Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Other Illegal Immigrants

by Jon Swift

With so much attention focused on illegal immigrants from the south there has been scant notice of a far more insidious infiltration from our porous border in the north. No one knows how many illegal immigrants from Canada currently reside in the United States. And it is extremely difficult to find out since Canadians, unlike Mexicans, look and speak just like normal Americans. The fact that they are able to blend in so easily makes them, in my mind, even more threatening to our way of life than immigrants from other countries. Some of you might not even realize that Canada is an entirely separate country. Some of your neighbors and co-workers may be Canadian and you might have no idea. Aside from overuse of the word "eh?" and excessive drinking of Molson, many Canadians (at least the English-speaking ones) seem just like us on the outside. Many people don't realize that Canadians have already infiltrated places of power in our country. Ultra-liberal anchorman Peter Jennings was Canadian. Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels is Canadian. The director of the biggest-grossing movie of all time, Titanic, James Cameron, is Canadian. Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is Canadian. Most shocking of all, Pamela Anderson is also Canadian.

The effect of Canadians on our economy is devastating. Unlike Mexicans, Canadians take jobs from Americans that Americans actually want. Another way Canadians are destabilizing our economy is by replacing our money with theirs. How many times have you gotten change in a store only to realize when you get home that you were given a practically worthless Canadian penny or dime?

Canadians might seem harmless but many of them hold dangerously liberal ideas. Canada, after all, is a country that has gay marriage and socialized medicine. They have decriminalized marijuana and made hate speech illegal. Most Canadians oppose the Iraq War and Canada welcomed draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. It is no accident that many of the blue states border Canada, which is a clear illustration of how their dangerous ideas have seeped into our own country. There was even some traitorous talk after the 2004 election in Blue States of seceding and joining Canada, an idea that was no doubt encouraged by the Canadians in our midst. And it is not only Canadians who sneak into our country and weaken our will. Many terrorists come to the United States through Canada, which has notriously weak immigration laws. They might not care who comes into their country but we do.

I don't know what can be done about this problem. Our border with Canada is very long but I think that is all the more reason that we get started on building an electrified fence along the border as soon as possible. Identifying Canadians who are already here is trickier. You can't identify them the way Germans in World War II were identified by asking them about baseball since Canadians have baseball, too. Perhaps the Defense Department could work on a series of tests that would identify likely Canadians. Americans should be aware of some of the tell-tale signs of Canadians such as the strange way they spell certain words ("defence" instead of "defense," for example). Perhaps the faces and names of Canadians could be posted on Internet sites the way sex offenders are so that people will know if there are Canadians in their neighborhood and keep an eye on them. So far, no one has come up with a good solution to the problem--and it may already be too late.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Persisting Prejudices: A Few Points on Immigration

By Julien Vernet

at The McGill Daily 2006

Though modern immigration policies seem fair and equitable, critics say that Immigration Canada's point-based system remains discriminatory

Immigration is once again changing the face of Canadian society. According to 2001 census data, Canada has the world’s second highest percentage of foreign-born residents living within its borders. A surge in immigration over the past decade has created a pool of newcomers now forming nearly one fifth of the Canadian population. This wave of new arrivals hearkens back to Canada’s massive influx of immigrants of the 1920s and 1930s, a wave of immigration that ultimately redefined Canada.

On the surface it seems like a lot has changed, immigration-wise, since the early 20th century. While a 1911 amendment to the Immigration Act banned “any immigrants belonging to the Negro race,” modern immigration now champions the ideal of a multicultural Canada. In 1903, Chinese immigrants were forced to pay a 500 dollar head tax at their port of entry; in the past decade, Chinese and South Asian immigrants have made up the majority of new Canadians.

But despite the apparent improvements, critics of Canadian immigration policy argue that immigration policies, while perhaps not overtly racist, still unfairly favour certain groups. Policies continue to support European and British candidates through surreptitious measures that undervalue non-European educational achievements. Canadian policy also penalizes immigrants who cannot immigrate directly into Canada, but must first stop in the US. All in all, the deck is stacked against immigrants of colour. How much has Canadian immigration policy really advanced?

Immigration Canada’s friendly new face?

With the social reforms of the sixties came a revamping of the Canadian immigration system. The 1967 amendment to Canada’s Immigration Act represented a shift in admittance criteria away from race toward a merit-based qualification system. This new immigration procedure included a point system that judges applicants according to selection standards including language proficiency, education, and job experience. Applicants earn points in each category by meeting various requirements, and if an applicant’s points add up to 75 out of a possible 100, he or she is eligible for immigration.

But critics of the system believe that the point system is biased, favouring European, particularly British, immigrants. James Yap, a volunteer with Student Worker Solidarity (SWS), says the point system only recognises credentials from certain countries. “A lot of weight is given to education in the point system, and there are a number of factors which have the effect of favouring immigration from more developed countries,” Yap notes. “For each of Canada’s professions, there is a list of educational institutions whose credentials are acceptable. This list is geared to institutions in developed countries.”

But Jack Jedwab, the executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, sees the current point system as being more flexible than the previous system. “I don’t think that the policy is becoming Eurocentric. The system is moving away from specific education qualifications toward generic skills,” Jedwab says.

He also emphasises that immigration statistics discredit claims that the current policy is Eurocentric. “The fact is that over the past decade, most immigrants have been non-European,” says Jedwab. “Asia and South Asia represent the most significant sources of immigration right now.”

