Immigration Lawyers: Use Provincial Resources

This week is Bring a Buddy to a Section Meeting for CBA/MBA groups. For the fun of it, I attended my first meeting with the General Practitioners Section. Our resident research guru, Karen Sawatzky gave a lively and information presentation on services provided by the Law Society of Manitoba. These are free for members but the services are not widely advertised and, apparently, not widely known. Let’s fix that!

Caught in my immigration bubble, I did not expect to learn about useful services from a provincial service. I am so used to relying on our CBA Immigration listserv for quick answers from my colleagues around the country. I barely keep up with the +20 exchanges every day but they are very handy as an archive and connecting with practitioners on similar (sometimes very esoteric) issues. That said, I have become so used to my research methods and go-to sources that it was very refreshing to learn about new services.

In this age when we are siloed in our particular areas of law, it is important to think about how we can expand our toolbox. I will say that from now on, I will consider Ms Sawatzky’s points and think about using provincial services for legal research, and I would expect her counterparts in other provinces offer similar services. (Feel free to include links to services from other provinces in the comments below.)

A couple examples:

  • A refugee claimant is currently subject to an ineligibility determination pursuant to section 101/1/f of IRPA. The alleged behaviour was part of a set of charges that may fall within the section, however, he was not convicted. I am thinking of a statutory interpretation challenge to 101/1/f and/or Rule 28 of the RPD Rules. On this point, the research service may be able to dig through the Canada Gazette and other parliamentary notes to see if the argument has any legs.
  • I will be giving a presentation at the CBA Immigration Law Conference in Toronto in June (plug!). As part of my preparation, I will be thinking about how the research gurus may find useful materials on a potential (and current) challenges to the Safe Third Country Agreement.

OK – back to work.


  1. Karen Sawatzky

    Thanks for the plug for the Great Library in Manitoba! I appreciate all efforts to publicize the resources and services we offer. My colleagues around the country do great work – when you need information, try thinking of your nearest courthouse or law society library, if you don’t already.