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Canada to boost tourism with new 10-year multiple-entry visas

Published by Ozgur Tore   
SUNDAY, 31 JULY 2011 18:45
International travellers from certain countries have had their path to Canada smoothed with the recent announcement of new 10-year multiple-entry visas by Citizenship & Immigration Canada.
canada-listenerslThis is particularly good news for travellers from Brazil, China, India and Mexico, the four key international markets targeted by the Canadian Tourism Commission(CTC) from which visas are required.
Prior to July 20, the current maximum validity length of multiple-entry visas was five years. However, with an increasing number of countries providing 10-year passports, Canada has matched that flexibility by extending the validity period for multiple-entry visas up to 10 years, minus one month. Chinese, Indian and Mexican travellers all have 10-year passports—these visas should make it much simpler for them head to Canada, as they are already doing in greater numbers, and just as easy to visit again.
Brazilians currently have five-year passports, but the extended timeframe for multiple-entry visas should result in more Brazilians receiving visas that are fully valid until the expiry date on those passports.
Opening travel doors means increasing international tourism revenue streams flowing into Canada, one of the main planks of CTC’s mandate. This announcement brings Canada closer in line with competing destinations, like the US, which has had 10-year multiple-entry visas for some time.
“These longer multiple-entry visas will enhance Canada’s competitiveness in the global tourism marketplace,” says Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO. “In such a competitive environment, it’s vital we offer the flexibility and simplicity that travellers demand and that is readily available elsewhere, so that our great tourism experiences remain the key factor in decision-making to visit our country.” 

Canada to boost tourism with new 10-year multiple-entry visas

Published by Ozgur Tore   
SUNDAY, 31 JULY 2011 18:45
International travellers from certain countries have had their path to Canada smoothed with the recent announcement of new 10-year multiple-entry visas by Citizenship & Immigration Canada.
canada-listenerslThis is particularly good news for travellers from Brazil, China, India and Mexico, the four key international markets targeted by the Canadian Tourism Commission(CTC) from which visas are required.
Prior to July 20, the current maximum validity length of multiple-entry visas was five years. However, with an increasing number of countries providing 10-year passports, Canada has matched that flexibility by extending the validity period for multiple-entry visas up to 10 years, minus one month. Chinese, Indian and Mexican travellers all have 10-year passports—these visas should make it much simpler for them head to Canada, as they are already doing in greater numbers, and just as easy to visit again.
Brazilians currently have five-year passports, but the extended timeframe for multiple-entry visas should result in more Brazilians receiving visas that are fully valid until the expiry date on those passports.
Opening travel doors means increasing international tourism revenue streams flowing into Canada, one of the main planks of CTC’s mandate. This announcement brings Canada closer in line with competing destinations, like the US, which has had 10-year multiple-entry visas for some time.
“These longer multiple-entry visas will enhance Canada’s competitiveness in the global tourism marketplace,” says Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO. “In such a competitive environment, it’s vital we offer the flexibility and simplicity that travellers demand and that is readily available elsewhere, so that our great tourism experiences remain the key factor in decision-making to visit our country.” 

B.C. enriched by the legacy of Italian immigrants

 
 
WHOEVER GIVES US BREAD: THE STORY OF ITALIANS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
By Lynne Bowen
Douglas and McIntyre, 372 pp., $32.95.
One of the most remarkable markers in Ross Bay Cemetery, close to the graves of Sir James Douglas and Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, belongs to a family named Bossi.
It's remarkable for a couple of reasons: Its sheer grandeur, and the fact that it belongs to a family that did not have its origins in the British Isles.
An Italian surname? Out of place, it might seem, in Victoria's historic waterfront burying ground.
Yet Carlo Bossi, a millionaire when he died in 1895, was certainly not the only Italian immigrant who helped transform British Columbia. Our history is filled with Italian names, if we would care to look.
Lynne Bowen, a writer from Nanaimo, has compiled a comprehensive, yet highly readable, account of the contribution made by the Italian community.
There were entrepreneurs such as Carlo Bossi and his brother Giacomo, who built a store at the corner of Johnson and Store streets that evolved into the Grand Pacific Hotel.
Italians settled throughout the province. The Casorsos have been prominent in the Okanagan Valley for more than a century. The Capozzis helped create the province's wine industry, and Herb Capozzi was instrumental in the history of the Vancouver Canucks, B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Phil Gaglardi was a legendary politician, known for getting highways built and then speeding on them. Angelo Branca was a highly respected judge.
There have been tens of thousands of other Italians, or Canadians with Italian heritage, who have made a difference here. Many of them were labourers, miners or millworkers - or the women who provided the foundation for strong families. Their memories and achievements would have been forgotten if not the Whoever Gives Us Bread.
Bowen has written five other books on Western Canadian history, including Boss Whistle and Those Lake People. She knows how to mine sources for rich detail, and how to weave the stories together into a book that brings history back to life.
She starts her book with a modern visit to Italy, to the very villages where some early Vancouver Island residents were from. The context and sense of place that comes from this help to put the B.C. story into perspective.
Immigration is based on pushes and pulls. There were reasons why people chose to leave the country where they were raised, and reasons why they came to Canada. It's difficult to tell one story without telling the other as well. Bowen makes it all clear.
The Bossis? Their influence is still felt in downtown Victoria, in a couple of ways at least. Their Grand Pacific building is still there, and proudly carries its name and the year of construction. And the Ocean Island Backpackers Inn, at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Blanshard Street, is a Bossi building as well.
But the Italian presence in British Columbia is not really about buildings, as tangible as they may be. The Italian community has, as Bowen so clearly tells us, made a tremendous difference on what British Columbia has become.
The reviewer, the editorial page editor of the Times Colonist, is the author of The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia.
 
