TORONTO - Even in the dying days of the 2019 election campaign, Ahmed Hussen’s questionable immigration policies and programs are taking their toll on Canadian residents who placed their trust in his “vision” and his Pilot Programs.
The latest is a Portuguese family of five (M******) who entered the country on a legitimate Visa and applied for Permanent Residency – nine years ago! The parents found work for their needed skills. Two of the children (now adults) are also gainfully employed while a third is still in school.
Why have they not been “landed”? The principal applicant, the father, couldn’t pass the IELTS to the satisfaction of the British-established language standard. IELTS bought out interest held by Jeremy Hunt, former candidate for the Leadership of the British Conservative Party for 30 million Pounds.
The IELTS testing system is estimated to be worth more than $300 million annually; and growing. In Canada, they are displacing federally and provincially run language and testing centres. Many of those Centres situated abroad reputedly appear to serve a dual purpose as “recruitment centres” for prospective emigres prepared to pay for “guaranteed results”. The “network” between them and “consultants” is such that one national mainstream newspaper uncovered 60 such operatives with individual offices in one building alone in Vancouver.
IELTS, according to its own website, protests against such insinuations and allegations by offering that they are taking measures to ensure the integrity of their system and the results. They do not claim to have reached the goal yet. This is a story for another day.
Ten days ago, the M****** received a visit from the Canadian Border Services Agency. Such a visit is normally followed by a Departure Order. They were devasted, being previously secure in the knowledge that their application was wending its way through the system.
Why not? They fell for Hussen’s latest Pilot Project ploy: 500 spaces for undocumented construction workers in the GTHA announced with all the sincerity he could muster at a Union picnic on the Canada Day weekend.
Hussen’s Director of Communications affermed to us via email that this was bona fide; that the Department would make available all the particulars, and, that the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), working in tandem with the construction sector unions, would be the nexus for everything.
The Department’s website acknowledges that the undocumented workers phenomenon is long standing and that those workers have been subject to some predatory practices. Yet no one at the Department could or would explain how or why the CLC would now displace Departmental officials in the collection, assessment and validation of applications and what criteria would be used to forward successful applicants for finalization.
Hussen’s staff insisted that (1) the Pilot Project did not require governor-in-council approval. (2) there was no devolution of authority to the CLC, and (3) there were no additional funds allocated for the program. CLC confirmed they had no in-house expertise to handle the legal /immigration questions that might emerge. Moreover, they could not say which of their member unions would be allocated what number of applications.
However, the Department and the CLC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure probity. No one would provide us with a copy. An Access to Information (ATIP) request has gone unanswered for three months despite several requests for updates. Calls to a firm of a well-known and well-connected Law firm in Immigration Law, met with similar results.
The M****** like 499 other applicants took a chance on Hussen’s careful planning and sincerity.
Meanwhile, the “fine print” that emerged noted that applications would be received as of September 3, 2019 but Processing would only begin on January 2, 2020. Oh, and the program could be declared null and void at any time. Welcome to the whacky world of Ahmed Hussen. Too bad people like the M****** trusted in him.