Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It never ceases to amaze me that there is a wacko lurking in every corner! This looney-toon blames immigration and "moral degradation"...look who is talking!I think this guy forgot that the Russian population is decreasing by 700,000 people a year due to low birth rate and mass emigration, and by a system controlled by corrupt oligarchs which has accumulated all the state's wealth by pillaging resources. I also do not believe that Russia is a particularly "moral" country :-) Buy...this is good for a laugh....But who paid for this "research"?

As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S. - WSJ.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Established immigrants increasingly stuck in low-education jobs


From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

December 23, 2008 at 8:55 AM EST

Could a recession prevent university-educated immigrants from finding a career in Canada?

A new report from Statistics Canada reveals that the proportion of degree-holding immigrants who ended up working as store clerks and taxi drivers even after living in Canada for more than a decade rose significantly after the last recession in the early 1990s.

The change indicates that the troubles new immigrants often face may not be temporary, and may be exacerbated by rocky economic conditions, according to Diane Galarneau, an analyst with the Perspectives on Labour and Income magazine at Statistics Canada, who conducted the study.

The report, released yesterday, found that it was much harder for "established" immigrants - those who had lived in Canada for 11 to 15 years - to find jobs that matched their education level in 2006 than in 1991.

In 1991, only 12 per cent of established male immigrants with a university degree were in jobs that required little education, such as taxi or truck driving. In 2006, that number had risen to 21 per cent.

The trend among established degree-holding female immigrants was similar, though slightly less pronounced: Their rates in low-education jobs rose from 24 per cent in 1991 to 29 per cent in 2006.

The findings reflect serious problems that have plagued Canada's immigration system in recent years, according to Izumi Sakamoto, a professor in the faculty of social work at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies.

Ms. Sakamoto highlighted the fact that federal policy often gives preference to immigrants of a certain profession, such as engineers, over others. Although such policies help attract highly skilled workers, in the past they often didn't match the needs of Canada's work force, leading to a surplus of professionals who had trouble finding work.

While those discrepancies have been addressed in recent years, the problem hasn't been entirely corrected. It also doesn't help that thousands of highly skilled immigrants who have lived in Canada for years continue to work in jobs they are overqualified for, a problem Ms. Sakamoto blames squarely on inadequate government action.

"Fundamentally it's a failure of the state if immigrants don't get the job right away," Ms. Sakamoto said.

Another problem is that immigrants often only qualify for federal immigration programs designed to ease the transition to Canada a few years after they arrive.

Canadian governments must do more to assist university-educated established immigrants find jobs they are qualified for, Ms. Sakamoto said.

Ms. Galarneau cautioned that Statistics Canada did not study the link between recession and the ability of educated immigrants to find jobs that match their skills. But the numbers seem to indicate there is an association, which could spell trouble for new immigrants coming to Canada during the current economic downturn.

Unlike degree-holding individuals born in Canada, who may lose their jobs during a recession but can probably find work quickly or at least once the economy recovers, immigrants face a different set of challenges.

If university-educated immigrants can't find a job that matches their skills within a few years of arriving in Canada, it becomes even more difficult to do so as time goes on, Ms. Galarneau said.

"If they don't practise right after they're arriving [in Canada] it's hard because their skills are deteriorating over time," she said. "It's hard to get into the occupation maybe seven years after their arrival. If they start in the taxi job, it may be hard to get out of the taxi job."

Shifting immigration patterns also accounted for some of the changes, according to Ms. Galarneau. More immigrants are coming from Asian countries now compared to 1991, and fewer speak French or English, which could be a major obstacle in finding jobs that match their skills.

"These factors were a big explanation for the deterioration," Ms. Galarneau said.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


University-educated immigrants less likely to find good jobs in Vancouver: study

By Chad Skelton

December 22, 2008

More than a quarter of university-educated immigrants in Vancouver are still working in low-skilled jobs a decade after arriving in Canada, a higher proportion than in any other major city in the country, according to a new study by Statistics Canada.

The study, released Monday, looked at how Vancouver immigrants who arrived from 1990 to 1994 with university degrees were faring. It found that 24 per cent of the men and 33 per cent of the women were still working in low-skilled jobs — such as clerks, cashiers or taxi drivers.

That’s higher than the national average of 21 per cent for men and 29 per cent for women, and also slightly higher than the country’s other major immigrant-receiving cities such as Toronto and Montreal.

Don DeVoretz, an economics professor at Simon Fraser University who studies immigration, said Vancouver’s rates may be higher because the city lacks the kind of research-heavy industries that hire lots of engineers and mathematicians.

Overall, the study found that well-established immigrants — those who have been in Canada between 10 and 15 years — are faring much worse now than they were in the early 1990s

Since 1991, the proportion of such immigrants in low-skilled jobs jumped from 12 to 21 per cent for men and from 24 to 29 per cent for women.

During that same time, the rate stayed more or less the same for Canadian-born men and women, at about 10 per cent.

Researchers have long known that recent immigrants to Canada often struggle to find work that matches their skills.

What makes this recent study worrying, said study author Diane Galarneau, is that it suggests those barriers don’t erode over time.

“We used to see this for recent immigrants and now we’re starting to see it for established immigrants,” she said. “This is a form of underemployment and it reduces their contribution to Canada.”

However, some local immigration experts said the study’s findings should be treated with caution.

Dan Hiebert is a geography professor at the University of B.C. and co-director of Metropolis B.C., which studies immigration issues.

Hiebert said research clearly shows that people who start their working lives during an economic downturn have less success over their careers than those who start working during a boom.

As a result, he said, the poor performance of established immigrants in 2006 may simply be due to the fact they arrived in this country during a recession in the early 1990s, when jobs were more scarce than they were in the 1970s or 1980s.

DeVoretz said the figures may also reflect the fact that a number of the most skilled immigrants to Canada in the 1990s — in particular those from Hong Kong — have either gone back to their home country or moved to the U.S.

“Over time, the people who are left are less talented,” he said.

Despite their reservations about the study, both DeVoretz and Hiebert said immigrants face genuine difficulty in finding work to match their training.

DeVoretz said the best solution may be to stop admitting immigrants based on their level of education — which may or may not be recognized in Canada — and instead develop an employment-based immigration system that admits those who already have a firm job offer here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This is quite interesting. Listen to this interview in KUOW 94.9 from Seattle, WA. It seems that illegal Mexican day labourers, who have been "imported" into the US by "coyotes" and other organized criminals who exploit them, are now seeking to enter Canada as the new "land of milk and honey". Why? Because Canada has an overly generous, naive refugee system, where Mexicans can linger for a few years, get Work Permits, free health coverage, social assistance, welfare, and otter benefits courtesy of the taxpayers, even if their claims are bogus. Mexico now is the NUMBER ONE producer of refugee claims in Canada, and Mexicans are aided in their quest by the lack of visa requirements to travel to Canada. As one Mexican migrant puts it in Spanish during the interview below "Canada nos espera con brazos abiertos" ("Canada awaits us with open arms"). This is nonsense. It is also a dangerous notion, as this false impression spreads amongst migrants and those who seek to exploit them. NOTICE: CANADA DOES NOT NEED DAY LABOURERS. We need SKILLED workers who can do specific jobs and can function in the labour market, speak English or French, integrate into society, pay taxes and contribute. We do NOT need people who want to work for cash and send all their earnings abroad. We do NOT need more people who come to collect social assistance or to get free health care, because we have enough residents in waiting lists for medical services already. Canada is not the repository of all those who want a freebie. Also, we have an economic crisis and HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT IS A REALITY IN CANADA NOW. It is also absolutely necessary to impose a visitor visa requirement on Mexico, where corruption and organized drug cartels are the norm. We cannot afford to allow any of these characters into Canada. Understood? Listen to the interview with the link below. It is quite revealing. To listen, go to:


Seattle Day Laborers Head to Canada

In the midst of economic uncertainly, many people wonder what's up ahead. Key factors like unemployment and foreclosures offer some insight. Another is immigration. Anthropologist Robert Kemper of Southern Methodist University in Texas says a strong economy is why Latino immigrants flocked to Washington in the 90s. KUOW's Liz Jones checked in with migrant workers in Seattle to see how the economic downturn is affecting them.



REPORTER: "Kind of slow today, huh?"

GONZALEZ: "Yeah, it's pretty slow. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. The work is slow. What I can do? Nothing, huh?



GONZALEZ: "The people say they want to go back Mexico because the family needs money."


GARCIAS–QUINTANA: "It's a good option, to go to Canada. I think there's a lot of work in construction, especially with the Olympic games coming."


GARCIAS–QUINTANA: "How could I forget? My first impression was how expensive it was. I went to Walmart and looked at prices. It was tremendous. That really struck me."




PAPPARD: "Particularly over the past three or four years as the economy heated up, there has been a real demand."


PAPPARD: "The day labor workforce, or undocumented workforce, certainly that is getting ever more present here in the lower mainland."



