My eBook, How To Immigrate To Canada For Skilled Workers: The Authoritative Guide To Federal And Provincial Opportunities is available now on Amazon and other online retailers. Get your copy of the essential guide to Skilled Worker class applications today!

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Also available is my new eBook, "How To Immigrate To Canada In The Family Class: The Authoritative Guide Including Qu├ębec And Super Visa Opportunities". Get it at Amazon or the other e-retailers noted above.

Live from Toronto


This is the current webcam view of Roy Thomson Hall at 60 Simcoe St. in Toronto as seen from the Southwest and looking Northeast. See the location here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

CanadaVisa.com - A Summary of Quebec Immigration Today

Attorney David Cohen's excellent CanadaVisa site has lots of informative articles and is a great place to stay current on the legal twists and turns of Canadian immigration. Here's his latest on the state of immigration for skilled workers  to Quebec:

"Quebec immigration remains open to a wide range of applicants. In fact, immigrating to Quebec is a popular route to achieve Canadian Permanent Residency. With the goal of reducing processing times for applications, the Government of Quebec has introduced a number of changes to Quebec immigration programs in recent months. Permanent workers, investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers looking to apply for a Quebec Selection Certificate should take note; spots are filling up quickly. Here is an overview of where these various programs stand today:"

Read the rest of the article here

Monday, July 21, 2014

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander - quotable quotes


On Express Entry program:
  • "We think we've done more than all other countries to make sure our programs are cutting edge..."
  • "Our doors are open, our programs have integrity (and) we're focusing immigration as never before on our economic needs as a country. And our reputation in the world for doing immigration well, for choosing incredible people and for helping them create successful lives in Canada ... has never been stronger."
  • "This is harder than it sounds to pull off."
  • "Express Entry will transform Canada’s immigration system into one that is faster and more responsive to economic and labour market needs. It will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada to select the candidates who are most likely to succeed economically in Canada, rather than passively process all applicants in a queue..."
On revisions to program allowing citizens of India to visit Canada: 
  • "Successful applicants will be grouped for bulk processing and put through our visa office on a priority basis...its being launched as a permanent program after a successful pilot program..."
  • "Today's announcement is really about visitors for tourism - family or business...for work permits and study programs and immigration...nothing is changing today but all of that is getting faster as well… (from) January 1, 2015 we will offer six month processing for our economic immigration program...and this is a program that used to take 3­, 4 or more years..."
 


Monday, July 14, 2014

The National Post - Canada’s immigration enforcement system suffers from ‘orchestrated mismanagement,’ whistleblower claims

A former Canada Border Services Agency manager is blowing the whistle on the alleged “orchestrated mismanagement” of Canada’s immigration enforcement system, revealing a precipitous drop in the number of illegal immigrants deported at the same time as agency overspending and escalating detention costs.

“Simply put, more money was spent to produce less,” Reg Williams, the former director of CBSA’s Toronto enforcement office, says in a whistleblowing letter to the Privy Council that was obtained by the National Post.

The 23-page letter claims CBSA’s immigration enforcement is “unraveling” just as CBSA bosses are being considered for substantial bonus payments for their performance.

“As a retired public servant, taxpayer and citizen, I am deeply concerned … that the downward trend in productivity, if not addressed, will threaten community safety and security,” he writes in the letter, dated June 26.

“Taxpayers deserve to know why the immigration enforcement program has produced significantly less while spending significantly more.”

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The Globe and Mail - PEI, Nova Scotia join Alberta in opposing changes to foreign worker program

Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s changes to the temporary foreign worker program are drawing criticism from Maritime labour ministers concerned the lobster and seafood industry will be dramatically affected.

The ministers are comparing the fishery to the agriculture industry, which is exempt, and allowed to employ the temporary workers. They have not asked for an outright exemption for the fishery.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Scrapping TFW program for low-wage jobs will be on the table in 2016, Kenney says

They never really cared about you...When the political potato becomes too hot, the Tories always bail. Kenney was a huge champion on the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program when he was Immigration Minister. He showed up at every ethnic event possible. He was your best friend.

Then word got out that the TFW program was naturally being abused by a few big corporations. So who gets thrown under the bus? The workers themselves. Remember this next time you get a chance to vote (that's for all you immigrant citizens in the blogosphere).

The elimination of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for low-wage jobs will be on the table in 2016, says Employment Minister Jason Kenney, who is not backing down in the face of business criticism that the Conservative government is already going too far.

From the Canadian Meat Council to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, business groups are speaking out against Ottawa’s latest plan to cap the number of low-wage foreign workers and impose higher fees.

Read the rest of the article here


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Star - Canadian government’s citizenship bill faces legal challenge

Canadian and international rights groups are poised to launch a legal challenge against Ottawa’s proposed citizenship law, saying it would create two classes of citizens and violate the Charter’s mobility rights.

