Welcome and key updates!

  • September 11, 2023

We write to you today to share exciting news about the renewal of our Section!

Lisa Middlemiss, immediate Past-Chair, shared in her welcome message last year, that membership renewal is a key priority for Officers. We innovate to grow and diversify our membership, encourage new leaders, and look for ways to meet the needs of practitioners in practice areas that encompass the work of our Section members.

Our Section is extremely busy. Amongst the many activities undertaken by the Executive, Coordinators, and many dedicated volunteers, we:

  • Produce a number of complex submissions to exercise our influence on policy and law-makers;
  • Develop relationships and collaborate with government officials;
  • Participate in numerous task forces and advisory groups with IRCC, ESDC, CBSA, as well as the IRB and Federal Court; and
  • Successfully organize and deliver Canada’s largest annual national immigration conference.

Given the pace of change in the immigration world, we anticipate the work will only continue to grow.

We strongly believe that Section members need to see themselves reflected in the composition of the Executive, particularly at the Officer level, to foster a deeper sense of belonging and encourage healthy decision-making. The Section’s work and commitment in all areas of immigration, refugee and citizenship law requires participation from refugee and litigation practitioners as Officers. Understanding that litigators have not always been represented at the Officer level, represent a critical mass of the Section composition and are a crucial area of practice, we sought the creation of a 5th officer position.

New Officer Position

We are thrilled to announce the creation of a new Officer position: Vice-Chair, Refugee and Litigation Affairs. This position will be assumed by none other than Robert Israel Blanshay.

This new position will pave the way for our members in the refugee and litigation areas to join our executive in a meaningful way, while giving an additional option for those who may want to volunteer as Officers, but who cannot make a four-year commitment.

Our commitment to the enhanced participation of refugee and litigation practitioners in our Section runs concurrently with our continued and deepening commitment to those members engaged in solicitor’s work, while also better serving the many members of our bar who are engaged in both.

We are delighted that Robert, who was instrumental in the development of this new officer position, will serve the Section as the first Vice-Chair, Refugee and Litigation Affairs and will lead us in this exciting new direction. To facilitate Robert’s ability to do so, Gabriela will step into the role of Chair of the Section.

To support the Vice-Chair, Refugee and Litigation Affairs, we have also created a new position of Refugee Coordinator. More details on this new position will be communicated in the coming weeks.

We are both so excited as we move forward into the new year, and we look forward to working together with each of you, as we chart the future of our dynamic Section and continue to help shape Canadian immigration, citizenship and refugee policy.

Gabriela & Robert

Gabriela Ramo  

Gabriela Ramo
Chair, CBA Immigration Law Section, 2023-2024


Robert Israel Blanshay  

Robert Israel Blanshay
Vice-Chair, Refugee and Litigation Affairs, CBA Immigration Law Section, 2023-2024