Friday, December 24, 2010
So wherever you are this Christmas, may you be blessed with every good gift, and I hope God smiles on you and your families too. If you have a Christmas wish that the New Year bring your personal immigration story to a successful conclusion, then I also wish you that! I know it's really all I have wanted for Christmas for years.
If I don't see you sooner, I'll see you next year!
Happy Christmas to all!
Friday, December 17, 2010
For the last five years, “The Expatriate Mind” has been one man's love letter to the city and people of Toronto, with dazzling photography and video's documenting the American's insatiable appetite for Canadian living. When he's not gushing about the sights and sounds of Toronto, author J writes about immigration issues for American expats and international relations.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Maybe I'm demonstrating my American bias in that thought - that decisions of bureaucrats should be able to be reviewed - that wrongs should have the opportunity to be righted.
I know there are fundamental differences between the way government is run in Canada and the U.S. In general, I prefer the Canadian system. But I believe in fairness too. It hardly seems fair that what might be an arbitrary decision about someone's ability to visit Canada has no current possibility of being challenged.
Read the Star article here
Friday, December 10, 2010
Sounds like it make us all safer, right? Wrong. And not only will the co-mingling of border security not make you any safer, it will also most certainly take away some of the protections Canadian citizens and permanent residents enjoy that Americans do not. Are Canadians ready for border agents to "touch their junk" when they feel like it? How about the exchange of whatever personal information the U.S. decides is necessary? If someone is inadmissible to the U.S. does that make them inadmissible to Canada too?
Liberal transport critic John McCallum asks, “On sovereignty, does this mean we’ll have the same refugee and immigration policies as the U. S.? Does it mean that someone who’s not admissible in the United States won’t be admissible in Canada?”
Canada should not be pressured into following the U.S. lead on border issues. Let your M.P. know that Canada has a responsibility to its citizens and visitors to set its own border policies and practices.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
"Immigrants selected by the federal government under the current skilled worker program are contributing to Canada's economy, a new evaluation has found." Who did the evaluation? They never tell you. But here is how they validate their claim:
"Income for skilled workers selected under the IRPA criteria (placing more emphasis on arranged employment) was as much as 65 percent higher than for workers chosen under the pre-IRPA system. Skilled workers who already had a job offer when they applied for permanent residence fared best of all, earning on average $79,200 three years after arriving in Canada."
So you mean people that are coming to Canada that already have a job in Canada do better than those coming to Canada that don't already have a job? Really? You needed a study to figure that one out?
Since when was the skilled worker program just another branch of Workopolis? Isn't the idea to bring people with talent in to make them available to all Canadian employers? Kenney's version of this program seems to work out as "Got a job? Here's your visa." If you don't, good luck.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
While we are separated, I tend to miss not only her, but the city I love too and so I look for ways to remain in touch with it. For awhile, there was a web cam at the Panorama Restaurant at Bay and Bloor that I would watch the live stream from. From it I could see our apartment near College Street and that helped me feel connected. Since they remodeled the roof though, the camera has been gone.
But there are other ways to keep track of the city. One of my favourites is the Skyscraper City picture forum for Toronto. Here, users post pictures from all over the city. There are a number of great photographers who contribute and a lot of the work is inspiring.
As Toronto is the destination (at least initially) for almost half of all new immigrants, I encourage you to check out the forum and see what's going on in your future home. And while you are there, don't forget to picture yourself in Toronto soon - just like I do!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Kenney said in a statement to the press, "These changes were necessary. The requirements had not been increased in more than a decade and we need to keep pace with the changing economy." Exactly what changing economy is Jason Kenney living in? Does he really believe that today's investors, after a devastating, historic devaluation of assets, have TWICE as much money to their names?
Or is it that, par for the course in this generation of Tory leadership on immigration issues, the real policy here is to limit immigration by raising the bar so high that few can jump over it?
Consider for a moment what it means to have to acquire double the net worth. Also consider that while if you were worth $800K before, that was good for Canada - you were bringing that wealth-building knowledge to work for the country. But Kenney doesn't want your measly $800K now. He doesn't want those with $1M - He doesn't even want those with $1.5M. Think of number of potential investor class immigrants that fall within this range that are now off the table.
