P.E.I. Auditor General Wants Overhaul Of Immigrant Program

P.E.I. auditor general wants overhaul of immigrant program

The Times and Transcript
Published Friday April 3rd, 2009

CHARLOTTETOWN – Immigrants entering P.E.I. through the Provincial Nominee Program need better communication from the provincial government, the province's auditor general says.

Colin Younker, who recently completed a six-month investigation of the program, pointed to the numerous complaints immigrants have made about the way they were dealt with as nominees.

Some have even staged protests to draw attention to problems they've had getting their $25,000 “good faith” deposits and $20,000 language deposits returned.

The deposits were in addition to the $200,000 they invested as part of their applications.

In a report, tabled Thursday in the legislature, Younker said many of the immigrants he interviewed expressed confusion and frustration when discussing the program, particularly when it came to how their money was invested.

As well, they felt that policies kept changing and services were lacking, the report said.

“Services should be in place to help them integrate into the community and establish a permanent residence here,” the report adds.

Premier Robert Ghiz said a committee has been struck to come up with solutions.

“We realize the services that should be available were not in place,” Ghiz said.