An Immigration Report Card

Morton Weinfeld, McGill sociology professor and Chair of the National Board of Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, emphasises the relative health of Canada’s immigration system. “Canada’s immigration policy compares well to other countries today as well as Canada’s own past record. Since the post-war period, the composition of immigrants has gone from mostly European to a much more diverse demographic,” Weinfeld says.

Although immigration policy has greatly improved since the beginning of the 20th century, Weinfeld admits that it is by no means perfect. “There are still racist biases within immigration policies,” he attests.

“In general, American and European applicants – especially those from the U.K. – score higher on the evaluations than people from Asia and Africa. Credentials tend to be more readily accepted for those coming from Europe and the United States. There are attempts to establish equivalencies, but inevitably, there is a bias.”

Even when accepted into Canada, the accreditation problem often becomes a status problem. “Many people come to Canada as middle class or well-to-do people, but find their situation very different when they arrive,” said Yap. “Often their status will change over the course of their journey here, and when they arrive they will have to take the jobs at the lowest rung of the social ladder.”

Canada has also recently come under fire for its refugee policies, including the Safe Third Country Act (STC). The act, which is a multilateral agreement with the United States, stipulates that people accepted as refugees in countries considered “safe,” such as the United States and Canada, would automatically be denied if they applied for refugee status in other safe countries. For example, someone accepted as a refugee in the US would be rejected if they attempted to claim refugee status in Canada.

This act affects many of those who come up to Canada through the United States from Latin America and those who cannot afford a direct flight. Yap, a critic of the act, says it resembles early 20th century legislation aimed at keeping out Indian immigrants. “This act is reminiscent of a time when Canada was more open to the British Commonwealth,” said Yap. “The Canadian authorities had problems with the influx of Indians so they passed a law that required immigrants to come directly to Canada from their point of departure. The problem was that there were very few direct ships at that point.”

At Street Level

Samuel, a French born cabbie of Moroccan descent, was trained as a mechanical engineer before coming to Canada. He admits that if he had wanted to pursue an engineering career in Canada he would have had to get another degree, a financial burden unthinkable in the early years after his arrival. “At the work level, there are people that are qualified, but once they come over with their diplomas they mean nothing,” he says. “If I had wanted to do mechanical engineering, I would have had to get another degree.”

The debate on the relative merits of Canada’s points-based immigration policy rages on. While it seems the terms of the argument have changed little since the early 20th century, it is impossible to deny that Canada has become a more multicultural society. Yet obvious flaws in the immigration system persist – flaws that reduce former specialists in their fields to menial labourers simply because Canada refuses to recognise their credentials, or invest the necessary resources to investigate their accreditation. Immigration law in Canada has much, much further to go.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cost of living ~ Toronto

2006 Housing PricesThe average price of a detached house in Toronto is $365, 537

Source: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Average Rent for Two-Bedroom Apartments in 2004$1,052 per month

Source: Canadian Housing Observer. 2005

Public Transportation

Ticket Monthly Pass
Regular $2.75 $99.75
Senior/Student $1.85 $83.75
Source: Toronto Transit Commission. 2006

2005 Average Car Insurance in Ontario$2,383.64 per year

Source: Car Test .ca

2004 Average expenditure per household

Concept Annual Amount
Food $7,632
Shelter $16,589
Household Operation $3,503
Personal Income Taxes $17,272
Source: Statistics Canada. 2004.

2006 Minimum Wage$7.75 per hour

Consumption TaxesIn Toronto

Two different taxes are applied to products and services. The federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 6%, while the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is set at 8% and applies to the selling price including the GST. Some items including groceries, restaurant meals, and books are PST exempt.

2006 Federal Income Tax

Net Income Tax
Basic Personal Amount 0%
Up to $36,378 15.25%
Up to $72,756 22%
Up to $118,285 26%
Over $118,285 29%
Source: Canada Revenue Agency. 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cost of Living in the Greater Montreal Area

2006 Housing Prices
The average price of a detached house in Montreal is $219,433
Source: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Average Rent for Two-Bedroom Apartments in 2004
$594.00 per month
Source: Canadian Housing Observer. 2005

Public Transportation


Monthly Pass







Source: Societe de transport de Montreal (STM). 2006

2004 Average expenditure per household


Annual Amount





Household Operation


Personal Income Taxes


Source: Statistics Canada. 2004.

2006 Minimum Wage
$7.75 per hour

Consumption Taxes
In Montreal, two different taxes are applied to products and services. The federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 6%, while the Quebec Sales Tax (QST) is set at 7.5% and applies to the selling price including the GST. Some items including groceries, restaurant meals, and books are PST exempt.

2006 Federal Personal Income Tax

Net Income


Basic Personal Amount


Up to $36,378


Up to $72,756


Up to $118,285


Over $118,285


Source: Canada Revenue Agency. 2006

2006 Provincial Income Tax

Net Income


Basic Personal Amount


Up to $28,710


Up to $57,430


Over $57,430


Source: Quebec Government. 2006

Alcohol & Cigarettes
Cigerettes range between 8-10$ + taxes. Alcohol varies, can only be bought at SAQ, corner stores, and grocery stores before 11 pm.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Illegal Aliens in Canada

-by Joe Blundo (orig. in Columbus Dispatch of Nov. 16th, 2004)

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly....

Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. "Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. "A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though."

When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR.

In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers. "If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies. "I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors does one country need?"

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said. "We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out." "

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Great Canadian Identity

by Scott Carpenter
Liberty Free Press
Canadians have been asking themselves this very question for as long as we have existed as a country; and as long as we have existed the question has never been answered.

The irony of this dilemma lies in the fact that on a daily basis we are bombarded with propaganda from the media/government on what a Canadian is. If we are to believe what we are told by this propaganda machine one might think that Canadians are simple beer swilling rednecks in flannel or perhaps people of a « cultural mosaic » working collectively (as though we all shared the same mind) towards another great physical or social invention. Unfortunately, none of these images provides us with a succinct ideological context in which we can define ourselves.

What is a Canadian?

The question has never been directly answered because quite simply there is NO moral framework with which to provide us an answer. We exist in an ideological void where the false gods of socialism are given equal footing with the ethical righteousness of capitalism. We live in a nation that claims that the rights of the individual reign supreme but at the same time fails to define what a « right » is. We preach tolerance for foreign cultures on the one hand but intolerance for the individual on the other. We are a nation of contradictions floating helplessly in a sea of confusion with no framework for living, with no proper definition of justice and without a single philosophical clue as to how a nation of civilized men interacts and sustains itself. Indeed, there has been much ado about nothing as of late to discover an identity for Canadians that will distinguish us from the rest of the world... particularly from Americans. The governments response to this confusion has been a series of television commercials designed to tell us about how great a nation Canada is because of the technological and/or social contributions it has made to the world. Never mind that it is not the government's role to decide for its people who they are. Never mind that such commercials still do not provide us with any moral framework from which to work; our government wants us to believe that we all share some collective pride for the scientific achievements of other individuals or that those social programs which we promote so vehemently are the answer to what ails the world. That many of these social programs have dubious moral roots is irrelevant; all of the above propaganda still does not answer the question:

What is a Canadian?

Most frightening is the recent trend to define ourselves in negative terms. University professors, politicians, the media, and students proclaim « Canadians are not (pick your poison) ». Mostly though we are told that Canadians are not « American ». Let's ignore the fact that Americans are no longer « American » either and concentrate on the implications of such a statement.

What do we mean by this?
In order to fully understand what this statement means we must first understand what it means to be « American ». What does America stand for... or at least, what did it stand for?
This is actually a very easy question to answer. One only need to look as far as the American Bill of Rights. Being American means that the individual is sovereign, that he has the right to « Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. »
In the U.S., a man owns his life. The direct corollary of this right is the right to use and dispose of ones private property, the right to arms, the right to freedom of speech, the right to freedom of association, the right to due process and so on.

If being American means that the rights of the individual are unassailable by government or any other entity then what does it mean to be Canadian if we are « not American » in the philosophical sense?

Think about it carefully. It means that in this country the individual has no right to the ownership of his own life. It means that individuals have NO rights in the eyes of their government or, for that matter, in the eyes of the majority of the Canadian population.

Of men and... cattle

So what does this make Canadians? The word « cattle » comes quickly to mind. Like Canadians, cattle have no rights. They are chattel property, controlled and lead to slaughter by whatever person, party or group of armed thugs happens to occupy the head of state at any given moment.
Whenever we condemn « Americanism » we condemn the rights of the individual. In short we condemn the good for simply being the good. Why? Perhaps this is a matter of history. We are, traditionally, a Common Wealth nation. From the early days of the American Revolution we have been taught that anything American is bad while systematically refusing to define what is « good ». Unfortunately we have forgotten that the American Constitution and its legal heritage is based on British Common Law. We have also forgotten that the Americans were once British too but that they revolted as a matter of profound moral principle... that individual rights shall not be infringed upon by any government.

We now continue to exist in this philosophical and ethical void as a matter of consequence. Indeed, our nanny state dictators prefer that the sheeps remain confused; it is easier to rule this way. Consider the implications to the current power structure if Canadians were to discover that they had rights imbued on them by their maker which no government may rightfully violate or abolish. By keeping us in a constant identity crisis, and by allowing various mechanisms to promote the doctrine of moral relativism, Canadians are kept docile and ineffective. We are denied our rightful place as sovereign and free men because, quite simply, we refuse to objectively define what it means to be « man ».

Perhaps the answer to our nagging question is much simpler than what our self-appointed rulers lead us to believe. Perhaps all it means to be Canadian is to be free? If we reject this concept then we reject what it means to be man. If we reject this concept then we deserve whatever evil befalls us today and for all time to come.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Canada Imigration Alert

04 October 2006
Article by Naseem Malik

For companies who have foreign national employees travelling to their offices in Canada for short term business trips or longer term secondments, it is critical to take steps to ensure a smooth entry into the country. But w hat happens when an employee is nevertheless refused entry to Canada? The way in which the employee and his or her employer decide to address the situation may have a significant effect on the employee’s ability to enter Canada, both at the present time and in the future.

Why Entry Can Be Refused

The reasons for refusal to enter Canada vary widely. These can range from criminal or medical inadmissibility issues (a previous criminal conviction, for instance), to the lack of an entry visa, work permit, proper travel documents/proof of citizenship, or previous problems that the employee might have had with Canada Immigration. If the employee has been refused entry for merely technical reasons that can be easily rectified, the situation can sometimes be resolved in a matter of hours. An example of this type of situation would be if an employee easily qualifies for a work permit but did not have the proper supporting documents from the employer to substantiate the purpose for traveling to Canada. In other circumstances, there may be serious issues that will prevent future trips into Canada until they are resolved.