To put those numbers into context: with $800K, an investor could open TWO Tim Horton franchises in premium locations. I guess if you can't open four of them, your money isn't good enough for Kenney.
Given the Tory record on immigration policy, my guess is that yet another strategy to limit immigration is really what's happening here.
Here's the real story: CIC said that the previous requirements were leading to a backlog of applications. By raising the net worth and investment requirements, Canada hopes to reduce the number of applicants and only let in those who can make a substantial investment in the Canadian economy.
"Higher investment amounts mean provinces and territories will receive more investment capital to put toward job creation and economic development projects," Kenney said.
This is just bad math. There is simply no way that raising opportunity cost equates to an increase in investment capital. Has Kenney been taking economic lessons from Jim Flaherty?
Unfortunately, there is no political will in Canada to counter moves that have made the country appear not only conservative on immigration issues, but nearly xenophobic.
Read about Kenney's latest anti-immigration policy here
Monday, November 08, 2010
A felony conviction of any kind is considered to make a person inadmissible to Canada without a specific approval by the Immigration Minister - and then at the earliest, only after five full years have elapsed since the end of a sentence. For Martha Stweart, the convicted felon, that date would have been March 4, 2010 - the first date she could APPLY for rehabilitation. For most who apply, this process takes years to complete. But here is Martha, convicted felon, visiting Canada, free as a bird. The Tories don't want felons entering Canada - unless they are celebrities.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
"Eight years later Ottawa still refuses to grant him permanent status, because he fought against his former country. The Toronto man has been left in a legal limbo, unable to become a full-fledged citizen, denied the right to travel abroad and worse, unable to sponsor his family to join him."
Can anyone explain to me how the treatment of this brave man makes any sense, or is in any way in keeping with Canada's immigration and refugee policies?
Read the whole sad article here
Monday, November 01, 2010
"So a news alert comes across on my computer screen saying, "Thai officials arrest over 100 Tamil migrants heading to Canada."
The newsroom jumps on the story and we try to find out if these people were about to get on a ship to come here.
A call into Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office points us to stories in the Thai media.
The articles are all in Thai, but we use a handy-dandy translator on the Internet to translate them into English.
The Thai media reports there was an arrest of over 100 people. So how do we know they were coming to Canada?
Kenney's office says, "We aren't going to get into details. All I will do is point you to the media articles."
The translated articles say these people were headed to a third country. Then there's a reference to the story of the MV Sun Sea, a ship that arrived on Canadian shores last summer carrying about 500 Tamil asylum seekers.
So all we have is information from the Thai media -- no concrete details from the minister's office. The Thai embassy here in Canada says it has heard no word from its government about the arrested Thai migrants trying to come to Canada.
How do we know these people were heading to Canada? At this point, we don't.
However, Kenney's office did want to add how important it is that Bill C-49 passes Parliament. That's the Conservative government's proposed bill designed to crack down on human smugglers and illegal immigrants."
You see, politicians will lie and deceive the public to get their way - it happens every day - even in Canada.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- Expose people who innocently assist refugees to prosecution for human smuggling if they were “reckless” when they provided help.
-Apply to any group of two or more claimants who arrive together, be it by land, sea or air. Any such group can be designated by the minister as an “irregular arrival.” If the government chooses, the vast majority of refugees who come to Canada can be designated and subject to all of the sanctions of the law.
- Deem claimants who are designated as part of an irregular arrival are subject to immediate and mandatory detention without any possibility of review for 12 months. No exceptions are made for women or children, although the minister has the discretion to allow release in “exceptional circumstances.”
- Cause designated claimants to lose many of the rights available to them under the UN refugee convention.
- Eliminate the right of designated refugees to get travel documents for five years.
- Prevent designated claimants from applying for permanent residence for five years.
- Deny designated claimants the right to apply to be reunited with their families during the five-year period and for years after.
