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Discussion in 'Skilled Worker / Professional Immigration' started by saki, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Number of police in Canada on the rise: StatsCan

    OTTAWA — The number of police officers in Canada has reached its highest level since 1981, growing to approximately 69,000 members — an increase that was reflected in the number of crimes solved.

    Canadian police forces added 2,000 members in the first four months of 2010, according to data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

    The added officers pushed the officer-to-citizen ratio to 203 officers for every 100,000 people, an increase of two per cent.

    The growth, while good news, according to Canadian Police Association president Charles Momy, also points to some of the challenges police forces are facing.

    "Police services are taking on more work outside their traditional policing sort of work," Momy said.

    Momy pointed to the example of mental-health units, which are popping up across the country to deal with a social problem typically handled by the health-care system.

    "Unfortunately, police (have) become a social support mechanism when everything else is failing," Momy said. "New units are being created because, unfortunately, municipal governments and police services feel they have to do something that nobody else can really do, financially."

    A greater police presence is also needed to deal with new types of crimes, such as Internet-based offences, he said.

    The Statistics Canada data suggested that with the added number of officers the proportion of crimes solved increased.

    For Momy, that's no coincidence.

    "The proof is in the pudding that more crimes are solved as the result of having more police officers within services," he said.

    He added that he believes the growth will slow or stop in the coming years because of the tight budgets necessitated by the sluggish economy.

    The volume of police-reported crime decreased, although the severity of such crime also lessened.

    Saskatchewan and Alberta reported the largest increases in new hires at six and five per cent, respectively. Despite the increase, Alberta has the second-lowest officer-to-citizen ratio, ahead of only Prince Edward Island.

    In Census Metropolitan Areas, Saint John, N.B., reported the highest officer-to-citizen ratio, followed by Regina, Thunder Bay, Ont., and Saskatoon.

    Kelowna, B.C., and Moncton, had the lowest ratios.

    The number of female police officers continued to rise at a faster pace than male officers between 2009 and 2010. Women now represent about one in five officers, compared to one in 15 in 1990.
  2. Economic outlook brightens for 2011, major banks say

    OTTAWA — After slowing to a crawl, Canada's economy is expected to get back on track in 2011 on expectations for sustained domestic growth and an improved outlook for the United States, according to reports Wednesday by two of Canada's major banks.

    TD Economics boosted its growth forecast for the year ahead to 2.6 per cent from two per cent previously. RBC, meanwhile, maintained its 3.2 per cent outlook for 2011, but added that its outlook for this year — at 3.1 per cent —_and next year marks the fastest pace of growth over the past four years.

    "The mid-year economic slowdown reflected a pullback in housing investment, which fell after five consecutive quarterly increases, and a mild downturn in exports," says Craig Wright, chief economist at RBC. "However, financial conditions remain supportive of domestic growth, which will be the main engine of the expansion going forward."

    Still, the growth will not be evenly shared.

    Stronger commodity prices should put the Prairies and Newfoundland and Labrador at the top of the heap, while Central Canada will struggle as the initial returns to growth in hard-hit manufacturing and housing sectors diminish, TD said in its quarterly economic forecast.

    Nor will the growth be shared evenly between the employed and the unemployed.

    The jobless rate will remain elevated and is expected to close out 2010 at eight per cent, RBC says, edging down to 7.4 per cent by the end of 2011 and seven per cent by the end of 2012.

    Yet recent data support the outlook for improving growth. October manufacturing sales, reported Wednesday, were better than expected, and housing resales, also reported Wednesday, rose for the fourth straight month in October.

    But both RBC and TD says consumers, whose home-buying ways made them the mainstay of the recovery, are ready to pass the baton to the business sector.

    In fact, RBC expects businesses will play a "pivotal role" in the economy's continuing momentum as the recovery matures and companies are pressed to improve productivity. Already, as TD points out, businesses have ramped up spending on machinery and equipment by 30 per cent for the second straight quarter.

    TD says the most significant reason for its improved Canadian outlook is the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent decision to stimulate the economy with $600 billion in bond purchases and Washington's plan to extend Bush-era tax cuts.

