Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada employees at the Case Processing Centre were shocked to learn on Thurs. October 27th that the Federal government plans to close their processing Centre in Vegreville and relocate it to Edmonton by the end of 2018.
Approximately 280 employees work in the centre processing temporary and permanent residency applications, work permits and student permits. Department managers cited recruitment of bilingual staff, training opportunities and transit issues as reasons for the decision to relocate to Edmonton. The employees represent approximately 5% of the population of Vegreville, a community approximately 100 km outside of Edmonton.
“This has nothing to do with workload or the capacity of these employees to deliver the service,” said Mike Brecht, Regional Representative, Prairies for the Canada Employment & Immigration Union (CEIU), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union that represents the workers at the Processing Centre. “The reasons given by department heads were trivial when compared to the impact on the community of Vegreville including our members and their families.”
“We urge the Federal government to reverse their decision for the sake of the employees and for the community of Vegreville” said Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies for PSAC. “For a government that campaigned to ‘strengthen our communities by investing in the things that make them good places to live’, this announcement is yet another failure to meet their election promises at the expense of this community.”
For more information, please contact:
Mike Brecht Regional Representative, Prairies Canada Employment & Immigration Union c. 306-514-7897
Marianne Hladun Regional Executive Vice-President Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairies c. 204-805-4536