In Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina, 2019 SCC 29, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the ancient writ of habeas corpus as having direct application to non-citizens held in immigration detention — held as in held and held and held and held for lengthy, protracted periods of detention with no apparent hope of release
Canadian Courts have been systematically erasing the Harper legacy in immigration and refugee law since Harper relinquished power to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his crew in 2015 – and rightly so. Now we have a new rebuke of human rights law carrying the stain of political whims – an apt description of how Harper’s government carried on refugee law. Whims usually don’t lead to smart decision-making. Perhaps even less so when those whims are politically driven, and not based on reason, logic or any sense of compassion.
Canada had a program to bring nannies into Canada to care for children or adults who could not care for themselves. The program worked, more or less effectively, for decades. The nanny had to have a high school degree, basic English skills and either a six-month training program in a related field or one year of relevant work experience. The nanny could then come to Canada to work for the family who had sponsored them and then qualify for permanent residency if they had lived in and worked under their work permits for two years of a four-year period.
Sometimes in immigration law, the small victories go unnoticed. They slide by with no grand fanfare, press conferences or lawyers slapping themselves on the back in a self-congratulatory orgy of promotion. Sometimes, the law is simply corrected, an injustice made right and we move on.
Through his bureaucrats, and by signing the decision directly, Ralph tried to do Than Soe harm for an act of profound heroism 29 years ago.
Criminal equivalency under immigration law is the art of judging a criminal law conviction rendered beyond our borders by a legal system that is foreign to ours. It is art because it requires a nuanced assessment of that foreign legal system and the nature of the crime convicted or committed, which can be two different things. It is often misunderstood, confused and complex — and yes, it is the job of the immigration division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada — those folks that also keep people detained for no better reason than the whims of the Canada Border Services Agency — to render such decisions.
Over the past year, the Federal Court, in a small but growing list of decisions, has signaled that the effect of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Kanthasamy v. MCI is finally making a difference in decisions rendered under s. 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
In a most curious manner, the Supreme Court of Canada issued the following direction in granting leave to appeal in the cases of MCI v. Vavilov and Bell Canada v. Canada: To that end, the appellant and respondent are invited to devote a substantial part of their written and oral submissions on the appeal to the question of standard of review, and shall be allowed to file and serve a factum on appeal of at most 45 pages.
Turns out it was the latter. In a recent decision of the Federal Court in Hosseini v. Canada, a visa officer’s decision that a 62-year-old retired chemical engineer posed a danger to the security of Canada was eviscerated in a strongly worded condemnation of both the process used by the officer and the very basis of the decision.
There are some issues in immigration law that quietly exist, away from great fanfare or concern. Because they are quirks in the law, they are largely unknown, ignored or taken for granted. But because they exist, they cannot just be ignored