immigrantscanada.com

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Independent topical weblog of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers, minorities & ethnic communities' point of view and interests.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and Immigrant Services

Syrian refugees: About 7,000 Syrian refugees have already settled in Ontario since Dec. 10 and on Monday the premier announced details of some of the funding committed to helping them, according to Hamilton Spectator. The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is receiving about $343,000 for trauma and mental-health training for front-line workers as well as a public education campaign, and COSTI Immigrant Services is receiving $283,000 to deliver workshops and orientation resources to refugees. The federal government is aiming to settle 25,000 refugees by the end of February, with about two-thirds expected to be government-assisted. That money is part of the $8.5 million Ontario pledged over 2 ½ years to support refugees. There will always be situations where there are refinements that are needed, but we are rising to the occasion." The influx of Syrian refugee arrivals prompted agencies in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa to request a break in the action to hire extra staff and find permanent homes for those who have already arrived before any more are cleared to come to Canada. Wynne says the refugee resettlement has "been a remarkable success story," though she admits there have been "some timing issues." "We knew that a resettlement of this scale would not be without its challenges," Wynne said Monday. "We can be confident that our combined efforts are working, now, maybe not quite as quickly or as seamlessly as we would like in every single case. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

School Buses and Lucas Oleniuk Toronto Star Hussein

Dalaa al Sarji: She and her six siblings — from 3-year-old Hussein to 14-year-old twin brothers — were among some 75 children living temporarily at the Plaza who hopped on school buses Monday in an unusual pilot project to give these uprooted children a feel for the routine of school in satellite classrooms, while they wait to find out where their new homes, and permanent schools, will be, according to Toronto Star. Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star Hussein al Sarji, 3, is the baby of the family. A-B-C! — happy! said a beaming 12-year-old Dalaa al Sarji, who, like most Syrian refugee children arriving in Canada, hadn’t been in a classroom in more than two years. We did reading — and the teacher was so pretty, reported brother Said through an interpreter. Concerned that housing delays were leaving refugee children with no way to start integrating into Canada — the average hotel stay has been about four weeks — Toronto public and Catholic school boards scrambled together last week to find empty classrooms and hire supply teachers and Arabic interpreters to run two-hour morning classes for children while they’re living at the hotel. Noted 14-year-old Ahmad: I like school in Canada so much; everyone makes us welcome. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Twitter

government policy: Critics quickly took to Twitter to question how the UAE domestic human rights record and involvement in regional wars help make people happier, according to Toronto Star. The new Minister of State for Happiness, said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on Twitter, will align and drive government policy to create social good and satisfaction. But not everyone is smiling. A Minister of State for Tolerance, meanwhile, will promote tolerance as a fundamental value in UAE society. In a series of tweets, Al Maktoum, who also serves as the ruler of Dubai, said he wanted a person under 25 to serve as the next minister overseeing youth issues. The announcement comes amidst a larger government shakeup and news that the government would privatize some services. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ted Harrison and Lorne Davies

: The food – hearty Italian classics – never changed, according to Globe and Mail. But as my mother and her siblings got older, they moved away from home and committed the cardinal sin of marrying outside of their ethnicity. The dinner table, an oversized fixture in a modest kitchen, was a gathering spot for casual weeknight meals, holiday dinners and seemingly endless gossip sessions. They never learned their mother recipes. Her cooking does more than just provide sustenance – it brings together a family, and offers us a taste of a shared cultural heritage. My nonna still spends the majority of her days cooking, slowly simmering batches of meat sauce to be frozen and distributed to her 15 grandkids or layering pans of lasagna for quick weeknight meals for her daughters. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Wafaa Al Safadi and Basim Sobeih

itchy bites: It all bitten by the bedbugs, unfortunately, according to CBC. See all those bites," she says through an interpreter, Basim Sobeih. Ten-month-old Rayan Zeina grimaces as his mother, Wafaa Al Safadi, lifts his shirt to show his chest and back covered in itchy bites and large scabs. "He not sleeping. The Zeinas, a family of six, moved into the 10th floor of Harbour View Apartments on Gerrish Street less than two weeks ago and the problem is getting worse. The whole family has been bitten by bedbugs, but the youngest children have it the worst. Al Safadi said the bites began appearing the next day. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Friendly Manitoba and Karin Af Klintberg Anders Helgeson

