In discussion with local community members in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadian Minister of Immigration John McCallum emphasised that his department is “committed to streamlining things, to getting rid of silly rules, to improving the way the system operates.”
Immigration issues have been at the forefront of the new Atlantic Growth Strategy, announced on July 4. The Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), and Newfoundland and Labrador are seeking to improve their employment rates and stimulate their economies by attracting skilled immigrants and refugees to settle in Atlantic Canada.
McCallum recognised that in order for this to succeed, immigration procedures need an overhaul.
"Lots needs to be fixed. The processing times are too long. Sometimes the decisions are arbitrary. People are denied visas to come to Canada when common sense says they should be given visas," he said.
McCallum clarified that a main focus moving forward is the commitment to the Liberal Party campaign promise to reduce immigration processing times for spousal sponsorship applications, and that further proposals for this would be made in the fall (Autumn) of this year.
Streamlining the process for immigration candidates has been a major focus for the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC, formerly CIC) since McCallum was handed the Ministry last November. Earlier this year, McCallum announced his goal to simplify the process for international students to transition to permanent residence, saying, “They should be first on our list of people who we court to come to Canada.”