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Skilled Worker Backlog 5

This question should have never been put forward. The situation at hand should never have gotten this bad. A limit should have been placed on the number of applications before the 2010 caps were introduced so that this kind of backlog wouldn’t have occurred.

Yes, the cancelation of applications prior to February 27, 2008 should occur.

Bureaucrats and politicians of the day should have been able to foresee the untenable situation that was destined to occur. Because of that, more than 280,000 people stand to be chopped from the list of skilled immigrant applications.

What’s done is done, and the situation exists. Solutions, although late in the game, are necessary.

Minister Kenney is right when he says:

“The Federal Skilled Worker Program backlog is a major roadblock to Canada’s ability to respond to rapidly changing labour market needs.”

With today’s technology, CIC and CBS are actively revamping their systems to achieve faster results through on-line applications, computer-assisted identification, background and security checks, incorporating statistical job market data, and creating electronic means for employers to have their labour needs filled in a timely manner.

If Minister Kenney continues on this path, this announcement will only be the beginning of a major shakeup in how this country’s immigration system operates.

The cost of returning the $130 million in application fees for those affected will be a minor expense compared to the money saved by the government in its efforts to streamline and make more effective the skilled worker immigration system.

Mr. Kenney does have the option of creating a new “fast-track” system to accept the backlogged skilled worker applicants into this country, but that could be counterproductive to his desire to make the needs of the labour market current and have these emigrants active in the workforce immediately.

One has to ask the question (somewhat facetiously): Why February 2008? Why not February 2012, if his desire is for addressing the “rapidly changing labour market needs”?

The affected clients of immigration consultants are going to be venting their displeasure. The consultants will be seeking ways to calm the nerves of their clients and try to convince them to re-apply using their services, at additional cost. The Kenney announcement did not include the refund of consultants’ fees along with those of government services.

The anger and disappointment felt by the 280,000 potential immigrants cut from this queue is substantial. Fortunately for the government, these people won’t be protesting on the streets of downtown Toronto or Ottawa.

Opinions around the world over this disrespectful treatment of potential citizens will be abundant and widespread. However, this form of communicative protest will largely be contained to the back pages of newspapers and inconsequential blogs.

This country is moving forward in this ever-changing world and adjusting its bureaucratic processes to facilitate a cost-effective means of bringing new people into this country to address its current and future needs. The public understands this, and the Conservative government has decided that the resulting “collateral damage” outweighs the alternative solutions.

William Howie
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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