Government officials say they plan on capping the number of sponsorship applications processed each year in an attempt to ease the backlog that sees some families waiting eight to ten years for reunification.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney spoke to a Commons committee this week to discuss the issue after it was raised by NDP immigration critic Don Davies. Davies suggested that the Conservative government increase the amount of residencies granted each year in order to address the looming labour shortages.
However, Minister Kenney warned against relying too heavily on immigration to ease coming labour shortages, saying that only approximately 20 percent of immigrants admitted each year are through the economic category. The remaining are mostly family members – many of whom are elderly and not ideal candidates for work.
“To those who think we can solve that problem through immigration alone are profoundly mistaken,” said Kenney to the citizenship and immigration committee. “We have to calibrate those limits [to reunification applications] based on our country’s economic needs, our fiscal capacity. There is no doubt that the people who are coming who are senior citizens, they have much, much lower labour-market participation and much higher level of utilization of the public health system.”
Such a limitation would fall in line with previous policies implemented by this Conservative government, which recently introduced a cap on the number of applications accepted through the skilled worker stream. Kenney says that they are currently looking to other countries to see how they have handled limits on sponsorship immigration.
Source: National Post