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CTV article

The RCMP has charged five people, among them an Immigration Canada official, with corruption and fraud after several morning raids in Ottawa Thursday morning.

The RCMP are alleging the group received up to $25,000 in fees from at least a dozen Arab immigrants seeking permanent resident status.

The arrests are the culmination of an investigation that began in January. There will likely be more arrests, the RCMP said.

RCMP Cpl. Nathalie Deschenes told CJOH's Anna-Karina Tabunar that the suspects were allegedly approaching immigrants and promising that their applications would be fast-tracked for fees ranging from $4,000 to $25,000.

No reason to assume anybody higher up the food-chain was involved (so far, at least. :) ) Obviously, though, this is another black eye that can only reinforce the corrupt image that Immigration has been developing.

-kimmy

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Looks like that ministry (with Sgro) is starting to become to Paul Martin what HRDC was to Chrétien (with Stewart.)

I don't really blame Sgro unless it turns out that she should have had knowledge for some reason. This sort of thing has been happening at immigration for a long time. Unfortunately, ever since they started hiring their clients. It is an unfortunate fact that corruption is a fact of life in the countries most of our immigrants come from. And some of them bring that culture with them.

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I didn't mean to imply that anyone was to blame. :)

The current sitution with Sgro, getting hammered day after day after day about a litany of problems in her department reminds me of how Stewart got hammered day after day after day about problems at HRDC.

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Interestingly, HRDC and Immigration are pretty well known among the civil service to be the worst places to be. People there apply to transfer out as soon as possible. To be transfered to Immigration from anywhere is like falling into hell.

Canada's immigration 'system' IS broken. Not in its intent, but in its execution.

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I didn't mean to imply that anyone was to blame
Why not? It is Sgros responsibility.
It is an unfortunate fact that corruption is a fact of life in the countries most of our immigrants come from. And some of them bring that culture with them.

Why do you assume that the Immigration employees that were bribed were immigrants? If any of the corrupt government employees were born here, I guess that means that Canada has an inherent culture of corruption.

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It is an unfortunate fact that corruption is a fact of life in the countries most of our immigrants come from. And some of them bring that culture with them.
Argus, how can you make comments like that with an ongoing investigation into the sponsorship scandal?

Do you seriously believe that WASPs are not corrupt?

We have people who stand to gain by living in Canada but their applications are backlogged. In such a situation, the pressure for bribes is tremendous.

For all intents, we also have such a situation in our health system now.

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Argus, how can you make comments like that with an ongoing investigation into the sponsorship scandal?

(ongoing investigation, or extended obfuscation exercise?

<_< )

I would think that when we are talking about very poor countries, many of the people able to scratch together the wherewithall to come to Canada would be not the typical guy on the street, but rather the more wealthy people. I would think that in many cases, the wealthy in these countries would be those who are if not corrupt, then at least adept at greasing wheels, greasing palms, and so on. It should not be surprising that the people who used their know-how (whether legal or slightly less so...) to get ahead in their own countries would use the same attributes to get ahead in Canada.

I also think that in many poorer countries, government officials are not held to the same standards as here in Canada. I think that in many places around the world, bribes are simply the way things get done.

I do not think "WASPs" are inherently less corrupt than other people around the globe... however, I do think we have more scrutiny and accountability. Our officials probably just don't have as much opportunity to be corrupt.

-kimmy

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I didn't mean to imply that anyone was to blame. :)

The current sitution with Sgro, getting hammered day after day after day about a litany of problems in her department reminds me of how Stewart got hammered day after day after day about problems at HRDC.

And yet, she was never punished, was she?

It is very rare to find a politician with integrety, a politician who will take responsibility.

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It is an unfortunate fact that corruption is a fact of life in the countries most of our immigrants come from. And some of them bring that culture with them.

Why do you assume that the Immigration employees that were bribed were immigrants? If any of the corrupt government employees were born here, I guess that means that Canada has an inherent culture of corruption.

The reason Arab immigrants were involved was because the central figures at Immigration Canada who started this were Arabs. The news reports do claim one Canadian was involved, that she was "enlisted" in the scheme by the Arabs.

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It is an unfortunate fact that corruption is a fact of life in the countries most of our immigrants come from. And some of them bring that culture with them.
Argus, how can you make comments like that with an ongoing investigation into the sponsorship scandal?

Do you seriously believe that WASPs are not corrupt?

I'm talking about open corruption of the sort where you lay cash into hands of a government worker to get your way. That is commonplace in the third world, but rare in Canada. And in most of the cases where it has been uncovered it's been immigrants to Canada working in our embassies, in passports, in immigration and refugee situations who have been taking the bribes.

I'm not suggesting that does not happen with those born here and raised in our culture but it is comparatively rare.

The sponsorship scandal was an example of political corruption, which is a different situation entirely. I freely admit that most of our political class, especially the Liberals on every level, are thorougly corrupt, with no purpose or intent in life but self advancement. I do not think there is such a thing in life as an honest Liberal at any level of politics. Certainly I've never heard of one.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Strippers AND free pizza? Her campaign office sounds like a bachelor party! What about an open bar? :P

-kimmy

It is ironic that this thread started about immigration employees getting money for favours and ends with stories of the minister herself getting services and pizza for favours. It just shows that the immigration system is corrupt from top to bottom.

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More on Judy Sgro's Party Central...

Toronto Star:

-witnesses support Sgro accuser Harjit Singh's claim. Canada's most famous strip-club patron Ihor Wons is claimed to have been at the meeting between Sgro and Harjit Singh.

-Harjit Singh and family were involved in a credit card fraud scam.

Not related to the article, but is "Singh" an honorific in the Sikh faith? I'm just wondering why Sikhs seem to often (always?) have Singh in their name.

This is kind of interesting: PMO told Sgro to not let Ihor Wons resign.

Globe 'n' Mail

Why?

The PMO didn't want Wons to quit? After he asked to resign because he was in trouble in the press? They wanted him to stay on the payroll? Intriguing. Just speculating... but maybe they wanted him on the payroll to keep him from going and blabbing to the media?

-kimmy

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All these upstanding citizens complaining and making accusations... surely something is up!

Harjit Singh + family aren't the only ones saying the alleged meeting took place, if you read the article.

I'm sure that Sgro and her lawyers will be bringing Harjit Singh's credibility into question as this unfolds. He's got motive to make something up, and he's done so in the past, so it goes without saying that we have to take what he says with caution.

Anything to add? Or do you dismiss the allegations outright?

-kimmy

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Not related to the article, but is "Singh" an honorific in the Sikh faith? I'm just wondering why Sikhs seem to often (always?) have Singh in their name.

I just asked my neighbour Bobby (Bupinder) and he informs me that Singh means lion and historically follows all male first names in the Sikh faith. He says that they don't teach their children to call adults Mr. and Mrs. because at their house that would lead to all the Mr's being Mr. Singh.

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Anything to add? Or do you dismiss the allegations outright?

Kimmy,

I believe it is too early to make a call obviously. BUT, and there usually is a but, the two that are saying that they heard whatever they did hear are his friends, so obviously they may have an axe to grind or even some capital invested in this personally with Singh.

Read the article below, its being delayed already, if he pushes and pushes he stays and stays...

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...ol=968793972154

and Shackwacky is correct, Singh does mean Lion and has great meaning to those of the Sikh faith.

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Not all Sikhs have the family name Singh. But bear in mind that the notion of family name is rather Western and even English. Many cultures have no such moniker.

I consider three quotes in this case relevant:

"(Singh) has a lengthy immigration history and his file is voluminous," Justice department lawyer David Tyndale said today in a letter to Federal Court.
The word 'voluminous' can mean different things.
The failed refugee claimant, whose children are Canadian citizens, has been in the country since March 1988.
1988? 'Voluminous' ain't the word. (Stop and think how many of your tax dollars were used in constructing this file.)
Federal officials say he has been convicted of serious offences in India, and he was found liable in a $1 million credit-card scam by an Ontario court in 2003.
What serious offences in India?

----

Theory A: There was a pizza "deal". The deal went bad and we're now seeing the blood on the floor.

Theory B: There was no pizza deal but Singh saw a good angle.

I go with Theory B.

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