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Blog > 2010 > What Alberta Doesn’t Get

What Alberta Doesn’t Get

March 18th, 2010

Firstly, here’s a primer for the uninitiated.

Canada (the Federal government) has entered into bilateral agreements with all the provinces to allow those provinces to nominate individuals to become Canadian permanent residents based on the nominee’s ability to contribute to the economic growth and development of that province.

Around the beginning of 2008, the province of Alberta began to actively recruit certain US visa holders (mostly IT professionals in the H1-B category), working temporarily in the US and offered them a path to Canadian permanent residency via a provincial nomination certificate. A good number of qualified individuals (probably in excess of 3,000) took Alberta up on its offer and submitted applications for a provincial nomination certificate. Now, many of those qualified applicants are being told that their nomination certificate will not be forthcoming. Instead, Alberta has informed them that their files have been closed due to changes in the global economic climate.

For the moment, let’s leave aside the whole legality issue pertaining to Alberta’s actions, as this will likely become the basis of a Class Action suit. Instead, I want to look at this from a human point of view; more specifically from the position of individuals who in good faith planned their lives in reliance upon the undertakings made by the province of Alberta.

Succinctly put, this heartless action by Alberta immigration authorities will surely cause life-changing prejudice to many of the provincial nominee candidates, whose only sin was to believe what they were told by the Alberta government.

The following scenarios would reasonably come to mind. You have, for example, a senior project manager with a company such as IBM, who was bypassed for promotion, or worse, replaced, because his employer knew of his Canadian immigration plans. You have an IT manager with a company like Deloitte, who turned down her employer’s offer to sponsor her US Green Card application because she had decided to settle in Alberta. You have a systems analyst with a company like Oracle, who quit his job to return to India and marry his fiancée in anticipation of raising a family in Canada. There are many other similar predicaments, but I’m sure you get the point.

Pure and simple, it is wrong for a Canadian government body, provincial or federal, to make a serious commitment to an individual and to then renege. It is no less reprehensible because the individual affected is not yet a citizen of our country.

I know the argument from the other side, namely that the Albertan authorities owe a higher duty to the people of their province than to would-be residents from abroad. If jobs in the IT field are tough to come by for Albertans, why bring in more IT professionals? My response is that you made a clear commitment to these potential newcomers and it is fair to assume that they planned their lives accordingly. There is no question that the decisions taken here were arbitrary and unfair, at least to those applicants whose files were closed.

All I can say is that we are all on a slippery slope in Canada if we allow our administrative officers to disregard well-established principles of natural justice and procedural fairness in the name of percieved public interest.



 
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38 Responses to “What Alberta Doesn’t Get”

  • On March 19th, 2010, Shan Sharma said ...

    Its totally unfair to those whose files were closed by the Alberta government!! And I am one of those. As mentioned in the blog, it must have affected so many lives like myself who planned on their future thinking that they were going to get Canadian Immigration. May be they should stop taking any new applications..but NOT AT ALL should close the files that they accepted last year or so!!

  • On March 19th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Very true indeed; Authorities need to consider the “human” aspects of impulsive decision making. I am personally so disappointed; I will NEVER take any route to Canada even if its lucrative. There are better places in world that treat humans as humans and dont play with sentiments. I hope justice prevails some day!

  • On March 19th, 2010, Alex said ...

    Hi David,

    Thank you so much for standing for us who got turned down and fighting for the truth! This is absolutely outrageous what Alberta has done. I find it extremely difficult to believe that this actually happened. Very sad.

  • On March 20th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Hi David,
    Thanks for understanding what each applicant’s state of mind here. But I’m very interested what steps you are planning to take against the alberta government with regards to this unfair treatment againsts your clients?

  • On March 20th, 2010, Rama Prasad said ...

    Hi David,
    Thanks for fighting for the truth and to get the justice for us. It’s very sad that Alberta closed the file. All the Best.

  • On March 21st, 2010, Sasidhar Betha said ...

    Hi David,

    I am a victim of this act by Alberta Government, and I am with you in your fight to bring us justice.

    thank you

  • On March 29th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I just wish they atleast had the courtesy to inform earlier instead of making us wait for more than an year. I would have applied for the federal processing instead of going through alberta provincial nomination.

  • On March 30th, 2010, Hayet said ...

    Hi M. Cohen,
    I can easily feel how much you are struggling to give us better chance to build our new life…Many of people are counting on you seriously …Try to guide us safely to our land of dreams…Really i feel lost in this load of laws and changes and you still my only chance , my only light …

    I thank you so much from all my heart .

