Canada imposes visas on Czechs, Mexicans

OTTAWA — Travellers from Mexico and the Czech Republic will require visas to get into Canada, effective this week — a move that earned swift rebukes from both countries.

OTTAWA — Travellers from Mexico and the Czech Republic will require visas to get into Canada, effective this week — a move that earned swift rebukes from both countries.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced the measures Monday.

Canada lifted a visa requirement on the Czech Republic in October 2007. Since then nearly 3,000 Czech nationals have made refugee claims, compared with less than five in 2006, many of them Roma claiming discrimination.

“In addition to creating significant delays and spiralling new costs in our refugee program, the sheer volume of these claims is undermining our ability to help people fleeing real persecution,” Kenney said in a release.

“All too often, people who really need Canada’s protection find themselves in a long line, waiting for months and sometimes years to have their claims heard. This is unacceptable.”

Refugee claims from Mexico have almost tripled since 2005, making it the No. 1 source country for claims for refugee status in Canada.

Over the first two days of the restriction, people travelling to Canada from either country can apply for entry on arrival at a border crossing. But beginning Thursday, a visa will be required.

Kenney said more than half the claims made by people from the Czech Republic are abandoned or withdrawn before a final decision is made on their status, an indication that many may be making false claims.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout said the action was unprecedented against a European Union member and a war ally in Afghanistan.

He indicated to the Associated Press that the Czechs are likely to impose visas on Canadians travelling to the country.

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read