Law Times

April 16, 2012

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LAWYER MOURNED Leonard Braithwaite blazed many trails Follow on www.twitter.com/lawtimes $4.00 • Vol. 23, No. 13 Untitled-3 1 P4 ARTICLING SOLUTION Profession should subsidize principals' costs P6 FOCUS ON Class Actions COVERING ONTARIO'S LEGAL SCENE • WWW.LAWTIMESNEWS.COM Immigration lawyers reeling Government moving through system 'like a stack of dominoes' 5/5/10 3:55:30 PM L AW TIMES BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times I mmigration lawyers are reeling from a host of changes that are radically revamping Canada' rio Bellissimo of Bellissimo Law Group in Toronto. "Yes, some of the changes have been very positive, but I don't think it' migration system within a short period of time. "Th ey're moving through one immigration pro- gram at a time like a stack of dominoes," says Ma- ally need to catch our breath. I mean, unless they can say Canada' out and say it." Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has essentially entirely fl awed, that's one thing. But they have to come s im- s being looked at holistically and I think we re- s immigration system as currently constructed is been doing what Bellissimo suggests in defending chang- es that include eliminating scores of people from the backlog of applications. "It makes no sense to tell people, ' in a statement. "I will continue to make changes to create a faster, more fl exible immigration system. Canadians need and deserve a system that boldly puts Canada' fi rst." s best interests to hand-pick skilled workers and immigrants to meet their labour needs; the removal of all applications clog- ging the federal skilled-worker applicant pool; more emphasis on hiring skilled tradespeople; assessing ed- ucation credentials prior to entry to Canada; and the elimination of an entrepreneurship program to combat immigration fraud. Th e slew of changes includes allowing provinces Apply now, but put your life on hold for a few years be- fore we'll even let you know if you qualify, '" said Kenney ntitled-2 1 P8 April 16, 2012 7/7/11 9:10:05 AM gram, nearly 280,000 people who applied before Feb. 27, 2008, will have their applications removed from the pool. In turn, they'll receive a refund for their fees and will have to reapply under the new guidelines. Th ose guidelines include a requirement to have either Under the changes to the federal skilled-worker pro- experience in one of 29 occupations listed by the federal government as being in high demand or a job off er in Canada. Th e new system also envisions processing ap- plicants more quickly if they're young, highly skilled, and have the ability to speak English or French. In addition, it involves developing a separate stream for in-demand tradespeople and business investors. As for the remaining immigrants who don't meet the new guidelines, a pilot program will allow provinces and territories to accept an additional 1,500 people a year from the current backlog of applicants. Many immigration lawyers who disagree with the changes say that while they put Canada's economic inter- ests fi rst, there are downsides as well. "Th e changes seem to turn immigrants into economic commodities and don't appear to take into consideration the family and so- cietal values immigrants who may be excluded under the changes could bring to Canada," says Bellissimo. "I understand not wanting to bring a group of people 'We shouldn't do away with the dream of someone getting the chance to come Canada who played by the rules,' says Mario Bellissimo. Photo: Robin Kuniski program will come down particularly hard on appli- cants who in many cases have been waiting fi ve years or Charter remains a living tree 30 years on stitutional lawyers and legal experts say the battle to defi ne its param- eters is far from over. In the time since the Charter be- C 'The Charter has probably had the biggest impact on the criminal justice system in Canada,' says Jamie Cameron. anada has lived under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the last three decades, but con- came part of the supreme law of the land on April 17, 1982, its impact on the Canadian legal landscape has been signifi cant. In the last few months alone, it has played an inte- gral role in the pending legalization of brothels in Ontario and the continua- tion of safe injection sites. Th is week, as people across the country celebrate the Charter' stitutional experts are taking stock of s 30th anniversary, con- BY KENDYL SEBESTA Law Times where it has taken the practice of law. "Th e Charter has added many lay- ers to law in Canada over the past 30 years," says Jamie Cameron, a consti- tutional law expert at Osgoode Hall Law School. "It has challenged lawyers to think of law as an agent of change and has changed the way we see ourselves and how citizens and gov- ernments see themselves." Recently, Appeal moved to legalize brothels in a decision citing the rights and free- doms outlined by the Charter that entitled sex workers to the same pro- tections as others who work in dan- gerous but legal jobs. Prior to that, the Supreme Court the Ontario Court of ruled in favour of safe injection sites in a decision that focused on funda- mental rights and freedoms outlined by the Charter. Cameron notes the Charter has also led to an increased awareness of the rights of minority groups and a signifi cant transformation of the criminal justice system over the last 30 years that now provides for greater rights for the accused. "Th e Charter has probably had the biggest impact on the crimi- nal justice system in Canada," says Cameron. "Trials are much lon- ger now and more complex as the rights of the accused become in- creasingly protected. to lawyer Clayton Ruby, facts were largely what drove criminal defences. "No one ever raised the issue of police acting improperly, Prior to the Charter, according " focus has been changed beyond the See Gov't, page 5 " he says. "Now, the to Canada who are going to struggle and won't succeed, but are we bringing in people just to have them pass through our system or are we bringing them in to build a social network of success that will further develop our country?" Bellissimo notes the changes to the skilled-worker See Legal, page 5 KPI_LT_Mar26_12.indd 1 12-03-20 10:58 AM PM #40762529

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