Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The government has CLOSED the visa post in Damascus, Syria until further notice. See Operation Bulletin below.

Operational Bulletin 380 - January 31, 2012


The trial of immigration officials accused of corruption continues as reported by the Ottawa Citizen:

$300 payment smoothed the way for permanent residency, Ottawa court told

OTTAWA — After shelling out thousands of dollars to a lawyer to help her and her children gain permanent residence in Canada, Abtissam El-Zein paid a man $300 to look into her immigration file and, within weeks, got exactly what she wanted, an Ottawa court heard Monday.
El-Zein was testifying in the trial of Diane Serre, a senior Citizenship and Immigration Canada manager accused of teaming up with Issam Dakik to take money from mostly Arab immigrants in exchange for fast-tracking their applications.
The Crown alleges Dakik would meet with the applicants and collect the money before contacting Serre, who would use her influence as a supervisor in the department’s Catherine Street office.
Serre, 41, has pleaded not guilty to 28 charges, including multiple allegations of fraud against the government and breach of trust of a public official. She is also charged with one count of bribery.
Dakik, who has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, along with credit card fraud, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison in 2006. At the time, he admitted he paid Serre a portion of the proceeds of the scheme.
The scheme allegedly began in January 2003 and continued until December 2004, when Serre and Dakik were arrested by RCMP in an operation dubbed “Project Argon.” Nine applicants made the illegal cash payments, which the RCMP said at the time of Serre’s arrest ranged from between $4,000 and $25,000.
Through an Arabic interpreter, El-Zein told the court she came to Canada from Lebanon in 1999 with her husband and three children.
Her husband later died, and she and her children applied for refugee status to remain in Canada. The family appealed after their application was denied in 2001.
The immigration department later determined that the family would not be at risk if they returned to Lebanon and ordered them to be deported in 2004. They applied for refugee status on compassionate and humanitarian grounds and hired a lawyer to help navigate the system.
But El-Zein said she became frustrated with the lawyer’s costly efforts.
“I didn’t feel she was helping,” she said. She had paid the lawyer more than $5,000, in addition to the $1,500 application fee, and had nothing to show for it.
It was around that time that one of El-Zein’s friends gave her Dakik’s telephone number.
Their relationship was brought to life in the courtroom Monday through a dozen wiretapped telephone calls recorded between Nov. 25 and Dec. 9, 2004.
In a Nov. 25 call, El-Zein spells out her name and provides both her birthdate and immigration file number. She also outlines the details of her case and agrees to pay the man $300 in order to get a person he knows inside the immigration department to look at the file, she testified.
The next day, in a recorded call, Dakik tells El-Zein he has news about her file and arranges a time to come to her house later that evening, which is when she handed over the cash. Dakik doesn’t provide a receipt, the court heard.
Then, on Dec. 2, El-Zein receives a call from an unidentified woman who works at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Speaking to El-Zein’s son, the woman says the department will look at their file as soon as possible. “We’ll take a look and we’ll give you a call early next week,” the woman is heard saying during the short telephone call.
El-Zein could not identify the woman’s voice, but said in her dealings with the immigration department over the years, she couldn’t remember ever being called before.
Five days later, Dakik calls to say the immigration department will soon call El-Zein and ask her to come down to their Catherine Street office to get her papers. There’s another mention of payment, with Dakik pledging that he hoped the next instalment wouldn’t exceed what she’d already paid him.
On Dec. 9, the final wiretapped call played in court, El-Zein tells Dakik she’s been to immigration and has finally got her papers.
The court also heard from Mahmoud Ahmad Zbib, who came to Canada from Lebanon in 1988.
His two sisters followed him in 1999. One married a Canadian and became a permanent resident, while the other filled out the application and later hired a lawyer to follow up with the immigration department.
But her lawyer subsequently died and, fearing his sister’s file might get lost, Zbib turned to Dakik, whom he’d met socially a few times.
Zbib gave Dakik the particulars of his sister’s file because Dakik claimed to know a lawyer at Citizenship and Immigration who could help. It would cost, Zbib testified that Dakik said, but an amount was never specified.
Zbib’s sister was soon called to the Catherine Street office to pick up her permanent resident card.
Zbib told the court that about two or three months after learning Dakik had been arrested, the pair met at a Carling Avenue shawarma shop. Dakik told Zbib not to tell anyone about the help he gave the man, nor the money. “He asked me not to talk to anybody about what happened with my sister’s papers,” Zbib said.
Under cross examination, Zbib said he never suspected there was anything amiss about his dealings with Dakik.
The trial continues.

Monday, January 30, 2012


The time has come to prevent people who have twisted ideas about murdering relatives for "honour" from coming to Canada in the first place. This is unacceptable in a free society. Sadly, the taxpayers will now have to pay for these individuals to be kept in jail for years to come.Simply brutal.

Shafia accused guilty of first-degree murder News National Post

Sunday, January 29, 2012


See below Winnipeg Free Press editorial. I do not understand why anyone is surprised, this has been going on for years: convicted and alleged terrorists, murderers, criminals, and other unsavoury characters have found a way to use Canada as a place where they can stall the rule of law and the wheels of justice. And to add injury to insult, they get the taxpayers to pick up the tab for their legal fight through legal aid. This is very concerning indeed. It makes a mockery of Canada.

It is time to change the nonsensical policy of allowing years of court battles at taxpayers expense, and to deny the use of Canada to international thugs. Incidentally, I would like to know who paid the legal fees for Leon Mugesera over all the years he was in Canada, and whether he collected any social assistance or other benefits during that time, and find a way to force him to repay those costs. The use of legal aid should be public information and excempt from privacy legislation.

Canada risks being seen as pandering to mass murders - Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada risks being seen as pandering to mass murders
By: The Red Deer Advocate

Posted: 01/28/2012 1:00 AM

Here's an ethical dilemma for you: does a person who may face torture deserve more compassion than hundreds of thousands of innocent murder victims?

Apparently Canada's immigration laws can't make a distinction or, if it does, seems to consider the threat of torture more inhumane. At least that seems the case by allowing an alleged killer to gain protection in Canada against punishment for his possible involvement in one of the biggest mass murders in modern history.

Our immigration rules afforded freedom to Leon Mugesera, who is accused in his homeland of Rwanda as being one of the trigger men the 1994 genocide that saw a 100-day massacre claim about one million Tutsis and Hutus.

Mugesera fought his deportation through the seemingly endless court proceedings that are entitled to him under our laws. His luck finally ran out on Monday, when the courts ordered him on a plane to Rwanda at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport.

The sticking point during the laborious proceedings was that Mugesera could face torture if returned.

This country has been reluctant to deport suspected criminals, on "ethical grounds," no matter how serious their crimes. Torture and the death penalty are among the reasons.

But, essentially, it means we apply our standards of justice to other countries through our immigration process.

