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The lawsuit against Quebec for delays in family reunification is abandoned

Photo: Karoline Boucher La Presse canadienne Kaba Keita a demandé à la ministre Christine Fréchette (à droite) d’«établir un seuil annuel permettant aux familles à destination du Québec de bénéficier d’un délai de traitement similaire aux demandeurs à destination de l’extérieur du Québec».

A lawsuit filed by a Guinean national last month to reduce processing times in the family reunification category has been retracted. A decision made possible thanks to the intervention of Ottawa, says his lawyer.

Le Devoir was able to confirm the information first reported by Radio-Canada on Thursday. “We felt a reduction in the number of requests that were blocked,” said lawyer Maxime Lapointe in an exchange with Le Devoir.

It was he who represented Kaba Keita, a Guinean residing in Quebec since 2018, in his petition filed in Superior Court against the government of François Legault at the very beginning of March. He asked the Minister of Immigration, Christine Fréchette, to “establish an annual threshold allowing families destined for Quebec to benefit from a processing time similar to applicants destined outside Quebec”.

In the midst of the family reunification process with his wife, Kaba Keita was until very recently threatened with expulsion. However, his lawyer had received a letter in recent weeks informing him that his application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was “deemed admissible”.

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“I can’t come before the judge and then say that the cases are failing, because his case is moving forward,” he said, calling the new information a “victory.” “It saves him from expulsion. »

Ottawa intervenes

In the eyes of Me Lapointe, it is thanks to an intervention by the federal Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, that things “unblocked”. “I have other accepted files, files where I have been asked for additional documentation. All files that I submitted in July, August, September 2022,” he said.

At the beginning of March, the federal government had in fact threatened to circumvent the immigration thresholds imposed by Quebec in the family reunification category. At the same time, Minister Miller warned his counterpart in Quebec of the imminent processing of more than 20,000 requests for family reunification for people who had already received a Quebec selection certificate.

“For me, the fact that federal agents are getting back into the files going to Quebec is already a step in the right direction,” said Mr. Lapointe on Thursday.

Last December, the waiting time to settle permanently with loved ones in Quebec through family reunification was 41 months. Me Lapointe, who wants to reduce this period to 12 months, criticized Quebec for participating in the extension of this wait by setting a threshold of 10,000 new arrivals per year in this category.

It is this ceiling that Minister Miller threatens to exceed.

Asked Thursday about the withdrawal of Kaba Keita's request, the office of Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette committed to continuing “to analyze ways to reduce delays in the family reunification category via possible arrangements within [the] thresholds.”

“Now, our approach is to keep the best balance between reception for humanitarian reasons, family and economic reunification,” added the elected CAQ member in a written statement.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116