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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

Criminal Organization and Human Trafficking

human trafficking: Public safety minister Steven Blaney announced Canada has deported 20 criminals convicted in the country largest human trafficking case. He took the unusual step of releasing the names of nine convicted of the most serious of crimes. , according to Hamilton Spectator. The Domotor-Kolompar criminal organization is made up of an extended Hungarian Roma family who recruited their countrymen on the promise of work in their family construction businesses. The families lived in lavish Ancaster homes, where they forced their victims to live in their basements, work for free and eat scraps. The federal government wants the world to know the names of Hamilton human traffickers they've deported to send a message that Canada will not tolerate modern day slavery. "There is no room in Canada" for this type of criminal organization, he said in Hamilton Tuesday morning. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

The Tartan Club of Hamilton and Best Wee Club

Best Wee Club: The Scottish social group that bills itself as the Best Wee Club in the city has been struggling in recent years with a declining and aging membership. , according to Hamilton Spectator. The club has 280 members, down from more than 600 decades ago. Most are well over the age of 60. Members of the Tartan Club of Hamilton are wondering where all their "auld acquaintances" have gone. "Our membership is getting older, people are moving on and we are trying to attract new people," says Terry McGurk, a member who is heading up a "task force" to bring in new members. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Israel Defense Forces and Guillermo Rishchynski

Guillermo Rishchynski: The indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel are terrorist acts, for which there can be no justification, Guillermo Rishchynski, Canadas representative to the UN, said in a debate before the Security Council, according to The Star. The Israel Defense Forces have continued to demonstrate a commitment to minimize civilian casualties in response to the relentless rocket attacks, he added. Rishchynskis comments were in contrast to remarks by a number of countries that expressed dire concerns about the mounting civilian casualties from Israels offensive in Gaza and pressed Israel to do more to lessen the carnage. The United Nations Security Council debated the crisis in Gaza on Tuesday as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pressed on with a mission to secure a ceasefire and Canada used a chance to speak at the United Nations to issue a strong defence of Israel in the Israeli-Hamas conflict and blamed militants in the Gaza Strip for a death toll that has now climbed above 600. Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, has sought to deliberately put civilians, from both sides, in mortal danger. We mourn the resulting death and suffering , Rishchynski said during Canadas turn in a day of national statements on the Middle East crisis. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Prime Minister Stephen Harpers

Prime Minister Stephen Harpers: Bolstered by a Federal Court decision earlier this month that said Prime Minister Stephen Harpers cuts to coverage were cruel and unusual, the province is stepping up its fight with the federal government, according to The Star. This isnt about better care for our refugees, this is about the most basic services, he said, noting pregnant claimants have suffered because of Ottawas move two years ago to slash medical benefits for newcomers and Ontario is sending Ottawa the bill for the $2 million the province will spend this year on basic medical services for refugees, says Health Minister Eric Hoskins. We have a responsibility to care for all those that reside here particularly those that are the most vulnerable, Hoskins said Wednesday at the Crossroads Clinic at Womens College Hospital, which serves about 1,200 refugee patients a year. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Lorne Waldman and Oscar Vigil

Oscar Vigil: I think its very helpful, said Lorne Waldman, a Toronto immigration lawyer representing Oscar Vigil , the former executive director of the Canadian Hispanic Congress. Vigil has been declared inadmissible to Canada over his ties to the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front that now governs El Salvador, according to The Star. Mosley aimed some harsh language at Karine Roy-Tremblay, a senior bureaucrat in the Immigration Ministry, who in March 2013 denied an application by Jose Luis Figueroa of Vancouver to be allowed to remain in Canada on compassionate grounds and A recent Federal Court ruling spells potential good news for two men who face deportation from Canada as terrorists because they once supported a rebel organization that is now the democratically elected government of their former land. Waldman was referring to a ruling handed down this month by Federal Court Justice Richard G. Mosley, ordering the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to take a second look at a case involving another Salvadoran man who has also been deemed inadmissible to Canada, for reasons very similar to those affecting Vigil. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Boeing Co. and Su Bin