What to Do When Refused Entry

In many cases when an employee is denied entry, he or she will call the human resources professional or in-house legal representative of his or her company for assistance. It is important that the first person called at the employer’s office in Canada takes down as much information as possible on what events led to the refusal, what the immigration officer indicated was the problem that led to the decision to refuse entry, and whether an official report has been created. Gathering this information is important, since in most cases the next step is to contact a lawyer specializing in immigration law.

The more information and documentation that the immigration lawyer has at his or her disposal, the better he or she will be able to assess the situation and advise you. Having the ability to review copies of any documents issued by Canada Immigration will also be helpful in determining what has led to the refusal and what can be done to ensure that the employee will not encounter any problems in the future.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

John Deutsch Institute ~ Lecture on Immigration in the 21st Century

Several major issues face immigration policy in Canada at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Clearly, they are informed by the environments inside and outside the country, and they are very much interrelated.

First, Canada needs to review the goals and objectives of current immigration policy. As indicated, the environment of immigration to Canada has changed over the last 20 years. Large numbers of immigrants are settling predominantly in the three largest cities in Canada, with about half of the total arrivals living in and around Toronto. The speed and success of labour market integration of more recent immigrants have slipped compared to that of earlier arrival cohorts and compared to immigrants in the United States. Poverty rates among immigrant households within five years of arrival have increased dramatically since 1980 and are related to immigrant origins. Critiques of Canadian immigration policy (e.g., Daniel Stoffman's Who Gets In: What's Wrong with Canada's Immigration Program - and How to Fix It, 2002) have received high-profile coverage in the media. A lot is expected of immigration to meet several alternative goals - demographic, economic, social, humanitarian, and security. Indeed, as Alan Green's paper argues, perhaps too much is expected and immigration cannot be viewed as a silver bullet to satisfy all these objectives. It is thus worth having a public debate on the relative priorities we wish to set among these objectives of immigration policy, for these priorities will inform how we target and structure Canadian immigration policy. For example, a shift in emphasis from economic to social objectives for immigration will imply the need for closer cooperation between different levels of government with responsibility for community, education, housing, and social support systems.

Second, immigration policy has to address the issues of setting overall numerical targets and the selection criteria for admitting immigrants. One of the earliest classic studies of immigration in Canada was Mabel Timlin's book entitled Does Canada Need More People? (1951) and the debate is still ongoing on what is the appropriate total level of annual immigration and what should it depend upon. A more recent study by the Economic Council of Canada, Economic and Social Impacts of Immigration (1991), proposed a long-run target rate of 1% of population (or about 300,000 per year in current figures). How should such long-run targets be formulated and what consultation process should be involved? Also, for a given long-run target, should allowance be made for deviations from targets based on, say, short-run economic conditions and absorptive capacity - at either national or regional levels?

Immigrants arrive under different classes representing different program objectives. The three broad classes are: Family Class immigrants who enter on the basis of family relationships; Independent Class immigrants selected on the basis of a point system that reflects occupational skills, experience and likely adaptability to Canadian society; and Convention Refugee Class immigrants who are admitted on the basis of Canadian laws governing refugee admissions and likely adaptability to the Canadian environment. These are generally called family (reunification) class, economic class, and refugee class immigrants. Major concerns of immigration policy, then, are the relative numbers of immigrants to be admitted under these different classes, and the rules and procedures governing each of these admission classes. These do not exist in a vacuum, but are informed by overall goals and priorities, by actual economic success and rate of integration to Canadian society of the different immigrant groups, and by political and regional concerns. Within the point system, there has been considerable interest in the questions of appropriate selection criteria and the relative weights to attach to the specific criteria for economic immigrants such as education, age, occupational skills, knowledge of languages such as English or French, and likelihood of business success. What roles should be given to provinces in reaching such decisions? What rules and procedures should be applied to the selection of temporary immigrants, and who should have input into these decisions? Procedures should also ensure the integrity and security of Canadian borders in a post-9/11 environment. The success of the immigration program owes much to effective management, particularly of selection criteria. A number of the conference papers and discussions refer to these policy issues.

A third set of issues for immigration policy involves analyzing the adjustment process of recent immigrants to Canada and promoting the effective integration of permanent immigrants into the Canadian labour market and society. Good policy needs to be informed by up-to-date evidence and research. The period since the late 1980s has, in fact, seen a remarkable explosion and maturation of research on immigration issues in both Canada and the United States - see, for example, the major sets of studies in Smith and Edmonston (1997) and Borjas (2000) for the United States and the recent set of overviews for Canada in Canadian Issues (April 2003). The research is fostered by valuable new datasets and by the setting up of four dedicated research centres and programs focused on immigration related matters (i.e., the Metropolis project). It has also expanded to look at impacts of immigration and recent immigrant experience well beyond the labour market. Journal articles on all aspects of the immigration process, rare before 1980, are now part of the academic landscape. Many of the papers at this conference attest to this broadening range of inquiry. Such research helps to identify problems in the immigrant adjustment process, and to provide better understanding of the likely consequences of policy alternatives and of current rules and procedures.

