Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Nominee program faulted

Immigrants filing false applications

  • Print

An audit of Manitoba's nominee program for business found some immigrants arrived in the province based on false applications.

Auditor general Carol Bellringer said in a report released Wednesday the province also does not follow immigrants after they've settled to monitor the success of the program.

She recommended the program tighten its procedures to verify application materials -- banking information, employment history and asset holdings -- more quickly and then reject it if it's found to be false.

Rick Zebinski, director of the business immigration program, said the province is in the process of setting up a new application process where all documentation is filed at once rather than in stages. The new process is intended to give evaluators more time to check for false information.

"We continue to focus on our recruitment activities all over the world," Zebinski said. "There's lots of very successful businessmen who can make a valuable contribution to Manitoba. So far, we've seen about $200 million in direct investment in the province plus additional investment in homes and equipment."

The Free Press reported late last year some immigrants pay the $75,000 deposit under the program to enter Manitoba under the business class but do not fulfil their obligation to invest a minimum of $150,000 into a Manitoba business. They default their $75,000 deposit but still receive permanent residency status.

Bellringer's audit report said from 2005-10, 735 nominees landed in Canada with 392 (53 per cent) of them making their investment in Manitoba. However, 272 (37 per cent) of nominees did not meet the requirements and forfeited their deposits. The program has not tried to locate the other 71 (10 per cent) of nominees.

Bellringer recommended the program assess its long-term performance by tracking and regularly monitoring whether nominees continue to live and operate a business in Manitoba after their deposit is returned.

Zebinski also said the province is moving to better monitor immigrants for three years after coming to Manitoba.

"Permanent residents have mobility rights all across Canada," he said. "It is somewhat problematic, but we're certainly going to do the very best job possible."

Bellringer said the audit of Manitoba's nominee program began more than a year ago, after immigrant investor programs collapsed in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Months earlier, it had surfaced immigrants were fast-tracked into some of the Maritime provinces while other immigrants claimed they had been taken advantage of through the programs.

Bellringer said her audit team found none of those issues in Manitoba. It only launched a full investigation when her office found a prior application that had been falsified.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2013 A6


Updated on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM CST: replaces photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Cali For Jets Nation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010
  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google