Border Services closes PNP probe, RCMP ongoing
The Canadian Border Services Agency has closed its investigation into P.E.I.'s controversial provincial nominee program, but an RCMP investigation into allegations of fraud and bribery is continuing.
Both investigations were launched in September, 2011, when three former provincial government employees stepped forward in the middle of the provincial election campaign with explosive allegations.
Two of them worked directly with Innovation PEI, which administered the program. They claimed senior bureaucrats in the Liberal government exerted pressure on them to approve immigrant applications that should have never have been accepted.
The CBSA investigation ended months ago, on Nov. 2, but it only recently released a statement saying it was over.
"There was not sufficient evidence to support laying charges under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act," an agency spokesperson wrote in an email to CBC News Monday.
The email said questions regarding allegations of fraud or corruption should be addressed to the RCMP.
RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar said the RCMP have been investigating, and should have a conclusion by the end of the month.
"We've liaised with other provinces that have immigrant investor programs and some of them actually have active investigations ongoing. We've gone through reports. We've talked to a number of witnesses and we're continuing with that right now," said Blackadar.
"At this point we're near the end of that review."
Blackadar can't say at this point whether the RCMP investigation could lead to charges. There are no charges yet, he said. And no search warrants have been executed.
Protest does not materialize
Last week, one failed applicant from China to P.E.I.'s PNP suggested there would be a protest in Charlottetown over money he and other applicants believe they are owed.
Immigrants who applied under the program invested more $200,000 each. Some applicants believe they are owed some of that money back.
A spokesperson for the P.E.I. government said refunds back to failed applicants depend upon the terms and conditions with the company they've invested in, along with any agreements with the intermediaries.
Innovation Minister Alan Roach was not available for an interview.