Today, Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, rose in the House to announce the Federal Government’s 2012 budget. Flaherty is not the Immigration Minister, but his budget speech had profound implications for a lot of people who have been waiting patiently – as much as 7 years or even more – for their permanent residence application to be processed.
The Government’s budget included a proposal to:
Build A Fast and Flexible Economic Immigration System
And how are they planning to do that? By jettisoning a millstone they have around their necks, in the form of the 500,000-strong backlog of pre-February, 2008 Federal Skilled Worker applications. It’s still a ‘proposal’ at this stage, but unless the Government gets a firestorm of complaints about it, its majority pretty much assures that the proposal will become law in the near future.
The text of the Government’s announcement is reproduced below.
The Government is committed to transitioning to a faster and more flexible economic immigration system. Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes:
* Taking further actions to strengthen the immigration system to make it truly proactive, targeted, fast and efficient in a way that will sustain Canada’s economic growth and deliver prosperity for the future (by) . . .
* Proposing to return applications and refund up to $130 million in fees paid by certain federal skilled worker applicants who applied under previous criteria established prior to February 27, 2008.