Mexican tourists wanted, but minister can't say when visa will be lifted
Conservative MP Maxime Bernier rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, February 6, 2014 3:40PM EST
OTTAWA -- The Harper government's point man on tourism says Ottawa is putting a priority on getting rid of the controversial visa on Mexican travellers to Canada.
Maxime Bernier, minister of state for tourism, says Canada wants to do everything it can to attract more Mexican tourists.
But that's become a problem since the government slapped a visa requirement on Mexicans in 2009, an issue that threatens to overshadow Prime Minister Stephen Harper's coming visit to Mexico.
Bernier says he can't say whether the issue will be resolved by the time Harper meets with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in about 10 days.
Mexico's ambassador to Canada has said his country is angry at Canada for the visa requirement and wants the issue resolved soon.
Harper has said he would like to see the visa requirement lifted but the government has to fix its immigration system to guard against bogus asylum seekers that were abusing it.