Serial killer Charles Ng, who evaded California authorities for the sex-torture murders of between 11 and 25 people by sneaking into Canada, enjoyed the same luxury.

Ng and Leonard Lake carried out these horrific executions on Lake's California ranch in 1983 and videotaped the gruesome details. Lake committed suicide after his arrest in 1985, while Ng fled to Calgary and was captured that same year. After a lengthy extradition battle, during which Canadian authorities refused to turn him over to the U.S. because he faced a death sentence if convicted, he was finally handed over in 1998. He now sits on death row in San Quentin State Prison.

As a nation, we must take care not to gain a reputation for pandering to and protecting murderers from the justice of their own countries. It's an extremely costly process to taxpayers and, ultimately, can mean we house other nations' criminals in our prisons.

It is time we re-examined the avenues of appeal open to such criminals and alleged criminals.

In 1992, Mugesera, then a fiery political Rwandan operative, delivered a blistering speech calling the Tutsis "cockroaches" and urging their extermination. Shorty after the speech, he was charged with inciting hatred and fled to Canada for protection.

While a handful of Mugesera's Canadian supporters wept at the airport on Monday, Rwandan authorities applauded Canada's decision, saying it was "the right thing."


Reports indicate that the government is planning to completely revamp the immigration selection system:

Tories pitching 'significant' immigration reform Canada News Toronto Sun

Saturday, January 28, 2012


A missing transcript for teh spouse's edication confirmin gyears of full taime studies results in the refusal of the application fo rremanent residency:

Siddiqi v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)
Between Javed Siddiqi, Applicant, and
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Respondent

[2012] F.C.J. No. 59

2012 FC 55

Docket IMM-1216-11

Federal Court
Toronto, Ontario

O'Reilly J.

Heard: September 27, 2011.
Judgment: January 17, 2012.

(22 paras.)



·       I. Overview

1     In 2007, Mr. Javed Siddiqi, a citizen of Pakistan, applied for permanent residence to the Canadian High Commission in London as a skilled worker. He relied on an immigration consulting company, Aries International, to act as his representative.

2     His application was dismissed because he fell four points short of the required threshold of 67 points. He argues that he was entitled to be credited with a further four points in recognition of his spouse's educational credentials. However, his application did not include a transcript of his spouse's grades. He submits that this was the result of an administrative error, either on the part of Aries International or Immigration Canada. He maintains that it should have been clear to Immigration Canada that the transcript was missing from his file. Therefore, in fairness, he should have been given a chance to provide the missing transcript before his application was dismissed. He asks me to order a reconsideration of his file by a different officer.

·       II. Factual Background

3     After it confirmed receipt of Mr. Siddiqi's application, the High Commission advised him that it would provide him with a complete list of the required documents once his application was ready to be assessed. He would then have four months to prepare and submit his documents.

4     That letter was sent in March 2010. It advised Aries International that Mr. Siddiqi was required to submit all of his supporting documentation (including copies of educational credentials and transcripts for him and his spouse) within 120 days, and that there was no obligation on immigration officials to request additional documents that had not been provided within that timeframe.

5     On July 28, 2010 (after the 120-day deadline had passed) the High Commission received a letter from Aries International and a package of documents supporting Mr. Siddiqi's application. The documents were forwarded to Ottawa for processing.

6     The letter from Aries International stated that the supporting documents included, under the heading "Spouse", a "Copy of certificate and marksheet for Bachelor of Commerce from University Karachi - Faculty of Business Administration & Commerce, Karachi, Pakistan".

7     From September 2010 to January 2011, Mr. Siddiqi sent three emails to Ottawa inquiring about the status of his file. The first email, on September 29, 2010, stated that all the required documents listed in the March 2010 letter had been submitted. Mr. Siddiqi also asked when he could expect to receive the medical request, and when his visa would be issued. He said he required this information because his son would be applying to McGill and other Canadian universities that winter. Ottawa responded on October 5, 2010, stating that it could not confirm receipt of documentation or respond to status check inquiries at that time.

8     On January 9, 2010, Mr. Siddiqi sent a second email, which again stated that all documents listed in the March 2010 letter had been submitted and received, and again asked when he could expect the medical request. Ottawa replied on January 10, 2010, stating that the file had not yet been reviewed by an officer and that once it was, Mr. Siddiqi would be notified.

9     Mr. Siddiqi emailed Ottawa a third time on January 13, 2011, again asking when the file would be reviewed. He got the same response.

10     On January 28, 2011, Mr. Siddiqi's application was refused because he did not obtain the minimum number of points required.

11     In his refusal letter, the officer stated: "I gave you no point [sic] for Spousal education - there were no transcript [sic] for your spouse's bachelor's degree, as was requested in the letter sent by our London office."

12     Through counsel, Mr. Siddiqi asked for his application to be reassessed. The officer dismissed this request, stating: "Only a single copy of a post-secondary diploma for the spouse was submitted but no transcript. Hence no evidence as to the number of years taken to complete it was present, and no seccondary [sic] education evicence [sic] had been submitted... The file wil [sic] remain closed".

·       III. Was Mr. Siddiqi Treated Unfairly?

13     Mr. Siddiqi argues that the officer wrongly applied the 120-day deadline and, by doing so, refused to give Mr. Siddiqi an opportunity to complete his application by submitting the missing transcript. Mr. Siddiqi also argues that the officer had a duty to inform him of the omission and give him a reasonable opportunity to supply the transcript.

14     While Mr. Siddiqi was told that he had to submit his documents within 120 days, it is clear that the officer considered his application even though the documents were filed late. A new policy (pursuant to Citizenship and Immigration Canada Operational Bulletin 120, or OB 120, "Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Applications - Procedures for Visa Offices") applies to applications filed on or after February 27, 2008 (after Mr. Siddiqi's application was filed) and imposes strict enforcement of the 120-day deadline, but I see no evidence that Mr. Siddiqi's application was treated as being subject to this rule.

15     With respect to the duty to give Mr. Siddiqi notice that his application was incomplete, Mr. Siddiqi maintains that it would have been obvious to the officer that the crucial transcript had originally been submitted and somehow went missing.

16     The list of documents submitted by Mr. Siddiqi's agent, Aries International, referred to a "marksheet" from the University of Karachi. Mr. Siddiqi submits that this was obviously a reference to a transcript of his spouse's grades. The officer should therefore have noticed, when he reviewed the file and found no transcript, that this important document was missing - whether Aries International had erred in filing it or it somehow went missing at Immigration Canada's end. Either way, the officer should have realized that something was amiss and given Mr. Siddiqi a chance to correct it. This is especially so, he submits, because his emails manifested his concern about the completeness of his application.

