Progress Report

  • January 14, 2022

When I wrote to you in September, I set out five priorities for your Executive Committee for this fiscal year. We’ve been very busy! I’m writing to update you on our progress as I want to make sure you are all aware of what the CBA is doing for you.

The work of your Section gets done thanks to the tireless contributions of dozens of volunteers, and all of these people deserve our gratitude and support.

Read on for updates on great continuing professional development, awards information (Founders’ Award nomination deadline: Jan. 31, 2022) and much more!

Update on Committed Priorities

Refocusing the role of the CBA Section

  • We are working to focus on what we do best, and to make volunteering with the CBA a more appealing prospect for everyone. This includes sole practitioners and small firm lawyers who may not have firm resources to draw on in their volunteer work. It means shorter meetings, sharing the workload, forgoing some projects when capacity is limited and listening to our members to help us focus on what is most important.
  • We are broadening our CPD to help our members adapt to new technologies and practice realities, including facing the personal pressures of working through a global pandemic.
  • We are finding new ways to do our work in an environment that includes a variety of immigration representative groups, each with their own agendas and priorities. The CBA has an important and unique role to play in advocating for better and efficient immigration law with CARL, AQAADI, CILA, the Junior Refugee and Immigration Lawyers Network, CAPIC and others.

Broadening our leadership

  • We are building on the work of past executives to bring in a more diverse group of leaders from across the country and across immigration and refugee practice areas. We are proactively recruiting younger lawyers, racialized and immigrant lawyers and others who have traditionally faced barriers to full participation in the activities of the Section.
  • We have empowered the Section’s Anti-Racism Committee to examine the role that racism has played in our own organization and to identify ways to remove barriers to racialized lawyers sharing in the full benefits of Section membership, including taking on leadership roles.
  • We have created several new coordinator, committee, and advisory roles to support the work of the Executive. This allows us to spread the work and to be more effective, while also bringing in a broader range of voices to key roles. We hope and intend for many of today’s volunteers to take on more senior executive roles in the future.
  • We have formed a Membership Renewal Committee with representation from the Section’s Officers, Young Lawyers Coordinators and Anti-Racism Committee to focus our work on attracting new members to our organization.

Supporting our members

  • We continue to advocate for the role of lawyers in the immigration legal system, both in our dealings with government and in our public messaging.
  • We are adding more CPD sessions addressing practice management, wellness, mental health, and extending beyond the national conference program (more on this below).
  • We are listening to our members and working to act on your priorities, including maintaining our leadership role in providing pro bono services to the public. This has involved:
  • Do you know of a colleague who was recently unable to renew their CBA membership due to unemployment? Please share the Waiver of Dues program so they may continue benefiting from membership during this difficult time.

Providing the best immigration law CPD on offer

  • First, let me dispel a rumour: we will be returning to full in-person conferences on a permanent basis as soon as we can do so safely and in accordance with public health guidelines. We know how valuable it is to connect with your colleagues in person to foster professional and social relationships. The pandemic has made conference planning incredibly difficult and unpredictable and has forced us to pivot multiple times. Given current uncertainties, the 2022 conference program is once again moving online and the Organizing Committee is working hard to bring you more opportunities for social engagement – please stay tuned. No matter how it is delivered, you can count on us to provide the very best immigration law conference program in Canada, for the best value. For now, please mark June 3, 10 and 17 in your calendars and bookmark the Online Symposium website. The agenda and registration information will be available shortly.
  • We have created a new CPD coordinator role to lead the development and delivery of additional courses outside of our annual conference. To start, we will be offering the following webinars as part of the upcoming CBA Law Series –  register now:
  • Did you miss the CBA Immigration Law Online Symposium in the spring? Purchase the on-demand recordings today!

Continuing our critical advocacy work

Our working groups have been incredibly active. Since September 1st, your Section has:

Submit Your Award Nominations Today!

Founders’ Award Nominations (Deadline: January 31, 2022)

There are only two weeks left to nominate an exceptional law student or junior lawyer for the Founders’ Award. The successful candidate must be willing to prepare a paper of 2,500 – 5,000 words if selected. If you or someone you know should be nominated, please submit your entry no later than January 31.

Nominate a Distinguished Section Member for the Award of Excellence (Deadline: February 28, 2022)

The Award of Excellence recognizes a senior member of the Section with a lengthy and distinguished history. It is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a Section member. Learn more about eligibility and the nomination procedure, and be sure to submit all supporting documentation by the deadline.

Get Involved

More than ever, we need you to get involved in the important work of the Section. Our collective success comes from the dedication of our volunteers and Section members; we invite you to engage with the Section:

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


Kyle Hyndman
Chair, CBA Immigration Law Section