The main involvement of federal policymakers in promoting the effective integration of permanent immigrants in Canada has largely been with settlement programs. These are directed mainly at smoothing the initial settlement process, and include counselling and language instruction. The objective has been to reduce the costs of settlement and help overcome early hurdles in the settlement process, and hence foster integration into the economy and society. A number of papers at the conference addressed various aspects of the immigrant adjustment process under the general headings of labour market adjustment and social integration, but clearly the two are linked. A number of significant issues and trends regarding the successful integration of immigrants go well beyond the initial settlement process. Much attention was devoted at the conference to the declining labour market performance of immigrants; the social welfare costs of immigration; difficulties in recognition of foreign educational and professional credentials; social exclusion or discrimination against immigrants or visible minorities in various sectors such as employment, education, housing and public services; and regional impacts and inter-governmental aspects of the uneven dispersion of immigrants across the country. Probably the most important of these issues in the short to intermediate term is the declining labour market performance of immigrants. Dealing with the above sets of issues will involve federal departments well beyond Citizenship and Immigration Canada as well as joint arrangements with provincial and even municipal levels of government.

Obtaining A Student Visa

There are more than 85 universities in Canada which provide high level of education to students coming from around the world. Canada has some of the finest private English schools from grade 1-12 for local as well as international students. The Canadian government spends 9.5 % of their GDP in the education system. Many Canadian education institutions are funded by the government and therefore they have some of the best facilities.

Basic process for obtaining student authorization is as follows:

  1. Foreign students must apply to a Canadian education institute and obtain admission in such an institute. This institute must be certified by the immigration authority for the issuance of the student authorization / visa. This is generally mentioned in the prospectus of the school. If is not mentioned students must ask the institute directly whether admission in that particular institute will qualify him / her for student authorization.

  2. Once the admission is secured, the student is required to make application to the Canadian immigration office for student authorization and visa.

  3. The student can make this application while in Canada or outside of Canada.

There are also many student exchange programs, student working visa programs and such other programs for students of certain countries.

Our kit will also include, apart from our regular forms and instructions, a list of Canadian educational institutions and a list of special student exchange and student working visa programs.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Immigration to Canada : A general Overview

Immigration to Canada is the process by which people migrate to Canada and become nationals of the country. As Canada is a relatively new country, a formal immigration process has not been around for very long. Nevertheless, people have been migrating to the geographic region of Canada for thousands of years, patterns varying. After 1947 domestic immigration law went through many major changes, most notably with the Immigration Act, 1976 and the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act from 2002.

Currently Canada is known as a country with a broad immigration policy which is reflected in Canada's ethnic diversity. According to the 2001 census by Statcan Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, and numerous others represented in smaller amounts. 13.4% of the population belonged to visible minorities: most numerous among these are Chinese (3.5% of the population), South Asian (3.1%), Black (2.2%), and Filipino (1.0%).

Canadian citizenship was originally created under the Immigration Act, 1910, to designate those British subjects who were domiciled in Canada. All other British subjects required permission to land. A separate status of "Canadian national" was created under the Canadian Nationals Act, 1921, which was defined as being a Canadian citizen as defined above, their wives, and any children (fathered by such citizens) that had not yet landed in Canada. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the monarchy thus ceased to be an exclusively British institution. Because of this Canadians, and others living in countries that became known as Commonwealth Realms, were known as subjects of the Crown. However in legal documents the term "British subject" continued to be used.

Canada was the second nation in the then British Commonwealth to establish its own nationality law in 1946, with the enactment of the Canadian Citizenship Act 1946. This took effect on 1 January 1947. In order to acquire Canadian citizenship on 1 January 1947 one generally had to be a British subject on that date, an Indian or Eskimo, or had been admitted to Canada as landed immigrants before that date. The phrase British subject refers in general to anyone from the UK, its colonies at the time, or a Commonwealth country. Acquisition and loss of British subject status before 1947 was determined by United Kingdom law (see History of British nationality law).

On 15 February 1977, Canada removed restrictions on dual citizenship. Many of the provisions to acquire or lose Canadian citizenship that existed under the 1946 legislation were repealed. Canadian citizens are in general no longer subject to involuntary loss of citizenship, barring revocation on the grounds of immigration fraud.

Statistics Canada has tabulated the effect of immigration on population growth in Canada from 1851 to 2001.[1]

The highest per capita immigration rate in the world

In 2001, 250,640 people immigrated to Canada. Based on the Canada 2001 Census total population of 30,007,094 people, immigration represented 0.834% population growth that year. On a compounded basis, that immigration rate represents 8.7% population growth over 10 years, or 23.1% over 25 years (or 6.9 million people). This excludes the future children of those immigrants born in Canada, who, while also contributing to population growth, would not be immigrants. Since the 2001, immigration has ranged between 221,352 and 262,236 immigrants per annum.[2] According to Canada's Immigration Program (October 2004) Canada has the highest per capita immigration rate in the world.[3] The three main official reasons given for this are:

A. The social component – Canada facilitates family reunification.
B. The humanitarian component – Relating to refugees.
C. The economic component – Attracting immigrants who will contribute economically and fill labour market needs.

The level of immigration peaked in 1993 in the last year of the Progressive Conservative government and was maintained by Liberal Party of Canada. Ambitious targets of an annual 1% per capita immigration rate were hampered by financial constraints. The Liberals committed to raising actual immigration levels further in 2005. Other political parties have been cautious about criticising of the high level of immigration, because, as noted by the Globe and Mail, "in the early 1990s, the old Reform Party was branded 'racist' for suggesting that immigration levels be lowered from 250,000 to 150,000."[4]

Immigrant population growth is disproportionally concentrated in or near large cities (particularly Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal). These cities are experiencing the strains that accompany strong population growth causing some residents to express concern about the declining livability of those cities. For example, a Toronto Star article published on 14 July 2006 authored by Daniel Stoffman noted that 43% of immigrants move to the Greater Toronto Area and said "unless Canada cuts immigrant numbers, our major cities will not be able to maintain their social and physical infrastructures".[5] Most of the provinces that do not have one of those destination cities have implemented strategies to try to boost their share of immigration.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has sole responsibility for selecting most immigrants destined to the province. Quebec has been admitting about the same number of immigrants as the number choosing to immigrate to British Columbia even though its population is almost twice as large.[6]

Immigration categories

There are three main immigration categories:

  • Economic immigrants - Citizenship and Immigration Canada uses several sub-categories of economic immigrants. The high-profile Skilled worker principal applicants group comprised 19.8% of all immigration in 2005.[2] In 2001 (the date of the last immigrant employment study) Skilled worker principal applicant landed immigrants had a 34% unemployment rate.[7] Spouses and children of Skilled workers comprised an even larger percentage of the Economic immigrant category at 29.3% of all immigration.[2]
  • Family class - Under a government program, both citizens and permanent residents can sponsor family members to immigrate to Canada. While this program has proven to be popular with recent immigrants, it has also been criticized by some for being too open-ended (i.e., a never-ending cycle of people related to yet more people which ultimately extends well beyond the original sponsor), a non-citizen can be a sponsor, and it allows retirees to immigrate who have not contributed significantly to the funding of the Canadian infrastructure, medical or social services system (the free rider problem). This category of immigrants also has a much lower labour force participation rate than economic immigrants.[7]
  • Refugees - Immigration of refugees and those in need of protection. This immigrant population has a high unemployment record (51% in 2001) of an already small labour participation rate (44%), resulting in extended financial dependence on government assistance for the vast majority of refugees.[7]

Under Canadian nationality law an immigrant can apply for citizenship after living in Canada for three years.[8]

Economic impact

See main article, Economic impact of immigration to Canada

Population growth through immigration tends to boost GDP, but not necessarily per capita income depending on whether immigrants have an income above or below the national average, and whether the skills they bring have impacts that multiply benefits throughout the economy. Analysis of census data as of 2000 shows that immigrant incomes were at 80% of the national average after 10 years of residing in Canada.[9]

Some observers note that almost all Canadians are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants and that the Canadian standard of living is one of the highest in the world. Therefore, based on this simple logic, these observers argue that immigration must have been beneficial to the Canadian economy, at least at some point in the past. In 1991, the Economic Council of Canada concluded that "A historical perspective gives little or no support to the view that immigration is needed for economic prosperity. In the 19th and and early 20th centuries, the fastest growth in per capita real incomes occurred at times with net immigration was nil or negative. Later in the 20th century, the opposite linkage is seen but, clearly, there is no long-term correlation." [10] A University of Montreal study published in 2002 by professor Marc Termote used different methods and studied different countries and concluded that immigration has no statistical impact to the per capita income of a country.[11]

The economic impact of immigration differs by immigration category. For example, according to Statistics Canada, there are significant differences in the labour force participation rates. 2001 labour force participation rates by category:[7]

  • Economic immigrants: 91%
  • Economic immigrant spouses: 63%
  • Family class immigrants: 59%
  • Refugees: 44%
  • Average of all immigrants: 70%

In 2001, the overall unemployment rate of immigrants was 37%. Combined with the overall participation rate of 70%, this means that only 44% of all immigrants (15 years of age and older) were working in 2001. Federal and provincial government social programs can experience greater expense without corresponding tax revenue due to the low employment rate of immigrants. The Fraser Institute claims that the immigrants who arrived between 1990 and 2002 cost governments $18.3 billion (net of taxes raised from those immigrants) relating to universal social services.[12]

Illegal immigration in Canada

Some estimates suggest that there may be up to 500,000 illegal immigrants in Canada.[13] A further unsubstantiated claim is that most are refugee claimants whose refugee applications were rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.[14] If already in the country, Canada does not ask any type of immigration applicant to re-enter the country for any extension or approval of their status. This differs from the U.S. which insists on re-entry for most types of applications, and denies entry if an application is declined.

It stands to reason that there may be very few illegal immigrants who enter the country without first being admitted by the Canada Border Services Agency. The reason for believing this is that Canada is physically very difficult to get to, with the exception of crossing the Canada-United States border. And in this case, since the U.S. is itself a prime destination for illegal immigrants, not many illegal immigrants then attempt an unauthorized border crossing into Canada.

The reality is that there is no credible information available on illegal immigration in Canada.

