Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

August 28, 2009 13:33 ET

Minister Flaherty and Minister Lunn Confirm Use of Accreditation Card for Pan American Games for Toronto 2015 Bid

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 28, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of State (Sport), on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, are pleased to announce that the Government of Canada is committed to granting all Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) nations (admissible athletes, coaches and officials) access to Canada during their visit to Toronto in 2015 by way of their PASO identity cards.

"Our government's commitment to Toronto's bid remains strong and we're thrilled to assist in making the athlete experience as seamless as possible," said Minister Flaherty. "Having the PASO identity cards function as travel visas facilitates access to Canada and promotes a great Games experience for all Pan Am participants."

"Our Government looks forward to welcoming the finest athletes in the Americas to Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2015, and we are working with all of our partners to ensure that these will be the greatest Pan American and Parapan American Games ever," said Minister of State Lunn. "This decision reinforces our commitment to assist in making this bid a complete success, and I am eager to do my part to help bring these Games back to Canada."

The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games bid has a federal government guarantee that, once issued, the Pan American identity card will have the same force as a visa when accompanied by a valid passport. This guarantee includes the exemption of associated visa fees for all Pan Am Games participants. Games participants must apply for the card and applicants must meet Canada's normal immigration requirements, including security screening.

A portion of the federal government's commitment of $500 million toward the Pan/Parapan American Games will cover the cost of the accreditation process. The government's accreditation process is consistent with the commitment made to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

The Pan Am Games are a major international multisport event held every four years for athletes of the 42 PASO member nations. The Games consist of all summer Olympic sports plus other events selected by the Pan American Sports Organization, and a number of the participating sports qualify for the Olympics. The last edition of the Games was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2007, and the next will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2011.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Finance
    Chisholm Pothier
    Press Secretary
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Alykhan Velshi