Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

March 10, 2009 10:54 ET

Minister Kenney Announces Appointments and Reappointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2009) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today announced two full-time appointments and five reappointments to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

In the Toronto office, Michael Scott McCaffrey and Edward Charles Robinson were appointed for three-year terms; Pamila Ahlfeld was reappointed for a five-year term; Diane L. Tinker was reappointed for a four-year term; and Shams Alidina and Joanna M.T. Bedard were each reappointed for three-year terms. In the Montreal office, Michael Hamelin was reappointed for a one-year term. These appointments and reappointments were made in accordance with the IRB's merit-based appointment process.

The Minister is committed to delivering on his promise to fill vacancies on the Board with qualified individuals as quickly as possible. With today's appointments, the IRB continues to approach its full complement. With a lower vacancy rate on the IRB, genuine refugee claims will be processed and finalized faster, while frivolous asylum applications will be dismissed more quickly.

Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mr. McCaffrey was a counsellor in immigration and a program manager with the Embassy of Canada in Cuba and with the Embassy of Canada in Jordan. He was also a counsellor in immigration and an operations manager with the Embassy of Canada in Russia. Mr. McCaffrey received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

Mr. Robinson was a professor at Laurentian University at Georgian College before being appointed to the Board. He has held positions as a supervisor/instructor with the Toronto Transit Commission and as a law enforcement officer/instructor with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Metropolitan Toronto Police Services. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Maranatha Christian Academy in Brampton. Mr. Robinson received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education from York University as well as a Bachelor of Education and a Doctorate in Sociology of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Before his initial appointment on November 10, 1997, Mr. Hamelin owned a private practice specializing in corporate, commercial, family and immigration law as well as general litigation. He was a founding member of the Parc-Extension community action committee. Mr. Hamelin received his diploma in Social Sciences from Vanier College, his Bachelor of Civil Law and Bachelor of Laws from McGill University, and his Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University.

Ms. Ahlfeld was called to the Ontario Bar in 1999. Prior to her initial appointment to the IRB on June 21, 2004, she was a sole practitioner specializing in immigration. In addition, she has worked as an associate specializing in immigration with the law firm Goodman and Carr and at one time owned and operated an immigration consulting firm with offices in Toronto and Seoul, Korea. Ms. Ahlfeld, who received her Bachelor of Laws from the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, is currently working towards her Master of Laws at the Osgoode Professional Development Centre.

Ms. Tinker, who received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University and her Bachelor of Laws from Queen's University, was called to the Bar in 1981. Prior to her initial appointment on June 2, 2003, Ms. Tinker's previous positions included being an adjudicator with the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal and a deputy judge in Small Claims Court for the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Prior to his initial appointment to the IRB on January 28, 2002, Mr. Alidina held the positions of Vice President at Spec-Sec Meltshop Equipment Inc., Chief Engineer at John Ewing & Co., Chief Maintenance/Installations Engineer at EMCO Steel in Nairobi, Kenya, and Assistant Executive Engineer at the Ministry of Comworks, Government of Tanzania. He received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of London, England.

Before her initial appointment to the IRB on January 14, 2002, Ms. Bedard was the Executive Director of The Woodland Cultural Centre and represented the Fort Francis Area First Nations at the discussions between the federal government, the provincial government, and the Grand Council Treaty No. 3 First Nations. She also served as Chief Executive Officer of the Seine River First Nation and was a lecturer in First Nations' history and culture at York University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology from the University of Guelph, a certificate in Museum Studies from the Ontario Museum Association and a master's degree in Environmental Studies from York University.

Created in 1989, the IRB is an independent administrative tribunal that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The Board has three divisions-the Refugee Protection Division, the Immigration Appeal Division and the Immigration Division. The IRB determines refugee protection claims made in Canada, hears immigration appeals, and conducts admissibility hearings and detention reviews.

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