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* Independent topical weblog of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from the immigrants and newcomers' point of view. Join our Forum

Ron Foxcroft. and Nathan Cirillo

Nathan Cirillo: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada reservists were "very best and closest friends " who had volunteered for the temporary, week-long posting together, said Honorary Col. Ron Foxcroft. , according to Hamilton Spectator. Just days ago, Nathan Cirillo and Branden Stevenson were best friends who were excited and honoured to be selected to go to Ottawa and act as ceremonial guards at the National War Memorial. Related Stories Ottawa shelter residents recall... Ottawa gunman wasnt high-priority... Mom of alleged gunman crying for... Remembering Cpl. Cirillo today; two... Emotional tribute to... Slain Hamilton soldier Cpl. Nathan... They were standing next to each other when a gunman, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, fired twice, point blank at Cirillo Wednesday morning at the start of a terror attack that ended with a shooting rampage inside the Parliament buildings. The shooter was believed to have been killed by Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers. Cirillo was pronounced dead in hospital. ( As reported in the news.

Toronto Star and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau: Zehaf-Bibeau Quebec criminal record includes 11 charges. , according to Hamilton Spectator. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old Canadian identified as the shooter by CBS News, has had run-ins with the law from British Columbia to Quebec dating back to 2001, according to court records obtained by the Toronto Star. In a one-month period between Nov. 20 and Dec. 15, 2001, he received an absolute discharge for credit card fraud in Montreal and fines for drunk driving in Mont-Tremblant and assault in Laval. In March 2003, he was sentenced to three months in prison for theft and another six months for possession of a dangerous weapon in St-Jerome, north of Montreal. In 2004, he received another brief jail term for escaping custody twice and possession of marijuana and PCP. In mid-2005 and again in 2006, he was charged with marijuana possession in Montreal, for which he received first a small fine and, on the second occasion, another absolute discharge. ( As reported in the news.

Canadas Immigration and Refugee Board and Susan Bibeau

Susan Bibeau: Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canadas Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Doug Saunders Dont let the seat of government become a fortress Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the slain 32-year-old suspected killer of a Canadian Forces soldier near Parliament Hill, was a labourer and small-time criminal a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable. Politics Prime Minister labels shootings as terrorist acts ( As reported in the news.

Marriage Proposals and Gulshan Rashid

Gulshan Rashid: Gulshan Rashid, the only girl in a family of four children, grew up on the island of Zanzibar, then a British protectorate. Her merchant father cherished his only daughter and made sure she was educated at the best school in Zanzibar, at a time when young women were married off early. He turned down several marriage proposals from mainlanders because he didnt want her to leave the island and live far from him. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. As was customary, her marriage to Badrudin Hameer was arranged by mutual agreement of their families. Luckily for him, he lived in Zanzibar: When he was shown the pretty 21-year-old one evening, he instantly agreed to marriage, which took place forthwith. All that Gulshan knew about him was that he came from a rich and respected family. After marrying, they stayed in Zanzibar where their two sons, Salim and Shiraz, and two daughters, Farida and Naz, were born and Mother, great-grandmother, sister, friend. Born on Sept. 2, 1922, in Zanzibar, Tanzania; died April 27, 2014 in Toronto, of natural causes, aged 91. Submit a Lives Lived column ( As reported in the news.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Commissioner Bob Paulson

Commissioner Bob Paulson: Commissioner Bob Paulson said 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who acted alone and may have had Libyan-Canadian citizenship, had been in Ottawa since at least Oct. 2 and was here to deal with a passport issue. Commissioner Paulson told reporters Thursday that Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who was killed in Centre Blocks hallway outside the Library of Parliament, was not one of the 93 high-risk travellers currently being investigated and tracked by Canadian authorities. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Doug Saunders Dont let the seat of government become a fortress The gunman who wreaked havoc in the nations capital had recently applied for a passport and was hoping to leave for Syria, the countrys top cop said in the wake of a chilling day that saw one soldier killed at a war memorial and a flurry of gunfire ring out on Parliament Hill. A turning point? The debate on homegrown terrorists is about to begin ( As reported in the news.

Business Leader Ken Rowe and David Foot

David Foot: We dont need as many workers as we did in the past, said David Foot, author of Boom, Bust and Echo, in an interview Wednesday from Toronto. That raises questions about the role of immigration, according to The Chronicle Herald. Business leader Ken Rowe made a similar argument during a speech at a fundraiser Monday in Halifax. The founder and chairman of IMP Group Ltd. noted that 50 per cent of his workers are over 46 years old. Rowe emphasized that young Canadians need to be trained for available jobs first and For the second time in two days, immigration has been downplayed as a potential vehicle for economic growth in the region. Foot is slated to take part in a conference Thursday at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Marys University. It will concentrate on demographics and the economy. Titled the Economic Implications of Demographic Change, the discussions will include representatives from government, business and academia. ( As reported in the news.

Canada Mission and Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau: But while the polls also indicate that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau could be vulnerable on the issue over his opposition to Canada mission, the results are mixed on whether or not it has hurt his party support. Justin Trudeau memoir: 7 surprising revelations from Common Ground Justin Trudeau interview: Q A transcript , according to CBC. But when gave respondents the choice of options, 42 per cent favoured a "non-military response such as aid and assistance to refugees." Another 21 per cent of Canadians preferred limiting involvement to airstrikes, while 23 per cent favoured a "fuller military response including airstrikes and ground combat." Two new polls suggest Canadians remain broadly supportive of Canada mission in Iraq as well as the prime minister judgment related to the fight against A survey by Research see methodological statements below suggests 58 per cent of Canadians either strongly or somewhat support the mission in Iraq, compared to 39 per cent who say they are opposed. ( As reported in the news.

Fariborz Birjandian and Canada

Canada: The UN High Commission for Refugees says countries around the world need to help by accepting 100,000 Syrians. Syrian refugees: Canada urged to take in 10,000 by 2016 , according to CBC. Calgary Catholic Immigration Society executive director Fariborz Birjandian says Canada been a world leader in helping refugees, and Calgarians are good at helping newcomers to the country get settled in. The head of a local immigration group says Canada should take in more refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Calgarians are ready to help. Canadas share should be 10,000 refugees by 2016, according the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance. ( As reported in the news.

Doug Ford and John Tory

John Tory: John Tory, who endorsed both Rob and Doug Ford open Doug Ford policard in 2010 publicly and with his wallet , and continued to support them right up until he decided to run for mayor himself, according to The Star. John Tory, who, when asked whether white privilege exists, replied No, I dont know that it does. Ahem: QED and John Tory, member of Mel Lastmans kitchen cabinet at the height of the MFP scandal . John Tory, who in 2014 urged women to learn to play golf in order to earn more money. ( As reported in the news.

Honorary Canadian Citizenship and Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai: Parliamentarians and senators have unanimously supported bestowing honorary Canadian citizenship upon Pakistani teenager and co-winner of this years Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai, according to The Chronicle Herald. The teen is being made an honorary Canadian in recognition of her bravery in her fight for the rights of women and girls to go to school, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons on Tuesday and The vote comes on the eve of Yousafzais visit to Canada where she ll participate in an event on womens rights in Toronto. ( As reported in the news.

Justin Trudeau and Olivia Chow

Olivia Chow: Thats the main thought I took away after devouring Common Ground , the Liberal leaders engaging and unsettling new memoir that is already Internet clickbait Seven Surprising Revelations! Ten Things You Didnt Know . . , according to The Star. Olivia Chow last January released My Journey , an affecting story of the deep problems her immigrant family faced in starting life in another country, and how she made her way into the political arena. But her book also read like an earnest policy manual and Justin Trudeau may be a decade too old to be a millennial, but he has the emotional and professional resume of one. And those millennial votes may be the ones to elect him Canadas next prime minister. The strategic political memoir, launched ahead of a campaign to allow voters a glimpse of the real candidate, but also presenting key talking points, has become de rigueur . ( As reported in the news.

Syrian Refugees and Faisal Alazem

Faisal Alazem: In 2013, Ottawa promised to admit 1,300 Syrian refugees yet the groups say only 200 people have been accepted into Canada, said Faisal Alazem, a Syrian-Canadian with the humanitarian group the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations. The union helps set up field hospitals inside Syria, according to The Star. There is never a clear answer. There are always answers that deflect you. We hear a lot that Canada prides itself in hosting one in every 10 world refugees. But our estimate is that there are not more than 200 Syrian refugees here, so far, he said, referring to the 2013 promise and Humanitarian groups want Immigration Minister Chris Alexander to immediately let 10,000 Syrian refugees settle here and they want an explanation why the Canadian government is dragging its feet when it comes to resettling Syrians. Every time they ask Ottawa for precise numbers on how many Syrians have been let in, they get the runaround, said Alazem, ( As reported in the news.

Canadian Citizenship and Identity and Adrienne Clarkson

Adrienne Clarkson: Her speech, called The Cosmopolitan Ethic , focused on Canadian citizenship and identity. It is one of five cross-country lectures being delivered by Clarkson. , according to CBC. "It not the law that makes you feel like you belong, it other people," she said. Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson spoke to a soldout crowd at the Broadway Theatre Monday, only the second Massey Lecture ever to take place in Saskatoon. In her Saskatoon presentation, Clarkson spoke about how her family came to Canada as refugees from Hong Kong in 1942. She also spoke about respect for diversity and Canadian society as a national family. ( As reported in the news.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Liberal Government

Liberal government: In a telephone interview with News, Trudeau said a Liberal government would move to reverse the Conservative proposed measure to allow income splitting for families with children should they make good on their promise to introduce it when the deficit is paid off. , according to CBC. Q: You have said you would reverse the government decision to raise the age of eligibility for Old Age Security. You have also left the door opened to reversing other tax measures. What specifically are you looking at? Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was in Toronto on Monday to promote his newly published memoir Common Ground which he released ahead of next year federal election. Here is a partial transcript of the interview, edited for length and clarity. On reversing Stephen Harper tax relief measures ( As reported in the news.

Jobs and Kenneth Rowe

Kenneth Rowe: "It all right bringing immigrants in, but you should get the jobs first. You know, what comes first the chicken or the egg? In this case we should have jobs for them, otherwise they become a liability," Kenneth Rowe told a room full of business leaders and politicians at Pier 21 on Tuesday. , according to CBC. It wasn't exactly an uplifting speech. The head of one of Nova Scotia largest and most successful businesses says the province needs to create jobs before it attracts immigrants. Rowe, the executive chairman of IMP Group International Inc., was the keynote speaker at a fundraising breakfast at Pier 21. ( As reported in the news.

Currency Fluctuations and Medium-Sized Businesses

medium-sized businesses: It says that currency fluctuations have less impact on small and medium-sized businesses and notes that a meaningful drop in the Canadian dollar below the U.S. greenback has helped exports. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Four creative ways to make customers come to you Small business activity in Canada is lagging the economy as a whole, but it has the potential to pick up and grow in the next five years, according to a new report from World Markets. Musician pays bills by moonlighting as a house painter ( As reported in the news.

Canadian Dollar and Benjamin Tall

Benjamin Tall: Small business activity in Canada is lagging the economy as a whole, but it has the potential to pick up and grow in the next five years, according to a new report from World Markets. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. "Just as small and medium enterprises are less responsive to a rise in the value of the loonie, they are just as insensitive to Canadian dollar weakness," said Benjamin Tall, the bank deputy chief economist, who co-authored the report. A sign is pictured in Toronto financial district on Feb. 26, 2009. THE Nathan Denette It says that currency fluctuations have less impact on small and medium-sized businesses and notes that a meaningful drop in the Canadian dollar below the U.S. greenback has helped exports. ( As reported in the news.

Gail Asper and Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson: We will be talking vision with Gail Asper and Susan Thompson at the Free Press News Caf today at 2 p.m, according to Winnipeg Free Press. The panel will also be streamed live at Related Items Articles City Beautiful - Part 1: Great Expectations City Beautiful - Part 2: Coming of Age City Beautiful - Part 3: Our Renaissance In search of a visionary city -- at the News Caf Enlarge Image Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi THE A discussion on vision Come join us at 237 McDermot Ave., and hear what the woman who helped make the rights museum a reality and Winnipegs first female mayor have to say about vision and our city. ( As reported in the news.

Square Metres and the Canadian Museum of Immigration

The Canadian Museum of Immigration: The Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax will be closing for six months on Friday for an expansion and renovations, according to The Chronicle Herald. The work will increase the museums size to 8,300 square metres from 6,500 square metres and include two new permanent exhibits, Chapman said and The $12-million project has been in the works since the facility became a national museum and received $25 million toward upgrading in 2011, says CEO Marie Chapman. ( As reported in the news.

Terror Suspects

terror suspects: The courts are not hindering CSISs abilities to track terror suspects, nor are the courts promoting an agenda of their own. Court rulings are upholding the law as it stands Courts Hindering CSISs Ability To Track Suspects, Agency Says Oct. 17 . If the laws need updating, Parliament is the place to debate that. spokespeople and officials who carry their agendas on matters like this one into a public forum promote the exercise of executive power at the expense of Parliament, according to Globe and Mail. ........ and The law and terror Raymond Lindsay, Sidney, B.C. ( As reported in the news.

