Welcome from the Chair 2019

  • September 18, 2019

Ravi Jain

Ravi Jain, Chair

Dear Section Members,

You belong to a truly exceptional Section! There are 40 national Sections and yet the CBA Immigration Law Section:

  • Participated in 17 of the 78 CBA submissions made between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019, which is more than any other Section.
  • Held 18 government meetings in November 2018 and May 2019 including meetings with Ministers Goodale and Hussen, MPs, and agencies including the IRCC, ESDC, CBSA and DOJ.
  • Made numerous appearances in House and Senate Standing Committees over the years.
  • Annually stages the CBA’s largest national conference. Our recent Winnipeg conference saw participation by the Minister and had an attendance of 415. We expect even more to attend in Montreal, April 2-4, 2020 – save the date! Details will be posted here soon.

You should be proud of the work of your volunteer leaders. The full 2019-2020 Executive Committee is here to serve.

Back in law school, I recall an exercise where we drafted a submission pretending to be from the CBA Immigration Law Section. Everyone’s assumption was that the submission would be written from the perspective of an advocacy group for immigration lawyers’ interests. I can now confidently say that this is not the case with any of the Section’s submissions. Indeed, many recommendations involve streamlining processes so that they are less complex (and thus less in need of a lawyer’s help). I have witnessed and participated in a similar approach in meetings with Ministers, MPs, Senators and high-level government officials. Simply put, we are focused on furthering the public interest and protecting the public.

One example is our advocacy on immigration consultants — I’ve personally spent countless hours advocating on this issue. I’m proud that our advocacy has led to greater transparency such that their members can be more easily identified; ongoing disciplinary matters are now online for all to see. As Chair, I will continue to advocate for public protection of the vulnerable as I strongly believe that they are deserving of professional legal assistance.

As September 1st marked the beginning of CBA’s new year, our objectives for 2019–2020 include the following:

Priorities in Law, Policy and Procedure

  • We will continue to advocate for improvements in law, policy and operations in the Canadian immigration system. Our priorities will include the skilled trades, protecting solicitor–client privilege, legal aid, asylum/refugee issues, client service modernization and immigration consultants.


  • We will continue our collaborative meetings and constructive dialogue with political, policy and operations leaders and their staff in support of our mutual efforts to improve Canada’s immigration system.
  • We have begun developing relationships with stakeholders in the immigration ecosystem, with the intent of identifying shared interests and intensifying our influence through collaborative communications and networking. For instance, the Section now holds membership with the Conference Board of Canada’s National Immigration Centre, and we are well represented by our Past Chair, Marina Sedai.

Get Involved

The success of the Section comes from the dedication of our volunteers and Section members; I wholeheartedly encourage you to engage with the Section:

Reap the Benefits

As CBA members, you have a plethora of resources available to you:

Finally, some have congratulated me for being among a small number of visible minority Chairs. In our racialized world, I identify as biracial (father from India, mother from the U.S.), and this has afforded me a unique perspective. Indeed, I teach my own children to reject racial categories of white, black, brown and yellow, and instead tell them of the numerous countries of their ancestors. Self-identification, which is a part of racial identity, is evolving.

I recognize that identity matters for many members — particularly for those who are racialized. All of which is to say that I am proud to be a visible minority Chair in this sense, because I hope all of you can see yourselves as belonging and being included in every way. If you are willing to put in the effort — which is well worth it by the way — whoever you are, welcome! Please join us as a volunteer and future leader.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or to become more involved. I would be happy to hear from you personally.


Ravi Jain
Chair, CBA Immigration Law Section