Chris Alexander apologizes to Negendra Selliah

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander apologized to consultant Negendra Selliah on Wednesday after retracting a strongly worded statement that incorrectly said Selliah was banned as an immigration consultant for acting unethically when providing advice to new Canadians.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says up to consultant Negendra Selliah to rebuild career

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander apologized to consultant Negendra Selliah on Wednesday after retracting a strongly worded statement that incorrectly said Selliah was banned as an immigration consultant for acting unethically when providing advice to new Canadians. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander apologized to a consultant on Wednesday after retracting a strongly worded statement that incorrectly said the consultant was banned by his profession for acting unethically when providing advice to new Canadians.

But Alexander told CBC News that Negendra Selliah will have to work on rebuilding "his status within the sector like anybody else."

"We apologize unreservedly to him, that was a mistake made by my department," Alexander said in an interview with CBC News. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada had issued a statement from Alexander that said the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, or ICCRC, had banned Selliah for life for unethical behaviour.

"Our government will not tolerate immigration fraud and we applaud the ICCRC for taking action," read Alexander's original statement, which was released last Thursday.

The department says it wrongly sent out a draft statement.

'Like punching me in my face'

But an apology alone doesn't atone for the incorrect statement, Selliah said.

The Toronto-based immigration consultant says Alexander's comments are confusing and unreasonable.

"He's apologizing, but on the other hand he's saying something else," Selliah said. "He ruins my reputation and expects me to rebuild it when it's not my fault."

Selliah says he's still considering legal action against the government for smearing his name.

"It's like punching me in my face and then saying whoops, sorry," he said.

Never sent false information

Citizenship and Immigration Canada now says the complaints against Selliah were resolved without any finding of wrongdoing or fault.

The complaints involved Selliah's conduct advising clients, the quality and advertising of his services and his retainer fee. The ICCRC's discipline committee reviewed the complaints. Selliah'sICCRC membership was voluntarily and permanently withdrawn at the end of April.

Selliah says the ICCRC sent false information to Alexander, but the council says that's not the case.

"The ICCRC has not provided CIC or any other third party with any details concerning Mr. Selliah or the Discipline Proceeding to which he was subject beyond what is available to the public on the ICCRC website," according to the council's website.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.