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Inicio Foros ¿Cómo es la vida de un inmigrante en Canadá? Judge rejects city couple’s case against Ottawa

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    Judge rejects city couple’s case against Ottawa
    $2.1M lawsuit claimed they were misled about job prospects in Canada

    Vernon Clement Jones
    The Edmonton Journal

    August 23, 2005

    EDMONTON – A judge has dismissed an immigrant couple’s $2.1-million lawsuit against the federal government, rejecting their argument their job prospects in Canada were misrepresented.

    The Edmonton couple, Selladurai Premakumaran and his wife, Nesamalar, claimed in their lawsuit that Canadian immigration forms and advertisements, as well as immigration officers, misled them by suggesting they would easily find similar employment in Canada.

    “We met the conditions for highly skilled immigrants,” Selladurai said Monday. They had sought $2 million for mental agony and financial loss plus another $125,000 for expenses associated with their relocation.

    “We paid money to come over here. I was totally misled into thinking my credentials would be accepted in Canada,” he said. “If they are really looking for highly skilled workers they should accept our qualifications.”

    The husband and wife, an accountant and senior administrative officer, respectively, moved to Canada from England in 1998. They thought they would qualify as professionally skilled immigrants under the point system used to evaluate candidates. The couple now work as cleaners.

    Federal Court Justice Konrad von Finckenstein refused to grant them the civil trial they have sought since June 2003. He instead granted the government’s request to dismiss the couple’s suit.

    “The relief sought above is largely related to policy issues,” von Finckenstein writes in the 17-page decision.

    “It is not the role of the courts to order that agencies be set up to assist immigrant workers, nor can the courts order that … governments recognize certain skills or credentials.”

    Immigration officials offered no guarantees the Premakumarans would find equivalent work, argued lawyers for the federal government. They also classified Selladurai as a bookkeeper, citing a lack of accreditation in both England and Canada.

    The father of four countered that he was, in fact, a qualified accountant in England, recognized by several professional bodies in that country.

    “They never told us that he was being assessed as a bookkeeper and not an accountant,” Nesamalar said. The judge’s decision seemed focused on the principles behind the dispute and not the credibility of either party.

    “These issues are not justiciable, but have to be settled at the ballot box,” von Finckenstein said.

    The Premakumarans plan to appeal.

    vjones@thejournal.canwest.com

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