December 1, 2011
Proposed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
As disclosed in Canada Gazette:
Bill C-35 came into force on June 30, 2011, amending the IRPR by making it an offence for anyone other than an authorized representative to represent or advise a person regarding an application or proceeding under the IRPA. On the same day a ministerial regulation designating the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) as the new regulator of immigration consultants also came into force. The purpose of the ICCRC is to better protect applicants and enhance public confidence in the immigration system. The proposed Regulations are intended to support these objectives and further their implementation in order to ensure the integrity of immigration programs. The proposed regulations are as follows:
- permit the Government of Canada to assume a greater oversight role over the body designated to govern immigration consultants and help ensure the provision of professional and ethical representation and services in the public interest;
- protect potential temporary and permanent resident applicants and refugee claimants by ensuring that all representatives and the bodies that govern them are providing professional and ethical representation; and
- balance the applicant and the representative’s privacy interests with the need to maintain the integrity of the process by establishing clear authority and parameters for the disclosure of personal information or information about which an individual may have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
This proposal would amend the Regulations to permit CIC, the CBSA and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to disclose information to a governing body in cases where an alleged actor omission by a representative is likely to constitute a breach of that person’s professional or ethical obligations.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the CBSA and the IRB would be authorized to disclose any information relating to a representative’s conduct, but — in the case of any information identifying any other person — only if and to the extent necessary for the complete disclosure of that conduct.
Furthermore, regulations are proposed pursuant to subsection 91(6)that would permit the Minister to require any designated governing body of immigration consultants to provide the Minister with information that could be used to assist in evaluating whether the designated body is governing its members in the public interest so that they provide professional and ethical representation and advice.
The Regulations would require the governing body to provide an annual package of documents for use in assessing its effectiveness and viability no later than 90 calendar days following the body’s fiscal yearend. The Minister may also require information from the governing body within10 days after receipt of a ministerial notice where it appears that the ability of the designated body to govern its members in a manner that is in the public interest has been compromised.