    "These measures are expected to impact near-term economic growth through two channels," says Derek Burleton, TD's deputy chief economist. "First, it increased the likelihood that the Bank of Canada will keep the overnight rate on hold for a longer period of time. And second, U.S. economic growth prospects are moderately brighter than we had envisaged a few months ago."

    That should help boost Canada's exports to the U.S., the country's largest trading partner, as demand increases south of the border.

    Still, manufacturers will have to contend with a currency that is expected to remain elevated.

    And on the domestic front, headwinds include normalization of interest rates, which, at the Bank of Canada's benchmark lending rate of one per cent, remain well below historical averages, consumer debt loads that are even higher than those in the U.S. and weak productivity.

    Consumers, for their part, aren't as convinced of better times ahead. A Harris-Decima poll released Wednesday showed that less than one in five (19 per cent) of Canadians see good times ahead for the economy in the next twelve months, while barely more than one in four (27 per cent) of Canadians believe they will be better off a year from now.
  3. Home sales rise 4.8 per cent in November

    OTTAWA — Home resales rose in November for the fourth straight month as "housing activity continues its return to normal levels," the Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday.

    Seasonally adjusted sales increased 4.8 per cent to 37,658 during the month, up from 35,936 in October, with increases recorded in eight of Canada's 10 most active markets, CREA said.

    In particular, Great Vancouver posted gains of 11.3 per cent, while Montreal was up 8.2 per cent, Edmonton rose 6.9 per cent and Toronto increased six per cent. Ottawa saw gains of 4.2 per cent and Calgary advanced by 2.6 per cent.

    Still, sales were down 9.3 per from levels in November 2009, the industry group said.

    "Although this is well short of record level activity for the month of November posted a year ago, seasonally adjusted sales now stand 19.5 per cent above levels recorded in July 2010, when it reached this year's low point," CREA said.

    The average home price in November rose to $344,268, up two per cent from a year earlier.

    Wednesday's report follows similar signs of an improving housing market in Canada.

    Last week, Statistics Canada said prices for new homes edged up in October for the third straight month, mainly due to increases in Toronto and Vancouver. The federal agency's New Housing Price Index rose 0.1 per cent during the month, following a 0.2 per cent increase in September.

    At the same time, realtor Re/Max said it expects sales next year of 441,000 units, with average prices to rise three per cent to $350,000 by year-end.

    Also, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported that housing starts jumped 11.5 per cent in November, mainly the result of a 82.8 per cent surge in Ontario, which helped offset falling numbers in most other parts of the country.
  4. Telemarketing group hit with $500,000 penalty for violating no-call rules

    OTTAWA — A company that works on behalf of community-based organizations has been slapped with a $500,000 penalty by the CRTC for improper use of the charity exemption to Canada's no-call list rules.

    The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Friday that it had reached a settlement with Xentel DM Inc., to deal with the company's "unauthorized telemarketing practices."

    A notice of violation was issued to the company, which is slated on its website as "North America's leader in profile enhancement for community-based organizations," after it violated the National Do Not Call List regulations by contacting individuals who were included on the list on behalf of groups that were not registered charities.

    "The rules are quite clear as to what types of calls are exempt from the National Do Not Call List," said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC's chief telecommunications enforcement officer. "We appreciate Xentel's commitment to change its telemarketing practices in order to address our concerns. Education is an important part of any compliance program, and we are working with the industry to make certain that telemarketers understand their responsibilities."

    The company, which has operations in both Canada and the United States, has agreed to publish corrections on its website and in some newspapers. The company also agreed to start a new compliance program within its ranks to ensure future violations are avoided.
  5. Calgary credit agency fined over breach of personal information

    OTTAWA — In a breakthrough ruling, the Federal Court awarded damages Monday after a credit reporting company sent inaccurate information to a bank, breaching the federal act respecting personal information.

    Federal Court Judge Russel Zinn awarded Mirza Nammo the precedent-setting $5,000 after credit-reporting agency TransUnion of Canada Inc., was found to have collected inaccurate personal financial information about Nammo, then transmitted that information to a bank, and failed both to promptly correct the information and to alert the bank of the corrected information.

