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Pressed by court, government to process backlogged immigrant applications

posted Aug 18, 2012, 11:42 AM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Aug 18, 2012, 11:43 AM ]
Tobi Cohen July 16, 2012 Canada.com

OTTAWA — Lawyers for Citizenship and Immigration have laid out the government’s plan for processing some 165 applications for immigration that have languished for years after being ordered to do so by the Federal Court.

The plan, however, will not address the bulk of litigants involved in the case — 670 of them — as their applications are being eliminated under Bill C-38, the federal budget bill.

The group successfully sued the government over processing delays just two weeks before the budget bill took effect last month.

The Federal Court ruled that the government must process all the applications it takes into the system and that the delays, some going back nine years, were unjustified.

The government was ordered to finalize the lead litigant’s case by Oct. 14, and while the court didn’t issue separate rulings for each of the litigants, an agreement was struck in February between their lawyer, Tim Leahy, and the government to apply the principles in the lead case to the others.

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