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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.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

South China Morning Post - Chinese numbers in Vancouver, Toronto to double by 2031

The Chinese populations of Vancouver and Toronto are set to double by 2031, helping push whites below 50 per cent of the population in both cities, says a report for Canada's immigration department.

The study, released this week, is titled "A new residential order?". It predicted that the populations in both cities would be more prone to segregate into racial enclaves with time.

Daniel Hiebert, a geographer at the University of British Columbia, concluded his report by saying that the two cities "are likely to have a social geography that is entirely new to Canadian society". He said the degree of racial segregation in both cities would approach that of between blacks and whites in America.

Both cities have a long history of immigrant populations, but it was only in the late 1990s that they developed what Hiebert called "ethnocultural enclaves" and a "new residential order".

Read the article here

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Passports - plan ahead

Somehow I thought I was done with the travel document issues, but with a visit to the U.S. coming up, I checked my Passport and what do you know - it expires in a few months! Not only that, but trips I have are scheduled such that I don't have 3-4 weeks to be without the document, which I would be if I mailed it in for renewal.

I need an expedited one.

So, bad planning is going to cost me an extra $60 ($170 total) to renew my U.S. passport. But I'll have it in five days.

I initially, mistakenly thought that I wouldn't only needed my U.S. Passport after I received my Canadian permanent residence card, but actually you need both those items. To enter the U.S. I need the passport and to re-enter Canada they ask for both the passport and the permanent residence card.

So remember, plan ahead and have the documentation you need to cross these ever more vigilant borders of ours.    

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Globe and Mail - Harper vows to reform temporary foreign worker program

But will he give those temporary workers who come here any chance at permanent residence?

Stephen Harper is putting Canadian employers on notice that the temporary foreign worker program has grown too large, forcing Ottawa to bring in new rules to ensure it is only used to fill the country’s most acute labour shortages.

The Prime Minister delivered his stern comments in Calgary, a city where hundreds of employers – from Boston Pizza to driving schools to a local soccer club – have turned to the federal program to fill jobs. Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail reveal that 33,000 organizations from across the country – including big and small businesses, universities and even federal government departments – have successfully applied to use the program in recent years.

Read the rest of the article here

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

RBC and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Erin Weir, an economist with the United Steelworkers of Canada writes in today's Globe and Mail:

An econometric study based on data through 2007 published last year in Canadian Public Policy concludes, “The expansion [of the Temporary Foreign Worker program] in Canada to all low-skill occupations without limit has had an adverse effect on the Canadian labour market.” There is reason to fear that adding more vulnerable workers to weak labour markets since 2008 has further worsened unemployment and undermined wages.

RBC provides a particularly compelling example of why the Temporary Foreign Worker Program must be reined in. It should be limited to areas with demonstrable skill shortages.

Before importing temporary labour, employers should have to meet a much higher burden of proof that they cannot find Canadian workers. Those temporary foreign workers who are admitted should have a clear path to permanent residency and citizenship, so that they can fully contribute to our economy and exercise the same workplace rights as other Canadians.

Monday, April 08, 2013

CBC - RBC scrambles to explain hiring practices to Canadians after CBC report

The Royal Bank of Canada was scrambling to explain its hiring practices to customers Sunday after a CBC report claiming the bank was employing foreign workers to replace Canadian staff prompted a flood of outrage.

RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers

Canada's largest bank (TSX:RY) said it has not hired foreign workers to take over the job functions of current employees, but said it uses outside companies as one of its strategies to improve "operational effectiveness."

Zabeen Hirji, chief human resources officer, said the company is working to find suitable roles for 45 Toronto employees whose jobs are being outsourced.

This is the sort of news that causes average Canadians to oppose legitimate skilled worker class immigration. RBC certainly has some explaining to do - to the country and to the government.

Read the rest of the article here 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Is he a Minister or a Tinker? Kenney keeps messing with immigration programs

(From Canada's newest immigration policy — the Start-up Visa Program — is being lauded by analysts in the United States.

As April 1st, foreign start-up entrepreneurs can apply for immigration if they have a start-up business idea and a funding commitment from a designated Venture Capital Organization or Angel Investor in Canada.

It seems sometimes like this Minister is making things up as he goes along. Economic immigration to Canada is becoming a bit of a shell game. How can we measure performance when the target keeps moving? I pay attention to this subject on a regular basis of course, and I can't even keep up with the changes.

