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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

Marc Laviolette and Bloc

Bloc: Using a baseball analogy, the longtime sovereigntist organizer and labour leader Marc Laviolette likened the PQ to the position of pitcher with the Bloc as catcher, with a defensive eye on the plate, keeping the federalist opponent in check, according to The Star. ON COM: In the quest for Quebec independence the provincial Parti Qu b cois has historically been the A team, driving the arguments for sovereignty, picking the fights with Ottawa and building the case for separation. Two hours west, in Ottawa, the Bloc Qu b cois, has played a loyal supporting role since its founding back in 1991. But with the election of outspoken French-language crusader Mario Beaulieu as leader of the Bloc a party reduced to a four-seat rump in the last federal election just two months after the stinging defeat of the PQ in April, those roles could be set to change. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Israel

Israel: When I returned with my parents seven years later, it wasnt a homecoming. Soon after our return the country witnessed a pogrom in Kielce, a town not far from where we settled. A year after the defeat of the Nazis, 42 Jewish Holocaust survivors were murdered by Poles. Rampant anti-Semitism was the reason why I wasnt sent to a state school. We became migrants, according to The Star. But none of these countries is really home. Israel, where my wife and I spend much time nowadays, is the home of our children and our people. Its the focus of my faith and I feel good there. But when I open my mouth, despite my Hebrew or perhaps because of it, I m identified as an Anglo-Saxon. In Poland I was always a Jew, in Sweden a Pole, in Britain a Swede and in Canada an Englishman. In Israel I m an Anglo-Saxon and Today is the 75th anniversary of my anxiety neurosis. On Sept, 1, 1939, the Germans invaded Poland where I was born. At four I became a refugee and have been afraid ever since. I m grateful to all the countries that took me in. Though life in various parts of the Soviet Union, where we found refuge during the Second World War, was very rough, I was spared the gas chambers where a million Jewish children ended up, including my cousins. The countries where I had been an immigrant shaped me: Sweden gave me a language and an education; in Britain I found my vocation and gained professional experience; Canada brought stability and the privilege of serving a unique congregation. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe and Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and immigration Canada: In our view, there is not enough evidence to justify the effort and expense required for such a system-wide program change. Citizenship and immigration Canada has not quantified the extent of fraud resulting from birth tourism, said Ontario Deputy Immigration Minister Chisanga Puta-Chekwe, according to The Star. On Friday, a spokesperson for Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Chan said the province has not changed its position and The Ontario government says it will not support Ottawas proposal to remove citizenship rights to children born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents. At this time, there is insufficient data to demonstrate the demand placed on Ontarios economy or public services from birth tourists, he wrote in a letter to Ottawa, dated September 6, 2012, after a technical briefing on the plan. A copy of the provinces response was obtained by this week. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Farm Credit Canada and Monforte Home Farm

Monforte Home Farm: Klahsen plans to turn Monforte Home Farm , established on 16 hectares 40 acres just outside Stratford, Ont., into community supported agriculture. She selling subscriptions to raise money to give farmers a start, according to CTV. The owner of the artisanal dairy that produces delectable cheeses made with the milk of goats, sheep and cows from small local farms has backing from Farm Credit Canada and is getting administrative and promotional assistance from Farm Start, based in Guelph, Ont., which aims to help young people and new immigrants begin farming and - After paying off a loan from customers that kept her Monforte Dairy in business, Ruth Klahsen is launching a new initiative designed to help young farmers. "I've always been fascinated by the idea of having land and using it in a good way and then a different way, so we came up with this model to buy this farm and put between eight and 10 young farmers on it in a way where they have land security so that they don't have to worry about land acquisition, that they'll be able to farm and make a living hopefully on the land without needing to buy it." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Jordan Canning and Philippe Falardeau

Philippe Falardeau: Quebecs Falardeau, 46, is bringing the Hollywood drama The Good Lie to his fifth feature, according to The Star. So hes a veteran, shes a newbie, yet they have a lot in common and Philippe Falardeau and Jordan Canning are Canadian filmmakers approaching the Toronto International Film Festival Sept. 4-14 from very different directions, but with similar hopes and fears. Newfoundlands Canning, 32, is bringing the indie dramedy We Were Wolves to the fest. Its her first feature. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Karl Nerenberg and Parliamentary Bureau

