Interventions in Committee
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José Eustaquio
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José Eustaquio
2017-05-01 15:58
You've put the question. Obviously, when it comes to communities like the one I represent, everything seems to start with the question, “What do you feel comfortable with?” Language is paramount. Over the years—not so much in the last decade, but in the late 1990s and early 2000s—you would even hear of individuals back in Portugal attempting to create, through town hall meetings, access to immigration or work programs in Canada. I haven't heard so much of that in the last little while, because I think organizations like LiUNA have done a phenomenal job in trying to provide communication here across Canada, especially in the Toronto area with Local 183.
My community is very culturally based and very tight-rooted with traditions and culture. Our community centres.... This has been brought up. These not-for-profit organizations are usually the first step of someone being recognized and welcomed to a neighbourhood and a community. When someone new comes to Canada, that's where they go.
They don't go there only to find and meet people—family members, people from their home town—but to access these community centres as a means of employment. Then they are looking for assistance to legalize themselves, which some of these unscrupulous consultants understand. They are smart. They're intelligent. They're at the street level, at the grassroots, so they know where to obtain those individuals.
The language, as MP Dzerowicz mentioned, is pivotal. This should always be provided in the language that people are comfortable with. The accessibility of or process to go by to get a lot of these applications properly in front of the legal sources for immigration seems to be very vague. That is where some of these people have done really well in obtaining a salary, a life, a job for themselves by providing these services.
They are making ridiculous amounts of money for a legal process that you and I can do on the Internet. For an application that normally costs about $1,100, I've heard cases of some families paying $18,000, $20,000, or $25,000. A lot of these people are just looking for the right news, and the right news is, “Yes, I can make you Canadian in a short period of time. I can make you legal.” These broken promises have been alluded to in some of the presentations today. It's vastly dark, and it is so unfortunate that it's happening in a country like ours.
Hopefully that answers your question.
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