Budget 2024

Tax and spend fiscal plan will inhibit growth

Letter to The Honourable Marc Miller, M.P., P.C., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship regarding travel visa requirements for Mexican citizens.

Dear Minister,  

I am writing with respect to the government’s announcement that it is partially reimposing a visa requirement for Mexican citizens traveling to Canada. While the Business Council of Canada has historically opposed a travel visa requirement for Mexican citizens, we recognize the exigent circumstances which have compelled the government to reverse its policy. The purpose of this letter is to communicate the importance of implementing this policy decision in a way that does not create unintended consequences for Canadians. 

Canada must maintain a strong, constructive relationship with Mexico so our two countries can continue working together in pursuit of shared goals. This includes economic cooperation, deeper trade facilitation, and enhanced prosperity throughout North America. The Canada-Mexico bilateral trade and investment relationship is vital to our national, continental, and hemispheric prosperity within the context of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and also the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). As a consequence of enhanced trade ties, North American infrastructure networks have become increasingly integrated making their continued resilience a matter of economic security. 

For these reasons, it is imperative that the implementation of the partial travel visa requirement does not undermine our economic security or our prosperity by unduly restricting legitimate travel between our two countries such as travel to Canada by Mexican employees of Canadian companies. While some of those employees may have existing Canadian work permits or be otherwise able to avail themselves of the electronic travel authorization (eTA) program, many others could be caught up in any processing backlogs which may exist or occur over time. 

We recognize the government’s decision to partially reinstate the travel visa requirement is intended to target a surge in ineligible travelers coming to Canada seeking asylum not business travelers coming to Canada in connection with their employment. As such, we hope government will agree to work collaboratively with the private sector to identify measures we can put in place to ensure and expedite business travelers – perhaps in the form of a ‘trusted employer’ program. We further hope circumstances evolve so that Canada may review the visa policy in the future. 

Canadian business leaders stand ready to work with government to both protect our economic security as well as to promote increased economic ties with key trading partners such as Mexico. 

Yours very truly, 

Goldy Hyder

c.c.      Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar
Deputy Minister
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Mr. Graeme C. Clark
Ambassador of Canada to Mexico