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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, August 28, 2008

More Top 10 Toronto - Tourist traps!

The Star published a funny article today about the disconnection between a tourist's experience in the City vs. a resident's. With it they created a tourist itinerary and lived it for themselves.

It's really a funny read, and if you are a tourist planning a trip, worth it to get an insider's point of view. So here you go - the list is partially reproduced below, along with my own comments and the entire article can be found here.

Toronto Tourist Traps

Getting a caricature - I guess if you really do have a huge head, or maybe you can get the artist to sneak in the CN Tower or Nathan Phillips rink into the background, it could be a giggle to walk away from the City with one of these souvenirs. Of course it will be consigned to some forgotten place immediately upon return home...

Wayne Gretzky's restaurant - Didn't he play hockey in Edmonton? And LA? And New York?

Toronto Hippo Tours - No, this isn't a trip to the Zoo. Great use for recycled military amphibious transports though. You wouldn't want to drive a double-decker into Lake Ontario...

Town & Country Buffet - Terrible food, great value. Wait - you can say the same about a dumpster, can't you?

The Bata Shoe Museum - Any place where you can see a pair of Elton John's platform shoes from the 1970's is alright by me!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Finley's Folly

So now the immigration minister, given the supreme power over the long line of hope, has made her first move. Under a new policy, students who graduate from Canadian universities and who have a year of professional experience with a Canadian firm, as well as some temporary workers will have the opportunity to apply for Canadian residence without having to leave the country to do it.

Brilliant idea - let those who are already in Canada stay and apply. A stroke of genius really.

Of course there are a range of restrictions to go along with the policy if you more than scratch the surface. There are protected and excluded classes of temporary workers in case you were under the impression that people would be treated equally.

If you really care to discover what a messed up bit of policy this is, simply read the Canada Gazette announcement here.

Here's some of the nonsense:

- The CEC will be limited to Skill Type 0 Management Occupations, Skill Level A (professional occupations), or Skill Level B (technical occupations and skilled trades) of the National Occupation Classifications (NOC).
- Lower-skilled occupations (NOC skill levels C and D) will not be eligible, as they are more vulnerable in economic downturns. Consequently, caution should be taken prior to increasing the pool of lower-skilled workers.
- All applicants must have come to Canada to work or study, have been lawfully admitted to Canada, and have temporary resident status in Canada at the time of application for the CEC.
- Foreign nationals who are already in the process of receiving their permanent resident status through other avenues do not qualify under the CEC.

- Recipients of select Government of Canada awards for foreign students will not qualify for the CEC as one of the primary objectives of those programs is that these students return to their own countries to apply the experience that they acquired in Canada.

So I guess they only want a few of the best and some of the brightest, and only if you swing a pencil for the CIBC - not if you swing a hammer for some general contractor...

Oh, Diane...please tell me you can do better than this.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Feeling lost

I'm feeling lost today.

In a pile of applications.

Between two countries.

Without my love.

No horizon in sight right now.

No longer connected to the US.

Not yet accepted in Canada.

I wonder if anyone is looking for me?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Spacing" out

Spacing Toronto is a very cool website/blog/multi thread that deals with the urban environment and issues such as architecture, landscape, congestion, community, culture and more. This is one of the coolest reads I've found online in a long time and really connects you in a new way to the pulse of the City and what's important to its residents. Drop by and tell them the Mind sent ya!

Immigrant stories

Canadian Immigrant Magazine online regularly publishes a series of immigrant success stories that are inspirational for those of us tired of all the bad news that seems to come out of the press on Canadian immigration issues. Let's face it, the news is there to capture those events that evoke strong reactions, and they have had a field day with Harper and Finley and company. If you (like I) need a break from all that, then check out the link above for stories that re-instill that feeling called Hope.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Harsh Reality (comments from the Star)

I was reading an article on immigration in the Star tonight and followed onto the reader comments where I found this note from an American immigrant. Interesting point of view of the struggles immigrants have in finding work.

Now, I'm immigrating for love, not money, but the experience of those who have been attracted over the years by the Canadian government's "Help Wanted" sign is certainly a cautionary tale for those seeking greener pastures in the great white north...

"My advice to folks thinking of immigrating to Canada: Don't do it for professional success and if you have, then don't stay here so long and struggle so that it becomes impossible to go back to your home country. I am a trained engineer and project manager. I work here as an administrative assistant in a temp job. Most places will tell me I need Canadian experience even though I have significant American experience. I knowingly made the move because my husband is Canadian and I moved here for him. Professionally things here are even worse than what I had believed. If we need to succeed as a country that opens its doors to immigrants, its important to open those doors to educated immigrants. And then to make sure those educated immigrants aren't under-employed. That's how we will keep the trash out. I think its ironic that people here have a problem with the fact that educated immigrants want to work well and contribute to this economy instead of sitting at home on welfare."

Read the article, "Immigration: Dream or Nightmare?" here