17     In my view, the burden was on Mr. Siddiqi to ensure his application was complete. He engaged an agent to assist him in this and, therefore, he had an obligation to ensure that the agent filed the necessary documents. His emails did not display a specific concern about the completeness of his application; they related more to the timing of events.

18     In addition, there is no evidence before me that any transcript existed when Mr. Siddiqi made his application or even that any exists now. Among the documents submitted in support of Mr. Siddiqi's application was a "marksheet" from the University of Karachi. But this was not a transcript. The marksheet is simply a summary of the distribution of grades within the class. No transcript was presented in the original application, in the request for reconsideration, or on this application for judicial review.

19     Accordingly, I cannot see how the officer could have been expected to conclude that a transcript was likely available, that it had somehow gone missing, and that Mr. Siddiqi could produce it if given a chance. This is unlike the situation where an applicant had explicitly complied with earlier instructions about what documents to provide, and the instructions were revised at the time the application was considered: Noor v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 308; nor was this a situation where there was an issue about the credibility or genuineness of the evidence where fairness would require that the applicant be given a chance to address the officer's concerns: Shah v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 697, at para 30.

20     Accordingly, I cannot conclude that Mr. Siddiqi was treated unfairly. His application was simply incomplete.

·       IV. Conclusion and Disposition

21     Having found no basis for concluding that Mr. Siddiqi was treated unfairly, I must dismiss this application for judicial review. Counsel for Mr. Siddiqi has submitted the following question for certification:

·       Whether or not in a missing document case there can ever be a question arising of procedural fairness, particularly as the immigration policy has moved into a no tolerance immigration processing system which does not allow an applicant to be able to determine in advance whether or not a document he sent has gone missing and whether or not it is the fault of the handling of the file inside the immigration office. The question therefore proposed is whether the concept of procedural fairness so boldly pronounced in the case of Muliadi v Canada, [1986] 2 FC 205 by the Federal Court of Appeal has been completely closed down by a system of no tolerance processing in which the visa officer can avoid attempts to determine whether or not his application was completely received, and the fact that the submission cover letter with the list of documents demonstrated that the missing document had been sent, or that the applicant had not ignored the checklist which he received requesting the general submission? In the alternative, did procedural fairness require the officer to re-open application? 

22     In my view, this proposed question is fact-specific and relates primarily to an issue not raised here - there was no evidence that a document was missing and, therefore, there is no question about whether the officer had a duty to give the applicant a chance to complete the file. In addition, the question of whether an officer may have a duty to re-open an application does not arise here because it is the refusal itself that is the subject of this application for judicial review, not the refusal to reconsider the application. No question will be stated.



·       1. The application for judicial review is dismissed. 

·       2. No question of general importance is stated. 



Harper’s message to Canadians: Rethink your retirement

The Globe and Mail

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Moving quickly to address concerns around Old Age Security reform, Conservatives say any changes would be phased in gradually

Ottawa is asking Canadians to rethink their senior years, sending a clear message that individuals must save more on their own for retirement.
Faced with an aging population that he claims poses a threat to our social programs and services, Stephen Harper unveiled an ambitious blueprint for change this week that takes aim at immigration, trade and energy policies. But perhaps the most ambitious - and controversial - of these changes will be in the area of retirement reform.
The obvious motivation is cost. The Prime Minister's Office and other government officials pointed reporters to the most recent actuarial report on Old Age Security, which estimates the cost of the program will climb to $108-billion in 2030 from $36.5-billion in 2010.
But retirement expenditures are only one part of the challenge. One of the biggest obstacles posed by Canada's aging demographic is the labour force: keeping people working for longer. At the moment, there are 4.6 workers for every person over 65 in Canada. That ratio, known as the dependency ratio, is expected to drop below three-to-one by 2031, which would mean fewer people working and paying taxes to support social programs. Canadians also live longer now, so someone retiring at 65 can expect to collect a pension for nearly 20 years.
As Ottawa grapples with how best to reform the system, the question is not merely whether Canadians will have to shoulder greater responsibility for their retirement needs, but whether they will have to work longer as well.
Vera Howe, a 61-year-old Toronto mother and grandmother, said she and her husband were very upset by the Prime Minister's speech and the prospect of a raised age of eligibility for OAS.
She works with people with developmental disabilities. It's a physical job that requires a lot of lifting. Her husband is a tradesman who works in a factory and in recent years has suffered two injuries. She wants to retire at 65, but without OAS she'll be in financial trouble, she said.
"I would be in poverty," she said. "I couldn't even pay the mortgage. And I would still have a mortgage, mind you."
"You start working at 18 years old, you've worked this far only to see the goalposts moved away."
Canadians who pay into the Canada Pension Plan receive benefits, but unlike CPP, which has a pool of money behind it, the OAS program is paid out of government revenues. OAS eligibility is based on a senior's income.
A day after Mr. Harper's speech in Davos, Switzerland, the Conservative government moved to address concerns, saying any changes would be phased in gradually.
The Conservatives never mentioned changes to Old Age Security during last year's election campaign, yet Ottawa confirmed Friday that it is looking at changes to OAS to make it financially stable over the long term.
Ted Menzies, the Conservative Minister of State for Finance who has held extensive cross-country hearings on retirement issues, said the government hasn't made a final decision on OAS changes.
"We're looking at many different options. I'm not sure just which ones are going to be viewed as being the most effective," he said.
"But we need to also remember that OAS was never intended to fund an entire retirement for anyone," he said. "There is responsibility on the individual to save for themselves."
Most Group of Seven countries are grappling with the problem of unfavourable demographics. While it is undoubtedly a challenge for Canada, University of British Columbia economist Kevin Milligan said the country is in a much better position in this regard than almost any of its G7 peers, all of which have already raised retirement ages or are debating the issue.
"While we have a dependency ratio that's going in the wrong direction in Canada ... the issue is not as big as it is for Italy, Germany, Japan. Those places have serious crises," he said. "That doesn't mean we shouldn't think about it though."
Don Drummond, a former senior federal Finance Department official who is now advising the Ontario government, said Ottawa will have to give Canadians "a hell of a lot of notice" before changing the eligibility year for OAS and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and predicted there will be considerable social impacts if it is implemented.
Mr. Drummond said a 20-year time period - from initial notice to when it's fully phased in - is probably the shortest lead time that a country could give.
"I would think it would have to be 20 to 25 years before you are fully up to age 67," Mr. Drummond said.
"If you're 47 years old today, your life cycle of earnings is kind of set right now by what you've already done. It's not giving you a heck of a lot of time."
One potential solution to the demographic problem is tapping the potential of new Canadians, whose job participation is disproportionately lower than the country's average. By 2031, roughly 60 per cent of Canadians over 15 will be in the work force, down from nearly 67 per cent today, according to Statistics Canada. That would be the lowest rate since the 1970s. However, the report noted that if immigrants and visible minorities were to participate in the labour force at the same rate as other Canadians, that drop could be cut almost in half.
Parliamentary budget watchdog Kevin Page says the 2012 budget - long before the next election - is a good place to "front-end load some of the tough decisions" on challenges Ottawa faces.
He said the Harper government's January, 2012, decision to restrict growth in health and social transfers to the provinces as of 2016 has improved Ottawa's fiscal prospects to the extent that Canada could afford to fund existing increases in OAS payments.
"We don't have a long-term sustainability problem," Mr. Page said. "I think he's doing it for broader problems."



