Sunday, September 30, 2007


Interesting article in the National Post...draw your own conclusions:

Canada's China effect
As trade grows, relations become more complex and rights become an issue

Peter Goodspeed
National Post
Saturday, September 29, 2007
CREDIT: Peter J. Thompson, National Post File Photo
Canada is home to more than one million Chinese immigrants. Vancouver and Toronto host North America's most vibrant Chinese communities.
After years of quietly chiding the government of China on human rights, Canada has taken a tougher tone under the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In the last of a series of stories examining the relationship, National Post reporter Peter Goodspeed looks at the growing ties in trade and immigration between the two countries.
The China factor is changing Canada. It's also changing our relations with the rest of the world.
Thirty-seven years ago, when Canada first opened diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, the two countries had little in common except wheat sales and idealistic talk of developing a dialogue between the prosperous "North" and the less-developed "South."
Today, Canada is home to more than one million Chinese immigrants; Chinese is Canada's most widely spoken language after English and French; Vancouver and Toronto host North America's most vibrant Chinese communities; and China is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the United States.
"China is no longer out there," says Paul Evans, chairman of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. "It is here -- the sharp edge of globalization and a daily economic presence for most Canadians. It affects what we produce and consume, the nature of our jobs, and our role in the world.
"The road to solving the world's big problems, from global climate change to UN reform, to human security in Darfur, to the weaponization of space, to global counter-insurgency, still runs through Washington, but it now runs through Beijing as well."
Over the past two decades, as economic reforms lifted more than 400 million people out of extreme poverty, China transformed itself and the global economy. At the same time, Canada's relations with China grew increasingly multidimensional and complex.
The events calendar at the Canadian embassy in Beijing underlines the point:
Early next month, the Chinese Cancer Institute will stage its eighth annual Terry Fox Run in Beijing as hundreds of runners jog through Chaoyang Park.
This week, the Alberta Ballet Company wound up a tour of China, while earlier in the month the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance troupe from Edmonton and Blackfoot Medicine Speaks, an aboriginal culture group from Alberta, appeared in seven Chinese cities.
In recent weeks, Raymond Bachand, Quebec's Minister of Economic Development, and Gerald Tremblay, the Montreal Mayor, led trade delegations to China, while Kelly Lamrock, New Brunswick's Education Minister, met Chinese officials in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen to discuss providing Canadian curriculum for Chinese schools.
Canada's seafood industry staged cooking demonstrations in which top Chinese chefs vied to find innovative ways to prepare high-quality Canadian products. Last year, China was Canada's third-largest market for lobster, shrimp and other seafood.
This month, the Saskatchewan rock band The Blood Lines starred at the Beijing Pop Festival.
As China prospers, Chinese have begun to travel and China has become Canada's 10th-largest source of tourists.
It is also Canada's second-largest source of foreign students. The University of British Columbia has seen enrolment by Chinese students grow tenfold in recent years.
China's appetite for natural resources, energy, professional services, skilled labour and modern technology is enormous and Canadian businesses like to think they are well-positioned and eager to meet its needs.
So far, however, trade between the two countries has been lopsided: Imports of Chinese goods are four times larger than Canada's exports to China.
Still, the potential for growth is great. Most of Canada's large financial institutions are poised to cash in as China prepares to reform its financial markets and emphasizes pension reform in a bid to create a "harmonious society."
Thirty-four Chinese companies are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange's equity exchanges and up to 21 companies based in Canada have most of their assets in China.
Meanwhile, the Montreal Exchange is working with the Shenzhen, Dalian, Zhengzhou and Shanghai exchanges to help develop derivatives markets.
But despite a general broadening of Canada's relations with China, the countries' relationship is plagued with problems.
Canadian business is alarmed by the growing trade deficit and shrinking Canadian exports. There are problems with piracy, copyright and property rights. There are increasingly vocal allegations of Chinese espionage and there have been repeated clashes with China over human rights.
The Conservative government in Ottawa has changed Canada's emphasis in discussing human rights with Beijing by making its criticisms public, rather than confining
them to polite diplomatic exchanges in private.
Four months after being elected in January, 2006, it accused China of industrial espionage when a Chinese state-controlled telecommunications company pre-empted Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion's introduction of the BlackBerry to China by suddenly unveiling its domestically produced "RedBerry."
RIM had spent more than two years trying to break into China's wireless market, but had been stymied by delays over negotiations and regulatory obstacles.
About the same time, the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service told a Senate committee hearing China was the chief target of his department's anti-espionage operations.
China was identified as the "most aggressive" nation trying to illegally acquire Canadian technology, targeting nuclear, aerospace, biotechnology, mining and oil and gas sectors of the economy.
Peter MacKay, the foreign affairs minister at the time, said there was "growing and concrete evidence of a massive Chinese network actively spying and reporting on the activities of Canadian citizens and engaging in economic Cold War activity."
Some experts claimed Canada could be losing up to $1-billion a month in lost contracts, jobs and markets as a result.
Canada's relations with China deteriorated further when Mr. Harper's government took up the case of Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen of Uighur-Muslim origin from Burlington, Ont., who was arrested during a family visit to Uzbekistan and deported to China to face dubious charges of terrorism.
China held Mr. Celil for more than a year without consular access, refused to recognize his Canadian passport and sentenced him to life in prison after a 15-minute trial.
Mr. Harper has taken a personal interest in the Celil case, raising it with Hu Jintao, China's President, in two brief and frosty meetings during economic summits in Vietnam last year and this summer in Australia.
The confrontations did nothing to move the Chinese, but they have resulted in Canada giving a higher and more public profile to human rights concerns in diplomacy with China.
This year, a House of Commons subcommittee studying relations with China concluded, "It is time for a more fundamental rethinking of the purpose of government-to-government meetings and of their role in a broader Canadian policy of engaging China on human rights."
It recommended permanently suspending the annual private meeting Canadian diplomats held with their Chinese counterparts to discuss human rights.
That has concerned some Canadian businesspeople who insist Canada may be dooming itself to failure by overemphasizing human rights.
"If the focus is solely on human rights, our country runs the risk of never establishing the kind of relationship in which difficult questions can be raised, discussed and settled in a mutually respectful way and in a manner that is likely to lead to change," said Sergio Marchi, a former Liberal minister of international trade, now president of the Canada China Business Council.
"There is a growing popular resentment in China -- and not just in China, of course -- to lecturing by foreigners, in the absence of deep understanding of the Chinese realities," Mr. Marchi said.
"Some fear Canada risks playing a game of chicken against a bulldozer," said Mr. Evans. "They argue that it will be impossible to make progress on complicated consular cases and the broader human rights file without a working political relationship at the most senior levels."
Although most commercial transactions with China are largely untouched by high-level politics, he fears a cool relationship with the country's leaders could have economic consequences.
" [T]here are genuine concerns that some high-level commercial transactions do depend upon high-level government involvement, for example, in big infrastructure projects that depend on government procurement, and in the area of aviation and financial services, which are subject to government regulation," Mr. Evans said.
But "human rights have to be a fundamental aspect of our relationship, which cannot be seen as separate from what is moving on the commercial and on the global issues side. That makes it a real challenge for a government to get the right balance and to move comprehensively."

