TORONTO, May 27 /CNW/ - In response to an opinion piece in the National Post that used misstatements and unsupported allegations to portray the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) as ineffective and poorly governed CSIC is calling on the publication to print a retraction.
"National Post columnist Barbara Kay made no effort to check the facts or speak to me as Chair of the Society before publishing. Even in an opinion piece, I believe it is incumbent on a journalist to verify sources. I am sure the National Post would not have published Ms. Kay's article if they had been aware she did not even bother to consult CSIC's Annual Reports and annual independently audited financial statements" said CSIC Chair Nigel Thomson. "But I guess the story of a hard-working regulator fulfilling its mandate and protecting the public with limited resources doesn't sell newspapers."
Kay singles out former Chair and Acting CEO John Ryan as governing CSIC poorly, but had she checked her sources she would discovered that Ryan is one of only a handful of Canadians who holds all three Canadian designations in corporate governance and just this year was awarded the prestigious Gil Bennett Gold Standard Award by the Director's College (a joint venture of the Conference Board of Canada and the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University). This award is given to the graduate of the Chartered Director program who "demonstrates dedication to raising the bar for professional standards in corporate governance, both through their progress in the Chartered Director program and in their experience as directors."
The allegation that CSIC board members misappropriated funds in 2005 is unfounded. An independent expanded audit of the Society was conducted at that time and Ryan and other board members were cleared.
"I understand that Mr. Ryan is considering legal action against the National Post and the original sources of these untruths," said Thomson.
The accusation that CSIC is an ineffective regulator is equally illegitimate. CSIC requires its members to meet high educational requirements, carry errors and omissions insurance, contribute to a client compensation fund, complete continuing professional development courses, maintain a legal library and adhere to strict Rules of Professional Conduct. In fact, CSIC has set such high standards that 800 consultants have had their memberships revoked by CSIC for failing to meet these requirements and 225 consultants have been disciplined for breaching the Society's Rules of Professional Conduct since 2004.
"The media is a business, but it also has a duty to inform the public," said Thomson. "Unfortunately Barbara Kay has decided she would rather grab the public's attention with eye-catching headlines than pursue the truth. In the interest of journalistic integrity CSIC is demanding that the National Post publish a retraction."
The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants is the professional regulatory body for Certified Canadian Immigration Consultants. Established in 2004 it currently has over 1,700 fully accredited members located throughout Canada and the world. CSIC's mandate is to protect consumers of immigration consulting services. Consequently, it is responsible for ensuring the education, competency testing and the discipline of its members. CSIC also requires its members to carry errors and omissions insurance and to contribute to a compensation fund. The best way to find a CCIC is via CSIC's toll free referral line, 1-877-311-7926.
SOURCE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS
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