PAPPARD: "I'd make sure that you got enough money to come up here and take a look around and get back home. That you got a home to go to. The situation is rapidly deteriorating here. I don't think it's going to get much better in a year or so, at least two years."



ROMERO: "I'd like to go see for myself, but I don't think I'll do it. I know some people who went to Canada and they came back right away. They didn't know where to go. Some of them ended up sleeping in the streets. I don't think this will continue in the U.S...in the most powerful country in the world."




AMBIENT: "At day center, men talking in background."


GARCIAS–QUINTANA: "Canada nos espera con los brazos abiertos."

REPORTER: "Hablas como un Canadiense."


GARCIAS–QUINTANA: "Oh thanks, I hope so, one day."



Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Minister Kenney announces 3-year renewable work permits for NAFTA professionals
Ottawa, December 15, 2008 — Professionals seeking to work temporarily in Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can now receive work permits for up to three years, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced today. Previously, NAFTA workers were required to renew their work permit every 12 months.

“NAFTA work permits are an excellent option for North American professionals seeking to work in Canada including lawyers, doctors, dentists and teachers. In addition, this will also help Canadian employers remain competitive by ensuring they have access to necessary skilled labour,” said Minister Kenney.

“This extension, along with our Action Plan for Faster Immigration, will greatly benefit the Canadian economy by helping ensure greater continuity and stability for both employers and workers,” continued Minister Kenney. “In a time of economic uncertainty, highly skilled migrants encourage innovation and economic growth, making us more competitive economically.”

By easing the administrative requirements, employers can now be more confident that they will have access to the skilled labour they need for a longer period. The change matches the United States’ new rules on issuance of Trade NAFTA (TN) work visas to Canadian and Mexican professionals under NAFTA.

All three NAFTA countries (Canada, the United States and Mexico) recognize that greater work force mobility in North America, within certain professions, has net economic benefits.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Managing the economic meltdown

Canadian lawyers face new challenges

By Christopher Guly
December 19 2008

As Canadian lawyers watch their American colleagues lose clients — or their jobs — in the current economic meltdown south of the border, Ontario’s Dimitri Lascaris is acting on the litigation fallout from the U.S. financial crisis.

Last month, the partner in the class action department of Siskinds LLP in London, Ont. filed a proposed $550-million class action in the Ontario Superior Court against one of the world’s largest insurance companies, American International Group (AIG) Inc., its U.K.-based subsidiary, AIG Financial Products Corp. (AIGFP) and current and former directors and officers of both corporate entities, claiming that Canadian investors in AIG suffered massive losses.

The application is the first to use a provision of Part 23.1 of the Ontario Securities Act, which allows investors to sue companies that have a “real and substantial connection” to Ontario even if they are not “reporting issuers” in the province.

The class action arises out of a type of derivative AIGFP was trading, known as credit default swaps, and the resulting crash in AIG’s stock price when it became known that the credit default swaps exposed the company to “crippling liabilities,” placing AIG on the verge of collapse, said Laskaris in an interview.

“Public statements by the management of AIG to investors about the risks associated with credit default swaps and the way the company was valuing them are at issue in our lawsuit on behalf of Canadians who purchased shares of AIG during the period [Nov. 10, 2006 to Sept. 16, 2008] when AIG was making alleged misstatements about its credit default swap business,” Laskaris said.

He explained that thousands of Canadians could be involved in the class action against AIG, which is now effectively owned by U.S. taxpayers following a $150-billion US government bailout loan.
The Siskinds-led action will seek certification of a national class.

Expect more of these types of suits in the future, said Lascaris, who told The Lawyers Weekly that his firm is considering a number of class-action cases against financial institutions — most of them Canadian.

To avoid the current type of financial mess and credit crunch in the future, Lascaris said there needs to be radical reform, beginning with executive compensation gone “wildly out of control, not only in terms of the amount of money people get paid to operate unprofitable companies, but also in the incentive schemes to generate unsustainable but extraordinary short-term profits for executives that expose a corporation to considerable risk and leave shareholders to pick up the bill while they go off into the sunset as multimillionaires.”

He would like to see governments prohibit executive compensation that awards lucrative bonuses based on a company’s short-term performance — or, at an extreme, to impose a cap on executive compensation entirely.

But Lascaris added the latter might not be necessary if shareholders in public companies were able to exercise “meaningful control” over executive salaries and compensation.

However, University of Ottawa law professor Vern Krishna said corporate directors are elected to determine executive compensation, and giving shareholders such power is both “idealistic” and “unworkable” since not all investors have any understanding of management issues, as an example. As well, Krishna pointed out that in a free-market system, governments cannot oversee compensation in private companies unless there’s a plan to transfer their ownership to the state.

“People always say why doesn’t the government regulate as if it’s the cure-all for every ailment that occurs. It isn’t. Government has to walk a fine line between completely hands-off and being overly intrusive,” said Krishna, who also serves as tax counsel in the Ottawa office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

He explained that one of the causes of the current financial crisis in the U.S. was the Clinton administration’s repeal in 1999 of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act — legislation that separated commercial banks from those involved in investments.

“The political impetus for sub-prime mortgages stemmed from President Clinton’s desire and policy initiatives to help low-income families,” Krishna said.

The “perfect storm” created by the current economic downturn could generate considerable legal action in several practice areas, such as international trade and investment as well as litigation resulting from a potential escalation of cross-border trade disputes, according to McCarthy Tétrault’s John Boscariol, who heads the firm’s international trade and investment law group and is a partner in the litigation group in Toronto.

“When there are slowdowns, particularly in the context of a crisis, governments tend to erect trade barriers in an effort to protect employees and manufacturing in their country — measures that could violate obligations under trade agreements,” said Boscariol, who chairs the Ontario Bar Association’s international law section and serves as co-chair of the Canada committee for the American Bar Association (ABA)’s international law section.

Already, there are concerns that incoming U.S. President Barack Obama and his Democrat colleagues in Congress could spark one of the largest protectionist initiatives in recent memory. That in turn could lead to other actions on this side of the border.

“When markets slow down, companies bring forward more trade remedy cases, more countervail cases and more anti-dumping cases,” said Boscariol. “When companies start to suffer, they tend to blame imports.”

He adds that with massive government subsidization underway in the U.S., there could be legal challenges in Canada over whether such subsidies run afoul of U.S. trade obligations. So far, the European Union “has fired a warning shot over the bow,” indicating that it would be prepared to take the U.S. to the World Trade Organization if the U.S. government proceeds with a financial bailout of its auto industry and it’s found to have violated international trade law.

With all of these possible disputes on the horizon, some lawyers could be flooded with work.

But there will be slowdowns too, such as in the area of mergers and acquisitions where activity on the private equity side has “slowed to a trickle,” according to Paul Crampton, a partner in the competition and antitrust law group in the Toronto office of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and a member of the steering group of the ABA’s international antitrust committee.

He said that some strategic buyers are also finding it difficult to access financing from financial institutions to lend them money. “The other problem is that with the equity markets bouncing around, a target’s market cap is moving all over the place. And if the buyer wants to use his own stock as part of the condition for the deal, that stock is also moving around,” said Crampton, whose practice focuses largely on international mergers and federal legislation on investments as related to the acquisition of Canadian businesses. “In the current economic uncertainty, trying to project future cash flow and earnings is difficult because it’s not quite clear how severe the recession is going to be in the U.S. and how bad a cold or cough Canada will get from it.”

And then there’s the human capital aspect of the current economic crisis, which Toronto immigration lawyer Sergio Karas is witnessing.

With the price of crude oil spiralling downward, Shell, BP and other major oil and gas exploration companies are either scaling back, slowing down or cancelling projects in Alberta’s tar sands. As a result, they will need fewer foreign skilled workers, who happen to be Karas’ clientele.

“Experts say it costs anywhere from $38 to $80 per barrel to make heavy crude from the oil sands economically viable, and only certain refineries have the capacity to handle that heavy crude,” said Karas, who is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in Canadian citizenship and immigration law, and serves as chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s citizenship and immigration section and co-chair of the International Bar Association’s immigration and nationality committee.

“It costs the Saudis under $10 U.S. to get oil out of the ground and they produce light sweet crude, which is easy to refine. If there’s less market demand for crude, why would companies invest billions of dollars in the oil sands?”

He explained that employment-related immigration would also suffer as the crisis facing Canada’s automobile industry worsens and auto-parts makers, which rely on foreign labour, will freeze hiring.
Karas predicts that overall the country’s entire immigration system will face tremendous pressure.


It is not a secret that war criminals from all parts of the world, as well as gangs, mobsters and other undesirables view Canada as "slow" in prosecuting and "soft". Part of the problem is that individuals who gain status in Canada through the refugee system and eventually slip through the cracks know that time is on their side, and even when they are prosecuted, the string of judicial reviews and "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds reviews are almost interminable. For example, convicted Palestinian PFLP terrorist Mahmood Mohammed Issa Mohammed is still in Canada after 20 years (unbelievable!), and accused Rwandan genocide suspect Leon Mugesera is still living freely in Quebec City even after the Supreme Court of Canada cleared the way for his deportation more than two years ago. The second part of the problem is underfunding: Canada spends an enormous amount of taxpayers dollars in the refugee system, with a view to "expedite" cases, but underfunds the vital component of investigation to determine who these refugees really are, and whether they really merit protection. This is particularly worrisome because most "refugees" show up at Ports of Entry with false documents and assumed identities created by organized crime rings or terrorist organizations who "export" them to "collect taxes" from their work in Canada. Time for a change: the government should stop being so "nice" and enforce the law to protect those who have managed to escape the war criminals and gangsters who persecuted them, and boot out quickly those who assume false identities, or are suspects in war crimes investigations. They have no right to be in Canada.

War crimes squad needs money as prosecution costs soar

The Canadian Press
16 hours ago

OTTAWA — Canada's war-crimes squad needs more money to do its work, as the cost of prosecuting just one alleged war criminal hits $4 million, says a new report.

The team's case load, already onerous, will remain heavy as more immigrants come to Canada from countries where atrocities have occurred, says the Justice Department document.

The RCMP in particular needs more money to investigate alleged war criminals and people accused of crimes against humanity. And the Canada Border Services Agency needs cash to fix a computer system that's supposed to track suspects, the report concludes.

"The limited resources available for investigation, in relation to the inventory of serious cases, place an important limitation on the program's contribution to the objective of denying safe haven," says the draft document, dated Oct. 14 this year.

The evaluation was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

A final version of the document, prepared by the consulting firm Goss Gilroy Inc. for the Justice Department, is expected to be made public early next year.

Even the simplest prosecution of an alleged war criminal costs taxpayers $4 million, and the bill for revoking citizenship can hit $1.3 million if the person appeals the decision, researchers found. Extraditions to a foreign country cost about $500,000 each.

Those sky-high costs eat into a limited annual budget of about $15.6 million, shared among the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Justice Department.

The present war-crimes program was launched in 1998 to better co-ordinate Canada's modern efforts to prosecute and deny safe haven to war criminals, a policy announced in 1987 by the government of Brian Mulroney.

The annual funding of $15.6 million has not changed since 1998. The current five-year funding commitment is scheduled to end March 31, 2010.

A briefing note last year for Stockwell Day, then public safety minister, acknowledged the program is being squeezed.

"Given inflation, increased salary costs, accommodation, and new corporate support costs since 1998, funding for the program has in effect been significantly reduced," it said.

Between 2001 and 2006, officials removed 221 people and prevented another 2,100 from entering the country.

Despite those successes, which have been lauded around the world, the current work load is overwhelming investigators and Crown prosecutors.

"Even if the inventory (of cases) were halved by use of more stringent criteria, it would still exceed both the investigative capacity of the RCMP War Crimes Section and the budget for prosecutions available to the DOJ (Department of Justice) War Crimes Section," the report warns.

The first person charged in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, which became law in 2000, was Desire Munyaneza, for his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He was arrested in Toronto in 2005 after a five-year RCMP probe.

The Goss Gilroy study estimated prosecution costs of $4 million by examining an "African" case and a "European" case, neither of which it identified further.

The study notes that the cost would typically be spread over 30 months, and that travel alone accounts for about $1.5 million of the total.

Last year, the four departments agreed to use scarce resources to prevent more alleged war criminals from entering Canada, rather than for prosecutions of persons already living here, despite pressure from human-rights groups that Canada use the courts more often.

The strategy, seen as more cost-effective, is endorsed by the Goss Gilroy evaluation.

A Justice Department spokeswoman, Carole Saindon, said it would be "premature to comment" on whether the draft report's recommendations will be adopted.

"The program partners are continuing to target their efforts on the most crucial and cost-effective activities to support program objectives," she added in an email response to questions.

The report is especially critical of a key database created by Citizenship and Immigration but later transferred to the Canada Border Services Agency.

The agency is unable to exploit the so-called Modern War Crimes System database because the programming is incompatible with the CBSA's own computer systems.

"This means that CBSA, as the main user of MWCS, cannot input new information into the system, or update it, as the platform used by the agency is not compatible with the one used by CIC (Citizenship and Immigration)," says the document.

The report calls on the government to provide money to upgrade the system.

The Goss Gilroy Inc. evaluation cost $196,000.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Why do we read this so often? From time to time, news of missing passports hit the press. Why are these important documents treated so casually? More news to come: the Privacy Commissioner has exposed serious shortcomings as to how passport applications are handled...

RCMP, privacy commissioner looking into missing mailed passport applications

The Cape Breton Post

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. (CP) — Canada’s privacy commissioner and the RCMP are looking into the disappearance of several courier packages containing passport applications.
Seven packages containing a total of 107 passport applications and supporting documents have been reported missing in the last 15 months.
They were sent by Canada Post’s Priority Courier in packages addressed to a Passport Canada processing facility in Gatineau, Que., and all originated at Service Canada outlets.
The most recent incidents involved three packages sent Oct. 31 from the southern Alberta cities of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, as well as Cranbrook, B.C.
Canada Post spokesman John Caines said Wednesday from Ottawa that a special RCMP immigration and passport unit is now assisting postal inspectors to try to track down the missing packages.
He wouldn’t say if foul play is suspected.
In addition, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is now expanding her examination of security problems at Passport Canada to include transportation methods for passport applications.
Last week, Stoddart reported she found serious security risks with the way Passport Canada collects, handles and discards sensitive personal information.
“We have received a letter from Passport Canada informing us that some passports have disappeared in the mail, and we’re looking into it,” said Stoddart’s spokeswoman, Valerie Lawton.
“As part of our examination of this issue, we’ll be looking at mailing procedures involving passports.”
In her report, Stoddart noted that passport applicants could be vulnerable to identity theft if the highly sensitive information in their applications, such as credit-card numbers, names, addresses, birth dates, birth certificates and sometimes social insurance numbers, fell into the wrong hands.
The missing packages came to light in late November after a Lethbridge woman learned her passport application, which she left with a Service Canada receiving agent, had been lost with 18 others in a package sent via courier Oct. 31.
Canada Post says the package arrived at the Lethbridge post office Nov. 3, and the trail ends there.
Two other packages containing a total of 36 other passport applications similarly vanished at the same time in Medicine Hat and Cranbrook.
The Lethbridge woman, who asked her name be withheld, said she felt her concerns about her security were being downplayed by the various agencies involved.
Since then, Passport Canada has confirmed that two other packages of passport applications disappeared March 27 after being couriered from Service Canada offices in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. Similar incidents have also been confirmed involving two packages originating in Drummondville, Que., on July 7 and Langley, B.C., on Aug. 30, 2007.
Officials with Passport Canada and Canada Post insist such incidents are rare and the mail system is secure and trustworthy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Integrating immigrants into the workplace takes time

Even after 15 years, newcomers tend to display values that are notably different

Vas Taras, Haskayne School of Business, Financial Post
Published: Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Thousands of studies and practical experience have demonstrated that culture-sensitive HR management practices improve performance in the modern, diverse workplace. Due to cultural differences, management methods that work well in Calgary will not be as effective in Beijing.

It is well known what management practices are effective in different parts of the world. But how about managing immigrants? What is the optimal approach to an employee who, for example, grew up in China and immigrated to Canada 10 years ago? Should it be assumed that the person still has Chinese cultural values, or should it be expected that the person has been Canadianized? How long does it take for an immigrant employee to acculturate? What are the factors that can speed up or slow down the acculturation pace?

A recent University of Calgary study addressed these questions by exploring the pace, extent and predictors of acculturation. Close to two thousand immigrant employees from Calgary participated in the research project. The focus of the study was on acculturation of work-related values that govern individual behaviour in the workplace.

The recently released findings indicate that acculturation is a slow, non-linear process. Supporting some earlier acculturation theories, it was observed that immigrant workers experience a brief "honeymoon" period that lasts a few weeks to a couple of months. At this stage, newcomers appear to perceive the Canadian business culture only positively; they readily embrace is and try to assimilate.

The very brief "honeymoon" with the host culture is followed by a period of negative value acculturation that lasts for one to two years. This stage, often referred to as "cultural affirmation," is characterized by an intense cultural shock and the observed initial rejection of culture of the host society and is believed to be a coping mechanism for dealing with the unknown foreign world.

In their second or third year after their arrival in Canada, immigrants adapt to the challenges of living in a new society and enter a stage of a steady, gradual acculturation and internalization of local values and practices. However, the process is very slow and the extent of value assimilation is practically negligible in the first decade. The data show that even after 15 years, immigrants tend to display values that are notably different from those of Canadians. Only about 20 years after immigration do the differences in values of Canadians and immigrants become minor, yet most immigrants do not assimilate completely even two decades after immigration.

In addition to values, visible attributes of acculturation, such as English proficiency, preference for local cuisine, music, clothing style and media were also measured to test whether value acculturation could be predicted based on observable elements of culture. The data show only a weak relationship between values and visible elements of culture, suggesting that not every international who is proficient in English likes local food, music and television and also thinks like a local. And vice- versa: Not everyone who looks different has different values.

Probably the most important and practical finding of the study relates to the importance of contacts between immigrants and locals. The results showed that a lack of interaction with representatives of the host culture may not only slow down the acculturation process, but can even reverse it. Immigrant employees who reported being at odds with Western business culture and displayed values drastically different from those of locals were the ones who reported a very limited contact with Canadians. Virtually all respondents who reported that Canadians constitute less than 10% in their social networks displayed negative acculturation. In terms of specific numbers, the probability of rejection of local culture is twice as high if Canadians constitute 15% of the people with whom immigrants interact on a regular basis at work or at home, compared with the sample average of 45%.

The finding highlights the danger of ethnic segregation, be it in the form of mono-ethnic work groups or residential ethnic ghettoes. The lesson for practitioner managers and immigration policymakers is clear - promote interaction among locals and new Canadians in the workplace. If contact between the two groups is limited, over time people may actually grow apart, become less tolerant and accepting of each other and poison the work environment.

Financial Post

- Vas Taras obtained his PhD in HR and Organizational Dynamics from the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ex-patter: Canada Highs

One family explain why they left Britain behind to set up home in Vancouver

Peter Townsend, 49, and family - Susan, 36, China-May, 10, and Louis, 5 – left London for a new life in Canada in 2002

Where do you live? In West Vancouver, just across the Lion’s Gate Bridge from the city centre. It’s 15 minutes by car to the beach or mountains, where we can ski.

What did you get for your money? A detached five-bedroom house with a swimming pool on half an acre, overlooking the Burrard Sound. We paid C$1. 3m for it in December 2005 – about £620,000 at the time.

What’s your background? I was born and raised in London, and had been living in Paris for 14 years, where I was working in marketing, when I met Susan, a Danish-born model. Within a year, we had moved back to London, got married, bought a flat in Fulham and started a new business. That was in 1995.

Why Canada? We were fed up with the UK, and we wanted more time, more space and better value. We considered France and Australia, but settled on Canada, then Vancouver.

Was it easy? No. Househunting from halfway across the world (brief holidays aside), selling our business and our home, then shipping all of our possessions at the same time as the extended and complicated immigration process, was a mammoth task. Thankfully, one of Susan’s talents is the ability to manage a project with military skill.

What about the paperwork? The visa-application system for Canada can be long and drawn-out. We employed an immigration lawyer, which saved us a year’s wait and helped to keep us calm.

What are the schools like? China-May was in private school back in Britain, but settled almost immediately into her new state school here. She and her brother now have Canadian accents and sound just like all their friends.

So what’s it like, really? People seem more energetic and optimistic here, with a slightly naive but refreshing can-do attitude. With two kids in school, we have built up a large circle of friends very quickly.

Have you changed? Moving here has peeled away the ageing layers of European cynicism – I have even retrained as an estate agent.

What do you miss? The ease of visiting other countries with different cultures. We also miss the old buildings and architecture you walk past every day in Europe – anything more than 60 years old here is considered historical or pulled down. And, of course, friends and family. We certainly don’t miss the M25 or the London congestion charge. It rains as much as in the UK, if not a little more, but somehow we don’t notice it. We are all looking forward to the ski season.

Where? Vancouver, a 9½hour flight from London

What? City-centre flats start at £230,000. You can pick up a family house in a good suburb for £350,000; a sea view will cost nearer £700,000

Friday, December 5, 2008


Passport offices putting personal info at risk, privacy audit finds

'Irony' Noted

Sarah Schmidt, Canwest News Service
Published: Friday, December 05, 2008

Darren Stone, Canwest News Service

OTTAWA - Privacy and security problems at Canada's passport offices add up to a "significant risk" for Canadians applying for passports, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found in an audit released yesterday.

The audit, part of the commissioner's annual report tabled in Parliament before it was prorogued until late January, itemizes how privacy matters are given "short shrift" at every step of the application process.

At the front end, passport applications and supporting documents were kept in clear plastic bags on open shelves. At the back end, documents containing personal information, including credit-card numbers, and, sometimes, social insurance numbers, were tossed into regular garbage and recycling bins.

Shredded documents could be easily put back together.

The audit also found that computer systems allowed too many employees to access passport files, including locally hired staff in consular offices abroad, who had access to files processed by any other mission. Such basic controls as audit logs and encryption of stored personal information were not in place.

Passport Canada also provided inadequate privacy training for employees, an issue "of concern" across government institutions.

"These privacy and security shortfalls are particularly worrying, given the high sensitivity of the personal information involved in processing passport applications," the report states.

"There is a risk of consequences -- identity theft, for example -- to individual passport holders if their personal information goes missing or is stolen. It's clear that stronger safeguards are required to protect this data."

In an interview, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said she was surprised by the audit results.

"Quite frankly, I was surprised in a process, which is not new, that we did find so many gaps, particularly the gaps in missions abroad."

She added, "The irony wasn't lost on us ... that it would show up at the place that is producing Canada's premiere identity document."

Last year, Passport Canada processed more than 3.6 million passport applications. It has more than 30 million passport records in its control.

Mike Beaupre added one more file when he submitted his application to a passport office in Ottawa yesterday. "Considering that we're getting these passports to increase security, I think it's pretty detrimental to our security," he said of the audit findings.

The backdrop to these failures is a "dispersed" approach to privacy responsibilities, split between Passport Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the audit found.

Passport Canada is an agency of the department, which has a mandate to issue passports.

Ms. Stoddart said the "good news" is that both the agency and the department are "very open to our suggestions and are implementing most of our recommendations."

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Immigration levels to be maintained

Faster Visas; In-demand skills will speed process for applicants

Tiffany Crawford, Canwest News Service
Published: Saturday, November 29, 2008

Despite uncertain economic times, Ottawa announced plans yesterday for Canada to take in up to 265,000 new permanent residents in 2009 and to speed up the processing of applications for potential new Canadians in dozens of high-demand occupations.

At a news conference in Toronto, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said while countries such as Australia, Germany and England are cutting back on the number of people they allow to immigrate, Canada will maintain its immigration levels.

Under the plan, people wishing to move to Canada who work in 38 highly skilled job fields, such as health, finance and the oil industry, will go to the front of the line. That means skilled immigrants could have their visas processed in six to 12 months instead of having to wait five to six years.

"Nurses for instance, are needed whether you are in Nunavut or Vancouver or Toronto," said Mr. Kenney, adding that Canada is one of the few G7 countries that still has labour shortages, despite the economic downturn.

"Having said that, we will have to monitor the economy as it develops and, of course, we reserve the right to modify our policy if need be."

However, critics argue that when the government consulted with the provinces and with labour representatives, it did not take into account how deeply the global economy would fall.

Sergio Karas, chairman of the citizenship and immigration section of the Ontario Bar Association, believes the list of skilled workers gives potential new Canadians the impression there are jobs when those jobs could soon disappear, a problem he says that will "create chaos."

"We are going to be granting residency like lollipops and we're going to encourage them to come to Canada because they are on the list and we do not know, given the economic situation. We're giving them the impression that there are jobs to be had," he said.

While some occupations on the list, such as doctors and nurses, do not relate to the economic crisis, Mr. Karas said most are technical jobs that may be affected by the downturn. And he cited positions in Alberta's oilsands as an example. He suggests the government speed up the admission of temporary workers rather than hand out permanent residencies.

But Mr. Kenney said a backlog in foreign applicants has grown to 900,000 cases, up from 50,000 in 1993. He said of those, 600,000 people waiting in the queue are in the skilled-worker category.

"This is unacceptable and we need to take action," said Mr. Kenney.

The Minister said the government also will accelerate the immigration process for people who have an offer of employment or have already been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or international student.

Mr. Kenney said the list of 38 occupations was developed after consultations with the provinces and territories, business and labour.

The Liberals have criticized the immigration reforms, arguing everyone should be treated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Immigration Department said it expects 156,600 immigrants in the economic category; 71,000 in the family category; and 37,400 in the humanitarian category.

The Immigration Department also has expanded its Web site -- www.cic.gc.ca -- in an effort to make it easier for people to navigate the range of immigration options open to them.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Minister Kenney Announces Immigration Levels for 2009; Issues Instructions on Processing Federal Skilled Workers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2008) - Canada will stay the course on immigration in 2009, welcoming between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced today.

"While countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia are talking about taking fewer immigrants, our planned numbers for 2009 are on par with last year and are among the highest for this country over the past 15 years," Minister Kenney said. "The numbers reflect a continued commitment to an immigration program that balances Canada's economic, humanitarian and family reunification goals."

The 2009 plan includes up to 156,600 immigrants in the economic category; 71,000 in the family category; and 37,400 in the humanitarian category.

Minister Kenney also announced another step in measures to improve the immigration program's responsiveness to Canada's labour market. Retroactive to February 27, 2008, the date specified by the Federal Budget, the Action Plan for Faster Immigration includes issuing instructions to visa officers reviewing new federal skilled worker applications to process those from candidates who:

- are in 38 high-demand occupations such as health, skilled trades, finance and resource extraction; or

- have an offer of arranged employment or have already been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or international student.

The list of 38 occupations was developed after consultations with the provinces and territories, business, labour and other stakeholders. New federal skilled worker applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined above will not be processed, and the application fee will be fully refunded. This, along with funds set aside in the 2008 Budget to improve the immigration system, will stop the backlog from growing and will start to draw it down.

"The eligibility criteria apply only to new federal skilled worker applicants and will not affect Canada's family reunification or refugee protection goals," said Minister Kenney. "Applicants who aren't eligible for the federal skilled worker category may qualify under another category, such as the Provincial Nominee Program, or as temporary foreign workers, which could then put them on a path to permanent residency through the new Canadian Experience Class. There are many ways to immigrate to Canada."

The Department has expanded its website in an effort to make it easier for people to navigate the range of immigration options open to them. The site now includes a specific section for employers (www.cic.gc.ca/employers) and a new interactive tool (www.cic.gc.ca/cometocanada) that matches information provided by potential applicants with immigration programs that best suit their circumstances.

"We expect new federal skilled worker applicants, including those with arranged employment, to receive a decision within six to 12 months compared with up to six years under the old system," said Minister Kenney. "All other economic class applications-including applicants chosen by Quebec, provincial nominees, the Canadian Experience Class, and live-in caregivers-will continue to be given priority."

These improvements, coupled with a number of recent initiatives that include the introduction of the Canadian Experience Class, bring Canada in line with two of its main competitors for highly skilled labour: Australia and New Zealand. Both of these countries have eliminated their backlogs and have systems that deliver final decisions for economic applicants within a year.

"The recent steps this Government has taken to improve our immigration system will help ensure that Canada remains competitive internationally and responsive to labour market needs domestically," said Minister Kenney.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


New migrant class draws few


Program to retain skilled immigrants attracts just 210 applicants since its launch in September

November 24, 2008
Nicholas Keung
Immigration/Diversity Reporter

A highly touted new immigration program has been hit by slow response from prospective skilled migrants and may fail to bring in the targeted 8,000 newcomers with Canadian academic credentials and work experience.

Since the program's inception in September, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has only received 210 applications under the Canada Experience Class, a new category designed to retain temporary foreign workers or foreign students as permanent residents with established credentials in Canada.

While some immigration lawyers say it is too early to gauge the initiative's popularity among immigration applicants, others are worried the economic meltdown would deny these workers and students the job experience they need to qualify.

"Let's face it. These people are trying to get into entry-level jobs. Few of them have the Canadian experience they need and they will be competing with Canadian workers who have been laid off," said lawyer Sergio Karas, chair of the Ontario Bar Association's immigration and citizenship section. "How can an employer justify hiring foreign students and workers while he's downsizing the workforce?"

A foreign worker must have at least two years of full-time Canadian work experience in managerial, professional, technical occupations or skilled trades to qualify for the program. A foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution needs a minimum one-year full-time work experience.

The initiative was part of Ottawa's answer to the decades-old "doctor-driving-cab" conundrum faced by immigrants whose foreign credentials are not recognized by Canadian employers. The plan is also expected to cut processing time since most applicants are already in Canada, presumably employed, allowing for easier access.

Toronto immigration lawyer Mario Bellissimo, who has a few such applications in the works, said slow response to the program – based on a pass-fail system as opposed to points – can be attributed in part to a language test requirement. "People ... need to prepare themselves psychologically and to study."

While many potential applicants may need more time to meet job experience requirements, lawyer Robin Seligman said those who've left Canada but still would qualify within a year after departing may be unaware of the program. "Others ... could have applied under other categories and decided not to file yet another immigration application under CEC," said Seligman.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Chief Blair is right: the Police is a LAW ENFORCEMENT body, and has a DUTY to report breaches of the law to the appropriate authority for consideration on whether or not charges should be laid. It would be laughable to expect the Police to turn a blind eye to law breakers just because someone may be affected. To ask the Police to ignore a breach would bring the entire force into disrepute and law-abiding citizens would surely lose respect for the force. And since when do those who are in breach of immigration law deserve a special consideration not available to others? Why don;t we just give them a medal for breaking the law, on top of welfare, legal aid, and free health care? We already do the latter....


Sunday, November 16, 2008


I am at a loss to understand why the IRB continuously gives the benefit of the doubt to this dangerous character who is a menace to society. What are they thinking? Why has he not been deported yet?

Man facing deportation again out of jail

Stephane Massinon
Calgary Herald

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A suspected gang associate has again been released from custody.

On Friday, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada ruled in favour of Nghia Trong Tran, also known as Jackie Tran, saying he did not violate the terms of his release conditions.

Calgary police announced his arrest Oct. 29 after allegedly spotting him breaking his curfew the previous weekend after a fight at a bar.

However, the board ruled it was not Tran who police spotted getting into a vehicle, but likely his friend.

The week before his arrest, police said they were worried about public safety with Tran out on Calgary streets.

Tran has been ordered deported and is currently appealing that decision.

The Immigration and Refugee Board said phone records show Tran was likely at home, as required under his curfew, and talking to his girlfriend the night of the fight.

Tran's mother also testified he was home that night.

At the Nov. 6 hearing, a police officer testified he was 100 per cent certain it was Tran getting into the vehicle. But board panel member Marc Tessler said the officer did not notice a visible scar on Tran's face and therefore concluded it was not him the officer spotted.

"The intervening arrest, I have determined, was unwarranted," wrote Tessler.

After his late October arrest, Calgary police Chief Rick Hanson said he worried the man with suspected gang ties could soon be released.

"I'm sure they'll find another reason to let him out on bail. It's just unbelievable," he said at the time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sergio R. Karas chairs seminar on Employment and Taxation law for Immigration lawyers

Sergio R. Karas chaired a successful seminar for the Ontario Bar Association on November 12,2008, on the topic "Making the right move: Employment and taxation law issues for immigration lawyers". The seminar was extremely well received and attended by close to fifty lawyers from across Canada.


This is quite interesting. Regardless of whether or not the accuses is Innocent or guilty, it is amazing that a member of the PFLP terrorist organization was granted permanent residency in Canada, and even citizenship later! Who scrutinizes these applications? Are they incompetent or just stupid?As a member of a terrorist group, this person should have NEVER been allowed to set foot in Canada if immigration law had been enforced, let alone grant him citizenship!

Synagogue bombing suspect vows to fight


From Friday's Globe and Mail

November 14, 2008 at 1:21 AM EST

Until last year, Hassan Diab was leading the quiet life of a Canadian sociology professor.

Prof. Diab was teaching at both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, was said to be a popular colleague and teacher. After leaving the violence of his native Lebanon and earning his doctorate in the United States, Prof. Diab, 54, received his Canadian citizenship and appeared to settle into Ottawa.

There, friends said he was a secular man with an interest in sociology and Middle East studies, and was not without a warm side.

"He has a great rapport with students," said Carleton professor Nahla Abdo, a friend of Prof. Diab's. "He's intelligent, he's smart, he's witty. … I really think highly of his academic skills."

But just before noon on Thursday, the RCMP showed up at a home in Gatineau, Que., and arrested Prof. Diab on behalf of French authorities, who allege he was an integral part of the bombing of a Paris synagogue 28 years ago. That 1980 attack, involving a bomb hidden in the saddlebags of a motorcycle parked outside the synagogue during a Sabbath service, killed three French men and an Israeli woman. It sparked thousands of French citizens to protest against the targeted attack on the Jewish community, France's largest since the Second World War.

Today, Prof. Diab will appear in court in an extradition hearing. He steadfastly maintains his innocence, saying he wasn't in Paris at all that year, his name is very common, and that French investigators simply have the wrong man.

"It's a case of mistaken identity," his lawyer, René Duval, told The Globe last night. "I'm telling you he's innocent, and we'll fight that up to the Supreme Court of Canada."

The first allegations against Prof. Diab surfaced last November, when a French newspaper, Le Figaro, received a leak that he built the bomb in the 1980 attack. Citing French sources, the paper has since said that France's overall case includes tenuous evidence such as a handwritten note and fingerprints on a rental car. Prof. Diab was a member of a Palestinian terrorist group at the time of the attack, the paper also alleges, citing a French arrest warrant.

For Mr. Diab, life hasn't been the same since. He has been harassed, followed, and had one person attempt to break into his apartment, his lawyer alleges. None of the specific charges against him have been made openly and French authorities have not attempted to contact Mr. Duval. In today's hearing, he hopes to hear the charges on which the French hope to extradite Prof. Diab.

"They have to make a case that he should be detained, so they're going to have to show some of their cards," he said. "How would you like to be dragged into public scrutiny for something you haven't done, but is extremely serious nowadays?"

The Justice Department approved the "provisional arrest warrant" as per the extradition agreement between France and Canada, spokesman Christian Girouard said. A Canadian judge approved the move after reviewing basic evidence in the case, he added.

RCMP then carried out the arrest at a residence in Gatineau and held Prof. Diab in Ottawa overnight, Corporal Jean Hainey said.

French officials say anti-terrorist judges Marc Trevidic and Yves Jannier travelled to Canada earlier this week in hopes of advancing their inquiry into the bombing. There was no comment on that by the Justice Department or the RCMP in Ottawa.

The Canadian Jewish Congress, while cautioning that the allegations against Prof. Diab aren't proven, applauded French authorities for continuing the investigation.

"They have followed this case relentlessly to this international arrest warrant, and I think it gives a strong message, and a very needed strong message in the post-9/11 world," CJC chief executive Bernie Farber said.

After today's scheduled hearing, French authorities will have 45 days to lay out a more detailed case against Prof. Diab. Pending approval of that evidence by the Justice Department, a Canadian judge would have to approve an extradition order, which the Minister of Justice would then have to approve.

With a report from The Canadian Press

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Here is another fine specimen: 100 (yes, one hundred) criminal convictions and STILL IN CANADA! Not only that,he is free pending a decision, and no doubt he will start frivolous and vexations filings to delay deportation. One is left to wonder what a person needs to do in order to get kicked out. It is time to change this stupid mindset.

Romanian mob boss free pending possible deportation

James Turner
Winnipeg Free Press

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

WINNIPEG - The leader of an eastern European organized crime syndicate operating in Canada, who has amassed more than 100 criminal convictions since his arrival here 17 years ago, has been set free to wait for his potential deportation.

Gheorghe Capra, 47, appeared Wednesday before the immigration review board in a Winnipeg courtroom.

He had just been released on parole from prison after serving one third of a 30-month sentence for fraud over $5,000.

Now, he faces possible deportation.

Capra has long been on the radar of police in Canada.

Court documents show Montreal police first noticed him more than 10 years ago as part of a crime ring specializing in bank machine fraud and "skimming" scams.

In these scams, credit or debit card information is illegally stolen, downloaded to a computer and transferred to blank cards used to make illegal purchases or withdrawals.

Winnipeg police said in February - following a surveillance operation into the activities of Capra and three others - that the group was "very sophisticated."

Canadian Border Services lawyer Maria Dejaeger said Capra mostly targeted senior citizens, who were tricked into picking up a $20 bill while at a bank machine and had their ATM cards switched.

He would then use the card to drain all the cash from his victims' bank accounts, officials say.

Capra came to Canada from Romania in 1991 by secretly stowing himself aboard a ship that entered Montreal.

He was granted Convention Refugee status and became a permanent resident the next year, the same year he garnered his first conviction for uttering threats.

Because of Capra's convention status, the federal immigration minister's office must rule that he's a danger to the public before he can be legally booted from Canada.

A decision isn't expected until December.

Dejaeger asked that Capra be held in custody pending a decision on whether he's eligible to be removed from the country.

But Kyba said it was unjust to ask him to imply that Capra was a public danger by keeping him in custody pending that decision.

Kyba ordered Capra released if he could post two $5,000 bonds and agree to abide by the conditions of his parole.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Here is a great Op Ed that appeared today in the New York Times. Irshad is also a very articulate, outspoken writer who had to endure the abuses and criticism of Muslim fundamentalists in Canada who wish to suppress her voice.

October 31, 2008

Op-Ed Contributor

Home for Halloween


FOR me and my family, Oct. 31 has always been significant. Not because it’s Halloween, but because that’s the day we arrived as refugees to a free part of the world.

Beginning in August 1972, thousands of Asian entrepreneurs fled the East African country of Uganda after its dictator, Idi Amin, declared us to be bloodsuckers, seized our property and gave us three months to leave or die.

My family and I had only Ugandan passports, so we couldn’t escape to Britain or India like many of our neighbors. We’d been in Africa for two generations; my father and his brothers owned a car dealership in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. We didn’t know where to go, but we knew we couldn’t stay: Amin viciously enforced his 90-day deadline.

By the final week of October, the nations that would otherwise accept Ugandan exiles had exceeded their quotas. My family heard that Sweden and Canada might make room for a few more, and so out of desperation my mother, my sisters and I flew to Montreal, with Dad to follow. We had no guarantee that Canada would admit us.

We also had no guarantee that we’d meet an extraordinary immigration agent. But on Halloween 1972, we did.

Though the middle-aged woman had doubtless been dealing with a flood of Ugandan refugees, and though burnout could have led her to turn us back or indifferently wave us through, she chose to talk with a harried mother shepherding three girls under age 7. “Why do you want to live in Montreal?” the agent asked, en français.

My mother, who grew up in the Belgian Congo, mercifully could respond in French. “Why do we want to live in Montreal?” Mum repeated, buying a few seconds to think. “Well, Montreal begins with the letter ‘M,’ and our family’s name begins with the letter ‘M,’ so maybe God believes we will fit nicely together.”

Sensing my mother’s fear, the immigration agent assured her that this wasn’t an interrogation. “It’s just that I’m looking at your daughters,” she explained, “and I realize that they’re all dressed for tropical weather. Madame Manji, have you ever seen snow?”

Terrified at the prospect of being booted out, my mother blurted out, “No, but I can’t wait to!”

“Then you’ve come to the right country,” the agent assured Mum. “With your permission, however, I’d like to send you and your children to Canada’s version of a mild climate.” Several stamps of the paperwork later, we boarded a plane to Vancouver, where I learned to make peace with rain.

Some would reduce this immigration agent to a shrewd gatekeeper of cheap labor, carting us off to a city that would get rich from the Asian work ethic. And yet she was more complex than a caricature. Instead of simply unloading us on the local authorities, the agent cared enough to ask what we might need more of — peace, yes, but also fleece. Her small act of empathy bucked an ice-cold system.

As an adult, I’ve come to understand why I’m so blessed to have immigrated to an open society. Here, the individual — and the choices she makes — matter. The agent chose to practice the first lesson of human rights: just because a problem doesn’t affect you personally doesn’t mean it ceases to exist.

Mum tells me that she’s never been able to track down the lovely lady who let us into Canada. Still, she won’t be forgotten. As Madame Manji reminded her girls on Halloween in 2002, “When we touched this soil, we won the lottery of life.”

Idi Amin died in Saudi Arabia a year after that. Friends assumed that I’d be cursing his corpse. No. His hatred introduced my family to the gift of choices.

On Halloween, one can be forgiven for obsessing with murderers, but it’s not Idi Amin who will dominate my thoughts. It’s the immigration agent.

Irshad Manji, the author of “The Trouble With Islam Today,” is the director of the Moral Courage Project at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


'Loan' used to sidestep laws, judge rules

Money used for sham marriage to circumvent immigration rules; claim dismissed

Neal Hall
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A provincial court judge has dismissed a woman's claim against two other people for repayment of a $15,000 loan, ruling the money was paid for a sham marriage to sidestep Canada's immigration rules.

Li Ying Lao, the claimant, sued her sister-in-law, Hui Xia Luo, and Luo's former husband, Rong Jun Li, seeking repayment of the money.

Luo admitted she received the money but denied it was a loan.

She claimed the money she received from the claimant was part of a $35,000 payment in exchange for Luo marrying the claimant's younger brother, who lives in China.

"The defendant Luo claims the marriage was a sham." Judge Maria Giardini said in her reasons for judgment.

"It was only entered into to circumvent Canadian immigration laws and regulations. The marriage of the defendant Luo to the brother allowed the brother to apply to be sponsored into Canada as a family member."

Luo went to China and married the brother on March 9, 2006. The brother's application to enter Canada to live with his wife was refused.

The claimant was asked at trial whether she paid for Luo's air travel to China. At first she denied doing so, but then changed her answer, recalling Luo did not have any cash and therefore she paid for the airfare.

The claimant denied paying about $1,525 to Luo for immigration fees to sponsor the brother to Canada. Lao said she did not know why the brother's application to emigrate to Canada was refused.

The claimant said the brother had a good job in China and there was no need for him to immigrate to Canada. If that was so, the claimant was asked, why did the brother get married to a woman who lived in Canada when he lived in China?

She said Luo and the brother loved each other and after their marriage they had to live together.

The judge concluded: "The claimant has not established, on a balance of probabilities, that the $15,000 she gave to the defendant Luo was a loan.

"Instead, I have concluded the money was given to the defendant Luo as payment for a marriage to the claimant's brother designed to circumvent Canadian immigration regulations."

