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Questions for McCallum

On Thursday, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Minister John McCallum will speak to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, giving him a chance to address publicly what his 2016 immigration plan means for Canada.

I am hoping that the Minister will address these three issues:

The decrease in the number of job-ready economic immigrants

Though I am not surprised at the Liberal’s choice to increase the number of family- and refugee-class immigrants, I am surprised that the increase has been done at the expense of the economic classes.

It’s not the increasing of the number of non-economic immigrants that I have an issue with – it’s the decrease of the economic immigrants that is the problem.  There is no additional cost to the government for these kinds of immigration applications.  The fees paid are what cover the costs of the processing.  Decreasing the number of job-ready immigrants is actually doing a disservice to the Canadian economy by limiting the number of skilled immigrants that we accept. 

2015’s numbers were much more in favour of the economic classes and it is my opinion that the Liberals should have kept on with where the Conservatives were going.

The chaos that is the current process for parent and grandparent sponsorship

Picture this: all of the people in Canada who wish to sponsor their parents or grandparents to come to Canada pushing and fighting their way into a very small room through a tiny doorway, all at the same time.  As ridiculous as this analogy may sound, that is pretty much what the current family sponsorship program looks like right now.

The program is essentially a lottery system in which all applications must be completed properly and submitted by the January 1, or there is very little likelihood that the application will be accepted for processing.  Under the new system, 10,000 applications will be accepted, which seems great at first glance because it is an increase from the 5,000 accepted last year, but with the demand being as high as it is, the quota was met in mid-January in 2015.  This year, the quota was met in the first 3 days.

Whether or not the number of provincially- and territorially-selected immigrants will increase

I must admit that I am pleased with the fact that although the number of economic immigrants has decreased as a whole since 2015, the number of economic immigrants that are to be chosen by the provinces and territories has remained the same as 2015.  Allowing the provinces and territories to choose which immigrants to bring to their soil for work is never going to be a bad thing for the local economies. Let’s hope the minister does for Manitoba what he has just done for Nova Scotia.

For more of my thoughts on this topic, check out my latest CBC piece here.

*This blog was co-written by Leanne Verreault, immigration legal assistant.



About Reis Pagtakhan

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration law partner with MLT Aikins LLP. His extensive experience includes assisting businesses obtain temporary entry to Canada and permanent residency for their executives, employees and contractors from all over the world. Reis has lectured on and written papers on immigration law for the Law Society of Manitoba, the Manitoba Bar Association, the Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association, and the Community Legal Education Association of Manitoba. He has presented position papers before the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Immigration Department officials and Manitoba Labour and Immigration. He has written articles on immigration for the CBC, the Winnipeg Free Press, trade, industry and ethnic publications.


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