The Government of Canada asserts that the Federal Skilled Worker Program is undergoing a process of “transformation”. For some 280,000 affected applicants, Canada’s decision to eliminate the program’s backlog feels like betrayal.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney defends that this bottleneck impedes upon his department’s “ability to focus on new applicants with skills and talents that our economy needs today.” He envisions a more efficient, responsive system that departs from the old program, which received more applications than it had the capacity to manage.
CIC limited its scope to accepting those trained in ‘priority’ occupations and has, since 2010, imposed thresholds on the influx of new applications per year.
Effective May 9th 2012, CIC ceased to process further applications for the Federal Skilled Worker program, as the quota for those who previously qualified under the list of eligible occupations was reached.
Meanwhile protests in Hong Kong, Karachi, Chandigarh, and Leeds erupted with as many as 200 people who participated in rallies and candle lit marches to vocalize the sentiments of the international migrant community. Posters, for example, proclaimed “We Want Justice, not a Refund”, criticizing Canadian Immigration authorities’ decisions to deny all candidates who applied before February 27, 2008 and who have not yet received a reply from Ottawa.
Not only does this legislation tarnish Canada’s international image, it will also discourage future skilled workers from choosing the country as their primary destination. This, by extension, fuels the economies of other countries while the losses to Canadian industries become exacerbated by the country’s skills shortage and aging demographic.