on sexual assault? 35:00 Is being drunk a defense to sexual assault? 44:00 If someone is drunk are they capable of consent? 48:30 How does one determine whether the complainant was intoxicated? 51:00 How does one show an honest but reasonable belief as to consent? 1:03 How does the “beyond a reasonable doubt” onus work in sexual assault cases that are “he-said she said”. 1:10 Trial by jury or judge.
112 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
#60 - Where Canada's Political Parties Stand on Immigration in 2021, with Chantal Desloges
A discussion of the 2021 immigration platforms of the Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Greens, Bloc Quebecois and the People's Party of Canada. Chantal Desloges is the Founder and Senior Partner of Desloges Law Group.
71 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
#59 - Authorization to Work Without a Work Permit, with Cristina Guida
Cristina Guida is a senior associate lawyer with Green and Spiegel LLP in Toronto. We discuss authorization to work in Canada without a work permit, including business visitors, students, perfroming artists, maintained status, the global skills strategy and other categories. We also discuss what Canada's immigration department continues to be "work."
84 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
#58 - Myths About Canadian Immigration Law, with Marina Sedai
Marina Sedai is an immigration lawyer and the past National Chair of the Canadian Bar Association Immigration Section, a role that she served in from 2018 – 2019, and is also a past provincial char of the CBABC Immigration Law Section. We discuss various myths about Canadian immigration law, including: * Refugees get more financial help than pensioners. & Foreign nationals immigrate and then bring their whole extended family over. *If including your spouse or common-law partner on your permanent resident application is inconvenient or unhelpful to your immigration process then you can exclude them and later sponsor them. * Volunteering isn't work. * If my kid is born in Canada then my H&C application is guaranteed to succeed.
75 minutes | Jul 5, 2021
#57 - Mandamus Applications, with Adrienne Smith
We discuss how mandamus applications work. Adrienne Smith is a Partner at Battista Smith Migration Law Group. 2:00 Does filing mandamus applications annoy Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada? 5:30 Has there been a change in the frequency with which mandamus applications are considered? 13:30 During COVID-19 is there a difference in filing a mandamus application between online and paper applications? 18:00 What is a mandamus application? 26:00 What is the legal test for a mandamus application? 49:00 During COVID-19 when a visa office is largely closed would you still file a mandamus demand letter? 55:00 Missed opportunities during COVID-19.
65 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
#56 - Responding to Deportation Letters, with Michael Greene
We discuss issues involving the deportation of long term permanent residents for criminality. 5:45 - What are the grounds for deporting a permanent resident for criminality? 13:00 - How does the appeal process work? 17:00 - What are the factors in deportation. 19:00 - An overview of the history of the law involving the deportation of permanent residents. 26:00 - What is the probability of success for a permanent resident in avoiding deportation once proceedings start? 36:00 - Stays of removal 41:00 - Strategies and tips for responding to procedural fairness letters involving removal. 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. He is representing Jaskirat Singh Sidhu in his immigration and deportation matters.
94 minutes | May 27, 2021
#55 - Risk Salience and Unconscious Bias in Decision Making, with Hilary Evans Cameron
Hilary Evans Cameron is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson Law. Prior to become a faculty member, Hilary represented refugee claimants for a decade. She is the author of Refugee Law’s Fact-finding Crisis: Truth, Risk, and the Wrong Mistake. Her paper on risk salience in refugee decisions that we discuss can be found here. She is also the creator of www.meetgary.ca, a website which provides guidance to both decision makers and asylum claimants on the implicit biases and thought processes that can influence decision makers. She provides training to the Immigration and Refugee Board on this topic. 3:00 The two strong pulls in the law of how a decision maker should make a decision in a refugee hearing that impacts risk salience. 7:00 Can a decision maker ever be truly neutral? 11:00 Does the fact that the refugee process starts with a removal order “set things up” for strict scrutiny? Plus how politicians can influence error preference. 18:30 Refugee acceptance rates have increased recently. Is this a result of new decision makers or the same decision makers applying different maxims. Can someone’s risk salience approach change over time? 22:00 The non legal things that can influence decision makers. 26:30 Studies on accuracy in credibility and how risk salience follows. 30:00 Should decision makers make their biases explicit? 36:30 What is the fear that people have of refugee claimants? 43:01 The illusion of transparency. “The idea that truth will shine through.” 44:30 The myth that a memory is like a video recording. 46:00 The myth that a refugee claimant will never take unnecessary risks. 47:15 The myth of once a liar always a liar. 48:80 The maxim of the perfect applicant. 52:00 The maxim of “our expectations were clear.” 1:01 The inconsistency between standards in refugee law and trauma theory. 1:04 Hillary’s working with the IRB 1:15 Have any IRB members told Hillary that who the representative is can impact how they view the claim? 1:21 When should you admit a past lie?
