Discussion, Respect, Courtesy When Debating Proposed Changes to Canadian Citizenship

By Author: Admin | June 9, 2014

Apparently to Canada’s Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, immigration lawyers are “activist lawyers” – attempting to drum up business by promoting the interests of convicted terrorists and serious criminals over the safety and security of Canadians by debating
proposed legislation to change Canada’s citizenship laws.

The Federal Government’s disdain for persons with specialized knowledge, such as scientists discussing climate change, professors dealing with proposed changes to prostitution laws, or the Supreme Court of Canada on the matter of who to select as a judge, or legal experts on the ill-fated attempt to reform the senate , or government researchers regarding foreign policy in the Ukraine, or privacy experts on who should be appointed Privacy Commissioner, is meant to label those who disagree with this government as ‘special interest groups’ who want to entrench their financial well-being by keeping the status quo. It is meant to ignore the fact that persons with specialized knowledge often are concerned with what are the best interests of the public.

Career politicians (i.e. those who have had little experience working in the private sector) may not know what immigration lawyers do, perhaps confusing them with real estate lawyers operating in a sleepy town; immigration lawyers argue, and advocate on behalf of their clients often in adversarial settings.

The Canadian Bar Association’s take on the proposed citizenship changes was measured and even agreed with some of the proposed streamlining of the law, such as defining what constitutes ‘residency’. It admittedly, disagreed with other changes. Some of proposed changes to Canadian citizenship will create stateless people, which violates UN conventions of which Canada is a signatory.

It may be hard to believe but the Canadian Bar Association was in some respects acting against the financial interests of immigration lawyers by opposing much of the proposed citizenship changes. For example, one of the citizenship proposals is the “Intent to Reside in Canada if Granted Citizenship.” This proposal if passed, will create a great deal of litigation at the Federal Court (good for immigration lawyers, bad for the public who would have to fund government lawyers to defend the badly drafted law)

Clients with some travel history outside of Canada would fear a rejection of their citizenship, and will face higher scrutiny and enforcement by citizenship officers (good for immigration lawyers who would be hired to defend against such government enforcement) . Such clients may be interviewed by the citizenship department and would want to hire an immigration lawyer to accompany them.

The higher scrutiny would result in delays processing all citizenship cases, both simple and complex (good for lawyers who would be hired to expedite the process, bad for the run of the mill citizenship applicant whose ordinary case would be delayed by government bureaucrats focussing on the more complex citizenship cases)..

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I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I am an accomplished author and lecturer and am consulted by the media and other immigration lawyers and consultants on immigration matters and challenging immigration cases, appeals, and federal court matters.

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