CABA Newsletter – May 2019
Welcome to the Spring issue of the Canadian American Bar Association’s newsletter. In this and future issues, we will highlight CABA’s recent achievements and activities, as well as priorities set by the CABA executive, in consultation with CABA’s advisory board and its membership at large.
Supreme Court of Canada Vindicates Voting Rights of Expats
A long legal battle to vindicate expats’ voting rights came to an end in January when, in a 5-2 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadian expats from being disenfranchised due to their non-residency in Canada. The electoral provisions at issue—recently repealed by the Trudeau government—generally denied the vote to expats after five years of non-residency. The Court’s reasons can be consulted here.
As communicated earlier to its membership, CABA participated in this important and precedent setting appeal as an intervener, and made both written and oral submissions before the Court. The ruling marks an important milestone in CABA’s mission to promote cross-border professional mobility and understanding, and CABA intends to continue its efforts to further these important objectives, including through public advocacy and targeted interventions.
Eligible Canadian voters residing abroad may apply to vote by mail in the next federal election, to be held on or before October 21, 2019, on the Elections Canada Website.
Opposition to Country Caps for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas
In December, CABA submitted a letter to the United States Congress sharing its concerns regarding the amendment included in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill in the House Appropriations Committee sponsored by former Rep. Kevin Yoder
(R-KS), which aims to eliminate the per-country cap for employment-based immigrant visas. The letter, available here, explained that the Yoder Amendment threatened to impede the free movement of highly skilled Canadian workers to the United States and to cause harm to American businesses operating in cross-border industries, such as law and financial services, that support trade and other cross-border economic activity.
Congress revived the proposals contained in the Yoder Amendment earlier this year, and CABA is currently evaluating its options, including whether to pursue further advocacy efforts.
In view of the critical importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement and its purported successor, the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, CABA released a bulletin, available here, to its membership outlining certain key features of the new trade deal.
As the coming into force of the USMCA remains pending, CABA will continue to monitor the situation and update its membership on further developments, as and when appropriate.
CABA is planning several new initiatives for the balance of 2019, including further research and advocacy in the domain of Canadian rights and freedoms in a globalized world, as well as various events and publications.
We continue to welcome suggestions from our membership on future strategic directions and projects, including collaboration opportunities on both sides of the border.
We thank you for your continuing support of CABA and we ask that you remember to renew your membership as and when it comes due. CABA draws its strength from the broad and deep talent pool of its cross-border membership.
CABA Social in NYC
In an effort to offer more social and networking opportunities to its members and advisory board, CABA is holding a happy hour in NYC on May 23rd.
When: 6-9 p.m., May 23, 2019
Where: Little Rascal
163 Elizabeth Street
New York, N.Y. 10012
Sponsored by Latham & Watkins LLP