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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

Donna Quan and Chris Spence

Chris Spence: At 56, Donna Quan has charted a career path far from the limelight, from principal to superintendent to the top of the most headline-grabbing school board in Canada, according to The Star. Reserved when speaking in public, Quan seemed to sell a brand of bland that many at the board welcomed after the embarrassment of Spence plagiarism scandal and She is an unlikely soul to be at the eye of a political storm. Even when thrown centre stage by the sudden fall of her boss, Chris Spence, it was all staff at the Toronto District School Board could do to persuade their new director of education to greet the media. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Civil Suit and Nevsun Resources Ltd.

Nevsun Resources Ltd.: Nevsun Resources Ltd. TSX:NSU says it will "vigorously" defend itself from the civil suit filed Thursday by a lawyer representing three former employees. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. The three former employees, who are not in Canada at this time, allege in a statement of claim they worked under threat of "physical punishment, torture and imprisonment." A Vancouver-based mining company says allegations of human rights violations at the Bisha open pit mine in northeastern Africa are unfounded and it will defend itself from a civil suit filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court. The suit alleges forced labour and other crimes against humanity were perpetrated by the company and its local sub-contractor in the Bisha Mine in the East African country of Eritrea. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Federal Government

federal government: Feds padding home-care wait list, according to The Chronicle Herald. The federal government cannot be let off the hook on the wait times for home care and long-term care and (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian Construction Association and Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Under the new online express entry system, skilled immigrants will be matched with vacant jobs in at least 50 occupations based on "scores that reflect their human capital and ability to succeed in the Canadian economy." , according to CBC. The nine-member group being consulted includes the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, the Canadian Construction Association and the Information and Communication Technology Council . The federal government consultations on a new immigration system to give skilled workers "express entry" into Canada starting Jan. 1 included a nine-member group representing some of Canada biggest employers and at least two of those groups say they are taking a wait-and-see approach on the new system. Skilled immigrants recruited in 50 occupations ahead of 'express entry' launch Skilled immigrants under 'express entry' to fill labour market needs Only the "highest ranking candidates" will be invited to apply for permanent residency and applications will be processed in six months or less. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Federal Government and Passport Fees

passport fees: Recently released figures show Canadians paid $462.5 million in passport fees last year, but it cost the government only $256.5 million to produce the necessary documents. , according to Hamilton Spectator. "We are not forecasting any change to passport fees to cover revolving fund requirements at this time," Caron said. A hike in passport fees has turned out to be a cash cow for the federal government, but Canadians won't be getting any cash back as a result. The way Passport Canada funds are managed allows it to simply bank the rest, Citizenship and Immigration spokesperson Nancy Caron said in an email. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Mohawk College and Daniel Levinter

Daniel Levinter: "In my eyes, when he first walked up on the stage, he was a hero," recalls Daniel Levinter, an 18-year-old student and former cadet with a keen eye for military hardware. , according to Hamilton Spectator. But Donald Lemmond wasn't what he seemed. When the highly decorated war veteran took the stage at Mohawk College for Remembrance Day, the sight inspired awe in at least one student participating in the solemn ceremony. The array of U.S. medals on his chest and around the small man neck including a Silver Star, Bronze Star, POW medal, Purple Heart and Joint Service Commendation Medal commanded enormous respect. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

High Blood Pressure and Mary Sinclair

Mary Sinclair: Now 76, she confined to a wheelchair, has diabetes and high blood pressure and is slowly losing her vision. , according to Hamilton Spectator. Sinclair told her story to a Friday conference in advance of National Housing Day, using her experience to plead for more housing designed for the special needs of Canada growing population of seniors. Every day is a new challenge for Mary Sinclair. Despite all of that, she wants to stay in her Hamilton apartment, even though it doesn't suit her growing list of needs. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Nova Scotia Trust Company and Central Guaranty Trust Corporation

