Showing posts with label Ottawa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ottawa. Show all posts

100 reasons to live in Ottawa, ON by Larysa Valachko.

100 reasons to live in Ottawa, ON
The intention of this series is to present easy to “digest” articles about everyday things and activities which make Ottawa a great place for newcomers and their families.
Reason 1: Freedom of choosing a caregiver for a pregnant woman.
As a new mom, I chose this reason to open the 100 reasons series as it is the one that convinced me that my husband and I had made the right choice when selecting Ottawa as a city to settle down in Canada.

Unlike in some other provinces, pregnant women in Ontario have the right to choose between an obstetrician or a midwife to be their primary caregiver during pregnancy, and in spite of the choice made, the services are paid by the OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan).
An obstetrician is a special doctor who takes care of the woman during her pregnancy and helps at birthing. Obstetricians take turns in being available during labor in the hospital, that means that the woman has a big chance to be assisted not by the obstetrician who looked after her pregnancy. These doctors are experts in dealing with different complications during pregnancy, labor, and birth. If a woman chooses an obstetrician to follow her pregnancy, she will deliver the baby in the hospital. An obstetrician and hospital birth is a great choice for those who have to rely on medical assistance or who feel safer by being surrounded by impressive medical equipment and staff.
Although many people will agree that doctors’ uniforms and their clinics unwittingly make the visitors feel less healthy. For a woman who has a normal pregnancy, it might be important to keep the feeling of being healthy and capable to give birth without going through stressful and often unnecessary medical exams and interventions. In this case a midwife is often the best choice to go for.

Ottawa starting to tackle rapidly aging workforce with renewed urgency

Government Convention Centre (formely Ottawa U...Image via Wikipedia
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and the highest levels of the public service are immersed in a flurry of closed-door talks aimed at tackling the rising costs of health care and retirement benefits in the face of a shrinking number of working-age taxpayers available to foot the bill.
Internal government documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show Canada’s aging population is no longer a problem on the horizon, but rather one that will impact the federal government this year. It's a challenge Ottawa is now discussing more openly and with added urgency.
This week Mr. Flaherty kicked off a policy retreat with business and policy leaders in Wakefield, Que., by saying he wanted the discussion to focus on how Canada can position itself now for the longer term – listing “Canada’s rapidly aging workforce” as an issue that shouldn’t be overshadowed by the current focus on wildly fluctuating stock markets.
“The need to address current challenges must not keep us from tackling the key questions that affect our future prosperity,” he said.
The Finance Minister has offered few hints as to how he will approach forthcoming negotiations with the provinces over health-transfer arrangements, which need to be renewed. Provinces – and ultimately Ottawa – face rising health costs as older Canadians will make greater use of the system.
Documents obtained by The Globe show Mr. Flaherty has been receiving regular briefings on “transfer renewal” from his deputy minister for months, but offer no sense as to Ottawa's negotiating position.
Canada, currently the 27th oldest country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, is on track to become the 11th oldest within 20 years. It’s a challenge that will spark debate over Canada’s retirement age, fertility rates and immigration, while risking generational tension between a growing population of older voters and a shrinking pool of younger taxpayers.
Last November, Canada’s most senior public servant, Privy Council Clerk Wayne Wouters, invited deputy ministers from across the government for a meeting on demographics in Ottawa’s Langevin Block. There they reviewed a draft report on the impacts of Canada’s aging population. Unlike past warnings on the topic, this report did not paint it as a problem looming in the distance.
“The oldest baby boomers start to turn 65 in 2011, meaning the dependency ratio will start to increase significantly in a matter of months,” states the draft report, which was obtained in redacted form by The Globe under Access to Information.
Prepared by officials at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Finance Canada, the report is full of alarming statistics. It also lays out several measures the government could take to limit the impact, including incentives to boost fertility rates, bring in younger immigrants and encourage Canadians to work longer.
“A Canada where seniors outnumber children is uncharted territory,” the report states.
When asked about the report, Alyson Queen, press secretary to Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, listed recent government measures to encourage older Canadians to stay in the workforce.
“Our Government has done more to support older workers than any before,” she said in an e-mail.
Monte Solberg, who preceded Ms. Finley as Human Resources minister and retired from politics in October, 2008, said incentives for older workers were among the easiest options – politically speaking – available to the Conservatives in the face of an aging population.
Now, he says, the government will have to consider the hard ones, like raising the retirement age – a move so controversial he says it would likely require a Royal Commission to build public support.
Even more pressing are the upcoming negotiations on health-care transfers to the provinces, which currently grow at six per cent a year under the Canada Health Transfer Program that expires in fiscal 2013-14.
“It’s a very real problem,” said Mr. Solberg in an interview. “It’s easily the largest unfunded liability that we have, without question, because we have this wave coming at us [and] there’s no extra money that’s set aside to address it.”
By the numbers
Percentage of Canadians by 2036 who will be over the age of 65
Ratio of workers to seniors in Newfoundland in 2010
Ratio of workers to seniors in Newfoundland by 2050
Percentage of Quebec’s population that is seniors
Percentage of Quebec’s population that will be seniors in 30 years
Source: Canada’s Changing Demographics: The Impacts of Population Aging, a draft internal HRSDC report marked secret and dated Oct. 27, 2010, that was circulated in advance of a Nov. 3 meeting of the Coordinating Committee of Deputy Ministers.

