OECS Heads express concerns over Canadian visa restrictions

Heads of government of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), who met in Dominica on the weekend, have expressed concern over visa restrictions imposed by Canada on two member states of the union.

On September 12, 2012, the Canadian government implemented visa requirements for St. Lucia and St. Vincent mainly due to what it said were “unreliable travel documents” being used by nationals of the two countries.

The Canadian government further stated “In particular, criminals from these countries can legally change their names and acquire new passports. In some instances, people who were removed from Canada as security risks later returned using different passports…. There has also been an unacceptably high number of asylum claims from St. Lucia and St. Vincent, with about one and a half percent and three percent of the population of these countries making asylum claims in Canada over the past five years.”

But at the OECS meeting,  current chairman of the union, St. Vincent’s Ralph Gonsavles, said the OECS sees the matter as ‘troubling and unreasonable.’

“We must reaffirm our profound concern about the manner the Canadian authorities implemented the visa restriction and the visa restriction itself,” he said at a press conference. “We consider it unreasonable….we think that it ought not to have been done and certainly not in the manner in which it has been done.”

However, the heads urged their citizens who intend to visit Canada, to do so in accordance with the law and immigration procedures of that country.

The OECS heads of government said they applaud the European Commission for its decision to include Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Schengen visa waiver arrangements, already granted to Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis, for visits to the Schengen Member States for periods of up to 90 days.

The Schengen Area Agreement comprises the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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40 Comments

  1. lynn
    November 28, 2012

    wow1 that’s cool, the only other language i can speak apart from english,so i will only visit belgium on the french side.

  2. Justice and Truth
    November 28, 2012

    The OECS Heads do not reside in Canada. They are not aware what is occurring in Canada and why the Canadian government had to institute visa restrictions.
    First of all some of them as St. Lucians and Vincentians applied for refugee status in Canada. The Canadian government has deemed that those countries are not refugee countries. This is correct. There are no wars or relevant strifes in those countries as also ethnic cleansng.
    Some of them have stated that they are abused in their land of birth and if they return they will be murdered by their spouses. As if the identical situation could not happen to them in Canada.
    Since they are not employed and may not be able to pay lawyers’ costs, they receive free lawyer representation at the cost to Canadian taxpayers. The government has expended a lot of money for their defense. This includes criminals/murderers.
    I read that a Jamaican man applied for landed status. He cited that he is a gay (I call them homosexuals which is just what they are) and he is persecuted in Jamaica, that if he returned he will be killed. So much for him. The lawyer who represented him was successful in obtaining a landed stay for him. There are many more cases that I read of in the Caribbean (ethnic) newspapers, how some of them were successful in obtaining a landed stay, even after they committed crimes and were imprisoned, thanks to their lawyers.
    Today, it will not be so easy for them if they commit crimes and are not Canadians. Pertaining to the type of crimes, they will be deported.
    Do not blame the Canadian government. Personally, I feel the amount of money that the government has spent for lawyer representation and for financially assisting those who are not landed immigrants, those who commit crimes, the money could go to the poor. Canada has a lot of poor people who are in need of help. The greater the population, the greater amount of poor people.
    There is the concern of terrorists. I will not comment further on this. We know this has cost the government and business enterprises as also airlines a lot of money to implement safety procedures which inconvenience passengers. We are not pleased about that but we have to put up with it. Therefore, OECS Heads, this and more, you should do your research prior to stating that the Canadian government is unfair. The Canadian government’s concern is first to its citizens and law-abiding ones and their safety. In previous years, Canada has been extremely generous. However, some bad eggs, liars, cheaters, criminals/murderers have spoiled it for the good ones. Some people have taken advantage of Canada’s generosity by also their lack of gratitude.

  3. Greg
    November 27, 2012

    Go on you tube peeps and check out the Canadian woman speaking about Ralph Gonzales. Birds of a feather flock together

  4. ROSEAU VALLEY
    November 27, 2012

    With all due respect, the entire world of DNO knows where the real/original and genuine Roseau Valley stands with respect to the dishonorable, law-breaking, self-incriminating, arrogant, disrespectful PM Skerrit.