94 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
#54 - Building the Law Career that You Want, with Dennis McCrea
Dennis McCrea was the founder of McCrea Immigration Law. He started practicing immigration law in 1974, and was one of the original members of Vancouver's immigration bar. In this episode we discuss how to build an immigration practice, how the practice of immigration law has evolved, avoiding burnout and more. 3:00 How lawyers use to interact with visa officers. 6:00 The formation of the immigration bar. 11:30 Thoughts on whether it is possible to have both a corporate immigration practice and a refugee or enforcement practice. 15:30 Did the practice of immigration law become more or less fun over time? 18:00 What kept Dennis motivated when it came to practicing immigration law? 22:30 What type of cases did Dennis enjoy the most? 26:00 What are some tools that lawyers can use to prevent burnout? 41:00 Did the practice of immigration law vary depending on which political party were in power? 42:00 How to retire. 45:00 How can junior lawyers who are trying to build a practice have time for hobbies? 48:00 How Steven and Deanna got into immigration. 58:00 Growing a firm. 1:03:00 Should you article at an immigration law firm. 1:06:00 Being too specialized. 1:13:00 What percent of Dennis’s practice was immigration processing, firm management and enforcement? 1:16:30 Thoughts on consultants. 1:19:00 Are decisions getting better or worse? Are boilerplate refusals becoming more or less common?
66 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
#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. 2:00 Quitting social media after retirement. 9:00 Law school 14:00 Articles 17:30 Are there any courses or law schools that are best to help someone start a career in immigration? 19:30 Starting a career in refugee law. 22:30 Is it possible to make a viable practice just doing refugee law? 29:00 The law firm as training ground. 32:00 Practicing as a sole practitioner vs at a large firm. 35:30 Does it make sense for someone to do just immigration law or should people getting into the field specialize in another area as well? 37:00 Practicing immigration law in Vancouver vs. Surrey 41:00 Compassion vs. running a business 42:00 How IRCC’s current processes create new pressures on immigration solicitors. 49:00 The Big 4 accounting firms and immigration. 53:00 Mentorship and volunteerism. 1:01 Tips to tell a co-worker who leaves half-drunk coffee cups around. 1:03 Self-care for lawyers.
92 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
#52 - Ranking Economic Immigrants and Listener Q&A, with Asha Kaushal
A discussion of the philosophy behind economic immigration, how Canada ranks economic immigrants, Ministerial Instructions and listener Q&A. Ashal Kaushal is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia's Allard School of Law, where she teaches, amongst other courses, Immigration Law. 6:00 An introduction to Canada’s points system, how Express Entry changed it and Ministerial Instructions. 14:30 The three models of economic immigration. The Human Capital Model, the Demand-Driven Model and the Neo-Corporatist Model 22:00 How the same job offer can be worth different points depending on the immigration program. 28:30 Is it possible to qualify the value of a prospective economic immigrant through their job? 32:00 Why are the points what they are? Why would a job offer go from 600 to 200 / 50, for example? How did the change from Conservative to Liberal government change? 37:30 A ranking system based on wage. 44:00 Ministerial Instructions Listener Questions 55:30 How long will Express Entry last before they bring in a whole new system? 1:00 Should there be country caps on economic immigration? Will India remain the top source country of immigrants? 1:06 What, if anything, should be done about how the federal and provincial governments have economic immigration programs that target the same “high skilled” people? 1:16 Should Canada bring back the Immigrant Investor Program? 1:24 If you could make one change to Express Entry or economic immigration what would it be?