Parliamentary Bureau: Why support a Karl Nerenberg to head up a Parliamentary Bureau for the rest of us ? Here are seven reasons:, according to Rabble. 2. He speaks the language or more precisely the languages . Karl is fluent and does work in English and French. Plus after a few decades he can decipher political-speak very well. 3. He rocks. Don't take our word for it. He has won a Gemini award, a Best International Documentary Series award from "la communaut des televisions francophones" , a CBC Radio Award for Best New Series C'est la vie , and recently was awarded the Canadian Ethnic Media Association Award for Best Television Documentary 2013 for Never Come Back, a film exploring the persecution of the Roma people in Eastern Europe and their struggles to be accepted as refugees in Canada and Here at .ca we strongly believe that Canada needs more independent reporting coming out of Parliament Hill. In 2011, frustrated with the coverage of Parliament and the Prime Minister Office, we crowdfunded a journalist to report on the Hill for the rest of us. Our readers came through and we sent Karl Nerenberg to do the job. Read his reporting in our Hill Dispatches. Our reporting is not funded by corporations, governments or foundations: we need community support to keep our Parliamentary Office open you can give your support right here, right now . 1. He no newbie. Karl brings 25 years experience, including eight years at the producer of the CBC show The House , to Parliamentary Bureau. He has written scripts for documentary films and long-form television reports for such shows as Le Point and Actuel on Radio Canada television and The Journal on CBC-TV. Karl also founded and, for five years, edited the magazine Federations: What new in federalism worldwide . He knows how to get the scoop. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Neighbouring Countries and Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees: The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said. Syrian refugees and Canada: The lessons of the boat people Syrian refugees: Canada urged to take in 10,000 by 2016 Syrian refugee applications quietly sped up by Ottawa by the numbers: How big, rich and strong the militant organization may be , according to CBC. The vast majority remain in neighbouring countries, with the highest concentrations in Lebanon 1.14 million , Turkey 815,000 and Jordan 608,000 , the said. Some 215,000 refugees are in Iraq with the rest in Egypt and other countries. Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighbouring countries as of Friday, an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nations said. "The Syrian crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Northern Pulp and Pictou County

Pictou County: An exemption for effort, according to The Chronicle Herald. Well, it works for Northern Pulp and Anyone in Pictou County who is stopped for speeding should tell the officer: I m a job creator and if you ticket me, I m leaving the province. I realize that I m a danger to myself as well as others, but hey, I am trying to stop. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Samah Khalifa and Tarek Khalifa

Tarek Khalifa: Tarek and Samah Khalifa, parents of daughters Sarah, 8, and Aicha, 6, have been in Canada for eight years. , according to CBC. Tarek Khalifa said he must now decide between leaving their Canadian-born daughters behind, or bringing them into a country still plagued by instability. An Egyptian couple with two Canadian-born children won't be granted a stay of deportation, a Federal Court in Montreal has decided. The couple is set to be deported to Egypt on Friday . Samah Khalifa and husband Tarek said they are afraid to bring their daughters back with them to Egypt. They said they were persecuted by Muslim extremists there and are also worried their eldest daughter will not get the proper care for her epilepsy in Egypt. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Sense of Urgency and One Nova Scotia Coalition

One Nova Scotia Coalition: Time is of the essence, yet a sense of urgency is missing. So here are a few recommendations a seven-point plan for the coalition to urgently consider, on how to advance our economy:, according to The Chronicle Herald. Retain our youth: extend payroll rebates As the Ivany commission made clear, it is now or never in terms of addressing the economic challenges facing Nova Scotia. Yet the silence from the One Nova Scotia Coalition, charged with determining a plan of action regarding the economic future of the province, has been deafening since it was formed three months ago. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Sierra Leone Government and Stefan Mahon

