Outrage as online family sponsorship applications reach limit in minutes

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This week the 2019 online application spots for bringing parents or grandparents into Canada hit the limit in a mere 11 minutes. That’s how long it took for people to snap up 27,000 online application spots. This has provoked widespread outrage and threats to take legal action. Critics are pointing out that this new system is not only flawed but unfair. It may be recalled that this system replaced the earlier lottery system which too was considered terribly flawed.

There are many who are suspicious about this online process and wonder how it happened so quickly. Some are calling for an independent audit of IRCC’s sponsorship process.

There are others who wonder if a system glitch was responsible for not allowing some IP addresses and applicants to access the link.

In some instances, applicants who had attempted to load the form repeatedly at the specified time had to frequently refresh the page.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, Mathieu Genest, said the department’s initial analysis indicates that there were no technical glitches.

“We understand that those who were not able to make a submission are disappointed. We can confirm over 100,000 individuals attempted to access the interest to sponsor form,” he said.

Family reunification is a “pillar” of the Liberal immigration policy, Genest said, noting that the government increased the intake of applications to 20,000 from the previous 5,000.

The online system was created to ensure the process was fair and had safeguards to prevent abuse, he said.

Under the family reunification program, about 20,500 parents and grandparents will be admitted to Canada in 2019, and 21,000 next year.

This year, 27,000 were allowed to sign the “interest to sponsor” form online, accounting for duplication and errors. Eligible sponsors must provide proof of status and financial eligibility.

Meanwhile Michelle Rempel, Opposition Critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, was quick to point this out: “The Liberal government is sending a very disturbing message to Canadians and newcomers: play by the rules and expect long delays and backlogs – if your application gets accepted at all.”

She added: “Conversely, break the rules and enter the country illegally via Roxham Road and expect to wait 0 days to be given access to all Canada has to offer.’

Rempel said: “(Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau has set up a permanent immigration stream at Roxham Road that has so far allowed 40,000 people to illegally enter the country from safe places like Upstate New York. In fact, just today the Trudeau Liberals added another $114 million to pay for those coming into Canada illegally, yet they shut the door on parents and grandparents after a mere 10 minutes.

“This is consistent with a pattern of failures that we see from the Liberal government on this issue. First the Liberals abdicated responsibility by instituting a lottery system, leaving family unification to the “luck of the draw”, but those following the rules are given just minutes to submit their forms.

“Canadians and newcomers know that this situation is not fair. Those who play by the rules should not be pushed to the back of the line.

“Canada’s Conservatives will continue to advocate for an immigration system that is planned, orderly and compassionate. We will continue to hold the government to account and demand that they treat those who play by the rules fairly.”

Meanwhile in response to this story, thousands of Canadians responded harshly to the very idea of bringing in seniors who haven’t contributed to the system. Here’s what one person had to say: “We have continually been told that Canada is an aging society and we need more young immigrants, now we are bringing in 27,000 immigrants who will mostly be seniors! When you consider the costs of medical care, long term care, pensions etc., it would be far cheaper for the Government to give free airfare once a year for parents and grandparents to visit their families in Canada!”
Perhaps if the government offered another program to offer free air tickets to bring in seniors for a three month vacation each year, it would really be lower than the cost of providing health care for a year. -CINEWS

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