    Nammo also was awarded $1,000 in legal expenses.

    Nammo, who lives in Calgary and represented himself, told the court TransUnion's inaccuracies directly led to his failure to secure a loan for a business opportunity.

    The ruling marks the first time that damages have been awarded for a breach of the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

    The ruling followed Nammo's April 2008 complaint to the Privacy Commissioner's Office, which in January, found his complaint "well-founded and resolved."

    Nammo, 44, told the court he was approached by someone who wanted to venture into a trucking business, but didn't have the means to secure a business loan.

    The individual offered to make Nammo a 50 per cent partner in return for his name and credit history.

    The Royal Bank of Canada didn't approve Nammo's request for a loan, because it was told he had bad credit.

    The information that lead the bank to that decision was obtained from TransUnion, but originated from a Calgary-based collection agency.

    Upon contacting that agency, Nammo was told the information in question related to someone else — a 28-year-old with a similar name but who lived in a different province and had a different social insurance number — and was never intended for Nammo's file.

    Nammo said the mistake could have easily been avoided, had the credit agency noticed the person cited in that file had different personal information.

    "It is a challenge to determine whether its response was mere obfuscation or, as was suggested by the applicant, deliberate misrepresentation," Zinn wrote in his judgment. ". . . TransUnion took no responsibility for the error which was its and its alone."

    Zinn criticized TransUnion for trying to pass the buck to the collection agency, and took issue with the credit agency's failure to inform the bank of its mistake once Nammo's file was updated. Although TransUnion contacted RBC to notify bank officials that Nammo's file had been updated, the details of the update were not offered.

    Nammo asked for damages of $250,000 for losses, as well as a review into how TransUnion managed to supply the wrong information. He also sought damages in a "reasonable sum" for stress, mental anguish and embarrassment caused.
  6. Canadians cite rising cost of living, environmental issues as top concerns: Report

    True to type, Canadians aren't fretting about natural disasters or terrorism or drug problems, instead naming the rising cost of living as their most common concern, according a study of seven countries released Monday.

    Climate change, environmental degradation, cancer, and dangerous drivers rounded out the top-five most common fears reported by Canadians in the study, commissioned by insurance company RSA.

    Respondents were asked to select from a list of 39 issues the ones they felt posed a "significant risk" to them.

    Compared to the top fears reported by the other countries — Polish respondents chose drunk driving, China responded with earthquakes, and the U.K. chose anti-social behaviour — Canadians' picks suggest their finances are topmost on their minds, followed closely by environmental issues.

    On average, Canadians selected 8.9 threats, reflected mostly in "abstract" concerns, such as climate change or investment safety, according to the report's authors.

    Respondents in China identified on average 10.2 threats, with earthquakes, unsafe food ingredients, and an unsafe water supply — far more tangible risks than those cited by Canadians — all ranking in the top five.

    Polish and Argentinian respondents only reported 4.7 and 5.6 risks, respectively, on average.

    British respondents considered terrorist attacks and property crimes to be much more common concerns than respondents in other developed countries, which the study in part credited to the U.K.'s "intensive media environment" surrounding crime despite decreasing crime rates.

    The report concluded that the results hint at Canadians being more risk averse than other nationalities despite facing fewer threats to their safety and security.

    "Canada is known to be a more financially conservative country, which is reflected in worry about the cost of living, as well as by concerns about the safety of assets," the authors wrote.

    Overall, the study found that Canadians were more likely than respondents from the other six countries to use personal savings and investments and less likely to rely on government intervention as a means to buffer themselves against uncertain financial futures.

    "Canada has the most 'proactive' risk management approach, and their willingness to save reflects their higher levels of financial concern we have seen earlier," the report said.

    Those two areas of concern — environmental and financial — also reflect a split in what's bothering younger and older Canadians.

    While the Canadian economy remained relatively stable during the recent downturn, empty nesters and respondents with older children put a greater emphasis on the rising cost of living than those without children or with young families. Older Canadians were also more likely than younger respondents to cite as risks credit-card fraud, asset safety and a lack of employment opportunities for young people.

