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CIMM Committee News Release

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Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
house of commons
HOUSE OF COMMONS
CHAMBRE DES COMMUNES
OTTAWA, CANADA
K1A 0A6

Comité permanent de la citoyenneté et de l'immigration

For immediate release


NEWS RELEASE


REVISED - CROSS-CANADA HEARINGS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS STANDING COMMITTEE ON CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUR VOICE TO BE HEARD

Ottawa, March 19, 2008 - The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration will be travelling to the following areas: Vancouver, March 31; Edmonton, April 1st; Moose Jaw, April 2; Winnipeg, April 3; Kitchener-Waterloo, April 7; Toronto, April 8 & 9; Montreal, April 10; Quebec, April 14; Fredericton, April 15; Halifax, April 16; and St. John’s, April 17. The Committee plans to hear witnesses in public at each location on some or all of the following topics.

IRAQI REFUGEE ISSUES

The scale of displacement in and around Iraq is significant, with an estimated 4.4 million Iraqis on the move. The Government of Canada has responded to this situation in a number of ways, including financial assistance, facilitating family reunification, and increasing the refugee resettlement target for the Middle East. The study to be undertaken by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration will focus on this response, as well as what more Canada could or should be doing, in the context of current programs and international efforts. During its travel across the country, the Committee seeks to hear from group representatives on this topic.

UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS AND TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS

The demand for temporary foreign workers has increased considerably in recent years and shows no sign of slowing. At the same time, many workers labour here without legal status. Taking into account regional labour market contexts and immigration policy, the study to be undertaken by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration will address issues of significance for both groups. Specific to temporary foreign workers, the study will seek lessons learned from long-standing programs, as well as strengths and weaknesses of recent developments. Issues to be addressed with respect to undocumented workers include understanding the contributing factors and possible policy responses. During its travel across the country, the Committee seeks to hear from individuals who can contribute to the Committee’s understanding of these issues, including workers, employers, community organizations, academics and researchers, provincial representatives and others.

IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS

Immigration consultants provide advice and assistance in immigration and refugee matters, or representation before immigration tribunals, for a fee. While many immigration consultants provide valuable advice and services to their clients, some unscrupulous ones provide poor and even unethical advice and services, sometimes charging unconscionable fees to a client-base that is ill-equipped to seek redress. Despite the establishment of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) in the fall of 2003 to regulate immigration consultants, complaints of inadequate controls over the industry persist. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is embarking on a study to identify issues and make recommendations to address abuses, within the federal jurisdiction. During its travel across the country, the Committee seeks to hear from industry professionals and organizations, academics, provincial representatives, immigrants and refugee claimants who have used the services of immigration consultants, and anyone else who has information to provide to the Committee and suggestions for change.

* SUBMISSION OF BRIEFS

Organizations or witnesses wishing to be heard in Vancouver, Edmonton, Moose Jaw and Winnipeg who wish to have briefs translated for their appearance should submit them by e-mail to the address below no later than Monday, March 24; for the cities of Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and Montreal, not later than Friday, March 28; and for the cities of Quebec, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John’s, not later than April 4.

For more information, please contact:
Andrew Chaplin, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration
Tel: (613) 995-8525
E-mail: CIMM@parl.gc.ca