The province of Quebec has come under fire from the new Immigration Minister for its “fraudulent” investor program.
Chris Alexander, Canada’s new Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, was shown to share the sentiments of his predecessor when he recently slammed Quebec for accepting hundreds of immigrant investors who often settle elsewhere.
This trend allows Quebec to benefit financially not only from investors applying through the province, but also from federal transfer payments, which do not account for the emigrating investors.
“While we respect provincial jurisdiction, as a matter of fairness we cannot send federal transfer payments to one province for someone living in another,” said Minister Alexander. “That saddles the other provinces with unfair resettlement costs, such as health care and education.”
However, officials with the Quebec government say that it is unfair to require immigrants to reside indefinitely in the province in which they first settled. Statistics show that nearly 90 percent of immigrant investors to Quebec move away from the province – most of which end up in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Critics say that more could be done on the part of the Quebec government to track who, exactly, leaves the province and why.
This spring former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney testified to parliament that he believed the program to be fraudulent – which is particularly observable when Quebec investors head strait to other provinces upon arrival in Canada.
Ottawa runs a similar investor program, which took in approximately 2,615 applicants in 2012. Quebec, in comparison, expects to accept between five and seven thousand investors this year.
Sources: National Post