CIMM - Member Biographies – Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) Ministerial Appearance on Staffing Levels and Processing Capacity - Dec 2, 2020

CPC

BQ

Christine Normandin Second Vice-Chair Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

NDP

Jenny Kwan, Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

LPC

Raquel Dancho (Kildonan—St. Paul, MB), Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Immigration

Immigration topics of Interest

Parliament

Raquel Dancho is the Vice-Chair and Shadow Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. She was previously the Opposition Critic for Diversity, Inclusion and Youth and an active member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women.

MP Dancho is critical of the governments’ immigration policy particularly how it has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. She takes interest in the barriers affecting family reunification. The member is also interested in backlogs and processing times for various lines of business, including critiquing the transparency of the lottery system for PGP, spousal sponsorship, and temporary resident visas as well as how these delays affect families and international students. MP Dancho has commented on the situation in Hong Kong and inquired about whether pro-democracy activists would be granted asylum. Recently, MP Dancho has shown her support for amending the citizenship oath and asked the government to conduct a review on international adoptions.

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Background

MP Dancho was born in Beausejour, MB to four generations of Canadian farmers and small business owners and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Christine Normandin (Saint-Jean, QC), Deputy House Leader of the Bloc Québécois, Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Normandin is the Deputy House Leader of the Bloc Québécois, the BQ Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and is a member of multiple Parliamentary Associations and Interparliamentary Groups.

Recently, MP Normandin has stated their support for amending the citizenship oath and has heavily criticized the government on how they’ve implemented the calls to action.

MP Normandin has criticized the immigration request process and its impacts on those working frontline jobs, international students, as well as family reunification. MP Normandin states that “the Bloc Québécois has been criticizing the delays in processing immigration applications for a long time now. What was already an issue is now taking a major human toll, especially in the context of the current crisis.” They stressed the importance of frontline workers during this pandemic and called for changes that would reduce the processing time for frontline workers. MP Normandin has shown strong interest for the directives for dual intent in regards to spousal sponsorship. She has also been particularly vocal on the effects of unemployment on the processing of work permits and LMIAs.

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Background

A proud Johannaise, MP Normandin grew up in the region. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences; research internship on melanoma in India.

Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, BC), Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Kwan is the NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. She has formally been named Critic for Multiculturalism and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

Recently, MP Kwan has been interested in asylum seekers deemed ineligible and processing levels by stream, and has shown support for amending the citizenship oath. In light of the pandemic, MP Kwan has criticized the immigration process and how it affects family reunification, particularly how it affects spousal sponsorship. Recently, she has shown interest in dual intent. She also asked the Minister to count lost work time toward the caregiver 24-month requirement and asked that the ages of their children be frozen. In addition, MP Kwan has questioned the actions the minister plans to take on addressing the living and working conditions of migrant workers during the pandemic. She brought forward the issues international students face due to the visa processing for temporary residence visas. MP Kwan has also been discussing the situation in Hong Kong.

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Background

MP Kwan was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada at the age of nine. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with BA in Criminology.

Dean Allison (Niagara West, ON), Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee of International Trade Former Shadow Minister for International Trade

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Allison is the Vice-Chair on the Standing Committee of International Trade and a member of the Standing Joint Committee Scrutiny of Regulations.

Recently, MP Allison has raised a number of concerns on special measures for Hong Kong, the retaliation from China in enabling international students to come to Canada, and mechanisms available for private sponsors to bring in refugees.

He has spoken to the Standing Committee on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship about international students and inquired about possible ideas to help them work to work to pay off student bills. MP Allison has also stressed the importance of a strong approach to integrating refugees and providing them with adequate social supports. MP Allison has also tabled a petition for the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship to grant a stateless child a temporary residence permit.

Background

MP Allison was born in London, Ontario, is married and has three children. He holds a bachelor in Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Jasraj Singh Hallan (Calgary Forest Lawn, AB), Deputy Shadow Minister of Multiculturalism

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Hallan is the Deputy Shadow Minister of Multiculturalism and is a member of many Parliamentary associations and Interparliamentary groups.

Recently, MP Hallan raised issues on levels and how international students and “unrealistic quotas” to bring people given many closures of offices around the world. He called for the need to develop a pathway to Permanent Residency for low-skilled workers and mentioned that they are ‘low-hanging fruit’.

MP Hallan has called for an explanation of the objective criteria officers use when issuing visas and shown concern for the possibility of “arbitrary and inconsistent” judgments, particularly when visa applications are rejected. MP Hallan has also raised concerns over the immigration processing times impacted by COVID-19 and the border restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

Recently, MP Hallan has spoken against the amendment of the citizenship oath stating: “The Liberals are wasting time in having the House debate the wording of an already well-worded oath. There are so many nations around the country that need access to fresh water and employment opportunities. There are daily suicides from despair, especially in the north, and the Liberals are focused on meaningless virtue signalling. The Liberals would say this is an important step on the path toward reconciliation, but Canadians see through their endless virtue signalling.”

