Consider how long you’d have to wait for a response from a company’s customer care department. Alternatively, you could have been one of 1.8 million people waiting for a call or an email from a government body or a company. Imagine checking your phone obsessively every day for three years.
This is what Canada’s immigration system requires of eager potential immigrants. Set aside the issue surrounding the rescue and transport of Afghan and now Ukrainian migrants by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. These 1.8 million people have passed an initial screening and have the necessary abilities to swiftly integrate.
These are folks we’ve enticed to come to Canada by advertising our openness, tolerance, and excitement for newcomers as one of the world’s most successful immigrant nations for years. Our birth rate is far too low to keep our population stable, let alone increase. This is how we treat these potential arrivals, who are our only hope for a bright future. To put it bluntly, it’s a disgrace.
For security considerations, the department refuses to publish the identities of case officers, much alone their cases. This is just bullshit. Many other nations provide you with not just the name of your case officer, but also call-back numbers and contact information. No, the underlying reason for their concealment is very certainly to keep the perpetrators of this ineptness hidden.
Despite the bureaucratic sneer at openness, the CBC was able to track down one such sluggish case officer in January using the code number DM10032. A man or woman who had approximately 30 cases and had been on the waiting list for more than two years. One of the clients said that DM10032 had not communicated with him in that period. When the CBC inquired again this month, the officer said he only had a few similar situations. As a window into the department’s culture, this is quite concerning.
Three things are required to fix this mess: zero-day case clearance objectives, strict, invasive supervisory monitoring by a third party, and more money and manpower. The administration has intimated that simply eliminating the waiting list, a method utilised by the Harper government, is under consideration. It is, however, terribly harsh to individuals who have patiently waited years for this outcome. Not coincidentally, it would be a major setback for Canada’s image as a fair and capable administrator of a successful immigration system.
If top executives must be fired to send a message to the department that this government is serious, so be it. This is a department whose managers, from the director to the deputy minister, continuously earn the award for poor performance year after year. (To be fair, considering its brutal and arbitrary treatment of veterans suffering from PTSD and poverty, Veterans Affairs Canada has been a close second.)
By the end of this decade, the government wants to welcome roughly half a million immigrants every year, including refugees and asylum seekers. It had better start improving its department’s capacity to screen them, assure their acceptance in a timely manner, and then assist their integration. This week, it committed extra money to the budget.
Canada may face a net outflow of immigration if this does not happen. Newcomers may begin to reconcile with other family members in countries that have not been as openly dishonest in their treatment of aspirants as the United States. It’s a road that some successful immigrants felt compelled to follow in the past when the department’s production rate was considerably lower.
Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.
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