Why I started the Canadian Immigration Podcast
The Internet is full of people offering information and asking you to pay them for it. It becomes increasingly difficult to know who you can trust and what actually carries value. The world of Canadian immigration is no different. It is virtually impossible for an individual to discern which representative is truly best suited to help them.
How can someone really know if the person they are choosing to hire knows what they are doing, or is simply a smooth talking imposter. You may try to rely on referrals from friends that have had a positive experience utilizing a certain representative. However, if you don’t have any direct referrals, you can also try to see if they have published any articles or written papers or blogs on immigration or presented at immigration conferences. One important fact may be whether or not they are recognized as a leader within their own profession and the extent to which they are asked to speak at their own industry conferences teaching their own peers, whether lawyer or consultant.
I think you understand what I am getting at. The internet is full of immigration consultants and lawyers with flashy websites and fancy information videos. So after giving it some thought, I realized that the only way people will be able to know whether or not I know what I am talking about is to freely share useful information as often as I possibly can. It is for this reason that I created the Canadian Immigration Podcast.
In this weekly podcast, I offer practical advice on the latest changes to Canadian law, policy and practice. I often invite amazing guests, who are leaders in their field of immigration, to share insight and strategy on navigating the complex world of Canadian Immigration. It is extremely rewarding to showcase some of the top immigration minds in the country and watch as they demystify this complex area of law.
This Podcast is designed to create a platform where people can come to be educated about Canadian immigration in a place they can trust. Subscribe to the Podcast and enjoy the very best knowledge and insight on Canadian Immigration as it is shared freely and openly to the benefit of not only immigration lawyers, consultants, and HR managers, but anyone with a keen interest in understanding the crazy world of Canadian Immigration.
Who I really am!
One promise I made to myself is that I wanted my clients, the listeners to my podcast to know who I really am. There is nothing more irritating to me than these nameless, faceless, websites offering Canadian immigration services without disclosing who will actually be preparing the applications. It is pretty hard to build a relationship of trust with a company. People build relationships of trust and confidence with people. In our world of hyper privacy, it has become almost a sin to share anything personal about yourself on a “professional website.. Well, I do not subscribe to this philosophy. As such, I have shared below a little bit about myself. Possibly a little bit more than my wife would want me to share; however, that’s just how I’m wired.
I’m a farm boy. I grew up riding horses, chasing cows, and moving irrigation pipe across our alfalfa fields in beautiful southern Alberta. I had three brothers and no sisters. We were the wild Holthe Boys to all who knew us. We lived a completely carefree life swimming and fishing in the river that flowed by our house and basically doing what farm boys do. I loved playing sports as a kid. In fact, I wanted to be a high school Physical Education teacher more than anything because of my love for sports. I played just about every sport I could. The only time I had to choose was when the seasons conflicted. I loved Track and Field and Volleyball the most.
I played collegiate volleyball on the Men’s team at the College in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1991 and then again in 1994-1996, when I served as Captain of the team in my final year.
I had the privilege of competing in the 1992 Canadian Olympic Trials for High Jump in Montreal just prior to the Barcelona, Spain Olympic games. I was completely out of my league at those trials; however, Athletics Canada gave me a B Carding as a result of my performances the previous year (I jumped 2.05m which was the Olympic Standard that year). That carding paid for my flight and gave that farm boy his first taste of flight and travelling outside of our little community. Coming from an entirely English speaking rural farming community, Montreal was like being in a different country. It was one of the most prized experiences from my youth.
That summer following the Olympic Trials, I made one of the best decisions of my life. I decided to serve a full time mission for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). On October 14, 1992 I left my home and had the amazing experience of serving in Portugal for two years. Much of who I am today is as a result of that wonderful experience. I grew to really love the people and in return they gave me a wonderful second language that has helped me to appreciate the challenges people experience as they attempt to learn English as a second language when immigrating to Canada.
Following my mission I returned home where I married my beautiful wife Dianna. We have four children, two girls and two boys. Making a better life for them was one of the main reasons I decided to become a lawyer. However, law was not my first career. I spent my undergraduate degree preparing to be a high school physical education teacher. I worked for one year before deciding to completely shift gears and go to law school. Its amazing how the responsibility of providing for a family can change a person’s focus in life.
After having completed the first year of law school and having worked during the summer on the Canada/US border as an immigration officer, I made the decision to restrict my law practice exclusively to Canadian immigration. I did this because it gave me an opportunity to work with people in a way that made a real difference in their lives. There is no greater feeling than that.
Although I started my legal career in a large national firm and have spent time working as an associate and partner in mid-sized regional firms, I have found Holthe Tilleman LLP to be the best configuration for allowing me the freedom to do what I love without the artificial constraints of billable hour targets.
I now get the opportunity to utilize my teaching background as a lawyer through my speaking engagements, podcasts, and blogs. I count myself blessed every day for the opportunities I have been given.
If you want to see my full professional biography, it can be found here
Binge on all the Canadian Immigration Episodes!
If you want to listen to more episodes, you will find all the episodes here.
Ask Mark an Immigration Question
I answer questions regularly on my podcast. If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, you can do so by clicking here. We’d love to hear from you. I am not able to answer every question that is sent to me; however, I will often use these questions to determine the future content of the podcast.
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