Saturday, February 28, 2009
"Worried that it's losing talented newcomers to other provinces, Ontario is expanding its immigrant recruitment fast-track program despite the economic downturn.
The province yesterday announced reforms to the two-year-old program that allows it to "nominate" applicants for immigration based on labour needs and provincial priorities. The program is intended to help employers and multinational corporations in Ontario recruit and retain talented professionals, as well as investors.
"While the trend may be proof of Ottawa's success in spreading immigrants more evenly throughout the country, it could also threaten Ontario's long-term economic growth and competitiveness when the economy recovers. "Now, more than ever, it's critical that Ontario's employers have the resources they need to compete at home and abroad," Citizenship and Immigration Minister Michael Chan told a news conference yesterday at Toronto General Hospital."
Sometimes being right feels so good.
Immigration is a complex and difficult process. Many, many forces are stacked against immigration. But don't give into fear - the kind that is generated from the messages the Conservatives are currently peddling to the population about lowering immigration numbers.
Canada is a great country and those who want to make it their new home often represent the best and the brightest, the most ambitious of their native countries. If you believe in making a positive contribution to Canada and have the patience and determination to see the process through, have faith. Don't ask "why me?" ask instead, "why NOT me?"
As Red Green always said, "We're all in this together, I'm pulling for you."
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Now there's lots of speculation about why Page has left, which ranges from the band being pissed about the drug offense and all that cost them last year in cancelled shows and lessened opportunities to Page following his muse.
The way I look at it - everything changes. We all grow up. Our needs and our interests change. Why should musicians be any different? Page shows all the evidence of a man reaching midlife and questioning what he's going to do with the time he has left. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
Did I love BnL? Completely! Heck, I'm even in one of their music videos! Will I still follow them as they reconstitute? You bet. I want them all to succeed and go on and be happy and fulfilled in however they choose, as a band and as individuals.
As John Lennon said after the Beatles broke up, "It's just natural, it's not a great disaster. People keep talking about it like it's The End of The Earth. It's only a rock group that split up, it's nothing important. You know, you have all the old records there if you want to reminisce."
Here, from the very beginning of time, BnL perform at Toronto's "Speaker's Corner" - a coin operated video booth run by CityTV that allowed users to express their opinions on anything and everything. BnL used it for promotion!
Thanks Ladies, that was fun!
The official BnL website
Friday, February 20, 2009
The Star mapped Toronto not via the city's own attempts to define its landscape, but instead, "...using the city’s rich tradition of neighbourhood names (Swansea, for example, or Agincourt) in a way that everyday urban culture recognizes.
"With this in mind, feature writer Kenneth Kidd recently literally went back to the drawing board on the neighbourhood issue, carving up the city into 158 areas with a marker on an enormous laminated map. It’s in beta, and we’re posting an online version this week to find out what you think."
Here's the post-beta, version 1.0 of the neighborhood map. Now you can know where it is people are talking about when they say something happened in the Annex, or Korea Town, or The Danforth...
Saturday, February 14, 2009
"Connect2Canada.com is a virtual network for Canadians and friends of Canada in the United States. Over 42,000 people have joined "Canada's network in the United States". Connect2Canada is a way to exchange news and ideas, and find out what is happening in the U.S. related to Canada. Members of the network can receive email notices on a range of topics and can share their stories with others. Sign up to strengthen your connection with Canada!"
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
1. Immigration levels are at less than 1% of the Canadian population (0.78%)
2. Canada is aging - according to a study by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, population growth is expected to drop to 0.6% by 2030. Canada needs immigration to support its aging population
3. Aging populations require more personal and health care services - immigrants are significant providers to the services industry, and Canada isn't growing or retaining enough medical professionals to even take care of the current population. Additionally, a tax base is needed to support these programs. Immigrants represent opportunity for Canada - not a drain
Remember - as immigrants, you will always be an easy target for closed-border advocates and politicians looking to soothe their constituents. Don't panic. When the rubber hits the road, and those in charge of long term planning and economics have their say (which is boring, so it doesn't make the papers), cooler heads will prevail.
The quality of discourse in the Harper government is questionable at best, anyhow. Remember, this is the guy who appointed 18 senators in one day who had serious qualifications to lead such as being a former CBC broadcaster and having an Olympic medal for skiing...
Politics are local, but the decisions of a country have to be global. The Immigration Minister is helping Harper tell the people what they want to hear right now, but there will come a day, not too far away, when they'll also want to hear that there will be a doctor to care for them when they are sick.
These things tend to wrap tomorrow's fish and chips.
Read the article here
Friday, February 06, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
It's very interesting to hear Mr. Bissett, the person who was responsible for implementing immigration policy, speak passionately about keeping people out of Canada, and citing study after study on the negative impacts of, and marginal gains from immigration. Isn't it like having a member of Greenpeace lead your whale hunt?
This is one of the key disconnects of the Canadian immigration system. You have pro-immigration policies that are administered by anti-immigration bureaucrats.
Mr. Coyne's appeal to common sense and compassion is the voice of new Canadian thinking - Mr. Bissett is only concerned about maintaining his generation's status quo. "We don't need immigrants to fill up the empty spaces and fill the unwanted jobs." Mr. Bissett, his is last-century thinking.
Monday, February 02, 2009
That's what was on my mind tonight. I thought about the things that I do while I wait for CIC to make a decision. Now these aren't just random things - they are things that I think are helping prepare me for the transition to living in Canada with my love. I hope they will help you too.
A lot of this can be done online. So, in no particular order...
- Locate and follow Canadian blogs
- Locate the news from your planned city of destination and follow it (see my earlier post on online newscasts from all over Canada)
- Read Canadian history books and books on Canadian culture and politics
- Learn about hockey, watch hockey, LOVE hockey
- Learn to skate
- Call your lawyer and let him know you are still alive
- Explore Canada with Google Earth
- Watch Rick Mercer and 22 Minutes episodes online
- Learn French
- Join Loon Lounge or other such community
- Listen to Stomping Tom, The Guess Who, BTO, The Philosopher Kings, BnL, Sloan, Kathleen Edwards, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell (anything but Nickelback!)
- Read McLean's
- Research jobs, cost of living, housing, cultural options in your destination city
- Make your landing list of "goods to follow"
- Save your money
- Try Maple Syrup
- Have a garage sale for crap you aren't taking with you
- Learn the words to "O'Canada" in French and English
- Develop a patient heart
- Say lots of prayers
That ought to keep you busy!