Earlier this year, on June 17, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act passed the House of Commons in Ottawa. This eagerly-awaiting piece of legislation is known as Bill C-6.
Among the proposed amendments in C-6 is a reduction in the amount of time permanent residents have to live in Canada in order to become eligible to apply for citizenship, from four out of six years to three out of five years. In addition, applicants who spent time in Canada on temporary status — such as on a work or study permit — would be able to count a portion of this time towards the three-year requirement. The amendments would also repeal the intent to reside provision and remove language proficiency requirements for certain applicants. Read More »
I was in communication with an American friend of mine this week. It has been a tough few days for Phil, who lives in Ohio. Not only did his home state fall into the Trump column on election night, but the President-elect won enough states to claim victory, leaving many U.S-based residents looking for solutions. For many, that solution is life in Canada, and people like Phil are serious about making the move. Phil gave me permission to reproduce here the same advice I gave him about taking the first steps towards Canadian permanent residence. Read More »
When Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues ambled through Ottawa to be sworn in this time last year, the new Prime Minister was much-quoted for repeating the line “sunny ways”. This, of course, was an allusion to Wilfried Laurier, the Liberal PM whose lengthy term in office a century ago is deemed by analysts of all political stripes to have been a roaring success, principally because Laurier had a vision to grow the country. Read More »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »