Start-up visa could be economic booster for Canada!


The old entrepreneur visa program had no economic benefit to Canada. Essentially to qualify one needed previous experience in self-employment/entrepreneurship and the applicant had to commit to hiring one full time Canadian. Very loosely managed, one heard stories of people starting a business for a few years and closing it down, Continue reading

New rules for skilled worker immigration program announced!

Immigration Minister Jason KenneyBy Nick Noorani, December 20, 2012

Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today the final changes in the Federal Skilled Worker category.

In June 2012 the Minister froze all applications pending changes to the single largest category for immigration to Canada. The new selection system for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will take effect on May 4, 2013 at which time the program will re-open for applications. Continue reading

Invisible minorities?

Invisible MinoritiesBy Nick Noorani, November 26, 2012

I see them everywhere. The huddled masses. Staying close to their own ethnic groups. Speaking in their own languages and staying away from “others.” They hover outside schools twisting their fingers, nervous that someone might talk to them! I hear so many stories of Canadians who reach out to these immigrants, inviting their children over for a party or a play date and their friendliness is looked on with such suspicion that could almost be considered rude!

I understand that many newcomers feel some uncertainty and fear when it comes to connecting with people outside their culture. But I truly believe that there is no way you are going to achieve your dreams if you stay in an ethnic silo.

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IMMIGRATION: Mind your language!

Immigrant LensBy Nick Noorani, Vancouver Desi – November 1, 2012

The past few days have seen such a flurry of articles on the front pages of dailies and other news media about English not being spoken in immigrant homes. Well duh! Seriously? Is this something new?

We did know at least a year ago that almost 20 per cent of the population was born outside Canada. We also knew for the last decade that immigrants are coming from countries where English is NOT the first language. Why then are we SO surprised that they would speak their own language or “mother tongue” (as it is appropriately called) at home? I am surprised people (or should I say the 80 per cent) are surprised!

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To compete for foreign students, Canada needs to step up its game

International students studying in CanadaThe Globe and Mail Editorial – August 19, 2012

To double the number of foreign students studying in Canada, as an advisory panel to the federal government proposed last week, would be so beneficial that it is a shame we can’t just snap our fingers and make it so. Instead, it will require a more cohesive national strategy – one that helps our universities keep pace on recruitment with those in bigger countries, notably the United States and Britain, and countries that have to this point been more aggressive, including Australia and New Zealand.

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Quebec is committing slow-motion suicide

By John Ibbitson, The Globe and Mail – August 19, 2012

Whatever her intention, Pauline Marois’s proposed secular charter is bound to worsen the immigration crisis in Quebec.

The province is committing slow-motion demographic suicide. Year after year it fails to bring in enough newcomers to replenish the diminishing ranks of the native-born.

The Parti Québécois Leader’s proposed law banning the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols, such as turbans, skullcaps or other head coverings, by provincial employees – while permitting a discreet crucifix on a necklace – will only make the problem worse.

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Canada’s new immigration rules put premium on young people

Canada's new immigration rules favour younger immigrantsBy Bill Curry, The Globe and Mail – August 21, 2012

New immigration rules will target workers aged 18 to 35 as the Conservative government provides the clearest sense yet of how Canada will rely on young immigrants to soften the fiscal pain of a demographic crunch.

The federal regulations reveal a sweeping overhaul of the points system used by Canada for approving foreign worker applications. Continue reading

Is Canada ‘a country of immigrants?’

Is Canada a country of immigrants?By Douglas Todd, The Vancouver Sun – August 11, 2012

The saying that Canada is a “country of immigrants” is as commonplace as they come. It ranks up there with hockey, the Mounties and niceness as part of the perceived national identity.

But does it stand up to scrutiny? A former Canadian diplomat and specialist on immigration believes it is a somewhat misleading phrase. He makes an interesting case that the first waves of newcomers to Canada were settlers, not immigrants. And to him there’s a significant difference.

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Cross-cultural communication takes more than manners

By Leonard Fuld, Harvard Business Review – August 1, 2012

I can’t stand it when someone writes “obviously” in at the beginning of a sentence, any sentence. Nothing is obvious to everyone, especially when it comes to appreciating the impact a person’s culture has on interpreting — or preventing the acceptance of — information.

A case in point: I facilitated an important global marketing meeting in Beijing not long ago with a U.S.-based multi-national food company, which had just purchased a specialty food product line from one of its rivals. The newly-adopted subsidiary had recently become a market leader under its old ownership, based mostly on very good market research that was informed and driven by a deep cultural understanding of the habits and behavioral preferences of the average urban Chinese.

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Back of the line: Potential immigrants pushed to end of queue tell their stories

Immigration applicants

Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News – Jul 15, 2012

OTTAWA — About 280,000 would-be immigrants, stuck on a waiting list of people who applied to come to Canada more than four years ago, were told as a result of the recently passed federal budget to start the process from scratch.

The move hasn’t garnered the sort of blaring headlines that accompanied the shrinking of public service jobs, alterations to environmental oversight or boosting the age of eligibility for Old Age Security. But like those actions, it is about more than just budget numbers.

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$200,000 announced for anti-violence project targeting immigrant women, female students

Abused womanBy Manori Ravindran, Vancouver Sun – June 26, 2012

After a spate of violence against women in Metro Vancouver’s South Asian community in 2006, Langara College tackled the hot-button issue by hosting a series of forums to address the problem.

Organizers knew the topic was rife with misinformation and stereotypes, so they were careful to solicit advice from immigrant woman concerned about the lack of awareness of domestic violence in their communities.

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Immigrants who don’t speak English or French end up working in ethnic ‘enclaves:’ report

By Peter O’Neil, Postmedia News – June 13, 2012

OTTAWA — Immigrants who work in ethnic “enclaves” in major cities earn less than other Canadians and have a tougher time adapting to this country’s economy, according to an internal federal government document.

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Creating job opportunities for immigrants with good communication and literacy skills

language skills the target of canadian citizenship reform

By Darah Hansen, For Vancouver Sun – May 8, 2012

Career opportunities for new immigrants with good communication skills

VANCOUVER – Nearly 80 per cent of Canadian business leaders say they have a hard time finding qualified employees, with nearly half attributing the problem to low literacy and essential communication skills levels among workers.

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Language skills the target of Canadian citizenship reform

Language skills the target of Canadian citizenship reform

By Robin Levinson, For National Post – May 24, 2012

Immigrants must provide a diploma to show they have good verbal and written communication skills

People applying for Canadian citizenship must now provide “objective evidence” that they can not only read, but actually communicate in English or French. If they don’t have a diploma from an English or French school, they will have to either pass a language test or take government-approved language classes.

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