Under the “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act,” they say, no one is safe from having their citizenship revoked, even those who were born in Canada if they have the right to dual citizenship in another country because of their immigrant ancestry.

“The new provisions for revocation of citizenship in Bill C-24 violate Canada’s international human rights obligations. They are divisive, discriminatory, retrograde and profoundly unfair,” Amnesty International 

Canada secretary general Alex Neve told a teleconference Thursday.

“The bill buys into and promotes a xenophobic and false narrative about true Canadians and others, a narrative that equates foreignness with suspicions.”

Read the entire article by Nicholas Keung here

Friday, June 20, 2014

Citizenship Act Bill C-24 becomes law

From the CIC:

June 19, 2014 — Ottawa, ON — Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced today that reforms to the Citizenship Act received final passage and Royal Assent. The reforms will strengthen the rules around access to citizenship to ensure that new citizens are better prepared for full participation and integration into Canadian society, with the goal of fostering in new Canadians a stronger attachment to Canadian values and traditions.

Key reforms include:

Improving efficiency
Canada’s citizenship program is being improved by reducing the decision-making process from three steps to one. It is expected that, by 2015–2016, this change will bring the average processing time for citizenship applications down to under a year. It is also projected that by 2015-2016, the current backlog will be reduced by more than 80 percent.

Reinforcing the value of Canadian citizenship
The government is ensuring citizenship applicants maintain strong ties to Canada. These amendments to the Citizenship Act provide a clearer indication that the “residence” period to qualify for citizenship in fact requires physical presence in Canada.

More applicants will now be required to meet language requirements and pass a knowledge test to ensure that new citizens are better prepared to fully participate in Canadian society. New provisions will also help individuals with strong ties to Canada, such as by automatically extending citizenship to additional “Lost Canadians” who were born before 1947 as well as to their children born in the first generation outside Canada.

Cracking down on citizenship fraud
The updated Citizenship Act includes stronger penalties for fraud and misrepresentation (a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or five years in prison) and expands the grounds to bar an application for citizenship to include foreign criminality, which will help improve program integrity.

Protecting and promoting Canada’s interests and values
Finally, the amendments bring Canada in line with most of our peer countries, by providing that citizenship can be revoked from dual nationals who are convicted of serious crimes such as terrorism, high treason and spying offences (depending on the sentence received) or who take up arms against Canada. Permanent residents who commit these acts will be barred from citizenship.

As a way of recognizing the important contributions of those who serve Canada in uniform, permanent residents who are members of the Canadian Armed Forces will have quicker access to Canadian citizenship. The Act also stipulates that children born to Canadian parents serving abroad as servants of the Crown are able to pass on Canadian citizenship to children they have or adopt outside Canada.

Quick facts

  • Requiring 14-64 year-olds to meet knowledge and language requirements provides an incentive for more individuals to acquire official language proficiency and civics knowledge, which helps them successfully integrate into Canadian society. 
  • Citizenship applicants will need to be physically present in Canada for a total of four out of their last six years. In addition, they will need to be physically present in Canada for 183 days per year for at least four of those six years. These provisions will come into force in approximately a year.
  • Under the new streamlined decision-making model, citizenship officers will decide all aspects of a citizenship application. Under the old model, obtaining citizenship was a three-step process that involved duplication of work.
  • Since 2006, Canada has welcomed over 1,300,000 proud new Canadians. Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 333,860 citizenship applications in 2013, the highest volume ever.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Immigration book updates in process

I am currently updating my two immigration books to account for program changes that have occurred since they were first published. Here's your chance to influence the content!

If there are questions about either family class or skilled worker class immigration you would like to see covered in the books, please let me know as soon as possible. 

I am also planning to offer the books for sale directly to you through this and other web sites, as opposed to Amazon and iTunes. I plan to offer the book in both ePub and MOBI formats.

I also want to announce that the price for these two valuable resources are going to increase with the new versions.

The current versions are still valid if you want to pick them up before the updates and price increases. I will also offer free updates to previous customers with validated copies of the original books. I want you to have the best and most current information on how to complete your application for permanent residence.    

Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Star - Canadian health care better than Obamacare

U.S. President, Barrack Obama
I can't come home to the U.S. without hearing about Obamacare, and how great it is for America. My position: it's a poor compromise for the citizens of America. That a country so rich cares so little for the health of its citizens reeks of a social Darwinism that is evident in almost every aspect of the society. Below is an article from the January 12, 2014 Toronto Star. After hearing all the nonesense praise for Obamacare, I felt it was important to reflect this comparative viewpoint in its entirety:

---

Ralph Nader points to 22 ways the Canadian health-care system is better than Obamacare in the U.S.


Political activist Ralph Nader recently outlined the advantages of Canada’s medicare system over so-called Obamacare in the United States to an audience at Western University in London, Ont.:

Dear America:
Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare. No health insurance system is without problems but Canadian-style single-payer full medicare for all is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal.