This has been known for a while in immigration legal circles: the Atlantic provinces Provincial Nominee Program was simply one more way for people to obtain residency and then immediately move out of those provinces to Ontario, British Columia or Alberta.

Kenney: Atlantic Canada's immigration plan is flawed CTV News

Friday, January 27, 2012


Today's editorial in the Globe and Mail is spot on: PNPs require scrutiny and accountability to ensure that immigrants are in fact retained by the provinces.

Provincial nominee program for immigrants on the right track - The Globe and Mail


Is the Tunisian moneyman still in Canada? How did the authorities lose track of him? Are they incompetent?

Mystery follows fugitive Tunisian tycoon Trabelsi

Rumour has it Belhassen Trabelsi, the so-called "Godfather" of Tunisia, has left Montreal for Mexico, following in the footsteps of Moammar Gadhafi's son in search of a country with lax anti-corruption and extradition laws.

A newspaper in Tunisia reported two weeks ago that Trabelsi, whose fortune reportedly runs in the billions of dollars, first left Canada for Venezuela hoping for a warmer welcome, before settling on Mexico. There have been no sightings of him since.

But rumours may just be rumours — and observers in Montreal believe Trabelsi is still in Canada, a hot potato the federal government probably wishes it could pass on to another country, as the Immigration, Foreign Affairs and Justice departments struggle to figure out what to do with him next.

The brother-in-law of deposed Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali — and, according to a 2008 U.S. government cable released by WikiLeaks, among the most reviled of the former dictator's extended family — Trabelsi, 49, arrived in a private jet at Montreal's Trudeau airport with his wife and children on Jan. 20, 2011, flashing his permanent residency papers. (He has been a permanent resident of Canada since the 1990s.)

It was six days after Ben Ali himself fled Tunisia for Saudi Arabia. Trabelsi's residency was soon revoked, however, because he had not lived in Canada for at least two of the previous five years.

But Trabelsi, fleeing the revolution in Tunisia — and payback for the violence and corruption by which he allegedly amassed his great wealth — quickly sought to appeal that decision. To Canada's dismay, he also applied for refugee status.

The Immigration and Refugee Board is expected to render a decision on Trabelsi's case in the next few days. But it is not clear if he is in fact still in Montreal.

The Canada Border Services Agency won't provide any information about Trabelsi, citing his right to privacy. It won't even say whether it confiscated Trabelsi's passport upon his arrival.

Then again, the CBSA wouldn't necessarily know if Trabelsi left the country of his own accord — Canada doesn't have exit controls.

Haroun Boazzi, a spokesperson for the Association des droits de la personne au Maghreb, says earlier reports that Trabelsi had fled to Venezuela were false.

"I believe he is still in Canada," said Boazzi, who has been lobbying to have Trabelsi, and his assets, repatriated by force to Tunisia. Trabelsi controlled significant portions of the tourism, banking, aviation, real estate and media sectors.

"But he has a huge problem," Boazzi said. "He can't bring his money here."

In March 2011, the federal government passed new legislation to freeze the assets of "politically exposed" persons fleeing Tunisia and Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions.

The Freezing Assets of Corrupt Regimes Act makes it a crime to enter into any kind of financial transaction with Trabelsi, No. 8 on a list amended in December to include 123 people from Tunisia and 145 from Egypt.

Trabelsi's holdings in Canada are worth an estimated $10 million. Anyone found guilty of transacting with him can be fined $25,000 or sentenced to five years in jail.

Donald Kattan, one of Trabelsi's lawyers, is believed to be the first to be investigated under the new law. According to La Presse, Kattan received almost $1.4 million from Trabelsi in January 2011, and acted on his behalf to pay for hotel rooms and rent, as well as school fees for his daughters — $28,000 was refunded when his daughters were asked to leave the school last June.

The RCMP's Eric Gasse confirmed Thursday the investigation into Kattan's dealings with Trabelsi is continuing. Kattan wouldn't comment.

Last September, Trabelsi was found guilty in absentia of corruption, unlawful trade in precious metals and unlawful transfer of currency and was sentenced to 15 years by a Tunisian court.

Last December he was found guilty of possession of archeological pieces, and sentenced to another 21 months.

Trabelsi's convictions buttress Tunisia's request to extradite him — if in fact one was made. According to media reports the Tunisian embassy made a first request in January 2011, after Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest, and new Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki repeated his request two weeks ago.

"It's time our Western friends reconsider their way of seeing our countries, and that they treat us as equals and accept to send us our criminals and our money," he told a reporter in Tunis.

But the Foreign Affairs Department will neither confirm nor deny it has received such a request. On Thursday spokesperson Aliya Mawani said via email that "Canada continues to work with the new Tunisian government to ensure that corrupt foreign leaders are held accountable for their actions, in keeping with the principle of the rule of law."

Barring Trabelsi's extradition, the hot potato remains with the Immigration Department, and like Leon Mugesera, who was deported to Rwanda Tuesday after 16 years in Canada, Trabelsi could be here a long time.

While he is appealing the decision to revoke his permanent residency, he remains a permanent resident, said immigration lawyer Stephane Handfield, and as such is free to come and go as he pleases.

Only after a ruling has been made on his appeal will Trabelsi's claim for refugee status be heard, Handfield said. Given his convictions in Tunisia, his claim would surely be denied.

"Mr. Trabelsi might have good motives to say his life is in danger if he is returned to Tunisia but it will be harder to convince them he didn't engage in serious criminality."

Trabelsi could then appeal to the Federal Court. If the negative decision is upheld, the Immigration Department would then assess the risk of him being tortured or killed upon his removal — a process which in the case of Mugesera took six years.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney would not comment on the case. Instead, spokeswoman Candice Malcolm reiterated his stance.

"Minister Kenney has been clear that improvements to our immigration system are necessary and forthcoming. Our government will ensure that Canada is not the dumping ground for the world's foreign criminals, and that these criminals can no longer hide in Canada among hardworking and law-abiding Canadians."


Ontario seems to be overstating the benefits of the PNP for political purposes. It is nonsensical to compare provincial nominees to federal skilled workers as they are admitted under different criteria and under different categories. Since nominees need a job offer, it stands to reason that they are in longer term employment. Also, the province seems to ignore the fact that most immigrants still come to Ontario, and leave other provinces, except in the West, for lack of economic opportunity.

