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!

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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.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Holidays - The Sweater By Sheldon Cohen

Some people have their holiday favorites - "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Carol" know them by heart. I have my own favorite: It's "The Sweater", an animated film by Sheldon Cohen, from the original short story and narrated by Roch Carrier. This is my holiday gift to all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always do!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Court opens door to immigrant debt relief

Things change. Relationships end. But when it comes to immigration sponsorship, since 2004, a sponsor's responsibility can go on and on. The deal is: when you sponsor someone to immigrate to Canada, you sign a document that says if they have to go on public assistance for any reason, then YOU have to pay the government back for it. No matter what the situation may be. Since 2004, no one has been eased of this responsibility - not for any reason. Today, Ontario's Court of Appeals said, wait a minute - there needs to be some discretion here. The government owes it to it's citizen's to look at situations on a case by case basis. "The federal and provincial governments had argued that sponsorship was a contract the sponsor should be fully aware of and there was no discretion to forgive the debt, regardless of marriage breakdown, unemployment or illness." Of course they did. The court didn't buy it. Three cheers for a court that realizes life throws curves at people. That things are rarely black and white, and that real justice is a very individual matter.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Kenny's immigration plan - there is a method

A thought just came to me...isn't it interesting that Quebec is getting the largest share of the skilled worker program? I can think of a couple reasons here.

1. To solidify Bloc support of the Tories at least for now

2. Immigration to Quebec takes longer as they have their own approval process beyond the federal process; in essence, delaying the immigration of these skilled workers and appeasing those who will say Canada is letting too many in.

By the end of the plan year, the Tories will be able to point to lower overall immigration numbers, appeasing the conservatives who don't support immigration at all.

In Ottawa, the maneuvering never ends.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Is it just about the money?

I was reading an article today about a Mexican woman who was trying to visit family in Canada, but was denied entry because the visa official thought there was a good chance she wouldn't leave once her 16-day visit was over (see the article here).

Liberal MP Frank Valeriote's office looked into the matter after a complaint from the family of the rejected applicant. It seems the visa official got the facts wrong, and made the ruling based off of the wrong facts. This much, they seem to be clear on. Yet when asked by MP's office to re-open the case, the visa office in Mexico said, "no."

What option does the woman have? She can REAPPLY. She can pay the $150 fee again. Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong? She has no guarantee that the same thing wont happen again. If they make the right decision and let her in this time, she doesn't get the first $150 she spent on the process back.

So let me get this straight. The visa office can take your money, screw up the service they provide for that money and the only recourse you have is to pay them to do it over again?

I wonder if the situation would have been different if it had been a Tory MP asking for the case to be re-opened?

Either way - this is why people are very leery about the professionalism of the CIC officers. And rightly so.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Minister Kenny's 2010 immigration plan

Immigration Minister Kenney announced his 2010 immigration plan to Parliament on Friday and the plan is for a less compassionate, less family oriented and Quebec-centric focus in the coming year.

Of the 240-260,000 new immigrants expected in the coming year, the largest single number, over 100K, is for the skilled worker class, and of those, the largest percentage is being targeted for Quebec.

It's interesting that while at one time, one of the prime focuses of Canada's immigration policy was the reunification of families, nowadays you can't event find a single statement to that effect on the CIC site - and the Minister's announcement to the press ignored the issue entirely. His focus, like the rest of the Tories, is on the economy.

The cold fact is that last year, while 43,360 skilled workers came to Canada accompanied by 60,376 spouses and children, in the family class, only 47,451 spouses and children got in. And the plan for next year is only 42,000 (the lowest number since before 2003.

2010 is not the year to be in love with a Canadian.