CAPIC was founded in 2004 through the amalgamation of AICC (the Association of Immigration Counsel of Canada) and OPIC (the Organization of Professional Immigration Consultants), on the four pillars of education, information, lobbying, and recognition.
AICC (Association of Immigration Counsel of Canada) is established as a federally chartered, non-profit immigration practitioner organization. The charter includes the right to issue the designation of Licensed Member - L.M.A.I.C. In 2000, AICC becomes an integral part of NHQ and Bar Association meetings, and contributes to policy and procedural development. Members essential in driving membership campaigns and developing AICC into a respected practitioner association include James and Miri Chalk, Bruce Perreault, Camilla Jones, Praveen Shrwastava, Julia Brodyanski, and Berto Volpentesta. Gerd Damitz also serves an instrumental role in uniting AICC with OPIC and forming CAPIC.
OPIC (the Organization of Professional Immigration Consultants) is established by former immigration officers Paul Billings, Harry Goslett, Frank Marrocco, and Garry Moore. The founding members believe regulation is essential for immigration consultants. It grows to over 250 members, becomes an integral part of NHQ and Bar Association meetings, and contributes to policy and procedural development. Alli Amlani plays a significant role in providing members with the necessary education, encouraging the exchange of information and recruiting sponsors for educational seminars. Frank Marrocco lobbies the Federal Government, while Paul Billings, Harry Goslett, and Charles Pley devote many hours to ensuring the organization is well represented across all platforms. Warren Lloyd is instrumental in uniting the organization with AICC and forming CAPIC.
In partnership, OPIC and AICC found the College of Immigration Practitioners of Canada (CIPC) to serve as a regulatory body.
AICC obtains intervener status for the Mangat case at the Supreme Court of Canada. Attendance is confirmed at CICIP meetings, and the AICC BC Chapter is established.
OPIC and AICC executives attend the Supreme Court Mangat hearing, resulting in the historic industry court decision on October 18th, 2001, which serves as a catalyst for the self-regulation aspirations of immigration consultants.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Dennis Coderre establishes an Advisory Committee to help identify problems in the immigration consulting industry and propose solutions. In May 2003, the Advisory Committee (including AICC and OPIC) presents its final report, recommending that the government create a self-regulatory body for immigration consultants.
Following the Advisory Committee report, the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) is established as an “independent, federally incorporated not-for-profit body, responsible for regulating the activities of immigration consultant members, providing immigration advice for a fee” (4).
OPIC unites with AICC to form CAPIC. Integral to this union are directors Alan Davies, Alli Amlani, Gerd Damitz, Bruce Ferreira-Wells, Daniel Mallet, Dave Benning, Jim Humphries, Peter Ferreira, Ron McKay, Tad Kawecki, Max Chaudhary, Tim Morson, and Warren Lloyd. CIPC is considered void and thus changes its name to CAPIC. Warren Lloyd and Gerd Damitz become the founding presidents of the new regulatory body.
CAPIC is initiated in November 2003 during a CICIP meeting at the National Club in Toronto. The goal is to have stronger lobbying representation with the government and the regulatory body, and to use membership resources more efficiently. Both OPIC and AICC presidents receive approval from the Board of Directors and members to commence the logistic and organizational preparation to form CAPIC. For the incorporation itself, CAPIC uses and replaces the existing College of Immigration Practitioners of Canada (CIPC), now deemed void.
The two founding presidents of CAPIC are Gerd Damitz (AICC) and Warren Lloyd (OPIC), who directly lead the amalgamation process. Integral to this process are AICC and OPIC directors Alli Amlani, Alan Davies, Bruce Ferreira-Wells, Daniel Mallet, Dave Benning, Jim Humphries, Peter Ferreira, Ron McKay, Tad Kawecki, Max Chaudhary, and Tim Morson.
In December, an inauguration ceremony at the Royal York hotel marks the official establishment of CAPIC. Following elections, Ron McKay becomes CAPIC’s first elected president. The designated administrator is Monica Poon – OPIC’s previous administrator. CAPIC becomes Canada's largest organization for immigration practitioners with over 500 members (a video from this historic event can be ordered by members).
CAPIC establishes its official headquarters in North York, Ontario.
Phil Mooney follows as the next CAPIC president. During his tenure, CAPIC introduces gold memberships and offers Lexbase. Another industry first is the Ethical Recruiting work model for safe and effective relationships between employers, foreign workers, and consultants.
CAPIC introduces the IMMeForum, an industry tool aimed at enhancing immigration information availability and online information exchange between consultants.
Despite the establishment of CSIC, complaints continue to be heard from the public and practitioners regarding the unacceptable practices of immigration consultants. In April 2008, the Parliamentary Committee for Citizenship and Immigration re-examines the subject, travelling from coast to coast to hear testimony. Based on the testimonies provided, the Committee makes the recommendation “to introduce a stand-alone legislation to re-establish the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants as a non-share capital corporation.” Such an “Immigration Consultants Society Act” should ensure that the same types of matters are covered, as with the statutes of provincial law societies, which include functions of the corporation, member licensing and conduct, and professional competence. Once the regulator is re-established as a corporation under federal statute, the existing body incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act may be terminated. In light of the Canada-Québec Immigration Accord, the Committee is of the opinion that the Québec government should be solely responsible for regulating immigration consultants within its borders.
In February, Phil Mooney becomes re-elected as CAPIC president. During his second term, he successfully leads CAPIC though a turbulent regulator transition, which results in severe critiques against CSIC. The IMMeCentre, an industry-first searchable database, is introduced, significantly enhancing the availability of information for immigration consultants.
In April, Peter Bernier becomes CAPIC president. A few months later, however, he is elected as a director for the regulatory body of that time. In July, Jeff Hemlin becomes the acting president.
In August, the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Jason Kenney, requests submissions from candidates interested in becoming the regulator for immigration consultants, and establishes a committee for selecting the regulator based on requirements to address public concern. CAPIC assists and supports the bid of ICCIP, later renamed as the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).
The ICCRC is chosen as the new regulator. Many of its founding directors are former CAPIC executive directors who use their business, industry, and governance expertise to help establish the new regulator.
In April, Jeff Hemlin is elected as national president.
In May, Dory Jade is elected as CAPIC president. During his tenure, he restructures CAPIC and implements governance principles requested by the government and public. The Board’s focus shifts from an acting Board of Directors to an oversight Board.
A Strategic Plan Development process leads to a CAPIC Balanced Score Card, continuing CAPIC’s restructuring process.
In May, Dory Jade becomes re-elected as CAPIC president for a second term.
The Strategic Balanced Score Card process is implemented, leading to CAPIC’s final restructuring phase.
With more than 1100 members, CAPIC is not only the largest but also the only existing non-profit association for Canadian immigration consultants. We continue to grow and evolve as a direct response to dynamic changes within the immigration consulting industry.