Jim Metcalfe – Director of Immigration: I had the opportunity to hear Immigration Minister John McCallum’s speech at the Toronto Board of Trade last week. The speech touched on a few different aspects of Canadian immigration policy.
Minister McCallum’s Speech
The minister identified several problems with the current Express Entry system, which he is trying to fix. I could tell that he definitely understands the frustration of international students who study and work in Canada subsequent to their graduation, only to find that they cannot score enough points to qualify under Express Entry to remain in the country.
Minister McCallum also understands how the system is skewed towards people who have Labour Market Impact Assessments. Many of them, like the students mentioned above, are already in Canada. But they win and students lose.
McCallum gave the clear indication that the Express Entry system does not work well for the vast majority of people who wish to come and live and work in Canada. That said, it appears that his first priority is to fix the delays in the family reunification program. He indicated that processing times are unacceptable. This is something that I have been blogging about for years. When it comes to such programs as spousal sponsorship, the delays in processing go on for years with no good reason. I am glad to see the minister might address the problem.
In a final note, Minister McCallum also indicated that introducing a new federal investor program is not in his mandate and therefore he is not interested in entertaining any discussion on the subject. I believe this is short sighted. You can read my last blog post to see why.
My takeaway from the minister’s speech is that he has identified a lot of problems with the administration of the Immigration Act and that it will take some time to fix them. I’ll keep you posted on how the government is doing in the months ahead.