  • On March 31st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Hello David,

    This is one chapter in the injustice done to potential immigrant.

    The new (fast track) system introduced post Feb’08 has similarly affected people who have applied before the system was introduced.

    It’s a pain to see cases waiting for 6+ long years on one side with absolutely no transperency and on the other side new applicants under the fast track system getting PR in 10-12 months.

    Thanks.

  • On March 31st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Its’ Alberta. What did you expect? Try a different province.

  • On March 31st, 2010, Balakrishnan Mahadevan said ...

    This is the very unfair from alberta government to deny a public immigration policy framed by alberta government are going back in their own words. The government immigration must have closed earlier all IT related jobs rather then accepting it and denying as files closed and saying no appeal. Cohen lawyers must file a class action suit against the government in federal court to accept all applications if once accepted since they could have closed the gate earlier. i am very unhappy what hapened and hope cohen brings justice to individuals who suffered and waited to immigrate to alberta

  • On March 31st, 2010, Roshna said ...

    Hi David
    I am one of those unfortunate applicants, who file has been closed. I thank you sincerely and hope that there will be some good news for us through your actions.
    Wishing you the very best , David.
    Thanks.

  • On March 31st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I am one effected

  • On March 31st, 2010, Ravi said ...

    I do not understand. When the program was introduced was the global economic climate excellent. It was down slide at that time. How did they realize it 2010 global economic climate not good any more. It was lack of foresight and not bothered about their actions they introduced this plan in first place during the down slide of global economic climate. Now they want to correct their mistakes by the expense of others. Thanks to David for his actions. We are with you.

  • On March 31st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Thank you David! Please take action to fight back for all of us!! I am still waiting for the answer from Alberta. I sent in my application last March–if I applied for federal I would already get approved. I have been calling many times but offices all said that they could help and I have to wait, wait and wait!!

  • On April 1st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Sorry for you guys. I think that Alberta did a stupid thing when it introduced that program without thinking that it won’t get anything out of it but… 3000 Indians. As everywhere, they put locals first. Then Europeans and Americans. Germans and Polish and Ukrainians are welcome there. Even Mexicans are OK. South Asians are not. That simple (even though nobody will admit it).

  • On April 1st, 2010, karthik said ...

    Hi David, You are the best Immigration attorney in canada and you have a good heart. Thanks for standing for new immigrants

  • On April 1st, 2010, Amar said ...

    Its totally unfair to those whose files were closed by the Alberta government!! As mentioned in the blog, it must have affected so many lives like myself who are planning on their future thinking that they were going to get Canadian Immigration. May be they stop taking any new applications but i hope that they re-consider their decision through your efforts.

  • On April 1st, 2010, Godfrey Sande said ...

    Hello David, this is not a good development. I am one of those who are at the verge of concluding an arrangement with you for processing my family papers for moving to Ontario, Canada. I wonder whether Ontario will also pull this fast one on us, on behalf of the citizens there as well.

    I am going to go ahead, but the risk factor has suddenly shot up. We should have the confidence of our investment being safe

  • On April 1st, 2010, CJ said ...

    David, Thanks a lot four your supporting words. I hope that Canadian immigration process remains of high quality. I believe Canada is still a great place to live.

  • On April 1st, 2010, Ashraf said ...

    I agree with David Cohen.
    My friend is civil engineer and he got a job as foreign worker in Alberta, but he stayed there for 3 months. He advised me not to think about Alberta, because Alberta is only for Canadians and no place for foreign workers. But unfortunately I was always looking for Alberta as main destination in Canada.
    I have immigration file as skilled worker since May 2007 and I selected Alberta as preferred province to live and work in Canada.
    Now I am not sure if I will continue proceeding my immigration to Canada.
    For me Canada was only Alberta, and if Alberta is not welcoming foreigners I should not immigrate to Canada
    Now I cannot trust the Alberta Government
    I hope they will change their strategy.

    Ashraf

  • On April 1st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Hi David
    That sounds great what you are doing for everyone.Even though being born in Alberta I am with you in the place of being so unfair with the applicants.I think that the people already applied should be taken and the rules should apply to ones after the rule passes.Best of luck and your awesome :) keep up the great work.