Friday, September 28, 2007


A troubling report was released yesterday by the US Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO),revealing that agents carrying radioactive material had no trouble entering the US from Canada. While shocking, this is not surprising. The problems of patrolling the largest undefended border in the world are obvious. However, the better question not addressed by the report, or by anyone for that mater, is whether there are individuals in Canada with the ability and wherewithal to carry out such operations. The US has long accused Canada, with some justification, of being a "terrorist Club Med", due in large part at the laughable refugee system that burdens us, and to the lack of deportations of failed refugee claimants and security threats we so stupidly allow to enter Canada, at a great cost to society. Someone has to ask these questions before we start to see out freedom and reputation eroded. See press report:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The problems at the border continue...Mexicans got wind of the fact that Canadians are patsies ad do not deport illegals in any meaningful number. The word is out amongst Mexicans in the US that all the illegals have to do is reach the border and make a bogus refugee claim to get social assistance, enjoy health care benefits, etc....all courtesy of the dumb Canadian taxpayers who pay the piper. Even if the claim is rejected ( as most of them will, only 14% of Mexicans are successful in their claims), the process will take yeas and, in the end, they can always be creative and make up some "humanitarian" reason to stay, have a Canadian-born child to make it harder to get deported, or simply go underground. The story below, published by the usually ultra-bleeding heart Toronto Star illustrates what has been going on....even the Toronto Star sees the light now. This has to stop. It makes a mockery of our immigration system, overburdens the taxpayers and overwhelms the social services of cities in the Canada-US border . There is absolutely no justification for allowing these economic queue jumpers who have lived in the US for years to take advantage of us. Message to Prime Minister Harper: IMPOSE A VISA REQUIREMENT ON MEXICANS! The time has come for this measure. This is a joke....and we need to stop them from laughing all the way to the welfare office. And for those who argue that such a measure would hurt trade, please note that there is a minuscule number of Mexicans who come to Canada on business, and the beauty is that Mexico can not afford to impose a visa requirement on Canadians who sustain their tourism industry in large numbers.
Asylum seekers rush the border

