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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How does Jason Kenney find the time for immigration issues?

Jason Kenney is one of the Harper Government's busiest ministers.

Not only does he hold the responsibility for Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, he is also:
  • The Regional Minister for Alberta
  • Chair of the Operation committee (Provides day-to-day coordination of the government’s agenda, including issues management, legislation and house planning, and communications)

    and a member of
  • The Priorities and Planning committee (Provides strategic direction on government priorities and expenditure management, ratifies committee recommendations and approves appointments)
  • The National Security committee (Provides broad strategic direction for security and foreign policy related to Canada's national interest, and oversees Canada's national security response activities)
  • The Social Affairs committee (Considers health care, justice, public safety, Aboriginal, training and skills development, culture, and immigration policy issues) 
That gives Kenney no fewer than six major responsibilities in the Harper Government. One can assume that these responsibilities don't simply entail showing up for a meeting now and then. Is it no wonder that Kenney illustrates a predilection for expedient solutions to complex problems, such as limiting his view of immigration to an economic issue? Perhaps he simply doesn't have time to deal with such a complex portfolio?     

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Canadian Press - Immigrant lawsuit fails to preserve backlogged applications

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wants to change the way the skilled worker category is administered. The budget implementation bill would eliminate all backlogged cases and force would-be immigrants to apply again.

A federal court judge has quashed the hopes of hundreds of would-be immigrants seeking to force the government to review their files.

Over 800 skilled workers have seen their applications languish in a massive backlog that's set to be eliminated by the federal budget bill.

Read the rest of the story here

Thursday, May 24, 2012

That Conrad Black thing

It's good to be convicted criminal Conrad Black
Many around the world have probably never heard of Conrad Black, Lord of Crossharbour. He is a former Canadian citizen who was convicted in the US of committing fraud and obstruction of justice. For his crime, he served 42 months in a US Federal prison. He was recently allowed entry into Canada on a Temporary Resident's visa for one year.

Two points may require some background in understanding the ire that Black has caused immigration watchers in Canada. First off, in order to become Lord Black of the British peerage, Black was required to renounce his Canadian citizenship. Whether this was done entirely of his free will is a matter of debate. History tells us that the Chretien administration forced Black's hand on this matter. Still - he gave it up in order to obtain his appointment to the House of Lords. He therefore gave up all his rights as a Canadian citizen (residency included).

Secondly, there is the matter of allowing people to enter Canada who have been convicted of "serious criminality". In short, crimes committed in other countries that, if committed in Canada could include a maximum sentance of at least 10 years or more make an individual inadmissible. If a person is not allowed into the country for this reason, they are required to wait 5-years after the expiration of their sentance and any conditional parole, and apply for rehabilitation. They are only allowed entry after their rehabilitation has been approved. The only other special circumstance that would allow a person into the country is the granting of a Temporary Residence permit through a so-called "Minister's Permit" based on hardship or compassionate grounds.

Black was provided a Temporary Residence permit BEFORE he left jail.

Clearly, critics have some reason here to raise their eyebrows. Black has never admitted his guilt or responsibility for his crimes - clearly he is not rehabilitated on that basis. Virtually no time had passed from his release to prove his acts were not in his character either (another method of proving rehabilitation). Still, friends in high places get results. Black is certainly well connected in Canada from running one of the nation's largest media empires at one time.

But don't expect this level of justice and compassion if you aren't Conrad Black. It's not coming. The average applicant for Criminal Rehabilitation can expect a wait of years to have their case reviewed. In 2010, of all applications in the queue, only 880 were succcessful.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pardon the interruption

Hi Readers,
I've been in the U.S. for a few weeks with family and blogging has fallen off the table for the duration. I'll be back with a flurry of posts starting next week. Thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoyed the Victoria Day long weekend!

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Globe and Mail - Changes to immigration policy could transform society

Those workers at Tims? Many are temporary foreign workers,
and now Tim's can pay them 15% less to do their job.
Welcome to Canada.