Canada News: Ontario missing benefits of ‘nominee’ immigrants, report says - thestar.com

Ontario missing benefits of ‘nominee’ immigrants, report says

January 26, 2012
Nicholas Keung
Ontario Immigration Minister Charles Sousa.
Jim Wilkes/Toronto Star file photo

Ontario is lagging behind in reaping the benefits of a program that brings in skilled immigrants more quickly and more successfully, a new government report shows.
A review of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which allows provinces to select their own immigrants based on local economic needs, found that 80 per cent of the selected immigrants are employed in the first year — most of them in their area of expertise. The program fast-tracks immigrants with the right skills, bringing them to Canada in less than a year.
Their average income, depending on province, ranges from $29,600 to $41,700 in the first year, and rises to between $35,200 and $45,100 after three years.
Although newcomers selected through the standard federal skilled immigrant program have a similar employment rate initially, they lag behind the provincial nominees by a full 10 per cent after three years. About 87 per cent of the federal skilled immigrants are employed then, compared with 97 per cent among the nominees.
The federal immigrants tend to earn less than the provincial nominees for the first three years, but do catch up and surpass them after five years.
“PNP has grown a great deal, representing 20 per cent of the total economic class immigration in 2009,” says the Citizenship and Immigration Canada report released Thursday.
“For some provinces, such as Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, the program is the primary vehicle through which they attract immigrants to their province.”
Ontario doesn’t benefit to the same extent, even though it’s still Canada’s top destination for immigrants with almost 120,000 — or 42 per cent of all immigrants — settling here in 2010.
The province was a late-comer to the program, launching its own nominee procedure only in 2007. Between 2005 and 2009, only 1,247 — or 1.2 per cent of the total nominees — came to Ontario.
Ontario Immigration Minister Charles Sousa said the evaluation report “does not fully capture our high retention rates or the high calibre of PNP immigrants coming to Ontario. This is because they used data predominantly from the years before our program was fully up and running.”
Sousa pointed out that the province’s nominee target of 1,000 is set by Ottawa and “has been unilaterally frozen for this year.”
“This is just another reason why Ontario needs a stronger say on immigration selection, to ensure we have the right immigration mix that continues to support our economic prosperity,” he said.
But the highly touted program isn’t without problems.
Thanks to the pre-screening done by the provinces, immigrants coming in through PNP get approved at a rate of 96 per cent, compared with just 50 per cent under the usual federal application program.
But the report raises concerns over the lack of “systematic collection and reporting” of program information and the need for a “strong emphasis on program integrity.”
Serious allegations of corruption and mismanagement have been raised about the program in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
“There are differing levels of rigour applied by provinces and territories when confirming applicants’ adherence to eligibility criteria and, as a result, fraud and misuse can occur,” said the report, which surveyed federal and provincial officials and external groups representing unions, employers and immigrant nominees.
“But the general perception was that it was no more likely that there would be fraud (mainly related to jobs) on PNP applications than on any other economic program applications.”
The report calls for the establishment of minimum language standards for all nominees and stronger links between their occupations and specific local labour market needs. It also recommends a monitoring and reporting mechanism to boost the program’s accountability and integrity.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Avraham David extradited to U.S., accused in multi-million dollar immigration fraud News National Post


Provincial Nominee porograms will be tightened by Ottawa amid concerns over fraud, corruption and retention issues.
Ottawa moves to tighten provincial immigration program - The Globe and Mail

Ottawa moves to tighten provincial immigration program
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is setting out more stringent standards for the way provinces pick immigrants, even as he lauds the strategy as a success and economic boon.
The Provincial Nominee Program, which allows provinces to select their own quota of immigrants based on local economic needs, has received plaudits for turning Prairie provinces into migrant magnets.
But its record is far spottier out east: Incarnations of the program in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been beset by allegations of corruption, scathing auditors-general reports and multimillion-dollar settlements paid to immigrants claiming they’d been bamboozled by misleading claims. Concerns around investor streams of the program spread to Manitoba, where the Auditor-General is conducting her own review pre-emptively.
The program has expanded significantly and is changing the face of immigration in Canada, sending newcomers to regions in need of tradespeople rather than urban hubs where highly skilled immigrants often can’t get a job.
An evaluation of the nominee program, to be released Thursday, indicates Ottawa wants to have a more direct hand in ensuring the initiative works the way it wants it to.
Provinces will need to provide evidence they need the workers they pick and they’ll have to more closely monitor visa offices abroad, “including [for] fraud detection,” according to a summary provided to The Globe by a government source.
The summary also states that nominated immigrants will need to meet minimum language standards before immigrating. It recommends putting a “monitoring and reporting framework” in place to ensure provinces meet “agreed-upon performance indicators.” The suggestion is that failure to do so would have consequences on those provinces’ programs.
Mr. Kenney hinted at this leash-tightening in an interview with The Globe late last year. The program is a success, he said, but “we do have some concerns.”
“We want to make sure the provinces are managing the program with proper due diligence and proper integrity. We need to continue working with the provinces in that respect,” he said, making special reference to immigration consultants in Maritime provinces’ investor streams as a cause for concern.
“They’re approaching people overseas who have no intention of settling in Atlantic Canada,” he said. “That’s the kind of thing that we need to be mindful of and that’s one of the reasons we are not going to continue with the rate of growth in the program over the past few years until we’re able to sit down with the provinces and make sure our concerns are addressed.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012



A very interesting interview on the US immigration debate and the GOP candidates.


