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Sunday, May 28, 2006

You're not welcome here - U.S. ID plan turns Canadians off

The US does an amzing job beating up on it's enemies, but we also don't forget our friends. In this article, a recent seurvey of 1,500 Canadians finds that if the US enacts it's proposals for new documentation requirements for crossing the border, 50% of Canadians will choose to stay home rather than pay the fees and gain the documents required to comply.

What a great way to tell friends you aren't welcome here. Frankly, I don't know how we are dealing with this issue on the southern border. The US is so big, it seems like two different borders and problems.

I am obviously against anything that makes crossing borders harder. I wish it were easier. I wish all of north america was open to residents of Mexico, the US and Canada...what a wonderful world that would be...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Confused - what's new?

So my ex was back to visit last week and we had a wonderful number of days. She's simply the best, and I do still love her very much. Again we ponder what it means to our futures and again we are confused. I don't know that any answers are going to come soon, but I do have an answer in my heart for the question I pondered. At least for now, my dreams of immigration to Canada are still about her and I...I guess as long as she is in my personal picture, it will be the case. So maybe my answer is that I can't give you one. I want immigration to be about us and be about love. I am prepared for if it isn't and believe there are still many good reasons to make a life in beatiful Canada. But I haven't really had to make that choice, because the personal picture is so cloudy.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Federal Budget steps up to immigration issue (well, some)

Budget Speech (Budget 2006)

Well, the Federal Budget is in and there are three items within it that will impact immigration opportunities in Canada. From the Budget Speech:

"Mr. Speaker, this country was built by people seeking a better life for themselves and their families. They come here for opportunity, and contribute their culture, skills and energy in return.

This government will provide more help to new Canadians to get started.

Effective immediately, the Right of Permanent Residence Fee is reduced by 50 per cent—from $975 to $490.

We are increasing immigration settlement funding by $307 million.

And we are taking action to establish the Canadian Agency for Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Credentials. "

What do these choices mean to immigrants?

Well, reducing the Head Tax for ROPR is a start, but it should simply be eliminated. Immigrants are milked for money every place they turn. And you already know my feelings about the impact this head tax has on those living in disadvantaged conditions.

Immigration settlement funding...The Newcomer Settlement Program. Now this sounds good. You can read more about the areas of application for this funding at the Program's Guidelines page. All in all I like the idea of this program - my only worry is that too much of this money is heading to ad agencies for campaigns to make new immigrants thankful they were allowed in (j/k).

The best news is for the formation of the Canadian Agency for Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Credentials (CAARFC - I had to...). Properly developed and given authority, this agency could clear the way for new Canadians to contribute at the highest level and wipe out a protectionist white collar glass ceiling.

What's missing? Clearly funding to increase manpower and clear the lines of the 700,000 waiting to come to Canada. What's missing? Reform that will make the CIC more responsive to the needs of new Canadians.

Harper scares me, but he has delivered a Budget that intends to keep some promises to new Canadians. Let's hope good things come from this start.