Evidence of meeting #60 for Citizenship and Immigration in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.)

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

David Cashaback  Director, Immigration Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration
Robert Orr  Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj

Good afternoon.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motions adopted by the committee on October 4, 2016 and April 3, 2017, the committee will resume its study on immigration consultants.

As we conclude this study, we once again have department officials before us. We have Mr. Robert Orr, assistant deputy minister, operations; Mr. Michael MacDonald, the director general, immigration program guidance; David Cashaback, director, immigration branch; and Michael Brandt, director, grants and contributions financial management.

From the Canada Border Services Agency, we have Ms. Jennifer Lutfallah, director general, enforcement and intelligence programs.

From the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, we have Paul Aterman, the deputy chairperson, immigration appeal division.

I'd like to welcome everyone back.

I'd just like to warn that there may be bells for a 4:15 vote, and if that occurs we will most likely entertain a motion to adjourn because I understand there is a vote at 5:30 as well, but we'll see how events develop.

With that, we'll begin with Ms. Dzerowicz, who will be splitting her time with Mr. Sarai, for seven minutes, please.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.

Thank you so much for coming back on this beautiful afternoon.

I have three questions that I'm hoping I can run through with you.

The first one is around federal-provincial overlap. Some of the testimony indicated that there might be some federal-provincial overlap around regulatory regimes for immigration consultants. Often the provincial nominee program, PNP, was mentioned as an example. I think Saskatchewan was given as an example. I want to know whether that's something that should be of concern to us in terms of moving towards recommendations and whether there's something we need to do to recommend cleaning that up.

3:30 p.m.

David Cashaback Director, Immigration Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

Yes, provinces and territories do have the jurisdiction to regulate occupations and professions, and could, if desired, regulate the activities of immigration consultants in their jurisdictions. What we've seen is Quebec and Saskatchewan both using a model with two basic requirements. They require that consultants be registered with their authorities and be registered members of the ICCRC.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Is there a need for us to clean that up in some way, or does that coexist and work well under the current regime?

3:30 p.m.

Director, Immigration Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

David Cashaback

I think this is an area where the jurisdiction is shared between the federal and provincial governments.

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Then there are no ensuing problems or issues around that.

3:30 p.m.

Director, Immigration Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

David Cashaback

In our experience with the model, it hasn't led to conflicts.

May 10th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

Okay, thank you.

My second question is around the ability for NGOs or newcomer agencies to be able to help with prospective immigrant applications. We've heard from some NGOs or some newcomer agencies that many of them don't help out because, under section 91 of IRPA, it indicates that they're not able to help if it's “for consideration”. Some agencies do, some don't.

My understanding is this came up as a question in previous reviews of immigration consultants. I wonder whether there's a need for us to clarify the language here that newcomer agencies and NGOs are able to help, but be very clear with the language.

Could you address whether this has come up in previous reports? Is it the intention of section 91 to exclude them or to include them at the moment?

3:35 p.m.

Robert Orr Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations, Department of Citizenship and Immigration

In section 91, there is some ambiguity there, which we have tried to clarify—

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON

I'm sorry, I can't hear.

Mr. Chair, I'm sorry, is there a conversation? I'm trying to hear.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj

The bells have started, and yes, there is, because the procedure would be that someone would make a motion to adjourn at this point.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Ms. Dzerowicz, I'm sorry, I was talking and I shouldn't have been.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj

We're trying to figure out the timing on this, Ms. Dzerowicz.

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

There is a problem, and I know we all just started, but who knows what the buses are like? We have about 20 minutes now, 27 minutes. I'm going to move that we adjourn.

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj

Thank you.

All those in favour of adjourning? That's agreed to unanimously. Thank you.

The meeting is adjourned.