PCs ask why no red flags were raised on Sherwood Motel
Opposition members started the final question period of the fall sitting of legislature by asking why no red flags were raised when 14 PNP applicants using the Sherwood Motel as their permanent address forfeited their deposit.
With about $41 million collected by the province in forfeited PNP deposits over the past three years, PC Leader James Aylward asked how government contacted those individuals. Aylward also suggested that the province did not have contact information for all PNP applicants.
“There are challenges government faces when it loosely manages a program involving millions and millions of dollars,” said Aylward.
Economic Development Minister Chris Palmer said government would contact PNP applicants who forfeited their deposit through information provided in their application.
Aylward described that as “odd” and said Palmer previously told the legislature that the province did not have contact information for some PNP applicants who used the motel as an address. The line of questioning came while an immigration fraud trial is underway for the Sherwood Motel owners, who allegedly provided fake P.E.I. addresses to Chinese immigrants seeking permanent residency.
Palmer said the province provided information and addresses related to the federal charges to federal authorities.
“We don’t have those addresses here on the files we review,” said Palmer, adding that the province would continue to provide any info when requested.
PC MLA Steven Myers also asked Palmer how many letters were mailed out to PNP forfeiters in the past three years. Palmer said he would get that number and bring it back to the legislature.
Palmer did say that number was “fewer and fewer” each year. “Because our retention rates were getting better ... but they weren’t getting good enough for Islanders so that’s a program we closed,” said Palmer.
Myers also asked why IIDI annual reports previously showed the number of PNP clients who defaulted on their deposits. However, those numbers were not included in the past two years, said Myers.
“This is a provincial mess that has been created by this government and the government refuses to clean it up,” said Myers.