Friday, December 31, 2010

Ottawa clamps down on immigrants found cheating

Canadian visa for single entryImage via Wikipedia
Nicholas Keung Immigration Reporter
Ottawa is stepping up its effort in combatting cheating immigrants who are selected under one province’s entrepreneur program but end up breaking the terms and moving to another. Cheaters will be issued a warning letter and may lose their permanent resident status, according to a new Citizenship and Immigration Canada operational guideline. Legal experts say this is just the beginning of Ottawa’s attempt to stamp out what they call “trampolining” by immigrants — being accepted by one province but settling in another. The enhanced enforcement begins in Quebec but is expected to expand to other provincially administered immigration programs. Provinces are increasingly taking charge of the selection of economic immigrants to serve the needs of their local labour market and economy, though the federal government is still responsible in issuing permanent resident visas. “These immigrants are selected on the strength of that province. They commit themselves to a province in exchange for an immigrant visa,” said Quebec immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. “It is not right if an entrepreneur or investor says they are going to go work and live in a province and then go to another.” According to Canada’s immigrant database, 11 per cent of the one million new immigrants who came to the country within five years and filed tax returns in 2006 had moved from their declared province of destination. More than 24,000, or 14 per cent, of immigrants originally destined for Quebec ended up filing taxes in other provinces. In recent months, immigration lawyers are seeing a surge of cases where newcomers landing in Canada are turned away at port of entry because they fail to show plane tickets or proof of arranged accommodation for their declared destined city, according to Kurland. The courts, so far, have sided with border officials, Kurland said. In the new department guideline, front-line immigration officers are ordered to “monitor” the entrepreneurs selected by Quebec who now live or have a mailing address outside of the province. It applies to all those admitted under the program after Oct. 16, 2006. A report “should be prepared detailing the allegation of non-compliance . . . (and) be referred to the Immigration Division for an admissibility hearing,” it said. To gain permanent resident status under the Quebec entrepreneur program, an applicant must own at least 25 per cent of a company in the province, with an investment no less than $100,000. Not only do they have to manage the enterprises’ day-to-day operations, they must also stay and live in the province for at least 12 months in the initial three years of residence. Kurland said other provinces will benefit from the new directive, especially if it is going to be expanded to other provincial immigration classes, such as investors and skilled workers programs. The federal government provides funding to newcomers’ language training and integration programs in each province based on the number of immigrants who declare it as their destinations in their immigration applications. The funding doesn’t take “secondary migrants” into account.
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Canadian immigration experts to visit ČR in late January ČTK

General map of the Czech RepublicImage via WikipediaPrague, Dec 30 (CTK) - Canadian migration experts will arrive in the Czech Republic in late January to check how Czech authorities protect minorities and help them integrate into society, Petra Sedinova, spokeswoman for Canada's embassy in Prague, has told CTK.
The Czech Republic has called on Canada to lift the visas that were reintroduced for Czechs in July 2009 in reaction to high numbers of Czechs applying for asylum in Canada. Most of the asylum applicants were Romanies.
Czech diplomats have been unsuccessful in their effort to bring Canada to abolish the visas so far.
Prague sharply criticised the reintroduction of visas and it imposed visas on Canadian diplomats as a retaliatory step. Czechs asked the European Union to exert pressure on Canada in this respect. Ottawa has not met calls from the European Commission to lift the visas either, however.
Canadian representatives have set no deadline for the visa lifting.
Canada is to introduce a new asylum system in a year to prevent foreigners from misusing Canadian welfare benefits, speeding up the proceedings with unwarranted or fraudulent applications for asylum.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said last month it was hardly acceptable for Czechs to only wait for Canada to fully introduce its new asylum system.
Further negotiations are to be held next year.
Canadian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Valerie Raymond, told daily Lidove noviny earlier that Canada's migration experts will deal with the possible reasons that contributed to the exceptionally high influx of immigrants from the Czech Republic. The experts will also be interested in the Czech government's plans and strategies that are to help stop the immigration, Raymond said.
Canada reintroduced visas for Czech citizens already once before for the same reason as in 2009: in 1997 after lifting them for a short period in 1996. The visa duty was finally abolished in November 2007, three years after the Czech Republic's EU entry.
However, since Canada became a target country for a number of Czech Romanies who were claiming refugee status there, it decided to reimpose the visas last year.
Copyright 2009 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE are not responsible for its content.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10 Countries Has Best Education System in The World - Top Ten

Canadian School Train. Pupils of Indian, Finni...Image via Wikipedia
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide evaluation of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance, performed first in 2000 and repeated every three years. It is coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with a view to improving educational policies and outcomes.
PISA stands in a tradition of international school studies, undertaken since the late 1950s by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Much of PISA's methodology follows the example of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS, started in 1995), which in turn was much influenced by the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The reading component of PISA is inspired by the IEA's Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
Shanghai (China): 599 pts (out of town for classification)
  1. Finland: 543 pts
  2. Singapore: 543 pts
  3. Korea: 541 pts
  4. Japan: 529 pts
  5. Canada: 526 pts
  6. New Zealand: 524 pts
  7. Australia: 518 pts
  8. Netherlands: 518 pts
  9. Switzerland: 517 pts
  10. Germany: 510 pts
... 20.France: 497 pts
.... 21USA: 496 pts


Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/413497_top-10-countries-has-best-education-system-in-the-world-top-ten#ixzz19fOn3ynn
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Canada and Manitoba to Provide More Housing for Newcomers in Winnipeg With $9 Million Investment

Aspen Affordable HousingImage via Wikipedia
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Dec. 21, 2010) - The governments of Canada and Manitoba are providing more affordable housing for people in need, with the announcement of $9 million in funding to renovate and reconfigure existing Manitoba Housing properties into family accommodation for newcomers to Canada. The buildings will be managed by the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba Inc. (IRCOM).
The Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba and the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) made the announcement today in Winnipeg.
"Housing is a fundamental requirement for immigrants beginning a new and successful life in Manitoba," said Premier Selinger. "The Manitoba government is pleased to work closely with IRCOM to increase access to affordable housing for newcomers to our province."
"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our government is helping to support people with their specific housing needs," said Minister Toews. "When completed, these new apartments will ensure that newcomers to Canada can access safe affordable housing as they begin a new chapter in their lives."
"Safe and affordable housing is the cornerstone for successful integration of all new Canadians. We are pleased to receive the trust and support of the provincial and federal governments and look forward to growing IRCOM's relationships with new and existing partners and friends," said Dorota Blumczynska, Executive Director, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba. "In the spirit of rejuvenation and new beginnings we extend a warm invitation to all of IRCOM's supporters to take this journey with us as we work to transform this vibrant community."
The funding for IRCOM Phase 2 includes a provincial investment of $6.3 million and an additional $2.7 million, shared equally by the governments of Canada and Manitoba through Canada's Economic Action Plan.
The funding will be used to convert existing units at 470 Pacific Avenue and 477 Ross Avenue into a new configuration of flexible suites that allow IRCOM to house family sizes from two (single parent and child) up to 10 members. The key in the design is the flexibility of connecting adjacent suites to form larger and safer homes that meet the needs of many newcomers.
IRCOM is a non-profit organization that offers secure, affordable transitional apartments to newcomers for up to three years after their arrival. In addition, IRCOM provides on-site supports and services, including an After-School Program that runs five nights a week and a Community Resource Program that connects residents with employment, education, and various health resources throughout Winnipeg.
IRCOM is home to families from diverse cultural, educational, linguistic and professional backgrounds. Current residents of IRCOM House come from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Haiti, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Bhutan, Somalia and Sudan.
The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to an overall investment of $158 million under the amended Canada-Manitoba Affordable Housing Initiative. The federal funding was made available through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for the construction of new and the renovation of existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in low-cost loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure.
The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $850 million under the Affordable Housing Initiative to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing over two years.
Through Manitoba's Long-Term Housing Strategy, HOMEWorks!, the Province of Manitoba with the financial support of the Government of Canada is contributing $378 million over two years for housing initiatives in Winnipeg and across the province. HOMEWorks! supports ALLAboard, Manitoba's Poverty Reduction strategy by increasing the supply of quality, affordable housing for low-income Manitobans. More information about HOMEWorks! is available at www.gov.mb.ca/housing.
Under HOMEWorks! the province is working to sustain and improve existing social and affordable housing and increase the supply of affordable housing. Creating safe and affordable housing for new Canadians is a priority of the province's long-term investment plan.
Canada's Economic Action Plan builds on the Government of Canada's commitment in 2008 of more than $1.9 billion, over five years, to improve and build new affordable housing and help the homeless.
More information on this and other measures in Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government's plan to stimulate the economy and protect those hit hardest by the global recession, can be found at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.
To find out more about how the Government of Canada and CMHC are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-668-2642      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.cmhc.ca/housingactionplan.
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Only Immigration Fuelling Canada’s Population Growth

