Mother knows best

October 5th, 2016

I feel compelled to comment on the case of Maryam Monsef, Liberal MP and federal Minister of Democratic Institutions, who has been caught up in a story about the location of her birth 32 years ago. Monsef, an Afghan citizen who arrived in Canada aged 11, was born in Iran. She had previously believed she was born in her country of citizenship, Afghanistan. Her documentation had stated that this was the case — documentation that had been submitted by her mother all those years ago. Read More »

A solution in search of a problem

September 7th, 2016

Certain federal and provincial opposition politicians in Canada have come out with fresh ideas on immigration over the past few weeks. First, federal Conservative Party leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch attracted attention with a proposal to screen would-be newcomers to Canada for “anti-Canadian values.” Then, in Quebec, Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault held a press conference in which he called for a massive reduction in the province’s annual immigration intake. Read More »

Now is the time for action

August 2nd, 2016

It is exactly nine months this week since the Liberal government took office. In that time, their efforts on a number of immigration-related files have been admirable. Notably, the efforts to take in many thousands of Syrian refugees over the course of the winter was a welcome change from the previous incumbents of the government benches. There are, however, certain areas that demand attention, none more so than the indefinite detention without charges of foreign nationals in provincial prisons. Read More »

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 »