The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada expanded its hearing spaces in Winnipeg this month, but videoconferencing is still the norm for refugee claimants.
Though Manitoba’s surge of asylum seekers is making international headlines, a local immigration consultant says not enough attention is being paid to how the federal government will process the onslaught of refugee claims.
Rosanna Pancotto, an immigration consultant with Prairie Sky Immigration, said some of her clients have waited up to five years to have their claims dealt with by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
“It’s easy to say, let’s process them and they have this photo-op with the RCMP grabbing the kid,” Pancotto said, referring to the now-viral photos of RCMP officers helping a Somali family cross the border into Quebec.
“But the aftermath is what nobody is really talking about.”