Episode 46 – An Interview with Sergio Marchi, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 1993-1995

Sergio Marchi was Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from 1993-1995.

3:00 – Does someone keep the Minister title their whole life? 4:50 – What was the political consensus regarding Canadian immigration at the end of the 1980s? How did the Reform Party impact things? 8:00 – The mix of immigrants between economic, family and humanitarian immigrants. 11:15 – What dictates whether IRCC meets its level targets? 14:30 – The Brian Mulroney government was considering moving immigration under Public Safety. Under Sergio Marchi it instead became it’s on Ministry. What prompted this? 17:30 – Canadian attitudes to refugee resettlements and misconceptions. 20:45 – Sources of resistance to refugee resettlement. Resettled refugees vs asylum seekers. 23:00 – Changes that Minister Marchi made to the refugee determination process. 25:00 – What was Minister Marchi’s approach to intervening on specific cases? When would Minister Marchi help Members of Parliament on constituent files? Did it matter which political party the MP was from? 32:00 – The impact of a police officer who was shot by an illegal immigrant on deportation policy. 36:00 – Whether the Canada Border Services Agency should be under the immigration umbrella. 37:30 – What Minister Marchi considers to be his main accomplishments and the implementation of the right of landing fee. 45:00 – Minister Marchi’s push to remove the Queen from the citizenship oath.

Episode 45 – Spousal Sponsorship Delays and Refusals, with Chantal Dube and Syed Farhan Ali

Syed Farhan Ali shares his Canadian immigration story. During the time that his spousal sponsorship application was in process he was denied temporary entry to Canada, missed the birth of his first child and missed her first steps. He recently arrived in Canada after a three year application process.

Chantal Dube is a Spokesperson for Spousal Sponsorship Advocates, a group with more than 5,000 members in Canada that argues for reforms to the family reunification process.

3:15 Said tells the story of his spousal sponsorship application. His application took 34 months to process. During the processing of his application Canada denied his visitor visa applications. He missed the birth of his children and their first steps, although he was able to reunite with his wife during brief trips to the United States, which did grant him a visitor visa.

21:00 We discuss the refusal of temporary resident visas for people with spousal sponsorship applications in process, people with frequent travel histories, people with American multiple entry visas, and judicial reviews.

25:00 How long a judicial review takes.

29:50 Assessing genuineness in a spousal sponsorship application, and the distinction between “low risk and high risk” in the checklists.

33:00 The strange quirk in the Family Class where people have to prove that their relationship is genuine but immigrants and foreign workers do not. The same is true for work permits, where the spouses of Canadians cannot apply for work permits from abroad, but the spouses of foreign workers can.

38:00 What are major issues that Sponsorship Advocates seeing?

39:45 What things can trigger genuineness concerns?

45:00 Processing times and approval rates.

55:00 Preventing abuse.

1:03 Is an overzealous hunt for marriage fraud in individual applications the solution to marriage fraud, or are there other measures that can be taken?

Episode #44 – An Interview with Chris Alexander, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 2013-2015

The Honourable Chris Alexander served as Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada from July 2013 to November 2015. He represented the riding of Ajax—Pickering in the House of Commons of Canada from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that spent 18 years in the Canadian Foreign Service, serving as Canada’s first resident Ambassador to Afghnistan from 2003 – 2005. Subsequent to being an Member of Parliament he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

As Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Mr. Alexander presided over the launch of Express Entry, the termination of the Immigrant Investor Program and the introduction of the Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, which prohibited forced and underaged marriages.

5:09 – If there was one misconception about Canadian immigration law that Minister Alexander would like to change what would it be?

15:00 – Bill C-24 and the revocation of citizenship for dual nationals convicted of high crimes.

16:00 – Whether there was a strong anti-fraud and anti-exploitation mandate during Minister Alexander’s time as Minister.

22:00 – Combatting forced marriages.

23:00 – Preventing foreign worker abuse by sanctioning the employers who abuse them.

26:00 – The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act

36:45 – Ending the Immigrant Investor Program

41:45 – Entrepreneurial immigration and self-employed program.

49:00 – Points inflation in Express Entry and the increased demand for Canadian immigration.

52:30 – The launch of Express Entry

55:30 – Moving towards online applications

57:15 – What it was like following Jason Kenney as immigration minister, and the challenges posed, if any, by Jason Kenney retaining the multiculturism portfolio, as well the immigration minister sharing immigration responsibilities with HRDC and the Minister of Public Safety.

1:02 – The role the Prime Minister’s Office played with immigration.

1:05 – Mr. Alexander’s immigration platform when he ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada in which he called for an increase in immigration, and whether he pushed this view when he was Minister.

1:10 – The importance of Canadian immigration and populism.

1:15 – Open work permits on demand for people from visa exempt countries.

1:18 – The need for immigration to adapt to changing circumstances and system racism.

1:22 – When Minister Alexander would intervene on specific files.

1:25 – If Minister Alexander were giving advice to a future Minister of Immigration what would the advice be?

Episode #43 – An Interview with John McCallum, Canada’s Immigration Minister from 2015-2017

The Honourable John McCallum served as Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada from November 2015 to January 2017. A Member of Parliament from 2000 – 2017, he also served as Defence Minister under Jean Chrétien, and Veterans Affairs Minister, National Revenue Minister, Natural Resources Minister and as Chair of the Expenditure Review Committee under Paul Martin. As Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, Mr. McCallum led Canada’s effort to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees over a period of three months. He also increased the age of dependency from 18-22, repealed conditional permanent residency and reduced family class processing times.

5:00 – The resettlement of 40,000 refugees in Canada.
22:00 – The division of immigration repsonsibilities between IRCC, CBSA and ESDC. Should they be combined?
28:00 – What goes into reducing processing times.
33:00 – Abolishing conditional permanent residence.
39:00 – Mr. McCallum’s approach to being immigration critic towards the end of the Harper era.
42:30 – The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act and the Niqab ban.
44:00 – Caregivers
48:00 – Helping as Minister on individual files.
54:00 – What goes into levels planning?