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Pride and Prejudice

July 5th, 2016

On a steamy hot day last Sunday in downtown Toronto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined thousands of others and marched — well, more like strolled and danced — in the annual Pride parade. It was a historic moment, the first time a sitting Prime Minister joined in the parade.

The location and timing of this could not have been better. The city of Toronto is an underrated success story; while being one of the safest cities in North America, it is also the only city in which most of the population is foreign born. Ergo, it is a city that showcases what a positive attitude to immigration can bring. Alongside Trudeau last Sunday were people from all over the world, each one with the same message — you are welcome here. Read More »

Time to rethink family relationships

June 1st, 2016

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In certain cases, it seems the government is taking this idiom a bit too literally. Read More »

Filipino Families Feeling the Pinch

May 3rd, 2016

A couple of recent cases have highlighted some heartbreaking situations with respect to the Caregiver Program (formerly the Live-in Caregiver Program). Families trying to hire overseas caregivers are frustrated at having to pay $1,000 along with the application and wait months for a response, only to have the application rejected by visa officers who don’t believe the person will leave Canada at the end of the work term.

It’s a sad situation. Read More »

The Cream of the Crop

April 5th, 2016

When the previous government of Canada was pitching the benefits that the new Express Entry immigration selection system would bring, the phrase ‘attracting the cream of the crop’ was heard often. As Conservative Ministers criss-crossed the country, reassuring stakeholders about the new system, this particular line was trotted out time and again. Read More »

Too Long a Wait to Immigrate

March 2nd, 2016

A recent article in the Toronto Star highlighted the case of Marcelina Gilles, a Filipino-Canadian who has been waiting 17 years to reunite with her husband and three children in Canada.

Seventeen years. Do you remember what was going on in 1999? It was the year of Y2K fear and a long time before your first smart phone. It was the year when Bill Clinton, still president of our neighbour to the south, came to Ottawa to dedicate the new Embassy of the United States in Canada.

In short, it was a long, long time ago. Read More »

It’s time to grow the country

February 4th, 2016

Next year Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday, and, as we enter what is hopefully a positive new era with a new federal government, we have the opportunity to grow the country. Read More »

Minister, Make Mine a Double

January 6th, 2016

If you visit the government of Canada’s website and search for current processing times under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP) for immigration to Canada, you are informed that they are working on applications received on or before November 4, 2011. Read More »

From Double Trouble to Double-Double

December 2nd, 2015

Whatever might be said about Canada’s new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (don’t you just love that title?), nobody can deny that he has so far rolled up his sleeves. Read More »

Sunny Ways, My Friends . . .

November 4th, 2015

If you were to consider the question ‘who are the foremost statesmen in Canadian history?’, you might well end up with a handful of household names, among them Macdonald, Laurier, St. Laurent, Pearson, Trudeau (Senior), and Mulroney. These were the individuals who were ambitious enough to grow the country, not to mention fortunate enough to be surrounded by a team capable of doing so and a population urging them on. Read More »

Canadians show their government the way

October 6th, 2015

When it comes to helping international refugees in desperate need, it is the Canadian people who are leading the charge. We could be doing more, but some recent news gives grounds to be hopeful that that will soon be case. Read More »

We Can Do Much More

September 9th, 2015

Version française à suivre

In 1979, as thousands of Vietnamese were attempting to flee a region in disarray and a totalitarian regime, deputy Canadian immigration minister John Manion brought the manuscript of None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948, to Ron Atkey, the immigration minister. This document catalogued how Canada had largely rejected Jewish refugees from Europe over the course of, and even after, the period of Nazi rule in central Europe. ‘This should not be you,’ Mr. Manion reportedly told Mr. Atkey. Read More »

Kudos to Quebec

September 2nd, 2015

Version française à suivre

At exactly this time last year, I wrote an open letter on this blog titled ‘Children Belong in School’.  In this letter, addressed to the Quebec Cabinet Ministers of Immigration and Education, Kathleen Weil and Yves Bolduc, I lamented Quebec’s wayward policy whereby only legal residents and certain categories of immigrants could receive free public education. Read More »