• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Wealthy foreigners suing the Federal Government.

Status
Not open for further replies.

The_Falcon

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
Seems a large number of wealthy foreigners are miffed they can no longer buy Canadian Citizenship, and are suing the Federal Government as a result.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2014/06/20140605-104749.html

MICHELE MANDEL | TORONTO SUN

TORONTO - These millionaires were led to believe that money would buy their way into Canada - and now they're suing Ottawa for millions more for not letting them in.
They are more than 1,460 super wealthy investors, 1,350 from Hong Kong, stuck in immigration limbo after the federal government quietly announced the cancellation of its 25-year-old Immigrant Investor Program - the popular ticket for rich foreigners to buy citizenship and fast track access to our health and education resources as long as they had a net worth of $1.6 million and willing to lend their new province $800,000 interest-free for five years.

The controversial program, with a backlog of more than 19,000 files, was cut during the February budget following criticism that it let foreigners buy their way into Canada without doing much for this country in return.

Now these millionaires had their lawyer in federal court Wednesday asking the judge to force Ottawa to deal with their outstanding files before scrapping the immigrant investor program and wiping out the thousands of applications stuck in the queue when the budget bill is passed later this month.

And to add threat to their pleadings, they are seeking $5 million in compensation for every applicant and their dependents unless the ministry agrees to assess their cases.

"Our rough estimate is that would amount to $16.5 billion for all the litigants that we have right now," says their lawyer Tim Leahy.

Leahy said these aspiring migrants were initially told it would take 18 to 24 months to process their applications. Instead, some have been waiting since 2009. One woman in China sold her hair salon in anticipation of moving to Canada. "Now she says, ‘I don't have a visa, I don't have a hair salon and I don't have an income.'"

Another applicant in China sent his son to an English school to prepare him for entrance to a Canadian university. All these years later, they are still there and his son doesn't have the proper credentials to get into a Chinese university.

"They changed their lives in the belief that they were coming to Canada," says Leahy. "Now the minister says, ‘So long, Charlie?'"

Canada has long been the insurance policy for wealthy Hong Kong residents who wanted a safe place to relocate should life turn sour under Chinese rule. Many have staked a second home here, sent their kids to school here - often leaving them behind in those otherwise empty homes - all in return for an $800,000 loan that is fully paid back, though without interest, after five years.

But the investor plan, created in 1986, has come under increasing fire as a cheap way for rich foreigners to buy citizenship and property in Canada while living and doing their business abroad, rather than investing and paying taxes here.

The government closed the program to new applicants in July 2012 to help clear the growing backlog. But with the budget announcement, the entire scheme is being scrapped and those still waiting are out of luck.

In the court case argued Wednesday, the federal government insisted it is their prerogative to shut down the investor program or as Leahy paraphrased, "You're a foreigner and you have no right to tell us what to do."

The lawyer agrees the government can end an immigration scheme they don't believe is working, but argues that Ottawa should at least deal with all those who have applied and been waiting for years in good faith. "For god's sake, it's only 20,000 millionaires. Let them in. Let's keep our integrity and move on. You could even increase the investment to a million dollars and 90% would say fine. They could process all of them in a year and a half," Leahy says.

"It's just so un-Canadian, what they're doing. They're destroying our credibility."

Changing the rules midstream hardly seems fair, that is true. But holding this country's taxpayers up for ransom and asking that we compensate millionaires, well that's pretty un-Canadian, as well

"In the court case argued Wednesday, the federal government insisted it is their prerogative to shut down the investor program or as Leahy paraphrased, "You're a foreigner and you have no right to tell us what to do.""

Precisely. 
 

CougarKing

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
0
Points
360
Hatchet Man said:
Seems a large number of wealthy foreigners are miffed they can no longer buy Canadian Citizenship, and are suing the Federal Government as a result.

Sorry to nitpick, but this program does not let one "buy" citizenship.

It only gives successful applicants and their families the coveted landed immigrant/permanent residency status, or Canada's equivalent of what they call a "greencard" in the United States.

The coveted "landed immigrant status" is only a path to citizenship but not a guarantee of citizenship, since landed immigrants still have to live here at least 3 years (and not commit any major crimes) before they can apply for citizenship. If I can recall correctly, this residency requirement was recently lengthened to more than 3 years.

