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Bryon Wilfert raised our concern in Parliament Hill


Mr. Bryon Wilfort, 4 times elected member of the federal Parliament from Richmond Hill , and current Liberal candidate in upcoming Oct. 14 federal election, raised our community concern and our frustration in parliament Hill of how [... Canadian] government uses exceedingly harsh tactics to prevent Iranians from visiting their relatives in Canada .


September 25, 2008

 For Immediate Release

CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT CRACKING DOWN ON VISITORS' VISAS FROM IRAN

Richmond Hill Liberal candidate Bryon Wilfert has accused the Harper government of using draconian tactics to prevent Iranians from visiting their relatives in Canada and refusing Iranian artists and students from entering the country. Wilfert cited the example of one young woman whose mother has been turned down by the Canadian Embassy in Tehran.

"We are talking about a professional couple whose 4-year old daughter is anxious to see her 63-year old grandmother, ' said Wilfert. 'The grandparents have family and business ties in Iran and the grandmother has no desire to remain in Canada after her visit.'

The Canadian Embassy turned down the application stating that the grandmother did not have enough assets in Iran; enough family ties; and an unsatisfactory travel history.  The facts are however that the grandparents own property in Iran; the grandmother' s parents live in Iran; and, neither grandparent has stayed in any country illegally.  In fact the grandmother has an Italian residence permit as her other daughter lives in that country.

According to the Iranian[-Canadian] Congress in Canada, the Canadian embassy in Tehran turns down about 85% of the travel applications it receives for temporary residence from tourists and students.  The current Conservative government has cracked down on the number of visas issued to Iranians hoping to visit family or study in Canada over the past two years.  The artistic community has also been hard hit. Two-thirds of the artists scheduled to appear at the Tirgan Iranian Festival this summer were refused visas.

'Under previous Liberal governments, Canada has welcomed young professionals from Iran and encouraged them to make this country their home,' said Wilfert. 'We have also benefited from our cultural exchanges.'

Added Wilfert, 'if the current policy of not allowing visits from family members continues, Iranians who have made Canada their home may question their decision to immigrate to this country. And countries such as Britain and Australia that continue to welcome students and artists from Iran will benefit from the ensuing brain gain.'

For more information please contact: 

 Jason Cherniak
 Bryon Wilfert Campaign
 Richmond Hill
 905-770-5033


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