Canada keeps AAA credit rating

Canadian parliament from the Musée Canadienne ...Image via Wikipedia
As the debt spectacle continues in Washington, Moody’s Investor Service renewed Canada’s AAA credit rating on Thursday.
While all eyes are on the United States as it tries to hammer out a deal to raise its borrowing limit by Aug. 2, avoid a debt default and a possible debt downgrade, Canada sailed through its annual credit checkup with flying colours.
Moody’s said the country’s high resiliency, government financial strength and low susceptibility to risk were key to the top marks.
Here’s a breakdown of the reasons why Moody’s says Canada deserves the highest possible credit rating:
Economic strength: Very high.
Canada missed the worst of the financial crisis because of the financial strength of its banks and only a mild downturn in the housing market.
The country had a stronger rebound from the recession, with a 3.2-per-cent rise in gross domestic product, compared with 2.9 per cent south of the border. Moody’s said monetary policy and Ottawa’s stimulus program helped the recovery.
There are important differences between the Canadian and U.S. economies that affected Moody’s evaluation of Canada’s strength, including the fact that trade in goods and services makes up more than half of Canada’s GDP, compared with less than one- third in the U.S. This points to a greater degree of openness in the economy, it said.
Canada also has lower federal debt and a stronger banking system and housing market, as well as a higher domestic saving rate, resulting in less reliance on external financial markets.
Institutional strength: Very high.
Fiscal discipline at the Bank of Canada, inflation control, government effectiveness and rule of law all rank highly.
Economic and fiscal policies have remained stable for the past 15 years under Liberal and Conservative governments. Some tax differences exist, but the overall goal of fiscal balance and declining debt has been a constant.
While the proportion of total government debt credited to provincial, territorial and local governments is the highest among major countries, and Moody’s judges the risk of the federal government having to step in to assist these governments with their debt payments as high, it said local ratings indicate little risk that such assistance would actually be needed.
Government financial strength: Very high.
This evaluation is based on a well-established pattern of budget surpluses at the federal level, except during exceptional circumstances such as the financial crisis, leading to declining government debt and debt ratios since the 1990s.
Susceptibility to event risk: Low.
The most important risks are related to the housing market and to separatism in Quebec, although the probability of either affecting Canada’s rating is quite low.

Read more:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: Welcome to Canada!

Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationImage via Wikipedia
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 28, 2011) - You've made Canada your new home and are probably in the process of searching for a place of your own. Looking for a home can be a very exciting experience that can be both rewarding and challenging.
As Canada's national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been providing Canadians – including new Canadians like you – with information and tools to help you make informed homeownership decisions.
Canada's population growth is becoming increasingly reliant upon immigration. In the 2006 Census, close to six million Canadians identified themselves as immigrants, representing about 20 per cent of the entire Canadian population.
To help new Canadians make informed housing-related decisions and find safe, affordable homes for their families, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has developed a multi-language one-stop online source for housing-related information. Visit CMHC at
CMHC wants to provide newcomers to Canada with relevant and culturally appropriate housing-related information. A wealth of information is available for newcomers in both official languages – English and French – as well as in Mandarin/Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog and Urdu.
This housing-related information is divided into three areas to make things simpler: Renting an apartment - for most newcomers, your first home will likely be a rented house or apartment. Renting a home should provide you with a safe place where you can begin to adjust to your new life in Canada. It can also give you the time to look for a home to buy without feeling pressured into making a quick decision; Buying a home - CMHC has created a series of guides and tools that take you through the home buying process; and Looking after your home – which will help guide you on how to take care of your home and prevent problems before they happen. Don't forget to also check out the videos on buying, renting and renovating a home.
For more information or for FREE information on other aspects of renting, buying and renovating a home in Canada, visit For 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has been Canada's national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing expertise.

