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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.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Canadians More Positive Than Americans About Impact of Immigration

"Canadians More Positive Than Americans About Impact of Immigration" (Canada NewsWire Group) "Most Canadians (60%) feel immigration has a positive impact on the quality of life in their communities, but only 43% of Americans feel the same way." Ok - this post is a bit late, but you know...life gets in the way of blogging sometimes!

My home, my fortress, my America. Does it surprise anyone that Canadians have this view of immigration and believe Americans don't? Sure doesn't surprise me. But it is disturbingly accurate in my experience.

Where I live, there are cultures upon cultures, visible minorities everywhere you turn. And I love it. And I know this isn't unique in America. Come on - it's a NATION OF IMMIGRANTS...But somehow, this country has lost track of that key premise on which this country was built. Now Americans seem to view immigrants as a drag on the economy, a drain on the social services sector; crack-smoking, drug-selling, 7-11 running yard workers, taxi drivers and hotel maids. We've come a long way down.

Still, according to this survey, Canadians also believe that the US provides a better opportunity for immigrants than Canada does. And that's a reality check for Canada. With the ongoing special interest controls over many areas of professional services, coming to Canada may mean escaping a bleak future somewhere else, but it is still far from the golden north of opportunity.

I believe in Canada. I believe in its promise. Maybe because I have yet to experience the reality of making a living there, of trying to sell my skills into the market. But that's not why I believe. I believe because acceptance is still the norm in Canada, while here in the US, intolerance rules the day.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Love those photoblogs

Spent my spare time in the last few days going through the GTA Photobloggers and found quite a few beautiful shots of Toronto to save and maybe make a personal little slide show from or just to have something to look at when I'm missing the city and my love.

To think that I have to wait until next year to get back in line again...it really kills me. I feel like such a broken record, but the waiting, the faith and patience required to...the hurdles thrown in the way...I know it will all be worth it, once I am home again to stay.

And in the meantime I have my photoblogs to keep me up to date - my love doesn't like taking city pictures for me, so ya'll will have to fill in for now. Thanks!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Nobody said it was easy - no one ever said it would be this hard...

Jobs scarce in Canada for skilled foreigners

I wrote about this a few weeks back, but checking out one of my RSS feeds, this article caught my eye. From the Indian Express, it talks about the lack of professional work for qualified immigrants.


"About 25 per cent of recent immigrants with a university degree are working at jobs that require only a high school diploma or less, government data show. Over the last decade, the country has attracted 200,000 to 250,000 immigrants a year—measured as a percentage of the population, that is triple the rate in the US."

What was especially interesting to me was the comment in the article by Joe Volpe:

“We have an arcane infrastructure of professional organisations that essentially mitigate against the immediate integration of these highly skilled immigrants,” Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, conceded in an interview. “It’s a shame we have a shortage of doctors, and yet we have thousands of foreign trained medical doctors and we don’t recognise their credentials,” he said. “We haven’t found an easy way of assessing their qualifications.”

I wonder if Canada will get brave and instead of looking at ways of legislating for the recognition, perhaps legislate "against" those, like the professional organizations alluded to above that work to block the integration of immigrants into professional life in Canada.

And why does assessing their qualifications have to be "easy"? Why can't it simply be fair. Certainly no one want doctors who aren't qualified to practice in Canada, but just as certainly, given the wait times of up to two or more years, something could be done to allow new immigrants who are waiting to gather the informations or take the tests required to illustrate that they were capable of practicing in Canada.

No one said your job would be easy, Joe - but I have faith you can do it!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

TheStar.com - Family class backlash ignores history

TheStar.com - Family class backlash ignores history

"For nearly two decades, immigration experts have pushed the politicians to raise the threshold for admission to Canada and to whittle away the family class.

"We seem to have forgotten somewhere along the way that immigration is a social program that helps define our society, not just an economic program that brings in workers."

To read the article above and it's exposure of the metrics of current Candian immigration policy and then to read the Government's own publications on the same subject is to experience the classic "what we say" and "what we do" scenario.

The government of Canada used to tell immigrants that the reunification of families was a primary goal of it's immigration policies. Now, if you look at the CIC website (
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/applications/family.html and http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/index.html ) you will notice that they don't even make a mention of how to sponsor your spouse or conjugal partner. They have literally eliminated the links. I wonder how long this has been the case, since I don't keep up on the site that frequently?

I also wonder how many potential immigrants and sponsors have had their dreams of reunification stalled by one more day, one more week, one more month because this information has been hidden from them by the government? In the US, we say if you want to cut a government program that benefits the people all you need to do is put another requirement in the way - put another hurdle up. Make it harder to access and less people will use it. I didn't think that was the Canadian way, but I am beginning to wonder...

People bemoan the cost of immigrants to a society, but I say look at the benefits. New ideas, new energy, new wealth...Please Canada, don't look to the US as your model - remain open, embrace families and help, don't hinder their reunification.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

On different clocks

I have two clocks in my home. One is set at Toronto time and one is set at Seattle time. I live between these time zones - always aware of both at all times. My love always teases me, "Don't you feel like you are late? By the time you get up, the day is almost half over." She tells me how the news is old because she gets it hours before me, but I remind her that's only first thing in the morning. She discounts all she misses when she's asleep at 8pm and the day goes on for another three hours for me!

The clocks we both live by are hard to adjust. On visits, there is always the jet-lag interval, which can eat up a day or two of synch depending on how busy we have both been with work and life, and in our everyday, reminding each other to eat right, getting her dinner ordered at 2pm...it's all a bit confusing.

But still we keep time together. We keep time together now for at least another couple of years as we are forced to be apart. We keep time in counting the days until the next visit. We keep time counting the anniversaries, the holidays and the memories we are trying to make together and the future we still have a dream of.

We're on different clocks, but we're still in synch.