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Lack of ethnic organ donors on Canadian registry frightening

October 18, 2014 10:42 pm

Bone marrow recipient urges ethnic donors to join registry

By   Global News

VANCOUVER — As hundreds run and walk through Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park tonight as part of the fight against Leukemia, Christina Law is particularly grateful for their support.

The 38-year-old was first diagnosed with the disease in 2003 and though her doctors wanted to perform a bone marrow transplant, she couldn’t find a match. Law was treated with high-dose chemotherapy, and was in remission for 10 years.

Unfortunately, in 2012 she had to fight for her life again when she was diagnosed with another blood disorder.  This time, a bone marrow transplant was the only option. She found a match and had the procedure, but it didn’t work as well as doctors had hoped. In a few weeks, with thanks to an anonymous donor, Law will be undergoing a second transplant.

“It’s like a ticking time bomb inside me and I don’t know whether things will go even worse, to the point that the doctor cannot save my life. It’s very scary,” Law toldGlobal News.

What is particularly frightening is the lack of ethnic donors on the Canadian registry. Only one in four are non-Caucasians.

Read More: Montreal woman who pleaded with B.C. residents to save her life finds umbilical cord donor

“A patient’s chance of finding a match within their own ethnic background is much, much higher,” says Law.

That’s why Law has become an advocate with the Chinese Stem Cell Initiative and urges people to take five minutes to sign up online with the bone marrow donor registry.

(…)

–With files from Elaine Yong.

OTTAWA: “Dentist” Khaled Hashem banned after cementing someone else’s human teeth into another patient’s mouth

An Ottawa man could face criminal charges if it’s found he tried to perform dentistry work, the latest punishment for “professional misconduct” that included cementing human teeth into another patient.

Khaled Hashem cannot call himself a “dentist”, “dental surgeon” or “doctor”, nor say he’s qualified to perform dental work, after an Ontario Superior Court order issued Wednesday.

That decision is the latest in a string of disciplinary moves against Hashem dating back to 1996, which include cautions, suspensions of his licence and ultimately the loss of his certificate of registration in June of this year, according to legal documents provided by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Continue reading

MISSISSAUGA: Pakistani woman takes federal government to court over nikab ban

Ex-immigration minister Jason Kenney ‘dictated’ niqab ban at citizenship ceremony, court told

A ban on veils while taking the citizenship oath was driven by Kenney’s own ideology, say lawyers for Zunera Ishaq, who is challenging the policy in court.

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The federal government introduced a new policy to ban new citizens from wearing face-covering veil during the oath taking at citizenship ceremonies like this one in Toronto.

By:  Immigration reporter, Published on Fri Oct 17 2014

A Mississauga woman has taken the federal government to court over a policy that forbids wearing the face-covering veil while taking the oath of citizenship, arguing the ban breaches her Charter rights and fails to accommodate her religious beliefs and dress code.

Banning the niqab from citizenship ceremonies is the result of former immigration minister Jason Kenney imposing his own ideology of “Canadian values” on the process, Zunera Ishaq’s lawyer, Naseem Mithoowani, told federal court Justice Keith Boswell at a hearing in Toronto on Thursday.

“The true motivation of the policy is to compel Muslim women to abandon, albeit briefly, their religious adherence,” Mithoowani said.

(…)

It’s the first such challenge against the niqab ban at citizenship ceremonies; if successful, it could strike down the policy. Continue reading

CALGARY: Fariborz Birjandian, head of Calgary Catholic Immigration society, thinks Canada should take in more Syrian refugees

October 10, 2014 7:20 pm

Refugee families now call Calgary home thanks to local help

By  and   Global News

It’s been a year since Fadi Yacoub and his family fled from war-torn Syria to Lebanon.

Once in Lebanon they applied for refugee status, and a year later Calgary is their home.

Yacoub says the year-long wait was well worth it.

“I’m happy that I’m here,” he says. “I want a good future for my kids; it’s been four years that they didn’t go to school. “

There are currently more than three million Syrian refugees in the world, a number that climbs daily.

Yacoub’s wife, Ralda, knows how lucky her family is.

Canada, I heard from a lot of people that it’s a safe place, “says Ralda. “Thank god now that I’m here, I feel like my life is back again.”

While the family is grateful, the transition from Syria to Canada has had its challenges. Their daughter Perla is still adjusting to life in Calgary. Continue reading

TORONTO: Niran Murray charged with first-degree murder of prostitute Evelyn Castillo who came to Canada as a caregiver

Toronto man charged with murder of sex-trade worker in Mississauga

 | October 16, 2014 10:46 PM ET
More from Canadian Press
Niran Murray has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel

Peel Regional PoliceNiran Murray has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel.

