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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.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Holiday break

Just a note to let you know that the MInd will be on a break for the holidays. Check back for the exciting tales to come in 2006. It's bound to be another year of commentary, adventure and who know, perhaps the beginning of relocation and finally the beginning of the realization of a dream? Thanks for all of your support in the last year and Merry Christmas and Happy New year too! - J

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Conservatives 1, Liberals 0 on immigration

Well, from watching the Friday debate, I can tell you my scorecard is in on the immigration issue and it's Harper by a reindeer's nose. I've been trying to find a transcript online, but haven't had any luck yet (are the ones on CTV and CBC edited?). The question came from a recent immigrant, who asked the candidates what their plans were to change the landscape where qualified professionals were unable to have their skills recognized, and thus were underemployed.

So from what I recall, Martin's "Bridge to Employment," simply seems to be a solution plugging more money into programs that are currently failing (re-education, language studies, internship progams) - a solution that proposed no modifications to the status quo.

Harper on the other hand, actually talked about change - setting up agencies that would review credentials and validate experience in relation to Canada's standards and open up opportunities. He didn't have a fancy name for it, but he had a plan - a different plan.

Layton pumped change, but had no specifics, and Duceppe sees everything nowadays as a provincial issue.

So for this round - points for for Harper.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Same story, different day

The Globe and Mail: Is the current model of immigration the best one for Canada?

You have to wonder, after reading article after article on Canada's immigration policies, whether anyone in the government pays any attention at all to public feedback. Here's yet another Globe and Mail article that brings up the same points made in the past once again:

1. Canada's immigration policy is considered a model worldwide
2. Canada is historically dependent on immigration for economic growth
3. Canada is not keeping it's promises to immigrants
4. Canada is under-utilizing immigrant capital
5. 80% of all immigrants settle in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal (and the majority of those in Toronto, where there is the least support for them)
6. Immigrants fail economically because Canada does not recognize their credentials
7. 1/3 of immigrants, failing to integrate into the economy, are moving back home or TO THE U.S.!
8. 700,000 potential immigrants are in line, with wait times now averaging three years

And then, there's the anti-immigration lobby, for whom facts regarding the need for skilled labor matter little:

"Demographer David Foot says Canada doesn't need more immigration yet, because the echo boom - boomers' children born in the 1980s and early '90s - are entering the labour market en masse. He says more immigrants will be needed in 10-15 years."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Steven Harper is the Tin Woodsman

I've been away with holiday happeneings for family and work keeping me away from my blogging. The Leafs are on a losing streak, it snowed today in Toronto, the election campaign is ready to enter it's third week. With so much going on, you all couldn't have missed me much.

I've been really enjoying Stephen Harper's horrible - and I mean HORRIBLE ads for the Conservative party. Now I always thought the criticism of Harper as wooden was a little out of line - until i saw the two ads they have running right now in BC. The format of both ads are the same - Harpet in a TV studio, where a host is "taking questions"...softball questions about Gomery and tax cuts. Harpers answers are so lacking in enotion, so flat and the production so amateur, that is really feels like you are watching an episode of "This Hour has 22 Minutes". How can you make fun of him when he does such a good job himself?

Team his personality with the fact that a number of his policy initiatives aren't due to kick in until his second(?) administration (his GST cut isn't due to 2011) and I'm not impressed. In fact, I'm a little worried. I'm beginning to believe it's better the devil you know (Martin) than a party that clearly does better in am opposition role, than when they are given a chance to lead.

Harper better come home from OZ and hire a new PR firm if he's looking for more public traction. I hear there are some ad agencies in Quebec looking for work these day.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Questioning myself

Lately, and maybe this is a question that must be borne as a natural burden of any Quixotic battle; lately, I ask myself "why?" I guess it's healthy to second guess my motivations and my determination and my commitment to seeing through the frustration of the immigration process. As the weeks and now months are passing since the end of my relationship, I ask myself, do I want to go through this on my own because she couldn't hold on with me? To prove to Her that I can hold on alone? If that's true, then it's not a healthy motivation. I can't do this thinking that seeing it through will win her back, or will change anything now between us. I need to remember that love is between two people and true love cannot be torn apart. I need to remember that this was about us, but now it's about simply me, my life, my future, my choice. Why do I choose Canada? I need to read my own blogging...

Canada still makes intellectual and emotional sense to me. I don't feel at home in the US anymore. I haven't for a long time. I don't much care for this society and what it stands for. This isn't an anti-Bush thing. We are all responsible for the state of this nation. We have ruined it. We have created what I see as a hateful, suspicious, self-centered and self-serving culture, bloated on fast food, fast living, slow dying, with no concept of what the words "liberty" and "justice" mean. We are unforgiving, but cling to a national Christianity. We would rather jail our population than help them. For those who have been jailed, there is no hope of rehabilitation - too expensive - only hope of livng the rest of their lives in a permanent underclass. And then we wonder why we continue to see crime problems.

I could go on and on, but tonight's entry is more about reminding myself "why." I do want a new life in a new country. I know Canada has it's own troubled history and it's not perfect. But Canada still has more hope of being what America once dared of aspiring to than America will ever have again.