OTTAWA - Efforts to combat citizenship fraud are creating lengthy backlogs for would-be Canadians while at the same time only slowly weeding out bogus claims, statistics from the Immigration Department show.
Last fall, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the government had already revoked 19 citizenships from over 3,000 people under investigation for fraud since a crackdown was launched in 2011.
But his department now admits only 12 of those revocations are explicitly connected to the fraud investigations.
And of the 3,000 alleged fraudsters, only 286 have actually been found by the department and given formal notice that their citizenship is on the line.
Meanwhile, new rules and procedures aimed at strengthening the citizenship process are slowing down existing applications.
The department only has enough money to process about half of the files in the queue this year.