My eBook, How To Immigrate To Canada For Skilled Workers: The Authoritative Guide To Federal And Provincial Opportunities is available now on Amazon and other online retailers. Get your copy of the essential guide to Skilled Worker class applications today!

For Kindle
For iPad/iPhone
For Nook
For Kobo
For Sony eReader

Also available is my new eBook, "How To Immigrate To Canada In The Family Class: The Authoritative Guide Including Québec And Super Visa Opportunities". Get it at Amazon or the other e-retailers noted above.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Star's "Why I came here" series

The Toronto Star has been running an interesting series the last month titled "Why I came here". This series interviews immigrants to explore the many reasons they chose to make Canada their home. Read about the poet who fled for his family's life; the PhD making a living as a security guard; and even those like me, immigrating for love of a Canadian. Take a moment and learn something about just a handful of the thousands of unique reasons people choose Canada.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New ads target bogus immigration consultants

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced that his department is launching a new advertising campaign to warn people about immigration consultants who are not registered with the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC).

The campaign is meant to inform potential immigrants about the risk associated with unscrupulous immigration consultants who misrepresent their ways to big fees on the backs of eager immigrants.

According to the news report published at, the ad campaign is "set to run until the end of March on the Internet and in mainstream and ethnic press. The adverts will direct people to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Markham's Mayor says it all

The Star has published an article looking at the issue of immigration in the current recession. It's a nicely rounded piece, with both sides getting their points in (pro and con). To me, the bottom line is in the example noted in the city of Markham, which has seen dramatic growth in it's population due to immigration:

"We are blessed with the diversity of the community and the highly skilled immigrants who came with worldwide experience and strong entrepreneurial spirit,"
said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti after a recent meeting with developers of a proposed, $130-million shopping mall near Kennedy Rd. and Hwy. 7

Read the Star article on immigration in a challenging economic climate

Saturday, March 21, 2009

So much for Kenny - anti terror laws and the border

There was hope, a small hope that the new Conservative Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenny, would represent a reasonable voice in comparison to the former Minister Diane Finley. Kenny after all had some experience that should've proved valuable - especially his background as Chair of the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights.

But put anyone to work for Harper and it seems common sense goes right out the door. How else can you explain British MP George Galloway being judged inadmissible to Canada on grounds that he supports Middle East terrorism?

Kenny was simply applying a broad Canadian anti-terror law. One that defines as a criminal anyone who advocates any kind of relationship with an organization defined as "terrorist." Now this law has discretion in its application - but Harper's team will never error on the side of fairness, or looking for context in the application of law.

So much for my hopes for Kenny being a positive change from Finley. He's putting politics in place of border rights.

Read the Star article on the issue

Read about Kenny's new stand on citizenship and language requirements

Monday, March 16, 2009

Minister Kenney Announces Changes To Canada’s Immigration System

In an article published at, a summary of the new Canadian Experience Class for immigrants and the new "Action Plan for Faster Immigration" was summarized:

"For those who have worked in Canada on a work permit for at least two years, the new Canadian Experience Class promises completion within about 6 months, and with only two real criteria (beyond good health and no criminal record). The candidates must have very good/excellent english skills and two years of skilled work experience under a valid work permit in Canada within the three years preceding the application. Previously, under the points system, some excellent candidates had difficulty immigrating due to their age or the fact that they had not earned a bachelor's degree. Now, neither of those criteria would be a factor.

"The second change to the permanent residence system under the Action Plan is that people working in Canada (who don't qualify for the CEC because they have not been in Canada long enough) who apply for permanent residence will be given fast-tracking and improved service (a decision within 12 months), while those who have never worked in Canada may have their applications turned back. Canada no longer wants to hold on to a "backlog" of cases."

This last sentence is troubling: "...while those who have never worked in Canada may have their applications turned back." Is this to imply that for skilled workers, the only way into Canada will be through an employer offering a job in advance? Surely this can't be the case.

Think of the impact on the economy if you have a shortage of labor, need a professional as soon as possible, but have to wait on the CIC for a visa for that worker. I'm hoping the reporter's language here is simply vague, because that sort of change would have to make Canadian employers very, very nervous.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Unsubstantiated opinion

In an op-ed piece in today's Star, Harald Bauder claims that, "Throughout Canadian history, immigrants have been the shock absorbers of cyclical swings of the economy. Until the early 1990s, Canada's immigration levels were synchronized with the business cycle, increasing during boom periods and scaling back during recessions. Although immigration levels are no longer coordinated with the business cycle, immigrants continue to be the last to be hired and the first to be fired."

Mr. Bauder appears to be watching a lot of US cable TV news (can you spell FOX?). This type of statement of fact, that is, in fact unsubstantiated, is typical of sensational reporting whose sole intention is to generate controversy.

Now I guess I'm playing into this by responding here to his article, but the reason I'm doing it is to help potential and recent immigrants understand that this article is simply written by someone ignorant of how the job market works. For one thing, Mr. Bauder is an associate professor of geography at Ryerson University. He is not an economist, nor an expert on market forces.

He writes as if all companies have "Native Canadian" and "last hired, first fired" policies - when everyone knows that is not the case.

Let's test his assumptions with his own university as an example in the following scenario:

Let's say Ryerson just hired an associate professor of geography from Moscow who happened to have worked with a Nobel-laureate and who's classes were in high demand from students. Now, because of the economy, they need to cut someone in the department. It's either the new hire from Moscow, or a Canadian who writes opinion pieces in the Star on immigration (not geography...). Who do YOU think is going to keep their job?

Normally I link to the articles I mention, but this one isn't worth the bandwidth.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Happy 175th, no...249th, no...11th Birthday, Toronto!

Happy Birthday Toronto. You're 175 tomorrow. Sort of...

The City will be celebrating at an official FREE party March 6 thru 8, 2009. City Hall will open its doors and invite residents in to celebrate the heritage, unity and diversity through music, literature and art. City Hall will be transformed into an exhibition hall featuring art installations, the spoken word, dance and music. Special programming will also commemorate the City’s early history.

Now of course, Toronto as a city is a lot older than 175 years. Known as the "Settlement of Toronto", the first Europeans built Fort Rouillé on the site in 1750. In 1787 The Toronto Purchase initiated domestic European settlement of the area and the creation of the town of York in 1790. So in actually, Toronto is 249 years old this year...It's name is simply younger, or older - depending on when you want to start counting.

I guess if you really want to play this game, the Mega City of Toronto is only 11 years old - not even a teenager yet!