Canada: Population Density, 2000Image by SEDACMaps via FlickrOTTAWA — Canada’s population in the third quarter of 2010 was driven forward by the highest immigration rates seen in four decades, Statistics Canada reported.
Canada’s population was estimated at 34,238,000 as of Oct. 1 — an increase of 129,300 since July. The federal agency said 65 per cent of that growth came from new Canadians during the three-month period, as 84,200 immigrants arrived in the country, reported Postmedia news service.
The influx reached most provinces and territories, some of which had their highest quarterly immigration levels since 1971.
Prince Edward Island recorded the highest growth rate, with its population increasing by 0.7 per cent. The increase was largely driven by the 1,200 immigrants who arrived in the province, Statistics Canada said, the highest number since 1971.
Quebec, too, welcomed its highest number of immigrants in the last four decades, with 16,800 people arriving from other countries during the quarter. Manitoba also surpassed records set in 1971, with 4,700 new Canadians arriving in that province.
While not breaking a record, immigrants made up 70 per cent of Ontario’s new arrivals during the period.
Alberta was the only province that had third-quarter growth driven by a “natural increase,” which made up 60 per cent of the growth.
Newfoundland and Labrador, on the other hand, actually faced a population decline in the third quarter, losing about 500 residents.
Growth driven by immigration is a trend the federal government said it expects to continue — at least through the end of 2010.
“In 2010, we should be landing the largest number of permanent residents in 50 years,” said Kelli Fraser, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Canada expects to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers by the end of this year.
Fraser said that number is driven largely by a June announcement that Canada would open its doors to more immigrants, especially those in the economic category.
“The reason the announcement was made was because the post-recession economy is now demanding a high level of legal immigration to keep the workforce strong,” she said, adding that there also has been a high number of family reunification immigrants and refugees.
To date, the department said it has already made more decisions, issued more visas and admitted more people to Canada over last year.
It expects the numbers to stabilize at 2010 levels in 2011.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Drilling-worker shortage in Canada’s booming oil industry

Oil DrillerImage via WikipediaAmid all the stories we’re seeing about unemployed workers’ unsuccessful job searches, it’s a welcome change to see one about an industry where workers are being recruited: Canada’s oil-drilling companies say they’re desperately short of workers.  (Clarification: These are at the traditional oil wells, not at the tar sands in Alberta).
Joe Bruce, CEO of Nabors Canada, one of the largest drilling companies in the country, told the Toronto Globe and Mail, “We could probably work somewhere in the region of 63 or 64 of our drilling rigs this winter. We don’t believe we can crew any more than maybe 55 or 56.”
The pay’s not bad, either: Hourly rates for drill workers in Canada range from $24 an hour for a lease hand to $40.20 for a driller. But rig work typically lasts only for a few months at a time, and even the weekly two-on, one-off shifts are often interrupted by changes in plan that come from, for example, companies cancelling wells.
Of course, the recent Globe and Mail story on oil- worker shortages reminds us,
“Convincing people to work outside in cold, remote locations has never been easy for drilling companies. But they say this year has been especially difficult, since drill workers who went without work in the past couple of years have now abandoned the industry – in part for construction jobs and in part to stay away from companies that now admit their salaries haven’t kept up.”
And fewer rigs in operation means fewer runs for the stars of cable’s “Ice Road Truckers” to deliver salty snacks to all those hungry oil-rig workers way up north.
Bruce says, “We’re doing everything we can to attract people,  but at the same time we’re not about to put people at risk by putting a whole bunch of green hands on a rig that don’t know what they’re doing.”
The drilling companies in Canada are also reaching out to “under-represented” groups like women, immigrants, and first-nation workers.
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Canada lifts visa requirement for visitors from Taiwan

Non-citizen, diplomatic, travel document, and ...Image via WikipediaOttawa, November 22, 2010 — Effective immediately, travellers with ordinary Taiwan passports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan no longer require a Temporary Resident Visa to visit Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“Canada regularly reviews its visa requirements and has determined that Taiwan meets the criteria for a visa exemption,” said Minister Kenney. “This decision will help boost Canada’s significant trade, investment, cultural and people-to-people links to Taiwan.”
In 2009, more than 51,000 Taiwan travellers visited Canada. More than 150,000 Canadians are of Taiwanese descent.
“The decision to lift the visa requirement means that Canada will benefit from stronger ties between Taiwan and the Canadian-Taiwanese community,” said Minister Kenney.
Canada’s visa policy is based on an assessment of a number of established criteria, including immigration violation rates, asylum claims, the integrity of travel documents and the cooperation on removals by the country or territory in question.
In Taiwan’s case, Canada’s review found, among other things, a very high visitor visa approval rate for travellers from Taiwan. It also found a very low number of asylum claims from Taiwan nationals: 23 claims between 2007 and 2009. The review also found low numbers of immigration violations and removals from Canada to Taiwan. This means that a large number of people were meeting Canada’s eligibility criteria to come and visit.
The visa exemption only applies to holders of ordinary Taiwan passports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that contain the personal identification number of the individual. During a technical visit, Canadian officials observed good passport management practices for ordinary Taiwan passports.
For a complete list of countries and territories whose citizens require a visa, please visit CIC’s website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.
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Panel ponders how to strengthen region's economy