As someone who wouldn't have been able to immigrate to Canada if this program had not been in place more than a decade ago, and who is happy to now be a Canadian citizen, I already voiced my disagreement with this policy change at this post of the China superthread.

And I already argued in this other thread that most of these wealthy, educated immigrants, more often than not, have the kind of conservative values that would allow them to be more compatible and allow them to integrate more easily into Canadian society.

The fact that most of these investor class immigrants have the capital/wealth and skills not only helps rejuvenate the Canadian economy, but it also means they have the financial resources that make them much less of a burden on a system than the so-called "refugees", such as those from that intercepted vessel from Sri Lanka, that are more likely to be a burden on the system.
 

The_Falcon

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
S.M.A. said:
Sorry to nitpick, but this program does not let one "buy" citizenship.

Sorry to nitpick, but I don't care about the semantics.  I don't agree with the premise of buying your way into the country. 
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
1,270
Points
1,160
Most countries, including e.g. America, Australia, Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore have some form of investor 'shortcut' to landed/green-card/resident status. Some countries, I just, recently, had the HK programme explained to me, have quite strict (and high value) requirements. Canada was a favoured destination, especially after 1989, but, in my opinion, our requirements were too low and too open to abuse and the programme was abused and I don't blame the government for shutting that door ... temporarily. I say temporarily because we need those investors (not for their money, but, rather, for their entrepreneurial savvy) to help us with out productivity. (There's that horrible word again - sorry, but Canada's low productivity is a function of a weak, timid, branch plant management culture. We need entrepreneurs to shake things up.)
 

Privateer

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Isn't the best entrepreneurial spirit associated with creating something of value out of relatively little?  How does a minimum wealth requirement become a measurement of entrepreneurial ability?  Aren't the "hungriest" - most motivated - entrepreneurs those with less money, not more?
 

Edward Campbell

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
1,270
Points
1,160
Privateer said:
Isn't the best entrepreneurial spirit associated with creating something of value out of relatively little?  How does a minimum wealth requirement become a measurement of entrepreneurial ability?  Aren't the "hungriest" - most motivated - entrepreneurs those with less money, not more?


You cannot know until they have succeeded. Some of the wealthy people who want resident/landed etc status in e.g. Australia, Canada and Singapore have proven their business skills and acumen; their wealth is proof of that. We are, or should be, talking about a very small number of people who are willing and able to make very large, long term (a decade or more long) investments in Canadian business - not by buying stocks and real estate but by actively investing in Canadian companies.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
2,376
Points
1,260
"Fast track"??    Just do it the good olde-fashioned way,.................rip up, and flush, their passports on the airplane.
 

Rocky Mountains

Full Member
Reaction score
1
Points
180
Entrepreneurial immigration is all about residency options and nothing about entrepreneurship.  It makes little sense that Chinese business person would invest in Canada that has exported its manufacturing business en masse to China in the last 20 years.  Canada has become a nation of burger flippers and being too proud to flip burgers have imported many of those.  Other than Alberta, which has a relatively healthy fossil fuel industry, almost every other provinces former strengths are in decline.  The high cost of compliance with regulations and the high cost of taxation means we can never can never compete with low cost countries.
 

CougarKing

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
0
Points
360
And the program has been continued on a limited basis despite opposition.

Note that this pilot program asks for much more than the previous immigrant investor program- $2 million CDN.

The requirement was only around $400,000 CDN about a decade ago. The program requirement was then raised to 800,000 CDN a few years later, then 1.2 million CDN if I can recall correctly because of the huge backlog, mainly from wealthy Chinese investor immigrant families from Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China.

As I mentioned before, take note that the US recently introduced its own investor immigrant program. One consequence of this has seen the Seattle area become a new destination of choice for these wealthy immigrant families from China.

CBC

Canada seeks 50 millionaire immigrant investors under pilot program
CBC

The Canadian government will give permanent residency to approximately 50 millionaire immigrant investors and their families under a pilot program set to begin in the new year.

Under the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital pilot program announced Tuesday, each investor will be required to make a non-guaranteed investment of $2 million over 15 years and have a net worth of $10 million.

"Through the launch of this pilot program, we are attracting investors who can make a significant investment and who have the education and proven business or investment experience necessary to achieve success in Canada," Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said in a news release Tuesday.