Ebola Outbreak and Canada Jeremiah Sulunteh

Canada Jeremiah Sulunteh: Liberia ambassador to Canada is asking the Canadian government to step up its response to the Ebola outbreak by sending more health-care workers, medical supplies, as well as the experimental drug to West Africa. Liberian ambassador to Canada Jeremiah Sulunteh, left, dons a fundraising T-shirt at the Ebola relief march in Hamilton on Saturday. Sunnie Huang/ , according to CBC. "We know they have the resources. We know they have the technology. We know they have the capability, the man power." News is dedicating a special day of coverage to the Ebola crisis on Tuesday. On radio, television and online, we'll explore the facts behind Ebola and answer questions. Be part of the conversation Tuesday by using #ebolafacts on social media or by joining our live chat on starting at 8 p.m. ET. "We appreciate what the Government of Canada has done, but we will be asking them to do a little more than that," Ambassador Jeremiah Sulunteh told the crowd at a fundraising march for the global Ebola relief effort in Hamilton Saturday morning. ( As reported in the news.

Conservative Government and Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper: Fast forward seven years: in the speech from the throne given in October 2013, the Conservative government listed over 100 things they wanted to achieve, according to CTV. A spokesman for the prime minister office said to date, they consider their most significant accomplishment their record on taxes and - When Stephen Harper was first elected prime minister in 2006, he laid out five key priorities for his first term. Some are clearly measurable, like the pledge to balance the budget by 2015. It nearly certain there will be a checkmark next to that one by the time the next election rolls around, exactly one year from now. ( As reported in the news.

Prime Ministers Office and McNally Robinson Booksellers

McNally Robinson Booksellers: People packed the room at McNally Robinson Booksellers to listen to May read from the book, Who We Are: Reflections on my life and Canada , according to CTV. She says she wrote the book to help keep Canadians aware of what happening with the Prime Ministers Office and politics at the federal level and Green Party leader Elizabeth May stopped in Winnipeg today as part of a cross-Canada book signing tour for her new memoir. In the book, May writes about her personal and political lives, recounts her days as a environmentalist, lawyer, and as leader of the green party. ( As reported in the news.

Richard Kurland and Permanent Residency

permanent residency: More than half of those individuals waiting for permanent residency are the spouses and children of foreign caregivers already living in Canada, according to documents obtained under access to information and given to News. Express entry system floated as government fix to live-in caregiver woes , according to CBC. Richard Kurland, an immigration lawyer and policy analyst, says processing time is too long. The number of individuals waiting for permanent resident status under a program that brings foreign caregivers and nannies to Canada has ballooned to more than 60,000, according to documents released under an access to information request. Foreign caregivers are eligible to apply for permanent residency after two years of work in Canada, but it can take more than three years to process their applications. After they are granted residency, they can then apply to bring over their children and spouses. ( As reported in the news.

Brighter Future

brighter future: That because the immigrant story is also MY family story. , according to CBC. I also know why they did it. It was the hope for a new, brighter future for themselves, and more importantly, for us their children. I was honoured to share that experience with the newcomers I met this week and I also thank them for sharing their stories. I have a deep and strong connection to Thursday Citizenship Ceremony and the stories these newcomers shared with us at our open mic event later that evening. My mother and father came to Canada on a boat from England when I was two and my brother was a six-month-old baby. I know what it cost my parents in terms of what they left behind, specifically all their family and friends. ( As reported in the news.

Sri Lankan Tamils and Maran Nagarasa

Maran Nagarasa: But that feeling soon turned to fear as he and the 75 other Sri Lankan Tamils on board faced armed border guards and officers. On Oct. 17, 2009, they were arrested, jailed and interrogated. Eventually, most were released to await hearings before Canadas refugee board. , according to CBC. He spent 45 days at sea on the rusty ship, many of those rough and stormy. All aboard claimed they were fleeing persecution after witnessing atrocities during the 26-year-long Sri Lankan civil war. Each had paid the equivalent of about $40,000 to be taken to a safe country, in this case, Canada. Journalist Maran Nagarasa spent 45 days at sea in 2009 on the Ocean Lady, one of dozens aboard claiming they were fleeing persecution after witnessing atrocities during the 26-year-long Sri Lankan civil war. Twitter Journalist Maran Nagarasa still recalls vividly the sense of elation aboard the Ocean Lady five years ago this week when he saw a plane flying overhead with a Canadian flag. I was sure God had arrived to save us, he said. Nagarasa operated his own news agency in Sri Lanka and had worked for the BBC. Sri Lankan officials didnt like his stories and he refused to run government propaganda. He faced death threats, and a trusted and respected colleague was killed. But it wasnt until the threats came against his wife and four-year-old daughter, that Nagarasa knew he had to flee. From 2011: Ocean Lady sparked U.S. fear of Tamil migrant tide ( As reported in the news. is an independent service managed by genuine immigrants themselves. It is not associated or affliated with any business interest, government/non-gov organization, funded outfit, grants, group, mission etc.