Trail of ‘immigration fixer’ revealed in Ottawa courtroom


OTTAWA — When Mahmoud Samih Zbib’s wife’s permanent resident application got stalled, he went looking for a fixer.
He seemed to have found one in Issam Dakik, an Ottawa court heard Tuesday.
Dakik had connections, Zbib testified. Dakik told him he could act as an intervener between lawyers and Citizenship and Immigration Canada to get the permanent resident application process — which at that point had taken years for Zbib’s wife — completed in as little as a month.
Prosecutors now allege Dakik’s connection was Citizenship and Immigration Canada operations manager Diane Serre, who they allege took money from Dakik. In exchange, Serre would give preferential treatment to the files Dakik brought her, using her bureaucratic influence to fast-track the process.
Serre, 41, is on trial on 28 charges, including fraud upon the government, bribery and breach of trust by a public official. She has pleaded not guilty. Dakik has already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison.
Testifying on the second day of Serre’s trial, Zbib described how he and his wife first met Dakik at a Tim Hortons on Bank Street at Heron Road on Nov. 20, 2004. Dakik told Zbib he’d be driving a Toyota 4 Runner.
Dakik listened to Zbib and his wife explain their situation. Zbib testified he told them he could help, and then asked for $300. Dakik told them the money was going to the lawyer’s office and to cover administrative fees.
Suspicious, Zbib said he asked questions.
“He just said ‘Listen, I solve problems. You just give me the name of your wife, her file, I’ll work on it. Everything is legal’,” said Zbib, 53.
Zbib paid him the money.
Zbib said at their next meeting inside a Lebanese pastry shop two days later, Dakik had official looking Citizenship and Immigration Canada printouts with personal information no one else would know about his wife.
Dakik told them the file was more complicated than he expected because Zbib’s wife was in Canada on an expired visitor’s visa. He’d need $3,000 to begin the process, said Zbib.
Another $3,000 would be paid after his wife, Sanaa Salman Chahine, received her permanent resident status, Zbib testified. The money went to “lawyers,” Dakik told him.
Zbib met Dakik the next day and handed over an envelope packed with $100 bills.
A grainy video, recorded by undercover RCMP officers, was played in court. In it, Zbib can be seen handing over a thick envelope. Zbib said Dakik promised his wife would get a call from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The call came the next day. The woman never identifies herself, but Serre’s phones were tapped by police.
In the phone call secretly recorded by police, the woman advises Chahine they are working on her file and should have it resolved within four to six weeks. She also tells Chahine she knows Chahine has no status in Canada.
“We could arrest you, we won’t because you have representations from a lawyer,” said the woman.
Zbib testified he had no lawyer, and was only dealing with Dakik.
Zbib couldn’t believe his wife had received a phone call from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It had never happened before during his entire time living in Canada.
“They never call you,” Zbib exclaimed in court. “When someone from Immigration calls you, this is something big.”
Zbib never paid Dakik any more money — Dakik was arrested before he could, Zbib said, who learned about the arrest through the newspaper.
Zbib testified it took his wife — who arrived in Canada from Lebanon in 2000 — another five years before she would become a permanent resident.
The trial continues Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Operational Bulletin 378 - January 20, 2012

Sanctions against Iran


Iranian nationals, who for the purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) are defined as persons holding Iranian citizenship, or persons residing in Iran may face restrictions in transferring funds to Canadian banks, as a result of the imposition on November 21, 2011, of amended sanctions against Iran under the Special Economic Measures Act (SEMA). Indeed these sanctions prohibit persons in Canada and Canadians outside Canada from providing or acquiring “any financial services to, from or for the benefit of, or on the direction or order of, Iran or any person in Iran.”
There is an exemption under the amended sanctions for non-commercial remittance of $40,000 or less, or for payments required under a contract that was entered into prior to November 22, 2011.


In response to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s November 9, 2011 assessment of Iran’s nuclear program, Canada imposed further sanctions under the SEMA. New Regulations amending the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations entered into force on November 21, 2011. The latest sanctions prohibit financial transactions with Iran, expand the list of prohibited goods to include all goods used in the petrochemical, oil and gas industry in Iran, amend the list of prohibited goods to include additional items that could be used in Iran’s nuclear program, and add new individuals and entities to the list of designated persons found in Schedule 1 of the SEMA regulations. The amendments also remove certain entities that no longer present a proliferation concern.
The text of the November 21, 2011, Regulations amending the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations can be found at Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations.
As a result of the amended sanctions Iranian nationals or persons residing in Iran may face restrictions in transferring funds to Canadian financial institutions if they do not fit within the exemptions to the sanctions found in section 5(d) of the amended Regulations. The restrictions also operate to prohibit persons in Iran from opening a bank account in Canada prior to their immigration to Canada for the purpose of transferring funds, even if the funds themselves would be allowed under the exemptions.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) offices in Canada and overseas are instructed to continue processing applications for permanent and temporary residence of Iranian nationals and persons residing in Iran, to visa issuance, as per normal office procedure. In cases where applicants need to show that they can or have transferred funds to Canada, such as for federal Investor class applicants who are required to make their $400,000 or $800,000 investment, applicants should be informed that they may face restrictions in transferring funds to a Canadian financial institution and should be referred to the text of the sanctions Regulations. The same information should be provided to all other applicants at visa issuance.
Persons affected by the sanctions on financial transactions, whether they be applicants for a visa or already in Canada, may apply for permits from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) that authorize specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited under the sanctions. This permit process should be taken into consideration when assigning a deadline for submitting evidence that funds can be transferred to Canada or an investment made, prior to refusing an application from an Iranian national or person in Iran for failure to transfer the required funds or investments.
In-Canada CIC offices and overseas missions may wish to use the following text when communicating with clients who may be affected by the sanctions:
“Effective November 21, 2011, Iranian nationals and persons residing in Iran may face restrictions in transferring funds to, or opening bank accounts with Canadian financial institutions. The text of Regulations amending the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations, can be found at Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations. Persons affected by the sanctions on financial transactions, whether they are applicants for a visa or already in Canada, may apply for permits from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) that authorize specified activities or transactions that are otherwise prohibited under the sanctions. Exemptions to the sanctions can be found in section 5(d) of the amended Regulations.
For more information, applicants should contact:
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Economic Law Section (JLHB)
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0G2
Tel: 613-995-1108
Fax: 613-992-2467


The long saga of the Nova Scotia provincial nominee program economic stream law suit is finally over:

Immigrant class action suit is over

By Donalee Moulton

The Lawyers Weekly

Vol. 31, No. 35

(January 27, 2012)

A class action lawsuit that pitted the Nova Scotia government against immigrants who paid to come live and eventually start a small business in the province is over. Both sides have signed off on an agreement approved by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia that will give roughly 365 eligible individuals up to $63,750 each.

Each party is claiming victory -- for themselves and their opponent -- in a suit that brings finality to a well-intended but ill-fated program and also established a new way to manage class action suits.

"The key benefit to the province is that the settlement agreement captures all the claims that could be made by class members with respect to fees paid to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program," said Greg McMullen, an associate with Branch MacMaster LLP in Vancouver, which represented the plaintiff. "This should bring the last chapter of the troubled program to a close and let everyone move on."

The province agrees that finality is a positive outcome. It enables class members to submit a claim and gives the province some financial peace of mind, said Tom Peck, spokesman for Nova Scotia's Office of Immigration in Halifax. "All potential class members will be bound by the settlement agreement unless they opt out of the class action. Once the opt-out period has passed, the province will not be subject to any further lawsuits outside of the settlement agreement unless brought by a nominee who opted out of the class action."

Nova Scotia's nominee program is the first step in an application process for a permanent resident visa to Canada. It is used to recruit and select immigrants who intend to settle in the province. The class action involves immigrants who paid to come to Nova Scotia under a defunct arm of the program known as the "economic stream." The initiative, which ran from 2003 to 2006, was intended to attract entrepreneurs and help them establish a business. In return, the immigrants paid an upfront sum (upwards of $100,000) to live and work in the province.