Map highlighting Atlantic CanadaImage via WikipediaThe economic future of Atlantic Canada may depend on developing a brand, according to the president of the University of Prince Edward Island.
"That question of brand is really critical," Wade MacLauchlan said during a panel discussion in St. Andrews on Friday. "It takes us to the question of how do we think about ourselves and what our expectations are, and what we think we have that is a basis for having competitive excellence in the world."
The P.E.I. mussels are one brand that has worked for the region, said MacLauchlan during a discussion on the economic future of Atlantic Canada. The session was part of a three-day Ideas Festival conference, hosted by the Fredericton-based 21inc. and Ottawa's Public Policy Forum.
MacLauchlan noted that P.E.I. mussels show up on menus across the world, and food could be a potential area where the region can achieve global excellence.
"The good news is that we already have global players here that are showing us how to do that," said MacLauchlan, referring to the international success of the region's food companies such as McCain Foods Ltd. and Oxford Frozen Foods.
The economic future of Atlantic Canada could also lie in increasing the international export of food, said Karen Oldfield, the president and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority.
During the panel, Oldfield told the audience of a pilot project recently completed by her port.
In collaboration with CN Rail and a Montreal-based container company, the port authority transported grains products from Saskatchewan to Halifax, and then shipped that grain to overseas markets looking for Canadian goods. With Atlantic provinces now growing plenty of crops, such systems can allow for the export of these products to the world.
"This is a true Atlantic success story - we are taking soybean product from P.E.I., we are taking soybean product from Nova Scotia, and we are creating a whole new market for a whole new product. It's going to be one of the products for the future - food."
During the session, Oldfield also touched upon the immigration, and the need for Atlantic Canada to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants. She said Atlantic Canada is not doing enough to integrate immigrants into communities.
"It's easier to be a global business when you can draw upon the experience of your own workforce to help you to understand a particular market or culture," said Oldfield, speaking to the value of employees coming from abroad.
While the panel focused on the future of the region, Monique Collette, the senior advisor to the privy council office in Ottawa, spoke to the past success of the region.
Collette said one of the assets of Atlantic Canada is the ability of the region to bounce back. While Ontario continues to struggle with the breakdown of the manufacturing industry, Collette noted that Atlantic Canada is doing relatively well in recovering from the recession.
"We are a very resilient people, and resiliency is not given to everybody," Collette said.
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Refugee claimants entering Quebec from U.S.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceImage by Robert of Fairfax via Flickr
A legal loophole has would-be refugees in the U.S. coming into Canada through the Quebec border, CBC News has learned.
"Sometimes we get half a dozen of them on a shift, and then you're a week without getting any, said RCMP Sgt. Christian Dubois. "And then, all of a sudden, 'boom.'"
Dubois said since the new RCMP border patrol started, more than half of their time is being spent on would-be refugees.
RCMP Insp. Marc Lacasse said there have been 64 arrests in just two months along the 140 kilometres of the Quebec-Vermont border, representing a 400 per cent increase over the same time period last year.
With immigration laws tightening in the U.S., increasing numbers of people have simply given up on ever getting permanent residency. Spot checks by American authorities have them worried about being caught and deported.
Lacasse believes that people are taking advantage of a loophole created by a document signed between Canada and the U.S. called the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.
Under the agreement, if a person that is already in the U.S. tries to move further north into Canada to claim refugee status, they will be turned back because both countries are considered safe. But the agreement only applies at organized crossings. Those determined to enter are now simply walking across through the bush.
"Our belief is there are organizations that are trying to use those areas to basically direct people to come over to Canada and gain refugee status," said Lacasse. "Contrary to a point of entry [where] they would be turned back."
Immigration lawyer David Cohen said that once a refugee gets away from an organized border crossing and enters Canada through the brush, Canada is obligated to process them.
"There's no surprise and in fact it was absolutely predictable … and was predicted," he said
"People avoid the Canadian port of entry and somehow make their way into Canada and make the refugee claim," Cohen said.
It's difficult to stop would-be refugees because there are more unprotected roads leading to the Quebec border than that of any other province.
Border services has also confirmed it will close or reduce hours for at least five entry points in Quebec alone, potentially increasing the number of unguarded roads.


Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/30/refugee-border-canada.html#ixzz17wOzV8ZH
 
 http://www.cbc.ca/video/player.html?category=News&zone=canada&site=cbc.news.ca&clipid=1675345025
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Immigrant Investor Program re-opens today

Jason KenneyImage by mostlyconservative via FlickrStarting today, newcomers can now begin applying for the Immigrant Investor Program (IIP).

The Canadian government initially suspended the IIP in June due to a high volume of applications and long wait times.

The program which grants permanent residency, among other benefits, to successful applicants has changed investment criteria that will require immigrants to have a net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800, 000 and ask individuals to invest $800, 000 up from $400, 000.

New criteria will bring Canada’s foreign investor policies in line with the rest of other western countries said Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney.

“These changes were necessary,” Kenney. “The requirements had not been increased in more than a decade and we need to keep pace with the changing economy.”

According to Immigration Canada, the country had one of the lowest investor programs compared to other countries due to the fact that the program had not been changed since 2005.

Currently, Australia requires businesspeople to have a net worth of $2 million and invest just under $1.5 million.  The U.K. asks for $3.3 million in assets and an investment of $1.6 million.

The changes will also help communities across Canada said Kenney. Provinces and territories can expect to financially benefit from the influx of money which can be used for a variety of projects.