    Your imitation of Roseau Valley and your desperate, cowardly efforts to neutralize, vivify and destroy the reputation of a blogging name demonstrates the extent to which this mafia-like, corrupt Skerrit carbal will go to destroy anyone, thing, concept or idea that would dare interfere with the plan of the boys to plunder the country and its people (particularly the vulnerable, jobless young ladies) through indiscriminate acts of corruption and crime.

    It is a pity that the Skerrit carbal cannot fire bomb me (Roseau Valley) over the internet.

    I truly regret that some people have resorted to such low tactics and instead of discussing the issues, people are engaged in such petty matters. But I understand the need for damage control as general elections are drawing nigh on the heels of the decision of the Court of Appeal.

    I respectfully remain
    Roseau Valley

  5. read your comment
    November 27, 2012

    I must I read and agree wth about. 90% of your comment, I would like to ask a question. In your comment you talked about people of colour,. Which group of people are people of colour??. If you are refering to BLACK, people don’t be scared to say BLACK PEOPLE. Because when you say people of colour it could be people of any skin clour. BLACK,WHITE,YELLOW,PURPLE ARE ALL COLOURS, BE SPECIFIC. People who are not black claim to be white,but from kindergaten I learn my colours and I ,ve never seen a person or people with the colour I was thought to be WHITE. One more question, why are hispanics and chines are not considered white though they have the same pigmentation?.

  6. Malatete
    November 27, 2012

    Mr. Gonsalves should put his hand in his own bossom before accusing Canada. He knows that they have taken this decicisiosn neither arbitrarily nor lightly. OECS member states in particular must clean up thetr own act first. Even in Dominica it is not that difficult to change one’s name.

  7. November 27, 2012

    The OECS heads of government said they applaud the European Commission for its decision to include Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Schengen visa waiver arrangements, already granted to Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis, for visits to the Schengen Member States for periods of up to 90 days…..News Article

    For visits to the Schengen Members States “for periods of up to 90 days”? Well what is the big deal here?

    I know for a fact that people from the Islands were allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months–that is, as long as they came clean and left by the deadline–my sister, my brother, and my mother, were allowed those privileges, between me, and my sister who are citizens of Canada.

    Some were given work permits with further extensions; or if the relative, living here were willing and able to sponsor them from here, then extensions would be allowed until the decisions were final.

    It is unfortunate, that everyone is made victims because of the lies, cheats, and misconducts of more than a few–I see that the Canadian Government ate not being unfair at all, for in the past they treated us very well, otherwise so many of us would not have been Canadian citizens today.

    My sister was sent back home, because she had overstayed–nothing more than that–and yet her boyfriend, who is not even from Dominica, was allowed to go there, to bring her back to Canada.

    They accepted her again; and now she is a Canadian citizen, married to the man from Jamaica–her boyfriend who went to Dominica to bring her back to Canada. He was the father of her child who was born here, at the time–that was in the mid 1990’s.

    That is the reason why I do not see the big deal about being allowed to stay on vacation at those European countries for 90 days–even if people do not require a visiting permit to go there.

    It is not as if we are not allowed to visit Canada; it is that we need a visiting permit–because of the fear of terrorists, strange persons who are allowed passports from the Islands in exchange for large sums of money–that is the base of the problem first and foremost.

    And I assume that a person who is honest in all his and her ways, will be allowed to stay for the same 90 days or even more than that–I am not sure of the changes today.

    Still for all, those who have been dishonest in the past–whoever they are, or wherever they are from, are the ones who brought on all of those difficulties for us–one way or the other. That problem creation could also include our leaders—the ones who are now making all the noises, only God knows!

