The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRRB) has given up on the possibility of reducing the current backlog and has opted for “managing” the current growth.
When taking into account the current intake of asylum seekers, particularly along the US-Canada border at irregular points of entry,
“What we’re focused on in terms of the next 24 months with the temporary funding in Budget 2018 and 2019 is not to eliminate the backlog. It is to slow the growth of the pace of the backlog from what it would otherwise be,” said Richard Wex, a chairperson for the board.
According to Wex, the cost to eliminate a backlog of 100,000 refugees would be an estimated $200 to $400 million.
This year alone, the 2019 Liberal budget allocated nearly $1.18 billion in funding for the board to be distributed over the next five years.
Currently, asylum claimants are expected to wait in Canada for two years before getting a chance to appear before a hearing with the IRRB. In five years, that wait time is expected to grow to a total of five years.
The recent admission comes shortly after the auditor general released a report claiming that Canada’s asylum system is unable to cope with the surge in intakes.