January 11, 2016
And So 2016 Begins . . . With Many Questions About the Future of Immigration Law!
A New Year, new government, new Immigration Minister and a number of new questions:
- Will family reunification be a priority for the New Liberal Government?
- Will we see the lengthy wait time for spouses in particular shorten?
- What will become of Express Entry?
- Is it reformulated and more impactful in terms of new immigrants?
- How will the new Citizenship Act be amended?
- Where do temporary foreign workers figure into the Liberal immigration vision?
- Will its recent evolution to a program of last resort that is heavy on enforcement persist?
- Will Ministerial Instructions continue to reign supreme in immigration law and policy?
- Will we see the end of immigration law reform buried in omnibus bills?
- What is the overall immigration vision of our new government?
A number of these questions may quickly be answered by virtue of the use or non use of Ministerial Instructions. Under the Conservative Government, Ministerial Instructions led to major changes in the Canadian immigration regime. Various immigration categories were paused, reformulated, capped and fundamentally transformed by instruction. The intense accrual of power granted to the Minister to unilaterally decide how, when and to what degree applications were to be processed was a striking change to immigration law and policy implementation. Absent the perceived legislative shackles, the almost exclusive focus of Ministerial Instructions has been economic – an economic focus at the cost of a more balanced immigration program. And so 2016 begins . . . what will it bring?