Canada needs to strengthen our immigration processes.

Canada needs to strengthen our immigration processes. We can be a more welcoming country and do more to reunite families. Doing this has always made this a better country and it’s time we elected a party that understands the tremendous value immigration gives to each of us.

“The New Democrats are promising to get rid of the cap on the number of parents and grandparents who can apply to immigrate to Canada to be reunited with their families, the Star has learned.

“The NDP believes in an immigration and refugee system that is fast, fair and compassionate,” said Olivia Chow, the NDP candidate in the downtown Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York.

The NDP pledge to overhaul the family reunification process at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which Chow said would involve hiring more officers — especially to work overseas — and moving to a fully electronic system, comes with an promise to invest $65 million over four years.

There would be an addition $1 million annually to create an Express Entry system for children — similar to the program the Conservative government set up for skilled immigrants — the NDP says would reunite children with their families within six months.

Chow said the NDP would also allow immigrants being sponsored by their spouses to receive their permanent residency status immediately upon arrival in Canada, whereas right now, unless they have children or have been in a relationship for at least two years, that status is conditional upon them cohabiting in a relationship for two years in Canada.”

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