: A good story allows you to walk a mile in another shoes, feel the stretch of their lives, visit their humanity, according to Rabble. The motto of the city of Borlänge in Sweden is "Nice Folk!" Like "Friendly Manitoba," it is a declaration of intent as well as a proclamation. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Nice Folk is also the name of a new documentary by directors Karin af Klintberg and Anders Helgeson . It looks at a coming together of Somalian immigrants in that community and the local man who wants to break down the barriers between them and white citizens through sport. Bandy is the European cousin of Canada national sport, first played in England in 1875. The sport in question, almost a character in the movie in its own right, is bandy. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Immigrant Services Society of B.C. and Web Development Training

Startland: Some companies are donating money, others equipment or workspaces, while others will provide coding and web development training. #Startland has also launched a crowdfunding effort to raise $20,000, according to CBC. Armstrong says #Startland had partnered with the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. to help get the word out. And the third is equipment because none of this is really possible without computers."wor Armstrong describes #Startland as a coordinated response from the local startup community. She unsure how many refugees will be interested in the #Startland initiative but believes there will be demand. " Refugees want to find jobs obviously, but they also need careers, interesting and challenging careers," she said. " I think people a lot of people arriving here under these difficult circumstances ... they may have an interest in technology, or they may have skills in technology. Maybe all they need in order to facilitate that are the right introduction, the right connections, the right skills and the right community." Around 500 Syrian refugees have settled in British Columbia so far, with the goal to settle 3,000 by the end of the year. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Justin Trudeau and International Alliance

Colonel Blimp: These numbers naturally inspired the Colonel Blimp brigade to thump their tubs even harder in the hopes that the Liberal government will abandon their campaign promise to withdraw the RCAF six CF-18 fighters from the international alliance, according to The Chronicle Herald. According to the pro-war pundits, if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn’t take immediate action to bomb something — anything, he will risk looking weak and dithering. Only a tiny fraction of those polled, less than one in 10, felt that we should end all combat operations against Daesh. Such hesitation will only encourage the Daesh evildoers, worry our NATO allies and disappoint all those Canadians who told the pollsters they want more explosions. Ditto if Canadians were asked if their taxpayer-purchased smart bombs should be employed to prop up the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, they would answer no . The Canadian government demonized Assad to the point of him being evil incarnate, banishing his embassy from Ottawa and cutting all diplomatic ties. Had that same questionnaire asked Canadians if they felt our flyers should be assisting Hezbollah terrorists, the answer would have been an overwhelming no. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Law Society Tribunal and Viktor Hohots

Canada: The Pusumas left Canada in December 2014 before Toronto lawyer Viktor Hohots admitted to a Law Society Tribunal to professional misconduct in relation to 17 complaints from Roma refugee claimants, according to Toronto Star. Hohots was suspended from practice for five months and barred from practising refugee law for two years. After years of living in hiding on two continents — including three years in a Toronto church — Jozsef Pusuma, his wife, Timea Daroczi, and their daughter Viktoria have received word from the Trudeau government that they can finally call Canada home. The Pusumas had spent three years in sanctuary in a Toronto church and were clinging to the slim hope Canada would allow them to return on humanitarian and compassionate grounds for the wrong done by their former lawyer. On Sunday, members of Windermere United Church were told Immigration Minister John McCallum has authorized temporary residence permits for the family to return to Canada. They have been in hiding in Hungary ever since. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Leslie Emory and Ahmad Trad

: Most of the requests come from new immigrants or former refugees living in the capital who don't have the financial means to sponsor their loved ones. "We are trying to take those individuals and groups and introduce them to local families who want loved ones sponsored," said Leslie Emory, the organization executive director, according to CBC. So far, the organization has only been able to match 10 per cent of these family-linked cases. "They are in camps, they're fleeing and they need to be brought to a secure place," Emory said. Ahmad Trad and his family are scheduled to arrive in Ottawa at the end of February after a private sponsorship group filed a "G5" application after meeting Trad sister, Nisreen. You don't know when the next explosion will happen ... you don't know if they will come back.'Nisreen Trad, Syrian Canadian living in Ottawa Emory said the public may not be aware of the organization matching program, and that money and the complexity of the private G5 application process may be deterring sponsorship groups from offering help. Many sponsors instead are choosing to look for refugees on the federal government Blended Visa Office-Referred Program list for economic reasons, because those cases receive six months of government assistance. Under a G5, sponsors have to raise enough money to house, feed and care for a refugee family for one year. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and Immigrant Services

public education campaign: The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is receiving about $343,000 for trauma and mental-health training for front-line workers as well as a public education campaign, and COSTI Immigrant Services is receiving $283,000 to deliver workshops and orientation resources to refugees, according to Toronto Star. That money is part of the $8.5 million Ontario pledged over 2 ½ years to support refugees. The federal government is aiming to settle 25,000 refugees by the end of February, with about two-thirds expected to be 7,000 Syrian refugees have already settled in Ontario since Dec. 10 and on Monday the premier announced details of some of the funding committed to helping them. Wynne says the refugee resettlement has been a remarkable success story, though she admits there have been some timing issues. We can be confident that our combined efforts are working, now, maybe not quite as quickly or as seamlessly as we would like in every single case. We knew that a resettlement of this scale would not be without its challenges, Wynne said Monday. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and Syrian Refugees

