Federal government launches Can+ program

CIC Minister Chris Alexander makes announcement at Trudeau airport

By Kevin Woodhouse

Monday morning’s announcement of the Can+ program at Pierre Elliot Trudeau airport in Dorval by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander was fully implemented after a successful six month pilot project making visas easier to obtain for business and pleasure travelers from Mexico.

“Mexico is an important source market,” said David Goldstein, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada prior to Alexander’s announcement. The new program “will hopefully attract some of the 14 million Mexican travelers who visit the US yearly.”

Alexander spoke to the assembled about the new program “making it easier for Mexican visitors, whether it be for business, visiting family and friends or discovering the richness Canada has to offer.

Airlines will be able to offer more direct flights from Canada to Mexico, increasing the almost two million Canadians who visited Mexico in 2012.

Last year, 69,000 visas were authorized for Mexican travelers and the new program will ease waiting times from the current 10 days to less than seven. Alexander expects “50 percent more travelers from Mexico to come to Canada as we are determined to make sure legitimate travelers can come to Canada in growing numbers.”

The program is already paying dividends. Between January and April of this year, 34,000 visa permits have been issued, a 20 percent increase from the same time last year.
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