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Protect the Public & 4200 Immigration Consultants Livelihood from the Current Regulator

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Petition for Authorities To Order an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION Of the ICCRC to Protect the Public Interest & the Immigration Consultants Profession from the Current Regulator ICCRC

Request to take action as soon as possible and protect the public interest and the livelihood of over 4200 Canadians and their families.

"It is impossible, in my mind, to distinguish between the refusal to receive a petition or its summary rejection by some general order, and the denial of the right of petition." Caleb Cushing

Action Required from the Government:

If the Government can intervene and talk to the US government to protect the interest of hundreds of employees of other industries, why can’t the Government take care of the livelihood of 4200 Canadian citizens by simply dealing with the Canadian corporation running its operations with Government power?

The Public and the Membership demands an OPEN and an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION on all Affairs of the Council, including financial spendings, complaints and third-party payout to private contractors, since inceptions.

  • We the members of the ICCRC request the Government to immediately take an action to safeguard the public interest and the livelihood of the RCICs.
  • We the Members of the ICCRC want the Government to Protect Our Profession
  • We want transparency and accountability in our Profession and the Government to connect directly with the membership at large rather having closed-door meetings with the self-interest directors of the Council to safeguard the corporation's interest
  • The Canadian Immigration Consultants are regulated by a federal body known as the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
  • The "ICCRC" currently has over 4200 registered members (RCIC).
  • The majority of the regulated, licensed Immigration Consultants are competent, honest and helping the public to protect their interest within Canada and globally. Immigration Consultants (RCICs) provide services to the public at a professional standard and highly competitive fees as compared to other legal professionals in the similar industry.
  • The current board and administration have lost its credibility and trust not only among its own membership but also the government and the public. 
  • ICCRC holds its annual general meeting every year to present and discuss its affairs among the membership.

The Problems:

Our profession is facing a hard time to maintain its professional standards and status due to actions of the current administration, which consists of current and former board members of the ICCRC and senior officers since the inspection. Regular members are not responsible for this turmoil.

In May 2016 the ICCRC board approved a new regulation called "PULA" (Planned and Unplanned Absence) outside of all respect of laws concerning the Canadian Charter of Rights, privacy, confidentiality, the competition, and consumer protection, to name few. No member or public group was consulted.  

In the opinion of the majority of the public and the members, "PULA" is not a very well thought-out regulation. It directly affects the livelihood of the 4200 members and their families which are Canadian citizens. In addition, the requirements to comply negatively impacts the public interest as well as the practice of the members, and might eventually discourage the public and (RCIC) consultants to stop doing business in every respect. This oppressive regulation is purely enacted to make the government happy so that they may allow the organization to keep its status as a regulatory body—again, a perfect example of the effort to protect its self-interest.

On November 2, 2017, several members submitted their proposals to discuss and resolve these issues during the upcoming 2017 AGM. These requests were for discussion on the following serious issues:

Matters to Discuss & Resolve:

  1. Concerning Planned or Unplanned Absence Regulation Version: 2016-001 Approved By the Board of Directors: May 13, 2016.
  2. Andrew John Roman Professional Corporation Report To: The Immigration Consultants Of Canada Regulatory Council On Review Of ICCRC’s Intake Process For Disciplinary Matters And Recommendations For Change January 31, 2015 
  3. The states of relationship since inception and at the current time between “NRCDS,” former ICCRC CEO, other directors-officers of the corporation between the period 2011–2017, Registrar and the Council 
  4. Statistics concerning the number of complaints referred to and processed by “NRCDS” during 2011–2017 
  5. Summary of the Fees paid to “NRCDS,” and names of members of the FAC committee who reviewed and approved it.
  6. Summary of Legal Counsel Fees Paid - January 2016 to March 31, 2017 ($2.2 million paid to lawyers)

Evidence # 1

Evidence # 2

  • On November 3, 2017, members also submitted a request to the chair of the board and the chair of the election committee to have the registrar of the council recuse himself from any board election and AGM voting process, since he is the subject of members’ request for investigation and also has a direct conflict of interest by filing direct complaints against members who asked questions about his personal actions and the actions of the board.
  • On November 7, 2017, the council declined to entertain any such request.
  • On November 7, the ICCRC board responded through its lawyer that they could not entertain such requests.

Evidence  

Public and Members Interest At High Risk:

The "PULA" Affect:

The "PULA" regulations are a direct threat to the public interest.

