By Jim Kouri
he Canada’s immigration enforcement officials do not inspect their visa system to protect their country from foreign criminals and people with chronic or deadly diseases, according to a report released Wednesday and obtained by the U.S. National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Just after releasing the report, the government’s top auditor George Warsema stated during a news conference that the Canada’s visa system is antiquated and needs to be updated to deal with current and future international conditions.
The auditor’s report also states that two agencies — Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency — “need to do a much better job of managing the health, safety and security risks associated with issuing a visa.”
Warsema said that enforcement officers do not get the necessary information to ensure only people without suspicious backgrounds receive visas.
In addition, security manuals have not been revised for at least a dozen years. Younger visitors entering Canada are screened for syphilis and tuberculosis, but not for HIV and other modern diseases such as deadly strains of flu.
Warsema’s audit also revealed substandard training of Canadian border agents, leaving them unable to properly advise immigration officials. For example, the report claims “supervisors rarely checked the work of border agents,” and mandatory inspection of visa applications were never completed.
Later in the House of Commons, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that his department will fix the problems identified by the auditor.
“We accept all of the Auditor General’s recommendations,” Kenney said. “We think they are very constructive and, in fact, my department is already working with our security partners, [such as] the Public Health Agency to put those measures in place.”