Human smugglers help illegal migrants find lightly guarded crossings into Canada

September 24, 2007 Nicholas Keung
Clad in a soaked windbreaker, with everything she owned in a blue backpack, Jessica plodded seven hours in drenching rain along a dark Vermont highway, following the lights to what she hoped would be asylum in a country more welcoming than the United States.
Sneaking around the lighted border post, the 27-year-old Salvadoran made it into Quebec undetected, where she found a cab that would get her to a bus station – and from there to a train and Toronto.
Jessica arrived Sept. 9, part of a growing wave of asylum seekers taking advantage of unmanned or lightly guarded border crossings to enter Canada, some helped by smugglers who charge $300 (U.S.) for a map from
The influx of asylum seekers bypassing airport and land controls since mid-summer has helped swell applications at immigration offices and slow the wait for initial processing from one week to six.
It's a slap in the face to both Ottawa and Washington, who implemented the Safe Third Country Agreement in 2004 to require asylum seekers to be processed only in the first country of landing.
Migrants who arrive and make a refugee claim in the U.S. aren't allowed to cross the border and make a second claim in Canada.
The law curbed border-point claims and helped clear the backlog at the Immigration and Refugee Board – until now. Claims are creeping up as desperate people resort to desperate measures, for protection or simply a better life.
It's not known how many have sneaked through the porous border to file claims, but refugee advocates say the old backlog has re-emerged.
Jessica, a university graduate who asked that her last name not be printed for fear of jeopardizing her application, said she was fleeing threats from her female partner's ex-husband when she left El Salvador, entering the U.S. on a visitor's visa. Five months later, her visa expiring, she learned Canada might accept a claim based on persecution involving sexual orientation. When she arrived at Immigration's Etobicoke office to make an inland refugee claim on Sept. 11, the earliest appointment available was Oct. 22.
Until they're processed, refugee claimants, often destitute, have no access to government language classes, housing and work permits.
"There has been a huge increase in requests from people looking for beds," says Debbie Hill-Corrigan, executive director of Sojourn House, which gets 20 calls a day. "All of the refugee shelters are full. All of our new clients are now scheduling appointments into late November and December to file their claims with immigration."
Sojourn House is working with other shelters to find more spaces. City-owned shelters set aside about 100 beds for refugees; the overflow may end up at regular shelters.
Maura Lawless, manager of Toronto's hostel operations, says the city has been monitoring the situation since late July, when frontline staff spotted a sudden surge.
"We have the ability to add on motels in our shelter system to deal with this kind of surge, but it would become a problem if the trend continues," she warned.
Toronto refugee advocate Francisco Rico-Martinez says the longer waiting time is "unsettling" for refugees and expensive for taxpayers.
"It delays their entire integration and settlement into the society. And it costs the governments more money to keep them in homeless shelters than hearing their claims and giving them the papers so they can move on with their lives."
Lida, her husband and two children have been staying at a Kingston Rd. motel since Aug. 27, after crossing the border via a Quebec-Vermont border town. The family lived for seven years in Florida, where they failed to get asylum.
The 38-year-old Colombian says since spring, word has spread among undocumented migrants in the U.S. about easy routes into Canada, and smugglers advertise they can help skirt the Safe Third Country Agreement rules.
"We heard about the routes, asked people about it and printed out the map from the Internet. We just came by ourselves," says Lida, who is set to file a claim on Oct. 16.
The agreement was intended to tighten up border controls in the post-9/11 era, but Janet Dench, of the Canadian Council for Refugees, says the rise in human smuggling shows such regulations force claimants to stay under the radar.
The agreement is enforced only at official "ports of entry," leaving many cross-border roads without an office. "Ottawa requires people to appear at the port of entry, not just cross the streets," says Anna Pape of Canada Border Services.
"It's quite clear that what we have in place now has increased the exploitation of refugees in the hands of some unscrupulous people who realized the barriers (set by the Safe Third Countries pact) and found ways to profit from it," Dench says.
The claims surge is compounded by the fact certain groups are exempt, including those from countries where Canada has a moratorium on deportations (Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe).
The exemption extends to Mexicans, who don't need a visa to come to Canada.
They, with hundreds of Haitians and others, have flocked here because of growing American hostility to undocumented immigrants.
Windsor has reportedly had an influx of 200 Mexican refugees in little more than a week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Illegal migrants lured to Canada
Fraudulent sales pitch touts an open-door policy

