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.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Know your rights at the US/Canada border

Under Canada’s Customs Act, Canada Border Services Agency officers have widespread powers to stop and search people, their baggage and other possessions and devices at any Canadian port of entry (land border crossing, air terminal or sea port).

Canadian courts have generally recognized that people should have reduced expectations of privacy at border points. In this special context, privacy and other Charter rights are limited by state imperatives of national sovereignty, immigration control, taxation and security.

Canada Border Services Agency officers are authorized to conduct searches of people entering Canada, including their baggage, parcels or devices such as laptops and smart phones. These searches may be conducted without a warrant. Officers may examine devices for photos, files, contacts and other media.

If your laptop or mobile device is searched, you will likely be asked to provide the password.  If you refuse, your device may be held for further inspection. Our understanding is that the issue of whether a border security agency can compel an individual to provide a password for a personal electronic device at a border crossing is not something that has been specifically looked at by the Courts in Canada.

(Source: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Choose Canada

It's been quite awhile since I wrote here. Some might say it's the natural cycle of blogs that they can only be sustained for X-number of years, or that once the mode of expression has served its purpose or run its course that it's natural it should fade into the background.

These things are true of The Expatriate Mind. I started the blog to document my immigration from the US to Canada,with all its emotional ups and downs, the events along the way and the current events that put the journey into context.

The entirety of the journey is nearly complete as I will be filing papers for my citizenship in a matter of months. I'll be sure and let you know about that process as it occurs, and the steps along the way. It's exciting to think that I will be a Canadian in the very near future.

But why I am writing tonight is because for now, I remain an American permanent resident of Canada and I want to communicate to anyone out there who is looking for make a new life for themselves in North America to take the US off of your radar and instead, choose Canada.

For at least the next four years, the US will be lead by Donald Trump - a fascist, racist, misogynist who is supported by his enablers and henchmen in government and the general population. The characteristics Trump exhibits are not those of all Americans by far, but his control of the government means that immigrating to the US will be fraught with difficulty as he molds policies to please his fascist, racist supporters and fills his bureaucracy with those who share his world view.

Canada welcomes you. In Canada, multiculturalism is written into the constitution:

Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law

  • 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
  • Marginal note:Affirmative action programs
    (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. (84)
and 
Multicultural heritage
27. This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.

There is no question that the contributions made by all who choose Canada as their home is welcomed and appreciated.

While immigration to Canada is not easy - economic immigrants must be matched with demand for their skills, family class immigration has limits in the range of reunification it offers: There are still 60 different programs under which you might immigrate to Canada.

I love this country and am so grateful to have the opportunity to live here. It's been a little over five years now since I landed, and while it has not been easy, coming to Canada to be with the woman I love is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

As an American I can tell you that the US has always been a country that believes in "economic Darwinism" - only the richest survive. If you aren't well off, it's YOUR fault; if you lose your job, you deserve it; if you're sick, it's not anyone's problem but yours. There's a social safety net - but only if you are destitute.

In Canada, we know that we are all in this thing called life together, and that our neighbour's quality of life enhances our own. We put a priority on care and compassion, and good government that is responsive to the needs of the people - not business.

Canada is not perfect - we have a history of wrongs like any other nation and are still setting things right with the aboriginal population of the country. But Canada's heart is in the right place.

If you are seeking the true land of opportunity - one where your contribution is wanted and your hard work for success will matter, I encourage you, as challenging as it may seem - come to Canada. It will be the best move you ever make.