Despite continued efforts to streamline Canada’s immigration process, the government confirms that there are now over one million people waiting for their applications to be processed and that addressing the issue is one of their top priorities.
The House of Commons Immigration committee has announced intentions to hold eight hearings on the matter, starting in October. The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under Minister Jason Kenney, will also continue to conduct reviews on immigration matters in the near future.
However, critics are sceptical on the effectiveness of such reviews in addressing the growing list, saying that the government’s own formula of reducing acceptances is not only causing the increase, but also goes against the government’s own statements about the desperate need for immigrants to fill the labour force as the baby-boomers retire in the coming years.
“How are we going to meet that economic reality?” asked NDP immigration critic Don Davies. “I don’t think they’re responding to their own projections.”
The government, on the other hand, argues that they have increased the number of immigrants coming into the country overall and that their policies have decreased the immigration backlog which has been plaguing the system for years. The department says that the present increase in people waiting is due to simply more applications being filed, which is an issue they will have to address.
“While Canada continues to welcome historically high numbers of new immigrants, and maintains the most open and generous immigration system in the world, we have to carefully manage the large number of people who want to be Canadian,” said a spokesperson for Minister Kenney.
Critics say that such management could only come in two forms – either increasing the department’s resources to process applications, or to limit the number of applications. They say it is unlikely that the government will increase resources, which would involve spending more money and that they likely will turn to the latter strategy.
Source: Globe and Mail