(ZIZ News) — Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas has publicly addressed the recent development concerning Kittitian and Nevisian citizens requiring visas to enter Canada.
Speaking on his “Ask the Prime Minister” radio programme, Dr. Douglas said while Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Patrice Nisbett had addressed the matter, he felt it necessary to comment as the country’s leader.
“But I wish to stress here that Canada and St. Kitts and Nevis share the same goals and same values where immigration and security are concerned,” he said.
“Canada wants to know who is coming into and leaving the country and so do we here in St. Kitts and Nevis. Identity management is important to them. It is important to us as well. Canada has made it clear that it continues to welcome genuine visitors from St. Kitts and Nevis and has a number of programmes including a multiple-entry visa to make it easy for such legitimate visitors to travel to Canada. In fact, they have said that all legitimate travellers would be given a ten-year visa, which you can apply for online,” he said.
The Prime Minister continued that the diplomatic relationship between the St. Kitts-Nevis and Canada remained strong and that both nations would continue to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship.
“For all of these reasons and more, St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to work with Canada and all of our international partners to ensure that best practices are not only discussed but indeed embraced,” he said.
Dr. Douglas added that it appeared that certain factions were using the Canadian visa development to make the electorate anxious ahead of elections. He said there is no need for alarm as Canada has made a general move to strengthen its overall security measures.
“Perhaps because elections are around the corner, I see that every effort is being made by some to whip Kittitians and Nevisians into a frenzy of fear and trepidation over every conceivable issue.”
“The aim seems to be that disaster, destruction, and decimation are our lot. And their position to our travelling to Canada on a visa is a case in point. Minister Nisbett has already told you that the citizens of most Caribbean countries travel to Canada on visas. He explained as well that the citizens of 147 countries worldwide already travel to Canada on visas. And I am sure that your own research has shown you that effective April 2015, citizens of France, Germany, Switzerland, England, Barbados, Bahamas, and other countries who do not travel to Canada on visas will be required to undergo more screening prior to being approved to enter Canada,” he added.