BRAMPTON, Ont. – Peel regional police announced Thursday that they had charged a 32-year-old Toronto man with first-degree murder in the death of a sex-trade worker at a Mississauga hotel.

Forty-three-year-old Evelyn Castillo of Thornhill, Ont., was found without vital signs just before 7 p.m. at a hotel on Britannia Road East on Oct. 11.

Her body was found by emergency crews putting out a fire at the hotel.

Insp. George Koekkoek told reporters that an autopsy revealed that Ms. Castillo had died as result of injuries received prior to the fire being set.

Arrested and charged in the case is Niran Murray, more commonly known as Nick Murray. He was due to appear in court Thursday.

Police believe Mr. Murray may have allegedly assaulted other women in the past, particularly sex-trade workers, and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

“He is currently before the courts facing an allegation of assault and mischief, the victim in that case was also a sex-trade worker and the offence is alleged to have occurred in a hotel as well,” said Insp. Koekkoek.

(…)

Insp. Koekkoek said police believe Mr. Murray was a customer of Ms. Castillo’s, who also worked as a caregiver. But investigators are still trying to determine whether the two had any previous contacts.

Police did not reveal any other details about Ms. Castillo, but published reports said she arrived in Canada from the Philippines about two years ago.

Ms. Castillo’s murder was the Peel region’s fifth homicide of 2014.

The Canadian Press

BURNABY, B.C.: Mayoral candidate Sylvia Gung wants to ban any display of affection, from wedding kisses to holding hands

You may not kiss the bride.

That’s what grooms will be told at the altar if this Burnaby mayoral candidate wins the Nov. 15 election.

Sylvia Gung is running on a platform to create a “wholesome society,” which would mean banning any public displays of affection including wedding kisses and holding hands in public.

These behaviours “hurt public decorum and lead to further violence,” according to Gung’s profile on the city’s website.

This is Gung’s second run for the mayor’s seat.

She’s up against incumbent Mayor Derek Corrigan, who has held the position for 12 years. Corrigan is known for his adamant opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion.

There are four other candidates vying for the city’s top job.

Helen Hee Soon Chang, who has been elected as a school trustee, organizes multicultural forums and would strive to boost safety and inclusivity.

Realtor Raj Gupta, who ran unsuccessfully for the B.C. Conservative Party in the 2013 provincial election, promises to cut property taxes and improve spending.

Entrepreneur Daren Hancott, leader of the Burnaby First party, pledges his management expertise will make him a capable leader at City Hall.

Allan Hutton, a longtime Burnaby resident and volunteer, wants to preserve the city’s natural areas and create an accountable government.

TORONTO: Landlord Andriy Budnyy evicts tenants saying his mother will move in and apparently pay rent

REAL ESTATE

When the landlord asks for your apartment back

DENISE BALKISSOON

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

Ginette Lapalme had been living in her apartment at Dufferin and Dundas streets for almost five years when her landlord asked her to leave. He and his wife were expecting a baby, he said, and his mother-in-law would be moving into the space.

Lapalme and her boyfriend, Patrick Kyle, hadn’t done anything wrong, but the eviction was his right under the “landlord’s own use” provision of Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act.

“It seemed reasonable,” 27-year-old Lapalme says of the eviction, which happened last January. Still, Lapalme and Kyle, both artists, were a little suspicious. They were paying just $1,150 a month for a huge, five-room apartment with loads of sunlight in a neighbourhood that had gone from dreary to trendy in the time they had been there.

Their landlord, Andriy Budnyy, owned a set of units over adjacent storefronts, some of which were empty. He had just let them move back into the apartment after shuffling them into a smaller unit while he renovated, but had never mentioned his mother-in-law during the process.

“We wrote him a letter asking to stay, because we didn’t really understand,” says Kyle. “But there was no budging.” Instead, Budnyy offered the couple one month’s rent to cover their moving expenses. They reluctantly accepted and left on March 1, 2014. Other long-term tenants were also moving out that day, but neither Kyle nor Lapalme asked them why.

“We were trying not to be paranoid,” says Lapalme, but the two kept an eye on the rental listings. In May, two months after moving, they saw what they had been expecting: an ad for their old apartment on the classifieds site Kijiji. The rent was listed at $2,000, almost twice what they had been paying. “It was infuriating,” says Kyle, 26. They took screenshots of the ad and photos, including a shot of the kitchen with a keyholder nailed to the wall that they had forgotten.

