Baillie’s Dismal Record on Immigration

September 10, 2013

(Halifax, N.S.) NDP candidate and Minister Leonard Preyra says Nova Scotians should be leery of any plans Jamie Baillie comes up with around immigration.

Preyra points out Jamie Baillie was the Conservatives’ Chief of Staff when they committed to the Business Mentorship Program in 2003.The program privatized Nova Scotia’s provincial nominee program and allowed the Cornwallis Financial Corp. to charge the highest immigration fees in Canada to skilled workers and entrepreneurs. The program was such a failure the Conservatives eventually had to repay $60 million dollars to people who dreamed of making a better life in Nova Scotia who signed up for the program but never got their internships.

“A lot of applicants and their families were misled by that program and it had a negative impact on their ability to settle in Nova Scotia. It speaks volumes that the last time Jamie Baillie was involved in an immigration program the Auditor General was brought in to investigate,” said Preya, who is seeking re-election in Halifax Citadel – Sable Island.

Preyra added the Business Mentorship Program was just one of many mis-steps the Conservatives made on immigration. The Conservatives also failed to reach their immigration targets for Nova Scotia and lost valuable federal resources for immigrant settlement services. In addition, they refused to fund English as a Second Language and other settlement services, forced schools to treat ESL classes as an add-on service, and made it more difficult for immigrant children to settle in Nova Scotia.

As an immigrant himself, Preyra says he is proud of the NDP record. The NDP created a new immigration strategy, Welcome Home to Nova Scotia, that is seeing more and more immigrants coming to Nova Scotia and staying here. Last year, Nova Scotia reached an all time high of 725 provincial nominees – a 51% increase over the number of nominees during the last year of the Conservative government.

“More new Canadians are choosing to stay and build a life here in Nova Scotia thanks to the NDP,” said Preyra.