Thursday, September 15, 2011

RCMP brought into middle of PEI election

"Ottawa calls for probe of PEI immigration program." The timing of all of this is suspect:
The federal government is calling in the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to investigate allegations of fraud and bribery in a PEI immigration program that allowed hundreds of primarily Chinese nationals to buy their way into Canada.

In less than three weeks, Islanders will vote on whether to re-elect Robert Ghiz’s Liberal government. His party is leading in the polls, but has been on the defensive since 2008 because relatives of the Premier, along with cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and several MLAs, benefited financially from the immigrant investor program.

The federal Citizenship and Immigration Department referred the case to police late Wednesday after it received information from at least three former provincial public servants, including detailed allegations from one of them that, at a Marriott hotel suite in Hong Kong, would-be immigrant investors gave senior island bureaucrats cash-stuffed envelopes to have their applications approved.

“These allegations were recently brought to the attention of senior civil servants in the department. They have referred the allegations to the RCMP,” Candice Malcolm, press secretary to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wrote in an e-mail response to a question from The Globe and Mail.

A government source confirmed that the case has also been referred to the Canada Border Services Agency.

The three individuals sent the allegations to the federal department and The Globe and Mail.
To the federal department and the Globe. On allegations from 2008.

Ghiz responds:
“Although there are clear political motivations behind these allegations – which have been raised repeatedly in the past and shown to have no substance – government will co-operate fully with any formal inquiries into these matters,” Mr. Ghiz said in a statement to The Globe. “I would also note that it is not overly surprising that those making the allegations waited three years to do so, and that their actions coincide with a provincial election.”
Shades of Zaccardelli. These machinations do not look good at all.