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Background

MP Hallan was born in Dubai, immigrated to Canada as a child and grew up in Northeast Calgary. He is married and has two daughters. MP Hallan has an accounting degree from SAIT, holds a Master Builder designation and runs a successful homebuilding business.

Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, ON)

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Saroya has formally held membership in the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Recently, MP Saroya has shown interest in government programs and services temporarily suspended, delayed or shut down, as well as the operation of Canadian visa offices located outside of Canada during the pandemic.

He has commented on the importance of international students and their contribution to the Canadian economy. He commented that we “still have plenty of problems” when it comes to processing visa applications.

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Background

Bob Saroya was born in India and Immigrated to Canada.  He is married and has three children.

Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre, ON), Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (Re-elected)

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Zahid is the re-elected Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and a long standing member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. She is equally the member of multiple Parliamentary Associations and Interparliamentary Groups.

In previous sessions, MP Zahid has been interested in family reunification, varying processing delays and practices for various visa offices in the context of family class applications, and shown interest in delays seen in specific spousal sponsorship cases. In the past Parliament, she noted backlogs and processing delays were the most frequent complaints from her constituents.

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Background

MP Zahid was born in Coventry, England, is married and has two sons. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Management and Administration from the University of London’s Institute of Education and an MBA from Quaid e Azam University in Pakistan.

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, NS), Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations, Former Speaker of the House

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Regan is the Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations and a longstanding member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. Formally, he occupied the posts of Speaker of the House, Chair of the Board of Internal Economy, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

MP Regan has highlighted the importance of international students and their contribution to Canada. He also questioned how the Government encourages Francophone immigration outside of Quebec and inquired about how the Government can accelerate the family reunification.

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Background

MP Regan was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia to a family of politicians. His father, Gerald Regan, was a former Premier of Nova Scotia and Cabinet Minister under Pierre Trudeau. His mother Carole Harrison, daughter of John Harrison, a Member of Parliament from Saskatchewan.

MP Regan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Francis Xavier University and a Law degree from Dalhousie University. Before entering politics in 1993, he was a real estate and commercial lawyer.

Soraya Martinez Ferrada (Hochelaga, QC), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Martinez Ferrada is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Recently, MP Martinez Ferrada has been active on promoting French-language training for economic immigration and the recent technological and innovative changes done in immigration processes.

MP Martinez Ferrada has shown interest in the goal of 4.4% francophone immigration by 2023, has asked about the government's policies for the integration of immigrants into minority language communities and has been vocal about francophone communities decreasing. She has equally shown interest in francophone immigration outside Quebec.

She has also asked about labour shortages and the role of immigration in addressing skill levels needed in the country as well as an advocate for the importance of family reunification and the development of further assistance for international students, families and foreign workers.

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Background

MP Ferrada is a Chilean-Canadian who immigrated to Canada in 1980 and lived in Montréal. She has a background in communications and project management and has over 10 years of involvement in municipal politics.

Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey–Newton, BC)

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Dhaliwal is a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade.

Recently, MP Dhaliwal has focused on the important contributions of international students to Canada’s economy, culture and society. He has shown interest in examining family reunification and spousal sponsorships, but acknowledged that there are many dimensions to the issue.

Social media and press

Background

MP Dhaliwal was born in India, immigrated to Canada in 1984 and became a Canadian citizen three years later. He is a businessman who co-founded a successful land surveying company and has been active in both municipal and federal politics.

Anju Dhillon (Dorval‒Lachine‒LaSalle, QC)

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Dhillon is a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women and formally a member of the Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

MP Dhillon has shown recent interest in sponsorships and spousal work permits, specifically that constituents feel that they have been discriminated against because officers are not always fit to understand the nature of their relationships. She has asked about bias training to this regard.

MP Dhillon has shown interest in biometrics, random refusals for visitor visas, and the lengthy process of Labour Market Impact Assessments and concerns of gender equality in the processing of temporary resident visas.

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Background

Born and raised in Montréal, MP Dhillon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Concordia University and obtained a law degree from l’Université de Montréal.

Before her career in politics, MP Dhillon was an attorney, and the first Canadian Sikh to practice law in Québec. She is the first person of South Asian descent to be elected in Québec.

Marc G. Serré (Nickel Belt, ON)

Immigration topics of interest

Parliament

MP Serré is a member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women and of multiple Parliamentary Associations and Interparliamentary Groups. He is the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Rural and Economic Development.

MP Serré has shown recent interest in digitizing applications, correcting the backlog of spousal applications as well as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and the ability to integrate and retain newcomer families. He recently commented on the difficulties faced in reaching targets for Francophone immigration, and commented on the barriers to immigration faced by Northern Ontario.

Social media and press

Background

MP Serré was born in Chelmsford, Ontario, is married and has five children. He is a second generation Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, Ontario and is a member of the Algonquin First Nation in Mattawa/North Bay and Francophone. MP Serré holds an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Laurentian University.

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