Calgary Immigration Lawyer Raj Sharma, a former immigration hearings officer and now partner at Stewart Sharma Harsanyi, one of Western Canada's premier immigration law firms, reviews Canadian immigration developments.
I have been recently contacted by the media on my clients case. He sponsored his wife whom he married in 2009. The visa office refused the sponsorship in part because of the age difference between them. The refusal was appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division, a specialized tribunal with expertise in this area.
The IAD - after hearing testimony which it found to be credible and reviewing hundreds of pages of disclosure- accepted the marriage was genuine and allowed my clients appeal.
Usually that is the end of the matter. In this case, the government 'appealed' to the Federal Court, arguing the IAD committed a reviewable error.
In my view this is a gross misallocation of resources and misuse of taxpayer dollars. Even if the government succeeds, this matter will be reheard by the IAD which will, in all probability, find the marriage genuine and allow the appeal. Nothing is served except the continued separation of a husband from his wife.
I wish I could say that I was surprised by the governments intransigence but sadly, I'm not.
It was my pleasure speaking at the Power of Unity Conference, held by the Muslim Council of Calgary June 29 to July 1. Its aims were to celebrate multiculturalism and more than a half-century of Islam in Canada. I spoke at three different venues, including a debate with a CSIS officer at the Akram Jomaa Centre.
From the Calgary Sun:
Calgary immigration lawyer Raj Sharma will speak about multiculturalism at the conference. He signed up unaware Philips was also on the list.
He said his position of an "inclusive, pluralistic" Canada where "homosexuals have the same rights" as anyone else is very different from Philips' stance, and he hopes Philips' attendance won't detract from the aim of the event to look at how Muslims are part of the Canadian tapestry.
"All Canadians should be concerned about hate speech, specific groups should not be targeted with that kind of vitriol," Sharma said.