Letter from Ed Komarnicki, Member of Parliament for Souris – Moose Mountain, regarding citizenship fraud in Canada.
To Members of the Media/Editors:
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney, has made it quite clear that Canadian citizenship is not for sale and is taking action to strip citizenship and permanent residence status from people who don’t play by the rules and scam their way into obtaining citizenship.
Having Canadian citizenship is an honour and a privilege and so the Minister will apply the full strength of Canadian law against those that cheapen its integrity by fraud.
Our Government’s investigation into residence fraud continues to grow, with nearly 11,000 individuals potentially implicated in applying for citizenship or maintaining permanent resident status illegitimately. We have already begun the process to strip 3,100 fraudulently obtained citizenships.
In most cases, suspects will use deceitful immigration representatives to fraudulently create evidence of living in Canada while actually living overseas. This deception is created so that individuals can fraudulently maintain their permanent residence status and later apply for citizenship.
Shockingly, criminal investigations have found that a family of five may pay upwards of $25,000 over four or more years to create the illusion of Canadian residence.
This fraud hurts everyday Canadian families. Those who illegitimately obtain permanent residence or citizenship status have access to taxpayer subsidized education, health care, and other social benefits without ever contributing as a taxpayer themselves.
It also hurts the majority of newcomers who come to Canada, who follow the rules with honesty and integrity, and contribute greatly to our economy and our society.
Over the past six years since Stephen Harper and the Conservatives formed Government, Canada has had the highest sustained level of immigration in history. We are committed to creating an immigration system that brings the world's best and brightest to Canada while protecting our immigration system against those who would abuse our generosity.
Member of Parliament
Souris – Moose Mountain