Stanstead Hockey camp waits for Rus­sians

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Comp­ton- Stanstead MP Jean Rousseau was in Stanstead, on Tues­day, to bring at­ten­tion to an is­sue with Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Canada. About thirty Rus­sian hockey play­ers who would like to come to Stanstead to take part in an elite hockey camp have still not re­ceived their visas from the Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties – and they were sup­posed to board a plane at the end of the week, ar­riv­ing in Canada on the 5th. The hold-up of the visas is re­port­edly due to a strike by Canadain Em­bassy work­ers, how­ever, ac­cord­ing to Mr. Rousseau, it is a ro­ta­tive strike and cru­cial work should still get ac­com­plished.

“Usu­ally I send a let­ter in April to the Min­is­ter about how im­por­tant the visas are. This year, I didn’t get an an­swer, not even a re­sponse that they re­ceived my let­ter. I’ve just kept knock­ing on doors,” said Mr. Rousseau in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal that took place at the Pat Burns Arena. “It makes things slower with the strike but there are still per­son­nel there for ex­tremely im­por­tant cases. This case is im­por­tant be­cause it will have eco­nomic ef­fects on the lo­cal mu­se­ums, restau­rants. The sad part is that we have yet to hear from Min­is­ter Ken­ney. He was here just last fall say­ing he was lis­ten­ing to the re­gions and sup­port­ing the lo­cal econ­omy, but they aban­don their re­gions. Stanstead is start­ing to show some vi­tal­ity, but we also need ac­tion from the govern­ment,” said Mr. Rousseau.

At­tempts to get a comment from Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Canada re­sult- ed in this comment from Press Sec­re­tary Alexis Pavlich: “Due to pri­vacy laws, we are un­able to pro­vide you with de­tails of in­di­vid­ual cases with­out a signed con­sent form. Ms. Pavlich’s email also con­tained gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about ap­ply­ing for a Cana­dian visa.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

NDP Comp­ton-Stanstead MP Jean Rousseau, seen here at the Pat Burns Arena, has been try­ing to get a re­sponse from the Harper govern­ment about why visas have not yet been is­sued to young Rus­sian hockey play­ers who had planned to come to Stanstead on July 5th.

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