- Greatly expands the power of the government to detain non-citizens.
- Require that a person be detained while the minister investigates a suspicion that they might have committed a criminal offence outside of Canada.
- Eliminate the right of appeal against some adverse decisions made by the Immigration and Refugee Board.
The Tory proposal is nothing short of draconian. It is designed to close the door to Canadian immigration, especially to the most needy of the world's peoples. In my opinion, it is not only anti-immigrant: it's anti-Canadian.
Please contact your Member of Parliament and protest this devastating proposal.
Read the Star editorial article by Lorne Waldman which details the proposed legislation
Friday, October 22, 2010
I don't care if they haven't won a cup since 1968. This sort of connection with the community is wonderful. Read the story of 30 new Canadian citizens who had a special day with the team (well...their sweaters actually!).
But wait - that's AFTER the standard prescreeneing period. And how long does that period last? According to the CIC,there is a 38-month standard prescreening of the sponsors at immigration’s Mississauga processing centre. So now we are talking about wait times ranging from 53 to 71 months.
For those of you without immigration math skills, that's 4-years and 3-months to 5-years 11-months.
It also means at least two medical exams will need to be submitted (they are only good for a year) and other reports, like police clearances, may need to be submitted at least twice.
The Star article is just another tale of a poorly run ministry. What does Jason Kenney have to say about it? “Canadian visa offices from one country to another can vary significantly in regard to the size and nature of their respective workloads and it is impossible to provide the exact same level of service at every visa office,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office wrote in an email to Zhang’s group, according to The Star article.
Nonsense - Kenney could work to insure that the levels of service were comparable at Canadian visa offices. He chooses not to use his budget that way, however. Instead, he uses it for more important things - high profile globetrotting to preach the Tory line on illegal immigration.
The more you know about the current state of the CIC, the less you want to know.
Read the entire article here.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
"Immigrants boost trade. The study’s models show every one-percentage-point increase in the number of immigrants to Canada can increase the value of imports into Canada by 0.21 per cent, and raise the value of exports by 0.11 per cent.
In practical terms, that means that an additional 217 immigrants from Japan could boost annual exports to Japan by more than $11-million. That holds true even with smaller trading partners – if one more Cape Verdean immigrates to Canada, that would increase exports to Cape Verde by about $300."
Read the entire article by Tavia Grant here.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Gerhard Wiebe is separated from his wife thanks to Canadian border agents
Canadian immigration is broken. How can you tell? One way is when a ministry's own personnel doesn't know its policies well enough to offer accurate advice. Another is when the ministry allows front-line workers (like border agents) to usurp authority at the cost of citizens and applicants.
This is just what happened in the case of Maria Eugenia Vazquez Cortes and Gerhard Wiebe, who traveled to Mexico for a family funeral over the summer. They had an open application in process with CIC, and Maria was legally in the country on an extended visitor's visa while the application was being processed. Before they left for the funeral, they checked with CIC to be sure there were no issues associated with leaving the country and coming back. They were told that there were none.
But upon return, Maria was stopped at the border by an agent who would not allow her back in. He didn't "believe" she would leave the country if the couple's application was denied.
What is the impact? It could mean that they will need to completely re-apply again, because Maria is now out of the country and being denied entry. It could mean they will have to fill out new forms again, get new police records checks and new medicals - all the time and expense all over again...not to mention that applications processed through Canada's Mexican visa office can take years - even if they are simple. And until then? They are separated. Their life together is disrupted; their future together is in doubt.
All because a broken system gave them bad advice, and a border agent had the power to derail a perfectly legal and above-board application that was in process.
And that is the tale of a broken system.
Read the whole sad story here.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
The Centre wants to scrap current immigration policy, decrying it in a news conference yesterday as one that makes it too easy for individuals to come to Canada through the Family and Refugee class.
An excellent article "New immigration lobby group lacks praxis" by Jim Creskey in Embassy Magazine online lays out the details.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
This story is a great example of how immigrants embrace Canada, while not forgetting their home countries.
Read the article here.
