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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vancouver Sun - Skilled worker immigrant backlog to be eliminated three years ahead of schedule

OTTAWA — The government is expected to eliminate a controversial, years-old backlog of skilled worker immigration applications by the end of 2014 — about three years ahead of schedule, Postmedia News has learned.

It means a plan to create a pool of would-be Canadians from which provinces and employers could cherry-pick newcomers based on labour market need as opposed to who applied first will also be in place sooner than expected.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is expected to make the announcement Friday.

“Employers are best positioned to decide who can best fill the open jobs rather than a passive and bureaucratic system,” Kenney said of the plan last spring. “It’s not about privatizing the immigration system, it’s about a more active role of recruitment for people so they have jobs when they show up. I’d rather have an engineer working as an engineer than as a cab driver. That’s really where we’re trying to go with this.”

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