OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, today condemned the Harper Conservatives’ latest increase in citizenship application fees. Ms. May called the decision ‘shocking’, stating that the increase will make it more difficult for families to apply for a Canadian Citizenship.
“In their own analysis of the changes, Citizenship and Immigration Canada found that the fee increase would impose an additional and unwarranted financial burden on families and individuals,” stated Ms. May. “This increase in citizenship application fees could very well prevent many families from becoming Canadian citizens,”
The decision to increase the cost of citizenship application fees began in February 2014, when the cost of applications increased from $100 to $300.
Then again on December 23, 2014, the Harper Conservatives’ quietly announced that the $300 citizenship application fee would be further increased to $530 per adult applicant as of January 1, 2015. The increase does not include the costs of the $100 Right of Citizenship fee, bringing the total to $630 for each adult who applies for Canadian Citizenship after January 1, 2015.
“Canada used to be a welcoming country, where immigrants were based on the quality of their character and not the size of their wallet,” added Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada.
“We need to ensure that public policy does not prevent lower-income families from becoming citizens of Canada,” concluded Ms. May. “While Stephen Harper claims to be supportive of immigrants, he continues to create policies based only on how much money a person has. This clearly has never been the Canadian way.”