The program did not pan out as planned. Instead, the approach proved controversial -- having immigrants pay to come to the province was hotly debated -- and concerns were raised about the operation of the program.

A special report on the economic stream prepared by the Office of the Auditor General in 2008 found "significant deficiencies" in the program.

One area of concern was the lack of mentorship programs, which was considered a key element of the economic stream and a component paid for by the immigrants. "We concluded the objective to provide nominees with a mentorship position was not met. Only 210 of the 532 economic nominees landed in Canada participated in mentorships," provincial Auditor General Jacques Lapointe stated in his 33-page report.

The final step in the demise of the economic stream is the class action suit. "The class is made of everyone who paid fees to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, landed in Canada, and became a permanent resident, and hasn't already received a refund," McMullen said.

"In the original claim," he said, "the proposed class was limited to people who had not signed a 'mentorship contract,' meaning they did not have the work experience that was promised under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. However, the settlement agreement incorporated two sub-classes: one for class members who did not sign a mentorship contract and one for class members who did."

Members of the non-mentorship class will receive $75,000 while members of the mentorship class will receive $75,000 less any amounts they were previously paid as salary or other benefits during their mentorship, Peck said. From this payment for both classes will be deducted the 15 per cent contingency fee for class counsel.

Reaching eligible individuals has been a focus, McMullen said. "No matter how big a settlement benefit is, class members can't claim if they don't find out about the settlement."

Ensuring a wide distribution of material to potential class members was a focus -- and broke new ground in class action lawsuits in Canada.

"The notice program includes a 'skip search' provision so that if any mail or email is returned to sender or the province becomes aware that someone has not received notice, the province will retain a skip searcher to try to update the address for that class member," said McMullen said. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first settlement agreement in Canada to include a skip search provision."

Streamlining the claim form was also critical, he said. "[N]o matter how good the benefits, if the claim form is too complicated, the take-up rate will drop. We knew this would be especially true for a class made up of people who are new to Canada, many of whom are not familiar with the Canadian legal system, or face significant language barriers.

"For non-mentorship class members, the claim form is one page and only asks for the most basic of information and a photocopy of the details page of the class member's current passport," he noted. "For mentorship class members, the form is just over one page and requires some supporting documentation to show how much money was earned during the mentorship."

While Nova Scotia's nominee program still exists to attract immigrants to the province, the economic stream no longer exists. "This stream was closed to new applicants on July 1, 2006," said Peck. "The province will not be reinstating it."


Finally, war chimes suspect Leon Mugesera has been deported. The Supreme Court of Canada ruling of seven years ago clearing the way for his deportation  has been finally respected in law and in spirit. Canada should not be a heaven for war crimes suspects. This case has taken over 17 years. Incredible.

Timeline: Rwandan genocide suspect Mugesera's road to deportation


Léon Mugesera lost what most likely is his last attempt to avoid deportation when Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Delorme ruled Monday the case for a stay belongs in the Federal Court of Canada.

Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, Gazette files

The long legal odessey of Léon Mugesera made its way through the Canadian courts for the last seventeen years, going from the Immigration and Refugee Board to the Supreme Court of Canada and back again.

1995 - Citizenship and Immigration began deportation proceedings against Mugesera.

July 1996 - Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Pierre Turmel determined that a speech he gave in 1992 constituted “an incitement to violence and ethnic hatred” and ordered Mugesera deported. He appealed.

November 1998 - An Immigration and Refugee Board appeal panel upheld Turmel’s decision. He appealed.

April 2001 - The Federal Court ruled Mugesera can remain in Canada with his wife and five children. Ottawa appealed.

September 2003 - The Federal Court of Appeal ruled Mugesera may have used colourful and even brutal language, but was not responsible for genocide. Federal officials appealed.

June 29, 2005 - The Supreme Court of Canada issued a unanimous 8-0 ruling declaring Mugesera inadmissible to Canada because his speech helped incite the genocide. Mugesera for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment arguing he could face torture if repatriated. That federal review continued for nearly seven years.

December 2011 - Mugesera received an 80-page decision from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and his deportation was set for Jan. 12.

Jan. 9, 2012 – Lawyers for Mugesera ask Federal Court to halt the expulsion because he could face torture if returned to Rwanda.

Jan. 11, 2012 – Federal Court Justice Michael M.J. Shore cleared the way for Mugesera’s deportation. The United Nations Committee Against Torture intervened, asking for a six-month reprieve to study the likelihood of Mugesera being tortured. Meanwhile Mugesera was hospitalized in Quebec City.

Jan. 12, 2012 – Quebec Superior Court Justice William Fraiberg granted Mugeseraa temporary safeguard order until a hearing for a permanent reprieve on Jan. 20.

Jan. 14, 2012 – Mugesera was released from hospital in Quebec City, arrested by the Canada Border Services Agency and confined to an immigration detention centre in Laval.

Jan. 16, 2012 – IRB Judge Dianne Tordorf maintained Mugesera’s detention, fearing he had taken desperate measures to avoid deportation and might again.

Jan. 20, 2012 – Lawyers for Mugesera and the federal government squared off before Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Delorme.

Jan. 23, 2012 – Delorme ruled Quebec Superior Court has no jurisdiction over Mugesera’s fate, suggesting it would encourage “tribunal shopping.” His lawyers returned to Federal Court while the IRB simultaneously held another detention review. The Federal Court dismissed Mugesera’s final motion. Mugesera was taken to the airport and deported.


This is a story that has been going on for some time, but it is interesting that it is only now coming to trial.