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here is another case of immigration fraud in India. The facts are very "fishy", not in small measure because the "ad visors" appear to be unlicensed consultants acting as "agents" for others, and the type of advice given to the applicants seems odd. Also, it seems that the applicant was perfectly willing to play along, for as long as it could result in a successful outcome for him. The moral of the story: hire LAWYERS only, and stay away from those who offer bargain prices for legal services.

Immigration firm to pay Rs 1 lakh for shattering dollar dreams

Express News Service Posted: Oct 25, 2008 at 0345 hrs

Chandigarh, October 24 The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed an immigration company to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation after they failed to send a Ludhiana resident to Canada. They have also been directed to pay Rs 5,000 as litigation cost.
The complainant, Lakhwinder Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, said that he and his family had planned to migrate to the province of British Columbia in Canada. For this, they contacted “Canadian 4UR Immigration Services” in Sector 9. They signed an agreement in November 2006. He was then told that he would get approval for immigration within three months and paid Rs 30,000 as retainer fee.

He was also asked to maintain a balance of Rs 6 lakh in his bank, which would be needed once all the formalities were complete.

The complainant, after noticing that there was no movement in his work, contacted the company and was told that they had to shift their office to Canada owing to some problems. The company later refunded Rs 30,000 by transferring the money in his account.

The complainant alleged that the company had deceived them, as they had not deposited the requisite fee with the firm in Canada.

In its reply, the company pleaded that after the complainant had qualified the interview and cleared the requisite norms as laid by the Canadian Embassy, he signed an agreement. An assurance was also given that he would maintain the required balance in his account.

His case was then forwarded to the overseas immigration branch of the company. The company pleaded that it was the complainant who abandoned the company and demanded for the refund of money, which was given to him. They pleaded that an agent in Canada was running their business under the name of Overseas Immigration Services. But their relations were severed after some friction between and hence the delay.

The forum said that the immigration company had retained the amount of Rs 30,000 for 14 months, for the purpose of procuring a job and visa for the complainant, which it failed to procure.

“The complainant waited for his interview call and visa for 14 months. It is argued by the complainant’s counsel that his client could not work during this period. He procured the amount of Rs 6 lakh and deposited the same in the bank. The entire career of the complainant has been ruined. It was a cruel joke played by the immigration company,” said Jagroop Singh Mahal, President, District Consumer Forum.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Another Provincial Nominee Program ( PNP) has come under scrutiny, this time the small Province of Prince Edward Island's effort to attract immigrants is under the gun. This follows on the heels of the suspension of the Nova Scotia entrepreneur PNP, which closed after a scandal. I have always opposed PNPs as useless for the economy,. costly to the immigrants, and attracting the wrong type of people, who do not make a decision based on sound economics but rather on the basis of just tyring to get a visa, while they have no intention to follow through on their commitment to invest in the designated province. It would be much better to fix the entire federal system, abolish the PNPs, and allow applicants to set p businesses wherever they feel it would make economic sense.

Island auditor gives legislature committee OK to probe immigration program


CHARLOTTETOWN — The public accounts committee on P.E.I. has been given the green light by the province’s auditor general to conduct its own probe of a controversial immigration program.
The program, which ended Sept. 2, offered expedited Canadian visas for immigrants willing to invest money in Island companies.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the province through the so-called nominee program.
Auditor general Colin Younker decided to launch an investigation after a number of discrepancies with the administration of the program came to light.
Several members of the public accounts committee had expressed concern about launching an examination while Younker was conducting his own probe.
But the committee received word this week from Younker that it is free to proceed

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This one promises to be a contentious issue...and a good way to kill the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP):

Migrants' bid to unionize contested

B.C. labour board certifies unions at two farms - but employers say labour code does not give them that right


October 23, 2008

VANCOUVER -- The union movement among migrant workers in British Columbia is growing, with the first two farms granted certification by the labour board.

Floralia Plant Growers Ltd. became the second farm to unionize on Oct. 10. Workers on 20 more farms are now interested in joining the United Food and Commercial Workers, according to the union. However, a recent move by employers might put the relationship between migrant workers and the union in jeopardy.

The British Columbia Agriculture Council, which represents the interests of the agriculture industry, questions the right of migrant workers to unionize under the B.C. Labour Relations Code.

The council argues that the code does not constitutionally apply to migrant workers, who come to Canada as part of a federal program that operates under the terms of agreements negotiated by Ottawa with the workers' home countries.

BCAC executive director Steve Tompson said that means the provincial labour board cannot legally grant the workers' requests to join a union. "We feel there is a very legitimate question related to the jurisdiction and applicability in this situation and with respect to this particular program," he said.

Such arguments are far removed from the B.C. farm fields, where workers like Rogelio Larios are employed. Mr. Larios worked on an Abbotsford blueberry farm this season. He's saving money to help finance a handmade jewellery business to support his two daughters in Mexico. The living and working conditions on the blueberry farm are good, but he would like his farm to unionize, he said.

"He wants to have a better future for his daughters," said Jamie Block, translating for Mr. Larios. "In Mexico, where he currently lives, there is no work."

Ms. Block works at a support centre in Abbotsford for migrant workers funded by the union, which has been in close contact with migrant workers in Canada since the 1990s. Stan Raper is UFCW national co-ordinator of the Agricultural Workers Alliance, which operates seven migrant-worker support centres across Canada, including two in B.C.

"A number of workers from throughout British Columbia either call or drop in to our centres, Kelowna or Abbottsford, in order to get translation services [for] income tax, parental benefits, workers compensation cases," he said.

Nearly all of B.C.'s migrant workers are from Mexico, and few speak English. When they come to a support centre to find someone to translate Canadian bureaucracy and file their paperwork for them, they are educated about their right to unionize.

The BCAC filed its application to the B.C. Labour Relations Board on Sept. 29, asking the board to reverse the union certifications already granted. The union rejects the BCAC's argument that the right to unionize does not apply to migrant workers.

Human Resources and Social Development Canada, which administers the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, is responsible for bringing the foreign workers to Canada but has played no role in union disputes.

"The unionization of workers has no impact on the SAWP; it is a matter between the employer and the union," media-relations officer Jason Bouzanis said in an e-mail. "If the foreign workers are unionized, they must be offered the agreed union wage or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the region, whichever is higher."

The union and the BCAC disagree on whether the migrant workers would benefit from union representation. Lucy Luna, who runs the union's migrant workers centre in Abbotsford, said many of the farms provide poor housing conditions, and some have dangerous environments where workers are not properly trained or provided with safety equipment.

"But basically the complaint No. 1 is they want to be treated with respect, and that's why they came and they signed cards," she said.

Marcus Janzen owns Calais Farm in Abbotsford and said he doesn't think unionizing would change the basic principles the farm operates on today.

"I haven't thought about it much more than that. It's a free country, the workers can do what they want," he said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


See this...It makes you wonder as to how many criminal convictions a person needs to accumulate in order for the system to kick him out. Thi scharacter has 19 convictions, some very serious! I think I feel safer already...

Ritchie v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and

Stalin Dacosta Ritchie, appellant, and
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, respondent

[2008] I.A.D.D. No. 326

No. TA4-02431

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Immigration Appeal Division
Toronto, Ontario

Panel: Pamila Ahlfeld

Heard: May 2, 2007, September 17, 2007.
Decision: November 22, 2008.

(24 paras.)


Removal Order

Reasons for Decision


1 These are the reasons1 for decision in the appeal of Stalin Dacosta RITCHIE (the appellant), from the removal order, dated February 5, 20042 issued against him by Member Iozzo of the Immigration Division pursuant to subsection 36(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)3. The basis of the removal order is the appellant's conviction dated January 28, 2002 for one count of trafficking in a schedule I substance whereby he received a sentence of four months time served and two years probation4.

2 There was no challenge to the validity of the removal order and the panel finds nothing in the evidence that would render the order legally invalid. Accordingly, the panel finds that the removal order is valid in law.

3 The appellant was represented at the hearing by a designated representative appointed by the panel as the appellant was unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings.

4 At issue in this case is whether, taking into consideration the best interests of a child directly affected by the decision, sufficient humanitarian and compassionate considerations warrant special relief in light of all the circumstances of the case5.


5 For the reasons outlined below, the panel finds that taking into consideration the best interests of a child directly affected by this decision, there exist sufficient humanitarian and compassionate considerations to warrant the granting of a stay for a period of five years.


6 The appellant was born in Jamaica on February 22, 19716. He was sponsored to Canada by his sister together with his mother and he was landed on December 1, 19777.

7 The appellant's father and two sisters all reside in Toronto. His mother is deceased. He testified that his father is in a nursing home and he has limited contact with his sister.

8 The appellant has a Grade 9 education.

9 The appellant receives a disability pension (ODSP) in the amount of $755.40 a month8. He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and he is currently in treatment.

10 The appellant has 16 convictions; 4 of them for assaults9, 7 convictions regarding controlled substances, a robbery conviction, possession of a prohibited weapon and various fail to comply convictions10.