“Higher investment amounts mean provinces and territories will receive more investment capital to put toward job creation and economic development projects.”
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Nova Scotia hoping to attract more immigrants

Hants County, Nova ScotiaImage via WikipediaNova Scotia officials want to lift immigration caps for the province in order to attract more skilled newcomers but face opposition from the federal government even though Immigration Minister Jason Kenney does agree more newcomers may resolve the province's labour shortage.

"I think it’s admirable that Nova Scotia is focused on growing its population," said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney according to the Chronicle Herald. "Immigration is part of the solution to the challenge of shrinking population in general and in Atlantic Canada in particular."

The eastern province has a rapidly shrinking population and therefore has been a keen supporter of newcomers moving to the province. In the past decade, officials have spent millions of dollars trying to persuade immigrants to relocate to Nova Scotia under the provincial nominee program and increased spending for settlement programs.

Last year 2,2424 immigrants moved to Nova Scotia and officials would like to see that increase to 7,200 each year by 2020. However, in order to do that they need the federal government to remove cap restrictions on immigration. A notion that minister Jason Kenney isn’t too keen to do just yet citing growing needs by other areas in Canada.

"In general it’s a positive goal, but every province needs to remember we need to work together in the federation," he said. "We can’t have 10 provinces arbitrarily setting their own goals, because ultimately there’s one pipeline for immigration, if you will, and that runs through the government of Canada, through my ministry."

The provincial nominee program gives newcomers the opportunity to work in positions that are unfilled by Canadians.
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Today’s international students are tomorrow’s immigrants to Canada

Richmond's Golden Village, the "new China...Image via WikipediaBy Juliana Tonello

International students are looked at as prospective immigrants by not only the federal government, but also immigration experts across the country. Many of these students are also expected to become business owners, once they settle down in the country upon becoming immigrants. That’s the expectation anyway. And, in anticipation, the country has begun attracting the world’s best and brightest students, offering them a fast track to permanent residency status.
“They [international students] will match the essential roles in business in the future,” said Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eric Hoskins at a recent symposium. “Our labour market is an international one.”
Other experts also believe that making this strategy the foundation for immigration sets Canada apart from other countries that attract international students. Experts at the conference organized by the World Education Services (WES), including representatives of the government, educational institutions and settlement agencies, discussed the possibilities at the Symposium on International Students: The New Skilled Migrants.
However, Canada, which annually receives around 85,000 international students per year, is still behind the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia on the market share.
“We need to provide appropriate supports for those intending to become permanent residents,” says Timothy Owen, director of WES, a foreign credentials evaluation organization, citing it as a reason for the relatively smaller influx of international students in Canada. “They will study here, like what they see and stay. They will be ideally positioned to become part of a highly skilled Canadian workforce.”
However, educational institutions must focus on the needs of each province and offer courses that will help fill the jobs that are vacant due to a lack of qualified people in certain specialized professions.
“There are many people without jobs and jobs without people,” says Philip Steenkamp, British Columbia’s deputy minister of advanced education and labour market development. In B.C., 1.1 million jobs are expected to be created in the next 10 years, and immigrants are expected to fill a third of those jobs.
“People with specific skills will be essential,” notes Steenkamp.
The lack of Canadian work experience faced by immigrants is highlighted as a continuing concern by educational experts, who believe that barrier will remain unchanged for a long time. “Skilled work plus Canadian education plus work experience is the key for the Canadian job market,” says Catrina Tapley, of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Some advantages for international students to break this barrier are programs offering off-campus as well as post-graduate work permits. Tapley believes that work permit and co-op programs are of vital importance to international students who aim to become Canadians. Another good reason, according to her, is immigrants with previous Canadian work experiences earn approximately $10,000 per year more than skilled immigrants.

http://canadianimmigrant.ca/settlingincanada/immigrationlaw/article/7891
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New Canadian act targets 'Ghost' immigration agents

Toronto, Dec 8 (IANS) 'Ghost' immigration consultants in India, who dupe people desperate to migrate to Canada, will be put out of business with the passing of new legislation by the Canadian parliament.
Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the legislation to crack down on crooked immigration consultants has received final approval Tuesday in the House of Commons.

The new Act will crack down on crooked immigration consultants who undermine the integrity of Canada's immigration system, the minister said.

'In their quest for personal gain, crooked consultants have displayed a wanton disregard for our immigration rules and bilked too many people out of their hard-earned dollars,' said Kenney.

'They are a menace, posing a costly threat not only to their victims, but also to the integrity and fairness of our immigration system. When crooked consultants encourage prospective immigrants to cheat the system, it slows down the immigration system for those following the rules,' the minister said.

The new Act makes immigration services provided by any unauthorised immigration agent illegal.

'This includes services offered or performed before an application is submitted or a proceeding begins, thus closing a loophole in the current framework. It would also give the minister the authority to designate a body to govern immigration consultants and authorize the Governor in Council to make regulations to enhance the government's oversight of this body.'

