Letter writer Charan Gill incorrectly stated that I intend to make cuts to the family reunification program.
He is entirely mistaken and I wish to set the record straight.
Our policy of family reunification is the most generous amongst immigrant-receiving countries in the world.
In 2011, we plan to receive even more newcomers through family reunification than we did last year.
We increased the planning range from 57,000 to 63,000 last year, to between 58,500 to 65,500 in 2011.
Within the family class, we’ve opted to put spouses, partners and children first.
This year we increased the number of spouses and children we plan to admit this year, from 42,000 to 45,000 last year, to between 45,500 to 48,000 in 2011.
This decision responds directly to what immigrants and Canadians have told us that they want.
In order to accommodate the increase in the number of spouses, partners and children, it is true that we had to slightly decrease the projected admissions range for parents and grandparents.
This year the planning range is only a slight decrease, from 15,000 to 18,000 last year, to 13,000 to 17,500 in 2011.
The government of Canada prioritizes the processing of spouses, partners and children; however, we recognize that wait times for recent applicants in the parents and grandparents category are already long, and could continue to get worse if action is not taken.
To begin to address this problem, the government recently launched national consultations on how we can manage the system in a way that provides reasonable processing times.
The government is committed to reunite families with their loved ones, and we will continue to respond to the priorities of immigrants and Canadians.
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism