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View Kevin Vuong Profile
Ind. (ON)
View Kevin Vuong Profile
2022-09-27 18:29 [p.7843]
Madam Speaker, on April 28 I asked the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship how I should respond to constituents who are experiencing severe delays in processing immigration applications and the pause on express entry draws. People have had to put their lives and careers on hold as they wait for rescue from IRCC purgatory.
The government, four months after my question, was finally embarrassed enough to take some action to address the then over three million backlog, and the minister announced a 10-point plan on August 24, but sadly it was just more smoke and mirrors.
It has been over a month now since the plan was announced, and let us look at the numbers. As of the end of July, over 50%, over half of applications in IRCC’s inventory were considered backlogged. Let us put that percentage into context: There are 2.4 million total applications in all IRCC inventories, with 1.3 million cases exceeding the IRCC's own service standards. Is this what amounts to progress?
Moreover, the government has set a 20% backlog target. This is no game. The government is dealing with people’s lives and its continued failure has real consequences for the highly skilled foreign workers we need, who are being left in limbo. The government's continued failure is hurting our nation’s businesses as we face a labour shortage, and it has real financial and business implications for our nation’s economic prosperity.
If the government thinks it is worthy of a gold star for doing its job of processing applications while also accepting a 20% backlog, its members are simply delusional. Failing at 20% is still failure. Worst of all, the government is projected to not even meet its own target of failing at 20%.
Citizenship applications are projected to fall shy of the target, with a 25% backlog by December of this year. Temporary resident applications will continue to experience the highest level of backlogs by year end, and work permits, in particular, will face even more severe backlogs. The projected backlog for these applications is listed at 60% by December, which is an over 30% increase from current levels. The government has been failing Canadians and immigrants. It moved the goalposts in the hopes of making it appear like it was making progress, and is even failing to meet its new targets of only failing at 20%.
Given this, can the parliamentary secretary provide the millions who are waiting some glimmer of hope of their applications being processed in their lifetime? Let us not forget either the quagmire of Afghani refugees or indeed the Ukrainians. They have yet to see the government acting in a timely fashion to bring in the numbers that it promised to bring in. Some observers, looking at all of this information, would strongly suggest that the minister not take up archery as a hobby, because it is clear he cannot hit any target.
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