Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 01/17/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 01/17/2013 11:04 AM | Updates
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
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
12-year sentence sought for home invasion
MP Shelly Glover cleared of fundraising conflict-of-interest allegations
Tax dispute with feds results in shortfall city's taxation department
Throne speech indicates NDP continuing on same path
Rinelle Harper meets construction worker who helped save her
Windows smashed out of vehicles in River Heights
Annual Guns vs. Hoses charity hockey game to raise funds for injured paramedic
Morantz eyes reviving city's furlough program
Jets' tax hit 11th lowest in NHL; Habs, Kings highest
'Exciting' challenge for new United Way boss
$4M worth of water bills rescinded only cost city $350K: Morantz
Selinger set to deliver Speech from the Throne
Hand in hand over finish line
OK, Winnipeg, now it's actually cold out
Redemption may be beyond Selinger's grasp
Liquor strike possible for Christmas
Lawyers fear teen will return to life of crime after release
Sex abuse led to changes
Jets ticket haunts Selinger
City touts plan for frozen pipes
Fans confirm city is special
Ice-bucket challenge brings in $350,000
Teens learn horse sense