Bill C-46 has now come into force. Among many changes, the law has been amended to increase the penalties for those convicted of impaired driving (i.e. DUI) offences. Under immigration law, these offences will now be classified as “serious-criminality” pursuant to s. 36 of the IRPA. It will therefore be more difficult for visitors, workers and new immigrants to enter Canada with an impaired driving offence on their record.
However, Minister Hussen has stated IRCC will issue a policy such that the amendments will not be applied retroactively to offences that occurred prior to the changes coming into effect on December 18, 2018. Rather, any preexisting conviction should be treated according to the law in effect at the time of the offence pursuant to the Supreme Court’s holding in Tran v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2017 SCC 50.
Until now, this policy has not been officially introduced and it is unknown how individual officers will deal with such cases. It is therefore all the more important to solicit the advice of competent legal counsel prior to seeking entry to Canada.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.