64 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
#51 - Inadmissibility to Canada for Committing a Criminal Offence, with Sania Chaudhry
A discussion of when someone can be inadmissible to Canada for having committed a crime which doesn’t lead to a conviction. Cases referenced are Garcia v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2021 FC 141 and Dlieow v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 59 Sania (Ahmed) Chaudhry was counsel in Garcia. She is currently Legal Counsel (Professional Conduct Proceedings) at Real Estate Council of Alberta. 2:00 Introduction and an overview of Garcia v. Canada. 15:00 The purpose of Canada’s inadmissibility provisions. 17:10 What is the standard of proof for determining that someone committed a crime where there is no conviciton? 19:45 A review of Enforcement Manual 2 30:30 Determining equivalency and issues with inadmissibility findings where there is no conviction. 39:30 Dlieow v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) 46:00 Living in a society where the State makes everything a crime.
77 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
#50 - Membership in a Terrorist Organization and Immigration, with Hart Kaminker
A discussion of s. 34(1)(f) of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which provides that a foreign national or permanent resident is inadmissible for being the member of an organization that has committed terrorism. Topics include how terrorism, organization and membership are defined, the Proud Boys, QAnon and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. 5:45 What is terrorism under Canadian immigration legislation? 9:45 What is an organization? 15:30 What does it mean to be a “member?” 19:00 The Bangladesh Nationalist Party 29:00 Would Nelson Mandela be encompassed? 30:45 Should only organizations that are officially designated by the government render someone inadmissible? 39:39 The Ministerial relief process. 47:35 Jose Figuerora 53:45 Could someone being a QAnon adherent make them inadmissible to Canada? 1:00 Does the designation of the Proud Boys broaden what could result in inadmissibility due to terrorism? 1:03 Could the leader of a party calling for an insurrection lead to all members of that organization being inadmissible for being a member of an organization which has committed terrorism? 1:05 What about antifa? The Republican Party? 1:13 Would it be misrepresentation to not declare one’s being a QAnon adherent in the IMM5669?
54 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
#49 - The Supreme Court of Canada decision in Chieu and the Ribic Factors
Chieu v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 SCC 3 was a landmark Supreme Court of Canada which affirmed the use of the Ribic factors in the H&C assessment. We discuss these factors and how they are used in immigration appeals. 1:00 How the assessment of Humanitarian & Compassionate considerations has become somewhat nebulus. 4:00 A case study of Chieu v. Canada 10:00 What is an example of a negative country condition in someone’s country of citizenship? 13:00 The decision and principles in Chieu. 15:00 The Federal Court of Canada in Zhang v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 927, which seems to limit Chieu. 16:00 The Ribic factors and the types of immigration appeals. 20:00 How much weight each factor should get. 25:00 Stories about our appeals. 32:00 The remorse factor and flexibility. 45:00 The counter arguments to considering country of citizenship conditions. 50:00 Consents on appeal.
78 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
#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. Raj Sharma is a Partner at Stewart Sharma Harsanyi in Calgary. 2:30 When does IRCC have to send a procedural fairness letter vs. being able to refuse an application without one? 15:00 Specific issues with the Canadian visa offices in New Delhi and Chandigarh. 21:00 Racialized assessments of visa applications. 23:00 Why hunting for misrep can lead to misrep findings. 25:00 Misrepresentation as a deterrence policy. 35:00 Is there a specific focus on Punjabs? 44:00 Can you tell if someone is lying as soon as you meet them at the start of an interview? 46:00 Preet Bharara on investigations 50:00 When IRCC believes that a job is fake because no employer would wait as long as IRCC’s processing times to fill a position. 1:00 Procedural fairness letters in the citizenship revocation process. 1:06 Litigation as a way to achieve policy reform. 1:15 Procedural fairness and the bouncing of applications.
68 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
#47 - Universal Basic Income and Canadian Immigration
This episode is about the concept of a universal basic income and how it would work in Canada. We are joined by Sheila Regehr and Sameer Nurmohamed of Basic Income Canada Network. We discuss which type of immigrants (permanent residents, workers, students, asylum claimants, people without status) etc. would be eligible, whether a basic income would impact other public funding for services like legal aid, whether it would cause inflation, and more. 5:30 What are different models of universal basic income? 9:00 How is the amount of basic income calculated? 10:45 What was the Ontario pilot project? 12:45 In practice is there a difference between an income guarantee model and a flat-payment model? 14:30 Do wealthy people get the same payment and benefit under a universal basic income? 15:30 How would a universal basic income be funded? 23:45 Would a universal basic income replace other services like legal aid? 28:25 A review of Motion 46 - GUARANTEED LIVABLE BASIC INCOME 30:35 Would international students, foreign workers, permanent residents, asylum claimants, people without status, etc. be eligible to receive a universal basic income? 42:00 What would the labour market interaction be with a universal basic income in terms of its impact on wages? 45:00 Would immigrants abuse a universal basic income system? 47:30 How have the impacts of the CERB impacted peoples’ perspectives on how a universal basic income would work? 56:00 Would a guaranteed basic income cause inflation or people gauging marginalized individuals? 1:03 Where can people learn more?
