Friday July 11, 2014

Minister John Baird "probably misinformed," over so-called diaspora tax

Listen 7:19
Eritrean consulate large

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

"I don't know where this allegation is coming from." That's the response from Samuel Igbo, a staff member at Eritrea's consulate in Toronto. He is responding to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird who threatened to close the consulate if it continues to solicit a "diaspora tax" on Eritreans living in Canada.

He is, "probably misinformed" Mr. Igbo says.

On Wednesday, Minister Baird told reporters that he had ordered his Deputy Minister to inform the consulate that it would have to stop this activity or face closure.

Mr Igbo, however insists that  "There is no factual evidence to back up this allegation."  "We have not collected the 2% taxes since we were told to stop collecting," two years ago. Mr Igbo also denies that Eritrea is a rogue state and that it is funding the insurgency in the Horn of Africa.