Blog > 2013 > Let the Court Decide (Que la Cour statue)

Let the Court Decide (Que la Cour statue)

August 29th, 2013

(LA VERSION FRANÇAISE SUIVRA)

I thank my colleague and good friend Mario Bellissimo for bringing the following quotes to my attention.

“…That is a principle of Canadian law that is sacrosanct…you can’t revise things retroactively.”

You may be surprised to learn that the above words were uttered by Chris Alexander, then a backbench Member of Parliament and now the newly appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Unfortunately, Mr. Alexander wasn’t referring to the 280,000 would-be Canadian immigrants whose applications, dating back to 2004, were recently terminated without processing by the government he represents. Rather, he was defending the actions of two fellow Conservatives, who had allegedly violated the spending provisions of the Elections Act during the last federal election. What troubled Mr. Alexander was that Elections Canada supposedly retroactively revised certain requirements after having accepted the candidates’ returns.

Once Parliament resumes in October, Mr. Alexander will have the opportunity to demonstrate that he is a person of principle and do right by the people whose applications were jettisoned. However, more likely than not, what’s good for the goose will do nothing for the gander. The fate of these applicants remains in the hands of the Federal Court of Appeal.

The foregoing serves as a lead-in to what this blog is really about. Last month, I commented on the Province of Quebec’s attempt to compete with the federal government in the odious retroactivity game. On the one hand, Quebec will not terminate older applications. On the other hand, they will impose new selection criteria to applications that were submitted prior to the adoption of the new criteria. In some instances, individuals, who submitted their applications years ago, will be negatively affected.

In a bid to outdo the feds, at this point in time Quebec is only offering to refund government processing fees to relatively few of the affected applicants . It’s hard to determine which government’s actions are deserving of the title “most repugnant”.

Like the Minister of Immigration, I too value the principles of Canadian law. Among them is the right to challenge injustice in the courts of law. For that reason, I have co-counselled with lawyer Mathieu Bouchard of the law firm Irving Mitchell Kalichman and we are filing a Motion To Institute Proceedings For A Declaratory Judgement and For A Safeguard Order in the Quebec Superior Court on behalf of one of my clients, whose application will likely be refused if the new regulations are retroactively applied to her case. We are asking the Honourable Court to declare Quebec’s retroactive regulations null.

Hopefully, justice will prevail.

—————————————————-

Que la Cour statue

Je remercie mon collègue et bon ami Mario Bellissimo pour porter la citation suivante à mon attention :

“…That is a principle of Canadian law that is sacrosanct…you can’t revise things retroactively.”

Vous serez peut-être surpris d’apprendre que les mots ci-dessus ont été prononcés par Chris Alexander, à l’époque un simple député et maintenant nouveau Ministre de la Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration.

Malheureusement, M. Alexander ne faisait pas référence aux dossiers, remontant à 2004, des 280.000 candidats à l’immigration au Canada auxquels il a récemment été mis fin sans traitement par le gouvernement qu’il représente. Au contraire, il défendait les actions de deux collègues conservateurs, qui auraient violé les dispositions en matière de dépenses de la Loi Électorale lors de la dernière élection fédérale. Ce qui troublait M. Alexander, c’était qu’Élections Canada aurait supposément révisé rétroactivement certaines exigences après avoir accepté les rapports des candidats.

Lorsque le Parlement reprendra ses travaux en Octobre, M. Alexander aura l’occasion de démontrer qu’il est une personne de principes et qu’il rendra justice aux personnes dont les demandes ont été larguées. Cependant, il est plus probable que ce qui est bon pour pitou ne profitera pas à minou. Le sort de ces candidats reste entre les mains de la Cour d’Appel fédérale.

Ce qui précède constitue une introduction à ce sur quoi ce blog porte vraiment. Le mois dernier, j’ai parlé de la tentative de la Province de Québec de rivaliser avec le gouvernement fédéral dans le jeu odieux de la rétroactivité. D’une part, le Québec ne mettra pas fin à d’anciens dossier, mais d’autre part, ils vont imposer de nouveaux critères de sélection pour les dossiers qui ont été présentés avant l’adoption de ces nouveaux critères. Dans certains cas, des personnes qui ont soumis leurs dossiers il y a quelques années déjà seront affectées négativement.

Dans une tentative de surpasser le gouvernement fédéral, le Québec offre pour le moment seulement de rembourser les frais de traitement du gouvernement à relativement peu de demandeurs concernés. Il est difficile de déterminer laquelle des actions du gouvernement est digne du titre du « plus répugnant ».

Comme le ministre de l’Immigration, moi aussi j’apprécie les principes de la loi canadienne. Parmi eux, il y a le droit de contester l’injustice dans les tribunaux. Pour cette raison, l’avocat Mathieu Bouchard, du cabinet Irving Mitchell Kalichman, et moi-même nous nous sommes constitués co-conseils et nous déposons une Requête Introductive d’Instance pour un Jugement Déclaratoire et une Ordonnance de Sauvegarde à la Cour supérieure du Québec au nom d’une de mes clientes dont la demande d’immigration sera probablement refusée si les nouveaux règlements sont appliqués de manière rétroactive à son cas. Nous demandons à l’Honorable Cour de déclarer nulle la réglementation rétroactive du Québec.

Espérons que la justice prévaudra.



 
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29 Responses to “Let the Court Decide (Que la Cour statue)”

  • On August 30th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    I am the one of those whose applications was terminated. I had to fill an online form requesting the refund and they don’t even tell you when you will get the refund! I hope it won’t take as many YEARS as it took them to make that decision anyway :( I’m very very disturbed not to mention that I live in a country where a human being has no value!