Adrian Humphreys
National Post, with files from CanWest News Service
Thursday, September 20, 2007
A sudden outpouring of illegal foreign migrants from the United States is crossing into Canada because of bogus claims by unscrupulous immigration consultants, a scam that has blossomed into an urban myth so pervasive the influx is clogging refugee services in some cities.
A fraudulent sales pitch touting an open-door policy and "economic refugee" program in Canada, aimed largely at Mexican and Haitian migrants living illegally in the United States, is proving remarkably attractive to migrants already facing crackdowns in some U.S. states.
While several hundred are said to have paid for useless immigration services, many more have heard the message and are heading north on their own.
The Canadian Council for Refugees, a non-profit umbrella organization working to protect refugees, issued a warning this week of the scams and the burgeoning myth and asked the federal government to intervene.
For some, it is already too late.
In Windsor, local refugee aid organizations have been told to brace for 4,000 to 8,000 refugee claimants entering Canada through Windsor and other border points.
"We are being inundated with them," said Wilfred Harbin, administrator for the Salvation Army Windsor Community and Rehabilitation Centre.
"What are we going to do with them? We're running out of beds," he said.
The Salvation Army has put up 50 families, some with up to nine children, at four city hotels. The bills, including those for meals, are being sent to the city's social services department. Another 30 single men are staying at a Salvation Army shelter.
In Montreal, hundreds of Haitian asylum seekers have been victimized by consultants, usually in the guise of community or religious groups who charged $400 to $500 for false promises of guaranteed refugee status, said Rivka Augenfeld, with the Canadian Council for Refugees.
"There have been hundreds and hundreds. They come up expecting things that are just not possible," Ms. Augenfeld said.
In the Niagara region, there has been a marked increase in Haitian refugee claimants in the last few weeks, said Jean D'Amelio Swyer, a CBSA spokeswoman.
And in Toronto, immigration lawyers are being flooded with questions about the non-existent special programs.
"I have received numerous calls in recent weeks from Mexicans living illegally in the United States who claim that several 'consultants' have set up telephone numbers in the Florida area, then advertise them heavily on television," said Sergio Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer and chairman of the Ontario Bar Association's Citizenship and Immigration Section. "It appears that the problem is widespread."
The number of refugee claimants from Haiti has jumped dramatically, with almost as many Haitians seeking refugee status in Canada in the first half of this year than in the previous two years combined, according to numbers from the Immigration and Refugee Board.
There were 1,008 refugee claimants from Haiti from January to June, 2007, compared with 769 in all of 2006.
In the first half of 2007, there were 3,043 claimants from Mexico, making it the top source country. There were 4,958 in all of 2006.
The figures do not reflect the recent surge from both countries that seems to have started in earnest this summer.
The claims of an open-door refugee policy fly in the face of statistics. Only 13% of Mexicans who claimed refugee status in the first half of the year were accepted. For Haitians, the acceptance rate was 66%.
Aid workers fear the influx will overwhelm the IRB.
"It would take some time for a large influx of refugee claims to be referred to the IRB," said Charles Hawkins, a board spokesman. "If it occurs, the IRB would take steps to deal with them in an appropriate manner."
The sales pitch is particularly attractive to Haitian and Mexican migrants because of their unique positions when they reach Canada. Canada has a moratorium on deportations to Haiti, so they will be able to remain in Canada until conditions in their homeland improve.
Canada does not require Mexican visitors to have visas, so they too are allowed into Canada to make their claims despite having previously lived in the United States. If turned down, however, they face removal to Mexico.
The "Safe Third Country Agreement" between Canada and the United States, in force since 2004, requires most refugee claimants to seek protection in the first country they reach. That has left refugee seekers other than Mexicans and Haitian who arrive because of the false promises in dire straits: They have been turned over to U.S. border authorities, often leading to detention and likely deportation to their homeland.
The sales pitches started this spring in Florida, preying on unease over state crackdowns on non-status workers. One outfit based in Naples, Fla., told clients they could swap a U.S. deportation order for refugee status in Canada for a $400 fee. Some said Canada offers an "economic refugee program" for Mexicans.
A pastor in Boston was charging clients $500 for relocation to Canada under false pretenses. Other illegal migrants, including those living in New Jersey and North Carolina, heard that if they headed north, they could resettle immediately in Canada.
"It is one of those things that started in one place and now we don't even know who is pushing it. Unfortunately, it has really taken off," said Ms. Augenfeld.
"Some are out-and-out criminal in what they are doing; others are very naively repeating what they have heard. They are targeting desperate people, they are targeting people who are looking for a way to improve their lives, people who tend to believe these stories, and making a lot of money in the process.
"I'm supposed to be the bleeding-heart [non-governmental organization], but I have no mercy for these people who exploit their own and put them in danger," said Ms. Augenfeld.
© National Post 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Get this bizzarre story reported by The Globe and Mail:

