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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The tough issues of family reunification

Ottawa has a balancing act. While immigration policy has to address a range of classes in need - refugee, family class, so-called "economic" immigrants: it certainly can't be all things to all people at all times.

The immigration ministry has reported that 2010 saw the immigration of 10% more individuals than was projected (280,000 in total), which is the highest total in 57 years. But in the year to come, there is a plan to reduce by 6% the number of family reunification immigrants (parents and grandparents of immigrants) entering Canada. That will mean current wait times, which can commonly reach five years, will certainly increase even more.

According to a report in The Star:

"Liberal MP Joe Volpe, a former immigration minister, questioned the Conservatives’ much trumpeted family-values platform.

“The Conservatives tell families to be responsible for their own child care when parents go to work, but the fact is new Canadians entering the workforce often rely on parents and grandparents for child care and help around the home. They are taking away a necessary support system,” Volpe said in a statement."

Read the entire article here


  1. If this is a temporary shift of resources so that we can accomodate more economic migrants needed in our economy, then I regret to say that it is a necessary step, but let's hope that it is not a permanent policy shift. The chance for reunification is a big part of the reason that international skilled workers see Canada as a desirable destination.

  2. The Harper government plans to reduce the number of family reunification immigrants entering Canada by six per cent. This will likely translate into families waiting up to 14 years to be reunited with their loved ones. If this kind of wait isn't a permanent, I don't know what is.