According to Canadian authorities, India-based 'ghost' immigration consultants -- who operate in collusion with their Canada-based fraud partners -- pose a major challenge to this country's immigration system.

Operating out of the purview of law, these 'ghost' immigration consultant cheat thousands of prospective immigrants each year, defrauding them up to $30,000 each.

Such operators are rampant, especially in Punjab, as migrant families from that state in Canada want to bring their relatives here by hook or by crook.
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Challenges await Chinese immigrants, but so do opportunities.

Calgary is the largest metropolis in the Calga...Image via Wikipedia
Wenying Wang hadn't seen her husband in 19 months.
The Chinese immigrant left her home outside Beijing last year and moved to Calgary to start a new life with her 14-year-old daughter.
On a cool winter day recently, she anxiously waited for her husband Yongbin Fan to join them.
Finally, the painful wait ended -- for a short time anyway -- as he landed in Calgary to reconnect with his family. Later this month, the mechanical engineer will return to China to support his wife and daughter, as well as care for his parents.
"When he isn't here with me, I was sad," Wenying says from her modest townhouse in southwest Calgary, husband at her side.
"We come to a strange country with no experience, almost know nothing about it. It is maybe a little difficult for us to adapt to this country," Yongbin adds.
The family's emotional reunion serves as a stark reminder of the struggles newcomers often experience when arriving in Alberta.
Yongbin wants the family to have a smooth transition into Canada, so he expects to work for another year in China until his wife can find a job in the health-care field.
For many newcomers, the joys of launching a new life are often tempered by social isolation, language barriers and a foreign culture. There are also severe financial pressures.
Wenying, 42, left behind everything she knows, including a job as a nurse. But she moved to a new city with growing ties to her homeland. The opportunities Alberta provides outweigh the struggles of starting over, she says.
"Our country (China) has some strong points," she explains. "But I like challenges. And I choose Canada."
Indeed, more Chinese are choosing Canada -- and Alberta -- as their home.
At least 1,000 new immigrants are expected to arrive in Calgary this year from China, making the country one of the largest sources of newcomers for the city.
In total, more than 75,000 Chinese people live in Calgary today, the city's largest visible minority group.
They are helping construct a social and cultural bridge to China that's changing the face of Calgary and Alberta.
People power may well trump energy, manufacturing and agriculture as the most important commodity in the Sino-Alberta trade relationship.
And as more Chinese nationals move to the province for work, an increasing number of Albertans are looking for jobs and a new life in the Asian country.
"China has a natural affinity for Canada," says Liu Yongfeng, China's consul general to Alberta.
"Nowadays, though our national conditions and social systems differ, there exists no conflict of fundamental interests between us -- and our common interests far outweigh our differences."
Canada holds a special place in the hearts of many Chinese.
On the streets of Beijing, residents almost instinctively cite the famous Norman Bethune, a gifted Canadian physician who took up the Chinese Communist cause in the late 1930s and treated soldiers on the front lines in years of war.
"Chinese people always remember -- forever," says Wenying. "They think Canadian people are friendly and like helping people."
Some 1.3 million Canadian residents are of Chinese origin and more than 50,000 Chinese students currently study at Canadian schools, says David Mulroney, Canada's ambassador in Beijing.
Chinese (primarily Mandarin) is also the most commonly spoken language in Canada, after English and French.
The two-way flow of people -- through business, immigration and tourism -- will "further strengthen our people-to-people ties, build understanding between our two countries and strengthen our commercial, cultural and political relations," the ambassador predicts.
People power flows in both directions.
Inside Mulroney's official residence, native Calgarian Rosalyn Ediger works as the embassy's chef. After graduating in 2005 from SAIT with a diploma in professional cooking, she travelled the globe and eventually stopped in China.
Intrigued by the distant country and culture, she jumped at the chance for a chef posting at the embassy. After two-and-a-half years, she doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon.
"I didn't know anything about China. It was just so mysterious," says the 25-yearold chef. "The more I know, the more I want to know."
Chinese residents take a little time to warm up to, she notes, but they are genuine people who have a deep respect for Canada.
Ediger, who grew up in Calgary's Huntington Hills community, believes hospitality is an integral part of diplomacy.
"If you give them a chance, they then give you a chance," she says.
"They're just as curious with me as I am with them. It's a good cross-cultural connection."
Alberta Immigration
Minister Thomas Lukaszuk wants to tap further into that connection.
China is a preferred partner for Alberta as it looks to attract newcomers, he says during a stop in Beijing.