Immigrant Services: About 7,000 Syrian refugees have already settled in Ontario since Dec. 10 and on Monday the premier announced details of some of the funding committed to helping them, according to CBC. Settled Syrian refugees can now identify family for sponsorship by Canadian groups Normal for Syrian refugees to want choice of housing, says parliamentary secretary Some refugees turning down housing options in Ottawa, centre says The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is receiving about $343,000 for trauma and mental-health training for front-line workers as well as a public education campaign, and COSTI Immigrant Services is receiving $283,000 to deliver workshops and orientation resources to refugees. The federal government is aiming to settle 25,000 refugees by the end of February, with about two-thirds expected to be government-assisted. That money is part of the $8.5 million Ontario pledged over 2 1/2 years to support refugees. There will always be situations where there are refinements that are needed, but we are rising to the occasion." The influx of Syrian refugee arrivals prompted agencies in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa to request a break in the action to hire extra staff and find permanent homes for those who have already arrived before any more are cleared to come to Canada. Wynne says the refugee resettlement has "been a remarkable success story," though she admits there have been "some timing issues." "We knew that a resettlement of this scale would not be without its challenges," Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday. "We knew that a resettlement of this scale would not be without its challenges," Wynne said Monday. "We can be confident that our combined efforts are working, now, maybe not quite as quickly or as seamlessly as we would like in every single case. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Syrian refugees: About 7,000 Syrian refugees have already settled in Ontario since Dec. 10 and on Monday the premier announced details of some of the funding committed to helping them. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks with newly-arrived Syrian refugees in Toronto in December, according to Huffington Post Canada. The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is receiving about $343,000 for trauma and mental-health training for front-line workers as well as a public education campaign, and COSTI Immigrant Services is receiving $283,000 to deliver workshops and orientation resources to refugees. The federal government is aiming to settle 25,000 refugees by the end of February, with about two-thirds expected to be government-assisted. That money is part of the $8.5 million Ontario pledged over 2 1/2 years to support refugees. There will always be situations where there are refinements that are needed, but we are rising to the occasion." The influx of Syrian refugee arrivals has forced agencies in three cities to request a break in the action to hire extra staff and find permanent homes for those who have already arrived before any more are cleared to come to Canada. Wynne says the refugee resettlement has "been a remarkable success story," though she admits there have been "some timing issues." "We knew that a resettlement of this scale would not be without its challenges," Wynne said Monday. "We can be confident that our combined efforts are working, now, maybe not quite as quickly or as seamlessly as we would like in every single case. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada Train

: The size of Canada "train, advise and assist" mission will also triple, including additional medical personnel and equipment including small arms, ammunition and optics to assist in training Iraqi security forces. "We think we ought to avoid doing precisely what our enemies want us to do: they want us to elevate them, to give in to fear, to indulge in hatred," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference Monday. "The lethal enemy of barbarism isn't hatred, it reason, according to Hamilton Spectator. And the people terrorized by ISIL every day don't need our vengeance, they need our help." Canada learned the hard way during 10 years in Afghanistan that airstrike operations, while useful in the short term for "military and territorial gains," do not on their own result in long-term stability, said Trudeau. Canadian bombs will stop falling by Feb. 22, but the complement of military personnel in the region will climb to 830 — up from the current 650 — and will provide planning, targeting and intelligence expertise. They can also be politically expedient, he suggested — a subtle jab at his Conservative predecessors who sent the jets into Iraq and Syria in the first place. "We are for what will be effective," Trudeau said, "not for what will make us feel good to say at any given moment." Canada gained a lot of valuable experience training local Afghan police and military forces during a decade spent fighting in that country, he added — experience that the Canadian Armed Forces should be bringing to bear in Iraq and Syria. Canada CC-150 Polaris refueller and two CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes will remain part of the operation. The new Liberal mission will also include a team of strategic advisers to help Iraq defence and interior ministries. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Syrian Refugees and Alberta

