After the federal government announced as part of the budget bill that they would be eliminating almost 300,000 immigration applications and starting over withe a clean slate, there was outrage.
The government says they will refund fees and that these applicants can feel free to apply again under the new rules. A faint hope.
900 skilled workers who had been waiting to have their application reviewed decided to sue Jason Kenney, the Minister of Immigration.The lawyers in the case argued that the minister could not break the promise to these people to duly process their applications.
Since 2008, the minister has had the power to personally decide which applications would go through the system and which would not (which also caused some outrage at the time). The judge in the case ruled that this allows him to return applications that were never processed, but once an application starts being processed, the minister can’t stop it. He also has a duty to make sure that applications are processed in “reasonably timely manner.”
The litigants in the case said they had been waiting for their applications to move through the system for years, some for almost a decade.
The group of immigration lawyers is seeking an injunction to stop the changes while more cases like this one play out. Bill C-38, which includes the changes, should face third reading in the House of Commons between June 19 and 22.
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