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An Immigration Law Podcast

An Immigration Law Podcast
Immigration lawyers Chantal Desloges and Cathryn Sawicki examine the current state of Canadian immigration law, breaking down policy, practice, procedure, and recent cases from across the country.

Tune in to hear tales from the trenches, practical advocacy tips, and business advice for immigration law practitioners. Each episode features distinguished guests from across Canada. From the publisher that brought you the Immigration Law Series, Emond Publishing presents Welcome Home: An Immigration Law podcast.

Episode 11 - How Artificial Intelligence is Influencing the Canadian Immigration Application Process

What degree of transparency should we expect from a government body that leverages AI to expedite processes that have a life-changing impact on thousands of people each year?

The IRCC has introduced the use of artificial intelligence to expedite the processing of immigration applications, with assurances that AI does not have the power to determine or influence the outcome of applications. However, the details of its usage are opaque, and many questions remain unanswered – what exactly is the scope of AI’s current and future contributions? Who are the architects behind its intellect? What rules and information has it been fed?  

In this episode, Mario Bellissimo, Cathryn, and Chantal unpack the risks and possibilities of artificial intelligence as a tool to enhance – or undermine – the effectiveness of our immigration system. While AI offers promising improvements to a system that has been criticized for being slow, inefficient, and “broken,” it also has the potential to create new problems that come at a high cost and take decades to resolve. How can we be certain that AI is not perpetuating hidden biases or introducing new biases through its assessments? What digital privacy protections have been established, if any? Have safeguards been put in place to limit the scope of AI usage and to ensure human oversight?  

Other topics include

  • Paving the way for AI's transformational impact through robust legislative and regulatory measures 

  • Other countries that we can look to as examples of how to successfully integrate AI 

  • Embracing transparency and open dialogue in this new era of AI-supported government processes 

In this segment of “Things I Wish I Knew,” what can you do when the volume and complexity of work required for a client expands beyond the scope of the original retainer? Instead of doing too much work for too little money, follow Chantal and Cathryn’s tips for crafting a retainer agreement that will protect you while ensuring clear and open communication with your client. 

Special Guest: Mario Bellissimo, founder of Bellissimo Law Group PC and former Chair of the Canadian Bar Association National Immigration Law Section. Mario's firm is exclusively committed to Canadian citizenship, immigration, and refugee matters, and represents clients from around the world at every stage of the immigration process. 

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The Hosts of Welcome Home

Chantal Desloges Headshot

Chantal Desloges

Chantal is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in both citizenship/immigration law and refugee law. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1999, and was an associate and subsequently a partner at Green & Spiegel law firm until 2010, when she established her own law firm, Desloges Law Group Professional Corporation. Her practice encompasses every possible area of Canadian citizenship, immigration, and refugee law, such as business class applications, skilled workers, family sponsorships, work and study permits, refugee cases, and citizenship applications, as well as appeals and judicial reviews of refused cases.

Chantal taught immigration law at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2000-1, and served as curriculum coordinator and lecturer for the Seneca College Immigration Practitioner Certificate Program from 1999-2010. She currently teaches current and aspiring immigration consultants at both IMEDA and Herzing College.

In March 2012, Chantal was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in May 2012 she was awarded the Canadian Bar Association Young Lawyers' Pro Bono Award. In 2013, she was appointed by the minister of justice to serve for a three-year term on the Federal Court Rules Committee, and was reappointed for a further three years in 2016. In 2014, Chantal was elected to the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association, Immigration Section, where she continues to serve.

Cathryn Sawicki Headshot

Cathryn Sawicki

Cathryn Sawicki is a Canadian immigration lawyer and the Global Business Immigration Services Team Lead at PwC Law LLP. She has particular expertise in the area of compliance, inadmissibility, and corporate strategic immigration solutions.

Cathryn is a member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the Ontario Bar Association, and the Law Society of Upper Canada. She completed her law degree at Osgoode Hall and earned a Certificate in Canadian Immigration with high honours.

She has lectured before the Law Society of Upper Canada, Federated Press, Professional Development Seminars, the CBA, and other organizations. She has appeared on CBC television and radio, Rogers TV, CFRB 1010, and CKNW radio as a guest speaker. Cathryn has also been interviewed for various newspapers and online articles and has taught immigration law at various colleges and law schools across Canada.