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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

Hamiltonians and Vital Signs

Vital Signs: At least 250,000 Hamiltonians volunteer, or about 52 per cent of the population, reports Vital Signs. That above the provincial and national per capita averages of 47 and 46 per cent respectively. , according to Hamilton Spectator. In 2009, a quarter of Hamiltonians made tax-deductible charitable donations of on average $300. In contrast, only 23 per cent of Canadians donated about $270, according to Statistics Canada. Hamilton is one of the most caring and giving cities in all of Canada, and the numbers prove it. Hamiltonians also give at a higher rate than the rest of Canada. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Richard Goldman and Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency: While the vast majority of people are deported to countries in Europe and the Americas, refugees who've been denied asylum continue to be sent to war-torn places like Iraq and Afghanistan as well as states with repressive regimes like North Korea and Eritrea, records provided by the Canada Border Services Agency show. , according to Hamilton Spectator. "I think this issue of deporting people to countries with atrocious human rights records is even more serious now than a few years ago," said Richard Goldman, co-ordinator of the Committee to Aid Refugees, after viewing the statistics. Canada deports more than 10,000 people every year, including some to states with "atrocious human rights records," according to newly released figures obtained by TorStar News Service. Because the citing privacy legislation does not release information about individual deportations, most Canadians only hear occasional anecdotes through the media. These figures provide a rare glimpse of the whole system that forcibly removes people from this country. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Interest Rates and Bank of Canada

Bank of Canada: In its latest Canadian housing forecast, the bank TSX:RY says Canada current historically low interest rates are not "sustainable" and it forecasts longer-term interest rates will rise by the end of the year in anticipation of a return to tightening mode by the Bank of Canada in 2015, according to CTV. RBC describes those developments as a cooling not a crash in the housing market, which is supported by a variety of other factors, including steady immigration rates and good employment outlook and RBC Economics says higher interest rates will put a strain on the Canadian housing market in 2015 and "substantially" moderate prices increases. RBC says if current rates rise, it anticipates home resales to fall by 0.9 per cent to 463,100 units next year following an increase of 2.1 per cent to 467,200 units in 2014, while it sees home prices increasing just 1.1 per cent in 2015, compared with a jump of 4.3 per cent this year. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Visible Minorities and Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency: Macdonald Scott, who represents two of the people arrested, said Canada Border Services Agency officials aggressively demanded identification from members of visible minorities during the four-hour operation last Thursday, according to CTV. "In the past, the has been invited to participate in this type of blitz when partner agencies have noticed that many drivers stopped during blitzes had immigration warrants," the agency said in an email to The Canadian Press and - A commercial vehicle safety blitz that led to the arrest of 21 people for immigration offences targeted minorities and amounts to racial profiling, a lawyer involved in the case alleged Wednesday. defended its participation in the traffic blitz, which also involved the Ontario Ministry of Transport and provincial police, but did not comment on the racial profiling allegations. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Free Memberships and Jim Prentice

Jim Prentice: PC party memberships carry a price tag of $10 each. Analysis: Alberta next Tory premier better walk on water PC party rejects candidate call for televised debate , according to CBC. We actually confirmed the rules with the party in writing at the early stage of the campaign, Prentice replied to a question from leadership rival Ric McIver. Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jim Prentice says that his campaign is following all the rules when it hands out party memberships for free. But Prentice, the presumed front-runner in the race to replace disgraced former premier Alison Redford, told a PC leadership forum in Edmonton Monday giving out free memberships doesnt contravene party regulations. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin: As the fighting raged, the Kremlin announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Aug. 26 in Minsk, Belarus. The two leaders have not met since early June, despite a rapidly climbing death toll in east Ukraine. , according to CBC. Among the wounded was the commander of the Donbass battalion, Semyon Semenchenko, who said government soldiers had destroyed three rebel checkpoints and four firing positions and that fighting continued. Ukrainian government troops were fighting pro-Russian rebels in the streets of Luhansk on Tuesday and captured most of a town near the eastern city of Donetsk, tightening the noose around that key rebel-held stronghold, Ukrainian officials said. One soldier was killed and four wounded Tuesday when a volunteer battalion came under mortar fire before entering the town of Ilovaysk, 18 kilometres east of Donetsk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Facebook. Canada sends 3rd plane of supplies to Ukraine Retiring Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare says the world needs more diplomacy (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Andrew Griffith and Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: The proposal, marked secret and with inputs from various federal departments, found fewer than 500 cases of children being born to foreign nationals in Canada each year, amounting to just 0.14 per cent of the 360,000 total births per year in the country, according to The Star. An impartial observer would conclude that the evidence supports no need for change, given the small number of cases. Yet the recommendation supports the governments public rhetoric and anecdotes on the need for change, said Andrew Griffith , a former director general for citizenship and multiculturalism at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and author of Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias and Immigration officials have recommended that Ottawa remove citizenship rights to babies born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents even though the small number of cases doesnt justify the costs. The issue of citizenship by birth on Canadian soil once again raises concerns among critics over the current governments policy considerations being based on ideologies rather than evidence and objective cost-benefit analyses. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Austrian-Jewish and Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig: "Before 1914, the earth had belonged to all," recalled the Austrian-Jewish writer Stefan Zweig in his autobiography, The World of Yesterday published after he and his wife committed suicide in Brazil in 1942 . "People went where they wished and stayed as long as they pleased. There were no permits, no visas, and it always gives me pleasure to astonish the young by telling them that before 1914 I travelled from Europe to India and America without a passport and without ever having seen one." In the late 1890s and after, Canadians required a single piece of paper designating them a "British Subject" for international travel. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. After the Nazis came to power in Germany, Zweig, fearing the worst, first moved to England in 1934. His Austrian passport became "void," as he puts it after the Anschluss, the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. He was forced to ask British authorities for an emergency white paper, "a passport for the stateless." He came to understand what an exiled Russian acquaintance had once told him: "Formerly man had only a body and a soul. Now he needs a passport as well for without it he will not be treated like a human being." The First World War had a profound impact on western life, big and small. A century ago, the war triggered a rash of security concerns, which led to the widespread use of passports and entrance visas. The Great War and its aftermath increased what Zweig calls "a morbid dislike of the foreigner, or at least fear of the foreigner.... The humiliations which once had been devised with criminals in mind were now imposed upon the traveller, before and during every journey." Thereafter, everyone required official photographs, certificates of health and vaccination, letters of recommendation and invitations, and addresses of relatives and friends for "moral and financial guarantees." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Barbara Peters and Nanny Angel Network

Nanny Angel Network: But then when Natasha was three months old, Penny was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, a shock that initiated a sense of panic about how she was going to deal with it all. , according to Hamilton Spectator. About a month and a half after the diagnosis, she caught the tail end of a radio program about the Nanny Angel Network nannyangelnetwork.com , based in Toronto, which has a group of volunteers who provide free child care for moms and now dads with young families during cancer treatment. What we would like to do is provide relief child care at least once a week. Barbara Peters, Nanny Angel Network Shawna Penny, like many new moms, was exhausted and at times overwhelmed caring for her baby girl. "You're just so desperate," said the 29-year-old mom. "Your family can only do so much." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Lil Acevedo and Country of Origin

Country of origin: Country of origin: El Salvador. , according to Hamilton Spectator. Occupation: Housing worker/ social service worker. Name: Lil Acevedo. Year of Arrival: 2004. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Foreign Nationals and Federal Departments

federal departments: The proposal, marked "secret" and with inputs from various federal departments, found fewer than 500 cases of children being born to foreign nationals in Canada each year, amounting to just 0.14 per cent of the 360,000 total births per year in the country. , according to Hamilton Spectator. The issue of citizenship by birth on Canadian soil once again raises concerns among critics over the current government policy considerations being based on ideologies rather than evidence and objective cost-benefit analyses. Immigration officials have recommended that Ottawa remove citizenship rights to babies born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents even though the small number of cases doesn't justify the costs. Tories propose sweeping changes to obtain Canadian citizenship (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian Jewish News and Adam Goldenberg

Adam Goldenberg: Ryan Leef Member of Parliament for Yukon, according to Rabble. Adam Goldenberg, writing for the Canadian Jewish News , said this about the Conservative government policy on the Middle East. "This is the dark underbelly of the prime minister otherwise laudable support for the Jewish state: his party has snatched vice from the jaws of virtue and turned Israel into a partisan bauble, a mere wedge to divide the electorate." Dear Ryan, (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Brian Giffords and Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia: I agree taxation should be fair and progressive, but to suggest we are in a position to increase taxes to offset deficits is ridiculous. And to suggest this new revenue base will grow the economy is dangerous. When is the last time a Nova Scotia government was fiscally responsible?, according to The Chronicle Herald. The issue here is not tax, but the tax base. Nova Scotia needs immigration from Canada or elsewhere. Over the past 50 years, the province has done nothing to promote growth. Canada has doubled its population since 1960, yet Nova Scotias has declined. Costs continue to increase and whats the governments solution? To put its hand further in my pocket and I was stunned to read Brian Giffords Aug. 14 opinion piece calling for increasing taxes. The fact that there is a committee set up to pursue this matter is an even bigger shock. In addition, citing higher taxation in Scandinavia is no benchmark, considering their salary and cost base, not to mention a small matter of an integrated and productive economy. The Nova Scotia economy can hardly be compared to Sweden, nor can one credibly argue increasing taxes will turn Nova Scotia into Sweden. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canada Border Services Agency and Ontario Provincial Police

Ontario Provincial Police: The has told News that the OPP and staff from the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Environment took part in a safety blitz on Aug. 14, along a stretch of Wilson Avenue between Jane Street and Highway 400. , according to CBC. immigration arrests during spot checks stir controversy The Ontario Provincial Police says it did not have "any leading role" when the Canada Border Services Agency arrested 21 people for immigration violations during a commercial vehicle safety blitz last week . "As a result of this OPP blitz, the arrested 21 individuals in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act," the told News, the day after those arrests. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canadian Border Service and KEN Jean-Pierre Fortin

KEN Jean-Pierre Fortin: Man. - The union representing Canada border guards says three of its Manitoba members have been suspended without pay after leaving their posts at the request of the to help arrest a suspect. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. Two guards kept watch over several exits while a third guard went into the bar, said Fortin, who added the border remained staffed by three other guards on the night shift. Canadian Border Service workers gather last Wednesday showing support for a fellow officer involved in a union dispute outside a government building on Main Street. KEN Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, says the guards were asked a few months ago to provide backup for the less than a kilometre away from the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson. The guards left their posts to help the Mounties, who were staking out a hotel and bar where they had tracked a suspect believed to be involved in the kidnapping of a child. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Customs and Immigration Union and Jean-Pierre Fortin

Jean-Pierre Fortin: Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, says the guards were asked a few months ago to provide backup for the less than a kilometre away from the Canada-U.S. border in Emerson. The guards left their posts to help the Mounties, who were staking out a kidnapping suspect at a nearby hotel and bar, he said Monday. , according to CBC. The three who went to help the Mounties returned to their posts less than an hour later following the suspect arrest, he said. The union representing Canada border guards says three of its Manitoba members have been suspended without pay after leaving their posts at the request of the to help arrest a suspect. Two guards kept watch over several exits while a third guard went into the bar, said Fortin, who added the border remained staffed by three other guards on the night shift. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Unemployment and Statistics Canadas

Statistics Canadas: Statistics Canadas fix of a data error in its job market survey for July perked up the Canadian dollar and had much of the country breathing a sigh of relief on the weekend, according to The Chronicle Herald. As the agency pointed out, if we used the same measurement of unemployment as the U.S., Canadas rate would be 6.1 per cent, compared with 6.2 per cent south of the border. This compares with 5.1 per cent in Germany, 6.5 per cent in Britain, six per cent in Australia and 9.8 per cent in France, using a U.S. definition and It turned a miniscule net gain of only 200 jobs for the whole country into a more respectable, but still modest, increase of 42,000. That reduced the national unemployment rate by a tenth of a percentage point, to seven per cent. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Ministries of Transportation and Ontario Provincial Police

Ontario Provincial Police: On Aug. 14, the arrested 21 people for immigration violations during a joint commercial vehicle safety blitz with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministries of Transportation and Environment. The collaboration consisted of vehicle spot checks in northwest Toronto, around Wilson Avenue between Jane Street and Highway 400, according to Rabble. Advocates are outraged that the arrests were conducted during a vehicle safety check. Many of the people arrested were undocumented day-labourers and were on their way to work when they were stopped for what appeared to be a routine vehicle check, others have said they were arrested at coffee shops and An emergency rally took place on Monday as anger escalates over the controversial arrests of undocumented workers by the Canada Border Services Agency during a commercial vehicle safety blitz last week. told CBC News that it arrested 21 people who were "in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Syed Hussan and Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency: Is Premier Kathleen Wynne going to stand with the federal governments racist agenda or is she going to stand with immigrants? asked Syed Hussan of No One Is Illegal at a protest Monday near Queens Park, according to The Star. Last Thursday, the Canada Border Services Agency arrested 21 individuals , mostly Latin American construction workers, for immigration violations such as overstaying their visas or not appearing for their previously scheduled removals. Some of the migrants arrested during the blitz will be deported Tuesday and Provincial authorities have been accused of racial profiling after they participated in a joint vehicle inspection blitz last week with border enforcement officials that targeted undocumented migrants. People are waking up in fear across the city, across the province. They are afraid of going to work, sending their kids to school or going to the hospital because they are not sure if their cars are going to be pulled over simply because of the colour of their skin, Hussan told more than 50 protesters. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Manasse Manzila and Queens Bench Justice Vic Toews

Queens Bench Justice Vic Toews: Manasse Manzila was found guilty Monday of several charges including sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement for the February 2013 attack in Winnipeg. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. "I have serious doubts about the credibility of the accuseds evidence," Toews ruled. A recent Canadian immigrant is facing a lengthy prison sentence followed by an immediate one-way ticket back home after being convicted of raping a female friend. Queens Bench Justice Vic Toews rejected Manzilas claims of innocence. The accused had testified in his own defence at trial, claiming any sex that night was consensual. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Tiffany Irwin and Twitter

Twitter: Bear has been spotted posing for photos with Kitchener residents, and has gotten some favourable Twitter endorsements. , according to CBC. . @Bear4Mayor finally, a candidate I can get behind! Figuratively, since I wouldn t want to startle him. Tiffany Irwin @emeraldwater July 21, 2014 Kitchener mayoral race has an ursine addition ready to sink its claws into city politics and take a bite out of the big issues. Bear announced its candidacy on Twitter in July, though it has yet to file papers at city hall, perhaps because, as it mentioned below, it finds forms hard to fill out. Although asked by News, Bear did not say what species of bear it is. Going to grab at coffee with @alexkinsella at @matter of taste and I bump into @Bear4Mayor #Bear4Mayor pic.twitter.com/epZpL5a7Mw Darryl Kraemer @darrylkraemer July 21, 2014 (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Foreign Workers

foreign workers: Details of the internal government documents, obtained through an Access to Information request, were shared by the group at a news conference Friday morning in Calgary. Alberta leads way in fast-track requests for temporary foreign workers Temporary foreign worker plans won't help, says Alberta minister Alberta wants more control over Temporary Foreign Worker Program , according to CBC. Many of the foreign workers had jobs as nurse aides, front desk clerks, truck drivers, service station attendants and heavy equipment operators, among others. Documents show the Harper government allowed Alberta companies to pay thousands of foreign workers less than Canadians in 2013, the Alberta Federation of Labour AFL says. Behind closed doors, they knew the rules were being bent and broken, and they knew thousands of temporary foreign workers were being underpaid, said AFL president Gil McGowan. Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, says the federal government allowed Alberta businesses to underpay thousands of temporary foreign workers in 2013. But he would not say how many of those cases happened in the first half of the year, when it was still legal to underpay those workers. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

OPP Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency: On Aug. 14 the OPP, along with officials from the ministries of transportation and environment, and the took part in a vehicle spot checks in northwest Toronto, around Wilson Avenue between Jane Street and Highway 400. , according to CBC. But, because the arrests were made during vehicle safety check, some question the methods and motivations of the and OPP. The arrests of 21 undocumented workers during a vehicle safety blitz Thursday is causing controversy for the Canada Border Services Agency and Ontario Provincial Police. told News on Friday it arrested 21 people who were "in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Brampton and Visible Minorities

visible minorities: The faces on the 11-member council havent changed much in the past two decades, even though the population it represents has soared from about 260,000 to nearly 600,000 in that same period two-thirds of them visible minorities. Long tenures have made some on council a little too comfortable, and allowed accountability to fall by the wayside. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Anger erupts in council after audit of Brampton mayors spending Brampton has evolved from a sleepy suburb into Canadas ninth-largest municipality, but it seems city hall hasnt yet received the memo. Audit of Brampton mayors spending sent to Peel police (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Anna Rumyantseva Orr and Madeline Kotzer

Madeline Kotzer: Festivalgoers can visit mainstays, like the German, Greek, India and Philippines pavilions, which have been part of the event since the beginning. Or they can take in newcomers to the festival the Mesopotamian, Russian Matryoshka, Ghana and Sierra Leone pavilions. , according to CBC. "To show the people, we are Chaldean, we are from Iraq and we are a Christian people," he said. Rita Istifo is involved in the launch of the new Mesopotamia at Folk Fest. Madeline Kotzer/ Folk Fest is celebrating its 35th anniversary of bringing the world to Saskatoon. Anna Rumyantseva Orr has been cooking for days. She getting ready for the launch of the new Russian pavilion at Folk Fest. Madeline Kotzer/ Pastor Sabah Kamora, with the Mesopotamian pavilion, said he hopes it will be an opportunity for everyone to learn more about Iraqi Christians, in Saskatoon. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Canada and China

China: Recent individual cases between China and Canada have led some people to assert that the ship of Canada-China relations has struck a rock. In reality, it is hard to avoid bumps and grumps between countries. In this context, we should not miss the forest for the trees. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Family of Canadian couple detained by China hires Beijing lawyer Luo Zhaohui is Chinas ambassador to Canada Chinese envoy offers olive branch on Garratts detention in Globe letter (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.
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