Canadian gets 14 years for funding terrorists

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

September 13, 2007 at 3:59 AM EDT

TORONTO — A Canadian immigration consultant convicted of fraud and supporting overseas terrorism was sentenced yesterday to 14 years in prison, years after authorities picked him up in 9/11 sweeps around New York.
Khalid Awan, a Muslim and naturalized Canadian of Pakistani descent, wasn't ultimately convicted of any links to al-Qaeda. Rather, U.S. authorities in the Eastern District of New York used a series of elaborate in-prison stings to establish he supported a terrorist group of another religion, Sikh militants known in India as the Khalistan Commando Force.
U.S. officials alleged the 45-year-old was known during frequent travels to Pakistan as a "silent mujahed," which means holy warrior in Islam - although in this case the suspect was said to be a kind of free-floating radical, with links to Sikh and Muslim extremists, as well as Pakistani intelligence.
A New York jury last year convicted Mr. Awan of lending financial and other forms of support to KCF members who had staged deadly attacks against Indian civilians. This conviction led to the sentence meted yesterday.
He once faced very different allegations. Mr. Awan was first arrested in a New York suburb in October, 2001, and held as a material witness to the 9/11 attacks. FBI officers would later testify an anonymous tip accused Mr. Awan and men he knew of having links to one of the hijackers.
That allegation went nowhere, but the tip led to searches of a property east of New York, which in turn led to Mr. Awan's 2004 conviction on a credit-card fraud conspiracy. Police claimed they unearthed a scheme in which he allegedly stole identity profiles from immigrants who came to him seeking his help getting Canadian citizenship. As Mr. Awan was about to complete his fraud sentence in 2006, U.S. officials laid new charges against him: supporting terrorism.
Mr. Awan placed several calls from jail to The Globe and Mail last summer. He claimed to be the victim of "creative legal theories" and religious profiling. He said he had operated a legitimate immigration business with branches in Pakistan, New York, and Markham, Ont.
"I am not a terrorist, I do not know any terrorists," he said at one point. He also embarked on a letter writing campaign to a host of Canadian officials, urging them to intervene and help prove his innocence.
U.S. officials presented incriminating evidence in court. Mr. Awan was caught on tape calling a leader of the Sikh terrorist group, in India, from prison. And several Sikh witnesses testified against him, including one he had met in jail.
In conversation, Mr. Awan frequently compared himself to Maher Arar, a Canadian once accused of links to terrorism but who has been exonerated by a judge.
Mr. Awan has filed court documents that assert he falsely confessed to crimes because FBI agents threatened him with lethal injection and said that they would have RCMP officers arrest his sisters in Montreal. "I tried to give answers so they would be pleased and not give me the death penalty," Mr. Awan wrote in court documents.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I will be a panelist this Monday, September 17, at a luncheon organized by the Ontario Bar Association International law Section, "The Border Horror Show: top ten situations for international business lawyers and their clients". Here is the link to the program.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I was quoted today on the front page story in the National Post newspaper. The facts are strange and unusual, and the judge's ruling even stranger, as it has no basis in law.

