P.E.I. minister speaks on provincial nominee program
Innovation Minister Richard Brown broke his silence this week on the provincial nominee program to deny suggestions that the province could potentially be on hook for $400 million of immigrant investment funds.
Previously, Brown had stated that he would not speak regarding the program until the provincial auditor general finishes an investigation into it.
But what forced Brown to comment were the statements made by the federal director of the program suggesting the 1,877 applications P.E.I. processed before the regulations changed might not be accepted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Brown said that applications which are not approved by Immigration Canada are not the responsibility of the province.
He said that he has been told by his legal advisers that there is no liability on the government of P.E.I. because each and every document clearly stated that this is not a provincial government program and that they are not legally responsible for the transactions that occurred here.
The nominee program is a federal-provincial program in which the province nominates foreigners for Canadian immigration in exchange for an investment of $200,000 into the local business in the province. This process efficiently fast-tracks immigrants and it is for this reason that so many people have used the program to come to P.E.I.
But the nominee program of the P.E.I only offered immigrants a passive role in the companies in which they invested. This wasn’t liked by the federal government and so it changed the regulations so that immigrants would be required to have an active role.