August 29th, 2012 - 6:40pm

Closure of Citizenship and Immigration office in Thunder Bay causing confusion and frustration

THUNDER BAY – John Rafferty, MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, is calling on the Government to review and ultimately reverse their decision to close the Citizenship and Immigration Office in his community. The office, which closed in June, served not only Thunder Bay but many communities throughout Northern Ontario. 

“I’ve seen a major increase in the number of people contacting my office for help with Immigration issues since the centre has closed,” said Thunder Bay MP John Rafferty. “The very successful Northwestern Ontario immigration portal was set up and now the Conservatives have removed the infrastructure to help the people we encouraged to move here.  It makes absolutely no sense.”

People in Thunder Bay now have to phone a call centre in Mississauga to get any questions answered or face a 10 hour drive if they want to see someone in person. Rafferty says he has heard from several people that it is almost impossible to speak to a real person on the phone and when they do reach someone advice provided is often incomplete or simply wrong.

“One of the biggest problems in dealing with a call centre in Mississauga is the lack of continuity,” said Rafferty. “I have constituents who have received 3 different answers to the same question. Every time they call they are getting a different person and that causes serious confusion and frustration. When you could see someone in person there was a comfort level and a level of service that they are just not getting any more. The Conservatives said services would not be affected but that is clearly not the case.”

For further information:

Office of John Rafferty – 807-623-6000


Sally Housser, press secretary: 613-222-5997