Immigration Canada manager pleads not guilty in bribery scheme


OTTAWA — Secretly recorded telephone calls and undercover police surveillance will paint a portrait of a senior Citizenship and Immigration Canada manager taking cash in exchange for preferential treatment on permanent residency applications, a prosecutor said Monday on the first day of a trial into an alleged bribes-for-status scheme.
Assistant Crown attorney Mike Boyce said Diane Serre teamed up with Issam Dakik to take thousands of dollars from mostly Arab immigrants in exchange for fast-tracking their applications. Dakik would meet with the applicants and collect the money before contacting Serre who would use her influence as a manager and supervisor in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Catherine Street office, said Boyce.
Serre, 41, pleaded not guilty to 28 charges Monday, including multiple allegations of fraud against the government and breach of trust of a public official. She is also charged with one count of bribery.
Dakik portrayed himself as someone who had inside information, Boyce added.
Dakik, who has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, along with credit card fraud, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison in 2006. At the time, Dakik admitted he paid Serre a portion of the proceeds of the scheme.
The scheme allegedly began in January 2003 and continued until December 2004, when Serre and Dakik were arrested by RCMP in an operation dubbed “Project Argon.”
Nine applicants made the illegal cash payments, which the RCMP said at the time of Serre’s arrest ranged from between $4,000 and $25,000.
In an opening address, Boyce outlined Crown evidence that will be presented over the six-week trial, including wiretap evidence that the prosecutor said proved that Serre was Dakik’s “insider” at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Police surveillance observed visits to Dakik’s home by Serre that corresponded with wiretapped telephone calls to some of the applicants — calls where Dakik would often either put the applicants on hold or could be heard consulting with someone else in the room.
Boyce alleged when an undercover police agent approached Dakik, he was told the first $300 he paid would go to “the lawyer.” Bills with the same serial numbers were recovered two weeks later from Serre’s bedroom, said the prosecution.
Among the allegations is that Serre also handed over sensitive Citizenship and Immigration Canada documents to Dakik and made phone calls to outside government agencies, including CSIS, to see if some of the steps of the application process could be expedited.
Not all of Serre’s actions would be improper when viewed in isolation, said Boyce, but when viewed in the context of Serre’s relationship with Dakik, they equated to a breach of trust.
“She accepted or agreed to accept a benefit for her assistance in processing these claims,” Boyce told Ontario Superior Court Justice Catherine Aitken.
Boyce said the Crown intends to prove Serre not only committed a breach of trust by taking money, but by the very fact she agreed to give preferential treatment to the claimants at all.
“Just through acts of giving preferential treatment to those files would be a breach of trust by Ms. Serre,” he said.
The nine applicants who paid Dakik are expected to be called as witnesses this week and next. Their evidence will include tape-recorded conversations and agreements they made with Dakik. Dakik is expected to take the witness stand in about two weeks, where prosecutors expect to confront him with the wiretaps and other surveillance.
The Crown will also introduce evidence that will show when Serre or others searched for the applicants’ electronic files. Occasionally Serre would search the files within a day of discussing them with Dakik, Boyce alleged.
The prosecution spent much of the first day introducing many of the exhibits seized from searches of Citizenship and Immigration Canada office and Serre and Dakik’s homes.
The trial continues Tuesday.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Note the case below. It is difficult to understand why a person who was convicted outside of Canada and has remained here illegally only to commit a further crime, has to be allowed to stay, to saddle society with her drug addiction, impose further costs, and perhaps commit more crimes. There has to be something inherently wrong with that picture. Further clarification is required as to who can apply for "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds consideration. Those words should be highly meaningful and should not be synonymous for "naive suckers". Of course, politicians will not wade into that arena any time soon. The court noted correctly the overarching duty to protect due process at the end of the judgment.

Hill v. Canada (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness)
Between Jennifer Lynn Hill, Applicant, and
The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,

[2012] F.C.J. No. 21

2012 FC 24

Docket IMM-56-12

 Federal Court

Shore J.

Heard: January 6, 2012, via teleconference (Ottawa-Toronto).
Judgment: January 6, 2012.
(19 paras.)



·       I. Introduction

1     The Applicant is required to leave Canada on Monday, January 9, 2012, through the Detroit-Windsor border between Canada and the United States. Through counsel, she requested a deferral of removal on December 8, 2011.

·       II. Background

2     The Applicant, Ms. Jennifer Lynn Hill, is a citizen of the United States. She attempted to enter Canada a number of times between August 1997 and April 1998; however, she was refused entry to Canada after being reported as inadmissible.

3     The Applicant had been charged in New York for intent to commit fraud and a warrant had been issued for her arrest in that district after she failed to appear for a proceeding relating to that matter.

4     On April 2, 2002, the Applicant was reported as inadmissible for entering Canada for the purposes of immigration and failing to hold an immigrant visa as well as engaging in continuing employment and failing to obtain a valid employment authorization. The Applicant had provided a false name to officers of the Toronto Police Service as well as the Canada Border Services Agency [CBSA] officers when arrested.

5     In December 2002, the Applicant was given an Allowed to Leave pursuant to paragraph 4(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, SOR/2002-227, but was given a Temporary Resident Permit [TRP] until January 2003 to attend Court in Toronto.

6     In May 2003, the Applicant was reported as inadmissible pursuant to paragraph 36(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 [IRPA], as she had been convicted in March 2003 of theft under $5000.

7     The Applicant filed a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment [PRRA] in June 2003. A negative PRRA decision was rendered in September of that year and she was notified of the decision three weeks later.

8     In October 2003, the Applicant submitted a Humanitarian and Compassionate [H&C] application to the Case Processing Centre [CPC] in Vegreville, Alberta.

9     Between October 2003 and July 2004, the Applicant's removal from Canada was deferred a number of times in order that she could attend Criminal Court and receive a decision on her H&C application.

10     In August 2005, the Applicant's H&C application was refused due to criminality.

11     After receiving a negative H&C application, the Applicant's counsel requested a Temporary Resident Permit [TRP] until she became eligible to apply for a pardon. The Applicant was issued three TRPs between 2006 and 2010.

12     The Applicant attended an interview at the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre [GTEC] on December 1, 2011 and was advised that she was out of status and that her removal would be scheduled.

13     On December 15, 2011, the Applicant attended another removal interview at GTEC during which her removal was scheduled for January 9, 2012.

·       III. Analysis

14     The Court is in agreement with the position of the Respondent as it recognizes, that in this matter, a review of the enforcement officer's Notes to File indicates that he considered all of the relevant facts that were before him. The officer addressed the issues raised by the Applicant with respect to her daughter and, after noting that the Applicant's daughter was not under a removal order, he discussed the availability of special education programs in Michigan and the assessment process for ensuring that adequate services are provided to each student who needs them. The enforcement officer also considered and commented in detail about the availability of aid provided by Children's Protective Services in Michigan.

15     The enforcement officer then conducted an analysis of the Applicant's drug addiction and noted that there are drug rehabilitation programs available throughout the state of Michigan.

16     The Notes to File prepared by the enforcement officer are thorough, clear and he has provided reasonable and detailed explanations for the conclusions he has made. The Applicant is simply disagreeing with the enforcement officer's decision which does not constitute a serious issue in this case.

17     The Applicant has not fulfilled any of the criteria of the tripartite conjunctive Toth v Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration) (1988), 86 NR 302 (FCA) test.

18     The Applicant has been in Canada since 2002. Contrary to the Applicant's assertion, the documents before this Court reveal that she was aware of her eligibility for pardon and the consequences of failing to apply for an extension of her Temporary Resident Permit [TRP]. Since receiving a negative decision on her PRRA application in October 2003, the Applicant has also been aware that she could be removed from Canada; however, she has failed to make arrangements for this possibility. The public interest in maintaining a process clearly specified by statute outweighs the inconveniences and the difficulties to the Applicant as a result of her removal from Canada.

·       IV. Conclusion

19     For all of the above reasons, the Applicant's motion for a stay of the removal order is denied.


THIS COURT ORDERS that the Applicant's motion for a stay of the removal order be denied.