Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism speaks to the media in Ottawa Dec 19, 2012. ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Jason Kenney explained a 73% drop in the number of permanent residents receiving Canadian citizenship between 2005 and 2012 by saying the government’s “fiscal restraint” was leading to fewer people having to process more applications.
Internal Citizenship and Immigration documents obtained by QMI Agency show only 2.9% of permanent residents who were eligible for citizenship in 2012 received it, down significantly from 76% in 2005.
“There are two reasons for that,” Kenney said. “Increased immigration levels above those under the previous government and an environment of fiscal restraint (means we have) less resources to process more permanent residents coming up for a limited number of spots.”