Immigration and crime

In 2005, Gwyn Morgan raised the issue of linking refugees with crime in Canada, saying among other things that "It's fair to say that most immigrants who abuse our society have come in as refugee claimants rather than 'economic immigrants'." His opinions on this topic were rejected by, most notably, some New Democratic Party and Liberal Members of Parliament.[15]

The federal Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada department ran a successful program from 1999 to 2003 called Project Early Intervention that targeted children in a community "made up of recent Arabic and Somalian immigrants" with the goal of reducing crime.[16] In 2004, Canada established a national action plan, aimed in part at reducing violence, called A Canada Fit for Children which said "children of recent immigrants and refugee children are more likely to experience economic disadvantage with its associated risks."[17]

Terrorist attacks in Canada have been committed by both foreign-born (mostly naturalized citizens) and Canadian-born people. The key suspects (Reyat, Malik, Bagri) in Canada's most deadly terrorist attack, Air India Flight 182, are all foreign-born. Half of the 12 identified alleged terrorists in the 2006 Toronto terrorism case are foreign-born and the other half are Canadian-born. Ahmed Ressam, an illegal immigrant (whose refugee application was previously rejected) living in Canada was an al-Qaeda operative who tried in 1999 to enter the United States to attack it with explosives found in his vehicle, has been referred to by some pundits in the United States as an example of how Canada's immigration policies and allegedly weak controls pose a potential terrorism threat to the United States. Canadian immigrants from Sri Lanka were arrested in the U.S. in August 2006 as part of a terrorist arms-trading plot and have contributed to the impression that Canada's policies facilitate terrorist activity.[18] Nowithstanding incorrect statements from some elected U.S. politicians, none of the terrorists who participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks entered the United States from Canada[19]

The reality is that no credible organization, such as Statistics Canada, has published a study on immigration and crime in Canada, so there are few conclusions on the topic.

thank you wikipedia

Buying Your First Home in Canada

Having managed to find Alan a job and get pre-approval for a mortgage we went hunting. On a relatively low income and limited cash for the 25% deposit we decided to try looking outside of the city to start with. We (wrongly) assumed that properties might be cheaper.

The thing is, outside of the city anyone can throw up a house, with little or no regard for building regulations, minimum standards etc. We saw some amazing sights. One house looked just perfect til we went down to the basement, the whole of the north basement wall had fallen in and that end of the house was being held up by a couple of two by fours and a fridge...I am not kidding. Another home had a huge garage, large enough for four cars, yet it was built out of acoustic fibreboard with no weather proofing. Acoustic fibreboard is very makes no sense to use this. Then we went to see a "fixer -upper", folks the only thing that would fix this baby up would be several sticks of dynamite.

So, we sat back and reconsidered out options. We were getting very discouraged but were desperate to get out of the palace we are living in. So we started looking at cheaper homes inside the city. This too was frustrating and at times downright scary. But I have to thank our Realtor, Doug Towes (, whom I found through the Internet way before we left Iowa. He was honest and caring. He told us when he thought a house was reasonably priced and when not. He pointed out flaws and problems and gave a realistic assessment of resale values. And in the end he found us a really nice little house in a very good area, just blocks from a school for Elliot, not far from a small river and park and within walking distance of shops and a public swimming pool. When Alan and I first met we lived in London and hated it, wanted to move to the country and never intended to live in a city again. Yet there we were, buying a home just two miles or so from the very centre of Winnipeg.

So fellow applicants and immigrants... we must all be flexible...but then by our very nature we must be that, right? Inflexible people do not emigrate :-)

We did learn that real estate descriptions the world over all deserve to win prizes for fiction! To give you a guide we have complied a list of translations from realty speak to English:-

Rustic =

A wooden shack in a field.

Quaint =

A small, old, wooden shack in a field.

Picturesque =

A small, old, wooden shack in a field with a tree in the front yard.

For the fisherman! =

It is an island every spring when the river rises.

For the outdoors type. =

The roof leaks.

A waterlover´s paradise. =

The basement is flooded.

Needs a little TLC. =

Needs a lot of CPR.

Third bedroom suitable for a child or office. =

A closet.

Patio garden. =

The back yard is 100 square feet of cracked concrete.

Off street parking. =

The back yard is 100 square feet of cracked concrete but you can

park on it if you like.

Ideal for the handyman. =

It´s a pile of two by fours and a bag of nails in a field.

Cosmetic touches needed. =

Major surgery needed.

Ready for your finishing touches. =

The previous owner thought he was a builder....he wasn´t.

Drop out of the rat race.... =

Up a dirt track, no water, power or drains.

Minty! =

I have no clue what this means but the realtors in Winnipeg just love the term! I have been very tempted to lick the side of the house to see if it really is minty. But while most of you know that I am possibly less than sane I don´t think I should draw that much attention locally!

So there you have it folks. The dangerous thought was that Alan was going to drive a U-Haul again...I wonder if I should have alerted the traffic police...

by Carolyn

To Allow or Not to...

What do Canadians think about the growing number of Immigrants...?

Chances are you immigrated to Canada. If not you, then your parents or grandparents did. Immigrants built this nation; partly because Canada has always welcomed those who want a better future, and partly because it has always required newcomers to maintain our population levels and stimulate our economy. Surprisingly, some believe the federal government should make it harder for newcomers to settle in Canada.

Critics argue that immigrants and refugees take jobs away from Canadians. They're wrong. According to a 1994 study published in International Migration Review, the economy typically grows during periods of high immigration. That's because many immigrants start companies and invest money into our economy. Others feel immigrants and refugees are responsible for higher levels of crime, however, less than 12% of our prison population is foreign born.

Others argue that immigrants and refugees dilute our sense of national pride without realizing that the majority of immigrants speak one of our national languages before arriving or learn one soon after, and more than 80 percent become Canadian citizens. Some feel that the government is not doing enough to open our arms to the world's downtrodden - less than 50% of refugee claims are accepted. The United States, United Kingdom and Germany all receive more refugee claimants than Canada.

