Immigration system near 'collapse'
Minister says backlog of applications to climb, 10-year waits possible without reforms under bill
Apr 29, 2008 04:30 AM
Ottawa Bureau Chief
OTTAWA–Unless "urgent" action is taken to tackle "systemic" problems, Canada's backlog of immigration applications could grow to 1.5 million by 2012, up from 925,000 now, and newcomers will face a 10-year wait, Immigration Minister Diane Finley told a Commons committee yesterday.
"The current system, if left unchanged, is on track to collapse under its own weight. The system needs fixing," Finley said.
"We are facing real and serious international competition for the talents and skills that we need to fill," she said, calling for a "renewed" vision for the immigration system.
Competition for what skills and talents? I wish they would be more specific because according to StatsCan retail salesperson tops the list of jobs for both genders. I blogged about it and you can read about it here. Also, Immigration Watch Canada brings to our attention that the alleged "best and brightest" are actually just the average, fair, or "so so". You can read it here.
Changes to the immigration act would give Finley the power to issue "instructions" to her department to give priority to categories of immigrants whose job skills are in demand in Canada. At the same time, she would have the power to refuse applications in other categories.
The problem is current rules require the department to process every application – in the order they were received, she said. Finley likened it to a hockey team able to pick only the first 25 people who applied for a position, even if that choice left the team without a goalie.
The current problem is that Canada accepts too many immigrants to begin with especially those from the family class. The immigration system would be more effective if Canada dramatically reduced its immigrant intake number and only those who would serve the real economic needs of the country should be allowed to immigrate. Not the aged parents or grandparents or an unskilled uncle or nephew who, under the current system, would be given attention over more suitable immigrants just for being ahead in the queue. It's not right.