With more than 2.4M immigration applications in Canada’s backlog, many here and overseas feel lost – Excerpt Need for race-based data

Not convinced by the additional value of obtaining race-based data given that country of citizenship provides enough information in most cases to assess trends and impacts.

It would, of course, be interesting, particularly with USA and European immigrants, given that many of those may be visible minorities.

The practicality of how it would be collected (visible minority definitions, ethnic ancestry or other?) is another is another issue. More tick boxes on an already long form and process?

A higher priority, IMO, is to have regularly monthly updates on backlogs, broken down by citizenship (IRCC used to provide updates on “inventory” but this stopped with the shift to monthly data):

Many applicants raised concerns about IRCC taking longer to process their applications based on their country of citizenship.

CBC News obtained data from IRCC breaking down more than 2.4 million applications by country of citizenship.

Of more than two million temporary and permanent residence applications, nearly a million came from India.

“In the case of India, country-specific restrictions during the pandemic made it harder for individuals to submit documents, obtain medical appointments, provide us with their biometrics and for us to finalize applications,” IRCC said.

Aside from France, Ukraine and the U.S., the 30 countries with the most pending applications are in the global south.

India also has the most temporary residence applications in the backlog with 430,286, followed by Ukraine at 329,920.

“There’s systemic racism and discrimination within IRCC,” Amir Attaran, professor of law at the University of Ottawa, said.

Toronto-based immigration lawyer Lou Janssen Dangzalan said the department lacks transparency and accountability. He said since many countries have very diverse ethnic and racial demographics, “collecting race-based data is very important.”

A report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration released in May recommended that IRCC collect race-based data.

Source: With more than 2.4M immigration applications in Canada’s backlog, many here and overseas feel lost

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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