  1. The Council’s recent mandatory PULA regulations are not only oppressive but also against the greater public interest. These regulations have certain elements for members to complete before signing a declaration for compliance which is a direct attack and infringement on the public and the members’ rights pursuant to Canadian laws:
  2. RCIC must arrange and execute a power of attorney to appoint a third-party representative to take over members’ banking accounts, business, practice, and all past, current and future client files and records, and even enter the client’s office premises (home business or commercial). This power can trigger simply if the member fails to respond to a client’s call in three days.
  3.  Concern: How can a member execute such power of attorney without the consent or knowledge of the client/member of the public? Is this not a direct threat to the public interest and member’s right to practice and protect his/her property and assets freely and without any forceful action of the Government body?
  4.  On top of above power of attorney, RCIC must execute a will, to automatically assign all the above requirements in the name of a third-party representative, and again without the consent and knowledge of the client or member of the public.
  5.  Concern: How can a member execute such power of attorney without the consent or knowledge of the client/member of the public? Is this not a direct threat to the public interest and member’s right to practice and protect his/her property and assets freely and without any forceful action of the Government body?
  6.  It is also required to inform, discuss and share the client’s file record which includes all confidential information with the third-party representative in advance and without the consent of the client!
  7.  Concern: This is a direct threat to client privacy and confidentiality and also an invitation to the third party to compete with the member by contacting the client.
  8.  Once the client file is transferred to the third party, the third party will take over the file without client’s consent or willingness to accept that, because the member has already selected a third party without the consent of the client. This will also allow the third-party representative contact with the IRCC/CIC. Now how can this happen, if there is no IMM5476 form in place signed by the client granting such authority?  This could be a major issue concerning IRPA/IPPR and ATIP legislation dealing with authorization and representation and access to private information.
  9. There are several other elements almost impossible to comply with, which members are nevertheless required to comply with on or before January 1, 2018, or the member may lose his/her license to practice.
  10. If member’s license is suspended or terminated by the above action, then thousands of client who are members of the public will be left unrepresented and may suffer procedures and financial loss. This action of the Council is also a direct threat to the livelihood of the thousands of the members of the ICCRC and affects their families.

Evidence Click Here (refer to pages # 46, 49, 58, 62, 64)

Outsourcing Complaint & Disciplinary Process!

Facts and Independent Opinions: 

The ICCRC's Complaint and Discipline Process:

  1. An important function of ICCRC is to protect the public from members who fail to provide service that meets ICCRC’s ethical and competency standards. This protective function is carried out through the complaint and discipline process (C&D).
  2. Unlike most professional regulatory bodies, ICCRC contracts out the entire Intake stage to an external independent contractor. This raises very serious concerns among the members and the public. 
  3. The ICCRC took the unprecedented action of outsourcing its Complaint and Discipline system right from the beginning in 2011. These functions are/were carried out by four retired RCMP officers, working in close coordination with ICCRC. One of these retired RCMP officers, Robert Kewley, is the independent contractor (through his company) who manages and supervises the others. 
  4. Contracting out most of the intake activity for four years means that ICCRC cannot discipline or fire individual investigators, or bring the process in-house until the contract expires.
  5. According to an independent report which directly relates to the public interest and was never published by the ICCRC Administration: 
  6. Very few if any other professional regulatory bodies have outsourced their investigative functions to this degree, probably because regulators maintain greater control over the entire intake and investigation process (including communications with members and complainants) by integrating these functions within the staff.
  7. The private (C&D) contractor Inappropriately closed complaint files which may have to be reopened after the member, the complainant and perhaps also CIC have been told the file is closed. This raises issues of fairness to the member and makes it difficult to carry on the complaint in these circumstances. It also damages ICCRC’s credibility both externally and among the membership.
  8. In several cases, there was no record in the file explaining why the file was closed after the initial investigation. In such cases, legal counsel is simply left to guess and to try to explain this to the complainant, CIC or the media.
  9. Although these RCMP officers have had extensive experience in dealing with crime and criminals, the ability to make informed decisions in professional discipline matters affecting an individual’s ability to earn a living is quite different. The somewhat vague and overinclusive content of the current Code of Professional Ethics makes the task more difficult even for experienced lawyers. The field of professional discipline requires an understanding of administrative law, an area of law in which most practicing lawyers themselves have had little or no experience.
  10. ICCRC staff open a file and send it directly to one of the investigators, advising Mr. Kewley of this, or directly to Mr. Kewley. Occasionally, Mr. Kewley or one of his investigators may instruct an ICCRC staff person to open new files. In one notorious case, an ICCRC clerical employee was instructed to open 45 new files, one for each of 45 complaints against a single member, and to assign each file folder a different file number.

Evidence Click Here

Transparency & Accountability:

The Council’s decision and ongoing renewal of outsourcing our the C & D process to a private corporation owned and operated by the friends of the directors and officers is a major concern and threat to the public interest, and an unfair procedure to discipline the membership at large. (Refer to an independent report dated 2015 and a private contract with the “NRCDS.”)

Evidence Click Here

Membership believes that the C & D contracting had a purpose and that was to redirect the funds out of the Council’s account. Members apprehend that there is a connection between the owners of the private contractor “NRCDS,” former CEO and the current registrar of the Council. This can only be further verified if there is an independent public inquiry.

Members have made several requests and submitted proposals to the board to conduct or order investigations, which have been summarily denied for obvious reasons. If there is nothing wrong with the spending and financial affairs or connection between the parties concerned, then why is the members’ simple request to investigate denied? It does not make any sense and raises great concerns among the membership and the public.

There have been questions about major financial discrepancies in Council's reports, objections were made, but in return, members asking questions were disciplined. 

