February 3, 2010
Minister says Citizenship Fraud a Big Problem as RCMP Investigate Ontario Case
Minister Jason Kenney stated Monday that steps to develop new methods of flagging cases of obvious citizenship fraud are underway. This is to ensure that only legitimate applications are going through despite efforts of those individuals who try to provide false information on their applications to circumvent the rules.
These comments came following a report by the RCMP on their investigation into over 300 such citizenship applications. There is one specific case in question in the report which revolves around an address west of Toronto where many applicants listed as their residence. The RCMP would not comment on this recent case but stated that it is a problem people need to be mindful of.
The building in question is managed by House of Palestine Inc. Feras Saleh, the executive director of Palestine House, claims the tenant whose address was used has since moved out. He said the building offers language training and other services to newcomers and is a commercial building with no one actually living in it. It is unclear how many applicants who used the building as their address gained entry into Canada.
Minister Kenney did not comment on specific cases but stated that he was aware of a number of investigations into such residency fraud and the people who are paid to falsify evidence to make individuals appear to have been living in Canada for the full three years required.
In addition to this he had heard of flyers being circulated outside Canada advertising the benefits of immigrating to Canada and how it can be achieved without actually residing within the country.
Those caught making false claims on their applications are subject to removal, will lose their right to apply for citizenship and will be fined. Minister Kenney feels it is a real concern because it devalues the entire citizenship process.