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Report on Immigration Consultants

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Fraudulent immigration consultants — described as ”vultures” by Denis Coderre, the Immigration Minister — should face $50,000 fines and criminal convictions for failing to meet proposed conduct laws, an expert panel says.

The panel’s report, to be released today, calls on Ottawa to regulate consultants, spelling out a code of conduct and minimum standards.

The new measures are aimed at addressing complaints about immigration consultants inside and outside Canada who promise entry into Canada for exorbitant fees but do not perform any work, sometimes even disappearing with the money.

The report says Canadian embassies should get a greater role in immigration applications to counter the problem of fraudulent consultants operating overseas. Specifically, embassies should compile a list of acceptable consultants based on an ability to show a link to Canada, preferably citizenship or landed immigrant status.

Diane Ablonczy, the Canadian Alliance immigration critic, said her main concern is the recommendations to address overseas fraud may not be strong enough, but at she supports the main goal of regulating consultants.