Critics still worried about immigration backlog after feds pledge $85M


Published December 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

OTTAWA — Opposition critics say they’re still skeptical the federal government will be able to quickly plow through the massive backlog in immigration applications after Trudeau’s Liberals promised to put $85 million toward that goal.

The pandemic put serious pressure on the immigration system, which was further stressed by the government’s efforts to bring Afghan refugees to Canada after their country fell to the Taliban, which led applications to pile up.

The government’s fiscal update shows the government plans to put $85 million toward processing those permanent resident and temporary resident applications in 2022.

Conservative critic Jasraj Singh Hallan says the money promised in the fiscal update Tuesday is not accompanied by a plan for reducing the backlog that he says has swelled to 1.8 million applications. 

The NDP had called for more resources to be dedicated to the backlog, but the party’s critic Jenny Kwan says the government has not acted quickly enough to make that happen.  

In the fiscal update, the government says the average number of applications processed on a monthly basis in 2021 is quickly catching up to pre-pandemic levels.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2021.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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