|Harper's hatchet-man, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney|
In what has to be a slap in the face to 200,000 people all over the world who hoped to come to Canada as Skilled Workers, Jason Kenney and the Harper Government have with one swipe of the pen, eliminated the Skilled Worker backlog of immigration applicants.
Here's the news from The Star:
The federal government is wiping out a waiting list of more than 200,000 foreign workers and returning the $130 million they paid in processing fees as it begins an ambitious overhaul of the country’s immigration system.
Hopeful immigrants who applied before Feb. 27, 2008, to come to Canada as skilled workers will have their fees returned and be told to apply again under new programs that put greater emphasis on their work skills.
The news has already created shockwaves among immigration lawyers and consultants, who anticipated myriad legal actions against the government.
“It is another example of the lack of integrity and shortsightedness of this government,” said Toronto lawyer Tim Leahy, who filed a class action lawsuit earlier this year on behalf of more than 300 immigration applicants over delayed processing.
“What does it say about the integrity of Canada? We can refund the processing fee, but how are you going to refund six years of lives of these applicants?”
Calling the plan “unprecedented,” lawyer Robin Seligman said the government should have first stopped the intake to clear the backlog. Prospective migrants might now think twice before applying to Canada, she added. “How can you trust this government?”
The drastic move is meant to eliminate a backlog that means skilled workers have had to wait upwards of eight years to get into Canada.
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