The following is a summary of recent developments in Canadian citizenship and immigration news.
- Update on family sponsorship debt case
In November 2009, we reported that the Ontario Court of Appeal had ordered governments to stop automatically charging individuals for social assistance debt sustained by relatives they had sponsored. The Ontario Court made its ruling after eight individuals applied to be discharged from their family sponsorship requirements, claiming extenuating circumstances. Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to settle the case.
- Federal government continues to facilitate doing business in Canada
Earlier this month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced the introduction of a new, fast-track business visa program for Mexican nationals employed by eligible businesses in Mexico. This program is similar to one CIC put in place for individuals employed by qualifying Indian business two summers ago.
- Prairie provinces enjoying growth in economy and population, ready to welcome more immigrants
The provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan have recently released information showing that immigration to those provinces has increased, and that the economy in those provinces continues to grow. Both Prairie provinces are hoping to welcome increasingly greater numbers of immigrants through their respective Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), and expect that the increase in available jobs in their economies will help attract those newcomers.
- Federal government renews its Immigration Agreement with British Columbia
Earlier this month, CIC announced that the federal government has renewed its Immigration Agreement with the province of British Columbia, which aims to:
- Give British Columbia a continued say in immigration to the province (for example, through its Provincial Nominee Program) and in settlement issues;
- Enhance the cooperation between the federal and provincial government regarding overseas immigration marketing initiatives and providing newcomers with the information they need before they arrive in Canada;
- Provide ongoing federal funding and support for immigrant settlement and integration initiatives immigrants within the province; and
Increase the cooperation between the federal and provincial governments and francophone communities to develop support for francophone immigration to British Columbia.