‘Provin­cial mess’

PCs ask why no red flags were raised on Sher­wood Mo­tel

Journal Pioneer - - ISLAND - BY MITCH MAC­DON­ALD

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.

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