A colleague of mine (Guidy Mamann, a reputable and well-known Toronto immigration lawyer whom I have great respect for) was complained against by the government. They complained to the Law Society of Upper Canada – the regulatory body that governs Ontario lawyers – saying that he engaged in professional misconduct when claiming special treatment was given to Conrad Black while processing his Temporary Resident Permit.
Despite his criminal record, Conrad Black was allowed to enter Canada – which can be done with a TRP, or temporary resident permit. I’ve been interviewed myself on the subject by the CBC just a few months ago. Click here to watch the video, which explains the situation in great detail.
The issue is that, in a society that revels in freedom of speech, a complaint was lobbied against this lawyer for allegedly only saying something. The government tried to use the Law Society to silence him, which could threaten his livelihood. All he did was tell journalists that “he found it improbable that such a major decision was made without the minister’s input”.
The Law Society of Upper Canada deals with complaints from the public about its lawyers – which is a great thing, because lawyers should be regulated and those who do engage in unprofessional conduct should be found out. However, unnecessary complaints can prove problematic for those lawyers.
I am happy to see such a great deal of support for Mr. Mamaan, as the Globe and Mail has reported that over 80 immigration lawyers have signed an open letter to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in his defence, saying that “Kenney’s attempt to suppress Mamann’s freedom of expression was ‘reprehensible'”.
To read more on the letter that was sent, visit this link here at MacLean’s Magazine online.
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