Wednesday » September 12 » 2007

Deportee can stay to change religion

Adrian Humphreys
National Post
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Declaring "everyone has the right to change religion," a federal court judge is allowing a failed refugee claimant who was ordered out of Canada after a criminal conviction to remain in the country to continue a religious conversion.
Federal Court of Canada Judge Sean Harrington stopped this Saturday's deportation of a Christian man from Brazil so he can complete his conversion to Judaism alongside his Jewish wife and his sponsoring rabbi.
The ruling, in favour of Diogo Cichaczewski, is believed to be the first of its kind.
"While Canada's focus is on removing an individual who has no legal status here, an unfortunate repercussion is that his conversion would be delayed; in other words, arguably impaired," Judge Harrington ruled.
"How can the harm arising from a roadblock in Mr. Cichaczewski's right to celebrate the religion of his choice be measured?"
Championing the freedom to change religion as a right to be protected by the courts strikes some as a misapplication of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"The Charter guarantees freedom of religion and freedom to practise that religion and express that religion in a public way. But there is nothing in Canada's legislation or in the Charter that guarantees the completion of a private religious process or guarantees one can do that in a particular place," said Sergio Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer.
"I would argue that a religious conversion is intrinsically a private act between an applicant and the clergy. Nothing would prevent him from completing his conversion in Brazil.
"This is an enormous stretch from what the Charter says," Mr. Karas said.
Mr. Cichaczewski, 24, came to Canada in 2002 and claimed refugee status, saying he feared revenge from a drug dealer who was convicted in Brazil because of information he supplied to police, according to the ruling.
His refugee claim was later declared abandoned.
In 2004, Toronto police charged Mr. Cichaczewski after an undercover officer spotted what he thought was a drug deal taking place on a street corner.
Instead, police say they found stolen credit cards and duplicate cards made from stolen personal information being sold.
He was convicted of several misdeeds, including posession of stolen property, possession of the proceeds of crime and credit card and computer fraud offences. He received a suspended sentence and one year's probation on each.
Last year Mr. Cichaczewski married a Toronto woman who is Jewish, and he began the process of converting to Judaism.
In the meantime, the government moved to send Mr. Cichaczewski back to Brazil and he made two appeals for reconsideration. Both of his appeals were refused and he was scheduled for removal on Saturday.
Mr. Cichaczewski filed two more legal actions; one is a request for a judicial review of his removal and the other asking the court to allow him to remain in Canada pending the outcome of that review. It was that second request that Judge Harrington has ruled on.
"I have decided to grant the stay on religious grounds," Judge Harrington writes in his ruling.
"Everyone has the right to believe, or not to believe. Everyone has the right to be a member of an organized religion, subject to the tenets of that faith, or not. Everyone has the right to give public witness to faith. Everyone has the right to change religion," he writes in his ruling.
Mr. Cichaczewski has completed the classes necessary to convert to Judaism, which typically lasts a full year. Usually a conversion would then require circumcision, if a male applicant was not already circumcised, a ceremonial bathing and an appearance before a council of rabbis to be complete.
"His sincerity has not been put into question. It is important to emphasize that this is not an opportunistic conversion," Judge Harrington writes.
"The [immigration hearing] officer was of the view that nothing prevented Mr. Cichaczewski from converting to Judaism while back in Brazil. That may be so, but at the very least his conversion would be interrupted and delayed."
Canada Border Services Agency now await the outcome of Mr. Cichaczewski's remaining judicial appeal, which is based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
"We are obliged to abide by the court's decision," said Anna Pape, a CBSA spokeswoman. Mr. Cichaczewski's lawyer, Barbara Jackman, could not be reached yesterday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I will be chairing the sessions of the International Bar Association(IBA) Immigration and Nationality Committee to be held at the annual conference in Singapore from October 14 to 19, 2007. the conference session swill feature many prominent speakers from all continents, including many high -ranking government officials from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Here is something worrisome that requires URGENT action by the government BEFORE adoptees enter Canada, This puts everyone at risk!
TB infections among international adoptees rising, screen on arrival: study

