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Just a thought on the new visa requirements for the Czech Republic and Mexico.

We want to make sure that asylum seekers to Canada are legitimate and we want to cut down on bogus claims. I get that.

However, I’m not sure that the method Jason Kenny and the Immigration Department used in announcing new visa restrictions would be imposed on visitors from the Czech Republic and Mexico was the right way.  It was imposed without warning, and has the Canadian tourism industry in a state of panic:

Tour operators, hotel owners and other Canadian businesses that depend on Mexican tourism described the decision as a “bomb” that would affect both their revenues and their staffing levels. The industry is calling on the Conservative government to delay the visa requirement until November, to allow it to cope with the change.Hume Rogers of Ottawa’s Capital Hotel and Suites had 25 rooms booked for 10 days this month with a Mexican tour group. “What really hurts about this is that there was no warning at all … and all of a sudden, basically the day the doors were supposed to open on the beginning of the peak season, they’re being shut in our face a little bit.”

We’re in a recession, and this abrupt decision may be a big blow to Canada’s  tourism industry. It also is a move that may have not been helped by Ottawa being rather slow about appointing new members to the Immigration and Refugee Board, so the government may have contributed itself to the problem of backlogs it claims it’s trying to reduce with this decision.

All in all, it appears like the government over-reacted on this file. There should have been at least more notification of this measure taking affect, rather then an abrupt announcement and a 48 hr window for it to take affect, which caused situations like this for people. It’s another ham-fisted approach by this government towards an issue,  in my opinion.

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