Contact Information

For story ideas or to access CMHC experts or expertise
CMHC Media Relations - National Office
(613) 748-2799


Asylum backlog will stay despite reform

Photo of Tabaret Hall with the Desmarais Build...Image via Wikipedia
Published On Tue Jul 19 2011
Nicholas Keung Immigration Reporter
Ottawa’s plan to fast-track the refugee system could be a “gift” for bogus asylum seekers in the backlog because they will be on the backburner — and not fall under new regulations — when new refugee reform takes effect in December.
The federal government is expected to roll out the new refugee regulations December 1, which aim to assess asylum claims, hear appeals and boot out failed claimants within a year.
However, claims filed under the new law are the priorities and must be processed within legislated time frames; the 41,500 backlogged cases are not.
“The Immigration and Refugee Board will have a significant number of ‘legacy’ cases in the inventory when the Balanced Refugee Reform Act comes into force,” said the board’s recently published 2011/12 planning report. “The IRB will not have the resources to resolve these cases.”
Critics said it is irresponsible for the government to implement a new system without a transition plan such as the “semi-amnesty” program implemented to remove a backlog before the launch of the refugee board in 1989.
“When you start a new ferry, you are not going to put 40,000 people on it. It would sink the boat,” warned Peter Showler, former chair of the refugee board, now director of the University of Ottawa’s Refugee Forum.
Not only do genuine claimants suffer, the long wait time can benefit bogus refugees, said Toronto refugee lawyer Max Berger.
“It will be a gift for claimants with fabricated stories because now they can wait to stay in Canada for as long as possible,” Berger said.
Currently, asylum seekers arriving at the border wait 22 months for an initial decision by the refugee board. If rejected, they can appeal to the federal court and apply for pre-removal risk assessments, processes that take months, if not years.
As of April, there are 47,300 claims in backlog, down from 62,000 in 2009, when the Conservative government delayed appointing new asylum adjudicators.
Ottawa has since filled the refugee board and hired 12 additional adjudicators to deal with the backlog. It is not known when the backlog will be cleared.
“We want to see what’d actually happen under the new system rather than making assumptions and projections, which are a guessing game,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told the Star Monday.
“We are focused on the new system that would hopefully deter bogus claimants from clogging up the system and provide protection to bona fide refugees. It’s our hope that by deterring false claimants in the future that we will be able to continue reducing the backlog.”
In 1988, just before the refugee board was launched, the then Conservative government implemented a special one-hearing process to fast track a refugee backlog of 95,000 by lowering the bar of the examination. The backlog took four years to clear despite a $179 million price tag.
Kenney has already ruled out a similar humanitarian program.
“A complete amnesty is inappropriate, but it is reasonable to do some form of humanitarian program for those who are well established and have been here for a long time because of the failure and inefficiency of the current system,” said University of Ottawa’s Showler.
Under the reform, claims will be heard initially by civil servants, who must render decisions within 60 days for claimants from so-called “safe” countries and 90 days for others.

Our country needs more people

Canadian parliament from the Musée Canadienne ...Image via Wikipedia
The Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies poll found a slim majority of Canadians think that Canada's population (34 million) is just right.
Size does matter! Our population is comparable to California's, yet we have the world's second-largest land mass.
Immigration must be a priority - you can't run a country this size without it. The United States prospered because it opened its gates - now it's 10 times our size.
Canadians love Canada's space, but Canada needs at least 150 million more people - preferably more. Sixty per cent of our population live within a few hundred miles of the U.S. border. A large part of Canada remains unused.
Many think our north can't be populated. It can with investment and new technologies. Switzerland fits inside Algonquin Park! France and England take up Ontario (with room left over Liechtenstein). We're definitely under-populated.
People want Canada's postcard look, but don't want anyone else to live here. If Canada doesn't increase its population the quality of life for will fall exponentially. There's a definite and important correlation between a country's population size and the health of the economy.
Canada needs a 'Statue of Liberty" effect - more assertive and industrious attitudes to attract hard-work-ing immigrants. Canada has been called the largest hotel in the world - that should be changed to one of the largest houses in the world. People should be enticed, so they can work hard, build a good life and adopt enviable Canadian values of dignity, tolerance, and fairness.
Canada is not "just right" with only 34 million people. If this attitude persists, taxes will increase, and some otherwise needless social programs will prosper.
A land mass of almost 10 million square kilometres with only 34 million people will carry that burden.
Bring me your hardworking, your ambitious, your visionaries.
Let the immigration revolution begin.