Budnyy, whose first language is Ukrainian, says that it’s his mother, not his mother-in-law, who is planning to move into the unit. “My mother is coming soon. This is life. Everything is a little bit delayed,” he says. He also says that he needed to raise the rent after spending $10,000 on renovating the apartment, and that a lawyer told him he could only do that for a new tenant. “He said: ‘This is your choice, this is your property,’” Budnyy says. “I spent money, I have to return it.

In fact, landlords can apply to the province for permission for a rent increase after renovations; individual landlords may not be aware of this.

In Ontario, “landlord’s own use” is the only no-fault eviction method, the sole way to kick out a tenant without having to collect proof of late payments or excessive noise.

Karen Andrews, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, says that the provision wasn’t used very much in the past, but that a growing number of long-term tenants have recently been told that their landlord plans to move in a spouse, child or caregiver. “Certain neighbourhoods are plagued with this – Little Italy, the Beach, Trinity Bellwoods,” she says.

In many cases the requests are legitimate, and are a trickle-down effect of the runaway housing market. Many homeowners are choosing to maximize the space they already have rather than face bidding wars and the cost of moving. This can mean putting an office or playroom in a former basement apartment.

In other cases, landlords may use this manoeuvre to make false claims and induce tenants to leave.

(…)

Right now, the only way for landlords of older buildings to charge as much as they’d like is to get an entirely new tenant – a prospect that doesn’t seem daunting when rental vacancy in the city is 1.7 per cent.

Claiming the apartment is needed for their own use and issuing tenants the relevant form, number N12, allows them to do this. In 2013, tenants contested N12 forms to Ontario’s Landlord Tenant Board in 1,555 cases. “The statistics do not tell you about the N12s that are given to tenants who do not put up a fight,” Andrews points out.

Most of her clients who win such cases receive token monetary awards, she says. “Even if you win, you’ve lost housing forever.”

(…)

VANCOUVER: City’s real estate market invaded by millionaire Chinese immigrants

Vancouver’s real estate boom: The rising price of ‘heaven’

IAIN MARLOW AND BRENT JANG

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

 Qiqi Hong walks past her sleek, blue-tiled hot tub and an infinity pool that seems to disappear like a waterfall into the chilly air above West Vancouver. She leans on the patio railing and breathes in the majestic ocean view that takes in the towering Douglas firs of Stanley Park, the skyscrapers of Vancouver, the Asia-bound freighters anchored in English Bay and – way off in the misty distance – the faint, rugged outline of Gabriola Island.

“We’re in heaven,” says Ms. Hong. “I can’t find any house that can compare to my house.”

The serene West Coast lifestyle did not come cheaply: Ms. Hong’s home cost $6-million. But it is an investment she can easily afford. The irrepressible businesswoman founded a successful lighting-design business in Beijing that thrived in China’s building boom. It now has more than 100 employees. But tired of Beijing’s hectic pace and foul air, she decided to come to Vancouver – after looking in Switzerland, Germany and the United States – on the Canadian government’s immigrant investor program in 2011. She now also owns three other houses on Vancouver’s west side, each valued in excess of $1.3-million, as well as a downtown condo she uses on weekends and lends to visiting friends.

Demand from wealthy migrants from mainland China such as Ms. Hong has helped make the Vancouver area the most expensive real estate market in Canada. The average price of a single-family detached home is $1.26-million, higher than any other Canadian city. The rising flow of foreign capital – stemming from a long tradition of transpacific migration and investment – has turned Vancouver into a truly global real estate market. One large real estate firm calculated that roughly one-third of the detached homes it sold within the City of Vancouver last year went to buyers from China. Vancouver developers and real estate firms have hit the jackpot, and some have rushed to set up offices in Shanghai and Beijing. Some now say Vancouver is a bedroom community for the world.

The upscale Point Grey neighbourhood is on Vancouver’s west side, where benchmark prices for detached homes have soared. DARRYL DYCK FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

But Vancouver real estate prices have also become increasingly unhinged from local incomes, prompting concerns about affordability. It has led to middle– and even upper-middle class Vancouverites renting permanently or fleeing for cheaper suburbs such as Burnaby. There is a search for better data on foreign buyers, which is only haphazardly tracked. There is now a heated debate – that includes accusations of racism – about whether anything should be done to curb foreign buying, or if what is happening is simply an inevitable, and welcome, facet of globalization in a free market.

After all, the ebullient Ms. Hong hasn’t just bought houses here. She founded a charity with other wealthy migrants from China; the group just held a Thanksgiving lunch for 1,000 seniors and recently collected $250,000 for a local hospital and pet shelter. She has founded several businesses in Vancouver, including one in real estate, and drives to ESL classes. She’s learning English, and has even joined a protest, hitting the streets during the recent B.C. teachers’ strike. While she stays busy in Vancouver, her husband frequently flies to China to manage the firm.

