Mexican chef refused entry into Canada
A Montreal restaurant owner is upset with the Canadian government for denying a Mexican chef entry into the country.
Mario Navarrete, the owner of Restaurant Raza on Laurier Ouest, said the chef had to cancel his participation in the city's High Lights Festival because his visa application was refused. Chef Enrique Olvera was considered a star attraction.
Olvera was supposed to cook a five-course meal for Raza's customers during the Feb. 18-28 winter festival.
Navarrete said Olvera was refused entry into Canada because he didn't convince the government he would return to Mexico after his visit.
Navarrete has known the owner of Mexico City's Pujol restaurant for three years, and was shocked to hear that Olvera wasn't allowed to come to Canada for the festival.
"He goes to Tokyo, to Spain, to Venezuela, to Brazil, to everywhere," Navarrete said Friday. "He was supposed to be here only three days."
"We never thought that a businessperson like that would be declined a visa."
Jacqueline Roby, spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada told CBC News that anyone who wants to enter Canada to work needs a work permit.
Navarrete said Olvera was coming as a guest and wouldn't be paid while he was in Montreal.
Roby, however, said a work permit may still be necessary even if the work is upaid.