Law Times

January 25, 2010

The premier weekly newspaper for the legal profession in Ontario

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 15

A BALANCE OF BUSINESS & LAW & LAW OF $3.55 • Vol. 21, No. 3 umber_LT_Jan25_10.indd 1 1/21/10 2:49:44 PM Covering Ontario's Legal Scene ntitled-3 1 Help for Haiti faces legal obstacles Lawyers offering assistance say immigration rules should change BY TIM NAUMETZ For Law Times OTTAWA – Th e federal government's promise to fast-track family-class im- migration applications from Haiti and put them at the head of the line could be impossible to fulfi l without further measures by Immigration Minister Ja- son Kenney, lawyers who work in the area say. Th e biggest obstacle — the legal re- quirement for a valid passport to get on a plane to Canada — may mean Kenney will have to exercise his power under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to waive the rule, ac- cording to Toronto immigration law- yer Joel Etienne. He predicts the expe- dited family-sponsorship measures will be unworkable unless the government adapts its requirements for documen- tary evidence before Haitians can get approval for entry to Canada. "Th ey'll have to modify the sys- tem and work on undertakings," he tells Law Times. "Th e only way this can work would be for them to allow somebody like me, a Canadian citizen with a good civil record, to give an un- dertaking to authorities that this is who this person is, this is the family relationship, and let's register with the Haitians and with the Canadians the fact that I am taking over this child." Th e sweeping destruction of the Jan. 12 earthquake left the personal and government dedicated web site under the auspices of the Canadian Bar Association. Th e web site will allow Haitian- Canadians wishing to take advantage of expedited family-sponsorship im- migration and adoption measures to reach lawyers off ering pro bono help directly, the CBA says. Th e site was ex- pected to be in operation this week. Nevertheless, obtaining legal help will only be the fi rst step for the thou- sands of Haitian-Canadians who want to reunite with their families in Canada. Stephen Green, chairman of the CBA's national citizenship and immigration law section, also says requirements for documentary evidence of identity will be the biggest diffi culty facing Haitians and the Canadian government. "You need a passport to come to 'I think documentation will be the hardest for both the Canadian government and the person that is applying,' says Stephen Green. records of millions of Haitians under the rub- ble of buildings that crumbled and will likely make the production of passports and other personal identity documents impossible, law- yers say. Th ey made the comments as the legal community in Canada was setting the stage for a major call for pro bono legal support to the Haitian-Canadian community through a Canada," he says. "You have to issue a visa inside a passport. You have to prove who your parents are, who your broth- ers and sisters are. I think documenta- tion will be the hardest for both the Canadian government and the person that is applying. It's going to have to be a trust situation, [which is] very hard." Still, Green says s. 25 of the immi- gration act gives Kenney the authority to take any steps he can to overcome road- blocks. "Th e minister has the right to do anything that he or she feels is appropriate to facilitate entry, so they could go ahead, waive that requirement, and things like that." Kenney has acknowledged the process will See Passports, page 5 Terrorist barred from practising BY TIM SHUFELT Law Times A convicted hijacker and terrorist who said he has mended his ways will not be allowed to practise law in Ontario. Th e Law Society of Up- per Canada has denied Parminder Singh Saini a licence to practise, citing his criminal past, among other factors, as evidence that he is not of good char- acter. "At this point in time, while Mr. Saini has shown an ability to obtain university degrees and has impressed a number of people, we are still left with a number of se- rious concerns," panel chairman William Simpson wrote in a law society ruling this month. Th e decision comes as good- character hearings have become more common at the LSUC, says Heenan Blaikie LLP lawyer and former law society treasurer Gavin MacKenzie. In such cases, the bur- calling such matters a subjective process that considers evidence of past conduct together with proof of remedial steps taken in the interim. "It is not a forum for question- ing political views," he points out. In Saini's case, his lawyer, Frank This is not a higher burden of proof but simply a refl ection of the seriousness of the prior conduct which must be overcome. den of proving good character falls on the applicant, he notes, adding that doing so becomes more dif- fi cult when dealing with convic- tions for serious crimes. "An important factor is how much time has elapsed," he says, Addario, argued last year that his client regretted his misdeeds, had amassed a roster of impressive personal and professional refer- ences in Canada, and had reha- bilitated himself from the man who committed what the panel called "a horrendous crime." According to an agreed state- ment of facts, in 1984, when Saini was 21, he hijacked an air- plane at gunpoint in India "at the behest of leaders within his religious community." With more than 270 people on board, Saini and his accomplices, armed with guns and kirpans, or- dered the plane rerouted to Lahore, Pakistan. Th e statement said Saini and leaders of a militant Sikh organization orchestrated the hijacking to raise awareness of the repression of the Sikh community in India, including the attack on the Golden Temple See Immigration, page 5 WHICH DIRECTION IS BEST FOR YOU? RainMaker Group 110 Yonge Street, Suite 1101 Toronto, Ontario M5C 1T4 Untitled-7 1 Tel: 416-863-9543 Fax: 416-863-9757 5/29/08 1:05:49 PM A. NEUMAN ASSOCIATES INC. Forensic Accounting & Damage Quantifi cation Specialists Turn Crisis into Opportunity (416) 223-5991 January 25, 2010 9/28/09 12:30:15 PM Inside This Issue 5 Leader Passes Away 6 Traffic Woes 8 Focus On Mergers and Acquisitions Quote of the week "Many people who knock on the doors of the justice system fi nd the doors never open. With this initiative, we can change that." — Ryan Teschner, associate at Heenan Blaikie LLP See Bay, page 4 Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Law Times - January 25, 2010