In my opinion, I think it’s good for the economy,” Ms. Hong says, noting that the number of Chinese residents on her street has soared in recent years and that the local businessman she bought her house from made a cool $1.5-million more than he originally paid. “In Vancouver,” Ms. Hong says, “the house prices are perfect.”

(…)

MONTREAL: Immigrants from France invading the city

Montreal’s French invasion: Why immigrants from France are moving in en masse

BENJAMIN SHINGLER

MONTREAL — The Canadian Press

Published 

Last updated 

When Christian Faure moved to Montreal last summer, the renowned chef saw a chance to start fresh in a new city, freed from the constraints of his native France.

Faure opened a pastry shop and cooking school in a renovated 300-year-old greystone on a busy street in Old Montreal.

“It would be totally impossible to open a similar patisserie in a historic quarter in Paris and Lyon,” said Faure, who had a stint as director of the Cordon Bleu chef school in Ottawa before moving to the city. “In Montreal, it’s still possible. It’s a city of arts and theatre, and it encourages young people.”

Faure isn’t alone. Faced with a slumping economy and high unemployment rate back home, the number of French citizens in Montreal has soared in recent years, particularly among the 25-40 age demographic.

These days, the unmistakable accent of the Old Country echoes through the bars and cafés of the city’s trendy Plateau district. Specialty stores offering made-in-France delicacies and pubs that televise French rugby and soccer matches have also recently popped up.

By 2013, nearly 55,000 French citizens were registered at the French consulate in Montreal, up by about 45 per cent from 2005, according to the consulate.

In reality, that number is likely much higher.

A consulate spokesman estimates only about half of the French in Canada register, putting the estimated number of French citizens in Montreal at about 110,000. Toronto and Quebec City are the next most popular destinations, each home to about 10,000 registered French citizens.

The growing French presence in Montreal has even stirred up hints of resentment.

A satirical song called Y’a trop de Français sur le Plateau, which takes jabs at the perceived snobbiness of the French and their love of cigarettes, has been viewed 143,000 times on YouTube. The tune was written by Fred Fresh, a musician who himself hails from France.

Still, many view Montreal as a place of opportunity.

Laure Juilliard moved from Paris seven years ago. Only 22 at the time, she completed a one-year technical program, found a job three weeks later and has lived here ever since.

“There was a sense of freedom – from family, and from France, which is much more traditional and hierarchical,” said Juilliard, now a freelance writer who runs the popular lifestyle blog Une Parisienne à Montréal.

“I felt you could be much more yourself here than in France, and not feel the judgment of others, and even if there is judgment, it’s not necessarily negative.”

It’s unclear how many of these new arrivals will stay for the long haul.

Over the past decade, 30,000 immigrants from France have gained permanent resident status in Quebec, according to the consulate, far below the total number here on temporary student and work-travel visas. But it’s still among the top immigrant countries of origin in Quebec, alongside Algeria, Morocco, China and Haiti.

(…)

TORONTO: During rapid-fire exchanges, mayoral candidate Olivia Chow translates in her head

Chow responds to column on her English-speaking ability

OLIVER MOORE The Globe and Mail

Published Last updated 

Olivia Chow likes to say that she’s not a “fast” or “smooth” talker. It’s a self-deprecating way to explain her occasional struggles to be heard amid bombastic mayoral debates.

It’s also an acknowledgement that her English – while perfectly understandable – isn’t as good as her opponents. (…)

“It may look to some voters, many of whom struggle with English, as if she doesn’t care enough about communicating with them to get her nouns and verbs to agree,” Rick Salutin wrote in Friday’s Toronto Star. “I’m not saying that’s so, I know it’s not. But we’re talking about impressions.”

Ms. Chow came to Canada from Hong Kong at the age of 13 and her background prompted racist heckling during at least one debate.

Her people have said that she is not as fast during rapid-fire exchanges because she translates in her head as she goes. The possible political drawbacks of her speaking ability have generally remained a taboo subject for pundits, though. And when the issue was raised she was quick to hit back.

“[He] needs to open [his] eyes and look at what this city represents,” Ms. Chow said Friday morning. A lot of people that live in this city speaks with an accent. But they become top surgeons, top scientists. It’s quite astounding that you have journalists that want to pick on my language capacity. I have no problem communicating, I don’t believe.”

The analysis was part of a list of “potential incitements” that Mr. Salutin suggested could be swaying public opinion. But Ms. Chow brushed it off.

“Actions speak louder than words, right,” she said. “You want a mayor that can get things done.”

Follow Oliver Moore on Twitter: @moore_oliver

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