P.E.I. grabs $63M in immigrant deposits
The P.E.I. government has added $63 million to its bottom line through defaults on deposits made by immigrants through the Provincial Nominee Program since 2005.
More than half that money comes from good faith deposits which every nominee was required to pay, and most of the remainder was from failure to meet language requirements.
The good faith deposit is returned if the immigrant stays on P.E.I. for a year. According to public accounts almost 1,500 immigrants have failed to meet that requirement since 2008.
Allen Roach, the minister responsible for immigration, said that situation is improving.
"We've seen, certainly over the last year, last two years, that more immigrants are in fact staying on Prince Edward Island," said Roach.
"As our immigrant communities continue to grow in P.E.I., those immigrants that come here will feel more comfortable staying here. I think as our job growth continues, we'll see that."
According to Statistics Canada, 95 per cent of the Island's population growth in the last few years has been due to immigration.
The most recent statistics show a drop in population. The Island lost 270 people to other provinces in the last three months of 2011.