11 The panel remains guided in the exercise of its discretion by the factors outlined in Ribic11, approved by the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Chieu12. These factors, which are not exhaustive, are:


the seriousness of the offences leading to the deportation order;


the possibility of rehabilitation;


the length of time spent in Canada and the degree to which the appellant is established here;


the family in Canada and the dislocation to the family that deportation would cause;


support available to the appellant, within the family and within the community; and


potential foreign hardship the appellant will face in the likely country of removal.

12 The panel is also guided by section 3 (1)(h) of IRPA which states:

3. (1) The objectives of the Act with respect to immigration are:


to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to maintain the security of Canadian society.

13 The panel is "alert, alive and sensitive" to the best interests of any child directly affected by the removal of the appellant13.

14 The appellant and the appellant's mental health worker testified at the hearing.

15 The appellant's criminal history is extensive. Unfortunately, the appellant was not able to testify in detail regarding the offences as he did not remember them. He could not for example remember his convictions for assault in 1994 and 1995. His memory of the robbery conviction from 1994 was that he grabbed a man on the street at Queen and Sherbourne and took his money. He could not remember anything about the possession of a weapon conviction but he remembers that he was convicted of selling crack cocaine and marijuana.

16 The appellant admitted he is a long time drug user. A letter from Dr. Vasu Srinivasan reports that the appellant suffers from schizophrenia and is being treated with Risperal14. The doctor also reported that the appellant is developmentally delayed15. It was evident from his testimony that the appellant has difficulties in relaying incidents from his past and he becomes easily anxious.

17 The appellant stated that he has received some assistance in the past regarding his addictions and life skills but these efforts were unsuccessful. He is currently being followed by a number of professionals as follows:


He is seeing Dr. Williams, a psychiatrist on a monthly basis;


He is being case-managed by a mental health worker at Reconnect Health Services in Etobicoke. His participation is voluntary and ongoing since February 2007;


He is reporting to the Toronto Bail Program, Immigration Division since April 200616;


He testified that he completed a 5-day detox program at Toronto Western Hospital a week prior to this hearing;


He is scheduled for an appointment at the Concurrent Disorder Clinic on September 18, 2007 to assess whether he will receive drug rehabilitation treatment in a group or as an individual;


His mental health worker testified that he is seeking through LOFT or COTA, permanent housing for the appellant. For the time being, the appellant is residing with a good friend;

18 In addition to being managed for his probation and health concerns, the appellant is also working daily (volunteer) sorting clothes at Evangel Hall Mission. A letter from Tony Pucci, Volunteer Coordinator, confirms that the appellant has worked with the program since 2004 and he is "well-mannered reliable and efficient"17.

19 Also in the appellant's favor is a letter from Steven Sharp of the Toronto Bail Program. Mr. Sharp, as the Mental Health Coordinator at the Toronto Bail Program, stated in his letter of April 10, 2007 that the appellant "has shown some progress since coming under the supervision of this writer and with community supports can build on this progress"18.

20 I recognize that the appellant has many convictions but it appears that those convictions are the result of the appellant's illness and addiction. I find the appellant's sometimes aggressive behavior appears to have been when he is using alcohol and/or drugs. I am satisfied that he is now getting help around his addictions and his mental issues and I am persuaded if he continues to be managed, he will not pose a threat to the Canadian public.

21 Since the conclusion of the appellant's hearing, I have received written submissions from his counsel that included a letter from Reconnect Mental Health Services and from a therapist at the Concurrent Disorders Service at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)19. The letter from Simon Nnaakirya from the Mental Health & Justice, Prevention Program, Reconnect Mental Health Services at Reconnect, stated that the appellant has consistently met with Mr. Nnaakirya in the community and he attends the CAMH and Toronto Bail program meetings20. The letter indicates that the appellant has been referred to Dr. Balchand who is conducting a psychiatric assessment to determine a course of treatment for him. A letter from Vicki Myers confirms that the appellant has seen Dr. Balchand two times and a treatment plan will be forthcoming21.

22 Considering that the appellant has been cooperative in seeking treatment and the support he has been receiving from a number of professionals, I find it would be extremely detrimental to consider removal at this juncture. I am satisfied from the appellant's testimony that he would like to change his life and become a productive member of Canadian society. I am satisfied that there are sufficient safeguards in place at the current time to assist the appellant in achieving this goal. In her submission, counsel for the appellant made a suggestion that I wait until the treatment plan is finalized by the treating psychiatrist prior to rendering a decision. I am concerned that the treatment plan could take longer than the four weeks suggested. I have, therefore, decided that I will grant the appellant a stay of removal whereby he will have to follow treatment recommended to him as it becomes available and in six months' time, I will review the treatment plan and, if necessary, vary the stay accordingly. Accordingly, an interim review will be scheduled on or about May 2008.

23 Having considered all of the evidence and taking into consideration the best interests of a child directly affected by the decision I find that the appellant has established that there exist sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which warrant special consideration.

24 Accordingly, I am granting a 5-year stay to the appellant with terms and conditions.


The removal order in this appeal is stayed. This stay is made on the following conditions - the appellant must:

[1] Inform the Canada Border Services Agency (the "Department") and the Immigration Appeal Division in writing in advance of any change in your address.

The address of the Department is:

Canada Border Services Agency, The Greater Toronto
Enforcement Centre,
6900 Airport Road, P.O. Box 290,
Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1E8.

The address of the Immigration Appeal Division is:

74 Victoria Street, Suite 400, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 3C7.

[2] Provide a copy of your passport or travel document to the Department or, if you do not have a passport or travel document, complete an application for a passport or a travel document and to provide the application to the Department.

[3] Apply for an extension of the validity period of any passport or travel document before it expires, and provide a copy of the extended passport or document to the Department.

[4] Not commit any criminal offences.

[5] If charged with a criminal offence, immediately report that fact in writing to the Department.

[6] If convicted of a criminal offence, immediately report that fact in writing to the Department and the Immigration Appeal Division.

[7] Provide all information, notices and documents (the "documents") required by the conditions of the stay by hand; by regular or registered mail; by courier or priority post to the Canada Border Services Agency, 6900 Airport Road, P.O. Box 290, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1E8. It is the responsibility of the appellant that the documents are received by the Department within any time period required by a condition of the stay.

[8] Provide all information, notices and documents (the "documents") required by the conditions of the stay by hand; by regular or registered mail; by courier or priority post; or by fax to the Immigration Appeal Division at 416-954-1165 . Include your IAD file number. It is the responsibility of the appellant that the documents are received by the Immigration Appeal Division within any time period required by a condition of the stay.

[9] Report to the Department in person (with a written report) at the Canada Border Services Agency, The Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Entrance 2B, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1E8 on Thursday, April 24, 2008 between 7:30 a.m. to 15:00 p.m., and every six months thereafter on the following dates:

October 23, 2008

April 23, 2009

October 22, 2009

April 22, 2010

October 21, 2010

April 21, 2011

October 27, 2011

April 26, 2012

October 15, 2012

The reports are to contain details of the appellant's:


employment or efforts to obtain employment if unemployed;


current living arrangements;


marital status including common-law relationships;


attendance at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other drug or alcohol rehabilitation program;


compliance of psychiatric appointments;


meetings with parole officer, including details of any violations of the conditions of parole.

[10] Make reasonable efforts to seek and maintain full time employment and IMMEDIATELY report any change in employment to the Department.

[11] Engage in or continue treatment prescribed by Dr. Balchand or other treating psychiatrist. (Note: If you withdraw your consent to the foregoing condition, you must bring an application to the Appeal Division forthwith to have this condition removed)

[12] Attend a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program at Concurrent Disorder Service of CAMH and to follow any ongoing recommendation. (Note: If you withdraw your consent to the foregoing condition, you must bring an application to the Appeal Division forthwith to have this condition removed)

[13] Make reasonable efforts to maintain yourself in such condition that:


your schizophrenia will not cause you to conduct yourself in a manner dangerous to yourself or anyone else; and,


it is not likely you will commit further offences.

[14] Not knowingly associate with individuals who have a criminal record or who are engaged in criminal activity, except contact that might result while attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.

[15] Not own or possess offensive weapons or imitations of offensive weapons.

[16] Respect all parole conditions and any court orders.

[17] Refrain from the illegal use or sale of drugs.

[18] Keep the peace and be of good behaviour.


An interim reconsideration of the case by the Immigration Appeal Division will take place on or about the 22nd day of May 2008, at which time it may change or cancel any non-prescribed conditions imposed, or it may cancel the stay and then allow or dismiss the appeal. You will receive a notice to appear prior to the hearing date, if the Immigration Appeal Division orders an oral interim reconsideration.


Take notice that the Immigration Appeal Division will reconsider the case on or about the 12th day of November 2012 or at such other date as it determines, at which time it may change or cancel any non-prescribed conditions imposed, or it may cancel the stay and then allow or dismiss the appeal.

"Pamila Ahlfeld"

22 November 2007