Refugees and Citizenship Minister, John McCallum, appeared in Brampton (Ontario) on Thursday for a public meeting hosted by Brampton West MP, Kamal Khera.
|Minister for Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum|
Among the many reforms mentioned, the most promising included reducing the processing times for those wishing to come to Canada under spousal sponsorship and family reunification programs.
In a previous town hall meeting, McCallum also told the media that the current government hopes to issue up to 20,000 visas in the parent and grandparent sponsorship applications category.
“The single-most important commitment we made in the election campaign was to substantially reduce the processing times for families,” the Minister said. “We’re working right now to reduce the inventory of people waiting. We will be announcing a new system in the fall which will substantially reduce the processing times for family unification.”
Asked whether the government planned to do anything to create incentives and job opportunities for new immigrants to settle in other provinces and places instead of a few select cities, the minister said the government has been working with communities and companies across Canada to ensure they are immigrant-friendly.
In Atlantic Canada, the Liberal government has been working to introduce a system that would speed-up the accreditation process of foreign degrees, he said.
“Canada was built by immigrants and immigrants will continue to build the country, especially now since we have an aging population,” he said. “I have had consultations across the country throughout the summer and just about everywhere I go, including Alberta, people are saying, at least in the medium term, we need more immigrants.”
|Wait-times for sponsoring a British spouse to Canada can
be as long as 14 months
One of the many reasons we campaign for freedom of movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom is so families throughout these Commonwealth countries will not be divided by unfair and arduous immigration controls that prevent thousands of parents, spouses and children from being reunited.
Although John McCallum made no mention of free movement during this small public meeting, the Liberal government’s dedication to lowering the processing times for family reunification is certainly a step in the right direction before our free movement proposals can be introduced.