There are three types of people who can be “business immigrants” under Canadian immigration law: investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed persons. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website:
The Self-Employed Persons Program seeks to attract applicants who have the intention and ability to become self-employed in Canada. Self-employed persons are required to have either:
- relevant experience that will make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada or
- experience in farm management and the intention and ability to purchase and manage a farm in Canada.
Would someone who has practiced Chinese medicine and intends to practice Chinese medicine in Canada have the relevant experience under the program?
No. In Ding v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2010 FC 764, Justice Beaudry noted that cultural activities are meant to be those as ordinarily understood to be part of the arts. To support this conclusion, he notes the examples provided for in OP8 11.3, which include music, teachers, painters, illustrators, film makers, freelance journalists, choreographers, and set designers.
Thus, the Court ruled that there is no basis on which to conclude that experience in a Chinese therapeutic massage clinic and training center falls within the meaning of cultural activities.
One of the questions that I am most frequently asked is “where does British Columbia’s money from the Immigrant Investor Program go?” Indeed, at least two people today e-mailed me this question after they read an article in the China Daily about how $1.6-billion left China due to emigration under various investor scheme.
The answer can be found on the the B.C. Immigrant Investment Fund Ltd.’s (the “BC IIF”) website. The BCIIF receives and manages British Columbia’s portion of funds under the Immigrant Investor Program. Their 2011-2014 Service Plan can be found here.
According to the website and the 2011-2014 Service Plan, some of the money from the Immigrant Investor Program has been spent on the following projects:
- Loaning $60-million to aid in the construction of the BCIT aerospace facility near the Vancouver International Airport;
- Loaning $5-million to help facilitate the purchase of the University of Victoria Technology Enterprise Facility, which accommodates the Centre for Addictions Research B.C., the NEPTUNE Canada Research Project, and the Venus Research Project.
- Loaning $13.9-million for the construction of a student residence at the University of the Fraser Valley.
- Loaning $3.3-million for the construction of two residences at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.
- Loaning $5.1-million for two condominium units at Simon Fraser University Foundation.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $39-million for the Gateway Prince George Complex Care Project of the Northern Health Authority.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $29-million for the replacement of the J. Lloyd Crowe Secondary School.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $32-million for the renovation and replacement of Penticton Secondary School.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $24-million for the replacement of the Burnaby Secondary school.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $15-million for the renovation and replacement of Revelstoke Secondary School and the new Primary School.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $13-million for the replacement of University Hill Secondary School.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $12-million for the seismic upgrade of the Cariboo Hill Secondary School.
- Loaning the Province of British Columbia $11-million for the seismic upgrade of the Ecole Jules Quesnel Elementary School.
- Investing $66-million dollars total in the following 13 companies:
- Angstrom Power Inc.
- Boreal Genomics
- Cooledge Lighting Inc.
- Delta-Q Technologies
- Endurance Wind Power
- E-One Moli Energy
- Indicee Inc.
- LaCima Inc.
- Light-Based Technologies
- Mingleverse Laboratories Inc.
- Partnerpedia Solutions Inc.
- NGRAIN (Canada) Corporation
- Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc.
It should be noted that the interest collected on the above loans is extremely low.
The above list should dispel the occasionally held notion that the Immigrant Investor Program has done nothing for British Columbia. However, whether it has contributed more or less than most people assume, or whether the above-list will satisfy people that the benefits of the program outweigh the negatives that some people associate the program with, I do not know.