Mark Holthe, an immigration lawyer in Lethbridge, Alberta was kind enough to invite me to be a guest on his latest podcast. It was a super fun experience and great to speak to a fellow Albertan. Thanks Mark!

Lots to stay on top of over the next 6 months in terms of changes to Canadian immigration law and policy.

First up, yesterday, CIC announced changes to the live-in caregiver program
So, it’s no longer live-in. And there is an annual cap on the number of permanent residence applications that can be submitted in the program. Finally, CIC is going to try to speed up the PR applications currently in process to get rid of the 30K backlog. All good, right? Right?! Right….

Next, I got the Ebola visa blues
As of October 31, 2014, processing of all visa applications of people who are in or have been in Ebola affected countries is being suspended. The “countries affected” now include Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. I assume the US is not on the list even though it, too, is affected. Hmmm….

Finally,  yesterday, the Federal Government lost its application for a stay pending appeal of this decision:
This means that health care cuts to certain refugee claimants will be reinstated as of Tuesday, while the appeal is in process. Health care to refugee claimants seems like such a drop in the bucket compared to other cost-cutting measures that could be made, if cost was the only issue. Is it really ok to deny pregnant refugee claimants prenatal health care? Really?

In the coming months, we can expect more big changes, including:

  • Express Entry
  • Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program
  • Business Skills Pilot Program
  • Nova Scotia’s Regional Labour Market Demand Stream
  • Nova Scotia’s “TBA” Business Immigration Program

Can’t wait. It’s all music to this immigration lawyer’s ears.

“Public discussion about something that is before the courts is never recommended and for good reason.”

 What a disappointment the city’s behavior in the ONS matter has been. There is nothing “before the courts” unless an action, application or motion has been filed (physically, not metaphorically or a “threat” of a Charter challenge) in a court. Unless the media has missed something, there is nothing “before the courts” at the moment. Criminal charges against individuals for resisting arrest or obstructing justice are no reason to silence open debate in a city council meeting. 

A lawyer advising a client not to discuss something publicly is just that: legal advice. Lawyers are not judges or decision-makers. They don’t dictate what clients do, their job is only to advise. The client takes that advice and instructs or acts. The client (in this case, city council) must take ownership of its decisions, not defer to its lawyers as having the final say. To blame the lawyer, use the legal department as a scapegoat, or put the legal department in the role of decision-maker on what is/isn’t discussed openly is unfair and undemocratic.

Proudly based in Halifax, NS, we assist with all Canadian immigration matters. All work on client files is performed by one of our 4 lawyers and we only charge flat rates.
Lawyers: Elizabeth Wozniak | Lori Hill | Cameron MacLeanLara Green
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