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Ottawa to reintroduce revamped immigrant investor program

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Amid outrage from Vancouver’s Chinese community, the Federal Government is doing an about-face over cancelling the wealthy investor immigration program. They’re now promising to reintroduce a revamped version of the program, but they’re not getting into the specifics.

“We are going to put in place another immigration investor venture capital fund,” promises Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. He says the Federal Government will open the tweaked program to applications in the next few months. Few details about are being released about what it will involve, but Alexander says Ottawa will run it as a pilot-project.

“It will mean more beneficial investments for Canada, a firm residency requirement and a higher amount,” adds Alexander. He hasn’t said what the amount will be.

There was speculation high housing prices in Metro Vancouver was part of the reason the government cancelled the program, which allowed investors to loan the province 800-thousand dollars in exchange for citizenship, but Alexander says that’s not the case. “We don’t take cues from the housing market. We take it from the outcomes we measure in each immigration program.”

Alexander made the promise to a packed church in Richmond Monday during a forum on citizenship reforms. Chinese community and business leaders say they were not consulted over the immigration changes, and are worried cancelling the program will push investors to put their money into US ventures instead. But Alexander says he’s not worried about losing out to America while in the months before the program is reinstated.