Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Immigrant program needs fix

  • Print

The provincial government holds up as a sign of progress its 60 per cent success rate in attracting investment from business immigrants. Others say the program is simply a way to let a lot of affluent applicants buy permanent residency in Canada. Manitoba does not have the data to argue otherwise.

The program, launched in 2000, requires business immigrants under the provincial nominee program to put up $75,000 before coming and then, given permanent residency, to invest in a business within two years or forfeit the deposit. But Manitoba does not analyze the annual rate of investment or whether those who don't invest stay here.

Most federal economic immigrants have always headed to British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. That explains why B.C., has much tighter requirements for business-class immigrants under its provincial program. Rather than offering permanent residency immediately, it requires a prospective business investors to enter with a working visa. If he or she establishes a business, B.C. then asks Ottawa to give permanent residency status.

B.C. brings in only 44 of its own business-class immigrants per year, while Manitoba approves 200 each year. Prior to 2000, Manitoba saw very few of business immigrants come under the federal program. Since 2000, 1,270 business immigrants have landed in Manitoba under the provincial program; 521 have started businesses; 357 have forfeited their $75,000 deposit and another 392 files remain open.

Manitoba does not monitor residency of its business-class immigrants and does not know whether those who forfeited their deposits headed to other provinces. This gives weight to allegations the program is a cheap way for rich people to buy their way into Canada.

The rate of forfeiture indicates some fraud, and it means many others with legitimate intentions and plans were overlooked or left waiting in line.

Eliminating the program, or adopting the B.C. model, risks gutting immigrant investment -- Manitoba estimates $200 million has been invested here since 2000. A federal review of provincial nominee programs last year acknowledged they push economic immigrants into the regions. That analysis also bemoaned the lack of monitoring and evaluation of the programs.

There is little comfort in mediocrity. Manitoba must start tracking immigrants who enter under the business class to improve the rate at which they make good on a promise to investment.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2012 A10

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

    No

  • 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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 winnipegfreepress.com. 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.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you like Gord Steeves’ idea to sell four city-owned golf courses to fund road renewal?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google