    Among younger demographics, the more abstract concerns of climate change and environmental degradation placed higher than financial matters, health issues, or crime matters, with 50 per cent of people aged 16-24 selecting either environment issue as a top concern.

    However, 70 per cent of those aged 25-34 reported that they felt society would be able to manage threats to the environment through changes to human behaviour, which along with high levels of personal investment suggests that Canadians are looking to the future more optimistically than those from other countries, the report concludes.

    The study, conducted by the Futures Company, polled 1,000 respondents in each of Sweden, the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, China, Poland, Argentina, and Canada.
  7. TSX slips to a negative close in late-afternoon trading

    The Toronto Stock Exchange held on to a modest gain for most of the day thanks to rising commodity prices, but slipped in late-afternoon trading to start the week with a negative close.

    The benchmark S&P/TSX composite index lost 8.18 points to close at 13,193.28, a drop of 0.06 per cent. Eight of the sub-indexes fell on Monday, with energy and materials the only two gainers.

    The price of crude oil rose 77 cents to close at $89.37 U.S. a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while gold closed at $1,386.10 U.S. an ounce, a gain of $6.90.

    The Canadian dollar fell 35 basis points to close at 98.39 cents U.S.. The dollar's third decline in three sessions came after Statistics Canada announced that wholesale prices stalled in October. Reports on consumer prices and retail sales scheduled for release on Tuesday are expected to also show declines.

    "The Canadian dollar is underperforming on concern about tomorrow's economic reports," Kathy Lien, director of foreign-exchange research at online currency trader GFT Forex, told Bloomberg. "Wholesale sales is something that we look closely at as a leading indicator for the retail sales report and appetite in general."

    The junior Venture exchange rose 12.82 points or 0.60 per cent to 2,147.15.

    The Dow Jones industrial average closed slightly below flat, and the Nasdaq composite slightly above it. The Dow was weighed down in particular by American Express Co., which fell after an analyst cut his rating on the stock, and Boeing, which dropped after announcing another delay to its long-awaited Dreamliner.

    The Dow dropped 13.78 points or 0.12 per cent to 11,478.13, and the Nasdaq rose 6.59 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 2,649.56.

    The financials sector on the TSX dropped for a fifth day on Monday. Bank of Montreal slipped 2.41 per cent to $56.60 after analysts at Cormark Securities Inc. and Barclays PLC lowered their ratings on the shares. Royal Bank shares slipped 1.40 per cent to $50.78.

    Talisman Energy shares saw a 4.79 per cent gain on Monday after the company agreed to sell shale-gas assets to Sasol Ltd. in a deal seen as positive for Canadian stocks.

    "It suggests the money's there to develop," Mathieu Roy, a money manager at Louisbourg Investments Inc. in Moncton, N.B., told Bloomberg. "A lot of Canadian companies with North American resources can grow them more quickly because they won't have any trouble finding partners."

    While gold producers gained with the rising gold prices, some metals producers fared less well. Copper producer Teck Resources Ltd. fell 1.51 per cent to $57.57 and First Quantum Minerals dropped 2.12 per cent to $108.87.

    Uranium One gained 6.67 per cent to $4.64. Russian producer ARMZ Uranium Holding announced last week it is buying a controlling stake in the company.
  8. Slide in consumer confidence points to weak season for holiday spending

    OTTAWA — Canadians' confidence in the economy soured in December, dimming the odds for a strong holiday shopping season, TNS Canada reported Monday.

    Overall, the marketing research company said, its final confidence reading of the year was down 1.5 points in December, more than erasing its small November gain. It ended the year at 96.1.

    TNS earlier forecast this year's shopping season would be the lowest spending since 2005.

    "Gloomy — that's how we can describe Canadians year-end sentiments on the economy," said Michael Antecol, vice-president of TNS Canada.

    "The year clearly isn't ending well for consumer confidence — indifference has given way to heightened negativity around both current and future economic prospects. It really isn't too surprising that so many Canadians are planning to sit on their wallets this holiday season."

