My eBook, How To Immigrate To Canada For Skilled Workers: The Authoritative Guide To Federal And Provincial Opportunities is available now on Amazon and other online retailers. Get your copy of the essential guide to Skilled Worker class applications today!

For Kindle
For iPad/iPhone
For Nook
For Kobo
For Sony eReader

Also available is my new eBook, "How To Immigrate To Canada In The Family Class: The Authoritative Guide Including Qu├ębec And Super Visa Opportunities". Get it at Amazon or the other e-retailers noted above.

Live from Toronto


This is the current webcam view of Roy Thomson Hall at 60 Simcoe St. in Toronto as seen from the Southwest and looking Northeast. See the location here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Must read - Canadian Experience Class applications

Attorney David Cohen's Canada Immigration Newsletter has an article that will be of interest to anyone applying for Permanent Residence through the Canadian Experience Class. In it he points out that, as with all immigration applications the devil is in the details.

On first glance, the process for a candidate wishing to convert from temporary to permanent resident status appears simple. Skilled workers with good English or French ability intending to reside outside Quebec might think that their positive eligibility for the program makes attaining permanent residence a certainty. The reality, however, is that there have been a growing number of refusals handed out to individuals due to minor discrepancies in their applications. Unfortunately, these people do not become permanent residents of Canada.

While the article deals with Canadian Experience Class applications, the same advice of getting the details right pertains to all immigration applications. In the case of a family class application for instance; if you say you and your partner travelled to Hawaii together in 2013, but the photos you submit are date-stamped 2011, that might cause you a problem. If you claimed to have worked in a certain profession for over a year, but can only produce 9 months worth of payslips, that will cause you a problem.

The bottom line is that the statements of fact that you put on your application have to be supportable by evidence. That's why the gathering of supporting materials for an application is one of the most difficult and critical steps in applying for permanent residence.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Cold-weather courses break ice for immigrants new to Canadian winters

It's coming, and it's beautiful - Winter in Montreal.
...Each year, Canada throws out a welcome mat to thousands of immigrants. And for many months of the year, that welcome mat is encrusted in snow. So some new Canadians turn to courses like Ms. Perrotte’s: a survival guide to winter.

For 90 minutes, Ms. Perrotte tries to dispel some myths and inspire some enthusiasm about Canada’s most emblematic season, running through a cold-weather curriculum which includes windchill and weather-stripping, tobogganing and the Bonhomme Carnaval.

The session in winter preparedness is part practical. It’s also, fundamentally, about learning to become a Canadian.

Read the rest of the article here

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Ebola and immigration - using any excuse to pause processing of applications

Apparently applications from these countries might be infected with Ebola...
Here's the news from the CIC about a pause in processing visas. Hard to believe that this action is anything but an excuse by the government to stall immigration from countries that are less desirable to welcome immigrants from. After all, it's not the application that would spread Ebola - it's the individual. And the individual either has it, or doesn't. It's a 21-day opportunity. So what's your excuse now, CIC?

October 31 - Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced new precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Effective immediately, Canadian visa officers have temporarily paused the processing of visa applications from foreign nationals who have been physically present in a country designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having widespread and intense transmission of the Ebola virus. Discretion will remain for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to grant entry on a case-by-case basis in exceptional cases where travel is essential and in Canada’s interest.  Apart from those instances, temporary resident applications already in process that are affected by these new measures will be returned to the applicants.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents, foreign nationals currently in possession of a visa and foreign nationals who do not require visas will continue to be screened at ports of entry in Canada and will be subject to appropriate health screening and other measures under the Quarantine Act.

These changes do not impact Canadians currently in West Africa. All Canadians, including health-care workers, currently in West Africa will be permitted to travel back to Canada. The Government of Canada continues to advise against travel to countries designated by the WHO as having widespread and intense transmission of the Ebola virus.

Ministerial Instructions providing new directions to visa officers worldwide were published in the Canada Gazette today.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting international efforts to control the Ebola outbreak. Canada has been a world leader in responding to the crisis and continues to monitor the situation in the West Africa region to ensure humanitarian, health and security needs are met.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Canada to open the door wider to ‘higher calibre’ immigrants

The Conservative government plans to increase immigration levels significantly as it heads into an election year in 2015.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said on Friday that Canada aims to welcome as many as 285,000 new permanent residents next year, which is the highest planned total “in recent history,” according to the Minister.