Stefan Mahon: Kayt and Stefan Mahon, who live in Canmore, Alta., adopted Leo and Grace from an orphanage eight months ago. However, the Sierra Leone government is putting almost all of its resources into fighting Ebola and has not been able to issue passports for the twins. Without passports, they can't leave the country, according to CTV. The children are currently in lockdown in an orphanage, where the couple said they are relatively safe from Ebola and An Alberta couple has been unable to bring home the twins they legally adopted from Ebola-affected Sierra Leone in February. "We are concerned for their health because the medical system in Sierra Leone has all but collapsed," Stefan told Canada AM Friday. "All efforts, as they should be, are going toward the Ebola virus. But our children are more likely to have trouble with anything from malaria to other common diseases typhoid or hepatitis B and there is no one to help." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca: The minister has asked officials to review the practices surrounding safety blitzes and our protocols for working with traffic safety partners moving forward, a spokesperson for Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca told Friday, according to The Star. Del Duca spokesperson Patrick Searle acknowledged it is not the first time the has tag-teamed on safety checks, with critics firing back that it is hardly the mandate of the MTO to aid and abet immigration officers and Ontarios Transportation Ministry is rethinking its policy of working with other agencies following a public flap over immigration officials rounding up undocumented workers during a roadside commercial vehicle check. On Aug. 14, Canada Border Services Agency officers used a commercial vehicle roadside blitz along Wilson Ave., between Jane St. and Highway 400, to arrest 21 undocumented workers. The result has been met with outrage by immigrant advocates and an opposition critic. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ukraine Government and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Hello CBC/The Current,, according to Rabble. 1. The Ukraine government has been waging a bloody, ruthless war against the people of the east of the country using methods that amount to war crimes, namely, the use of heavy, indiscriminate shelling against civilians. Thousands have been killed and close to one million people have been made refugees and The following letter was sent to the weekday, national newsmagazine program of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Current on Aug. 29, 2014 I thought your story today on Ukraine was another exercise in providing a platform to propagandists instead of seriously exploring a complex story. None of your three guests breathed a word of the most important sets of information that listeners require to reach a balanced view of the war being waged in eastern Ukraine. These are: (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto and Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs

Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs: On August 20, reported the Canadian Jewish News, several thousand took to Bathurst Street under the slogan "We Will Not be Silent: A March Against Global Anti-Semitism." The demonstration was organized by United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B'nai Brith Canada, Canada Israel Experience, March of the Living Canada and the Jewish National Fund JNF Canada, according to Rabble. Photos and articles suggest that many among the racially homogenous crowd carried Israeli flags and celebrated that country recent military onslaught on Gaza. The Times of Israel reported: "The purpose of the march was passionately summed up in Bill Glied closing remarks: 'Thank God for the IDF. Thank God for Israel. And remember together we must stand. Never again!'" Why does a demonstration of hundreds of people against "anti-Semitism" in Toronto seem more like a march for white supremacy than a rally against racism? If one were to take the organizer slogan seriously this demonstration was among the largest anti-racist mobilizations in recent Canadian history. But, unfortunately it was little more than a group of "white" people calling for the further subjugation of "brown" folk. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian Citizenship and Stefan Mahon

Stefan Mahon: Leo and Grace have been waiting in a Sierra Leone orphanage since they were adopted by Kayt and Stefan Mahon last February. The couple lives in Canmore, Alta., and has been waiting for the proper paperwork to come through to allow the twins to leave Sierra Leone. , according to CBC. Citizenship and Immigration Canada CIC said in an email to News on Thursday that Canadian consular officials in Accra, Ghana, are now working on the couple request for citizenship for the twins and are awaiting a final round of documents from the couple. Twins who have been adopted by an Alberta couple could be one step closer to getting Canadian citizenship after the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone crippled their government ability to process their travel documents. Ebola outbreak delays Canmore couple adoption plans Ebola cases could hit 20,000, WHO says The Mahons have been urgently appealing to the Canadian government to give the twins Canadian citizenship since the government in Sierra Leone is not able to handle the passport processing because of a lack of resources caused by the deadly Ebola outbreak. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Bloc Quebecois and Denis Lebel

