You Can Fight City Hall

May 6th, 2015

They say you can’t fight city hall. Actually, you can, but it’s not often that you come out a winner, especially if the stakes are high. Given the assets and resources at the government’s disposal, it isn’t really a fair fight. Sometimes though, right wins over might and the result is extremely rewarding.

In August, 2013, my colleague Mathieu Bouchard and I launched two court challenges against the government of Quebec following the latter’s decision to change the selection criteria under the Quebec Skilled Worker Program and to apply the changes to applications that had been submitted prior to the modifications coming into force. Some 50,000 applicants may have been affected, so this was no small matter. Earlier that summer, I had written in this very blog about how unjust the government’s decision had been.

The first case asked the Superior Court to declare the Quebec government’s actions illegal and to order the assessment of applications according to the selection criteria in force at the time the application was submitted. The second court case sought the return of Quebec Government processing fees on behalf of all individuals whose applications may have been refused as a result of the selection criteria having been changed. The second case was suspended pending the outcome of the first.

Last month, the decision was handed down in the first case, and the court returned a verdict in our favour. It was a victory for some, but not necessarily all, affected applicants, and a reminder that justice is worth fighting for. I was delighted with this verdict, as were thousands of others who may yet be able to realise their Canadian immigration aspirations through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

It is hoped that the government of Quebec has learned that the form of retroactive legislation imposed on thousands of hopeful applicants wishing to immigrate to Quebec is not the right way to do things. Moving the goal posts after the match has begun undermines public trust. However, the delays to appeal the decision have not yet expired. We have only won the battle, but there may be a war left to fight yet.

They say you can’t fight city hall. Well, you can, and we will.


 
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6 Responses to “You Can Fight City Hall”

  • On May 7th, 2015, Anonymous said ...

    Nice one well done guys!
    They still keep changing the rules in BC so the message hasn’t got here yet.
    There really need a complete rethink of the whole system rather than constantly trying to fix a fundamentally flawed system.

  • On May 13th, 2015, Masood Akbar said ...

    Well done Mr. David Cohen, I Appreciate you and your firm.

  • On May 15th, 2015, Joe Allan said ...

    I was really sad when I heard that I wont meet the point criteria according to the new rule that some of the points awarded were reduced…But sir you have done a great job..I hope now I meet the required points..I am so thankful to you and your team.

  • On May 17th, 2015, NYD said ...

    Gr8 news Sir, congrats … I have filed my application under QSW program in July 2013. Will I be benefitted by above judgement.

  • On May 20th, 2015, Anonymous said ...

    i received my file number on 11/2011 and they asked me for update on 17/2/2015 and they received the update on 11/5/2015 so i want to know which law will be applicable on my case if they not appeal and thank you in advance

  • On November 30th, 2015, Anonymous said ...

    If you need advice with an issue you are having with city hall, I would start by checking with your local attorneys. I would suggest goingt o the Star of Service site and filling out a request form. They will be able to locate a few attorneys in your local area to assist you.

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