CIMM - Member Biographies - Mar 10, 2021

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM)

BQ

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

NDP

Jenny Kwan, Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

CPC

Associate Members Potentially Present for Meeting

LPC

Christine Normandin (Saint-Jean, QC) Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Second Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

About

Christine Normandin is a proud Johannaise with a B.A. in biomedical sciences who became a lawyer specialized in international family and child abduction law.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Hong Kong Measures Study

MP Normandin has voiced her concern with the ability to offer expeditious exit routes for Hong Kongers due to system delays and is vocal about the narrow scope and reach of current measures. She questioned whether Canada should request that VFS Global reveal all requests for information made by Beijing, and asked many questions on China’s of potential reprisal.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

MP Normandin demonstrated her concern about labour-shortages in low-wage sectors such as food service, alleged discontinuation of work permits and LMIAs on the grounds of high unemployment, and requested LMIA exemptions even if only temporary.

Social Media Presence

MP Normandin’s Twitter account shares views on immigration. Recent posts have been focused on Badawi, processing delays, Uyghurs, COPR and irregular migration:

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

About

Jenny Kwan was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada at a young age through an extended family reunification stream. For over 28 years, she has fought for the people of East Vancouver.

MP Kwan is a long-standing Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and was formally Critic for Multiculturalism.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Hong Kong Measures Study

In light of the current situation, MP Kwan has advocated for the creation of a refugee stream has called for smoother pathways for asylum seekers (humanitarian and compassionate grounds). The member clearly voiced her security concerns with the use of VSF Global and their subcontractors from Beijing and potential CCP influence. She and flagged concerns with inadmissibility under National Security Law and related charges.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

MP Kwan is concerned about the impacts of the pandemic on migrant workers and their families, particularly on Caregivers, living and working conditions, and access to free vaccines. The member spoke out about LMIA fees illegally offset by employers to workers, and overall abuse of and challenges faced by temporary foreign workers.

Social Media Presence

MP Kwan’s Twitter and Facebook accounts focused on universal pharmacare, vaccine roll-out and housing. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

Jasraj Singh Hallan (Calgary Forest Lawn, AB), Shadow Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration

About

Jasraj Singh Hallan was born in Dubai, immigrated to Northeast Calgary in Canada as a child. He holds an accounting degree, a Master Builder designation and runs a successful homebuilding business.

MP Hallan is the Shadow Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the former Shadow Minister of Multiculturalism.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Hong Kong Measures Study

On Feb 22, MP Hallan questioned the safety and security of VFS Global and recently asked the Minister whether the contract should be ended given “troubling connections to the Chinese government”. When VFS Global representatives confirmed that the Canadian government was made aware of the subcontract with Beijing Shuangxiong since 2008, MP Hallan stated it was in contradiction to IRCC testimony in 2013 on their knowledge of the contract.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

Recently in Parliament, MP Hallan stated levels are “unrealistic quotas” and advocated for permanent residence pathways for temporary foreign workers and international students who are essential in filling market shortages.

During a debate related to the pipeline cancellation, he vocalized concerns that immigrants are not feeling the “Alberta advantage” and that the oil sector is responsible for creating jobs, not the government.

Social Media Presence

MP Hallan’s Twitter and Facebook accounts focused on farmer protests in India, family reunification and on Hong Kong. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

Kyle Seeback (Dufferin—Caledon, ON)

About

Kyle Seeback holds a Bachelor of laws degree, worked as a civil litigation lawyer in Brampton, Ontario and is a certified mediator.

MP Seeback was formally a member of the CIMM committee in the first session of this Parliament. He previously represented Brampton West in the 41st Parliament and was a member of the Justice and Human Rights as well as the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development committees.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Although MP Seeback only recently returned to his role on this committee, the member has been vocal about Canada’s economic recovery, notably the need to do more to help small business during the pandemic.

In his CIMM role in the previous session, the member advocated for the need for pathways to PR for temporary foreign workers, including those in the agricultural sector. He also inquired about service standards for LMIA decisions and difficulties employers encounter when getting in contact with the program administration for help.

Social Media Presence

MP Seeback’s Twitter account has largely been focused on criticising the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out and situation in China. Key posts of interest to IRCC include:

Dean Allison (Niagara West, ON)

About

Dean Allison was born in London, Ontario, and holds a bachelor in Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. He owns a Private Equity Firm that assists in small business and startups. Founding member of the Dave Thomas Adoption Foundation in Canada and the Belarus Children of Chernobyl program.

