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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.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CBC - Brian Stewart: Europe's job exodus, Canada's immigration shift

There is one part of Europe's economic suffering at least that suits Ottawa and the provinces just fine.

The high unemployment among the continent's skilled trade workers has opened a motherlode of tens of thousands of prized immigrants of exactly the type Ottawa now wants to encourage — young, well-educated and fluent in either English or French.

Read the rest of Brian Stewart's piece on the CBC web site

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Star - Canadian citizenship rejections have more than doubled since 2006

The refusal rate of new citizens has more than doubled from 2006 to 2010, when Ottawa raised the pass mark of the citizenship test. 

According to federal statistics obtained by the Star, the rejection rate went up from 1.4 per cent to 3.5 per cent in the five-year period. In 2006, 3,872 people — or 1.4 per cent of those applying for citizenship — were denied. 

In March 2010, the federal government launched a new test and raised the passing mark from 60 per cent to 75 per cent. Subsequently, 5,351 — or 3.5 per cent of the applicants — were turned down. 

Read the full article at The Star online

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Winter? What Winter?

Just a few weeks back it seems, I was starting to enjoy the cold that Canada has to offer a new immigrant. I have my gear; I'm ready for it. I was excited to be out with the cold sucking the breath from me as I walked through the city, dodging ice sickles as they fell from the skyscrapers, watch the ice form on Toronto's inner harbour, go skating at the Natrel rink - the whole nine yards.

But Winter never really set in here. And then I was off in the States for a month. And now that I am back, just a week until Springtime - it's going to be 18C today! My old home in Seattle has seen more snow than Toronto this year. Needless to say, I can't really claim to have experienced my first "real" Canadian Winter.

The weather office is already making noise that Summer may be hotter and muggier than ever - that's something I HAVE experienced, and I can't say I'm anxious for it, though I love Summertime.

I was simply really excited for a brutal Winter. Oh well, maybe next year.   

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Are you outraged yet? Legislating away immigration backlog an option, Kenney declares

Are you outraged yet over The Harper Government's handling of immigration?

According to a report in today's Globe and Mail, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney knows no boundaries in remaking Canada's immigration system in his party's image. Forget the near 1-million individuals who are currently in the backlog: they don't exist if the Tories pass legislation saying they don't. Forget the immigration system that covers a broad range of applicants, from family class to refugees - the Tories are only interested in those who come to work. Let's have employers decide who comes to Canada with a "just in time" immigration system that they design for their own needs.

Under Harper, Canada's immigration system has deteriorated exponentially. What was a backlog of 600,000 has grown to nearly 1-million people. What was a 1-2 year wait for a decision has deteriorated to an up to 8-year wait. While the Tories played the immigration card in the last election, temporarily increasing the number admitted into the country to around 265,000, they have now reduced the yearly number to 225,000 and cut the Skilled Worker class application allowance in half. They are remaking the refugee claim system into one with no appeal. And family reunification? Well that only costs Canadians money - how could it be good for us?

Minister Kenney: you can't break a system by your policies and inaction and then blame the same system for being broken. Your mismanagement is more than a threat to the Canadian economy - it threatens the fabric on which the nation was built and continues to be grown. Deny if you want the research that shows Canada's  population growth cannot sustain social programs. Deny if you want the best and brightest the globe has to offer because they don't line up with your political master's goals. Your leadership on the immigration portfolio is a shame on this nation.

If you are one of the 1-million currently waiting for a decision on your case, this is not a time to remain silent. While you are not Canadians, you can still make your voice heard by the government. I want to encourage you to get active now, by writing to Prime Minister Harper, Immigration Minister Kenney and members of Parliament in the part of Canada where you plan to live when you arrive.

Let the Prime Minister, the Immigration Minister and your member know what you think of these immigration proposals. Let them know your stories: the years you have waited, the expense you've gone to, the separations you've endured; the dreams you have for Canada. Don't stop there - write the Globe and Mail, The Star, and other publications.

Make your voices heard. If you don't stand up for yourselves now, you may lose the chance in the future. You'll forever be on the outside, looking in.     

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Star - David Olive: Skills shortage highlights faulty thinking on immigration

"The economic blessings of immigration cannot be exaggerated, though the current federal government seems unmindful of that.

"Canada has emerged from economic recovery to pre-recession growth rates faster than any of its industrialized peers. But our greater prosperity is held back by shortages of skilled workers in practically every region and vocation. Yet Ottawa has cut the inflow of immigrants from an annual 250,000 to 225,000, trapped by a recession-era mindset that is obsolete."

Read the rest at The Star online

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Star - A new immigration point system for Canada starts in 2012

Immigration Minister Kenney announced a new immigration points system for Skilled Worker class applicants today in Toronto. Highlights of the new system, to be formally announced later in the year will include:
  • A revised points-based selection grid favouring young immigrants
  • Prospective immigrants in licensed professions will need to be pre-assessed to ensure they are likely to get certification in Canada before their applications are processed
  • Provincial Nominee Program applicants will need to meet the Federal mandatory language requirement