Montrealers Tired of Delays in Federal Public Services Pipa News

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A week ago, Global News reported on the recent cessation of income security benefits for the elderly.

Now more public workers are talking about delays and problems in other federal government departments, and some experts believe it may be some time before some of the problems are resolved.

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Franz Andre, coordinator of the Comite d’action des Personnes sans status, a refugee support group, noted that due to the large number of people arriving since last autumn, he sees more delays in providing services to them.

“There were already delays before the border opened,” Andre explained, “and I have people who applied last September, 2021, and they are still waiting to get a work permit.”

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Some people arriving now could easily wait until 2024 before they get a work permit, Andre said, and until they do, they have to rely on Social Security to make ends meet.

He finds it hard for civil servants to keep up.

“The number of people (arriving) is greater than before,” he noted, “and I think they are currently very lacking.”

He also blames asylum seekers for the application process, which he believes could have been more efficient.

Emil Barakat, an immigration lawyer, says his clients are also facing delays because, in his opinion, Immigration Canada is not coping.

“They have a backlog, but every day they get more and more applications,” he said. “That’s why immigration should seriously consider hiring a lot of people.”

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While he blames government departments for how they handled some of the problems, he expressed sympathy.

“I understand the frustration of people, but you have to understand that we have just experienced a pandemic that happens once every 100 years,” he stressed.

Peter Graefe, assistant professor of political science at McMaster University in Hamilton, agrees, but argues that some departments did not plan well.

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He believes that some problems will be resolved quickly and some will not.

“Things like backlogs caused by the pandemic can persist for a while,” he told Global News via Zoom. “I mean, before the pandemic, the treatment was not fast, and now the queue is three times longer.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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