Among the findings of the eight-week probe:
1. The P.E.I. government interpreted Ottawa’s immigration rules in such a way that immigrants could be considered actively involved in businesses they knew little or nothing about.
2. The program brought thousands of immigrants to Canada, mostly from China and the Middle East. But with no tangible connection to P.E.I., many immigrants either never came or moved on quickly rather than settle on the Island as Ottawa intended.
3. Organizations that would otherwise have been ineligible were able to access immigrant money by creating new corporations structured to meet the program’s rules.
4. If the program had operated as advertised, it would have pumped more than $660 million into strategic sectors of the P.E.I. economy, twice the annual value of the Island’s agricultural sector. The real amounts were far less, and more than half of the money was made by middlemen.
5. Ottawa spent several years trying to get P.E.I. to change its program to conform with federal regulations, but P.E.I. pressed ahead, leading to a fierce war of words, and Ottawa’s decision to force the shutdown of the program down in 2008
via The Chronicle Herald.