TORONTO (CP) — Tuberculosis infection rates among international adoptees to the United States has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, according to new findings which add weight to a call for Canada to screen all incoming adoptees for the disease.
The American study followed up on 869 foreign-born children adopted into U.S. families from 1986 through 2001. Twelve per cent of the children were infected with tuberculosis and the rate of TB infections among the adoptees rose seven per cent with each passing year through the period studied.
"These kids are getting infected very, very early in life," said lead author Dr. Anna Mandalakas, who runs the adoption health service at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
"So during this first two years of life if they're in an orphanage, a huge number of these children are getting infected."
The authors of the study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics, say the findings support the current call from the American Academy of Pediatrics that all international adoptees undergo a skin test for tuberculosis immediately after adoption.
Two Canadian tuberculosis experts recently urged that TB screening policy for international adoptees be instituted in Canada, suggesting in a commentary in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that provinces and territories should follow up with adoptive parents to ensure these children get timely and thorough testing.
TB rates among the children in the American study ranged from nearly 15 per cent in adoptees from Eastern Europe, 14 per cent from Russia and 13 per cent from Korea to between 12.5 per cent and 11 per cent in India, China and South America, 8.3 per cent in Central America and the Caribbean and 2.8 per cent in Southeast Asia.
Canadians routinely adopt children from these same regions or countries, some of which have among the highest rates of tuberculosis globally. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, an average of 2,000 children a year are adopted into Canadian families from abroad.
The medical examination required of immigrants to Canada isn't geared towards detecting latent tuberculosis infection or TB disease in children under 11 years of age, Dr. Richard Long and co-author Jody Boffa of the tuberculosis program evaluation and research unit at the University of Alberta wrote in the Canadian Medical Association Journal earlier this summer.
But given the risk faced by international adoptees, this special group ought to be screened, Long and Boffa suggested. Their commentary noted that four in 10 foreign-born children under the age of five found to be infected with tuberculosis in Alberta between 2004 and 2006 were international adoptees.
Long said children infected with latent or even active TB don't pose a risk to others, because children under nine or 10 years of age rarely transmit disease. But the infection is a real threat to their own health, he said in an interview.
Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bug that causes TB, doesn't always lead to active disease. In many people the bacteria remains latent. Infected adults have about a five to 10 per cent chance of developing active tuberculosis sometime in their lifetime.
With young children, however, the risk that infection will lead to disease is much higher. Infants under a year have a roughly 50 per cent chance of developing disease and children aged one to two have a 20 per cent chance. And if active TB develops, it can progress beyond the lungs, the typical site of disease.
"Little children not only have a higher risk of getting disease from infection itself, they're at higher risk of getting severe forms of disease - and by severe forms I mean central nervous system or disseminated TB," said Long, who also serves as Alberta's medical officer of health for tuberculosis.
A TB expert at Toronto's University Health Network agreed.
"They're a relatively small population, but they're a really high risk population," said Dr. Michael Gardam, who is head of infection control for that network of three central Toronto hospitals. Gardam was not involved in either the study or the commentary.
"Because these kids are not coming from healthy, happy homes. They're coming from environments where they're very likely to have been exposed to tuberculosis. And I think it makes perfect sense to be screening them."
Both Mandalakas' study and Long's commentary recommend the screening begin swiftly after an international adoptee arrives in his or her new home.
And both recommended that the initial skin test be followed up three to six months later with another. That's because a test performed immediately after arrival might not detect an infection that occurred shortly before a child left an overseas orphanage.
Children who test positive should be put on a nine month course of antibiotics, Mandalakas said. She also suggested orphanages involved in international adoptions should test for tuberculosis among employees.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Here is the video of my recen tinterview on Business News Network BNN on the subject.