Most Canadians believe that everyone has the right to seek out and enjoy a life free from oppression and hardship, or to find a better life for their families. Our immigration policy is, in part, a reflection of this belief and is at the very soul of Canada. It would be wrong to destroy a policy that helps build our nation.

Imagine you're having a party. The door bell rings and to your surprise it's a bunch of people that you weren't expecting. How would you feel?

It's a situation many Canadians feel they are in following the illegal arrival of hundreds of Chinese onto the shores of BC. Many residents are angry and upset. Not at the new arrivals, but at the federal government that allows people to 'butt ahead' of those who seek entry into this country legitimately.

An article from the Vancouver Province points out that the process to determine a refugee's claim is so long and tedious that some claimants denied refugee status are still granted immigrant status because "they have been in Canada for a long time." The fact is, many of these refugees are not escaping political or social oppression. They want to improve their economic well being.

So they come to Canada, and let taxpayers subsidize their new lifestyle. The tab to house, feed and care for the illegal arrival of Chinese last year exceeded $2 million. In Ontario, taxpayers spend up to $140 million annually on welfare for immigrants and refugees.

It might not be politically correct to admit, but we should have the right to choose those people we want to accept into this country. Just like those people you want to have at your party. We cannot afford to support the current system. It's unfair. It's costly. It's inefficient. The government must do the right thing and reform our immigration policy.

by James Stevens


Waiting for visas!

While your visa application is being processed, use this 'waiting time' wisely by working on your English or French language skills. If possible, take classes or work with a tutor to improve your speaking and listening skills.

Have a quick look!

Take an exploratory trip prior to moving (if possible)! This will familiarize you with the environment and may give you an opportunity to meet with some potential employers to drop off your resume ahead of your permanent move.

Choose your moving date wisely!

Moving to Canada in the winter can present a number of problems. Winters in many parts can be very severe with snow for months at a time and temperatures as low as -40 degrees. Arriving during these harsh conditions just adds further stress to you and your family. If you must move during the winter months because of your visas, at least make sure you have pre-arranged accommodation and some reliable transportation available for your arrival.

Pre-Move Planning

Pre-move planning is critical for making your move both successful and enjoyable. Consider the following one month prior to your departure for Canada:

  • Sell or get rid of unnecessary belongings.
  • Get estimates from shipping companies. Decide on the shipping method to suit your needs, timeframes and budget.
  • Get estimates for pet shipping services. An air-worthy animal crate will need to be ordered and is custom built to your pet's specific measurements. Each airline has a different policy on the transportation of live animals. Contact your airline of choice directly for costs/regulations/shipping requirements for your pet.
  • Gather up all of the required documentation you will need on landing in Canada and within the first few weeks after your arrival.

Don't bank on it!

Consider leaving your bank account and visa account in your country of origin open for the first few months after you arrive in Canada. Wait until you become established with banking and credit in your new location before closing out these old accounts. As soon as you arrive, visit your local bank manager, introduce yourself, explain your needs and build a relationship from day one.
open a bank account and apply for a credit card.

Arriving in Canada!

Everything will be different and you may be feeling homesick and stressed for the first few months. Most newcomers experience these feelings as they settle into their new life. Realize that these feelings are quite normal and allow yourself to relax and enjoy the differences around you.

Feeling at home in a new country takes time. Be patient! Ask questions! Learn about life in Canada from speaking to people in your neighbourhood, at church or at your children's new schools. This will help you to get involved in your community quicker and you'll settle faster if you have the support of people around you. Canadians are a friendly people and more than willing to help you adapt to your new life!

Culture Shock

It is highly likely you will experience culture shock within your first few weeks or months in Canada. Culture shock results from experiencing a new and different way of life with all its inherent ups and downs. Although culture shock can become overwhelming at times, knowing how to cope can make a big difference. Find out all you can about culture shock and you will be better prepared to cope if you experience those feelings.

Health Insurance

To receive free public health care services in Canada, you must first have a provincial health insurance plan card (Health Card). It is very important to apply for your Health Insurance Card as soon as possible after you arrive in Canada.

Each province administers its own health insurance program so there may be some variations for eligibility from province to province.

In most provinces you will have to pay a monthly fee for this insurance. Provincial health insurance does not cover the cost of prescription drugs, dental care, ambulance services and prescription eye glasses.

Do you speak the language?

One of the most important skills you need to adapt more easily to your new life in Canada is the ability to speak English or French. When you arrive in Canada, practice speaking in English or French. Don't be concerned about making mistakes, use every day as a new opportunity to learn and improve your language skills.

No Credit history?

You may wish to purchase goods or services on credit in Canada and as a newcomer you will have no credit history here. Your credit cards from home will provide you with a stop-gap until you receive a new credit card.

It is imperative to build a good credit rating in Canada. Your credit rating is a measure of your credit-worthiness or in other words, your record of borrowing and repayment. Without a credit rating, few institutions will lend you money!

Learn the national anthem!

It's corny but hey!

You can never be too prepared!

Start your research well in advance of your move. Good preparation will save you time and money and a lot of stress in the end! Begin by learning some quick facts about Canada; Weather, Voltage, Public holidays, Canadian money, Tipping, Measurements and the like.

Moving to a new country takes courage. It also offers new and exciting opportunities for you and your family. I hope these tips will give you a snapshot of what to expect and will help you to adapt to your new life.

by Thelma O' Connor

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