Ottawa, October 4, 2016 – Today, the Honourable Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Ontario Senator, questioned the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during the Senate’s question period about the increase in processing times for permanent residency applications and the Trudeau government’s commitment to cut 8,000 caregiver class applicants in 2016.

Following the Minister’s statement to another question, where he stated that processing times of two years are unacceptable for family reunifications, Senator Enverga asked about the recently increased 51-month processing time for caregivers and said in part: “What are you and your department doing to shorten the processing time and limit the hardships suffered by these caregivers, including family breakup and alienation from children and spouses caused by their lengthy absence? The only thing you have done so far is to lower the quota for this class by 8,000, which has the totally opposite effect. How does this support IRCC’s Gender-Based Analysis Policy that your department supposedly undertakes, considering it mainly affects women?”

Minister John McCallum answered: “I acknowledge your point that the processing times are too long. The processing times for almost everything in my department are too long … So we kind of have to set priorities. My first priority is the nuclear family, the immediate family…and that is the one we are really focused on getting down as quickly as we possibly can.”

When asked by Senator Enverga if the Minister has plans to shorten wait times specifically for caregivers, who are apart from their families as are those who apply for family reunification, Minister McCallum responded: “I will look at it again.”