Canadian Lawyer

August 2019

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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52 FEATURE ENTERING A THIRD chapter in their regulatory odyssey, immigration consultants want to shake the image of fraud and incom- petence that some in the immigration bar think should eliminate them as an option for newcomers to Canada. After a surge in unregulated, non-lawyer, immigration consultants in the 1990s, the 2001 Supreme Court case Law Society of British Columbia v. Mangat ruled it was not a breach of the Legal Profession Act for non-lawyer consultants to represent people in immigration hearings in B.C. The Mangat decision gave the "green light" to the proliferation of the industry, says Michael Greene, who was national chairman of the Canadian Bar Association's citizenship and immigration section from 2000-2001 and is senior partner at Sherritt Greene Immigration Law in Calgary. After decades of regulation marred by accusations of poor representation, the federal government is creating a new regulatory regime for immigration consultants. The industry's first governing body was the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, but its lack of policing, professional and ethical standards led to a parliamentary review in 2010 and the creation of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. "And there was great hope that they would be much better regulator. And it's been the opposite," says Greene. In 2 017, Pa r l i a m e n t t o o k a n o t h e r look at the industr y and the Standing C o m m i t t e e o n C i t i z e n s h i p a n d Immigration produced a report: "Starting Again: Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants." "The government wants to give just a truck full of money to a corrupt organization." Michael Greene, Sherritt Greene Immigration Law IMMIGRATION LAW Immigration lawyers skeptical about consultant regulation

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