Disturbing economic analysis from The Globe and Mail on the impact to Canadians and temporary foreign workers now that the Harper Government has instituted a two-tier wage system, allowing employers to pay temporary foreign workers 15% less than it pays Canadians for the same job (as a side note, you'll notice that I use the propaganda name 'The Harper Government" when I describe the federal government. This is how Harper describes his federal government. I'm almost glad to use it, because to ascribe these policies to the Canadian government is heartbreaking, though true).

On the new wage system, The Globe notes:

Disturbingly, the federal announcement also set out new wage rules that permit employers to pay temporary foreign workers up to 15 per cent below the average paid for that type of work locally, sanctioning the creation of a two-tiered “us and them” labour market.

Even if such a rule were rigorously applied and monitored – and budget cuts may eliminate the staff to do this job – it guarantees a downward trend in wages for everyone. Fifteen per cent below the average is a recipe for continuous decline when labour shortages are filled, as a matter of policy, by those who get paid less and are not allowed to stay long enough to ask for more.

Read the rest of the article here

The Star - Immigration applications to Canada drop in Asian countries

“Without being part of a public consultation, we’ve drastically changed not only the way we do immigration, but the immigrants who come in,” said Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree Foundation, which has a mandate to build strong civic communities.

“Immigration selection is not simply about headhunting, but about nation-building. Immigration policy is too important to be made in a piecemeal manner.”

Statistics obtained by the Star show a significant drop in the annual number of Chinese, Indians, Filipinos and Pakistanis applying for permanent residency between 2006 and 2011.

Read the article here

Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Globe and Mail - Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants

Today the Globe and Mail published a massive online article on "Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants". Read the wealth of fact and opinion that makes the case against the Harper Government's restrictive and narrow-minded approach to this important subject.

Here's an excerpt:

Between now and 2021, a million jobs are expected to go unfilled across Canada. Ottawa is making reforms to the immigration system but isn't going far enough. We need to radically boost immigration numbers. With the right people, Canada can be an innovative world power. Without them, we'll drain away our potential.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Expat blog introduces new jobs and housing tools

Our friends at Expat blog passed on the following information about some new features on their site. Be sure and check them out and join up to use. In addition to the jobs platform announced below, they have added a tool to assist you in finding housing. Here's a link to the Canadian housing resources they are making available.

Facing economic difficulties in their country, a growing number of people choose to go abroad to explore new job opportunities. To follow that trend and help expats, Expat blog, the expatriate social network, launches a new international job platform.

Since the beginning of the economic crisis, one of the first reasons of mobility has been employment. “Most of our members are generally willing to expatriate for professional motivations”, explains Julien Faliu, founder and CEO of Expat blog. “Fed up with facing difficulties on the job market in their native country, a lot of them want to take a chance overseas”.

But, looking for a job in a country you know nothing about is not as simple as that! With its new international job board, Expat blog makes it easier: indeed, you can access to job offers everywhere in the world, wherever you are.

“This new platform dedicated to overseas jobs meets both the demands of job seekers and employers. They can define its selection criteria and therefore find offers perfectly matching their wishes”, Julien Faliu says.

Expat blog also provides useful tools for expatriates and soon-to-be expatriates to help them prepare their relocation project. As a matter of fact, getting a job is often just the first step. The next one will be to find accommodation, to learn more about the country, its customs and day-to-day life. Expat blog answers all these questions by relying on expatriates’ experience for more than 7 years.

Expat blog is the expatriate social network, with more than 420 000 members and 1,8 million visitors per month. Designed for expatriates by expatriates, Expat blog offers free information and advice to those who live or wish to live abroad.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Small talk

My Love and I were in Niagara Falls over the weekend to see her mom and dad and we also met up with a friend of ours who is living in NYC while we were there. Funny thing came up (as in interesting) when she mentioned that I'll start a conversation with anyone in an elevator (which I will). I guess that's not very Canadian. Our friend concurred, saying she's never had more random conversations with strangers as she has had in New York. Apparently Canadians are polite, but not personable! I notice now that rarely does anyone speak in elevators, or to their neighbours...But I say no to this convention - I am who I am and I'm going to be the one "Canadian" (of the permanent resident variety) who does.

Canadians not personable? I don't think so! Maybe you and I can chat about it sometime?