Denis Lebel: Denis Lebel, the prime ministers Quebec lieutenant, is banking on his 12-day End of Summer Tour to court a province where the Conservatives hold only five seats and recent polls have suggested they trail the New Democrats, Liberals and Bloc Quebecois in popular support, according to 660 News. We wanted to be sure that everybody in Quebec understands that Quebec is very important for our government, Lebel told a crowd of about 100 supporters at a rally this week in Montreals Mount Royal riding, a district long coveted by the Conservatives and Federal Conservatives are capping off their summer with a pre-electoral push in Quebec, a charm campaign to help the party rebound in what has proven to be challenging terrain. Even though the next election could be more than a year away, Lebel has been shaking hands and delivering speeches across the province on a trek that was to wrap up Thursday in Quebec City. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian Credit History and Pearson Airport

Pearson Airport: And if they dont have a Canadian credit history, the bank is willing to offer them a new credit card to help build one, according to The Star. has the banking rights to Pearson Airport an asset the bank intends to exploit in order to establish a link with immigrants during their first minutes in Canada and is intent on capturing new Canadians as customers the minute they step off the plane in Toronto, says the banks David Williamson. In a country such as Canada the growth in the population is largely from those that are joining us in the country, Williamson, head of retail and business banking, said as released its third quarter earnings Thursday. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Credit Cards and David Williamson

David Williamson: David Williamson, CIBCs head of retail and business banking, says new Canadians are an obvious growth area for the countrys fifth-largest lender, according to 660 News. One of the difficulties new Canadians face in obtaining credit at major banks is their lack of Canadian credit history, a factor in assessing whether they can repay debt and sees a long-term reward in wooing new Canadians with small-balance credit cards, saying it hopes to win their business in future as investment and mortgage clients. A lot of folks coming in are of solid credit standard. They re coming in to work here or to invest here, so we re looking to more than just participate in that space, Williamson told analysts on a call Thursday following the banks latest earnings release. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

IMG Fairness Commissioner Jean Augustine

Fairness Commissioner Jean Augustine: Augustine on Wednesday took particular exceptions to an overly rosy and glowing portrait in a report earlier this week by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario bragging that a record number of international medical graduates IMG were either being accepted into residency programs or being certified to open up their own practices, according to The Star. According to 2011 StatsCan figures, she said there are 6,540 IMGs living in Ontario, many of whom are left without a hope of ever practicing medicine in the province and Ontarios Fairness Commissioner Jean Augustine says things are anything but rosy for foreign-trained doctors trying to break into Ontario. Augustine said a further look at the numbers show that a small percentage of foreign-trained doctors are being accepted into 200 government-funded IMG residency positions. Instead, many are being given to Canadians who have trained offshore and want to return to Ontario, which, she says, belies the original intent of the program. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Niagara Street Caf and Nick Liu

Nick Liu: For two years, Nick Liu was the boy who cried restaurant, promoting his perennially soon-to-open Gwailo until finally finding a location on College St. After renovating, changing the name to something less likely to offend, the chef Liu trained at Scaramouche and earned his reputation at Niagara Street Caf is finally able to offer his takes on Chinese cuisine egg net salad, whole fried trout to the audience hes spent so long cultivating at various street fairs, according to The Star. Its averaging to over 100 a day, says Liu. I ve never created anything that has sold more than this and In the first week of service, ostensibly Chinese restaurant DaiLo sold 500 Big Mac dumplings. But already, the most popular, Instagram-able menu item is the McDonalds -flavoured bun: ground beef, special sauce, aged cheddar processed cheese, onions and Vlasic pickles inside a black sesame seed dumpling. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Samah Khalifa and Tarek Khalifa

