Canadian Minister Sgro Quits Immigration Post; Volpe Gets Job

posted on January 14, 2005 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

Original author: Alexandre Deslongchamps Source: Bloomberg.com URL: [link] Date: January 14,2005 Immigration Minister resigns

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Canada's Immigration Minister Judy Sgro resigned the post, saying she wants to clear her name after an illegal immigrant alleged she had offered him asylum in exchange for help in her election campaign. Sgro, who will be replaced by Joe Volpe, was already under investigation for speeding up a Canadian citizenship application to a Romanian stripper who helped her campaign.``She wants a free hand to defend herself form these accusations,'' Prime Minister Paul Martin said today at an Ottawa press conference televised by Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ``I continue to support Judy Sgro. I think she was a strong minister.''

The resignation is a blow to Martin, who last year expelled a Liberal Party legislator from the party after she trampled a doll depicting U.S. President George W. Bush on television. The Liberals holds a minority of seats in the House of Commons and must get support from other parties to pass laws.

The Toronto Star reported today that pizza shop owner Harjit Singh claimed in an affidavit filed in Toronto federal court that Sgro had asked him to supply food and workers. According to Singh, Sgro reneged the deal after she came under investigation in the stripper case, the paper said. Singh is in custody and faces deportation.

Both Sgro and Volpe have Toronto constituencies.

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