    The Present Situation Index, which captures evaluations of the overall state of the current economic and employment situations, dropped 4.5 points to end the year at 89.0 — a score not seen since March of this year.

    The two forward-looking elements of the survey were mixed. The expectations index, which measures consumer sentiment on the economy, household income and employment in the next six months slipped into negative territory after two months of gains.

    The buy index however, which gauges the degree to which people think the current period is a good time to make major purchases, continued its third-quarter momentum, rising 1.9 points in December to end the year at a reading of 97.

    "The results of the Buy Index provide some hope for the future," said Antecol. "No doubt it is a good time to make some of those major buys — retailers are very busy lowering prices. The key will be whether this momentum can be sustained into 2011.

    "But a word of caution — Canadians now have a higher debt-to-income ratio than our American neighbours. So, while these purchases may seem encouraging at first blush, they don't necessarily improve the underlying economic fundamentals. They are often purchased through increased debt — especially credit card debt — and when interest rates inevitably rise, we'll still be sitting on a house of cards."
  9. Wholesale sales flat in October

    OTTAWA—Wholesale trade was surprisingly flat in October, as a drop in machinery and equipment sales offset a rise in the vehicle and auto parts sector, Statistics Canada said Monday.

    Overall sales were basically unchanged at $44.9 billion during the month, after a 0.7 per cent increase the previous month, the federal agency said.

    Economists had expected a gain of around eight per cent in October.

    Wholesale sales fell in eight provinces, with those declines offsetting higher sales in Ontario, Statistics Canada said.

    Sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector were down 3.5 per cent to $9.1 billion. “The computer and communications equipment and supplies industry was the main contributor to this decline, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the drop,”the agency said.

    Meanwhile, the vehicle and parts subsector rose 2.8 per cent to $7.9 billion, while sales of personal and household goods increased 1.7 per cent to $6.97 billion, “reflecting higher sales in all of its component industries,” it said.

    Inventories declined 0.7 in October to $52.5 billion.

    By province, wholesale trade in Ontario strengthened by 1.5 per cent to $23.3 billion, led by higher sales in the auto industry. Manitoba posted a 1.1 per cent increase to $1.19 billion —the fourth straight monthly rise.

    Sales in Saskatchewan were down 4.1 per cent to $1.35 billion, while Alberta saw a 2.4 per cent decline to $5.33 billion and British Columbia was one per cent lower to $4.08 billion.

    “Lower sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the miscellaneous subsector were the main factors behind the declines registered in these provinces,” Statistics Canad said. “In Alberta, the drop in sales in October followed a period of strong growth that began in November 2009, spurred by strong sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.”

    In Quebec, wholesale trade was down one per cent to $8.17 billion in October —the fifth decline in as many months.

    Wholesales sales (% change October from September):

    Newfoundland and Labrador -10.9

    Prince Edward Island -7.4

    Nova Scotia -1.5

    New Brunswick -0.9

    Quebec -1.0

    Ontario 1.5

    Manitoba 1.1

    Saskatchewan -4.1

    Alberta -2.4

    British Columbia -1.0
  10. Bell Canada hit with $1.3 M penalty for violating do-not-call rules

    OTTAWA — Bell Canada paid a record-high $1.3-million penalty for "unauthorized telemarking practices," including the peddling of its own services to people on the national do-not-call list, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission announced Monday.

    The company hired independent telemarketers both in Canada and abroad who ended up contacting people on both the national and Bell's internal do-not-call lists to promote and sell television, telephone, wireless and Internet services, the CRTC said.

    "All telemarketers must respect the wishes of Canadians who have registered their telephone number on the National DNCL (do-not-call list) . . . " Andrea Rosen, the CRTC's chief telecommunications enforcement officer, said in a statement. "Even though the calls in this instance were made by third parties, Bell Canada must ultimately ensure that the rules are followed. We appreciate Bell Canada's willingness to work with us to address our concerns."

    In a separate investigation, the company was also found to be making calls to its prepaid customers using automatic calling devices without their permission. Although Bell did not admit wrongdoing in this case, the company voluntarily agreed to pay $266,000 to Concordia University's Institute for Information Systems Engineering, for a total payout of $1.566 million.