: As of Friday, more than 1,900 Syrian refugees had arrived in Alberta, according to a government database, concentrated in five cities across the province: Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, according to Globe and Mail. This is a catch-all ASF view; only displays when an unsupported article type is put in an ASF drop zone Resettlement agencies say they have a strong handle on the influx of refugees arriving at their doorstep and the organizations have been astounded by the response from communities to help the newcomers. Alberta will resettle between 2,500 and 3,000 Syrian refugees as a part of the Canadian government commitment to resettle tens of thousands this year. We are extremely overwhelmed by the generosity of the people coming forward, volunteering their time, their services, said Anoush Newman, Syrian Refugees Taskforce Project Co-ordinator at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. Newman said Calgary has the situation under control. Groups are contacting us saying: ‘We are a group of grandmothers who would like to knit mitts and scarves for refugees .’ Despite recent requests from other major Canadian cities to delay the arrival of new Syrian refugees for a few days because of housing backlogs, Ms. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Aziza Hakda

: They now call Calgary home, according to CBC. You can understand why Aziza Hakda still can't watch a film with scenes of gunfire. With #yyc Refugee, we feature some of the people who have made that journey in the past. The sound takes her back to the most frightening time of her life. "They started capturing and murdering people," recalls Aziza, who witnessed victims being shot and corpses paraded around on the end of bayonets. "I don't think we slept without piling furniture against the front door." Frightening days indeed. The year was 1971. We left with the clothes we were wearing on our back, a brown paper bag full of cloth diapers and baby milk.' Aziza Hakda came from Uganda to Calgary as a refugee in 1971. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canada and Apartment Units

neighbourhood: E. went all out to look for housing for the three families they planned to bring to Canada with the $79,000 they’ve raised, according to Toronto Star. By the end of November, Sufi said his group has already locked up two apartment units in the neighbourhood, including one two-bedroom for $1,200 a month and another three-bedroom for $1,400. As soon as his private sponsorship group was formed in October, members from this working-class community at Markham Rd. and Lawrence Ave. It difficult for new immigrants to find housing, affordable or not, said the 51-year-old, who came to Canada from India in 1993 and works on the assembly line of an auto parts factory. You can’t even tell them the truth or they will never accept your application, he said. Landlords demand references, pay stubs, bank information and sometimes exorbitant deposits, said Sufi, and they would not even consider tenants who are refugees. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

David Green and Al Green

philanthropist: Green, who died Jan. 21 at age 90, was a businessman, philanthropist and artist who devoted his professional life to building houses, apartment highrises, condos and commercial spaces throughout the GTA and well beyond, according to Toronto Star. He was dedicated to providing housing for the average person, David Green said of his father focus on building affordable rental units. But even if you’ve never heard of Al Green — the real estate developer — you’ve probably experienced some aspect of his impact on the Toronto skyline, the local arts, or both. He promoted the idea of making the city accessible for everybody. Al Green 60-year professional career was devoted to Greenwin, the company co-founded by his father, which Al built up with his brothers and subsequent generations of the family. He always said you can’t go wrong with the people on the subway. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Justin Trudeau and Hazel McCallion

wife Sophie Gr goire-Trudeau McCallion: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, embraces former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion as they attend the 27th Annual Dragon Ball Gala, in celebration of the Chinese New Year in Toronto on Saturday. He arrived with former Mississauga, Ont. mayor Hazel McCallion on his arm, joking she was a date "almost as hot" as his wife Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, according to Huffington Post Canada. McCallion, 94, served as mayor for 36 years but retired in 2014. He was the guest of honour at the Dragon Ball, where he celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Monkey. At the event, held by the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, Trudeau participated in a traditional eye-dotting ceremony during a lion dance. Joseph Wong, left, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, right, take part in a traditional eye-dotting ceremony before a lion dance at the 27th Annual Dragon Ball Gala in celebration of the Chinese New Year in Toronto on Saturday. Founder and Chair of Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation Dr. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Kitchener-Waterloo Area and University of Waterloo

successful business: He is 24 years old, according to Toronto Star. Liu is among a small but growing number of young adults in the Kitchener-Waterloo area who are redefining what it takes to create a successful business. The co-founder and CEO of Mapped In, a multimillion-dollar company that crafts touch-screen directories for shopping malls and retail stores, is a University of Waterloo dropout who oversees a staff of 26. They’ve abandoned their studies in order to launch startups in this cauldron of tech ingenuity. There even a lucrative program for these dropouts. It could be argued they epitomize the entrepreneurial spirit, skipping classes to get in the game instead, following in the footsteps of industry icons such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Martin Short and Personal Tragedy

