People amongst the most vulnerable Canadians – unemployed, aging citizens, immigrants and refugees – are being held hostage by the current federal system – they are the neglected.
Blind budget cuts in human resources at Service Canada, Citizenship and the Immigration Canada and Immigration and Refugee Board, coupled with inefficient and partisan restructuring, have resulted in inadmissible file processing delays and marked service delivery reduction. Department employees have also been taken hostage because they are receiving the brunt of the justified dissatisfaction even though they work hard. This situation is intolerable and must be rectified quickly. It’s a matter of basic social justice.
The names are fictional, but the cases are based on real events.
Marlene, single parent, 29, Joliette
Marlene has had a stop payment for six weeks
on her file because her applicable income had
increased by a few dollars a month. She's had to withdraw $3,000 from her RRSPs
to meet her obligations until her situation is
resolved. She struggles to make ends meet.
The stress is intolerable, and her two sons
He wants to apply for his old age pension.
For over a week, he's been trying to reach a public
employee in a call service – in vain, because
it's impossible to get through on the line. He's had to contact his Member of Parliament for
information. Unfortunately, it's his only way to
obtain answers to his questions. He doesn't know
when he'll receive his first cheque, but he needs
Nada, 26, wife and mother, Algeria
Awaiting his first old-age security benefit since his birthday — more than 86 days. His days are long. She's just given birth to her child outside of Canada. She has to wait for the child's citizenship card before obtaining the required passport to travel back to live with the child and her whole family in Canada. She's told that processing her application will take at least 305 days.
Dévi, single mother, Longueuil
Without enough personnel to process her
application, it took 3 years for Dévi, persecuted
in her country of origin, to obtain refugee status. It will take at least two more years of red tape
before her two young children can join her. When
she phones them, they no longer want to talk to her because they're convinced she's abandoned
them. Her powerlessness is ruining her health.