Immigration Applicants Sue Canadian Government for Wipe-out of 280,000 Application Backlog

A group of former applicants for immigration to Canada are suing the Canadian government for its decision to wipe-out the backlog of approximately 280,000 applications filed under the Federal Skilled Worker program before February 27th 2008.

Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman is representing at least 40 people from China and Hong Kong who had their applications closed in the wipe-out. The legal action seeks to force the federal government to process their applications. The hearing for the case will be on June 5th.

A group of at least 40 immigration applicants are suing the Canadian government for closing their applications (UNODC)

Waldman is also seeking an injunction to force the federal government to keep his clients’ applications open once bill c-38 passes, and the backlog wipe-out is legally put into effect, until the case is decided.

The federal government argues that the wipe-out of the 280,000 applications was necessary to implement a new immigration assessment system, as the processing of old applications was taking focus away from processing applications filed under more recent rules that better meet Canada’s needs.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he’s confident this latest legislation will stand legal challenges, but the federal government’s attempt to wipe-out a backlog ten years ago legislatively through a retroactive change in the assessment system failed due to legal challenges.