Sometimes a day at the Immigration and Refugee Board can be an exercise in frustration. I attended this morning for a hearing involving a mother and her daughter. The mother speaks Vietnamese and her daughter speaks Mandarin which entailed having two interpreters present to ensure all parties understand the proceedings. After waiting for 20 minutes without the arrival of a Board Member I decided that it was time to investigate.
I approached the front desk only to learn that they were unaware my hearing had not yet begun. They then called up to the Board Member who was surprised to hear that we were all in the hearing room waiting for him to arrive and resume the hearing. I then returned to the hearing room and advised the claimants that I was going to predict that the Board Member would attend shortly and advise everyone that the case was to be adjourned because of some outstanding requests which were made at the last hearing (of a third party).
Shortly thereafter, as predicted, the Board Member arrived to advise everyone in the room that he had advised his clerk the day before to contact the parties and advise of his intention to adjourn the hearing. Unfortunately, that information was never conveyed to the lawyer, the interpreters, the clients or reception.
I do understand that human errors happen. What is so irksome is the Board’s failure to recognise that many of the delays which occur at the Board are not the result of counsel delay, as the Board often suggests, but rather the Board’s own errors as was demonstrated today.