58 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
#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. 3:00 – Does someone keep the Minister title their whole life? 4:50 – What was the political consensus regarding Canadian immigration at the end of the 1980s? How did the Reform Party impact things? 8:00 – The mix of immigrants between economic, family and humanitarian immigrants. 11:15 – What dictates whether IRCC meets its level targets? 14:30 – The Brian Mulroney government was considering moving immigration under Public Safety. Under Sergio Marchi it instead became it’s on Ministry. What prompted this? 17:30 – Canadian attitudes to refugee resettlements and misconceptions. 20:45 – Sources of resistance to refugee resettlement. Resettled refugees vs asylum seekers. 23:00 – Changes that Minister Marchi made to the refugee determination process. 25:00 – What was Minister Marchi’s approach to intervening on specific cases? When would Minister Marchi help Members of Parliament on constituent files? Did it matter which political party the MP was from? 32:00 – The impact of a police officer who was shot by an illegal immigrant on deportation policy. 36:00 – Whether the Canada Border Services Agency should be under the immigration umbrella. 37:30 – What Minister Marchi considers to be his main accomplishments and the implementation of the right of landing fee. 45:00 – Minister Marchi’s push to remove the Queen from the citizenship oath.
75 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
#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. 3:15 Said tells the story of his spousal sponsorship application. His application took 34 months to process. During the processing of his application Canada denied his visitor visa applications. He missed the birth of his children and their first steps, although he was able to reunite with his wife during brief trips to the United States, which did grant him a visitor visa. 21:00 We discuss the refusal of temporary resident visas for people with spousal sponsorship applications in process, people with frequent travel histories, people with American multiple entry visas, and judicial reviews. 25:00 How long a judicial review takes. 29:50 Assessing genuineness in a spousal sponsorship application, and the distinction between “low risk and high risk” in the checklists. 33:00 The strange quirk in the Family Class where people have to prove that their relationship is genuine but immigrants and foreign workers do not. The same is true for work permits, where the spouses of Canadians cannot apply for work permits from abroad, but the spouses of foreign workers can. 38:00 What are major issues that Sponsorship Advocates seeing? 39:45 What things can trigger genuineness concerns? 45:00 Processing times and approval rates. 55:00 Preventing abuse. 1:03 Is an overzealous hunt for marriage fraud in individual applications the solution to marriage fraud, or are there other measures that can be taken?
92 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
#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. 5:09 – If there was one misconception about Canadian immigration law that Minister Alexander would like to change what would it be? 15:00 – Bill C-24 and the revocation of citizenship for dual nationals convicted of high crimes. 16:00 – Whether there was a strong anti-fraud and anti-exploitation mandate during Minister Alexander’s time as Minister. 22:00 – Combatting forced marriages. 23:00 – Preventing foreign worker abuse by sanctioning the employers who abuse them. 26:00 – The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act 36:45 – Ending the Immigrant Investor Program 41:45 – Entrepreneurial immigration and self-employed program. 49:00 – Points inflation in Express Entry and the increased demand for Canadian immigration. 52:30 – The launch of Express Entry 55:30 – Moving towards online applications 57:15 – What it was like following Jason Kenney as immigration minister, and the challenges posed, if any, by Jason Kenney retaining the multiculturism portfolio, as well the immigration minister sharing immigration responsibilities with HRDC and the Minister of Public Safety. 1:02 – The role the Prime Minister’s Office played with immigration. 1:05 – Mr. Alexander’s immigration platform when he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada in which he called for an increase in immigration, and whether he pushed this view when he was Minister. 1:10 – The importance of Canadian immigration and populism. 1:15 – Open work permits on demand for people from visa exempt countries. 1:18 – The need for immigration to adapt to changing circumstances and system racism. 1:22 – When Minister Alexander would intervene on specific files. 1:25 – If Minister Alexander were giving advice to a future Minister of Immigration what would the advice be?
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