Canada may let provinces cherry-pick immigrants to end applicant backlog: Jason Kenney

Originally posted on National Post | News:

By Tobi Cohen

OTTAWA — Canada will consider legislating away its massive backlog of immigration applications and allowing provinces to cherry-pick from one big pool of would-be newcomers in a bid to transform Canada’s immigration system into one that’s driven by the economy, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday.

In a speech to business leaders at an Economic Club of Canada luncheon, Kenney promised “transformational change” to immigration that emphasizes the need for skilled newcomers who can fill gaps in the country’s labour market.

He suggested the pre-2008 backlog of nearly one million applications is bogging down the system and hindering reforms and outlined several pilot projects and strategies the government is considering to eliminate it.

“The time has come for fundamental change to our rigid, slow-moving immigration process and this government will deliver that change,” he said.

“People with flexible human capital, high levels of language proficiency and a…

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