Opposition claims government misled Vincentians over Canadian visa issue

Eustace claimed that Vincentians have been leaving this country in droves in search of jobs and a better life, as a result of the increasingly harsh economic conditions created by the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP).

As recently reported by Caribbean News Now, beginning on Tuesday, September
11, 2012, citizens of SVG now require a visa to travel to Canada.

Of critical concern to the NDP leader is the fact that the Canadian government has specifically cited unreliable Vincentian passports as one of its main reasons for imposing the visa restrictions.

Eustace said, “Gonsalves’ political machinery is now working to run away from and sidestep the issue. The government must take responsibility for this situation. They had enough warning from the Canadian authorities and from our own Immigration statistics to know that this action would be taken if they did not respond to Canada’s concerns.” 

According to the NDP leader, “Vincentians will pay a heavy price in the form of the repatriation of criminals, and many working and law abiding Vincentians returning to our shores to look for work during a time of unprecedented unemployment and continued negative growth.” 

Eustace anticipated that, “the falsified passport issue will raise a red flag for immigration authorities in the United States and other countries to which our citizens normally travel.”

“I am worried,” he said, “about the impact this could have on the United Kingdom, for example, which does not now impose a visa requirement.” 

The opposition leader is convinced that SVG’s close foreign policy ties with Iran, with whom Canada has broken diplomatic relations, must have featured somewhere in Canada’s decision to impose the visa restriction on St Vincent.

He further pointed out that “Canada regards Iran as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” adding that “any tie between our country and Iran, when combined with the falsification of passports, would be unacceptable to Canada and must have entered into Canada’s decision-making.”

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