Critics are expressing concern over the Canadian government’s quiet cancellation of the Immigrant Investor Program last month.
Though most recent news coverage has been focused on the sweeping citizenship changes tabled by the government, critics as well as jilted potential immigrants are speaking out against the move to scrap the Investor program, which had allowed entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada on the grounds of starting and investing in a business upon arrival.
Despite much reform and controversy in recent years, critics are concerned about the government scrapping such an innovative program at such a crucial time. Upon its inception approximately three decades ago, it was the first program of its kind and has since been mirrored in over 20 countries, according to former Immigration Minister Sergio Marchi.
Marchi worked under Prime Minister Jean Chretien to help further develop the program first established under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and says that scrapping it at this time is a wasted opportunity.
“If the government had concerns, then it should have consulted extensively, in an effort to address these problem areas, and seek out better ideas and practices,” argues Marchi in a recent piece for the Globe and Mail. “But there was no meaningful dialogue. The government failed to recognize that in developing sound public policy, how you do it is as important as what you do.”
That “how” could come back to haunt this government very soon, as many of the now-rejected applicants are banding together with the aim of taking legal action. Approximately 65,000 applicants were left hanging when the government announced it was axing the program. A similar case arose in Canada’s courts recently when the government wiped out the skilled worker applicant backlog, returning hundreds of thousands of unprocessed files to people who no longer qualified under new regulations.
Source: Globe and Mail