• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 7:20am
NewsWorld
CANADA

1,300 rich Chinese join lawsuit over axing of Canada’s millionaire migrant scheme

Lawyer representing wealthy mainland Chinese applicants to present case at Federal Court calling for compensation to be paid over cancelled millionaire migrant scheme

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 12:32pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 June, 2014, 11:04pm

More than 1,300 rich mainland Chinese have joined a lawsuit against Canada's immigration authorities in a last-ditch attempt to escape Ottawa's decision to shut down its millionaire migrant scheme and terminate tens of thousands of applications.

Tim Leahy, the Toronto lawyer behind the Federal Court case that goes before Justice Mary Gleason today, is seeking C$5million (HK$35.7 million) in compensation for each applicant and their dependents unless the government agrees to assess their cases.

Leahy said 1,335 of his 1,446 clients had lodged their applications for the federal Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP]) in Hong Kong. Virtually all of the Hong Kong applicants are mainland Chinese.

The litigation, if successful, represents a potential payout of C$18 billion, based on an average of 2.5 individuals per application. Leahy regards the threat of such a payout as the "poison pill" that would force the processing of the applications.

Although the scheme's cancellation was announced in the Canadian federal budget on February 11, the termination of the applications in the queue will not go into effect until the budget is passed, expected on June 26.

"Faced with that [C$18 billion] cost, I would expect CIC [Citizenship and Immigration Canada] to agree to finalise the cases on the merits even though it will have terminated your file when the budget nill passes," Leahy said in an e-mail to clients last month that was also shared with the South China Morning Post.

Faced with that cost, I would expect CIC to agree to finalise the cases on the merits even though it will have terminated your file when the budget nill passes
Toronto lawyer Tim Leahy

Leahy said on Monday that by inserting the IIP's cancellation and the backlog's termination in a budget bill, the government was seeking to avoid "full parliamentary scrutiny".

Immigration data shows that of the 66,423 individuals in the federal immigrant investor backlog as of last July, 50,131 had lodged their applications via Hong Kong.

Leahy claimed that immigration authorities unfairly slowed the processing of applications under the federal IIP well ahead of its cancellation. He drew a contrast with the rate at which applications were processed under a parallel scheme run by the province of Quebec. That scheme continues to operate.

"If CIC had allocated to the rest of Canada an FIIP quota equal on a per capita basis to the quota it allocates to Quebec, there would be no FIIP inventory. All the files would have been finalised by now," Leahy claimed.

Leahy's lawsuit includes would-be migrants who lodged applications in Ankara, London, New Delhi, Paris, Port-of-Spain, Pretoria and Singapore, in addition to those from Hong Kong.

Federal authorities have not commented publicly on the case.

The announcement that the federal IIP would be shut down came less than a week after the South China Morning Post published a series of reports that revealed how tens of thousands of applications to the scheme by rich mainlanders had swamped Canada's Hong Kong consulate, creating the vast backlog.

The IIP was a key means of migration for rich Hongkongers and mainland Chinese over the past 28 years.

Under the scheme, applicants worth a minimum of C$1.6 million received visas for themselves and their immediate family in return for loaning the government C$800,000 interest-free for five years, after which the loan was returned in full.

Leahy said the bulk of his fees would be payable only should the case be won, with each client facing total fees of C$5,000 in that event. 

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This article is now closed to comments

peye3515
What a joke. These people really are thinking that because the have a bit of money they can tell us Canadians what we should do or not do. Keep on dreaming . Who would want to have people like that as neighbors. Get a life.
xgambit
The Canadian Government can easily process these applicants who filed for litigation by rejecting all their applications. All these rich Chinese are crooks anyway. Check into their background all of them have bribed the Chinese government. No Chinese businessmen can do business in China without bribing the Chinese government. This is a well known fact among Chinese in China. Why the Canadian Government would consider china business applicants are rather ridiculous. The immigration lawyer who represents the rich Chinese applicants to sue the Canadian Government are disgusting and blinded by money .
recanter
PRC Chinese will do anything to get out of China, they are relentless... Once outside, they will proceed to assimilate your environment and sponsor over more PRC Chinese to form their own collective. Resistance is futile!
sipsip1238
If you don't get your way, use force...
Camel
I don't understand the sense of the lawsuit. If Canada don't welcome them anymore, so be it. If I don't invite somebody to my home, I expect him to stay away.
There is no base in argumentation that a host have to let somebody into his house. All remains to the host whether or not, so I don't believe that this lawsuit has any chance of winning.
tedlem
I suspect litigation against immigration Canada might not work because this is a country where being rich doesn't mean you get what you want.
Little do these super rich know is that lawsuits in Canada take 5-10 years to process. These rich folks will be quite old by that time and C-24 or a form of it will have come into play to kick them out if they don't stay in Canada long enough.
One thing is for certain, there is a single winner in this process....the lawyer.
537106d2-c814-4548-9b03-34f10a320969
Any country would be better off for taking a migrant based on skills as opposed to just money. Even successful robbers have money but they usually don't make for good citizens. How about the Chinese apply based on skills instead? Nothing wrong with that!
syn
"Thousands of Rich Shocked When They are Told They Are Unable to Buy Something" -- it sounds like an Onion article
HK_eh!
this guy Leahy, you got to hand it to him, ripping off the mainland chinese with this lawsuit on their behalf. sneaky cookie.
Canadian legal system is not like USA, doubt it'll go anywhere only Leahy will be richer.
Not smart but desperate on behalf of the chinese applicants.
FACT: you are applying for a migrant program. you are NOT OWED a right to enter. Tough bananas if it's shut down. Get a life and move on.
Oh? No other countries are as nice as Canada? So sorry lah!
wumao
Watch out Canada. The 9-dash line may soon be redrawn to include Vancouver.

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