Immigration Regulator Taken to Court
June 4, 2010
Members of the regulatory body for immigration consultants, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), are taking their Board to court, saying CSIC is violating its own rules.
We have serious concerns about the way the Board is operating, says Peter Bernier, president of the industry education and lobby group, the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). The treatment of members is neither fair nor reasonable. We pay about $5000 year in costs associated with CSIC membership. For that, we want transparency, basic fairness and accountability. Members are now going to court to get it. We were told CSIC lost over $1.0 million on a for-profit subsidiary, but they refuse to disclose to members where the money went.
Three separate court applications have been filed by CSIC members against the Board. Last week, the Federal Court granted leave (permission) for the Federal Court to review various decisions made by the Board that members say violate their rights. These include gag orders on members, unfair elections, refusal to meet in person with members, improper appointments and terms, etc.
A hearing will be held within 90 days.
Counsel on these cases is Toronto litigator, Lorne Waldman.
Show Us the Money! proclaims Phil Mooney, CAPIC Past President. Board directors refuse to disclose how much each of them took from the Society in the form of stipends from attending meetings of several different but inter-related Boards, Committees and other non-Board work. And now we have accusations of financial impropriety by former Chair, John Ryan circulating publicly amongst the members.
Court is the last resort, says Mr Bernier. For 6 years we have tried to make our regulatory body work properly. The Board simply refuses to be accountable to the membership. They meet behind closed doors, will not consult with members, will not allow members to put motions on the Members Meeting Agenda, put gag orders on us, lay complaints when we speak out its utterly indefensible, especially for a supposedly self-regulated profession. It is unfortunate the only way we can hold them accountable is via the courts, or hope the Minister of Immigration takes action.
On that front, indications from Ottawa may be coming soon to address member and public concerns, based on recent statements from the Minister. For more information contact
Past President, CAPIC
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