    "These are the largest fines ever," Rosen said.

    In a statement, Bell said it worked closely with the CRTC to investigate the complaints and determined that independent telemarketers had violated both the CRTC and Bell's own calling rules.

    "No violations were committed by any Bell-operated call centres," the company said. "Bell has terminated its relationships with two telemarketers and suspended several others due to non-compliance with the unsolicited telecommunications rules.

    "Non-compliance with CRTC or Bell calling rules by third-party telemarketers results in immediate corrective action by Bell, up to and including suspension and termination of their contracts."

    Under the National DNCL rules, there are exemptions for companies, including the firms being allowed to contact people if they are already clients of the business. Charities, political parties and pollsters, to name a few, are also exempt from the list.

    Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in technology law, said he's examined through access to information tens of thousands of complaints about the do-not-call list. Bell had the "largest source of complaints" dating back to the inception of the list.

    "It's tough to credibly claim that this comes as a surprise and this is all just about a third-party marketer not following the rules. I don't doubt that it's third party that was behind it, but there was certainly plenty of notice that this was a problem," said Geist.

    "I think the CRTC had to send a message . . . There are many, many Canadians who looked at the do-not-call list and felt that it was frankly meaningless," he said, adding it's ironic that Bell was awarded the five-year contract to actually operate the list.

    The national do-not-call list was established in September 2008. There are over 8.4 million telephone or fax numbers on it.

    Rosen said the CRTC won't release specifics about complaints in this case, but said fines can run up to $15,000 per violation.

    "I think after the 300,000 complaints we've received over the past three years, it isn't surprising to see that companies are making mistakes," she said. "I don't think $1.3 million is the cost of doing business for anybody."

    Last Friday, the CRTC announced a $500,000 penalty — the second highest to date — to Calgary-based telemarketer Xentel DM Inc. It was fined for making 60 calls over the past 18 months to people on the national do-not-call list.
  11. Quebec to allure increased number of skilled Chinese migrants

    Canada, 20th December: The Canadian province Quebec is going to allure a relatively higher number of high skilled migrants from China to live and work here.

    The high skilled Chinese migrants will be targeted by the Quebec under the Canada immigration program.

    Quebec is planning to attract Chinese following an aging working population and a comparatively low birth rate in the province resulting in a shortage in the number of required skilled workers.

    The Quebec immigration is becoming quite popular among Chinese, states a Quebec immigration official, Chen Xyeyan, although, the number of Chinese immigrating to Quebec is not much yet.

    According to official figures, a total of 200 Chinese migrants apply for immigration to Quebec to live and work there under the Canada skilled immigration program. Nonetheless, the figure is almost double than that of last year and around five times the figure in the year 2008.

    And the annual immigration intake of Quebec has increased by 50 percent from 32,500 way back in the year 2000 to around 49,500 in the year 2009.

    Chen has been traveling across the country and asking the Chinese to avail the opportunity of moving to Quebec to begin a new life there.

    She has been explaining the skilled immigration program of Quebec to the potential Quebec immigrants from China.

    Under the Quebec skilled immigration program, points are given to the migrants on the basis of factors like age, education level, work experience and language skills. The aim of this program is to provide Quebec with a steady number of young, highly educated and highly skilled Chinese migrants.

    Chinese have been quite eager to sharpen their French language skills in a bid to qualify for moving to Quebec under the Canada skilled immigration program.

    And the recent partnership between Quebec and Alliance Francaise, the center for learning French language and culture, is aimed to attract increased number of Chinese to Quebec.

    The process of Chinese immigration to Quebec involves around one year or so, states Chen. The Chinese need to get sufficient points in order to become eligible for gaining a Quebec Selection Certificate. And once they are awarded such certificate, their applications are forwarded to Canadian immigration officials who grant Canada visa to such applicants after the health and security clearance.
  12. More Chinese will immigrate to Calgary

    Canada, 20th December: Calgary is going to witness arrival of around 1,000 Chinese migrants wanting to live permanently in this Canadian city.