Alberta is forecasting a severe shortage of workers over the next few decades and the province must look overseas to find people to sustain the economy.
China is particularly attractive because of its highly skilled workforce, Lukaszuk says.
He's hoping to streamline the process for approving immigration applications from China, which can take anywhere from nine months to four years.
"We know China has the capacity to partially satisfy our need," Lukaszuk says.
The number of permanent residents moving to Alberta from China has increased in the past couple of years, but still lags behind the boom times of 2006.
Last year, 2,034 immigrants arrived in Alberta from China -- up 13 per cent from 2007. The first half of this year saw 1,091 Chinese permanent residents land in the province.
The connections are profound on other fronts.
For example, the largest number of foreign students in the province originate from China.
In Calgary, Chinatown is marking its centenary in 2010 -- the Year of the Tiger -- with year-long festivities.
Jason Luan, a 47-year-old social planner with the City of Calgary, is actively involved in bridging the city's Chinese heritage with immigrants who will shape the future.
In 1988, he moved to the city from China to pursue a master of social work at the University of Calgary.
Today, he sees first-hand the challenges of integrating into a foreign society, serving as a member of the Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary.
Chinese newcomers often face social isolation and cultural shock, he says, and generally know less English than immigrants from many other countries.
"There is an immediate need. You need to find something that echoes your language, culture and sense of belonging," says Luan. "Never mind being successful, you're probably struggling for survival."
Luan is also a former president of the Chinese Professionals and Entrepreneurs Association of Calgary, an organization that helps immigrants succeed in the workforce.
Many group members hold dual post-secondary degrees in China and Canada, speak multiple languages and understand the sensibilities of both countries.
As China continues to flex its global economic muscles, more companies in Alberta are searching for employees familiar with the country's languages, customs and business climate.
"The bridge has become so strong," Luan says. "The relationship has developed."
In 1989, Glenn Wang arrived in Canada as a 26-yearold student with only $50 in his pocket and two suitcases in his hands.
Originally from Inner Mongolia and educated in Beijing, he earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering in Saskatchewan before moving to Calgary.
Today, he's a successful entrepreneur in the oil and gas sector and an immigration success story.
"I really see a lot of growth between the two countries with business and with people," Wang says. "I really find it's a two-way street."
The businessman believes Calgary is a "melting pot," but recognizes concerns exist among people about China's Communist regime, as well as its record on human rights and censorship.
While those worries can't be discounted, he cautions people about making misinformed judgments about the Asian powerhouse that don't tell the story of modern day China or its people.
"Like it or not, China is coming. So it's better for us to understand who's coming and why they're coming," he says.
Back at her home in southwest Calgary, Wenying Wang says she came to the city for many reasons, including opportunity, a clean environment and moderate weather.
Most importantly, she chose Calgary because she was looking for a place where her family would feel welcome.
As she waits for her family to reunite permanently, she has a message for other Albertans.
"Chinese people want to know the world -- and I think the world will want to know China," she says.
jfekete@calgaryherald.com
- - -
Jason Luan: Chinese immigrants face cultural shock.
Grant Black, Calgary Herald
-¦ At least 1,000 new Chinese immigrants expected to arrive in Calgary this year.
-¦ More than 75,000 people of Chinese ethnicity live in Calgary.
-¦ Approximately 137,000 Albertans are of Chinese descent.
-¦ Chinese is the largest visible minority group in the city and province.
-¦ 1.3 million Canadian residents are of Chinese origin.
-¦ More than 50,000
Chinese students currently study at Canadian schools.
-¦ Chinese (mostly Mandarin) is the most commonly spoken language in Canada after English and French.
-¦ China has been the largest source of Canadian immigrants over the past decade.
-¦ Processing times for Chinese newcomers can take anywhere from nine months to about four years.
Source: Alberta government
- - -
China Calling
Special Series
Thursday: Why China matters to Alberta, and where the future lies.
Friday: Alberta has much to offer travellers. The province's tourism sector expects to lure unprecedented numbers of Chinese here.
Saturday: Alberta is a big oil supplier; China is the world's largest energy consumer. More deals are inevitable.
today: People power is the most important part of Alberta's relationship with China, as new immigrants arrive in Calgary each year.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Special+Report+People+power+fuels+Calgary+Chinese+connection/3965002/story.html#ixzz17w65k1Dn
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Government of Canada Helping Internationally Trained Professionals in British Columbia