Members Choice and Options:

  • Members have no choice left other than to ask the government to intervene and protect the public interest and the livelihood of over 4200 members and their families.
  • A majority of the membership (RCIC) cannot even afford to pay their very high licensing fees, and cannot seek expensive remedy through the Justice system.
  • On the other hand, the board of directors and the administration is spending millions of dollars received from members in licensing fees to defend its interest via high-profile law firms.

Members efforts to protect the public and their interest:

  • Since 2013 the membership has at large has expressed its serious concerns about the council's transparency, accountability and mandate to protect the public.
  • Members have been submitting proposals and changes in the system all denied by the Board to protect their self-interest.

Evidence Click Here

The Council's Response & Actions Against the Membership:

  • In response to those concerns and questions, the council's administration and board of directors has always retaliated and filed disciplinary complaints and lawsuits to silence the critics.
  • Recently, the term of an elected member of the board, Mr. Ryan Dean, was simply terminated by the self-interested directors/administration because he demanded a full investigation into its financial spending and major discrepancies and appeared before a parliamentary committee to openly expose the "Bad Actors."

Evidence Click Here

  • This Council has no mechanism in place to file a complaint or request an investigation against its staff and directors. The code of ethics and policies are only on paper. Such request is processed by the same individuals who are subject to the complaint, having a direct conflict of interest. 
  • Millions of dollars have been paid to lawyers to simply advise and protect the existence of the corporation and to keep the control of current Board and administration within the grasp of the same and few close friends. During Jan 2016 - March 2017 ICCRC spent over $ 2.2 million towards litigation costs, the majority of which was paid to lawyers to protect the interest of the corporation and its directors and no explanation was provided. 

Evidence Click Here

Indeed, this $2.2 Million was hidden from the membership and it does not reflect what is shown the current certified and audited ICCRC Financial Statements.

The board of directors has proposed and approved several very oppressive bylaws and regulations purely to protect its self-interest and the interest of its directors and officers. there is no apparent intent to protect the public interest.

Membership Approaching the Government & Response:

In October 2017, UCICA on behalf of its members approached Minister of Citizenship and Immigration The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen MP and members of the parliamentary committee with direct evidence concerning the public interest and to request a direct meeting with the members at large of ICCRC/UCICA.

Government: No action was taken and the meeting request was denied. 

On June 16, 2017, the parliamentary Committee on Citizenship Matters finalized its recommendations to bring major changes to our regulatory system. But no action has been taken since then.

Evidence Click Here

On October 16, 2017, The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration submitted his response to the CIMM report, but again, no action has been taken or a solid plan provided to protect the public and the livelihood of the 4200 members and their families.

Evidence Click Here

If the Government can intervene and talk to the US government to protect the interest of hundreds of employees of other industries, why can’t the Government take care of the livelihood of 4200 Canadian citizens by simply dealing with the Canadian employer running its operations with Government power?

Who is Who:

U.C.I.C.A. UNITED CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION is a Federal Not for Profit Corporation with a mission to serve and protect the public interest and the interest of its members (RCICs).

UCICA currently has over 2900 members and their supporters who are also members of the ICCRC. UCICA is working to protect the objective interest of all RCICs.

ICCRC Background & Introduction:

  • ICCRC is the national regulatory body designated by the government of Canada, in July 2011, to regulate Canadian immigration, citizenship and international student advising services. Permitted service providers of these regulated professions are known as Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs).
  • ICCRC currently regulates over 4200 Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants in Canada and abroad.
  • ICCRC’s mandate is to protect consumers of immigration services through effective regulation of immigration and citizenship consultants and promotion of the benefits of using only authorized immigration representatives.
  • ICCRC is not an ordinary not-for-profit society. It is not a social club, nor a religious organization. ICCRC has been delegated the authority under IRPA, subsection 91(5) to regulate immigration consultants. It has the power to determine if a person may make a living in that particular profession. The Profession "Licensed Immigration Consultants is a Federal Profession.” Pursuant to IRPA/IRPR provisions The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration directly and the Government of Canada is responsible to oversee and monitor the designated body to regulate this profession.
  • ICCRC is unusual in several respects. First, almost all professional occupations in Canada are regulated by provincial legislation under the power to pass laws concerning property and civil rights in a province pursuant to paragraph 92(13) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

ICCRC protects consumers by mainly:

Managing a rigorous complaints and discipline process

ICCRC regulates RCICs mainly by: 

  • Delivering Practice Management Education (PME) courses in order for RCICs to maintain their competent practice.
  • Conducting a Compliance Audit to make certain that RCICs’ practice and documentation comply with ICCRC Regulations.
  • Accrediting and auditing the Immigration Practitioner Programs (IPPs) offered by post-secondary institutions across Canada.

UCICA and its member rely on following statutes when considering an action in this matter against the council by the Government:

LIST OF STATUTES AND REGULATIONS

  • 1. Canada Not-for-Profit Corporation Act, SC 2009, c. 23, ss. 253 to 262;
  • 2. Constitution Act, 1867, s. 92(13)
  • 3. Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c. 27, s. 91
  • 4. Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, SOR/2002-227, s. 13.2
  • 5. Regulations Designating a Body for the Purposes of Paragraph 91(2)(c) of the
  • Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SOR/2011-142

Click here for more details about UCICA Members and Details



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