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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Globe and Mail - If Canadian citizenship becomes more ‘exclusive’ it must be more meaningful

Nicholas Rouleau writes in today's Globe:

...Mr. Alexander (the new Minister of Citizenship) rightly observes that “Canadian citizenship is uniquely valuable in the world, a weighty privilege that involves both duty and rights, opportunity and responsibility.” If the duties of Canadians increase, so should their rights. A more exclusive citizenship should also mean a more meaningful one.

Read the entire article here

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February explanation: February observation

It's been a quiet February here at The Mind, and I feel like I owe you all an explanation. I had to return to the States for family business on very short notice, and it has left me little time to address anything else. While there is immigration news to share, my focus this month has been elsewhere. Hopefully March will be back to normal for everyone involved.

And now another observation about the U.S. from my Canadian vantage point. I have come to have so little patience for the political discourse in this country on either side of the aisle. As I see America now, it is a country full of me-firsters of both conservative and liberal persuasion. It is a country where there is only one correct point of view: and that belongs to whoever is speaking. It's is an immature country of people who have no tolerance for each other, or of each other's viewpoints or needs. It is a short-sighted, impatient, greedy country with a fast-food mentality, fully engaged in a Darwinist race to the bottom, where only one person wins, everyone else loses, and it's all the loser's fault.

Obamacare? Just more money for insurance companies as far as I'm concerned. The right to purchase an insurance policy doesn't mean anything if you can't afford it in the first place. But in America, if you are living in the margins, it's your own fault. If you need social assistance, you must be sitting on your ass and gaming the system. Your children should be taken from you, and you deserve whatever suffering comes your way. I hear this nonsense time and time again.

America lacks compassion. America lacks political courage. America does not take care of its own. Land of the free? Hardly. Home of the brave? Possibly. But do I miss it now that I have lived in Canada?

Not at all.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Cap Filled

After only a month, the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program has reached the maximum number of applications that will be accepted this year. The program, which re-opened on January 2, 2014, had placed a cap of 5,000 on application intake.

“As Citizenship and Immigration Canada has now received 5,000 complete applications, new intake into the [Parent and Grandparent] program will again pause until next year, as we devote our energy to reuniting more families,” said a statement issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). “By the end of 2014, we expect to welcome an additional 20,000 parents and grandparents to Canada, marking a substantial reduction in wait times for all applicants.”

Read the rest of the article here

Sunday, February 09, 2014

CBC - New citizenship rules target fraud, foreign terrorism

The Canadian government is proposing sweeping changes today in what is being called "the first comprehensive reform to the Citizenship Act in more than a generation​."

Under the Conservative government's Bill C-24, dubbed the strengthening Canadian citizenship act, would-be citizens would have to live in Canada longer before applying for citizenship, but would see their applications for citizenship processed more quickly.

Read the rest of the article here