  • On August 30th, 2013, Luis said ...

    Hi, David.
    Thank you for your actions.
    Quebec´s Government showed how simple it is to wipe out thousands of individual efforts and dreams. I guess it´s easier to violate sacrosanct principle and moral code than it is to assume inefficiency and inherent (i)responsability.
    Best Regards

  • On August 30th, 2013, Catherine said ...

    A Tory as a man of principle? Gimme a break…

  • On August 30th, 2013, Sean said ...

    Thank you for speaking out against this David, keep fighting the good fight!

  • On August 30th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    It’s terrible to believe as to how a democratic country leader could be such ! It’s so short sighted of him ! Is the judicial system really independent there ?!?

  • On August 31st, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    terminating of 280,000 old applications by Canadian government completely destroyed Canada’s image particularly its legal system. this is not justice to take people’s money and keep them in line for more than 6-8 years and than say ” leave the old fish and let’s take new fat fishes ” Canada should take it mind that people are not fish and should not be treated like animals. they are the people who have selected Canada as their new homeland.in fact all residents of Canada are immigrants. we hope the Canadian high court and parliament reconsider this decision of applicants-termination and restart its process.

  • On August 31st, 2013, WK said ...

    I like the bottom line, “Hopefully, justice will prevail”. This is what I am desperately hoping for since action was instituted and Justice Barness turned the tables. Let’s keep the fingers crossed and hope living in a society based on principles of justice and fairness.

  • On September 1st, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    Where are the human rights activists of Canada….

  • On September 2nd, 2013, Back Logger said ...

    I agree David we will wait to let the court decide. And we will be happy whatever the decision is. If it is in our favor,it means justice prevail. If not we will thank GOD for not letting us go to the new unfair Canada.

  • On September 3rd, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    Dear David ,

    Thats wonderful initiation to slap those who violates the natural human laws. This law should not be allowed to proceed with at any cost, otherwise, it would be too easy for anyone to define the laws in their interest. Thats too unjust and childish to apply retroactive laws. Its like that once fees is paid, applicants have no more huma rights! Ohs,,, I am ashamed that I am living in the world where I can hear such rules in such a progressive and modern time.

    Thanks again Mr. David for your effort.

  • On September 4th, 2013, ripan Sarker said ...

    Hi, David.

    I agree David we will wait to let the court decide

  • On September 4th, 2013, ripan Sarker said ...

    Thank you for speaking out against this David, keep fighting the good fight!

  • On September 5th, 2013, Leonard said ...

    Thanks David

  • On September 7th, 2013, From Iran said ...

    bon courage

  • On September 8th, 2013, Saeid said ...

    Thank you for your action against unfair Quebec’s retroactive regulations hope that justice will prevail.

  • On September 8th, 2013, Marjan said ...

    please keep fighting to stop applying Quebec regulations retroactively to the submitted files.Thanks David, hope to win

  • On September 18th, 2013, Ali Baygi said ...

    Thank You for help. Hope to hear good news…

  • On September 24th, 2013, Hima said ...

    This is the first time in my life I have seen this kind of harsh actions esp on old files. In any part of the world Government rules decided for a specific time slab cannot suddenly be implied on any other time period . It is against law and this even does not happen in third world countries . I am shocked Canada has taken such a step.

  • On September 27th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    we are waiting for such a long period. we have many dreams. Do not ruined our dreams. we want justice…

  • On September 27th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    we will be happy whatever the decision is. If it is in our favor,it means justice prevail. If not we will thank GOD for not letting us go to the new unfair Canada

  • On September 27th, 2013, Isabel said ...

    Thank you for taking the action. People is following the progress.

  • On October 2nd, 2013, vitaly24 said ...

    bonjour monsieur
    tout d’abord on est vraiment reconnaissants des efforts que vous avez fait pour défendre les droits d’immigrants
    est ce qu’il y a du nouveau concernant l’action en justice contre cette nouvelle loi d’immigration ?

  • On October 14th, 2013, Sergei said ...

    I’m the one affected by this change, thank you for help!
    Keep fighting the good fight!

  • On October 15th, 2013, Vincent said ...

    Quebec Government should not play with youngster’s life—I can not agree more! We’ve spent lots of our money, time and even love!
    I can construct a website for petition and call many candidates to join in it! If you need my help, just send me an email!

  • On October 26th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    The decision of Quebec Government is totally unfair & unjusticeful. They should process the files according to the rules which were in effect on the date of submission of file. I think this is totally one sided decision which can’t be expected from Quebec Authority.

  • On November 10th, 2013, sandy said ...

    Developed countries like Canada should have foresight and clarity on immigration.Canada is immigrant populated nation and such actions will certainly tarnish its values irrepairable. Quebec applicants are badly affected by this change, I know many just like me had spent lot of time,money to learn french.This is oppertunistic approach adopted by Quebec govt to fsw footsteps. I request developed nations like Canada to be morr responsible for its actions.May justice prevail. David, we are with you.

  • On November 18th, 2013, prashanti said ...

    Thank you sir, Be with us.Like me many people has spent a lot to apply and to learn french.Hope to hear a good news soon

  • On December 12th, 2013, Jamil said ...

    I’ve been waiting for long time and I’ve been affected also, David keep this up, we are relying on you…

  • On December 12th, 2013, manzar alam said ...

    I’m an affected person of the job growth law that terminated immigration applications.Throughout all these seven or so years my family and i have been so much accustomed to Canada that now we find it difficult to accept the reality that our application has been terminated.We in fact had planned to live in Canada and enrich our lives with liberty,peace and thrive.All our dreams have come to naught and we once again are trying ourselves to align with the reality that our applications have been dropped!!

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