Barreau du Québec – Law Society of British Columbia
Office: Kurland Tobe (offices in Vancouver and Montreal)
Direct: (604) 688-6583
Government-related: Special Advisor to the Office of the Auditor General of Canada (Int’l Affairs and Immigration), (June – August 2016); Policy assistance to various governments, foreign and domestic, (1998 to present); United States Department of Justice – Registered lobbyist for the Government of Zambia (to assist in de-nationalization of Zambian copper industry) (1998-1999)
Publications: Editor-in-Chief, Lexbase (1989-present): Lexbase is a monthly publication providing current immigration policy and practice information, with summaries of Federal Court decisions in immigration and citizenship rendered during the previous 30 days. Lexbase is received by IRCC; CBSA; IRB, DOJ; senior overseas personnel at Canadian embassies; and, the private sector (immigration lawyers and federally-regulated immigration consultants).
Parliament of Canada: Senate – Social Affairs Committee and, House of Commons – Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration: expert witness on immigration policy matters (1994 to present)
Media: Regular volunteer commentator on immigration issues, with continuous assistance to domestic and foreign journalists (2005 to present): Television: CTV, CBC, SRC, Global TV, Fairchild Television, NDTV, OMNI TV (Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi networks), CCTC, Phoenix Television. Newspapers: The Globe and Mail, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Ming Pao, Sing Tao, Hindustani Times, The New York Times (2016 to present), Wall Street Journal (2015 to present), Washington Post, Economist UK (2016), Reuters, South China Morning Post (2014-present), XinHua (2016 to present), Voice of America. Radio: CBC-SRC, The Corus Radio Network, CKNW, CBC/SRC, RED FM
Volunteer Lectures: Canadian Bar Association (1994 to present): Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Banff, Kelowna; Law Society of British Columbia: “Thinking Outside the Courtroom – Media and Other Non-Legal Approaches” (December 2017); “Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal Practice (Class Actions)” (June 2016); “Working Your Way into Canada”, (September 2011); Investment Migration Council, Geneva “Uniform Transnational Code of Ethics” (2019); Immigration Summit-Hong Kong (2013, 2014, 2016); IMEDA (Immigration Education Alliance) (2013 to present); L’Association québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l’immigration “Future Directions of Immigration Law and Policy”, Montreal, (October 2011); University of British Columbia/Seneca College: Immigration Program Instructor (1997 to 2007); The Canadian Institute: Co-Chair, “Hiring Foreign Workers” Calgary (September 2007
Volunteer Community Work: National CBA Executive: 2000 to present; National Chair: 1998-1999; National Vice-Chair: 1997-1998; National Executive, 1997 to present); Isaac and Sophie Waldman Endowment Fund (2009 to present); Canadian Jewish Congress-Pacific Region, Board of Directors, Vice-Chair (2003-2010); Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee Board of Trustees (2012-2015); Canadian Human Rights Foundation, (Board of Directors) 1995-1997; Barreau du Québec, Delegation of Judges and Lawyers to the People’s Republic of China, 1993
Public Interest: Worked with all federal political parties to change the law, so that in order to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship, a person is required to file at least three Canadian income tax returns, during the five year period, prior to the citizenship application, . Before the law was changed, a person could be ‘resident’ in Canada for immigration purposes, but ‘not resident’ for taxation purposes.
Helped create a new law to give children an independent right to apply for Canadian citizenship. Many immigrant parents did not want citizenship, because their home country did not allow “dual” citizenship (eg. China, India), or, because they could not afford the fees for citizenship. The children in these families often were bullied in school for ‘being different’. Worked with Canadian Senators to support a non-partisan Bill, and shepherded the legislative process, to Royal Assent. Since June 2017, children in Canada have an independent right to citizenship since June 2017. This has benefitted well over 6000 children, to date.
Using a private data run at Immigration Canada, discovered hundreds of millionaire families a year admitted to Canada as permanent residents under the Quebec immigrant investor program, trampolining from Montreal to Vancouver, all chasing the same high-end Vancouver real estate, to live their millionaire lifestyles. Supplied the leads and contacts to investigative journalists for media stories about certain questionable real estate agent practices. Helped uncover the widespread practice of relying on the ‘honour system’ to inaccurately report one’s true tax residence, and, the failure to pay withholding taxes on property sales, and, not reporting the profit from Vancouver property transactions, to one’s home country.
Awards: Senate of Canada – Medal – November 29, 2017: “For showing dedication to streamlining and improving our national immigration system and for commitment to providing affordable service to vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations; in recognition of valuable service to the nation”; Embassy Magazine ranked Richard Kurland among the top 100 most influential people in Canadian foreign policy in 2014 (in the top 5 for the group known as ‘The Thinkers’); L’Association québécoise des avocats et avocates en droit de l’immigration “Obiter Dictum” Award 2005 “dedication to volunteer work, their outstanding work, and their exceptional commitment to progress in matters of immigration law as well as to the national growth of the association” http://www.aqaadi.com/en/about-us/obiter-dictum-award/
Education: McGill University, Montreal – B.A., LL.B, B.C.L
Hobby: “Keeping Ottawa Honest”