The House Immigration Committee convened an emergency meeting next week to discuss allegations that the department and the former minister misled a federal judge in a trademark infringement case – an allegation. which former immigration minister Marco Mendicino denied.
The charges stem from the creation of a new college to administer immigration consultants in 2020.
A company now called the Immigration Management Council of Canada has taken the government to Federal Court in an attempt to prevent the government from using a similar name: the College of Immigration and Citizenship Counseling.
On the day of the court hearing, the Privy Council published an order on its website declaring the law establishing the college had entered into force.
That information was also turned over to the Federal Court.
The government issued a press release a few days later, in which Mendicino announced the University Immigration and Nationality Advice Act had indeed entered into force.
“With today’s announcement, the Minister honors his mandated commitment to promote the full implementation of the new professional governance mechanism for immigration and citizenship consultants,” the statement said. The original press release was read November 26, 2020, according to a version archived by the Wayback Machine Internet Archive.
In fact, the law didn’t actually go into effect until December 9, 2020. The press release was corrected a few days after it was published.
Mendicino’s communications director, Alex Cohen, said Sunday that the discrepancy was the result of human error.
Department officials mistook the date the President signed the order with the date it was supposed to take effect, Cohen said in a statement. When the problem was discovered, it was reported to the courts.
On October 4, the independent newspaper Blacklock’s Reporter published an article with the headline “Minister Term Document”, citing internal emails obtained through the Access to Information and Privacy legislation. (ATIP).
The agency reported the emails revealed “an apparent attempt to mislead a federal judge,” and Mendicino’s office did not respond to Blacklock’s request for comment.
The report alarmed NDP Immigration critic Jenny Kwan enough to write to the chairman of the immigration committee last week to request an urgent meeting to discuss the “allegations related to mandarin.”
“It was never possible for documents to be altered or forged to mislead the court,” Kwan said in an interview on Sunday. “We’re not exactly sure what happened here and so it’s important for us to dig into it.”
A meeting was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, when members of Congress are expected to debate whether to launch a comprehensive study of the allegations.
“This report is untrue,” Cohen asserted in his statement. “That’s completely untrue and has absolutely no ATIP proof.”
He denied that the documents were “outdated” and said that Mendicino and his office were not related.
Mendicino’s office provided a 730-page email package to The Canadian Press, which revealed significant back-and-forth between department officials and communications staff who incorrectly shared the date the law went into effect.
A week after the press release was published, exchanges revealed that the department’s legal team had flagged the error, and on December 1, 2020, department officials discussed whether “measures are needed.” remedy” or not.
Cohen says the government told the Federal Court about the matter on December 9, 2020 — more than a week before the court decided whether to force the government to temporarily stop using the university’s name.
In her ruling on December 24, 2020, Justice Janet Fuhrer gave the exact dates before siding with the plaintiffs in the trademark infringement case and issued the order.
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on October 9, 2022.