original Canadian cast: It also the story of a man whose life has been bracketed by personal tragedy: he lost his parents and an older brother before he was out of his teens, and his wife of 30 years recently passed away, according to The Chronicle Herald. So expect some moments of emotional turbulence among the lighter, funnier episodes. I Must Say takes us through Short career: his stint in the original Canadian cast of Godspell, his prolific television and film work, his appearances on the Broadway stage . But the book isn’t just about Martin Short, the entertainer. We’ve always known Short is a brilliant performer; who knew he was such a compelling writer, too If you’re a fan of fictional treatments of the Jack the Ripper mystery, and there have already been quite a lot of those, you’ll want to pick up Stephen Hunter I, Ripper . Like Hunter 2013 novel The Third Bullet, about the JFK assassination, it a clever and plausible mixture of fact and historical fiction. A young and eager newspaperman, Jeb, is writing about the killings, mostly to boost sales of his paper. Several women have been murdered in the Whitechapel district of London. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Jody Wilson-Raybould and Zero Tolerance

ethnic backgrounds: Bennett said at a press conference alongside Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, according to Globe and Mail. The ‘few bad apples’ scenario is not an excuse … There should be zero tolerance for people who treat people differently or where justice is not served for people of certain ethnic backgrounds. I think we know there are systemic problems, Dr. While the RCMP is Canada only federal police service, Dr. Raybould said they are confident that the national inquiry will be able to examine and improve policing across various agencies, whether provincial or municipal. Bennett and Ms. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Law Society and Ontario Lawyers

Roma refugee claims: In the case of two of the lawyers, both of whom have since been disciplined by the Law Society of Upper Canada, only one per cent of their Roma refugee claims were accepted while other lawyers handling Roma cases had average acceptance rates of around 10 per cent, with some as high as 30 per cent, according to CBC. Lawyer suspended for 5 months for misconduct in Roma refugee cases Roma refugees victims of systemic discrimination Ontario Legal Aid toughens rules for lawyers Erzsebet Jaszi of Mississauga, Ont., was fined and disbarred by the Law Society last December. The three Ontario lawyers handled thousands of claims from Roma families between 2008 and 2012 and collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal aid fees, but only a small percentage of their clients were ever accepted as refugees. She was found guilty of not showing up at claimants' hearings, failing to translate important documents and not presenting accurate details of how claimants were persecuted in their home countries. Jaszi could not be trusted at all."Deportees ostracized in Hungary Jaszi is the second refugee lawyer to be disciplined by the Law Society. She also billed Legal Aid Ontario for services she never performed, money the agency said it is looking to recover."It the kind of conduct that sullies the reputation of the entire profession," the Law Society tribunal wrote in its decision to disbar Jaszi. "Ms. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Northern Hemisphere and Religious Country

India China: The nights, like elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, are longer, according to CTV. This very religious country wedged between India and China has a population of about 31.5 million people, all in an area not much larger than the Maritimes. Temperatures are cooler. Nepal is a fascinating country, known for its diversity and rich culture. There is corruption, there is a great deal of pollution, and there are the daily power outages. It is also among the poorest countries in the world; unemployment is high, with tourism down substantially since last year deadly earthquakes. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Sheila Malcolmson and Parliamentary Committee

House of Commons: On Wednesday, the motion from NDP status of women critic Sheila Malcolmson — which, among other things, called for a special parliamentary committee to study the issue — passed the House of Commons with the support of 173 members of the Liberal government, according to Huffington Post Canada. Nine Bloc Quebecois MPs and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May voted in favour, along with 41 New Democrats. Tory MPs Lisa Raitt and Michelle Rempel voted against the NDP motion. And they appear to be urging a closer look at the motion and the debates that preceded the vote. However, 91 Tory MPs — including interim leader and status of women critic Rona Ambrose — voted against the motion. Rempel 'on record' supporting pay equity Rempel, who has frequently spoken out on issues of gender equality and sexism, told The Huffington Post Canada Thursday that her party supported the "first two principles" of the NDP motion. Other women serving in key leadership roles for the party, including finance critic Lisa Raitt, immigration critic Michelle Rempel, and health critic Kellie Leitch, also opted not to back the motion. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Technological Advances

: It has also revealed the dynamic and sometimes heroic situations officers encounter, according to Toronto Star. The latter, however, receive far less notoriety amongst the policed populations. Greater accountability, due to technological advances, have unearthed the sometimes ugly head of street level enforcement. For better or for worse, this is our new reality. Let us as a society remember that a dependable and accountable police service is essential to the efficient and just functioning of that society. As Sir Robert Peel, the founder of modern policing, described, the police are the public and the public are the police. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.
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