Unscrupulous immigration consultants are of concern to Canada
– Canadian Minister of State
By Tusika Martin
Immigration authorities in Canada are in constant communication with countries like Guyana where citizens fall prey to unscrupulous immigration consultants, Canadian Minister of State for the Americas in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, Peter Kent, said yesterday.
Kent told the local media during a press conference at the Canadian High Commission that the issue of dishonest immigration consultants is of great concern to the government of Canada and has been engaging attention.
He warned that immigration consultants cannot guarantee the success of a visa application, and there are those who have fallen victim to, and who have been victims of, unscrupulous immigration consultants
He added that the issue is being addressed under the Immigration Act in Canada, as well as by dialoguing with countries, where there have been some unfortunate incidents.
Addressing the issue of refugees, the Minister said that there is room for improvement, and Canada has been working with Guyana in terms of the legitimate visa process, and also with regards to deportees, especially those who are sent back as a result of immigration offences.
The Minister concluded his two-day visit yesterday and departed for Trinidad.
Speaking about the Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Caricom, Kent said that Canada has reassured countries in the region who have doubts that the free trade agreement, which Canada is pursuing with the region, is quite different from the Economic Partnership Agreement.
Canada has set aside C’dn$600 million over ten years for the countries of the Americas.
He noted that this agreement is more comprehensive as it recognises the fact that some of the countries of Caricom have different degrees of capacities and different priorities.
Similar free trade agreements, he added, have been established with Colombia and Peru.
These agreements address concerns regarding labels, human rights and environment, he added.
“We are not trying to rush this agreement…Canada is quite prepared to proceed at the pace of the (slowest) members of Caricom.”
He noted that he reminded both the Secretary General of Caricom, Dr. Edwin Carrington, and President Bharrat Jagdeo that 2011 is the expiry date for the current agreement.
Canada, he added, is of the view that it will be in the interest of all to formalise a new agreement as soon as possible.
Kent met with President Bharrat Jagdeo at State House on Monday.