Su Bin: Su Bin, 48, a Beijing businessman with a home in Vancouver, will find out in a B.C. court on Wednesday whether he will get bail. U.S. officials allege he gave instructions to hackers in China that helped them zero in on which secrets to steal from the computers of Boeing Co. and other firms for the benefit of Chinese aviation companies. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. China takes anger over spying claims out on U.S. firms A Chinese man accused of being the directing mind behind a corporate-espionage conspiracy to steal jet-fighter secrets from Pentagon contractors is a Canadian immigrant who is being stripped of his residency status. Read the 50-page FBI criminal complaint against Su Bin (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Electronic Notices and Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency: The Canada Border Services Agency discovered the old notices earlier this year following the review of about 117,000 active lookouts to ensure each contained up-to-date information, says a new federal report, according to The Star. An outdated or inaccurate lookout could also mean a traveller is stopped at the border and subjected to unnecessary scrutiny and An internal review has revealed that Canadas border agency had more than 19,000 outdated electronic notices warning officers to be on the lookout for suspicious travellers. Accuracy and timeliness are vital because the border agency is supposed to use lookouts to intercept suspected terrorists, organized criminals and others of concern attempting to enter Canada . (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Federal Report and Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency: The Canada Border Services Agency discovered the old notices earlier this year following the review of approximately 117,000 active lookouts to ensure each contained up-to-date information, says a new federal report. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. An outdated or inaccurate lookout could also mean a traveller is stopped at the border and subjected to unnecessary scrutiny. An internal review has revealed that Canada border agency had more than 19,000 outdated electronic notices warning officers to be on the lookout for suspicious travellers. Accuracy and timeliness are vital because the border agency is supposed to use lookouts to intercept suspected terrorists, organized criminals and others of concern attempting to enter Canada. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Deplorable Conditions and Human Trafficking

human trafficking: He said the victims were forced to work illegally, live in deplorable conditions without adequate food, and were intimidated or attacked repeatedly. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Ottawa man sought in human-trafficking probe Twenty members of a Hungarian human trafficking ring that brought people from eastern Europe with promises of a better life in Canada have been deported, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Tuesday. 8 arrested on human trafficking charges (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Deplorable Conditions and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney: He said the victims were forced to work illegally, live in deplorable conditions without adequate food and were intimidated or attacked repeatedly, according to The Star. The has previously said the victims were mostly poor Hungarians who were duped into coming to Canada and forced to work for free in a case of modern-day slavery and Twenty members of a Hungarian human trafficking ring that brought people from eastern Europe with promises of a better life in Canada have been deported, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Tuesday. The removal of these foreign criminals convicted of human trafficking demonstrates how our government is keeping Canadians safe, Blaney said during a news conference in Hamilton, where the gang had operated. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Federal Election and Chris Sorio

Chris Sorio: Critics of the governments approach, including some Conservative loyalists, warn that the growing Filipino Canadian vote could also be at stake in next years federal election if the government removes access to immigration from the live-in caregiver program LCP 90 per cent of those participating are from the Philippines, according to The Star. This is a defining issue for the Filipino Canadian community, said Chris Sorio of Migrante Canada, an international advocacy group for Filipino migrants and Ottawas recent rhetoric about an out-of-control live-in caregiver program has prompted outrage in some quarters and fear that the days of a pathway to permanent residency for foreign nannies are numbered. Family separation, lost skills the biggest challenges for immigrant nannies (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Steven Blaney and Human Trafficking

human trafficking: The Domotor-Kolompar criminal organization brought as many as 19 victims from Hungary to the Hamilton area, forced them to work against their will from dawn to dusk, held them in basements and fed them food scraps. 'We are sending a clear signal that there is no room in Canada for those who are committing the heinous and despicable crime of human trafficking.' Steven Blaney, public safety minister , according to CBC. "We are sending a clear signal that there is no room in Canada for those who are committing the heinous and despicable crime of human trafficking." Hamilton human trafficking kingpin sentenced to 9 years Hamilton human-trafficking investigators arrest 3 Twenty members of what has been called the largest human trafficking ring in Canadian history are being sent back to Hungary, after the minister of public safety announced Tuesday in Hamilton the deportation of all but two convicted in the case. "These individuals were part of the extended Domotor-Kolompar criminal ring, and were convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada of one of the most despicable crimes human trafficking," said Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney at Tuesday morning deportation announcement. "This flagrant abuse of persons in our immigration system demanded a strong response." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Herbalife and Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman: During a presentation in New York that lasted more than three hours, Mr. Ackman detailed the findings from his lengthy investigation into Herbalifes business practices. His firm, Pershing Square Capital Management LP, has placed a $1-billion U.S. bet that Herbalife is destined to collapse. More Related to this Story, according to Globe and Mail. Herbalife plunges as Ackman says he can prove fraud Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman unleashed a new salvo of accusations against Herbalife International Inc., the purveyor of dietary supplements that he calls a pyramid scheme, but failed to persuade investors to ditch the companys shares. Why you should thank a short seller (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Garden and New Immigrants

new immigrants: The legacy garden was established this year at the old experimental farm as part of 2014 celebrations. There are 100 plots, and new immigrants have taken charge of about 20 of them , according to CBC. "It a really great opportunity to engage and connect with established Islanders - the Island community - there a lot of back and forth that happens here," said Farm Centre legacy garden coordinator Adam McLean. Charlottetown new legacy garden is attracting a lot of new immigrants, who are getting the opportunity to mix with established Islanders working the plot next door. The P.E.I. Association for Newcomers has been encouraging immigrants to participate. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas

President Mahmoud Abbas: With Israeli and U.S. encouragement, Egypt has tried to get both sides to hold fire and then negotiate terms for protracted calm in the Palestinian enclave where officials said 624 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in 15 days of fighting. On mobile? Follow the story here Airlines cancel flights to Israel, citing rocket fire , according to CBC. In a move that could effectively turn Abbas into the main interlocutor for a Gaza truce, his umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization PLO on Wednesday formally supported core conditions set by the Hamas-led fighters. The Palestinian decision-making body led by U.S.-backed President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday endorsed demands by Hamas for halting Gaza hostilities with Israel, a closing of ranks that may help Egyptian-mediated truce efforts. Hamas, the Gaza Strip dominant Islamists, and other armed factions had balked at Cairo offer, saying they wanted assurances of relief from an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and other concessions. The dispute was further complicated by distrust between Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Hamas. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney: Twenty members of a Hungarian human trafficking ring that brought people from eastern Europe with promises of a better life in Canada have been deported, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said Tuesday. , according to Winnipeg Free Press. "The removal of these foreign criminals convicted of human trafficking demonstrates how our government is keeping Canadians safe," Blaney said during a news conference in Hamilton, where the gang had operated. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney is pictured May 6, 2014 in Ottawa. THE Adrian Wyld He said the victims were forced to work illegally, live in deplorable conditions without adequate food, and were intimidated or attacked repeatedly. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Idi Amin and Tasneem Jamal

Tasneem Jamal: If there was a poster child book for the virtues of this complex concept, it could easily be former daily newspaper editor Tasneem Jamal Where the Air is Sweet, a perfect summer read that could tempt even the most stalwart nonfiction devotee back into novel territory. The reader is immediately drawn in with a tense preview of the central conflict that will drive the narrative an Indian family in Uganda, threatened under the dictatorship of the brutal tyrant Idi Amin then further hooked with a lovely story of three generations of this family that emigrated from Gujarat northwest India in 1921. , according to Hamilton Spectator. First and foremost, Raju is shocked by the radically different family structure and gender roles he discovers in East Africa. The cultural exchange leaves its mark on him, but is even more pronounced on his children, that second generation who belong more to the new land than the old. Jamal does a brilliant job exploring the moving target of gender politics at play, at first between the two cultures, and then later, as the family walks the line between tradition and modernity all the while negotiating the complicated mess left behind by the British Empire colonial policies. But the most powerful aspect of this novel is the thoroughly human dimension of the saga. Readers are drawn into the family hard-won victories, only to share the acute disbelief and unimaginable pain people must feel when, in a heartbeat, their entire reality shifts from a firm foundation filled with everyday life to a nightmare of violence and homelessness. More spoiler alerts from history: Canada accepted a large number of Ugandan refugees second only to Britain including author Jamal own family, which settled in Kitchener. Where the Air is Sweet wraps up in Canada, where the family must rebuild its foundation anew. Although that must be a daunting prospect, there an optimism at the end of this book, thanks to the actions of a welcoming community of Southern Ontarians and a chance encounter with an awesome-sounding Canada Customs agent. In the ongoing debate as to whether or not literary fiction is dead, its champions argue that indulging in fiction is a precious chance to simultaneously immerse ourselves in an alternate reality, engage with another mind, heighten our capacity for empathy and exercise our imagination. All while soaking up the rays on the patio. A passing familiarity with African history is all the spoiler alert we need, since many will already know that, shortly after Amin came to power in 1971, he expelled 80,000 Asians as part of his vision of Africanization. He exploited existing Indophobia and made scapegoats of the Indian and Pakistani communities, initially established before the turn of the 20th century. Amin seized Asian property regardless of their birthplace and citizenship status and gave them 90 days to leave. Many considered themselves lucky to get out alive. Others risked their lives trying to liquidate remaining assets and smuggle some money out of the country. The family in Where the Air is Sweet is one such, taking a risk that might appear unthinkable without the context and history that Jamal draws with the multigenerational tale. Unsurprisingly, after 50 years, the family has come to call Africa home, despite the cultural differences that Raju, the patriarch and central protagonist, struggled with on arrival. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Thomas Markle and Joseph Willcocks

Joseph Willcocks: The defection of Thomas Markle and Joseph Willcocks, who were actually bearing arms in a newly minted U.S. Army unit called the Canadian Volunteers the turncoats that torched Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1813 clearly shocked the legislature. It condemned their "abominable treason" and declared their seats vacant. , according to Hamilton Spectator. The story begins in the wake of the American Revolution On Feb. 19, 1814, the wartime Parliament of Upper Canada, homeless since the Americans burned the legislature, convened in a midtown hotel. When the speaker called the roll, eighteen members responded. Of the seven absent, one was sick, four were prisoners of war and two, including the member representing Ancaster, were stated to have deserted to the enemy. The treason of two sitting members, one of whom had fought against the Americans at Queenston Heights in 1812, was a major blow to the authority of the colonial government. But the two rogue members were only the highest-profile examples of the widespread disaffection that existed in Upper Canada during the War of 1812 and culminated in the largest mass hanging in Canadian history. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Custard Tarts and Francisco Mendonca

