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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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The trouble with visas

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

Canadian holidays - Victoria day

What is Victoria Day? Here's what Wikipedia (paraphrased) has to say:

"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

Q: Why so few posts lately?

A: Stanley Cup Playoffs and The Montreal Canadiens!

I'll get back to posts soon - thanks for your patience : )

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Minnesota proposes anti-immigration bill targeting...Canada

"Last week, Minnesota Republicans announced they wanted to introduce an anti-immigration bill, similar to that passed by Arizona.

"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."

Read the entire article here (by the way - it's satire...).

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mark Starowicz on Canadians

I just finished reading the complete, "Canada: A People's History" By Don Gillmor (Vol.1 and 2, by M&S Publishing, Toronto). It's a fantastic pair of books and I highly recommend it to you to read. In particular, the afterword by Mark Starowicz touched me. Here, he describes the common thread that binds almost all Canadians (with a notable exception being both the French Canadian, and First Nations experiences).

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."