CIMM – Committee & Appearance Overview – March 24, 2022

About the Committee


The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) studies matters related to immigration, citizenship and federal multiculturalism policy.

The committee has oversight of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Board.


The committee has moved to undertake three studies this session. The first and current study is on Recruitment and Acceptance Rates of Foreign Students, which included a ministerial appearance. This is expected to be followed by studies on Differential Outcomes and Application Backlogs and Processing Times.


The committee has presented the following reports this session:

About the Appearance


On February 1, 2022, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) adopted the following motion inviting the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to appear on their study on Differential Outcomes on March 24, 2022:

That the Committee conduct a study on systemic discrimination that leads to differential outcomes in Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) decisions based on factors such as race and region, examine the factors used to assess the genuineness of a relationship for family sponsorships; that the committee explore the allegations of racism and discrimination included in the Pollara Strategic Insights final report on the IRCC Anti-Racism Employee Focus Groups; that the committee examine the scope and impact of the use of advanced analytics technology in the application process.

The following officials will accompany the Minister for the first hour, and remain for the second hour to continue addressing committee questions. The Minister is expected to deliver a 5-minute opening statement.

Environmental scan

The Minister, along with departmental officials, will have appeared at CIMM three times prior to this appearance. It is anticipated that the study on Differential Outcomes will closely analyze the potential systemic bias that exists within IRCC, and its influence on decision making and mitigation strategies. Key lines of questioning based on topics of interest to date have included:

Committee Membership

Conservative Party of Canada

Top Party Issues

The CPC is calling on the government to lift visa requirements for Ukrainians hoping to flee to Canada. The party has frequently drawn unfavourable parallels between Afghanistan and Ukraine in their messaging.

The party has increased its focus on issues of racism and discrimination at IRCC, with questions often centering around accountability and action being taken in response to the Pollara Report.

Processing delays and backlogs have been at the forefront of questioning. Their platform recommends implementing an express processing fee, moving immigration infrastructure online, and recording all officer-applicant interactions.

The CPC often raise the issue of Canada’s skilled labour shortage and the role of immigration and migrant workers in the economy.

The integrity of the immigration system, particularly as it relates to data breaches, safety and security, have been highly discussed, including alleged breaches of Afghan refugee data and issues of foreign interference.

On family reunification, the party mainly focuses on processing times. Their platform recommends eliminating the lottery system, and combining FIFO and weighting principles.

On refugees, the party believes that the Government Assisted Refugees stream should be terminated, that a human rights defenders stream should be implemented, and that the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program should be made permanent.

The party has advocated for changes to border and asylum, including closing the Safe Third Country Agreement loophole and expediting Immigration and Refugee Board asylum hearings.

Recent Party Activity

Cimm Members

Other Active Members

New Democratic Party

Top Party Issues

The NDP calls for the appointment of an immigration Ombudsperson to provide independent oversight over IRCC in response to reports of security breaches and alleged racism within the department.

On Afghanistan, the party has criticised the government for inaction and called for a need to do more in response to the humanitarian crisis, particularly for those at most risk who are inside their source country. They also seek to relax requirements for Afghan refugees to come to Canada.

Ukraine has recently become a focus for the party, with the NDP calling for the government to lift visa requirements for Ukrainians seeking a safe haven in Canada. NDP members have frequently compared the situation in Ukraine to Afghanistan.

On economic immigration, the party often advocates for aligning immigration levels with labour force needs. They call on the government to bring back an economic program for all skill levels.

Providing permanent residence upon arrival is a key recommendation put forth by the party as a means to reduce the precarious status of migrant workers.

The party often intervenes on issues of migrant worker rights and safety, has called for expanding on healthcare, and for terminating both the Live-In Caregiver Program and Temporary Foreign Worker Program. They also advocate for removing language requirements in permanent residence applications.

On family reunification, the elimination of the lottery system and of caps to sponsoring parents and grandparents is a top issue, as is the reduction of backlogs in this line of business. The party has advocated for broadening the definition of family to include extended family.

With regard to refugees, a permanent resettlement program for LGBTI refugees is a frequent request by the party.

Recent Party Activity

Cimm Member

Other Active Members

Bloc Québécois

Top Party Issues

Quebec’s interests and the protection of the French language are at the forefront of party interventions. Francophone immigration is a top interest, and the party has proposed settlement incentives for Quebec (e.g. tax credits). The BQ has recently focused on acceptance rates of international students from African countries.

The party has proposed changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program including a transfer of the program to Quebec, a halt in annual LMIAs, and an increase on work permit and visa duration. They call for improvements to processing times in the agriculture sector and stress the crucial role of migrant workers in food security.

On economic immigration, the party advocates for digitizing and expediting the processing of Quebec permanent resident applications. They previously called on the government to exempt Confirmation of Permanent Residence holders from travel restrictions.

With regard to borders and asylum, the party calls for increasing Quebec border management powers, and ending the Safe Third Country Agreement as a means to stop irregular migration.

On family reunification, the party calls for a transfer of the program to Quebec.

In the 43rd Parliament, the party was a strong advocate for guardian angels.

Recent Party Activity

Cimm Member

Other Active Members

Liberal Party Of Canada

Top Party Issues

Party efforts are focused on achieving the Immigration Levels and they have committed to resettling 40,000 eligible Afghan refugees.

Transformation and digitization in various lines of business is actively highlighted by the party and pointed to as a solution for modernizing the immigration system.

The government committed to improving processing times, collecting evidence to improve various policies and programs. They frequently highlight the importance of immigration in Canada’s present and future.

Recent Party Activity

Cimm Members

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