Focus On

Immigration Law - Naturalization or citizenship - Loss of or disqualification from citizenship - Grounds, false representation, fraud or concealing material circumstances - Appeals and judicial review

Thursday, November 24, 2016 @ 7:00 PM  

Motion by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers for an order staying operation of s. 10(1) of the Citizenship Act pending judicial determination of its constitutionality and validity. Under s. 10(1) of the Citizenship Act, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship had authority to revoke citizenship if it was obtained by false representation, fraud, or knowingly concealing material circumstances. A group of judicial review applications were under case management with respect to individuals who had either received a notice of intent to revoke citizenship or had had their citizenship revoked. Those applications sought to challenge the constitutionality of 2014 amendments to the revocation procedure in s. 10 of the Citizenship Act. Two case management orders enjoined the Minister from taking any steps under the notices to revoke citizenship until the underlying legal and constitutional questions were finally determined. The moving parties sought a stay of operation of s. 10(1) of the Act in order to protect the interests of any individuals who had received a notice of intent to revoke citizenship, but had not yet commenced judicial review applications. The Minister opposed the relief sought.

HELD: Motion dismissed. It was unnecessary to determine the public interest standing of the moving parties, as the motion failed to meet the threshold for establishment of irreparable harm in the absence of the relief sought. The moving parties failed to establish that the harm alleged was not avoidable, as anybody who received a notice of intent to revoke citizenship was able to apply for judicial review and receive an automatic stay of the notice pursuant to the extant case management orders. The failure of an individual to avail oneself of the de facto stay available did not change the fact that the stay was available and would avoid the harm alleged. The fact that the harm was avoidable meant that injunctive relief was not available.