May 7, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Michelle Rempel, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Shadow Minister for Public Safety, Border Security, and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement regarding the Auditor General’s Spring 2019 Report “Processing of Asylum Claims”:
“Today, the Auditor General confirmed that Justin Trudeau has no plan to fix the problems he created in our immigration system. The incompetence and poor judgement of this government has resulted in a worsening backlog of claims and inadequate system oversight. Today, the Minister of Immigration tried to mislead Canadians by suggesting the money they are throwing at the problem will reduce the backlog, but the Auditor General’s report directly contradicts this. The backlog, currently sitting at over 71,000, will continue to grow and wait times for a decision could reach 5 years by 2024, not including subsequent appeals.
“Under Justin Trudeau, we have seen the backlog in pending asylum cases grow by approximately 60,000 since taking office, and the growing backlog doesn’t end here. We know that the IRB is anticipating an additional 50,000 cases by the end of this year if nothing is done. This is yet another example of mismanagement, and the government prioritizing those who come from safe places like Upstate New York.
“What we are left with today are increasing backlogs and delays that stretch across the entire immigration system. The increase in asylum claims from the United States has overwhelmed the processing capacity, and the government is failing to process claims in an efficient and timely manner.
“To make matters worse, the Auditor General confirmed that neither CBSA nor IRCC had quality assurance systems in place to ensure the accuracy or completeness of security and identity information collected about border crossers, and in about 400 claims, basic criminality of identity checks were not completed.
“The Liberals continue to try to blame Stephen Harper for their failures. Yet, as the Auditor General stated in his report, under our previous Conservative government, the IRB was able to process claims within the legislative timeframes and reduce the backlog that we inherited.
“Justin Trudeau unfortunately still has no plan to address the very serious problems he’s responsible for. This is costing Canadians over a billion dollars and counting. And there is a human cost to this, where vulnerable refugees and those seeking permanent residency are waiting longer.
“Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have a plan to ensure Canada’s immigration system is safe, orderly, and compassionate. We will continue to demand answers and call for the government to close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.”
For more information:
Office of the Hon. Michelle Rempel, MP
Office of Pierre Paul-Hus, MP