Tarek Khalifa: Tarek and Samah Khalifa, parents of daughters Sarah, 8, and Aicha, 6, have been in Canada for eight years. , according to CBC. Tarek Khalifa said he must now decide between leaving their Canadian-born daughters behind, or bringing them into a country still plagued by instability. An Egyptian couple with two Canadian-born children won't be granted a stay of deportation, a Federal Court in Montreal has decided. The couple is set to be deported to Egypt on Friday . Samah Khalifa and husband Tarek said they are afraid to bring their daughters back with them to Egypt. They said they were persecuted by Muslim extremists there and are also worried their eldest daughter will not get the proper care for her epilepsy in Egypt. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Science Literacy and Scientific Literacy

scientific literacy: A new report, Science Culture: Where Canada Stands , released today by the Canadian Council of Academies found that 42 per cent of Canadians have a basic level of scientific literacy necessary to understand media reports about science, putting Canada first among 35 countries with similar available data. The council is an independent non-profit group that puts together expert panels to conduct assessments for the federal government on a wide range of public policy issues ranging from policing to wind turbine noise. Read more and download the full report , according to CBC. In order to gauge science literacy, respondents were asked questions such as: Does the sun go around the earth or does the earth go around the sun? Human beings as we know them today developed from earlier species of animals. True or false? Electrons are smaller than atoms. True or false? Canadians are among the most scientifically literate people in the world, a new report reveals. But don't get too smug yet in spite of that, fewer than half of us would be able to read and understand a newspaper article about a new scientific discovery. The science literacy ranking was based on an April 2013 survey of 2,000 Canadians commissioned by the council from Ekos research. That data was then measured against the results for other countries for which comparable data are available. The weighted results are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Family and Tunisia

Tunisia: The Ben Cheikh Brahim family has been living in New Brunswick for three years. , according to CBC. The family says it has faced persecution in Tunisia after converting to Christianity from Islam many years ago. A Dieppe family from Tunisia could soon be facing deportation. But the family has been asked to leave voluntarily by Sept. 5 after losing an appeal of its denied refugee claim. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Indo-Canadians and Wayne Hammil

Wayne Hammil: Early immigrants to B.C. faced not only the hardship of settling into a new home, but also seemingly racist policies Chinese and Indo-Canadians did not have the right to own property and only got the right to vote in 1947. , according to CBC. Realtor Wayne Hammil recently spotted a covenant in a land title dating back to 1928 when he was putting a Vancouver home up for sale. To many people, Metro Vancouver stands for diversity, but there a dark history behind how some local neighbourhoods and property owners dealt with minority groups. In Vancouver, West Vancouver and Victoria, owners tried to use restrictive land covenants to keep minorities from buying land and many of those covenants remain in place to this day. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Mental Health Issues and Mental Health Problems

mental health problems: The commission review came out of several controversial cases in which individuals with mental health problems died in confrontations with police officers. , according to CBC. Eighteen-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot nine times by Toronto police last year after police responded to a call about a person with a knife aboard a streetcar near in the city west end . The Mental Health Commission of Canada released a series of recommendations Wednesday aimed at improving how police forces interact with people with mental health issues in order to avoid some of the tragic outcomes that have occurred in recent years. Here is a review of some of the cases that have prompted debate about the issue. Toronto officer who shot Michael Eligon feared for his life Sylvia Klibingaitis told 911 operator 'I'm pure evil' VPD officer cleared in 2007 shooting death of Paul Boyd Sammy Yatim A group of neighbours and activists held a vigil and retraced the last steps of Michael Eligon, shot by police. Ivy Cuervo/ (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

The Premiers Immigration Advisory Council. and Colin Dodds

Colin Dodds: Prominent immigrants Colin Dodds and Wadih Fares are co-chairing the Premiers Immigration Advisory Council. , according to CBC. "Many of our students want to stay and we just have to find a way to make that happen, said Dodds. Premier Stephen McNeil announced the creation of an advisory council Tuesday to help increase immigration in Nova Scotia. Dodds, who immigrated to Canada from the U.K. 32 years ago will advise the premier on attracting and retaining international students. Dodds is the president and vice-chancellor at Saint Marys University, an institution where one in four students comes from outside of the country. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.
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