 


Read more:http://www.timescolonist.com/news/enriched+legacy+Italian+immigrants/5185977/story.html#ixzz1TkAmD0uv

American Poker Pros Move to Canada

Phil GalfondO Canada! Our home and native land!’ Yes, that might just be the call from one American online poker pro who has made the big decision to cross the border into the USA’s North American neighbour.
However, another Internet star doesn’t quite yet have the need to learn the Canadian national anthem after having his hopes dashed – for now – by that nation’s immigration authorities.
Several pros, including Olivier Busquet and four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winnerDaniel Negreanu, have travelled north following the US Department of Justice (DoJ) decision to shut down more than a few online poker websites – including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker – back on April 15, or ‘Black Friday’ as that shocking day has now become known.
In the three-and-a-half months since that fateful day, there has been a steady stream of American online stars quitting the States to ensure that they can continue making a living from poker.
The latest to abandon the USA for Vancouver is Phil Galfond (‘OMGClayAiken’) after he quit New York, but another star, Daniel ‘Jungleman12’ Cates, has failed in his initial attempt to relocate to the beautiful British Columbia city.
Galfond – who won the WSOP $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha with Rebuys event back in 2008 for $817,781 – took to microblogging website Twitter to announce his departure when writing: “To everyone asking, I moved to Canada to play.”
Of course, many poker insiders had predicted a mass exodus of American online pros following that dark spring day, but it really has been more of a trickle.
However, the high stakes star is not unduly worried about his future as he talked about his joy at once again being allowed to display his undoubted skills online, writing that he “was really happy to be back playing at @PokerStars”.
Galfond, who is known as ‘MrSweets28’ on PokerStars, added that the website have “been extremely helpful and responsive with getting everything set up again”, although he hasn’t had as much luck with PartyPoker.
The native of North Potomac in Maryland continued by posting that he had hoped “to start playing on @PartyPoker, but they’ve responded to 0 of my 3 e-mails over the past 3 days trying to verify my account”.
Still, it is almost certain that many other pros will look to follow in Galfond’s footsteps now that the WSOP in Las Vegas is over for another year.
However, for now, Cates won’t be among them, although that could all change very shortly…if he can sort out his visa problems.
Another Maryland native, Cates also ventured on to Twitter to report that he would be “leaving for Vancouver tomorrow, time to crush online again :)”.
But that post proved to be inaccurate as the 21-year-old – who is considered by many to be the best heads-up No-Limit Hold’em player in the world – was refused entry by the Canadian immigration authorities.
Cates, with his online cash earnings from PokerStars and Full Tilt sitting at about $7 million – including more than $5 million last year – later tweeted that, “in a ridiculous twist, I have been deported from Canada for being an illegal immigrant… Going to Seattle tomorrow to try to get temp visa”.
We will soon know if he has been successful, but he later followed up his second post with another that stated: “Apparently I need a visa to play poker for a living in Canada? Wtf? Anyone know about the immigration laws here?”
So, will Galfond and Cates open the floodgates for a poker player evacuation to Canada? Or will we see most remain in the USA in the hope that any future laws created by the American government will be stacked in their favour?
It is certainly a strange time for North American poker pros, that’s certain.

Total complete applications received since July 1, 2011

On July 1, 2011, the eligibility criteria for Federal Skilled Worker applicants changed.
Between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012, a maximum of 10,000 complete Federal Skilled Worker applications will be considered for processing. Within the 10,000 cap, a maximum of 500 Federal Skilled Worker applications per eligible occupation will be considered for processing within this same time frame.
These limits do not apply to applications with an offer of arranged employment (job offer).
Applications received toward the overall cap: 529 of 10,000 as of July 29, 2011

Applications received per eligible occupation:

