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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Globe and Mail - Catherine Dauvergne: Refugee rules the end of Canada’s humanitarian tradition

We must let go of the idea that Canada’s refugee system is better, fairer, more generous or more humanitarian than other systems in the world.

It is easy to dismiss the current debate about changes to Canada’s refugee process as the same-old stand-off between the soft liberal left and a strong reformist government. But the tenor of the recent changes has irrevocably altered the terrain. The changes which took effect in December put the finishing touches on a round of reform that has brought a dramatic end to what was once known as Canada’s humanitarian tradition. Whether Canadians like the new system or loathe it, it is important to acknowledge that it is a game changer.

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to dress in cold weather - update

In a previous post, I let you know what you need to be wearing on a cold day in Toronto (read it here). Since we've had a few days of bitter temperatures here recently, I thought it would be a good time to update my recommendations.

Other than what I've already noted:

  •  Base layer - when it's -10C or below, you really are doing yourself a favour if you wear a base layer of long underwear. The wind will cut through your pants, or jeans. I see a lot of women in their fashionable tights in this weather, but they clearly are NOT in a good mood. Base layer. Think about it.
  • Heavy socks - even if you have to change out of your boots into dress shoes, wear some heavier socks in this kind of cold. I wear hiking socks and they add a lot of comfort to my feet.
  • Think about your nose - Despite all my attempts to stave off the cold and enjoy the outdoors, my nose gets cold and runs in weather like this. I have a couple solutions: My Canada Goose jacket (mine is their Banff model), in what I call "storm mode" allows me to hide most of my face in the coyote fur around the hood (this material was chosen by Canada Goose "because it never freezes, doesn’t hold water, and the uneven hair lengths create a windbreak that protects exposed skin, helping to reduce heat loss from the face"). I can still see out, but have to be diligent at intersections/crosswalks to turn my entire head and look for cars and such. The other solution is a scarf bundled up around my face. This doesn't work as well, because I have to move it when I blow my nose, and the condensation from my breath makes it wet, and then it freezes, and then it gets cold again! But seriously - think about your nose!
That's my update. -24C in Toronto today. Supposedly winters are warmer than ever in Canada, with fewer snow days and fewer days of deep, dangerous cold. But it still gets plenty cold here for a good part of the year, and you need to be prepared to deal with it, unless you want to be a shut-in. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CIC's "Living In Canada" online tool

The CIC has created an online tool to assist new immigrants in many areas of planning for, or adjusting to their new lives in Canada.

Topics covered in the tool include:

  • Language training
  • Finding work
  • Finding newcomer services in your area 
  • Finding a place to live
  • Getting to know Canada
  • Adjusting to life in Canada
  • Locating Government and community services
  • Educational needs
All in all, the tool offers a good place to get started with all these topics. While it doesn't answer every question, or even go into great detail in most cases, it will point you on the right path if you are a newcomer, or making plans to settle in Canada. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

CIC News - A Review of Immigration in 2012

2012 saw a number of important changes to Canadian immigration programs across the board. Some have already taken effect, while others will not be effective until various times in 2013. As we embark on a new year, CIC News is pleased to provide a summary of the major changes to some of Canada’s most popular immigration programs.

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Globe and Mail - Ottawa to play matchmaker for foreign workers

Jason Kenney's idea of an immigration program,
coming to the CBC in 2014
Does it seem like a good idea for the Federal Government to set up what amounts to a job bank for the nation's skilled worker employers? That's Jason Kenney's plan for the Skilled Worker class of immigrant, as he prepares to launch a system by 2014 where if you are lucky enough to be invited to work by a Canadian employer, and then also invited to immigrate by the government, you will be fast-tracked into the country.

The web-based, "Expression of Interest" system will be, “ a dating site,” says Kenney. And we all know how well those systems work.

Read the article here 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

New Years 2013 at Nathan Phillips Square. God bless all my friends and readers in the the new year, and may all your Canadian immigration dreams come true!