Read more:

Capital region keeps adding jobs

The entrance to Canada's Parliament Hill in Ot...Image via Wikipedia

Published on July 8, 2011
OBJ Staff  RSS Feed
Ottawa Business Journal
The National Capital Region continued its run of strong employment growth last month, adding 2,600 new jobs and pushing the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in more than a year and a half, according to Statistics Canada.
Topics : 
Statistics Canada , U.S. Labor Department ,Canadian PressQuebec , Ottawa , Ontario
That brings the number of new jobs created in Ottawa and Gatineau in 2011 to 14,100. By comparison, the region added 6,000 new positions in all of 2010.
In June, most of the local growth came in Gatineau, where 1,900 new jobs were added.
The employment gains, combined with a reduction in the size of the labour force in Ottawa, brought the region’s unemployment rate down from 6.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent. That’s the lowest level since November 2009, when it stood at 5.6 per cent.
Year-over-year, the biggest gains were in the service sector, specifically retail, wholesale, transportation, warehousing, accommodations, food services as well as professional, scientific and technical positions.
The region’s tech sector was flat at 46,000 jobs. Despite reports that the federal government has started eliminating positions within the civil service, the number of public administration positions only declined modestly, to 163,600 jobs in June 2011 compared to 164,100 a year earlier.
Nationally, the Canadian economy created 28,000 jobs last month, helped by a gain the part-time jobs to post its third consecutive month of growth.
The country's unemployment rate held steady in June at 7.4 per cent as the number of people entering the workforce increased, according to Statistics Canada.
The increase in jobs was mainly in the part-time sector, which added 21,000 jobs, compared with 7,000 new full-time jobs.
Economists had expected an overall increase of 10,000 jobs.
The public sector added 51,000 jobs in the month, while there were 22,000 new jobs in the private sector.
However, those gains were offset by a drop of 44,000 in the number of self-employed people in Canada.
The gains were led by the transportation and warehousing industry which saw a gain of 15,000 jobs, while the professional, scientific and technical services sector lost 19,000 jobs.
The construction and manufacturing sectors were little changed for the month.
Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia all posted employment gains in June, while Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador saw losses.
Employment was up 40,000 jobs in Ontario following a slight drop in May.
South of the border, hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month. Employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 per cent.
The U.S. Labor Department says the economy generated only 18,000 net jobs in June.
-With reports from the Canadian Press and Associated Press

    Federal Funding to the Bridge Training Program Works for Skilled Immigrants

    OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2011) - The Government of Canada is providing $22 million to help skilled immigrants in Ontario find jobs, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
    The Bridge Training program helps skilled immigrants enter the Canadian labour market and find employment that matches their education and skills. The program funds regional projects in Ontario that help skilled immigrants get a Canadian license in a regulated profession, or the training they need to get work in regulated and non-regulated careers. The program also funds initiatives that reduce barriers to the integration of foreign-trained workers.
    "This program helps skilled immigrants in Ontario enter and integrate into the Canadian labour market," said Minister Kenney. "It is absolutely critical to engage employers in this process, and this program does just that."
    The Bridge Training program has been co-funded since 2007-08 by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. Given the success of this program, the Government of Canada is continuing its contribution with $12M in 2011-2012 and $10 million in 2012-2013.
    To date, over 200 projects have been funded and over 35,000 immigrants in Ontario have benefited from the program.
    The Government of Canada is committed to attracting, retaining and integrating immigrants into Ontario communities. Federally funded settlement services have enabled significant expansion and enhancement of both language training and settlement services. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has tripled funding for settlement services in Ontario.