What does that mean to potential immigrants who are attempting to find their way through this confusion?

Kenney's manipulations of the country's immigration programs seem at times designed simply to obfuscate the landscape in such a way as to defer criticism and mask both the intent of policy and the performance of the programs. Rather than enhance the well-known Investor Class programs, Kenney has raised the investment requirement bar there, and added an entirely new class - Start-up, with a bizarre set of core requirements:

  • You must demonstrate intermediate knowledge in both English and French
  • You must have completed at least one year of Post-Secondary Education
  • Receive a minimum funding commitment of $200,000 CDN from a designated Venture Capital Organization (or $75,000 from an approved Angel Investor)
The Canadian government has allotted 2750 statup visas per year for start-up entrepreneurs and their families under this temporary (5-year) program.

Pay close attention to the shell game Kenney is playing with immigration in Canada. If he makes it confusing enough, and expensive enough to participate, no one will want to immigrate here.

Read more about the program   

Read the Yahoo article here

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Globe and Mail - New immigration guide issues stern warnings against ‘barbaric’ practices

Jill Mahoney and Ian Bailey write:

Newcomers to Canada are being bluntly told in a revised federal guidebook for immigrants that polygamy and forced marriages are illegal in this country.

The 146-page document, which also addresses human trafficking and gender-based violence, takes pains to spell out the country’s marriage customs.

“In Canada, there are laws against being married to more than one person at a time. You cannot come to Canada with more than one spouse even if you were married to more than one person in the past,” says the passage in Welcome to Canada: What you should know.

Read the article here

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Why Canada doesn't work - reaction to McLean's Magazine

The March 25th issue of McLean's Magazine includes an article titled, "Why Canada doesn't work", which discusses the employment environment in this country, and what is perceived as a trend toward "people without jobs, and jobs without people."

What is covered in the article is the landscape from the point of view of employers who need skilled workers (in both the white-collar professional jobs and skilled trades), and the response to this need by educators and by government through the focus of education and immigration programs. It also discusses the barriers that employees, particularly skilled immigrants, face through the credentialing maze of requirements.

And while McLean's questions the government, and questions universities and trade schools about their responses to the demand and future shortages of workers to keep Canada moving forward, there is one glaring hole in their coverage: just what is the employers responsibility here?

Aren't employers the ones who's products and services are created and provided by the employees that fill these jobs? Isn't training a cost of doing business anymore? It seems that employers want that burden to be carried by the government or by the potential employee. The government; through programs that provide funding for training, or immigration opportunities to people with the right skill set for a particular job. The employee; through choosing the right education at the right time to get the right job - which is in all honesty, a crap-shoot.

I remember a time when the right person for a job was the person capable and responsible enough to learn what the work required, and diligent enough to show up for that work each day, providing value to their employer. Seems that's not the case any more. That situation required risk by the employer, coupled with an investment in training. I read recently that if you took into account the basic job requirements for open positions in the tech sector, neither Bill Gates, nor Steve Jobs would have a chance of getting hired for today's jobs. What does that tell you?

It's time that the government and the press pushed back on employers to challenge and change their mindset about who is truly eligible to fill the myriad of open positions in this country. Seems to me that if someone can dedicate their efforts to an undergraduate degree, or to a technical school education, that they are capable of learning and excelling in a wide range of jobs. It seems to me, that is someone is ambitious enough to leave their home for another to pursue opportunities, they would be ambitious enough to help a wide range of companies.

All they need is what we used to call "an opportunity".  

Monday, April 01, 2013

Harper Government opens thousands of immigration slots for immigration reduction researchers

It is a banner day for research professionals worldwide who are interested in bringing their scientific studies to Canada, as the Harper Government announced today that they were opening up 7,000 immigration slots for academics involved in the statistical discipline of immigration reduction.

"We are excited to open up these opportunities to researchers who can bring with them an immediate benefit to Canada through their research on how to best limit the number of immigrants we must allow into the country each year, " noted Immigration ministry spokesperson Guy LaBarrière. "Immigration reduction is an exciting new frontier in the statistical sciences, and Canada wants to lead the way in both the study and application of their breakthrough concepts."

One of the most promising areas of research deals with causing immigration levels appear to be statistically increasing, while in actuality, reducing the number of immigrants a country allows in.

The new class of immigration, named the Overall Class Reduction Action Program (O-CRAP) will be accepting applicants starting April 1, 2013.

(April Fools!)