Canada’s immigration minister defends outsourcing visa office to company run by Beijing police
Marco Mendicino insisted the government is closely monitoring the company with regular audits and security screening of all employees who work there
Author of the article:Ryan Tumilty
Publishing date:Mar 10, 2021 • 3 days ago
OTTAWA – Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said he is confident a contract with a company owned by the Beijing police adequately protects personal information of people applying to Canada for visas.
Canada has since 2008 contracted the Beijing Shuangxiong Foreign Service Company, to run visa processing services for people seeking to visit Canada. The company is run by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
Mendicino insisted the government is closely monitoring the company with regular audits and security screening of all employees who work there.
“We are eyes wide open on this issue and we will continue to manage these risks going forward,” he said.
At the House of Commons immigration committee on Wednesday, Conservative MP Jasraj Singh Hallan asked Mendicino if the government was even considering the massive risk of espionage.
He said simply screening staff isn’t sufficient in a country like China.
“The Chinese Communist Party develops a fake identity with an attempt to infiltrate our overseas visa office, via espionage and collect visa applications and then runs them through the hiring process for the subcontractor. How would we even know about it?” Hallan asked. “Even one Chinese spy could destroy the entire functioning of the office and cause a significant security threat.”
NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said she doesn’t understand why the government can’t see the problem.
“The truth is the entire structure stinks and this is a huge conflict of interest for the safety of applicants,” she said.
Canada’s visa office in Beijing staffed mostly by Chinese police-owned company
PUBLISHED MARCH 10, 2021