On the other hand: In an editorial published a couple days ago, Star columnist Heather Mallick writes about a kind of immigrant who would rather not be reminded of home... "...some immigrants chose Canada to get the hell away from their homescape and after arrival never gave the old country a second thought. My idea of a perfect evening is walking into a party full of strangers. Some immigrants are like that nationally."
Read Heather's article here.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Dear Lord, thank you for hearing my prayer. Thank you for every blessing you bring to my days; the ones I can see and the ones I can't. Thank you Lord for placing on my heart the desire to continue my life in a new country. Lord, I know that you order my every step, and I believe you have ordered this one too - that I leave my home and make a new one in a new country. You led the Israelites out of Egypt to a new land, and you have convicted my spirit to do the same. Father, please bless and protect my efforts in this immigration process; please make the way clear for me; please walk with me, because I can't do this alone. Father I ask that you will bless me with a positive outcome to my immigration journey; but I trust in you for whatever result you have planned for me, and that your will always be done in my life. Lord, please bless those that seek the same goal as I do, and bless all those who you have put in power to review and process my application and submissions. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
"Canadians should be well aware of the lengths some people are willing to go to forge a better life: the harrowing trans-Pacific journey by Tamil refugee claimants made that clear. So Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is right to go directly to source countries in the fight against scam marriages, unscrupulous immigration consultants and human smugglers. Indeed, it will take a government-wide strategy, domestically and internationally, to combat the crime and fraud associated with the journey immigrants make to Canada, and Canada can’t do it alone."
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
"Canada has often been welcoming to newcomers, including refugees. The positive reception of the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970s comes to mind. But it hasn’t always been consistent. Writing about the ship of Tamil refugees that reached our shores recently, Professor Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia refers to two tragic instances when Canada turned away people in similar circumstances."
Read the entire editorial, "Our duty to welcome strangers" here
Sunday, August 29, 2010
"The baby boom generation in Canada is about to start retiring in growing numbers. Who will replace the boomers in the workplace? The answer, increasingly, will need to be more immigrants."
Glen makes a strong case for improved immigration opportunities in Canada as being critical for the sustained economic growth of the country.
Read the entire article here
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Lots of room for everybody
I have again realized Canada is a great big place with nobody in it, having just returned from a “skate” through Atlantic Canada and a visit to the Pacific coast. We need to foster immigration to fill in the gaps, not inhibit it!
Immigrants, rather than being a drain, very quickly create greater wealth for everyone. Witness the English, the Irish, the Ukrainians, following the French. Witness the Italians, East and South Asians — thriving, all. Witness the culture added by the Haitians in Montreal and the Islanders everywhere. Witness more recently the entrepreneurship of the Persians, Russians, Bosnians and Afghanis (do, please, fly your kites). Welcome all. Our economy grows after every wave.
Canada, don't be worried and don’t listen to Mr. Harper and his baying dogs, evidently taking their script from the fear-mongering, talking-T-bags. We have nothing to lose but a few, mostly empty acres and everything to gain by opening our doors to the world. It surely needs the safety valve.
We have the room, the resources and the ability. I believe we have the goodwill, too — it’s part of us, ever since the Underground Railroad.
If only our leaders could muster the vision to fulfill this multicultural dream, instead of appealing to base fears, pandering to ignorance in search of quick votes.
- Chris Way, Mississauga
Monday, August 16, 2010
The Tory Government doesn't like it one bit - and they are making their position clear with alarmist headlines about for-profit human smuggling and the possibility that the refugee seekers include terrorists.
The Torys seem to view this event as an opportunity to tighten even further the immigration policies that have been slashed left and right since Harper took power.
“It’s is not the first time that the Canadian government has whipped up public anxiety at the arrival of asylum-seekers,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a professor in immigration settlement studies at Ryerson University.
It has happened numerous times but most recently in 1987 when 174 Sikhs landed by boat in Charlesville, N.S., and again in 1999 when some 600 Chinese migrants arrived at the shores of British Columbia.
There was mass hysteria then, just like it is now.