MP Allison is a member of the Standing Joint Committee Scrutiny of Regulations. He has served as Critic for International Development and has chaired the Human Resources, Skills Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities committee, and the Foreign Affairs and International Development committee.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Although MP Allison has not been vocal on the Labour Market Impact Assessments study, he recently 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 also asked about finding a balance between helping students in Hong Kong yet dealing with the influence that China has over people and institutions here in Canada.

Social Media Presence

MP Allison’s Twitter account has focused on vaccine roll-out and on mental health awareness, with some on China security issues. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

Bob Saroya (Markham—Unionville, ON)

About

Bob Saroya was born in India and immigrated to Canada. He served as a corporate director for a multi-billion dollar Canadian company, has volunteered for several local charities in York Region, and meets with and mentors new immigrants.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

While MP Saroya has mostly been inactive on the Hong Kong discussion, he expressed that while there is a need for essential workers (food service, truckers), some are paying $40,000-$60,000 for Labour Market Impact Assessment to get into the program. He also commented on the importance of international students and their contribution to the Canadian economy.

Social Media Presence

MP Saroya’s Twitter and Facebook pages have recently been focused on illegally smuggled firearms and vaccine roll-out. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

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

About

Soraya Martinez Ferrada is a Chilean-Canadian who immigrated to Canada and lives in Montreal. She has a background in communications and project management and has over 10 years of involvement in municipal politics.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Hong Kong Measures Study

MP Martinez Ferrada recently asked about if Hong Kong residents will be able to access economic immigration programs and inquired about the immigration measures in an international context and what considerations have been used to standardize measures (i.e. Canada vs UK).

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

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. She 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 also asked about labour shortages and the role of immigration in addressing skill levels needed in the country, and is often interested in how the IRCC will address all skill levels needed in the country.

Social Media Presence

MP Martinez-Ferrada’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have recently been focused on sharing key government information on Covid-19 and immigration. Key posts:

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

About

Salma Zahid was born in England, has a Master’s in Educational Management and Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration. Prior to entering politics, MP Zahid was a community organizer who worked to support women, their families and youth, and held several positions with the Government of Ontario.

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.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Due to her role as the Chair of CIMM, MP Zahid does not intervene in the committee. As such, the member does not have any recent interventions on the appearance topics.

Social Media and Press

MP Zahid’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have recently been focused on pandemic updates, specifically on vaccine roll-out. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

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

About

Hon. Geoff Regan was born in Nova Scotia to a family of politicians. He holds a B.A. 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.

MP Regan is the Chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations and a long-standing 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.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Hong Kong Measures Study

MP Regan asked witnesses what kind of improvements they would make to current pathways for Hong Kong.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

MP Regan asked whether the government was looking into private career colleges are eligible for post-graduate worker permit program in order to help alleviate Canada’s skill shortage crisis. He inquired on how to increase numbers over the next few years (referring to Nova Scotia as an example for how immigration is great for economy) and highlighted the importance of international students and their contribution to Canada. He also questioned how the government encourages francophone immigration outside of Quebec.

Social Media and Press

MP Regan’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have recently been focused on sharing information on government initiatives including vaccine roll-out. There are no recent posts of interest to IRCC.

Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey–Newton, BC)

About

Sukh Dhaliwal was born in India, immigrated to Canada in 1984 and became a Canadian citizen three years later. He is a professional engineer, Fellow of Engineers Canada, land surveyor and small business owner who co-founded a successful land surveying company.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Hong Kong Measures Study

MP Dhaliwal asked about safeguards in place to protect data at VFS Global. He spoke of protestors getting arrested, making it difficult to leave Hong Kong. The member also asked about ways to improve the process of bringing Canadians home from Hong Kong.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

MP Dhaliwal has shown interest in improving pathways for various groups, from refugee to temporary foreign worker and echoed MP Hallan’s idea that front line workers need a way to obtain permanent residency.

Social Media Presence

MP Dhaliwal’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have recently been used to share information on the government’s response to Covid-19. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

Anju Dhillon (Dorval‒Lachine‒LaSalle, QC)

About

Anju Dhillon was born and raised in Montreal, holds a B.A. in Political Science from Concordia University and obtained a law degree from l’Université de Montréal. Before her career in politics, she was an attorney, and the first Canadian Sikh to practice law in Québec.

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.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Although MP Dhillon has not been particularly active on Hong Kong, she has shown interest in the lengthy process of Labour Market Impact Assessments and pays particular attention to discrimination and bias in applications.

Social Media Presence

MP Dhillon’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have recently been focused on the economy and racialized groups. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

Marc G. Serré (Nickel Belt, ON)

About

Marc Serré is a proud Francophone born in Chelmsford, Ontario, and is a second generation Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, Ontario. He is also a member of the Algonquin First Nation in Mattawa/North Bay. MP Serré holds an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Laurentian University and is the founder and CEO of PhoneNet, an internet service provider business.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Marc Serré is a proud Francophone born in Chelmsford, Ontario, and is a second generation Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, Ontario. He is also a member of the Algonquin First Nation in Mattawa/North Bay. MP Serré holds an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Laurentian University and is the founder and CEO of PhoneNet, an internet service provider business.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliament

Hong Kong Measures Study

MP Serré inquired about VFS Global decision-making being influenced by investors and the safety of Chinese computer equipment.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Study

MP Serré is particularly interested in the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot and the importance of meeting labour needs within such communities, including through innovation.

Social Media and Press

MP Serré’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have recently been focused on stakeholder meetings in the Nickel Belt, senior’s advocacy, and addressing labour shortages in rural and northern Ontario. Key posts of interest to IRCC:

Raquel Dancho (Kildonan—St. Paul, MB) Shadow Minister of Future Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

About

Raquel Dancho was born and raised in Manitoba to four generations of Canadian farmers and small business owners. She obtained a B.A. in Political Science at McGill University and runs her own consulting business that provides policy research and web development services to the private sector.

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

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Although MP Dancho is no longer a standing member of CIMM, as an associate member, she is permitted to sit in for another CPC member of the committee at any time. As such, the member may choose to participate in meetings pertaining to the Labour Market Impact Assessment study in her capacity as Shadow Minister of Future Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

In her new role, MP Dancho has stated that “Canadians deserve a government that will deliver a workforce recovery plan that secures the future”.

Previously in CIMM, she asked many questions about the status of various programs in light of the pandemic. The member has been vocal on Canada needing to stand up against China’s intimidation and to develop a stream for pro-democracy activists.

Social Media Presence

MP Dancho’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have focused on economic recovery and vaccine roll-out. Key posts related to IRCC include:

Kenny Chiu (Steveston—Richmond East, BC), Shadow Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth

About

Kenny Chiu was moved to Canada in 1982. He built his career in Richmond’s high-tech industry as a software engineer and senior development manager. As a member of the Philippine Canada Trade Council, he encouraged entrepreneurship for new immigrants.

MP Chiu is the Vice-Chair and an active member of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights and often participates in discussions on Hong Kong in the Special Canada-China Committee and others. He is a former CIMM member from first session of the 43rd Parliament.

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

Although MP Chiu is no longer a standing member of CIMM, as an associate member, he is permitted to sit in for another CPC member of the committee at any time. As such, the member may choose to participate in meetings pertaining to the Hong Kong study as he is actively involved in this discussion in other committees.

MP Chiu has been active in the House and in committees on the Uyghur genocide and on foreign interference and intimidation by the Chinese Communist Party. He has presented a petition calling upon the government to impose appropriate sanctions under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act.

Social Media Presence

MP Chiu’s Twitter account has focused on Uyghur Muslims and China. Key posts related to IRCC include:

Hon. Michael Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, ON), Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs

About

Michael Chong grew up in Wellington County, Ontario.  Prior to his election, Michael acted as Chief Information Officer for the National Hockey League Players’ Association. He co-founded the Dominion Institute, now known as Historica Canada, and currently sits on its Board of Governors.

MP Chong is the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and member of the Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Canada-China Relations committees. In 2006, he served in Cabinet as President of the Queen’s Privy Council, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister for Sport..

Immigration Topics of Interest

Parliamentary Interventions

As an associate member of CIMM, MP Chong is permitted to sit in for another CPC member of the committee at any time. As such, the member may choose to participate in meetings pertaining to the Hong Kong study as he is actively involved in this discussion in other committees.

MP Chong speaks often of international relations and conflict, China, exports, and military weapons. He was vocal recently about the situation of Uyghur Muslims, and led the way for the Conservative Party in calling on the government to recognize the Uyghur genocide. He also discussed issues with the 2022 Winter Olympics taking place in China.

He previously pressed Minister Mendicino on whether people should be urged to leave Hong Kong and asked what the Department is doing to facilitate exit, specifically for those without travel documents or wishing to seek asylum but are unable to do so. He has asked stakeholders about a potential mass exodus of the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong.

Social Media Presence

MP Chong’s Twitter account has focused on foreign affairs. Key posts related to IRCC include:

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