The last time Canada admitted as many as 280,000 permanent residents was in 2010. A greater proportion, nearly 65 per cent of all admissions, will be economic immigrants and their dependents. That’s up from a target of 62 per cent in the planning for 2013 levels. Mr. Alexander said the goal reflects the government’s view that immigration is crucial to Canada’s economic prosperity.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Ottawa to blacklist employers that break provincial labour laws


The Conservative government is beefing up its blacklist of Canadian employers with a plan to include not only businesses found to have broken temporary foreign worker program rules, but also provincial labour laws.

The move is the latest in a series of policy changes responding to allegations of abuse related to the foreign worker program.

The expanded powers are contained in the Conservative government’s latest omnibus budget bill, which was introduced late last week. The enforcement of labour law is primarily a provincial responsibility and enacting the change will require information-sharing agreements between Ottawa and the provinces, something Employment Minister Jason Kenney has recently said he is working toward.

Read the rest of the article here

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Statistical black hole opens door to foreign workers

There are more than 30 First Nations reserves in northern Saskatchewan, many of which struggle with exceptionally high levels of unemployment. Yet none of the people living on those reserves are reflected in the regional unemployment rate, a key trigger that determines whether employers can apply to bring in temporary foreign workers for low-skill jobs.

This statistical oddity – reserves are not and never have been included in the labour-force survey – skews Canada’s true picture of unemployment and throws into question one of the government reforms meant to encourage employers to hire aboriginals and other Canadians before looking overseas. Despite a clamp down on the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program, the door to foreign workers remains open on First Nations, as illustrated by a Globe investigation that found a cafeteria owner on an Alberta reserve was granted approval to hire foreign workers even though an estimated 70 per cent of residents don’t have a job.

Read the rest of the article here

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Canada-U.S. drifting apart? Blame America


The Nanos poll revealing growing divergence of views between Canadians and Americans should not surprise anyone. But Canada is not to blame for the fact that we are drifting apart on so many issues, as some allege. Partisan sniping, or the well-known proclivity of Canadians to blame themselves when things sour – our ingrained apologist streak – should not blind us to reality. Canadians must wake up to what many of America’s erstwhile allies learned much earlier: The Obama Administration is one of, if not the weakest U.S. administrations on record in terms of global leadership and constructive bilateralism. That, together with a polarized, dysfunctional Congress and, more generally, an America that is turning inwards are among the reasons why the neighbourhood ardor is waning. And it is not simply Canadians who feel that way. Our Mexican friends feel jilted on immigration and border security, two issues that matter greatly to them. So too do America’s allies across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans whose profound sense of frustration with an America in retreat is palpable.

Read the rest here

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

The year rolls on and here we are again at Thanksgiving time in Canada. While I will not be home (in the U.S. for a couple more days, still), I called my family in Canada to wish them a blessed day and year ahead. I can tell I'm becoming more and more Canadian with each year when I come to think of Thanksgiving in October, rather than November as it is in The Old Country.

I celebrate both Thanksgivings though, and will continue to.

You can't be too thankful after all!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Globe and Mail - Poll finds Canadians, Americans moving apart

Canadians and Americans continue to drift apart, souring a relationship that’s likely to get worse as long as Prime Minster Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama remain in power, according to a leading Canadian pollster.

“More of the same,” a relationship adrift, said Nik Nanos, chairman of Nanos Research, adding: “We won’t get a reset until Obama and Harper are no longer leading their respective countries.”

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

"Buy American" - another bad idea from the people that brought you "Too large to fail"

"Buy American" programs in the U.S. are well intentioned: The idea that the federal government will spend it's money on American products and not foreign ones. But like many good concepts, it can get a bit messy in implementation; especially when you have something called NAFTA. Oh wait - NAFTA is only free trade for the U.S. - my bad.

Here's the story of American protectionism gone wrong: A small public bridge in Colorado was built with American steel, but because that steel was rolled in the American company's Canadian plant, it became "foreign", and no longer qualified for federal dollars.

Buy America ruling reversed on Colorado bridge made with Ontario steel