The CBC News (Canada), December 2, 2008
Edward Islanders frustrated by how difficult it is to find information
on the government web site about who has received money from immigrant
investors have been handed a new tool.
The immigrant partner section of P.E.I.'s Provincial Nominee Program has been the subject of controversy this fall. Potential immigrants were able to come to P.E.I. by putting up money for investment in a local company, but questions have been raised about the quality of the companies eligible for investment, and the involvement of government MLAs in them.
Searching for potential beneficiaries of immigrant partner funds has been difficult because the government website only allows for searches of corporations by company name, and many of them are numbered.
'The government corporation search doesn't allow search by shareholder, and I guess I'm the kind of person when faced with an issue like that, rather than just stopping there, I always sort of try and use whatever skills I have to try and route around the problem,' local web developer and blogger Peter Rukavina told CBC News Monday.
On Friday Rukavina launched his solution. He indexed all the pages on the provincial government website and developed his own search tool for it, which allows for searches by shareholder. The site is attracting many users — 32,000 hits since Friday.
OpenCorporations.org makes it easier to find out which companies may have received money under the Provincial Nominee Program. CBC News searched for common Chinese names and came up with hundreds of businesses with new Chinese shareholders.
Despite the easy, if unofficial, availability of this new information, a government spokesperson said there are no plans to enable similar searches on the government website.