"The funds will be invested in innovative Canadian-based start-ups with high growth potential."

(...SNIPPED)
 

RK

Guest
Subscriber
Reaction score
0
Points
10
Maybe a little bit of a sidenote, it's 1095 days as a PR -living in- Canada to qualify as an applicant for citizenship.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/become-eligibility.asp

Thought I'd throw it out there since it was mentioned earlier in the thread.

I'm glad the judge ruled against that in June btw, what a bs thing to do!
(When wanting into Canada, do what the canadians tell you to do.)

Here's hoping the new pilot programs work out good and don't get abused.
 

TCBF

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
360
Hatchet Man said:
Sorry to nitpick, but I don't care about the semantics.  I don't agree with the premise of buying your way into the country.

- I do.
 

TCBF

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
360
- I consider it part of the "Foreign workers Program - Leisure Class."
8)
- Really, I think it balances off the seven million Scottish labour organizers we boat-loaded in during the sixties.
 

Fishbone Jones

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
941
Points
1,060
TCBF said:
- I consider it part of the "Foreign workers Program - Leisure Class."
8)
- Really, I think it balances off the seven million Scottish labour organizers we boat-loaded in during the sixties.

:rofl:  How true! What I laugh about is that they wanted to get away from an island with crappy sunshine, more rain than anyone needs, fog, crazy hippy types taking over national historic sites, like Stonehenge, and people with a predilection towards sheep.

Then they move, half way around the world, to the wet coast, or even better, Vancouver Island where things are no different, except for the accent. :facepalm:
.

 

CougarKing

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
0
Points
360
The results of the revamped investor immigrant program, which has a much higher investment limit than previous programs. Meanwhile as posted earlier in the thread, while Canada's limit has gone higher, the US and other developed nations like Australia have actually lowered their limits to attract more millionaire investors.

Reuters

Canada gets just six applicants for millionaire immigration program
Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:02pm EDT
VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada has received just six applications for its pilot immigration program for millionaires, far fewer than for its investor class visa that was scrapped last year amid criticism it was allowing rich Chinese to buy their way into Canada.

"I knew it wasn't going to work. It was poorly designed," said Richard Kurland, a Vancouver immigration lawyer who filed an Access to Information request for the data.

Canada said in December it was looking for 50 wealthy foreigners to join the pilot run of the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) plan, under which applicants must be far richer than those who entered under the previous program.

Kurland said the revamped program will likely "wither on the vine and quietly go away" given the clear lack of demand from would-be immigrants who balked at the high price tag and uncertainty about their investment.

Despite the low number, an official at the Citizenship and Immigration department said the government would not consider going back to a program similar to the previous investor class visa.

"We believe it is important to continue testing demand, because we know that the IIVC pilot program can deliver significant benefit (to) Canada," a spokesperson said in an email.

Under the new program, would-be immigrants must invest a minimum of C$2 million ($1.5 million) in Canada for a 15-year period and must have a net worth of at least C$10 million. Among other criteria, they must also meet a new requirement that they speak English or French.

(...SNIPPED)

Plus the other side of the story from landed immigrants in Richmond over the past decades.

National Post

Why is a Richmond B.C. neighbourhood with many expensive mansions also one of the city’s ‘poorest’?

Why does a Richmond neighbourhood with many expensive mansions also appear to be one of the city’s poorest?

The upscale neighbourhood of Thompson, where properties typically sell in the $1-million to $3-million range, ranks high for poverty, according to Statistics Canada figures.

But former Richmond Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt said the predominantly single-family Thompson neighbourhood has “the most expensive homes and the second highest level of household poverty” in Richmond because many residents under-report their global incomes to Canadian tax officials.

More than six out of 10 Richmond residents were born outside the country, the highest rate of any city in the country. If many people who live in luxury Richmond houses are reporting low incomes to Revenue Canada, Halsey-Brandt is among those worried it means many are not paying their fair share of taxes for social services.
(...SNIPPED)

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation, which operates on a $24-million endowment from the federal government and ethnic groups, is urging the Canada Revenue Agency to more closely examine the earnings of immigrants who “park large amounts of money” in Canadian real estate and then “go back to work in China” or elsewhere, said Lo, a longtime Richmond resident and Realtor.

