Private company opened in name of Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board without permission
International recruiter Edu Edge had partnerships with Laurier, Pearson boards
An international student recruitment agency that was partnered with the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board opened a private business in the board's name, without telling anyone at the board.
According to the chair of the Laurier board, Jennifer Maccarone, the school board ended its partnership with Edu Edge, an international education consultant, last July.
The board discovered later in the summer that the president of Edu Edge, Naveen Kolan, had incorporated a business called SWL Vocational College without notifying the board, she said.
We had not authorized that, nor were we aware.- Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board chair Jennifer Maccarone
"We had not authorized that, nor were we aware," said Maccarone. "We did request that they remove this and that they cancel it."
Quebec's business registry shows a SWL Vocational College was registered June 30, 2016, just before the Laurier board ended its partnership with Edu Edge.
The registry does not show that the business has been officially dissolved, however, a spokesperson for Revenu Québec said it's possible that the company no longer exists but that its sole administrator, Kolan, simply failed to update the registry.
As CBC News first reported last week, another English-language board, the Lester B. Pearson School Board, recently issued a warning to its international students not to make tuition payments to LBP Vocational College, a company registered to a Naveen Kolan of Toronto.
'Make sure everything was kosher'
Maccarone said it was the recently hired director general of the Laurier board, Paul Lamoureux, who found out about the existence of SWL Vocational College.
She said it was part of Lamoureux's mandate to "make sure that everything was kosher" with the board's partnership with Edu Edge.
"It was time for us to start fresh, and that's one of the things that he uncovered for us. And we said, 'Oh! OK, well, we had no idea,'" said Maccarone.
She said Edu Edge did bring in one cohort of 25 students for Laurier's professional sales program for the 2015-2016 school year, but the payment of their tuition fees was handled by the board itself.
"Thankfully, on our end, no students had actually been processed through [SWL Vocational College]," said Maccarone.
- Lester B. Pearson School Board insider raised concerns about international department in 2011
- Pearson School Board warns international students not to pay tuition to private company
She said a larger-scale plan to create a health-care vocational college in Laval in partnership with Edu Edge and the Pearson board never got off the ground because the government changed the status of the type of program the boards wanted to offer.
Repeated calls to Edu Edge by CBC were not returned.