Francisco Mendonca: Indeed, the bakeries on Dundas St. are stocked with custard tarts, the fishmongers are fragrant with salt cod and links of paprika-seasoned sausage lingui a dangle in the butchers windows, according to The Star. We trust the place, says Francisco and Francisco Mendonca has lived in a small brick house on Little Portugals Foxley St. since 1969. He and his wife, Herondina, bought it for $21,000. Its now probably worth half a million, at least. But the couple from the Azorean island of Graciosa have no plans to move. They have everything they need here, they say. I dont think we re going to sell this house, says Herondina. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Andrei Anghel and Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines: The 24-year-old Ajax man was aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with his girlfriend, Olga Ioppa, a German citizen also studying medicine. The pair were headed on a vacation to Bali, Indonesia, that was months in the making, according to The Star. Anghel was the only Canadian aboard, according to Malaysia Airlines. MH17 Analysis: Putins Frankenstein comes back to haunt Video Ukraine rebels claim to have found MH17 recorders Faces of flight MH17: Details on victims emerge comments Crisis in Ukraine and Russia: Map The world will never see what Andrei Anghel could have been capable of. Bright and hard-working, the young medical student had an ambition to research a cure for cancer and the drive to back it up. Their lives were ended when surface-to-air missiles brought down the plane as it was flying over eastern Ukraine Thursday. There were 298 people on board, all of whom were killed when the plane crashed. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Bairds and Hamas

Hamas: Re: Time for truce in Gaza, Editorial July 15, according to The Star. Foreign Affairs Minister John Bairds condemnation of Hamas and his unconditional support of Israels indiscriminate bombing of Gaza ought to be appalling for anyone with a modicum of consciousness. What happened to the Canada known internationally known as a soft-power participating in peaceful resolutions for world conflict and Re: Hamas has no interest in peace,' Baird says, July 16 Hamas has no interest in peace,' Baird says, July 16 (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Aline Zeitoune and Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada: The Mounties say they have charged a former Citizenship and Immigration Canada employee with breach of trust after she allegedly helped 22 people fraudulently obtain Canadian passports, according to The Chronicle Herald. Zeitoune worked in the CICs passport division and They say Aline Zeitoune, 50, of Toronto also faces 96 additional charges. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Aline Zeitoune and Passport Canada

Passport Canada: Aline Zeitoune, 50, of Toronto worked for Passport Canada, a division of CIC, according to 660 News. Four of the 22 people have also been charged with passport offences and A former Citizenship and Immigration Canada employee has been charged with breach of trust after she allegedly helped 22 people fraudulently obtain Canadian passports, the said Friday. Zeitoune, who was arrested Thursday, also faces 96 additional charges, the Mounties said. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Amsterdam and Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines: All 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed when the aircraft was shot down over contested territory in eastern Ukraine Thursday. Related Items Articles Ontario medical student, girlfriend among passengers of doomed Malaysian flight , according to Winnipeg Free Press. In Toronto, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said Canada clearly condemned what he referred to repeatedly as an attack. The federal government labelled the shooting down of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine "a brutal act of terror" on Friday, saying it was ready to help investigate the tragedy. The U.S. has said it believes the jetliner was likely downed by a missile and has added that it can't rule out "technical assistance from Russian personnel." (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Andrei Anghel

Andrei Anghel: Andrei Anghel studied biomedical science at the University of Waterloo before moving to his native Romania to attend medical school. Anghel was en route to Bali for a vacation, his sister told News, according to CTV. The siblings were born in Romania and moved to Canada in 1998, when Andrei was eight years old and The Canadian victim of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight was a 24-year-old medical student from Ajax, just east of Toronto. He was always a smart kid and he never got in trouble, Lexi Anghel said of her brother. (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.

Anton Chekhov and Todd Houseman

Todd Houseman: I feel really proud and I have always been proud of my heritage and my Cree culture and sharing it with everybody I meet. , according to CBC. Their improv show is made up of three acts First Nations folklore, the stories of R ussian playwright Anton Chekhov, and ending off with audience choice. Using physical comedy, Todd Houseman draws on his culture when he launches into an improvised telling of a First Nations creation story. Houseman is on stage this week at Winnipeg Fringe Theatre show, presenting Folk Lordz! He joined by Ben Gorodetzky. Both are from Edmonton. Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival: reviews Visit Aboriginal for more top stories (www.immigrantscanada.com). As reported in the news.
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