“When the government uses words like smuggling, Tamil Tigers and terrorists, most Canadians assume there is evidence,” said Siemiatycki. “But there isn’t … and making statements like that is irresponsible and does terrible injustice to the people on the boat.”
The Canadian government is partially responsible for stoking this mass hysteria, he added.
What’s playing out “is the sixth or the seventh sequel of some Grade B horror movie called Here Come the Boat People,” said Siemiatycki. “It’s the same thing every time … it’s tiresome, unworthy of Canada.”
Read the article in The Star here
Thursday, August 05, 2010
I can't promise the rest of this month will have much coverage. I think I need some time off.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This is the case recently with the CBC and its online news video content. A while back, I posted links to all the daily news feeds of "News at Six" for the different Provinces. Well, that info is now outdated, because CBC has redesigned its video player. The good news is, all the media is in one place now. So update your links to the following - http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Canada and you can once again learn about the latest going on in the part of Canada that is of interest to you.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Of course, this is devastating to the sponsor emotionally, and can be a big problem financially, as the sponsor is on the hook for any government service fees the runaway partner racks up (like unemployment) for a three year period.
The story features takes from a number of jilted Canadians and it really is sad to read how their hearts were broken by those they loved and trusted.
However...let's add a little context here if I may. There are around 45,000 family class permanent resident visas issued each year to spouses/partners. The 1,000 alleged cases of abandonment only represent 2% of that number. Of the entire annual number of immigrants, it only represents around 4/10 of 1%.
It's hard to categorize those numbers as some epidemic of immigration abuse.
But it plays well with Conservatives.
Read the entire article here
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
- Instead of 38 approved professions, now there are only 29
- In any category, only 1000 applicants will be accepted per year
- There is an overall cap of 20,000 applications per year (do the math and see that that means 9000 additional positions will not be created)
- Applicants must now submit the results of a language test, either English or French - even if they come from an English or French-speaking country
So, what's really going on here? Well, let's call it trimming the Federal budget for one thing. Kenney has consistently advocated ways to reduce the immigration rolls at a cost to potential immigrants. Fewer opportunities and added fees are always great ways to negatively influence behaviour. What else is happening? Just another example of Canada's pro-immigration policies being overseen by anti-immigration bureaucrats.
Something else to really note here: The hidden story in this release is the news on Investor Class applicants. The Harper government is proposing that these applicants now need to have a net worth of $1.6M and be willing to drop $800K into the Canadian economy (double the old requirements in both cases).
I don't get it: if someone is willing (under the current program) to come and drop $400K into Canada to start new businesses or invest...the plan is to tell them "no?" That this class has any limitations in the number of applicants at all is crazy. Economies are built on investors willing to take a chance.
You have to wonder what it will take to get the opposition's attention in Canada. Harper seems to pretty much do as he wants.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
The Kindle and e-reader devices open up a world of Canadian literature
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), is Canada's national day, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united two British colonies and a province of the British Empire into a single country called Canada. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as internationally.
I'll be in the Southwest U.S. What are your plans for the holiday?
Monday, June 28, 2010
But we believe we will be together. Soon? Who knows. But we believe - we believe.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Read the series here
Saturday, June 12, 2010
- The average hourly wage of an immigrant with the same or better qualifications than their Canadian counterpart is 10% lower.
- As of 2008, immigrants aged 25-54 with college degrees earned 20% less than their Canadian-born counterparts (even though on average they were both younger and more educated)
- Research showed that 40% of new immigrants to Canada are forced to make a downward step in their career paths
- Less than half of internationally trained immigrants were working in their field.
- Three times as many individuals (37%) we unemployed or under-employed than those trained in Canada (11%)
- Relative incomes for newcomers are falling
- Chronic low income occurs at a rate 250% higher than in Canadian-born populations
These are sober figures for anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada to pursue a professional career.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
This is the Gardnier Expressway, heading eastbound into the city (this is the exit I take going home too...)
Biking King and Younge Streets
And finally, some dowtown sights...
