Category Archives: Immigration

Mischa Popoff: It’s about time Canada lost its innocence

It’s about time Canada lost its innocence

Posted: Monday, October 27, 2014 6:00 am

Mischa Popoff | 18 comments

For years now, Liberals and New Democrats have pretended Islamic terrorists deserved to be treated with kid gloves.

They said the Bush-Cheney doctrine was distinctly un-Canadian and that aggression only gave rise to more terrorism.

But the cold-blooded killing of two of Canada’s soldiers last week puts the lie to this defeatist approach.

How did a proud nation that helped defeat Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, imperial Japan and the communist Soviets sink to the point where two of our men in uniform had to be murdered in cold blood on our own soil before we would collectively awaken from this isolationist trance?

First, we were told Maher Arar was tortured in 2002 when American intelligence pulled him off a flight and sent him to Syria for questioning about his ties to terrorists. He never proved his claims of torture and never denied having numerous conversations over the years with known terrorists. Continue reading

QUEBEC: Close all Canadian mosques temporarily, André Drouin says

Close all Canadian mosques temporarily, André Drouin says 

A controversial Quebec politician says all mosques across the country should be temporarily closed after two soldiers were killed last week on Canadian soil.

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http://tvanouvelles.ca/lcn/infos/regional/troisrivieres/archives/2014/10/20141027-113327.html

 

 

RICHMOND, B.C.: Mayoral contender Lifeng Wei wants to implement Chinese-style city policies

ELECTION 2014: Civic pay, Chinese signs focus of Richmond mayoral debate

Richmond mayoral candidates Malcolm Brodie, Richard Lee and Cliff Lifeng Wei.  - Matthew Hoekstra

Richmond mayoral candidates Malcolm Brodie, Richard Lee andCliff Lifeng Wei.

— Image Credit: Matthew Hoekstra

In the wake of a report documenting a rapid rise in municipal compensation, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie defended city workers’ salaries in a Thursday mayoral debate.

Brodie, campaigning for a seventh term in the Nov. 15 vote, said unionized workers’ pay is governed by negotiated agreements. As for management—who are paid too much according to an Ernst and Young report made public last month—Brodie said “it’s all relative.”

“If we don’t pay our management enough, then they go somewhere else,” he said in front of a Minoru Place Activity Centre crowd of approximately 250 people. “That’s a huge cost, when you lose a longtime employee and that person goes elsewhere. So you have to pay market rate to your employees, and it’s also a matter of fairness.”

To probe municipal pay, the province hired consultants Ernst and Young, whose report criticized cities for allowing pay levels to climb by 38 per cent—twice the rate of the provincial public service—from 2001-12. The report also suggested municipal managers are paid too much and recommended the province take strong action to curb the trend.

Richard Lee, who is making a second run at the mayor’s job and running with Richmond Reform, said staff are entitled to their current deals, but suggested there’s room for wage scrutiny.

“I believe in the free market, we could have and in the future we will under my leadership, to hire somebody at a reasonable rate, not at the alarming rate that was shared with us in that study…”

Richmond City Hall’s payroll has grown by $15 million in five years. The city’s top earner is chief administrative officer George Duncan, who made $291,250 last year. Department heads also score high on the pay scale, as five of six general managers topped the $200,000 mark in 2013.

Thursday’s short debate, organized by the Richmond Centre for Disability, served as a prelude to a much larger forum featuring 28 candidates running for councillor.

Mayoral candidates also waded into the contentious waters of Chinese-only signs. Lee said they’re “not a good thing.” Some will argue for freedom of expression, he said, but added “all rights are conditional.” Continue reading

Debate on language used on signs in Canada spreading across Canada

Signs of language debate have sprouted all across Canada

Some other Canadian cities have already stared down the issue of languages on signs.

In Richmond Hill, an Ontario community with a population nearly the same as Richmond’s, a bylaw requires at least 50 per cent of a sign’s text to be in English or French. The most common ethnic origin in Richmond Hill is Chinese, at 17.5 per cent of the population.

Phyllis Carlyle, general manager of law and community safety at the City of Richmond, said Monday she’s not aware of the Ontario bylaw being challenged in court.

In Moncton, New Brunswick—which has a large francophone population—the language war involves English and French. The city of 124,055 people has long faced pressure to pass a bylaw to ensure signs are bilingual. But Moncton’s approach is to encourage bilingual signs through education and by offering free window signs.

“Council wanted to encourage and foster the increased use of bilingual signage in our community,” said Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc in a statement on the city’s website.

A brochure recently published by Moncton suggests bilingual exterior signs make “good business sense,” noting over 50 per cent of its residents speak both English and French.

A neighbouring city of Dieppe, however, approved a bylaw in 2010 requiring exterior commercial signs—including billboard advertisements—to be in both official languages of Canada.

According to the bylaw, lettering must be identical in French and in English—and French must be displayed first. The bylaw allows some exceptions, most notably the name of a business, which can be unilingual.

Although the bylaw doesn’t apply to signs erected before 2010, the City of Dieppe offers an incentive to businesses seeking to comply with the bylaw. The city offers up to $3,000 toward the purchase of a new sign or modification of an existing one.

Across the province of Quebec, the French Language Charter requires businesses to have French on their signs. According to a publication by Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault, rules differ according to whether the communication is in a public or private place.

“Billboards and signs visible from a public highway, on a public transport vehicle or in a bus shelter must be exclusively in French. Public signs, posters and commercial advertising located elsewhere may include other languages, but the French text must predominate.”

TORONTO: Dr. Oluleke Badmos charged with sexual assault and harassment of patient, police say there may be more victims

Clinic patient alleges inappropriate touching, harassment

CBC News Posted: Oct 23, 2014 1:03 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 23, 2014 11:22 PM ET

Police allege Dr. Oluleke Badmos inappropriately touched and harassed a patient of the CML Healthcare clinic. Police allege Dr. Oluleke Badmos inappropriately touched and harassed a patient of the CML Healthcare clinic. (Toronto Police Service)

A Toronto doctor has been charged with the sexual assault and harassment of a patient, and police say there may be more victims.

Police say a 26-year-old woman went to a clinic at 688 Coxwell Ave., near Danforth Ave., in spring 2013 for a routine medical exam.

Police say she was touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by the doctor. She stopped the examination and left the clinic but, in August 2014, police say the doctor started contacting her against her wishes.

Dr. Oluleke Badmos, 52, was on Wednesday charged with sexual assault and criminal harassment. Police say there may be more victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 55 Division at (416) 808-5500 or Crime Stoppers at (416) 222-TIPS. 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.

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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

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.

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.”

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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.

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