    • Tut-Tut
      November 28, 2012

      Liz you think your sister want people knowing the intimate details of her life on a public forum where people actually know who you are? Sometimes lady less is more. How did you become a Canadian Citizen? did they come and pick you up in Dominica and bestow the honour on you? Some of you once you get what you want you damn others. I’m all against people violating laws in people’s countries but you need to know what to say when.

      • November 28, 2012

        @Tut-Tut

        There you go again! This is your third one for the week—unless there is more which I have not noticed. It seem as you have nothing else to do, but to go through all the news articles looking for my comments and to write futility against me—from whom did you receive this shameful kind of job? But don’t tell me, I already know his name and his ways in you, and others like you.

        Are you by any chance the one and only “Frenz” and “TEd Lewis” of a few weeks ago? I noticed the silence, since DNO gave that individual a warning. And if you continue the way you are going here, you will be stopped as well–for God is on my side, through the authority of DNO—you better get that truth in that empty skull of yours.

        I am not a person who talks empty talks, God has given every walk, for which I must talk, to put His Love on display to the world–but how can you “stupid carnal minded” individual understand that? You can’t! Neither do you any authority against my talk—this is my Life, not yours; which is empty of course.

        And so, I have situations to support what I am talking or writing, in contribution to whatever the purpose, what have you got? I have noticed nothing at all in you, nothing whatsoever!

        And so you better start to say something in contribution to the message in question. Otherwise, in my opinion, you are nothing but a numbskull, a senseless individual that all people should ignore—now go ahead and prove me wrong!

        And one more thing! Everything that I have, I receive from God, He hands down His blessings to me with class—so was my permission to set foot on the grounds of Canada, including their honor to me, of a Canadian Citizenship. To God be the glory!

  8. November 27, 2012

    You guys make me laugh, please guys more of your local language,loving it.

  9. Anonymous
    November 27, 2012

    Please…………eeee. Mr Gonsavles is out of place to suggest that the Canadians are unreasonable in thier decision. They don’t owe us any entry. If Gonsavles want to be the dirty caribbean politician at the expense of the security of Canada, then he must think it all over. These criminals must be stopped. And we all must pay the price. These politicians in the caribbean call evil good and good evil. Let us become strigent about who hold our passport. What Ralph Gonvavles has said amounts to nothing and can only be termed as dirty retrick. Canada is certainly not St Vincent where he uses his politrick to fool people.

    • Jayson
      November 27, 2012

      Also what your government need to tell you people is hat the government was asked to discontinue selling your passport when it was found in terrorist camps in Iraq and Afghanistan, your labor party PM, told the Canadian officials that your island is a sovereign state and they can do what they want, and your people continue selling your passport even to this day

      Your government selling it’s people’s constitutional rights/passport for their own gain, and the money is not being utilize to develop the island, the leaders of t6he small island are a bunch of corrupt arseholes, concern about their pockets, their friends pockets etc

      Honesty is the best policy that’s whats your PM and some of the leaders of the islands lack, until then there’s more to come

    • Muslim_Always
      November 27, 2012

      You have the “crabs in the barrel syndrome.”

      Some of you bloggers here are a disgrace. I agree with him that Canada is unreasonable. We have permit to stay in European countries up to 90 days yet Canada has imposed visa restrictions. Rubbish!

      • Malgraysa
        November 28, 2012

        Muslim, aren’t freedom of expression and democracy a wonderful thing? You are free to say whatever you like, even if others don’t agree with it. Now, how would that be under shariah law??

    • dafriend
      November 28, 2012

      I could not agree more. Finally somebody that talks sense!

    • Orchid
      November 28, 2012

      I could not agree with you more. This is the result of selling our birthright to criminals who can pay for it

  10. Die Hard
    November 27, 2012

    If it was Dominica Canada had put visa restrictions on, all them blue and green colors would want to crucify PM Skerit. All countries have their problems and it is not only unique to Dominica. Is people causing this nonsense and not the PM

    • papamet oh
      November 27, 2012

      dominicans require visa to travel to canada long time ago

    • Tut-Tut
      November 28, 2012

      Dominica already has visa restrictions imposed have a seat!

