Canada’s special reunification program for Haitians, announced last January in the wake of the devastating earthquake, has not been the blessing that most Haitian-Canadians had hoped.
New statistics show that the Haiti Special Measures program rejected nearly half of the 4,500 fast-track reunification requests received between January and August 2010, when the program closed.
Applicants who went through the process say that government officials were not flexible enough in their regulations, asking for official government documents that were destroyed in the earthquake when many government buildings were destroyed. Some say they were asked to produce transcripts going back 10 years.
Government officials, on the other hand, say their staff did the “best job they could” trying to balance flexibility in extenuating circumstances while still respecting and upholding Canada’s security.
Critics, however, say that the entire program turned out to be nothing more than empty promises, noting a dismal 51 percent approval rate for the Haitian program. This figure looks even worse when compared to other reunification programs from areas such as Europe, where the approval rate was 88 percent for that same time period.
Source: Ottawa Citizen