Eligible Occupation
(by National Occupational Classification [NOC] code)
Number of Complete Applications Received*
0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers21
0811 Primary Production Managers (except Agriculture) 5
1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management259
1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners6
2121 Biologists and Related Scientists17
2151 Architects11
3111 Specialist Physicians7
3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians3
3113 Dentists10
3131 Pharmacists18
3142 Physiotherapists3
3152 Registered Nurses94
3215 Medical Radiation Technologists4
3222 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists1
3233 Licensed Practical Nurses4
4151 Psychologists1
4152 Social Workers16
6241 Chefs6
6242 Cooks6
7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades8
7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades9
7241 Electricians (except Industrial and Power System)2
7242 Industrial Electricians4
7251 Plumbers1
7265 Welders and Related Machine Operators1
7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics5
7371 Crane Operators0
7372 Drillers and Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying and Construction1
8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service6
*The number of complete Federal Skilled Worker applications received as of July 29, 2011 is approximate.
**Once the cap has been reached, we can only accept applications for this occupation from people with an existing offer of arranged employment.
NOTE: Because application intake fluctuates, these figures are meant as a guide only. There is no guarantee that an application sent in now will fall within the cap.

Canadian economy to slow as U.S. cuts spending: economists

Canada likely faces slower economic growth even if the United States manages to avoid default on its debt or a credit rating downgrade, economists said Wednesday.
Topics : 
McGill University , RBC Capital Markets ,Moody'sUnited States , Canada , Washington
The U.S. government's need to cut spending by between US$2 trillion and US$4 trillion over a decade would delay its recovery and drag down Canada's rebound because the two economies are so closely linked.
"The short-run effect of these changes is going to be to slow the recovery even further," says Christopher Ragan, an associate economics professor at McGill University.
"But at the same time they need to put themselves onto a fiscal track that is credible and show they are not going to be hitting the debt wall."
The U.S. government has been grappling since May with more than $14 trillion in debt – the borrowing ceiling set by Congress – and may not be able to pay its bills after Aug. 2.
That means Washington could be forced to cut its spending by almost half, threatening social security benefits, defence outlays, or even the wages of civil servants.
Ragan said a slower recovery by Canada's largest trading partner would have a ripple effect on export sectors such as automotive and forest products that have been struggling to return to pre-recession levels of a few years ago.
"Our exports still have a way to go before they get back to a pre-crisis levels, so we've got a lot of recovery to go in the export sector and that's going to slow it down."
Sluggish growth in the United States cuts demand for many Canadian exports – from oil and gas, cars and auto parts to newsprint, lumber, fertilizer, industrial chemicals, metals and machinery.
That eventually leads to fewer jobs in those sectors and far slower growth than is healthy for the national economy.
A one per cent hit to U.S. growth translates into a 0.5 per cent drop in Canada, said RBC Capital Markets chief economist Craig Wright.
He said financial restraint could prompt forecasters to ratchet down their growth forecasts in both countries.
"It does leave the economy more vulnerable and any further bad news may be in and of itself not enough to knock the economy significantly lower but you start wondering about the cumulative effect of all these negative shocks when the economy is sort of struggling," he said in an interview.
Potentially offsetting the decreases, however, could be a decision by corporations to spend their hordes of cash in the face of more financial certainty, he added.
Many believe U.S. politicians will eventually cobble together some sort of deal that avoids a default.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday that he was confident the U.S. government would find a way to deal with the situation and avert an economic disaster.
He called the situation in Canada "significantly" better than that south of the border but said Ottawa would remain vigilant and act as needed to mitigate any spillover effects.
"Part of the reason that the Americans are having such trouble dealing with this is that the U.S. debt and fiscal situation is extremely difficult," Harper said in Brampton, Ont.
"It is very bad."
Ragan said U.S. debt is not a crisis and levels are relatively lower than when Canada hit the debt wall in 1995.
Then Liberal finance minister Paul Martin tackled the problem by cutting $7 in spending for every $1 raised in taxes. But the impact on Canada's economic growth was shielded because the American economy was booming.
As the world's largest economy, the U.S. doesn't have that advantage.
The impact of a potential default are unclear.
U.S. interest rates would spike in such a scenario but those in Canada may actually decrease. That's because the Canadian dollar has soared in recent days – as the U.S. greenback weakened over the debt impasse – keeping downward pressure on Canadian rates.
The high Canadian dollar has squeezed the export sector and manufacturers in Central Canada. But if a U.S. economic slowdown cuts demand for energy, minerals and metals, it could drag down the loonie in the long term because of lower global commodity prices.
Wright said the worst case could be a U.S. recession, which would have a spillover effect in Canada.
More likely, a soft patch in the United States gets even softer for a bit longer, he said.
The United States may still face a downgrade even if a political deal is reached. Standard & Poor's said it wants to see a commitment for $4 trillion in spending cuts.
The impact of that would be less significant than a default and would likely be short term since ratings agencies might provide targets the U.S. would have to meet to regain its top credit rating, said Ragan.
The situation could be in some ways similar to 1998 when Moody's downgraded Japan's sovereign rating, said a report by Barclays Capital Research.
"We believe fundamentals will drive assets rather than the ratings revision," said the report.