      • Malgraysa
        November 28, 2012

        You are right, people travelling on a Dominican passport must now have a visa to enter Canada.I don’t know if the P.M. is perosnally responsible but this requirement was introduced on his watch and after we were warned.

    • Anonymous
      November 28, 2012

      Wake up and realize that we have a bunch of criminals running our countries. The rainbow of politicians are sadly
      Lacking.STOP the hypocrisy pretending that your side is not doing any wrong. Hold your leaders up to a higher standard and we will thaen make progress

  11. Greg
    November 27, 2012

    The OECS governments must clean up their act first. Put a stop on all this corruption.

  12. Annonymoustoyou
    November 27, 2012

    when Canada imposed visa restrictions on D’ca, NOBODY jumped up to defend us. Take all you thing eh.

    • Anonymous
      November 27, 2012

      I agree with you. We’ve had visa restrictions for Canada since around 2000; and no one made any big deal out of it. We too like to take people joy and make our sorrow eh.

    • papamet oh
      November 27, 2012

      AGREED.ralph gonsalves fooled us once but not twice…take ah you ting bwai

  13. Canadian
    November 27, 2012

    “We consider it unreasonable…” what is unreasonable is the number of persons from these small islands claiming refugee status’ and messing up the true refugees chances. What is unreasonable is the crime being committed by people of colour who are mainly immigrants, and mainly from the islands – or it could be that islanders get blamed or are automatically labelled as the criminals. (this is true for Jamaicans)

    but what i find unreasonable are the persons who enter illegally and instead of trying to help and advance themselves, they get sucked into the system and resort to taking steps which resulted in the restrictions.

    If you are illegal in any mans country – Abid to the laws as much as you can. Being an illegal/ alien is not a crime. There are many reasons why people do it, but when you do it – use your good sense: save you money, work hard, stay away from other criminal behavior – you already have the no status 1 strike.

    • Muslim_Always
      November 27, 2012

      “People of color” you blasted racist pig!

      How can the people of Dominica read these racist rants yet do not respond?

      If you had said that in my presence I would…

      • BRAIN DAMAGE
        November 28, 2012

        Is that the only thing you read from Canadian? He made good points.
        Whether coloured or black is the same pig.

      • November 28, 2012

        @Muslim_Always

        I live in Canada and I know it. The message above is not from a true Canadian. Canadians are too busy for their own news reports, which are much more serious–those people are either at the jobs, in college, or in universities, promoting themselves. Where would they find time to study the concern of us, Islanders and our trouble about visiting their country.

        I guarantee this message is from one of us who thinks Canada belong to them–perhaps they are a little off, in whatever the color they see in us. If you are Dominican you may be cursing back at the same us, or someone else from the other islands–that person could be from another country with that kind of mentality as well; but a first class Canadian would not be on DNO, waiting to throw racial slurs at us.

