News & Events
Ottawa loses legal battle over immigration backlog
Ottawa has suffered a major setback in eliminating its immigration backlog after the federal court ruled the government is obliged to process all applications it accepted into the system.
About 900 applicants under the federal skilled workers' program sued Immigration Minister Jason Kenney for violating the pledge to assess and finalize decisions in a timely fashion.
They asked the court to order the immigration department to process their applications within a reasonable time frame.
In a decision released Thursday, Justice Donald Rennie rejected the minister's argument that the delay is justified because he has the authority to make policies.
"The minister can set instructions that permit him to return some applications without processing them at all, and thus obviously there is no further duty in respect of those applications," the judge wrote in a 24-page decision.