Thursday, June 03, 2010
"The federal government's push to speed passage of major refugee reform legislation has bumped up against an unexpected wall of Liberal opposition.
"Three days after Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced he had reached a deal with the Liberal party's immigration critic to get the bill through committee, a mini revolt within the Liberal caucus has left the legislation's future in doubt."
Read the article here.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister
Canada isn't popular these days with some members of the world community. And that fact has a lot to do with how the Tories are handling their immigration policies. Of course its a constant irritant that travelers from Mexico require a visa now to enter a country they were as free as any North Americans to travel to. Now add to it the row over Canadian immigration officials in India denying visas to an individual who served in India's border security force - based on the official's belief that it was a "notoriously violent” paramilitary unit.
The Canadian immigration and visa processes are notorious themselves - black holes where denials are made with the slightest information and where the burden of proof is never upon those who sit in judgement.
These unaccountable bureaucrats are soiling Canada's reputation. You want immigration reform, Mr. Harper? How about introducing openness and accountability? I seem to recall you were elected based on those principals - but of course, that was before you became Prime Minister.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
"Victoria Day (Fête de la Reine) is also known as "May Long Weekend", "May Two-four", "May Long", or "May Run", is a federal holiday celebrated on the last Monday before or on 24 May, in honour of both Queen Victoria's birthday and the current reigning Canadian sovereign's official birthday, and is also considered an informal mark of the beginning of the summer season. It has been observed since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign's actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country on the fixed date of the first Monday on or before 24 May. Royal Salutes, or 21-gun salutes, are fired in each provincial capital and in the national capital at noon on Victoria Day to mark the Sovereign's Birthday. However, since the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, the same day was unofficially known in the province as Fête de Dollard until 2003, when provincial legislation officially named the same date as Victoria Day the National Patriots' Day."
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
"We have an illegal immigration problem here in Minnesota," the bill's sponsor Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) explained to Politics in Minnesota. "We've had it for years."
"Finally. Unlike with Arizona, this bill is something I can fully applaud. There are an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants in Minnesota, at least according to crack Republican estimators. And like Arizona, Minnesota has illegal immigrants pouring into the state because it also shares borders with another country. Unlike Arizona, however, that country is Canada."
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Of those who came to Canada from France, America, Scotland, Russia, Vietnam, China... "They were all the debris of history. The expelled, the persecuted, the landless, the marginalized, the victims of imperial wars, of economic and ideological upheavals. In a sense, we are all boat people. We just got here at different times."
"We are suspicious of governments and ideologies because we are refugees from governments, armies and ideology. We are vigilant that no one claim no more rights than we have. Canada - cranky, forever courting and rejecting a breakup - is a perpetual negotiation of its constituent parts...The genius of Canada is the constant search for equilibrium, where no one ever fully gains the upper hand."
Monday, April 26, 2010
Good news in the sex-for-immigration-approval story from a few months back: former immigration judge Steve Ellis was found guilty of breach of trust and an Immigration and Refugee Protection Act charge of bribery. This creep tried to use his power over a South Korean woman named Ji Hye Kim to force her to sleep with him in exchange for a positive ruling in her case.
The court saw through his flimsy excuse that though he "never asked for sex" from Ms. Kim, it was clearly his intent all along.
Read the sordid details and happy result here.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
If it is, I'd love to know the source of the statistical data that backs up the abuse of Canada's immigration system - systematic or otherwise.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
"The federal Conservative government has short-changed Ontario at least $193 million in promised money for immigrant settlement programs, the provincial government says.
"Ottawa agreed in 2005 to transfer $920 million over five years in new immigration funding to Ontario, ending March 31.
"But Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Eric Hoskins says the money the province has received falls short of the original promise."
Read the entire article here
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
CIC continues to work out the pre-2008 backlog and have not added enough staff to cope with applications in skilled worker and other classes.
""More applications mean a longer backlog," (Immigration Canada's international director general Renald Gilbert) said, adding over the last four years the federal government more than doubled resources to process temporary foreign worker permits, but increased resources at visa posts abroad by only 7 per cent. Part of the problem is the mismatch between the number of applications and government targets allotted to individual visa posts, said Phil Mooney, president of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.
