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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nova Scotia announces new options for skilled workers

If you want to immigrate to Canada, but don't qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program because of all of the changes and limitations, Nova Scotia may have a solution for you:

The new Regional Labour Market Demand stream is aimed at selecting individuals who meet the labour market needs, are destined to join the labour market with a full-time and permanent position, and wish to live in the Province of Nova Scotia permanently.

Check out the new program at the province's official site:

Regional Labour Market Demand NOVA SCOTIA NOMINEE PROGRAM

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First immigration steps and basic information - CIC

Sometimes I forget that some of you may be on your first steps toward immigrating to Canada. If that's the case, you've found a good jumping off point with this blog. You're going to hear it from the horse's mouth here. My immigration was probably a little tougher than most; but you'll never learn much from those who had an easy time of it.

I was once right where you are - looking into what my options were for possible immigration into Canada.

As you're getting started, be sure and look through the materials at the government of Canada's Customs and Immigration (CIC) web site. You'll find it here:

Immigrate to Canada - Customs and Immigration Canada

Also please check out my two ebooks on Canadian immigration. They have already assisted many in working their way through the sometimes daunting immigration process and paperwork. See the "How To Immigrate Books" link on the top of this page for more information.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What the CIC says it's doing to reduce citizenship processing times

Why is it that when I read an official CIC document, it always feels like a Harper campaign press release? This is true of the CIC backgroudner, "Backgrounder — What is CIC doing to reduce citizenship processing times?" Just look at the info-graphic below:

See the use of "Economic Action Plan" - that's Harper campaign-speak. Now, the Tories have been in power since 2006. That's 8 years as either leading a minority or having a majority government in place. And now - now that an election cycle approaches - now they are going to do something about citizenship wait times (which the same infographic explains are currently almost three-years).

So what are they finally doing?
  1. Throwing money at it - $44 million in 2013
  2. Streamlining processing - now a Citizenship Officer will be the sole handler of an application. Judges will only come into play if there are complications or disputes on a file.
  3. Increasing fees - the old, "make it more expensive and less people will use it" school of government service. Harper is great at this. Fees for application will increase from $100 to $300.
  4. Actually defining a "complete application" - believe it or not, what has constituted a complete application has been a little fuzzy over the years. This is a positive change.
  5. Giving judges discretionary grant power - this power to grant citizenship in exceptional circumstances was previously held at the officer level. Now, judges will control this aspect of citizenship.
  6. Dealing with abandonment - there are lots of dead files out there; applicants who aren't responsive to requests for information or interviews. This change would allow those non-responsive applicants to be flushed from the backlog. Another positive step. 
So all in all, not a bad pass at improving citizenship wait times. Now we'll wait to see how they follow through. 

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

One more juxtaposition - the press and politics

I noticed a difference again between the U.S. and Canada related to the press in dealing with politics: See if you agree.

A couple months back, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau brought up in a speech that he thought it was time to consider decriminalizing marijuana in Canada. Of course, the law and order agenda of the ruling Tories were outraged. So much so, that they immediately began an advertising blitz in multiple languages painting Trudeau as a pusher - ready to sell drugs to your children.

In the U.S., this would have been fodder enough for the 24/7 new stations to haul out the pundits to explore the pressing questions of (let me think of a few): Did Trudeau really want to sell drugs to Canadian children? How much would marijuana cost under a Trudeau administration? Would Trudeau's position bring out the youth vote? Was Trudeau a moral man? If the position helped in the polls, would Harper go pro-pot?

But in Canada, the attack ad blitz by the Tories went almost entirely without comment. In Canada, it was understood that Harper would jump at any chance to attack his opponents, and Trudeau had given him one. Beyond that? Meh.

How refreshing that the press in Canada doesn't jump at every bit of propaganda bait thrown their way. How sad U.S. political discourse is so full of such nonsense.