Ottawa to accept more applications under immigrant family reunification program
Friday, August 31, 2018


The federal government will help more immigrant families reunite by increasing the number of parents and grandparents admitted to Canada under its reunification program, Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced Monday in Edmonton.

Ottawa will admit up to 20,500 parents and grandparents under its reunification program in 2019, and 21,000 in 2020. This year, 17,000 people were admitted under the program.

"Parents and grandparents often help care for children, for example, increasing their parents ability to work and study and to make a meaningful contribution to their communities," said Sohi.

"When immigrant families are able to stay together, their integration into the Canadian society improves."

The government is also replacing a much criticized lottery system with a first-come-first-served approach, said Sohi, who made the announcement on behalf of Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.

Erick Ambtman, executive director of Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, said family separation is an issue his organization has raised, and he's pleased Ottawa is listening.

"We know that kids and families do better when they're together, it's another opportunity for joy and happiness," said Ambtman.

He listed a number of benefits when extended families live in the same city, such as caregiving and family dinners.

"It's kind of like, the village is raising the child, not just mom and dad," said Ambtman, who also praised the first-come-first-served approach as a way to give families more understanding about what's happening with the process.


Source: Andrea Huncar, CBC News