In the early 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson enrolled 20 million elderly Americans into medicare in six months. There were no websites. They did it with index cards.

Here are 22 ways the Canadian health-care system is better than Obamacare.

Love, Canada

No. 22: In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth — everybody in, nobody out.

In the United States, under Obamacare, 31 million Americans will still be uninsured by 2023 and millions more will remain underinsured.

No. 21: In Canada, the health system is designed to put people, not profits, first.

In the United States, Obamacare will do little to curb insurance industry profits and will actually enhance insurance industry profits.

No. 20: In Canada, coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income — rich and poor are in the same system, the best guarantee of quality.

In the United States, under Obamacare, much still depends on your job or income. Lose your job or lose your income and you might lose your existing health insurance or have to settle for lesser coverage.

No. 19: In Canada, health-care coverage stays with you for your entire life.

In the United States, under Obamacare, for tens of millions of Americans, health-care coverage stays with you for as long as you can afford your share.

No. 18: In Canada, you can freely choose your doctors and hospitals and keep them. There are no lists of “in-network” vendors and no extra hidden charges for going “out of network.”

In the United States, under Obamacare, the in-network list of places where you can get treated is shrinking — thus restricting freedom of choice — and if you want to go out of network, you pay for it.

No. 17: In Canada, the health-care system is funded by income, sales and corporate taxes that, combined, are much lower than what Americans pay in premiums.

In the United States, under Obamacare, for thousands of Americans, it’s pay or die — if you can’t pay, you die. That’s why many thousands will still die every year under Obamacare from lack of health insurance to get diagnosed and treated in time.

No. 16: In Canada, there are no complex hospital or doctor bills. In fact, usually you don’t even see a bill.

In the United States, under Obamacare, hospital and doctor bills will still be terribly complex, making it impossible to discover the many costly overcharges.

No. 15: In Canada, costs are controlled. Canada pays 10 per cent of its GDP for its health-care system, covering everyone.

In the United States, under Obamacare, costs continue to skyrocket. The U.S. pays 18 per cent of its GDP and still doesn’t cover tens of millions of people.

No. 14: In Canada, it is unheard of for anyone to go bankrupt due to health-care costs.

In the United States, under Obamacare, health-care-driven bankruptcy will continue to plague Americans.

No. 13: In Canada, if you lose your job, you don’t lose your health insurance.

In the United States, you will often hear people say, “I hate my job, but I can’t leave it because I’ll lose my health insurance.” Or people will be forced to get a job they hate just for the health insurance.

No. 12: In Canada, simplicity leads to major savings in administrative costs and overhead.

In the United States, under Obamacare, complexity will lead to ratcheting up administrative costs and overhead.

No. 11: In Canada, when you go to a doctor or hospital the first thing they ask you is: “What’s wrong?”

In the United States, the first thing they ask you is: “What kind of insurance do you have?”

No. 10: In Canada, the government negotiates drug prices so they are more affordable.

In the United States, under Obamacare, Congress made it specifically illegal for the government to negotiate drug prices for volume purchases, so they remain unaffordable.

No. 9: In Canada, government health-care funds are not profitably diverted to the top 1 per cent.

In the United States, under Obamacare, health-care funds will continue to flow to the top. In 2012, CEOs at six of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. received a total of $83.3 million in pay, plus benefits.

No. 8: In Canada, there are no necessary co-pays or deductibles.

In the United States, under Obamacare, the deductibles and co-pays will continue to be unaffordable for many millions of Americans.

No. 7: In Canada, the health-care system contributes to social solidarity and national pride.

In the United States, Obamacare is divisive, with rich and poor in different systems and tens of millions left out or with sorely limited benefits.

No. 6: In Canada, delays in health care are not due to the cost of insurance.

In the United States, under Obamacare, patients without health insurance or who are underinsured will continue to delay or forgo care and put their lives at risk.

No. 5: In Canada, nobody dies due to lack of health insurance.

In the United States, under Obamacare, many thousands will continue to die every year due to lack of health insurance.

No. 4: In Canada, an increasing majority supports their health-care system, which costs half as much per person as in the United States.

In the United States, a majority — many for different reasons — oppose Obamacare.

No. 3: In Canada, the tax payments to fund the health-care system are progressive — the lowest 20 per cent pays 6 per cent of income into the system while the highest 20 per cent pays 8 per cent.

In the United States, under Obamacare, the poor pay a larger share of their income for health care than the affluent.

No. 2: In Canada, the administration of the system is simple. You get a health card when you are born. And you swipe it when you go to a doctor or hospital. End of story.

In the United States, Obamacare’s 2,500 pages plus regulations (the Canadian medicare bill was 13 pages) is so complex that then-speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said before passage: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

No. 1: In Canada, the majority of citizens love their health-care system.

In the United States, the majority of citizens, physicians and nurses prefer the Canadian-type system — single-payer, free choice of doctor and hospital, everybody in, nobody out.