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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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This hour has 22 minutes of Rick Mercer



One thing I love about lousy weather and the winter that approaches is that there is time to slow down and catch up. Part of that for me is getting current again with the Canada I love by catching up with the politics and the humor.

Fall TV includes favorites on CBC, even here in Seattle - and on Tuesday nights, that means "Rick Mercer Report" and "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" ( the show's name is a parody of This Hour Has Seven Days, a CBC newsmagazine from the 60's - Wikipedia). Both are comedies so far removed from American formulas that they are refreshing to me. Canada has a golden reputation for comedic talent and these two shows bring it on in droves.

Topical, current, irreverant - in Canada no target is safe - no politician either. Politicians seem to line up to take the truth with the laughter at their own expense, and this is the beauty of these shows. It's a pretty powerful thing to not take yourself too seriously, and a positive democratic act to see politicians laugh at themselves. We're fairly poor at it here in America. And we get poorer all the time.

Of the current crop of comedians, Rick Mercer has to be my favorite. He's just too smart and funny. He is known for his "Rant" - a monolouge that is funny and insightful and articulate and comes at you at 120km/h - heck, maybe 140...If you think you've missed something he's said, he's begun posting the scripts for the Rant on his blog .

If you dont happen to get the CBC where you live, then you can still check out the programs on their websites (links nested here) - many have archives of their episodes you can watch online. It's a great way to pass at least part of a cold, dark night.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pass the buck outside the country

In a recent article from the Candian Press, published in the Toronto Star, the Tories (in this case, the mouthpiece being John Tory - I love that - born to the role I suppose) are proposing a program that, "...would allow skilled immigrants to start working on their Canadian accreditation while they are outside the country, waiting for their visa applications to be processed."

Now that sounds promising at the surface, but there's a common sense question to be asked: What has led the Tories to believe that they can run and administer a program outside of Canada that no Canadian government has been able to create and run INSIDE of Canada?

I also don't see anything about addressing another root source of wasted professional immigrant talent: a curb on protectionist professional societies that throw up barriers to entry.

New program ideas like this are certainly welcome - but where is the coordinated policy - the one that seeks to identify not a single problem with an isolated solution, but instead, a wholistic approach?

For instance - why can't the government pass legislation that says, if we let an individual in based on X set of professional skills that out country is facing a shortage of, NO employer may discriminate in hiring them for any reason (the classic being - "lack of Canadian work experience"...If you can tell me where outside of Canada I can get this, I'll make you a billionare!)?

This program proposal seems like more feel good legislation than anything else - we can have a flawed program for accredidation, but professionals coming to Canada will still face career-stalling hurdles once they arrive. All the Tories are doing is passing the buck - this time outside the Country, where no one will really know what's going on anyhow.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sgro seeks a reality check

TheStar.com - Immigrant system needs overhaul: Sgro

Former cabinet Minister Judy Sgro believes Canada's current immigration system needs to match its immigration policies, especially when it comes to the number of applicants being processed.

Her arguments do make sense: think of it like handing out...I don't know...tickets to get into the Canadian Idol tryouts...Follow me here: thousands of kids want a chance to get on the show and let their talent shine, but you know, there's only so many hours in the day, so many judges to check out the talent...So at some point, they have to turn people away and say, "come back again next time."

This is essentially what Sgro is saying - don't take in anymore than you can process, and no more than you are allotted. When you reach capacity, stop until more capacity opens up.

Common sense immigration policy...is that an oxymoron?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Are YOU reading my blog?

You know, I was just thinking...I get quite a few visitors, but not a lot of commentors. I'm beginning to wonder as I approach my 100th post, whether this blog is valuable to anyone but myself! Do me a favor and drop me a note if this blog has done anything for you. Thanks! - J

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Are they reading my blog?

TheStar.com - 800,000 caught in immigrant backlog

Are they reading my blog? In my last post, I did the simple math and it's clear that the 14% increase in the immigration backlog is being noticed in Canada. Get the facts with the article above. It's nice to have your rantings noticed!