Dalhousie Law Journal


Canada, permanent residency, Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs, PTNPs, immigration, rights, flexibility, statutory authority


In Canada, more and more people get permanent residency under Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs (PTNPs). Despite this new reality, there is today no detailed examination of the consequences of PTNPs for immigrants' rights and protections. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap. As we show, PTNPs have no statutory basis and officials who administer these programs do not exercise statutory authority of any kind. An alternative would be that these programs become "law"; then the decisions made under them would bejudicially reviewable for conformity with that law. However, it is unlikely to happen because "flexibility" is seen as the key characteristic of PTNPs. We contend that the concept of a fiduciary relationship and fiduciary obligation has evolved greatly in the last decades in Canadian law, and we suggest, as an alternative to judicial review, extending a fiduciary duty to public decision makers. As in any new subject area of research, we hope that our findings will form the basis for further study on this understudied, and yet very important topic.