    Calgary already has a strong 75,000 Chinese living and working there and they happen to be the largest minority group in Calgary. Moreover, the increased flow of Chinese immigrants to Alberta is going to strengthen the relations between Canada and China in various fields including commerce, culture and politics in the coming years.

    Wenying Wang happens to be one such immigrant who left her home in China last year to begin life afresh in Calgary along with her teenaged daughter. And she had to face the same challenges as any newcomer has to face in a new nation but goes on to maintain that the struggles of beginning a new life in Calgary are less than the opportunities this Canadian city offers.

    And this is the very reason for which more and more Chinese are choosing to immigrate to Canada, especially Alberta, as their new home.

    According to consul general of China to Alberta, Liu Yongfeng, China seems to be having an affinity for Canada.
    Wenying maintains that Chinese consider Canadians as friendly and helpful.

    The year is expecting arrival of at least 1,000 newcomers from China in Calgary, thus making China the biggest source of new immigrants for Calgary.

    After English and French, both of which happen to be the two official languages spoken in Canada, Chinese has become the third language to be spoken most commonly by people in Canada.

    Currently, Alberta has around 138,000 Chinese settled here permanently.

    The recent years have witnessed a significant growth not just in the number of skilled Chinese migrants immigrating to Canada but also in the number of Chinese students coming to Canada to study here.

    According to official estimates, there are around 50,000 Chinese enrolled in various schools in Canada, admits official ambassador of Canada in Beijing, David Mulroney.

    And as the need for skilled workers in Alberta multiplies in the next couple of decades, an increasing number of Chinese are likely going to avail opportunities of Canada immigration and settle in Alberta forever, the Alberta government admits.
  13. Attractive people make a more accurate first impression: Study

    VANCOUVER — Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder — it goes a long way toward creating an accurate first impression, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia.

    People can quickly discern the main personality traits of an attractive stranger more accurately than those of an unattractive stranger, according to a new study published this month in the journal Psychological Science.

    "We already know there is a halo effect — that beautiful people are seen as having more desirable characteristics — but we have found that in addition, attractive individuals are seen more accurately," said psychologist Jeremy Biesanz, co-author of the study. People were better able to identify whether someone was conscientious, reliable, open or anxious if they considered the person attractive.

    "Not only do we judge a book by its cover; we read the ones with beautiful covers much more closely," he said.

    Biesanz and co-authors Lauren Human and Genevieve Lorenzo placed 75 male and female subjects in small groups for a series of three-minute one-on-one encounters and then asked them to rate their conversation partners' attractiveness and major personality traits.

    "It's a bit like speed dating," said Biesanz.

    Each person was also asked to rate their own personality traits, and that information was compared with the impression they made on others.

    And it appears that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder: When it comes to accurately identifying personality traits, it only matters if you find the person attractive. The effect was as strong for same-sex meetings as it was for opposite-sex meetings.

    "Researchers have long known that people attribute positive traits to people they find attractive, but we have found that accuracy and bias are independent effects," he said. "You can be biased and accurate at the same time."

    Biesanz says science suggests that we may be better able to form a long-lasting relationship with a person we find attractive.

    "You want your partner to see you through rose-coloured glasses but at the same time really understand you, what you like and what you don't like, and what your personality attributes are; that's the perfect combination," Biesanz said.

    The same effect emerges right at the first impression, the study revealed.

    "It's a double benefit for being attractive," he explained. "Not only do people see you positively, they see you and your personality more accurately."

    Interestingly, the opposite effect did not emerge. People rated as less attractive were no harder to read than those rated as average in attractiveness.
  14. TSX has best close since Sept. 2008

    Canada's benchmark stock index rose more than one per cent on Tuesday to post its best close since September 2008 as commodity prices rose, the financials sector gained after Toronto-Dominion bank announced a multi-billion dollar U.S. acquisition, and economic reports supported views that the economic recovery is holding.

    On the Toronto Stock Exchange, the S&P/TSX composite rose 171.87 points to 13,365.15. That's a 1.3 per cent gain from Monday, a 15.6 per cent gain from this date last year, and a 62 per cent increase over this time in 2008, when the index stood at 8,249.53 in the depths of the recession.