For example, the number of skilled immigrants waiting for visas in Islamabad, Pakistan, is 40,587 but the total number of visas to be granted there in 2010 is only 1,350, according to Kurland's analysis."
Read the article here.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Read Joe Friesen's article here.
View a graphical breakdown of Toronto's racial mix highlighting data from 1961 and 2006, as well as projecting the mix in 2031 here.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
- Your partner enters Canada on a visitors visa (maximum 6-month period)
- Extend your partner's visitor visa (6-month extension)
- By the end of that period, you will meet the legal requirements for a common-law couple and you will be able to begin the process of sponsoring your partner under the family class from within Canada.
- Near the end of the 12 months, your partner should apply at the same time for an extension of his/her temporary resident permit and for permanent residence through the family class.
- As long as your partner continues to renew his/her temporary status while awaiting the processing of the permanent residence application, she will not be required to leave Canada.
Read Allan's article here
Monday, March 08, 2010
I know they are understaffed. I know they are overworked. I know they are a bureaucracy...It doesn't make it any less frustrating.
"Skilled immigrants often focus on improving technical skills after coming to Canada, and they are shocked when they are told they have “no Canadian experience.” I’ve realized that this albatross around immigrants’ necks is actually a vague way of saying: “You lack the soft skills I am looking for in an employee.”"
Read about the nine soft skills that Nick believes no immigrant should be without here.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I was so proud of my adopted country. I am an American, but of course when it came to the important events (like hockey!), I was all red and white - not a speck of blue.
17 wonderful days passed far too fast. I am having withdrawals now.
I'll get back to immigration news and issues shortly. But for today, I'm still basking in a golden glow. Congratulations, Canada - you did it right.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Taped exchange to be played in court at trial of councillor turned immigration judge
Read the disgusting article on the alleged behaviour of an Immigration Refugee Board Trial Judge. And about the courageous couple who brought it all to light.
Read the article here.
Monday, February 15, 2010
We Are More
by Shane Koyczan
When defining Canada
you might list some statistics
you might mention our tallest building
or biggest lake
you might shake a tree in the fall
and call a red leaf Canada
you might rattle off some celebrities
might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie
might even mention the fact that we've got a few
or that we made these crazy things
and washing machines
when defining Canada
it seems the world's anthem has been
" been there done that"
and maybe that's where we used to be at
we've done and we've been
all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine
and turned into theme parks
but when defining Canada
don't forget to mention that we have set sparks
we are not just fishing stories
about the one that got away
we do more than sit around and say "eh?"
we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One
who inspired little number nines
and little number ninety-nines
but we're more than just hockey and fishing lines
off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes
and some say what defines us
is something as simple as please and thank you
and as for you're welcome
well we say that too
but we are more
than genteel or civilized
we are an idea in the process
of being realized
we are young
we are cultures strung together
then woven into a tapestry
and the design
is what makes us more
than the sum total of our history
we are an experiment going right for a change
with influences that range from a to zed
and yes we say zed instead of zee
we are the colours of Chinatown and the coffee of Little Italy
we dream so big that there are those
who would call our ambition an industry
because we are more than sticky maple syrup and clean snow
we do more than grow wheat and brew beer
we are vineyards of good year after good year
we reforest what we clear
because we believe in generations beyond our own
knowing now that so many of us
have grown past what used to be
we can stand here today
filled with all the hope people have
when they say things like "someday"
someday we'll be great
someday we'll be this
someday we'll be at a point
when someday was yesterday
and all of our aspirations will pay the way
for those who on that day
look towards tomorrow
and still they say someday
we will reach the goals we set
and we will get interest on our inspiration
because we are more than a nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks
more than backpacks and hiking trails
we are hammers and nails building bridges
towards those who are willing to walk across
we are the lost-and-found for all those who might find themselves at a loss
we are not the see-through gloss or glamour
of those who clamour for the failings of others
we are fathers brothers sisters and mothers
uncles and nephews aunts and nieces
we are cousins
we are found missing puzzle pieces
we are families with room at the table for newcomers
we are more than summers and winters
more than on and off seasons
we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay
because we are more than what we say or do
we live to get past what we go through
and learn who we are
we are students
students who study the studiousness of studying
so we know what as well as why
we don't have all the answers
but we try
and the effort is what makes us more
we don't all know what it is in life we're looking for
so keep exploring
go far and wide
or go inside but go deep
as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss
and suddenly there was this location scout
trying to figure some way out
to get inside you
because you've been through hell and high water
and you went deep
because we are more
than a laundry list of things to do and places to see
we are more than hills to ski
or countryside ponds to skate
we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can't wait
we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes
a country that is all the ways you choose to live
a land that can give you variety
because we are choices
we are millions upon millions of voices shouting
" keep exploring... we are more"
we are the surprise the world has in store for you
Canada is the "what" in "what's new?"
