On January 28, the IRCC website opened to accept Interest to Sponsor applications from family members wishing to apply for family reunification under the Parents/Grandparents Program. Within 7 minutes, the application process was shut down. 11 minutes after the application opened, IRCC announced via Twitter that the annual limit had been reached and the application was closed.
The media revealed that a number of individuals who were not able to submit an application to reunite with their loved ones under the parents/grandparents reunification process filled a lawsuit against the government. The Federal Liberal government then quietly settled with the litigants by offering them 70 coveted spots in the parents/grandparents sponsorship program.
The fact that the government quietly offered a side deal to 70 families who threatened to sue the Liberal government is indicative that the process is inherently flawed and unfair. With this side deal, the Minister is effectively telling Canadians that you have to take the government to court to be treated fairly. It should not have come to this. All families want to do is be reunited with their loved ones. They should not have to go through such pain and anguish to be with their parents or grandparents. They certainly should not have to threaten to sue the government. Our process should be one that is open, accountable and fair.
Sadly the Liberal government’s handling of this file has been deplorable from the beginning – whether it’s following the Conservative’s process that allowed people with resources to get in front of the line, or the Liberal’s process based on the luck of the draw lottery system, or this flawed and unfair online system, all have been a miserable failure.
It is time for the Liberals to do what is right: allow families to make their applications in a fair and orderly fashion by lifting the arbitrary cap on family reunification.