A Tale of Three Refugees

June 2014

Between November 2013 and March 2014, I represented three refugee claimants before the Refugee Protection Division.

All three were women.  All three were from Nigeria.  All three were mothers.  All were devout Christians.  They were all around the same age.

How Will the Express Entry Program Affect International Students?

May 2014

I have a new client, a dashing young gentleman who studied at Algonquin College here in Ottawa.  Last December, he obtained a professional job that will allow him to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class.

However, the Canadian Experience Class quota may have already been met by the time he has his one-year experience this December.  In addition, as of January 1, 2015, anyone applying for permanent residency in Canada through an economic immigration program will apply under the new "Express Entry program."

Where are all the refugees?

April 2014

When I was at the Ottawa Immigration Law Conference last month, I was chatting with a colleague about the decline in refugee claims.  She told me it had been over a year since she has had a call from a refugee claimant.

Demeaning Canadian Citizenship

March 2014

I just attended the annual Ottawa Immigration Law Conference.  There, a trio of immigration law experts told attendees what was wrong with the Canadian government's new proposed amendments to the Citizenship Act.

Avoiding the Trap of the Convenience Store

February 2014

Last month the Ottawa Citizen published two articles on convenience store ownership in Ottawa. They describe how convenience stores are losing profit and closing down, because grocery stores are now often open every day for 24 hours.

Unfortunately, since immigrants own many of Ottawa’s convenience stores, they are the primary victims. One of the articles talks about an immigrant couple who have to work long hours at their convenience store, every day from 7am to 10pm. Another convenience store owner explains how he does not have enough time to take English classes due to the long working hours.

Is the new Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship Program just “Bread and Circuses?”

January 2014

I recently learned an awesome new phrase, “Bread and Circuses.” According to Wikipedia, it comes from Latin and stands for “a superficial means of appeasement”. Wikipedia says that when it comes to politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace.

A Case of Marriage Fraud... That Wasn't

October 2013

Last month, I represented a client accused of marriage fraud. More specifically, he was accused of “directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts.” The letter he received from Citizenship and Immigration Canada alleged that his“…marriage to [his] sponsor… is not genuine and was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring entry into Canada as a permanent resident.”

The Parents Left Behind

September 2013

The woman sitting across the table from me had brilliantly coloured red hair. I told her that her hair made me think of sunshine. She smiled, but only briefly, and then with tears in her eyes asked me how she could keep her 82 year old father in the country.