Each Visa Office is unique. Some are facilitative, others not so much.
Individuals - particularly those that are seeking visitor visas - seeking to come to Canada are supplicants; there is no right of entry to foreign nationals. Visa Officers hold the key and decide whether or not to let someone into Canada. The decision making process is opaque. Applicants send in their application and supporting documents and the result is somewhat akin to shaking a Magic 8 Ball.
Many bona fide visitors are refused because of generalizations and stereotypes, particularly if they come from poor countries.
A recent refusal at our office involved a middle aged couple from India. They were well established in that country, owning property, filing taxes, running a business. They had more than sufficient funds and were seeking to visit the wife's three siblings in Canada, all citizens. Most importantly, they were leaving behind their only son, a 12 year old attending school there.
The visitor visa was refused, the only reasons:
Given economic conditions, employment prospects, considering your travel history, economic establishment and family ties, I am not satisfied that you would respect the terms of your admission as a temporary resident in Canada.
Any applicant for a temporary resident visa has to demonstrate that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay.
It is true that 'economic conditions' are better in Canada than India; but that has to be connected to the applicant's actual situation.
In, Hongjuan Lin v. Canada (MCI)the Federal Court noted:
 … she [the Visa Officer] does not connect this knowledge [knowledge of conditions in China] with the Applicant’s actual situation. Hence the Visa Officer relied on speculative generalizations and stereotyping in reaching her Decision. This was a reviewable error.
It is true that India does not enjoy the same standard of living as Canada; but basing TRV decisions on generalized economic conditions would mean Canada would allow only citizens of G7 countries entry as visitors.
The finding of 'travel history' is not supported by the evidence either; both of my clients have traveled internationally.
There is no mention in the decision or GCMS notes as to the son that the couple are leaving behind.
In my eyes, the Immigration Officer has made an unsupported generalization and stereotype: That Indian nationals are so desperate to come to Canada, they would leave behind property and business and abandon an only child. That individuals with property and a business would rather work for cash, under the table at a liquor or convenience store rather than return to the hell that is India.
The Officer’s reasons had to include some explanation as to how those general economic conditions would prompt these land owners, these business owners, to flee India and leave behind a successful business, a young son, a home and other family.
However, there's little recourse to refusals of this nature. There is no real appeal or reconsideration process (perhaps there should be, one where applicants can pay a processing fee to cover the cost). I will be filing an application for judicial review against the decision, but with Federal Court you always (even with a good argument) run the risk that the Court refuses to grant leave.
In the meantime, those wanting to visit Canada will have to keep relying on hope and prayer that their application will be considered fully, and on the merits.