• Stéphane Dion posted an update 1 year, 11 months ago

    Dear Readers,

    This week I asked the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration two questions regarding the unacceptable delays in processing spousal sponsoring applications coming from Syria, a country in crisis. Please find below a transcript of my questions and of Minister Jason Kenney’s answers.

    As always, I will be pleased to read any comments you might have.

    Enjoy your read!

    Stéphane Dion
    ———————–

    Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Citizenship and Immigration

    Hon. Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, Lib.):

    Mr. Speaker, things are a complete mess at immigration. The minister is wasting time on self-congratulatory petitions, cancelling visas that he says were granted by mistake, invading the privacy of visa holders, closing 19 regional offices, overloading the Montreal call centre and taking 20 months to approve sponsorship of spouses in Syria.

    I wrote to him about the terrible situation in Syria. His response: a form letter.

    Will he speed up the process for sponsorships for a country in crisis, yes or no?

    Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):

    Mr. Speaker, yes, we already have.

    When that member was the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, he never told the members of the Bloc Québécois to go back to Quebec. He never said they had no business being here to represent their constituents.

    A Liberal member for Ottawa South just said that elected members from Alberta have no right to be here to represent the interests of their constituents. It is outrageous. All members have the right and the democratic mandate to be here on behalf of their constituents.

    (. . .)

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

    Citizenship and Immigration

    Hon. Stéphane Dion (Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, Lib.):

    Mr. Speaker, if only that were true.

    My question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who did not answer my question yesterday about the sponsorship of spouses in Syria.

    According to his department’s website, these sponsorships take an average of 20 months in this country in crisis. I have three questions for the minister.

    Did the minister send a written administrative directive to his department to make sponsorship files in Syria a priority? If so, when? And since it is not working, what will he do to speed things up?

    Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC):

    Mr. Speaker, I answered the question yesterday. I said that we already had. I repeat, we already have. This means that we have fast-tracked processing for sponsorships of spouses in Syria. The vast majority of the cases in the system have already been accepted.

    I will give the member another opportunity to condemn the comments made by his colleague from Ottawa South, who attacked Alberta MPs, chastising them for defending the interests of their constituents and the Canadian economy and telling them that they should go back to Alberta and not represent their constituents here.

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