PEI

Ottawa urged to investigate P.E.I. business immigration program

P.E.I. opposition leaders are calling for Ottawa to investigate the operations of a provincial business immigration program that faces allegations of abuse and poor oversight.

PC's Aylward, Green Party's Bevan-Baker call for review of PNP

P.E.I. PC Leader James Aylward and Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker are both calling for a review of the province's business immigration program. (CBC/Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

P.E.I. opposition leaders are calling for Ottawa to investigate the operations of a provincial business immigration program that faces allegations of abuse and poor oversight.

James Aylward, the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, says it's important to stop the province from becoming financially "addicted" to the deposits it receives from immigrants who don't stay on Prince Edward Island or open a business.

The ownership stream of the provincial nominee program has been criticized by immigration lawyers as a side door to entering the country, with over half of last year's participants losing their $150,000 deposit to the province after they didn't open a business.

Three foreign students have alleged to The Canadian Press that some participants in the program are requesting their employees give back a portion of wages in cash, and they are calling for better monitoring.

Peter Bevan-Baker, the leader of the Green Party, is also calling for a review, saying the province's auditor general should become involved.

The province has said it's setting up a tip line to report abuses, and says there are success stories from the nominee program, along with some business immigrants who will stay and help boost the province's population.

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