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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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More news from the Kenney zone

It's really absurd, the news that comes out of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office these days. The latest news is that since the implementation of their revised Skilled Worker program, immigrants under the program are doing better than ever.

"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

Toronto photos at Skyscraper City

Toronto is my Canadian home. I fell in love with the city from the very start; just as I was also falling in love with my sweetheart. She loves Toronto and she was so proud of the city when we first met, that she took me all over - showing me her favourite places and making them mine as well.

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

Jason Kenney's math problem

Jason Kenney obviously believes that when it comes to immigrants who want to invest their way into Canada, less is more. That's the only way you could explain his revisions to the Investor Class policy (which is once again accepting applications) that saw the net worth requirement double from CAD $800K to CAD $1.6M. Less immigrants required to bring more money with them.

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

Double standards - Martha Stewart visits Manitoba to see polar bears

Martha Stewart visits Manitoba to see polar bears - thestar.com

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

Another sad story reveals Canada's broken refugee system

"Ler Wah Lo Bo fought against the autocratic regime in Burma, fled the country and received asylum in Canada in 2002.

"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

CBC - Thai this on for size: Kenney's office on Tamil migrant arrest reports

Hannah Thibedeau posted this revealing "Inside Politics" blog:

"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.