Liu v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FC 1327 (CanLII)
Citation: 2003 FC 1327
Toronto, Ontario, November 10th, 2003
Present: The Honourable Mr. Justice Russell
SHU ZHI LIU
THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER
 This motion seeks a stay of the Applicant's refugee claim hearing that is scheduled to take place on November 13, 2003.
 The Applicant arrived in Vancouver on January 19, 2003 and made a Convention Refugee Claim at the airport.
 The Applicant subsequently travelled to Toronto where she retained counsel and sought to have the venue of her claim changed from Vancouver to Toronto. The Applicant's request for a change of venue was denied on May 7, 2003.  The Applicant sought reasons for the decision and, by letter dated May 29, 2003 from the Immigration and Refugee Board, was provided with the following reasons: Application for change of location to Toronto denied due to operational considerations of the Division which outweigh any inconvenience to the claimant.  The Applicant subsequently sought clarification of what was meant by "operational considerations" and also asked for disclosure of any IRB policy regarding relocation requests. No response on these matters was provided to the Applicant.  The Applicant then requested that she be allowed to participate in the hearing via tele-conference in Toronto. Her intention was that it would involve video-conferencing.  The Respondent initially refused this request but later gave its consent to the Applicant's participation by video-conference.  The hearing is scheduled to take place on November 13, 2003.  The Applicant still wishes to challenge the IRB's decision of May 7, 2003 and the inadequacy of the reasons provided in the IRB letter of May 29, 2003, by way of judicial review before this Court.  However, if the hearing scheduled to take place on November 13, 2003 precedes any such judicial review challenge will become moot.  Hence, the Applicant has come to the Court with the present motion to stay the November 13, 2003 hearing until such time as the judicial review of the change of venue denial has been disposed of.  The Vancouver office of the IRB has refused to consent to an adjournment of the November 13, 2003 hearing.  The Applicant raises several matters that she feels satisfy the "serious issue" ground under Toth v. Canada (M.E.I.), (1998). 86 N.R. 302 (Fed. C.A.). However, there is no point in considering them at this stage because, in my opinion, the Applicant has provided no convincing evidence of irreparable harm if the stay is not granted.  As grounds for irreparable harm the Applicant alleges different procedures in the Vancouver and Toronto offices of the IRB that would make it advantageous for her claim to be heard in Toronto.  She also alleges that if the stay is not granted her judicial review challenge to the change of venue denial will become moot.  In my opinion, neither of the grounds raised by the Applicant for irreparable harm are convincing and, at best, remain in the realm of pure speculation. Irrespective of where the Applicant's refugee claim is heard, she will receive a full and fair hearing on the merits of her case. Perceived possible advantages that she feels might assist her in Toronto are not irreparable harm, even if the Applicant could substantiate them in her evidence, which she does not.  Nor is the fact of her judicial review application becoming academic if the hearing takes place on November 13, 2003 a form of irreparable harm that this Court can take into account under Toth supra. In fact, it could be a decided benefit. ORDER THIS COURT ORDERS that the motion for a stay is dismissed. "James Russell" J.F.C. FEDERAL COURT NAMES OF COUNSEL AND SOLICITORS OF RECORD DOCKET: IMM-6850-03 STYLE OF CAUSE: SHU ZHI LIU Applicant and THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION Respondent PLACE OF HEARING: TORONTO, ONTARIO DATE OF HEARING: NOVEMBER 10, 2003 REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER BY: RUSSELL, J. DATED: NOVEMBER 10, 2003 APPEARANCES BY: Mr. Shelley Levine For the Applicant Mr. Jeremiah A. Eastman For the Respondent SOLICITORS OF RECORD: Levine Associates Toronto, Ontario For the Applicant Morris Rosenberg Deputy Attorney General of Canada For the Respondent FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA Date: 20031110 Docket: IMM-6850-03 BETWEEN: SHU ZHI LIU Applicant and THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION Respondent REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER