I always thought that Federal government regulation would not work and I was behind a Federal Court case to stop Immigration Consultant regulation. I always believed that occupational regulation was a provincial authority. Every Lawyer in Canada is controlled by those provinces or territorial Law Societies, not the Federal government.
When Immigration Consultant regulation started in 2004 there were 1,800 Immigration Consultant members. 15 years later I doubt there are 3,600 Regulated Immigration Consultants.
REGULATION OF IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS HAS FAILED SINCE DAY ONE!
- Regulation of Immigration Consultants has always been about making money for others and not about protecting the consumers of immigration advice.
- Regulation of Immigration Consultants should be about providing access to justice for those that can’t afford high price Law Firms.
The first Immigration Consultant regulatory body was known as (CSIC) Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants who faced a revolt by their own members for overcharging them too much for ridiculous things. CSIC lasted for six years and was replaced by (ICCRC) Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council since 2011 when the government changed the Act.
REPRESENTATION OR ADVICE
Representation or advice for consideration
91 (1) Subject to this section, no person shall knowingly, directly or indirectly, represent or advise a person for consideration — or offer to do so — in connection with the submission of an expression of interest under subsection 10.1(3) or a proceeding or application under this Act.
Marginal note: Persons who may represent or advise
REGULATION OF IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS BY ICCRC HAS FAILED SINCE DAY ONE!
IRCC was instituted to replace CSIC because CSIC was failing at Regulating Immigration Consultants.
Two main things were highlighted at the government standing committee Improving Government Oversight of Immigration Consultants ending in May of 2017. Lack of Education of Immigration Consultants plus the fact Members of Parliament could see NO DISCIPLINE!
- Phil Mooney the very first CEO of ICCRC write to me saying that ICCRC could not institute tribunal training because it would affect all the current students enrolled in Immigration Consultancy programs. The drive was on to get as many new members as possible regardless of their qualifications. MONEY is what regulation of immigration consultants has always been about! It has now been seven years and still, no tribunal training of Immigration Consultants has been implemented.
- Recent discipline decisions by ICCRC highlight exactly what the MP’s were saying about NO DISCIPLINE with ICCRC at the helm. (1) The first a dual member who was an LSO Paralegal and ICCRC Consultant were dealt with by ICCRC and the LSO. The Law Society of Ontario stripped him of his designation and fined him $10,000.00. That meant he could not represent anyone as an LSO Paralegal. ICCRC fined him $2,000.00 yet he was found to defraud me34mbers of the public related to Immigration issues of over 2 million dollars. (2) The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada found another ICCRC member to be incompetent and banned him from representing any clients at all three divisions of the IRB. Only after the IRB suspended that member did ICCRC suspend him from representing clients at all three divisions of the IRB. Yet ICCRC allowed this very same member to continue as a member in good standing.
THOSE PRESENTERS AT THE STANDING COMMITTEE WHO WERE ICCRC MEMBERS OR EXECUTIVES WERE DISGRACEFUL!
They had no solution but to say give us more authority and everything will change for the better.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AT ICCRC AS (SELF-REGULATION)!
- In all provinces Lawyers who are members of their own Law Society decide on the discipline that any member should receive.
- In Ontario, LSO Paralegals decide on what discipline their own members should receive for violations.
- Regulated Immigration Consultants have their violations/complaints assessed by Lawyers. Lawyers get paid over $800,000.00 per year to review complaints. The Lawyers hired by ICCRC to review violations of their members are not Immigration Lawyers but corporate Lawyers.
CAN REGULATION OF IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS BE EASILY IMPROVED, YES!
- The Federal government must take over regulation of Immigration Consultants.
- If Lawyers really cared about access to justice and not the bottom line they would recommend a two-tier system.
- ICCRC would get rid of poor quality approved educational providers until they can properly teach tribunal training.
- ICCRC needs to reach out to their senior members even if they disagree with some of their comments to improve the overall quality of representation of their own members.
- ICCRC should save thousands by having their own members decide on appropriate discipline.
- Complaints should be resolved within one year.
- The OBA Immigration section should tell their own Law Society to allow LSO Paralegals to practice Immigration. IRPA A91 (2) (b)