Many of us are familiar and understand the local parlance of the “Pot Hound Effect”, however for those who do not, let me explain.
A pot hound is known to be the very common breed of mongrel dog that dominates most of the village yards and eats practically everything that is thrown out. However the unique characteristics of this breed is found in its response once a pot is scraped or any object that sounds like a pot. It comes running, tongue hanging and tail wagging.
In order to maintain a sense of order, you will say “mash dog”, then you will stop scraping the pot to get them to retreat. Once the pot is scraped again, it repeats the same behaviour.
By now you should be getting a clear picture. Such was the undignified treatment that our fellow Grenadians were subject to at the True Blue Bay Resort during the recent Canadian Visa Processing visit.
The lack of organisation and proper structure by the Canadians and host left a lot to be desired which resulted in an atmosphere reminiscent of the pot hound behaviour.
The lack of decorum and dignity which Grenadians were subject to for those three days is only demonstrative of a lack of respect and consideration for us who they view as Third World citizens seeking to flee their country.
In the first instance, the press release was misleading since applicants were of the view that once they completed the application process within a certain timeline, an appointment would be scheduled.
This was clearly not the case as ninety percent of the applicants did not receive an appointment. This was an online process and the Canadians clearly would have known that there was a mass influx of applicants who were trying to take full advantage of the opportunity in order to cut out the exorbitant cost of travel to the other Islands to have the Biometric done.
Being fully cognisant that they did not have the resource and manpower to fulfil the order, they failed to implement a cut off system, but rather still went ahead and accept all applications and the associated charges, only for applicants to be told that they were overwhelmed and therefore the next option is to travel outside of the island.
This was the very reason why persons would have rushed to seize the opportunity to see them here. Persons were not given a choice at this stage of the application process.
Moreover, the first come first serve basis they claimed to have used was only a sham as persons who were there on the first hour of the first day did not even get the opportunity to see a representative to get the Biometric done.
Luckily, some of those who did not follow instructions were able to slip through the cracks. Added to this, the Canadian officials have indicated that the fees are non-refundable and applicants have only 30 days to get the biometric process completed or else forfeit their monies.
This indeed is rather unfortunate and totally unacceptable and should not have been allowed to take root. Grenadians deserve better. Hard earned money will be lost if persons cannot afford the cost of travel.
I do believe that our Foreign Affairs department must look into this and ensure that in the future that the Canadians put a proper system in place prior to visiting our island to offer their service. They could take a page from the United States of America in the way that they operate with a high degree of professionalism and dignity.
Canada, we are not Pot Hounds. We are citizens of a country just as you are and do deserve respect just as you.
PBC Old Boy