Central Guaranty Trust Corporation: Mr. Cohen, who died in Moncton on Oct. 24 at the age of 93, was a successful lawyer before establishing a financial empire that spread beyond New Brunswick. In 1974, he co-founded, with Leonard Ellen, the Central and Nova Scotia Trust Company, which later became Central Guaranty Trust Corporation. For a brief time, the multi-billion dollar corporation was among the top five trust companies in Canada, before its collapse in the early 1990s, according to Globe and Mail. Born in 1921 in Moncton, Mr. Cohen was the son of immigrant parents. His mother, Molly, came from a village that became part of Poland after the First World War, he wrote in his memoir. He described her as a determined woman with boundless ambition and tireless energy, which he inherited. She lost her hearing early in life and learned to speak limited English by lip reading. His Russian-born father, David, travelled throughout the Maritimes selling draft horses before opening a small grocery store on Moncton Main Street. The Yiddish-speaking family lived above the store in an apartment that had only cold water. With few Jewish families in the city at the time, Mr. Cohen developed strong connections with other immigrants and non-English speakers, such as Acadians. Later in life, he used his wealth to support the preservation of Acadian art and culture and Reuben Cohen was a New Brunswick lawyer, financier, philanthropist and university chancellor. His life reads like an epic rags-to-riches tale complete with the impoverished protagonist acquiring power, wealth and the love of his life, only to tragically lose it all before fighting his way back through strength of character. Reuben Cohen was an original. A one-of-a-kind character that could have been drawn directly from the pages of a rags-to-riches novel by Horatio Alger, said Frank McKenna, a friend and former premier of New Brunswick. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Nirmala Naidoo and Liberal Party

Liberal Party: She announced her intention today to seek the Liberal Party nomination in Calgary Rocky Ridge. , according to CBC. #nirmalaforrockyridge It true! I am excited to seek the Federal Liberal Party nomination for Calgary Rocky Ridge! Nirmala Naidoo @NirmalaNaidoo November 20, 2014 Former Calgary anchor Nirmala Naidoo is looking to make a the leap into politics. The new federal riding is located in the city northwest and replaces parts of Calgary-West and Calgary Nose Hill, which are ridings currently held by Conservative MPs Diane Ablonczy and Rob Anders. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Recommendations and Small Business

small business: In fact, many of the recommendations put forward by in our submission can be found throughout the report, according to The Chronicle Herald. As identified in the report, having the lowest threshold in the country was a clearly identifiable disincentive to growth. Why, in the same breath, the author would suggest raising the small business tax is puzzling and Nova Scotia Tax and Regulatory Review included a number of sound recommendations for the McNeil government to consider. What is completely incongruous is the suggestion that big business should benefit from a corporate tax reduction paid for by an astronomical hike in the small business tax rate. has been fighting to have the small-business tax threshold raised to $500,000 from $350,000 since the Dexter government reduced the threshold. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Stephen Harper and Canada First Nations

Canada First Nations: The prime minister apology to Canada First Nations has not worn well. In 2008, Stephen Harper issued a heartfelt apology to First Nations for the hurt inflicted by Canada with its policy of assimilation, according to The Chronicle Herald. He asked for their forgiveness. He said he wanted to walk with First Nations on their journey, and share their burden. His speech sounded genuine and authentic. I remember thinking that this might just be the turnaround moment for Canada and its First Nations and There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools system to ever again prevail, he said before the House of Commons. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Sears Canada and Mike Myers

Mike Myers: After a year of rough headlines, the retailer is facing a battle not just to turn the business around and post a profit, but also fight the growing perception that they're just running out the string. , according to CBC. The latest quarterly numbers show the chain is still losing money $118 million in the past three months, in fact. But as an ad with Canadian Mike Myers airing only in Canada says, the chain remains confident Canadians will keep seeing their "softer side" for years to come. Offside call for Roger hockey move Retailers always have a lot riding on a strong holiday shopping season. But if there one store that especially true of, it has to be Sears Canada. Nothing could be further from the truth, executives from Sears told the Dianne Buckner in one of our most-read stories this week. The chain books are stronger than most, and Sears is looking forward to many more years as an iconic name in Canadian retail, spokesman Vincent Power said this week. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Retirement Property and Patricia Capitain

Patricia Capitain: It was the river that first drew Patricia Capitain to Brockville, Ont. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Retirement property Nanaimo a sea change for retirees This is the sixth of seven articles about Canadian communities that may appeal to 50-plus people reader picks of seven great places for retirement. Do you have a favourite place for retirement? Tell us in the comments section. Retirement Property Attention retirees Sarnia has $100,000 homes to spare (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

White House and Barack Obama

Barack Obama: - If you took the millions of people touched by U.S. President Barack Obama immigration announcement Thursday and gathered them together, their ranks would rival the population of Canada. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. "You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law," Obama said in a statement from the White House. Barack Obama has used executive order to push his immigrant plan through. JIM THE The president announced legal rights for almost five million people who are undocumented immigrants -- a move that would impact not only them, but also their families, communities and workplaces. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Statistics Canada and Consumer Price Index

consumer price index: 2. Bang for your buck: Statistics Canada releases the consumer price index for October on Friday. This is the time of month when Canadians find out what been a drag on their bank accounts. Last month, energy expenses were the biggest headache for Canadians, but clothing and footwear saw the biggest jump in month-to-month inflation between August and September, according to CTV. 4. Snowmageddon: The Buffalo area has been blanketed by a three-day snowfall total of 7 feet and counting. There no relief in sight with somewhere between another one to three feet of snow expected on Thursday. Forecasters are calling for warm temperatures and rain over the weekend, which could put the area at risk of widespread flooding and 1. Del Mastro Elections overspending sentence: Dean Del Mastro sentencing hearing, originally scheduled for Friday, has been postponed until January after he changed lawyers, according to media reports. Following his conviction of election misspending, Del Mastro, once the parliamentary secretary to Harper, resigned as the MP for Peterborough Nov. 5 in a teary speech in the House of Commons. Last month, the former MP for Peterborough, was found guilty of exceeding campaign spending limits, failing to report a personal contribution to his own campaign and knowingly submitting a falsified document. 3. Felons, not families: U.S. President Barack Obama charged ahead with immigration reform Thursday night. Obama flexed his presidential powers using executive actions to bypass the Republican Senate and House of Representatives. The goal was to spare nearly the 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally from deportation. The GOP is considering lawsuits, a government shutdown and even impeachment in response. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Israel and East Jerusalem

east Jerusalem: This vision of a North American suburban bubble in the bucolic vicinity of east Jerusalem seems oblivious to the daily and sometimes deadly clashes between Jews and Arabs over land and the Temple Mount in Israel disputed capital, according to Rabble. That future state seems to be a distant prospect following a failed peace process and the summer Gaza war. A sense of hopelessness may be fuelling Palestinian anger, especially in east Jerusalem and "Save the Date, November 9, 2014 The Ramat Givat Ze'ev Real Estate Fair is Coming to Toronto! A once in the lifetime opportunity to live in the Jerusalem Hills " -- advertisement, Oct. 30 edition of the Canadian Jewish News . Ramat Givat Ze'ev is another new Jewish settlement sitting on land that Canada and the rest of the world recognizes should be part of a negotiated Palestinian state within Israel occupied territories. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Federal Government and Passport Fees

passport fees: Recently released figures show Canadians paid $462.5 million in passport fees last year, but it cost the government only $256.5 million to produce the necessary documents, according to 660 News. We are not forecasting any change to passport fees to cover revolving fund requirements at this time, Caron said and A hike in passport fees has turned out to be a cash cow for the federal government, but Canadians won t be getting any cash back as a result. The way Passport Canada funds are managed allows it to simply bank the rest, Citizenship and Immigration spokesperson Nancy Caron said in an email. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Nelson Mandela and Jose Figueroa

Jose Figueroa: I m still in the church, Jose Figueroa, 47, said Wednesday, speaking on a cellphone from the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, his home for the past 13 months, as he resists being sent back to his native El Salvador as a supposed terrorist. They have not yet done a redetermination, according to The Star. The section extraordinarily broad language would have barred Nelson Mandela from entering or remaining in Canada, say immigration lawyers and A Salvadoran man who fears deportation remains holed up in a Vancouver church, more than four months after a Federal Court judge sharply instructed Canada immigration bureaucracy to revisit his case on humanitarian grounds. Figueroa is one of two Salvadoran men who have run afoul of section 34 1 f , a catch-all provision of Canada Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act that bars admission to this country to anyone who has ever supported an organization that has sought to subvert a government or that might try to do so in the future. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Shari Graydon and Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University: Appearing at Vancouver Harbour Centre campus of Simon Fraser University, the former PM sat down with Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions to discuss women participation in government, business, and the media. She spoke with ease and humour about her time in politics, relating such anecdotes as the aura of stunned silence which prevailed when, having recently been promoted to cabinet, she disrupted the old boy atmosphere by launching into a graphic elucidation of some of her own personal struggles with birth control; or the way the press hammered her during the 1993 election over such irrelevancies as her choice of earrings, or whether it was wise for her to have made a proclamation she never actually made i.e. "an election is no time to discuss serious issues" , according to Rabble. The plan is not without its difficulties. It would require either an increase in the number of MPs, a decrease in the number of ridings, or, most likely, some moderate combination of the two. I also worry that with the reintroduction of multi-member districts under what is still a plurality voting system , the problem of disproportionality would be exacerbated. In fact, Campbell herself admitted that gender parity might fit more easily with proportional representation , under which parties could simply be required to alternate female and male names on their party lists and I had the pleasure last week of attending a public talk called "Women Voices: What Difference Do They Make?" featuring Canada first and only female prime minister, Kim Campbell. The moment I had been waiting for, however, came towards the end when, in response to a question from the audience, Campbell talked about a proposal for electoral reform she had outlined some weeks earlier at a women conference in Prince Edward Island. The proposal goes like this: every federal riding would elect two members of parliament -- a man and a woman -- instead of just one. Thus, the perennially out-of-reach goal of gender parity in the House of Commons would finally be achieved. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Government Shutdown and President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama: Republicans are deeply divided over the president likely actions and have spent much of the week intensely debating how to respond. Some conservative members have threatened to pursue a government shutdown and one House lawmaker has raised the spectre of impeachment. , according to CBC. On mobile and can't see the video? Watch here In a move that could provoke one the most pitched partisan confrontations of his presidency, President Barack Obama will sidestep Congress and unveil administrative actions on immigration Thursday, measures that could spare from deportation as many as five million people illegally in the U.S. The president will use a primetime address to announce his measures and will sign the executive actions during a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. In doing so, Obama will be taking an aggressive stand that he had once insisted was beyond his presidential power. Post by The White House . (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Bledar Alex Batska and Halifax Stanfield International Airport

Halifax Stanfield International Airport: Bledar Alex Batska, 38, was arrested at Halifax Stanfield International Airport after arriving on an Oct. 13 flight from Iceland, according to The Chronicle Herald. The other man, who was using a false American passport, has applied for refugee status here and A U.S. citizen of Albanian descent has been denied bail on an immigration charge in Dartmouth provincial court. Batska is accused of violating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by helping an Albanian man on the same flight enter Canada illegally. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

East Jerusalem and Palestinian Men

Palestinian men: Related Deaths linked to militant attacks soar to all-time high, according to Globe and Mail. Israel Israel tightens security in major cities, West Bank after deadly Palestinian attacks At least 30 people are injured after clashes erupt in East Jerusalem during a funeral procession of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. Rough Cut no reporter narration . Reuters Watch Video: At least 30 injured during Jerusalem clashes after funeral for Palestinian boy Watch Video: Palestinian kills one in attack at Jerusalem train station Two Palestinian men are suspected killing four people in a synagogue attack in Jerusalem. Julie Noce reports. Reuters watch Video: Four Israelis killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers on Tuesday, killing five people and wounding at least eight others, including a Canadian-Israeli. The attackers were killed in a shootout with the police that wounded two officers, one of whom died later of his injuries. More Related to this Story Attacks Palestinian stabbing attacks leave one Israeli dead, three others wounded (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Israeli Citizenship and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: The attack ratcheted up fears of sustained violence in a city already on edge amid soaring tensions over its most contested holy site. , according to Hamilton Spectator. Police said the dead worshippers were three Americans and a Briton, and that all held dual Israeli citizenship. The attack occurred in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood that has a large population of English-speaking immigrants. Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers Tuesday, killing four people in the city bloodiest attack in years. Police killed the attackers in a shootout. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to "respond harshly," describing the attack as a "cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers." He immediately ordered the demolition of the attacker homes, as well as homes of Palestinians who carried out several other recent attacks. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Michael Babad and Twitter

Twitter: Follow Michael Babad and The Globe Business Briefing on Twitter, according to Globe and Mail. That because demand for housing isn t being measured properly, today report from World Markets found. More Related to this Story These are stories Report on Business is following Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 . Don t fret, study says Amid the angst over Canada housing market, a new study suggests there no significant overbuilding. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University: The public administration professional, who has lots of experience and a couple of degrees related to her field, networked in Halifax with organizations such as the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and completed yet another degree at Dalhousie University, according to The Chronicle Herald. It very difficult to find jobs and to meet people who can help you find a job in Nova Scotia, Al Rousan said Wednesday in a Halifax interview and Sataneeh Al Rousan hit the ground running when she and her two sons arrived in Nova Scotia from Jordan four years ago. Her latest unsuccessful stretch on the job market lasted about a year, and now she is back at the books earning her chartered professional accountant designation. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Real Estate Developer and Benjamin Tal

Benjamin Tal: "Ask any real estate developer in any of Canada major cities about the risk of overbuilding, and the first line of defence would be immigration and its critical role in supporting demand," economist Benjamin Tal said in a report Wednesday. "It turns out that at least for now, this claim is more valid than widely believed." , according to CBC. But even that large figure underestimates a fairly significant chunk of people who need housing, the bank says. Fears that Canada is building far more condominiums than it needs are overblown because of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are moving here in increasing numbers, one of Canada biggest banks says. Immigrants already represent about 70 per cent of Canada population growth at the moment and half of those who come to Canada are in the prime homebuying age range of between 20 and 45. Housing numbers tell tale of 2 cities: houses vs. condos Shoddy buildings raise spectre that new condos will become slums (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.
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