ontario news watch

Concern as Quebec slashes number family reunification applications it will process

MONTREAL — A group representing Quebecers waiting to sponsor family members living abroad says the province is acting in bad faith by slashing the number of family reunification applications it will accept.

Laurianne Lachapelle of Quebec Réunifié says the decision will cause yet more stress and delays for Quebec families who already wait far longer than other Canadians to bring over relatives.

Quebec announced last week it will process a maximum of 13,000 family reunification applications over the next two years, after approving more than 16,500 in 2022 and more than 10,000 in the first six months of 2023.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette says the government wants to ensure that the number of approved files doesn’t exceed the province’s immigration cap.

While Ottawa has final approval, applicants who want to bring spouses or other family members to Quebec must first obtain a selection certificate from the province.

Lachapelle, who has been waiting for two years to bring her Guatemalan husband to Quebec, says she’s worried the cuts will result in the federal government deeming applications incomplete and closing them, forcing people to start over again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press