Court document alleges links to the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island trumped experience in PNP appointments
Assessments to choose the province’s PNP intermediaries were conducted inconsistently, with several of the successful proponents showing little experience in immigration yet having ownership “dominantly involved” in the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island, alleges an affidavit filed in Supreme Court.
Eric Ellsworth, a former settlement, integration and retention officer with the province and current president of Canada-Ask Immigration and Investments Services Inc., filed an affidavit in P.E.I.’s Supreme Court last month in a legal dispute between H.P. Consulting Inc. and the Island Investment Development Incorporated (IIDI).
H.P. Consulting Inc. and Canada-Ask were unsuccessful proponents in a request for proposal issued by IIDI last July.
In the affidavit, Ellsworth states he was told during a debriefing with IIDI agents following the selection that company experience was not considered in the assessments, contrary to the RFP. “The proposition was that awarding points for experience would be unfair to newly established companies with little or no experience,” Ellsworth’s statement reads. “The firms which had not been active in immigration prior to the RFP have ownership dominantly involved in the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island.”
Ellsworth declined an interview with The Guardian but stated he felt “H.P. Consulting after 13 years of service in the field of immigration was treated unfairly.”
Much of the affidavit supports statements made by H.P. Consulting in a legal action the company filed last year calling the process unlawful and asking for a judicial review. The company says government violated terms listed in the RFP and favoured companies with political and personal ties to government.
A provincial spokesperson declined to provide an update because the issue is still before the courts.
There appears to be no hearing currently scheduled.
IIDI responded by filing a record in Supreme Court earlier this year. It states H.P. Consulting failed a service offerings category focusing on provincial objectives.
H.P. Consulting, which says it achieved high retention rates for the PNP during its 13 years as an intermediary, was the only one of seven original agents not reappointed following the RFP.
Ellsworth’s affidavit states scoring was conducted inconsistently in the application. It states while H.P. consultants, which had staff who speak English, French and Mandarin, the company was scored lower or equal to other agents in language.
It also states that while a desired rural presence was not disclosed in the RFP, it appeared some of the successful proponents were awarded extra points just for stating an “intention to establish a rural office.”
Ellsworth said the RFP also did not state executive council would be consulted in respect to the RFP award or make the ultimate decision.
The RFP’s call was for 10 Island agents to serve a five-year term. Ultimately, 12 agents were appointed through executive council with half of them being new intermediaries.