TORONTO, April 5 /CNW/ - The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) stood up for consumers today by taking legal action to halt the Federal government's proposal to replace CSIC with a new immigration consultant regulatory organization that has no experience in consumer protection and will require more than 3.6 million taxpayer dollars to get off the ground.
"It is astonishing that the Federal government has turned its back on consumers by choosing a new and inexperienced group, the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), to regulate immigration consultants. This group has no plans and no ability to resolve the 99 outstanding complaints and 155 open investigations that CSIC is currently seized with," said CSIC Chair Nigel Thomson. "CSIC also has serious concerns about the 21 ongoing disciplinary hearings. For all intents and purposes, the government has given the people who are the subject of CSIC's disciplinary process a free pass and this is unacceptable."
In June 2010 the Federal government established criteria for the review of the national regulator of immigration consultants. In December CSIC made a detailed submission that demonstrated that it met all of the government's criteria for confirmation as the regulator, most notably due to its significant experience in protecting consumers by holding its members accountable to strict standards.
"Consumers have effective protection and only CSIC has the policies, rules, expertise and disciplinary processes to provide that protection. The council will take years and millions of dollars to reach the same level of sophistication that CSIC currently possesses and in the meantime consumers will be put at risk," said Thomson. "CSIC believes that the process followed by the Federal government is biased, unreasonable and unfair. This decision defies logic and CSIC is standing up for consumers by challenging the fairness and practicality of the selection process."
The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants is the professional regulatory body for Certified Canadian Immigration Consultants. Established in 2004 it currently has 1,900 fully accredited members located throughout Canada and the world. CSIC's mandate is to protect consumers of immigration consulting services. Consequently, it is responsible for ensuring the education, competency testing and the discipline of its members. CSIC also requires its members to carry errors and omissions insurance and to contribute to a compensation fund in order to protect consumers. The best way to find a Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant (CCIC) is via CSIC's toll free referral line, 1-877-311-7926.