  • On April 1st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Folks, of course it’s unfair, but this is because it is heavily political. And it is not just in Alberta. Alberta was the only province who has decided to bring immigrants in based on their H1B only. Bottom line is that Canadians do not want new immigrants anywhere in Canada when we have tens of thousands graduates every year who can not find jobs because they were either outsourced to where you guys came from or taken inside Canada by foreigners on work permits. This is unfair to Canadians to continue this immigration nonsense. Citizens will vote for politicians who are anti-immigration. This is the reality now, get used to it.

  • On April 1st, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    David i applied for a job with the edmonton police and was told that i had been deemed suitable and that i should travel to edmonton for further testing in january 2010. January came and i sent lots of email to confirm dates AND SO ON, i never got a response. only to call and to be informed that the officer who i was communicating with had been transfered and thatthat my application is placed on hold due to the economic climate. I live all the way in the caribbean and had already boked a ticket and so on. david this kind of things need to stop

  • On April 2nd, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I don’t get it. There is no guarantee that the Alberta government must approve a immigration application. The Alberta government has all the right to adjust its priority when comes to the AINP. In the end, nobody forces anybody to sacrifice in order to apply for immigration. This is solely personal decision and should prepare that the application may be denied.

  • On April 3rd, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Alberta has done it with ITs and so did it with us 1500 nurses who were offered a contract by the then Alberta Health Services. We have been on cue for 2 years now and was told that we will have to forget the Canadian dream that they have offered. Alberta province only proves that it lacks good governance and that sudden impulses abound. I hope that these people someday soon realize that they are not kids playing in a playground.

  • On April 6th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    It only reveals that Canadian immigration process is curve ball ; it deceives innocents .

  • On April 6th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Thanks David for taking the stand. As individuals we keep at least 5 years in mind while taking any critical decisions. Alberta introduced this program blindly without the clear knowledge of economic circumstances at that time where as everyone in the world could see the climate change and its effect in the lives of individuals and countries/states.

  • On April 6th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    One of my friend on this forum said that the Canada should stop open immigration as there are lot of Canadian citizens jobless. I totally agree, but this should start for all future immigration programs. Its brutal wasting 1 year of many skilled workers and then saying sorry we made a mistake. Was Alberta enjoying coffee when many of us were sending their documents? And when they finished the coffee they realized that they have received greater than expected number of applications. People plan their lives with each step they take, unlike Alberta. Was there any planning involved? Was there any cap defined?

  • On April 18th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I agree with your planned action. Again the Alberta promise has been shortlived. No well-thinking immigrant expected that the integration would not require further studies and some entry-level work, but you cant even get that. The embassy collected our credentials as a basis for approval,then why are we now rejected. In 5 years Alberta will have more mental health cases of immigrants suffering from depression. If you can’t get a job in the “closed society of Alberta” and you dont have any intention of going on ‘welfare” the what’s next. Even the government department for the few vacancies available tell you you have no canadian experience.

  • On April 27th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Is this going to affect those who already were nominated and sent medical examination results to Ottawa? Good luck, guys!

  • On April 27th, 2010, GOUTAM said ...

    Hellow
    Mr David,
    Lots of thanks for gave this information

  • On April 28th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I have wasted 1 year in hopes, Alberta give me back those days. No courtesy at all.
    Mr David please fight for this injustice.

  • On May 10th, 2010, GlobalCitizen said ...

    This was a scam run by the Alberta Govt. David’s class action law suit must lead to a full refund of the application fees and all the legal fees attached to these applications that H1B’s were encouraged to apply for. Secondly, they should also be charged for other damages that it has caused to individuals and their families. H1Bs are individuals with exceptional ability. They should be treated with respect to say the least.
    After this episode no H1B should apply for crappy programs like these that are pure scams.

  • On July 22nd, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    it could be purely based on the race of applicants, most of the H1b applicants are Indians, I bet atleast 95% of them are Indians , therefore AINP must have decided to close the files fearing that there would be a tremendous surge of high qualified Indians moving into Alberta and thereby causing a racial imbalance in the society there. Whether we like it or not this decision is by AINP is purely based on the skin color of the prospective immigrants.

  • On July 29th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    i dont beleive race has anything to do with it, I’ve brought a few workers from Thailand in previously without any problems at all, now I’m trying to bring in a new skilled worker and am getting grief from both the fedaral and Alberta level. They’re clamping down on everybody not just one superior race.

  • On January 19th, 2011, Anonymous said ...

    Lets put it this way, Alberta’s immigration program is probably one of the worse in the country if not the worst.

  • On August 3rd, 2011, Anonymous said ...

    i think instead of close they should have suspended till economy improves and then should have give one chance if they still consider immigrating.
    Any update or any collective action we can plan ?

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