Policy group backs changes to immigration rules

    OTTAWA, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Centre for Policy Studies is
backing changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that would give
officials the authority to process immigration applications made under the
skilled worker class according to Canada's labour market needs.
    "There is currently a backlog of more than 600,000 immigration
applications in the skilled worker class, meaning that people with skills we
need in Canada today are being forced to wait years for their applications to
be processed," said Joseph Ben-Ami, President of the Centre. "The changes
proposed by the government will allow officials to prioritize those
applications so that people with skills needed in Canada are processed first.
This is vital if the system is going to work the way it was intended to."
    Ben-Ami cautioned, however, that although the proposed changes are
positive, they cannot take the place of comprehensive reform.
    "Citizenship and Immigration Canada is one of the most badly broken
departments in the federal government," said Ben-Ami. "The system is in
desperate need of reform from top to bottom. Everybody knows this, but few are
willing to say so publicly for fear of being labeled anti-immigrant by fringe
groups with their own political agendas."
    "Hopefully the government will ignore the political rhetoric and initiate
a process wherein problems can be discussed and solutions developed that will
benefit all stakeholders."

For further information:

For further information: Joseph Ben-Ami, (613) 866-7313

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