On March 30, 2012, the Government of Canada announced plans in its federal budget to eliminate the backlog of federal skilled worker applicants by returning the majority of applications filed prior to February 2008. This bill received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012 and is now law.
Forcing applicants to wait close to 10 years and then implementing retroactive legislation refusing the pending backlog of applicants is the greatest sham in the history of Canadian immigration policy. Close to 300,000 applicants who were all promised that their credentials would be evaluated under previous criteria will now be refused. It will occur even though the Federal Court blocked a similar attempt in 2003, when department officials were found to be misleading the standing committee on citizenship and immigration in its attempt to pass legislation that would retroactively wipe out a much smaller inventory of 100,000 applicants.
Hearings before the Federal Court on the matter took place on January 14, 15, 16, 2013 before Mr. Justice Rennie of the Federal Court of Canada. On February 4, 2013, Justice Rennie invited written submissions from the parties on whether the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act, 1982 (80) 1982, c.11 (UK), schedule B, Part I) applies to the applicants, as non-residents residing outside of Canada. Submissions are due February 22, 2013 with a right of reply to the applicants by March 1, 2013. On April 18, 2013 Justice Rennie rejected the claims of backlog federal skilled worker applicants.
The matter was appealed before the Federal Court of Appeal. Full hearings took place June 23rd & 24th 2014. A decision was rendered August 21, 2014 by the Honourable Madam Justice Sharlow.