so don't say "been there done that"
unless you've sat on the sidewalk
while chalk artists draw still lifes
on the concrete of a kid in the street
beatboxing to Neil Young for fun
don't say you've been there done that
unless you've been here doing it
let this country be your first-aid kit
for all the times you get sick of the same old same old
let us be the story told to your friends
and when that story ends
leave chapters for the next time you'll come back
next time pack for all the things
you didn't pack for the first time
but don't let your luggage define your travels
each life unravels differently
and experiences are what make up
the colours of our tapestry
we are the true north
strong and free
and what's more
is that we didn't just say it
we made it be.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
At this site you can learn about Canadian arts, culture, citizenship, multiculturalism, as well as government events and initiatives. Explore well over 100 different subjects and topics related to Canada. I think the site is a great resource.
Available in both official languages (English and French).
Go to the Canadian Heritage website
Monday, February 08, 2010
The newsletter is distributed electronically and delivered directly to your email inbox every month. It may also be accessed directly on CICNews.com through the archives section.
The Tory plan for immigration in 2010 is to limit the number of immigrants coming into the country. Skilled workers have to be from a select number of professions only, or they wont get in. Isn't it interesting that just when the country should be expanding the opportunities for immigrants to contribute to the tax base of the country, they are instead limiting access?
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I'm lucky enough to be able to see the broadcast here in Seattle, where it is available on both the CBC and the NHL Network in its entirety. I have to admit, it's bittersweet to watch. Its so revealing of the country I love.
To play requires many complex skills: skating, hand-eye coordination, strength, endurance, toughness, grace; and at its highest level, speed and unmatched agility. Hockey can only be played as a team - together. Beyond the athleticism, and though a worldwide game, so many Canadian qualities shine through. This is a country that works together to a common goal, and to do so requires the same strength, endurance, toughness and grace. Canada is proud to be the home of hockey. Canada loves its game.
Unlike many sports that are "me first" endeavors where individual accomplishment is praised above all, hockey is all about the team, the group, and at the heart of it all - relationships.
Like hockey, in Canada we're all in this together. That gives me incredible hope.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
"Despite a much publicized promise nine months ago that Ottawa would expedite the immigration process for Afghans who risked their lives working for Canada, the workers, mainly interpreters, are caught in a bureaucratic maze."
Kenny makes a lot of statements, a lot of promises. The thing with a promise is - you need to keep it. After reading the article it's clear that this is program set up to fail for the Afganis who have supported Canada's war effort.
Read the entire article here.
Friday, January 22, 2010
"Haitian children are expected in Canada within days as Ottawa fast-tracks the adoption process for those where homes are already waiting for them, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday.
"We have already identified about 100 such applications (at different stages) ... in our system and we are working to contact those adoptive parents to let them know what we are doing," he told a news conference.
"I hope that we can bring these children to Canada within the coming days," Kenney said of those cases where there is evidence that approval has been granted by Haitian authorities.
The federal government will also provide temporary resident permits, waive fees and temporarily cover health costs as it steps up its efforts to bring orphans to Canada."
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Read the article here