      • Justice and Truth
        November 28, 2012

        @ Muslim_Always

        It appears to me you have either been sleeping or somewhere else. Have not seen your name here promoting your type of religion and views for a long time. It seems you have surfaced again.
        Now, you Muslim, what do you know about the Canadian Laws and what has been occurring pertaining to immigrants and the Canadian Immigration System? Every country has a system and every one who resides in a country is obligated to abide by its Law or else, “Hit the road Jack. Don’t come back no more…” and pay the consequences of their action. This is the way it is and should have been for a long time.
        Based on the attitude of ‘some of those’ who visit this country, some under false pretext, others who do not live a law-abiding life, getting involved in criminal activities, the Canadian government was obligated to take steps. I applaud them.
        I have resided in Canada for a number of years and I have heard and read all about what some visitors/immigrants have turned Canada into. It is not the Canada, not even the safe one I knew when I first arrived and resided here to this day. We did not fear opening our doors to a knock on the door; we were not reluctant to open our doors. No more, for a very long time! We cannot trust strangers anymore as we did in those days.
        Most of the crimes and murders, as also illegal drugs, are committed in Toronto of all, by so-called blacks, many from Jamaica and of Jamaican parentage. This is not discrimination. I reside here and I know that.
        This summer 2012, you may have read on DNO about the shooting incidents. Two young people died and approximately 17 were injured. This has been the worst that Canadians have experienced. It shocked the entire country. I also heard about it on the U.S. Channels. A few were finally charged, one of which is a 17 year-old man, too young according to the Law to release his name to the public. He is involved in a gang. Two gangs, young people were responsible for the shooting. Approximately 40 or more so-called blacks were murdered in the past few years. The majority of them were caused by gang wars and illegal drugs, drive by shootings. They were brazen enough to go to the homes and shoot at point range and murder.
        How much more can the government, Canadians take? They see their country/province/city overrun by gangs and guns, people dealing in illegal drugs, some of whom were not born in this country.
        Muslim, prior to calling people racist, do your research about Canadian immigration and illegals who come here and set up their drug and war turfs, thinking that they will always get away with it. They are bold-faced and evil people. They also train the youths who will follow them to do likewise.
        It was time for action and to take action and the Canadian government has done just that. No doubt the Canadian government including the MP’s receive many letters from constituents pertaining to this situation which needed to be rectified. They, too are not blind and deaf. The government has finally ‘listened to the people’ and also based on their records have done something about it.
        We need a safe society. If this is one way of making Canada save and also cut-costs of financially assisting those who are non-Canadians who, obviously, do not contribute to the country’s revenue and its safety, so be it. thus a few of the reasons for Visas and its restrictions.

      • dafriend
        November 28, 2012

        If we run out of sensible answers we can always play the ‘racist card’. How convenient to have a joker like that…
        You have a chip on your shoulder!!!!

      • lena
        November 28, 2012

        what the canadian said is so true. but again muslim always you are showing who you really are by calling God’s creation a pig, shame on you.oh1 AND BY THE WAY I AM A WOMAN OF COLOUR AND PROUD TO BE. THE ONLY RACIST I SEE THERE IS YOU

  14. Piper
    November 27, 2012

    Allu want to go to other people country and overstay and apply for refugee status. On top of that, allu selling your passports to any criminal who can afford one and when they slap visa retrictions on allu, allu vex?

    Stupes!!

    • Orchid
      November 28, 2012

      Well said

    • Joe
      November 28, 2012

      But Piper, St Lucia and St Vincent not selling Passport…. So WHAT’S YOUR POINT REALLY??

      The problem is the inferiority complex that have you not being PATRIOTIC compare that to the Americans, they would kick hells if another country tries to embarrass them because of their domestic policies, which we all know is not the best…

      WE AS A NATION MUST BE MORE PATRIOTIC!!!!! Stop making petty foolish politics divide us from reality!!! We must never rejoice when bad things happen to our beloved country which in fact affects all of us…. irrespective of our political views!!

      • 1979
        November 30, 2012

        if I doe like something for my country, I would not force it on someone else country….the fact is WE SEELLLLLING PASSPORTS! and we are in a COMPROMISING SITUATION….. so go sell your SOB STORY somewhere else. playing the victim when you well know what happening… shake your bag where you buy your coal boss.

  15. shame
    November 27, 2012

    You guys have a disclaimer on your website, however you take material from Wikipedia and don’t site it..Shame DNO

  16. 1979
    November 27, 2012

    doe NEVER stop sell passport, EBeh express CONCERN~

    pssssssshhhhhtttt ohhh brother GImme a BREAK!

  17. ROSEAU VALLEY
    November 27, 2012

    Well done PM SKERRIT

    WE DO LOVE YOU

    I CONVINCED WELL AM NOW CONVINCED THAT YOU MEAN WELL

    yours faithfully

    original ROSEAU VALLEY

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