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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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Star - Immigration levels to stay the same in 2013, mix to change: Kenney

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced today that 2013 immigration levels are to remain the same as last year - somewhere between 240-265,000 persons to be admitted. However, the Minister plans to cutback on the Federal Skilled Worker program and re-balance in favour of Canadian Experience Class applicants. How to interpret this? The Tories are happy to allow you to immigrate if you have already been allowed into Canada. If you haven't already been allowed in, it just got harder.

From the CIC web site:

You must meet these minimum requirements to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class. You must:

  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec (emphasis added)
  • be either:
    • a temporary foreign worker with at least two years of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience (emphasis added) in Canada, or
    • a foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution with at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada
  • have gained your experience in Canada with the proper work or study permit
  • apply while working in Canada or within one year of leaving your job in Canada
  • include the results of an independent language test (from an agency designated by CIC) showing you meet the minimum language requirements with your application

Read the article here 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Huffington Post - Canada: A Nation of Foreign Terrorists According to Bill C-43

Irwin Cotler writes:

Simply put, bill C-43 is seriously flawed in several particulars. First, it grants the Minister of Immigration new and ambiguous powers to bar people from entry to Canada for a period of three years on the grounds of "public policy." This reform is likely to lead to further politicization of our immigration system. Second, the new measures for faster deportation of residents will invite Charter challenges, particularly as the bill lowers the sentence for which a person can be deported from a two year sentence to six months -- thus shifting the focus of deportation away from serious criminality towards petty crimes.

Read the article here

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Far from the home I love

I was watching "Fiddler On The Roof" the other day - one of my favourite musicals. It's directed by Canadian Norman Jewison.

There is a scene in it when the daughter, Hodel (played by Michele Marsh), and Tevye (played by Topol) are sitting at a lonely train stop, and Hodel is explaining to her father why she is leaving home to follow here love to Siberia, where he is serving a sentence for sedition.

In the song she sings, "Far from the home I love", I heard many an immigrant's story, who, like myself, left my home to follow the one I love. Here are the lyrics for you. Like the rest of the story, it's as beautiful as it is sad.

How can I hope to make you understand
Why I do, what I do,
Why I must travel to a distant land
Far from the home I love?

Once I was happily content to be
As I was, where I was
Close to the people who are close to me
Here in the home I love...

Who could see that a man would come
Who would change the shapes of my dreams?
Helpless, now, I stand with him
Watching older dreams grow dim.

Oh, what a melancholy choice this is,
Wanting home, wanting him,
Closing my heart to every hope but his, 
Leaving the home I love.

There were my heart has settled long ago
I must go, I must go.
Who could imagine I'd be wand'ring so
Far from the home I love?

Yet, there with my love, I'm home.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Back in the USSA

I'm back in the U.S. for a few weeks visiting family and keeping busy with the ongoing move to Toronto. Seems like I'm moving a suitcase at a time - or 50-pounds at a time. I pretty much know that there's not a lot left in Seattle that I need to have with me in Toronto. If you can live without something for a year, you pretty much don't "need" it. There are still a few things I want to have with me though. Some of those items will make it home when I fly back in a couple weeks.

One shift is very evident this time around. I feel like I've left "home" (Toronto), and that I'm visiting Seattle. Now you may think, how can I feel that way considering Toronto has only been my home for a year and Seattle was my home the whole rest of my life, but it is so true that "home is where the heart is". My heart is in Canada and Toronto.

The nonsense of the U.S. election season immediately got on my nerves. Being reminded of the excess of it just makes me mad on behalf of the people who live here. The press reported that the Obama campaign raised over $180 million in the month of July alone for his campaign.

As a point of reference, under Canadian law, political parties are only allowed to spend $21 million on advertising for their entire campaign.

And while issues of same sex marriage rights are debated, gas prices soar above $4.00/gallon. It's just business as usual: nothing getting done for the people. It's frustrating to be back in a country that so poorly serves the interests of its population.

I know - Canada is not perfect. Just look at Harper's omnibus approach to legislation and you can see that. But Canadian politicians recognize they can't ignore the needs of their people for long. If they do, they not only can lose their jobs - they can lose their entire party. Just ask the Liberals about that one.

So I have another couple of weeks here, then I'm back home. I miss Seattle when I'm away. I miss friends and family, of course. But miss the U.S.?

Not so much. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Bill C-43: another tactic to keep permanent residents in their place

I believe in the best qualities of man. For instance - I don't believe that, in general someone would take the time and effort and expense to immigrate to Canada because they wanted to come to break the law here.

But the Tory's see things a little differently. Under proposed legislation (Bill C-43), if you are a permanent resident who gets in trouble with the law, you could lose your status and be kicked out of the country with no ability to appeal if the sentance for your crime is over 6-months in length. For a little context here, the crime of shoplifting a candy bar can carry a six-month sentance.

But that's not all Bill C-43 would do, according to The Star: "Not only would the new regulation punish those who ran afoul of the law, it would go after permanent residents found to have misrepresented themselves when they applied for immigration, Jackman said.

"An honest omission on a person’s employment history or incorrect dates of certain events written down on an immigration application could come back to haunt the immigrant years later.

Current law allows convicted immigrants to lose their immigrant status and be banned from re-entering Canada for two years. The new law would prohibit readmission for five years."

Read the article here


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Star - Ontario immigration strategy calls for more power to pick newcomers

Ontario needs to attract at least 135,000 newcomers a year, raise the ratio of skilled workers and take charge of immigrant selection to keep its economic engine running beyond 2014, says a government-appointed panel.

The findings of the expert panel will be presented to provincial Immigration Minister Charles Sousa on Wednesday, seven months after it was appointed to tackle declining immigration to the province, skill shortages and the falling economic performance of newcomers.

Read the article here