The class action lawsuit against the Conservative government over the return of thousands of unprocessed immigration applications is now being argued in Federal Court.
Lawyers are arguing against the government’s decision last year to return approximately 98,000 immigration applications to clear the backlog that had resulted in processing times upwards of eight years. The lawyers, who represent approximately 1,000 of the rejected applicants, say that the move breaches the Charter of Rights.
Government lawyers say that it is within the government’s power to change immigration policy.
“The government is entitled to change the law and control Canada’s immigration program,” said Keith Reimer, an attorney representing the government in the case.
However, lawyers for the applicants say that any policy changes must still uphold the principles of equal and fair treatment for all. They say that the “arbitrary state action” was not applied equally and that changing deadlines only worsened the situation.
Justice Donald Rennie, who is presiding over the case, questioned Reimer as to why the government felt that the new system, which processes applications from a limited number of in-demand occupations much more quickly, is incompatible with the old system.
Applicant lawyers are also saying that the case should be considered under humanitarian grounds.
Source: Toronto Star