Jiun-Hsien Henry Yao, who ran for Richmond city council in 2014, is also troubled by the income-reporting problem. Normally, he said, “you would need a family income of $150,000 to $200,000 just to feel you can afford any home in Richmond.” But in high-end Thompson, most households report income well under $100,000.

Both Halsey-Brandt and Lo said even though the problem of low reported incomes seems most exaggerated in Thompson, it is also occurring in other parts of Richmond.

“Statistics Canada continues to show (the entire city of) Richmond as one of the poorest cities in British Columbia, with a very high child poverty rate,” says Halsey-Brandt, who also represented Richmond as a B.C. Liberal cabinet minister.

This is a “serious financial issue,” Halsey-Brandt said, “because of the demands placed on our health care and education systems by newcomers.”

Although people who live in expensive houses pay property taxes, Halsey-Brandt said, many appear to not be paying an appropriate share of provincial and federal income taxes, which fund highways, transit, universities, hospitals and much more.

The Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book says Richmond, on average, has the third highest prices for single-family dwellings of any municipality, behind only Vancouver and West Vancouver.

But that appears to contradict the reported poverty levels in Richmond, particularly among immigrant households.

The Housing Data Book says that, statistically, Richmond has the highest proportion of households maintained by immigrants who are, based on their reported incomes, judged to be in “extremely dire housing” situations.

Across Metro Vancouver, the Housing Data Book reports 51 per cent of the households that report spending at least half of their incomes on shelter, which is the definition of “extremely dire,” are maintained by immigrants. In Richmond, that figure jumps to 71 per cent.

Lo said the issue of low reported incomes relates in part to Richmond’s large number of so-called astronaut parents.

“If a family moves here, but the head of the family goes back to China or East Asia to make money, that means Richmond often ends up with the spouse and children. That family is not going to declare earning much money in Canada,” said Lo.

A federal government analysis recently showed that immigrants to Canada from China, as well as Taiwan and Korea, are most likely to declare the lowest incomes in Canada.

If a family moves here, but the head of the family goes back to China or East Asia to make money, that means Richmond often ends up with the spouse and children. That family is not going to declare earning much money in Canada

The 2014 analysis found recent immigrants from these countries are also more likely to be business-class investors who own significant unreported assets and might be “strategic” in telling government about their incomes.

University of B.C. geography professor David Ley, author of Millionaire Migrants, said the problem of under-reporting of incomes is one of the key reasons the federal government drastically cut back the immigrant-investor program in 2014.

Richmond’s Thompson neighbourhood is bordered by Granville Street, No. 2 Road, the Fraser River and Georgia Strait. Significant parts were developed by Milan Ilich on the site of Terra Nova farmland, which was controversially removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve in the late 1980s. More than six out of 10 residents of Thompson have an immigrant language, most commonly Chinese, as their mother tongue, according to the 2011 Statistics Canada General Household Survey.

Based on ethnicity maps created by The Vancouver Sun’s Chad Skelton, the portion of Thompson’s population that is ethnic Chinese has roughly doubled, to 70 per cent of all residents, since 1996.

David Yau, 69, interviewed in a mini-mall in the Thompson neighbourhood, said he believes many ethnic Chinese who have addresses in the neighbourhood have “big houses in Canada, but they make their money in the U.S.A. or Asia.”

Richmond Councillor Alexa Loo, an accountant, said the phenomenon of residents reporting surprisingly low incomes to tax officials reflects the “weird economy” developing in Richmond.

Many wealthy trans-national Chinese and other migrants maintain expensive, near-empty homes in Richmond, as well as elsewhere around the world, Loo said. “There’s a lot of $2 million homes,” she said, “and it doesn’t seem the people who might own them have jobs” in Metro Vancouver.
 

CougarKing

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
0
Points
360
Semi-related:

Reuters

Canada PM pledges limits on foreign home buyers if needed
Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:49pm EDT

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged on Wednesday if reelected to limit foreign purchases of Canadian real estate if it turns out that such purchases are pricing Canadians out of the housing market.

"There are real concerns that foreign, nonresident real estate speculation is the reason some Canadian families find house prices beyond their budgets," Harper said in Vancouver, where the housing market is especially hot.

The Greater Vancouver market has seen an influx of money from China and Hong Kong, and the average price of a detached home in the area in July was C$1.4 million ($1.1 million).

(...SNIPPED)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top