    Enhanced by Zemanta

    Legislation Targeting Crooked Immigration Consultants Receives Royal Assent

    Minister of the Economic Development Agency of...Image via Wikipedia
    OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/23/11 -- Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney welcomed today the final passage of legislation to crack down on crooked immigration consultants.
    Bill C-35, originally introduced as the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act, has now received Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in the coming months.
    "Once in force, this legislation will make it an offence for anyone other than an authorized immigration consultant, lawyer, other representative or authorized entity to conduct business at any stage of an application or proceeding," said Minister Kenney. "We are targeting undeclared "ghost" consultants as well as other unscrupulous immigration representatives who are engaging in unacceptable activity."
    The Act strengthens the rules governing those who charge a fee for immigration advice or representation; closes certain loopholes; increases penalties for unauthorized representation; and allows for more government oversight in order to improve the way in which immigration consultants are regulated.
    "Crooked immigration consultants pose a threat not only to their victims, but also to the integrity of our immigration system," said Minister Kenney. "This new legislation will help us protect people wanting to immigrate to or stay in Canada, as well as the integrity of Canada's immigration system."
    In response to issues raised by stakeholders and members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, amendments to the Bill were made during the Committee's study of Bill C-35. Among key amendments are measures to:
    --  Double maximum fines for the offence of providing unauthorized
        immigration advice from $50,000 to $100,000 and summary convictions from
        $10,000 to $20,000;
    --  Amend the offence provision to capture both direct and indirect
        representation and advice; and
    --  Recognize paralegals regulated by a Law Society as being exempted from
        prohibition on providing representation and advice.

    Once in force, the Act will impose penalties on unauthorized representatives who provide, or offer to provide, advice or representation for a fee, at any stage of an immigration application of proceeding. This includes the period before a proceeding begins or an application is submitted. In addition, the legislation authorizes the disclosure of information on the ethical or professional conduct of an immigration consultant to those responsible for governing or investigating that conduct.
    Bill C-35 received Royal Assent this afternoon after it was approved in the Senate on March 21, 2011. It was unanimously adopted at third reading in the House of Commons on December 7, 2010, after being introduced on June 8th.
    This process is part of a broader strategy to protect people wanting to immigrate to or stay in Canada from immigration fraud.
    Minister Kenney raised the issue of immigration consultant fraud in meetings with officials in China, India and the Philippines last fall and more recently in Pakistan. He has urged those governments to protect their citizens from exploitation and abuse by crooked immigration consultants.

    BUDGET 2011: Credits for re-training foreign workers

    Canadian parliament from the Musée Canadienne ...Image via Wikipedia
    Foreign workers forced to obtain additional Canadian credentials before practicing in their field will feel some financial relief in the Conservative’s budget, tabled Tuesday.
    Source: OBJ
    However, the document – which still needs to be approved by parliamentarians – is vague on increased recognition of foreign credentials, an important issue for Ottawa’s technology sector.
    “There are very qualified people not being able to work in their field in Canada because of a recognition of their experience and credentials, so I think a large number of organizations have asked for some relief there,” said OCRI chief executive Claude Haw in an interview before the budget's release on Tuesday.
    That said, the budget included few details about how immigrants could gain equivalency for medical, law, engineering and other professional degrees overseas, only saying details would be announced shortly.
    Instead, the government focused on tuition relief for those foreign workers that are looking to switch careers or supplement their existing credentials.
    “Many foreign-trained workers have difficulty paying for the tuition and other training costs associated with the foreign credential recognition process,” budget documents stated.
    University and college tuition fees in Canada are eligible for a tax credit, but examinations for professional certifications – like nursing or accounting – don't fall under this bracket.
    The budget proposes making all of these trade, occupational and professional examination fees eligible as long as a provincial or federal statute lets the person do the trade in Canada.
    Around 30,000 people nationwide are expected to receive this assistance, reducing federal revenues by $1 million in 2010-11 and $5 million for the following two years.
    “During the downturn, people asked if we need more people in the country, but I say it creates vibrancy and innovation,” Mr. Haw said, noting that Canadians do very well when working with Silicon Valley companies and he has seen the same phenomenon when foreign workers come here.

    Live streaming

    Powered by

    Subscribe to Nexus Canada Videos

    Next Event

    Leave us a message

    Check our online courses now

    Check our online courses now
    Click Here now!!!!

    Subscribe to our newsletter