The British Columbia Parliament Buildings in V...Image via Wikipedia

Canada's Economic Action Plan is helping new Canadians get jobs in their fields


VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 10, 2010) - The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are supporting a project that will help internationally trained professionals put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board, Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Minister Responsible for British Columbia, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, along with the Honourable Ida Chong, Minister of Regional Economic and Skills Development for British Columbia, made the announcement today.
"Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to Canada's long-term economic success," said Minister Day. "Through our Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners such as the Province of British Columbia to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can maximize their talents."
The Government of Canada is providing over $4 million in funding to the British Columbia Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development. This funding will enable the Province to establish a fair and timely process for recognizing foreign credentials so that skilled newcomers can find jobs in their fields. Internationally trained professionals will also benefit from bridge-to-work and mentorship programs in various occupations.
Additionally, the Province will launch its own version of the Working in Canada online tool, where newcomers can access up-to-date labour market information, before and after arriving in Canada.
"With over a million B.C. job openings forecast by 2019, immigrants will play an important role in ensuring we have the skilled workers needed for our future economy," said Minister Chong. "We appreciate and look forward to working with our federal partners in their efforts to improve the foreign credential recognition process, which will help immigrants connect with relevant employment options, and provide employers with the information they need to hire, train and retain skilled immigrants."
This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.
Backgrounder
The Government of Canada, through its Economic Action Plan, is investing $50 million to work with the provinces and territories and stakeholders to address barriers to foreign credential recognition. This investment directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.
Under the Framework, foreign credential and experience recognition will be streamlined for key occupations, including some health care professions. This means that foreign-trained professionals who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their credentials and experience will be recognized. Otherwise, they will be advised of additional requirements or be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.
The Framework is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world.
With the Economic Action Plan's $50-million investment, the Government will:
  • develop the principles that will guide the process of foreign credential recognition;
  • establish standards for the timely handling of requests;
  • identify key occupations that will be the priority for developing recognition standards; and
  • help people who want to come to Canada understand what they need to know before they arrive.
The British Columbia Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development is responsible for providing an integrated approach to regional economic development by leveraging the alignment of post-secondary education and training offered through colleges and institutes, by delivering immigration and labour market development programming, and by building capacity for regional economic and community development across the province.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions, sector councils and employers, to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) was established in May 2007 to help internationally trained workers receive the information, path-finding and referral services, in Canada and overseas, to have their credentials assessed quickly so they can find work faster in the fields for which they have been trained. The FCRO works with federal, provincial and territorial partners, and foreign credential assessment and recognition bodies, to strengthen foreign credential recognition processes across the country. Internet services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO website at the following address: www.credentials.gc.ca.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

N.S. faces uphill battle on immigration

Harbour of Peggys Cove, Nova ScotiaImage via WikipediaFeds don’t want to raise cap on numbers of newcomers

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS:
Source countries for immigration to Nova Scotia in 2009:


U.K.382
China 242
Iran 215
U.S.A. 210
Israel 111
Germany 102
India 76
U.A.E. 75
Philippines 68
Egypt 53
OTTAWA — Nova Scotia is benefiting from greater immigration, but the federal immigration minister isn’t sure that Ottawa can increase the numbers as quickly as the province would like.
Since 2006, Ottawa has increased funding for immigrant settlement in Nova Scotia to $7.1 million from $2.1 million, and also boosted the number of skilled workers brought in under the provincial nominee program to 833 in 2009 from 326 in 2005.
"I think it’s admirable that Nova Scotia is focused on growing its population," said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in an interview Wednesday. "Immigration is part of the solution to the challenge of shrinking population in general and in Atlantic Canada in particular."
But the province may not be able to continue increasing its intake of skilled immigrants as quickly as it would like. In 2009, 2,424 immigrants moved to Nova Scotia. The province would like to have 7,200 arrive every year by 2020. But in order for that to happen, Nova Scotia needs the federal government to lift the cap on the number who can arrive under the provincial nominee program, which is set at 500.
After a meeting in Pictou two weeks ago, the Atlantic premiers called on Ottawa to do more.

"As a first step, the Atlantic premiers call on the federal government to remove the cap on their provincial nominee programs," they said in a statement.
On Wednesday, Kenney said that may not be realistic.
"In general it’s a positive goal, but every province needs to remember we need to work together in the federation," he said. "We can’t have 10 provinces arbitrarily setting their own goals, because ultimately there’s one pipeline for immigration, if you will, and that runs through the government of Canada, through my ministry."
Ottawa plans to let 265,000 immigrants in next year, a number the government doesn’t want to increase. So if more go through provincial nominee programs, Ottawa would have to reduce the number of people who arrive under the much bigger federal economic-immigrant program, or cut back on refugees or family reunification, Kenney said.
He said he must balance competing interests.
"Ontario is pushing us for increases in the skilled worker program but Nova Scotia and other provinces are pushing us for increases in the nominee program.
"The refugee lobby is pushing for increases in the number of refugees. Many immigrants are pushing for increases in family class. And we just can’t meet everyone’s objectives at the same time."
NDP MP Megan Leslie, who represents Halifax, the riding where most immigrants to Nova Scotia settle, said the answer may be to raise the overall number.
"Provinces know what they need," she said. "If they say they need more skilled workers, we should be following their advice. Minister Kenney says it’s tricky. It is, but it’s not unsolvable."
Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison, a Liberal, said the federal government needs to respond to Nova Scotia’s demographic problems.
"The federal government needs to recognize the dire situation Nova Scotia is in with zero population growth, teetering on population decline," he said.
A poll released Wednesday by Abacus Data found that about 49 per cent of Canadians believe there are too many immigrants allowed in yearly. Only 42 per cent of Atlantic Canadians agreed, the lowest level in the country.
Kenney said there is no reason for anybody to oppose the provincial nominee program since it’s designed to provide immigrants to take jobs that are going unfilled by Canadians.
"My message would be that the provincial nominee program ensures that we’re not taking jobs away from Canadians or Nova Scotians."
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