    All of the sub-indexes advanced Tuesday with the exception of telecommunications — several of Canada's big telecommunications companies slipped, including Rogers Communications, which fell 0.29 per cent to $34.42. The gainers were led by the financials sector, which rose after TD Bank said it was buying Chrysler Financial Group for $6.3 billion U.S.. All of the major Canadian banks advanced on Tuesday, including TD, which rose 3.74 per cent to $73.16, and Bank of Montreal, whose shares were up 2.08 per cent to $57.78.

    "We see more and more M&A activity, and that says the market is returning to growth," Luc Girard, director of the portfolio advisory group at Desjardins Securities in Montreal, told Bloomberg. "People have a more bullish stance on the economy. It's all positive for the economy and stocks."

    On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil gained 45 cents to close at $89.82 U.S. a barrel, and gold was ahead $2.70 at $1,388.80 U.S. an ounce.

    Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that inflation slowed to two per cent in November, and that the core inflation rate — which strips out volatile items such as energy and food — fell to 1.4 per cent in November from 1.8 per cent in October. That news overshadowed a report that retail sales rose more than expected in October, and weighed on the dollar, which closed at 98.28 cents U.S., a drop of 11 basis points, on speculation the Bank of Canada will not raise interest rates.

    "The CPI number wasn't enough to change perceptions of the Bank of Canada, and the retail sales number, which might have caused a little bit more Canadian dollar strength, actually had a little bit of a squishy undertone," David Watt, senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Capital unit in Toronto, told Bloomberg.

    Indexes in the U.S. also gained on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 55.03 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 11,533.16, and the Nasdaq composite advancing 18.05 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 2,667.61.

    The TSX's energy and materials sectors also had a good day on Tuesday. Some of the best performers in those sectors were Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, which rose 2.67 per cent to $144.70 on an industry report forecasting record fertilizer use. Suncor rose 2.40 per cent to $37.52, Talisman Energy was up 1.10 per cent to $22.13, and Teck Resources gained 2.03 per cent to $58.68.
  15. Canada's population growing because of immigration: StatsCan

    OTTAWA — Canada's population in the third quarter of 2010 was driven forward by the highest immigration rates seen in four decades, Statistics Canada says.

    Canada's population was estimated at 34,238,000 as of Oct. 1 — an increase of 129,300 since July. The federal agency said 65 per cent of that growth came from new Canadians during the three-month period, as 84,200 immigrants arrived in the country.

    The influx reached most provinces and territories, some of which had their highest quarterly immigration levels since 1971.

    Prince Edward Island recorded the highest growth rate, with its population increasing by 0.7 per cent. The increase was largely driven by the 1,200 immigrants who arrived in the province, Statistics Canada said, the highest number since 1971.

    Quebec, too, welcomed its highest number of immigrants in the last four decades, with 16,800 people arriving from other countries during the quarter. Manitoba also surpassed records set in 1971, with 4,700 new Canadians arriving in that province.

    While not breaking a record, immigrants made up 70 per cent of Ontario's new arrivals during the period.

    Alberta was the only province that had third-quarter growth driven by a "natural increase," which made up 60 per cent of the growth.

    Newfoundland and Labrador, on the other hand, actually faced a population decline in the third quarter, losing about 500 residents.

    Growth driven by immigration is a trend the federal government said it expects to continue — at least through the end of 2010.

    "In 2010, we should be landing the largest number of permanent residents in 50 years," said Kelli Fraser, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    Canada expects to welcome between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers by the end of this year.

    Fraser said that number is driven largely by a June announcement that Canada would open its doors to more immigrants, especially those in the economic category.

    "The reason the announcement was made was because the post-recession economy is now demanding a high level of legal immigration to keep the workforce strong," she said, adding that there also has been a high number of family reunification immigrants and refugees.

    To date, the department said it has already made more decisions, issued more visas and admitted more people to Canada over last year.

    It expects the numbers to stabilize at 2010 levels in 2011.

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