Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
April 15, 2010

Union holds press conference with MP’s on cuts in Sydney

National President Jeannette Meunier-McKay held a press conference with MP’s Mark Eyking and Jim Karygiannis to call on the government to rescind the planned job cuts at the Sydney, Nova Scotia processing centre. In her comments, available on YouTube, Meunier-McKay described the cuts as striking “…at the heart of processing citizenship and permanent resident applications…”

The day before the press conference, CEIU had made a presentation to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to set out the serious consequences that will follow from the lay off of 147 Sydney staff. Opposition MP’s on the Standing Committee were supportive of the union’s case and two, Mark Eyking and Jim Karygiannis came forward for a joint press conference with CEIU.

The national president’s comments are available below and the press conference can be viewed on YouTube.


Good morning, my name is Jeannette Meunier-McKay and I am the national president of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union, a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.  Amongst our 20,000 members we represent are workers at the Sydney Case Processing Centre for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

We are here today to call on the Conservative government to rescind the cuts to the Sydney centre so that new Canadians will not face unacceptably long delays to their full participation in Canadian society.

The cuts strike at the heart of processing citizenship and permanent resident applications in Sydney.  Cuts to the mailroom will mean that applications will sit even longer waiting to be sent for decision making agents.  Cuts to the agents will mean that they will sit even longer waiting for  a decision.  These cuts mean that clients of this service will face even longer delays for documents crucial to family reunification, travel overseas and full participation in Canadian society.

For those trying to enter Canada and contribute their specialized skills through the Foreign Skilled Workers programme, these cuts will increase a current waiting time of 7 to 8 years for their applications to be assessed.

What makes this even more mean-spirited is that the government requires these people to pay directly for these services.  Through cost recovery, immigrants and new Canadians bear the cost of processing and now face even poorer service.

We call for these jobs to be restored and for the Sydney centre to have sufficient staff to serve the Canadian public.


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