Lean el articulo...
Flu Outbreak Chills Embassy Services
By Christina Spencer
The Edmonton Sun, April 29, 2009http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/SwineFlu/2009/0
Canada's embassy in Mexico has scaled back services and halted face-to-face interviews with Mexicans applying for visas or immigration.
A notice on the embassy's homepage yesterday said: 'Due to the Mexico Swine Flu Outbreak, the Embassy of Canada and all its points of service in Mexico have reduced their services to the public.'
NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar said he's worried Canadians travelling in Mexico might now conclude they won't get help from Foreign Affairs -- at the very time they might need it most.
'It would be disconcerting if I was in Mexico right now to go on a website and be told 'Sorry, we have fewer resources,' ' Dewar said.
The homepage directs people to a government site for more information and encourages them to register for regular updates.
As well, a Spanish-only notice on the site said there would be no face-to-face service for visas or immigration applications, but a drop box is available at visa offices to leave documents.
Aside from its embassy in Mexico City, Canada has consulates in Monterrey and Guadalajara, and provides limited services in seven other towns and cities. More than 1 million Canadians visit Mexico annually.
Foreign Affairs did not respond to written questions from Sun Media about the service changes.
Embassy staff yesterday confirmed appointments for visa and immigration interviews had been postponed, although normally there are 'lines of people' coming in.
Canada traditionally welcomes up to 20,000 Mexican migrant workers annually. Citizenship and Immigration spokesman Alykhan Velshi did not say how that program might be affected by service changes at the embassy, but wrote in an e-mail, 'Like many other organizations operating in Mexico City, we've taken steps to protect the safety and health of our employees and applicants by cancelling some meetings and appointments.'
Dewar said Canada needs to 'strike a balance' between ensuring the embassy is safe for employees, while still providing service. 'I think there's an argument here to deploy more resources to help out,' he said.
Some other embassies, including those of the U.S. and Great Britain, have taken similar measures.