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Friday, September 28, 2007

One more reason to leave the US - the emergence of a "prison state"

"The numbers are staggering, the facts chilling. According to official DOJ (US Department of Justice) statistics, by 2004 the U.S. had already taken a leadership position as the Worlds Worst Prison State. DOJ reports more than seven million people in the U.S. were serving sentences by 2004, that's ten times more than any other nation in the world and more than those jailed in all the other nations combined according to the International Centre for Prison Studies."

That is 1 in every 31 US adults.

On the television news yesterday, I heard a report stating that if you are black or latino, you have more of a chance to go to prison in the US than to get into college. That is simply wrong.

I don't want to live in a country that makes it easier to go to prison than to college. I don't want to live in a country where the concept of justice is "one-strike and you're out." I don't want to live in a country without compassion. But that is the US today. Run by a few rich and fear-filled "haves", determined to, in Dickens' words, "decrease the surplus population..."

While I don't agree with everything the author states, if you're curious to read more of this disturbing information, get it here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The barrier of "Canadian Experience"

Now that I'm back working on coming to Canada again, I'm thinking once more about issues of employment once I arrive. As such, an article in The Star caught my attention. In the article, "Employment breakthrough" The success of a Toronto and Vancouver based internship program is described.

The program is, "Career Edge, a private non-profit agency that links qualified immigrants with employers that provide them with paid internships to gain valuable experience and mentoring for periods ranging from four to 12 months."

I can't say I've ever understood the "Canadian experience" barrier. I guess because this sort of thing doesn't exist in the US. Here, we don't really care where your experience or skills come from. If you have them, and can do the job, then you have a chance. It's not a case of having every qualification possible and then someone asking, "and do you have US work experience?" It simply isn't an issue.

But in Canada, it is. Crazy to think that new immigrants, even skilled immigrants would come to a new country with work experience in the country. And talk about a 'Catch 22" - that you need Canadian work experience to get a professional job in Canada, but you can't get the experience, because you need it to get hired!

The only way through this is paid or unpaid internships...and this is where programs like "Career Edge" help.

I know when I get to Canada, even if I am still working on projects for my US clients, I am going to contact this organization right away.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Personal journey commences again

Dear blog readers,
The summer is nearing it's end, but as with all endings, they also trigger beginnings. In this case, today marked the day that I sent the balance of my submissions to my lawyer in Toronto, who is preparing my application for permanent residence - the beginning, God willing, of my homecoming to Canada and my beloved Toronto and most importantly, to my love.

I don't pretend it's going to be any easier this time around than the last, but I have great faith in God that spending the rest of my days in Toronto is the plan He has for me.

I face this path again as many around the world have. Those of you who are on it know of the anexity, the fear, the emotions that get invested as you hope for the kindness and sympathy of a mature and understanding review. You hope you have done all you can to clear the questions and objections away. You hope you've done everything possible to be allowed to make a life in the country you love.

If those of you who read this could take even a moment to say a prayer for me - that this time around I will be granted a permanent residence permit, and that the process will go ahead without troubles - I would so appreciate it.

I just want to be home again with my love in Toronto. I just want to become a good Canadian. I just want this particular journey to end...so a new one...in Canada....can begin.