Eritrean refugee Selam Measho arrives in St. John on special temporary permit

CBC News Posted: May 15, 2015 9:00 AM NT Last Updated: May 15, 2015 3:22 PM NT

A young Eritrean woman who went missing five years ago is thanking friends and supporters for helping to reunite her with her family in St. John’s.

Selam Measho, 21, took to the stage of the West End Baptist Church on Thursday to tell her story of fleeing from a Libyan refugee camp when she was just 16.

Measho described how the camp was burned to the ground and how she was then was fooled by a woman into believing her parents had been killed, flew her to an airport in Holland and then abandoned her at the airport.

Selam Measho and motherSelam Measho was reunited with her mother and sisters following a poster campaign which she eventually found out about. (CBC)

From there, she called police, alone and scared in a foreign country.

“One day the Red Cross called me and said ‘you must come here,’” she said.

“When I got there, they showed me the picture of my mother. I felt like I was dead and I was just born new.”

From Libya, to Europe and then Newfoundland

Little did Measho know but her mother and two sisters had arrived in St. John’s as refugees two years ago.

Friends and supporters in Newfoundland and Labrador started a poster campaign that resulted in Measho seeing her mother’s picture in a Dutch Red Cross station.

In early April, the family was reunited.

“Everybody shouting and crying, and running,” she said.

“I didn’t know what to do, I am so happy to be with my mother and my sisters.”

For now, Measho will stay in St. John’s on a special temporary permit, and her supporters say they won’t stop until she becomes a permanent resident.

With files from Azzo Rezori

Edmonton welcomes Syrian refugees

‘I feel like I have come back to life again’

 BY ALEXANDRA ZABJEK, EDMONTON JOURNAL MAY 14, 2015
  
Edmonton offers hope to Syrian refugees

Syrian refugee Hala Aldajani and her family received a warm welcome at Edmonton International Airport in Edmonton on May 12, 2015.

Photograph by: Bruce Edwards , Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – Tears, kisses and embraces greeted a Syrian family in the arrivals area at Edmonton International Airport.

The scene evoked the tenderness and joy of a family reunion, but not everyone gathered knew Mohamed Al Masalmi, his wife Hala Al Dajani or their five children. Many were strangers, Christian and Muslim, who had simply come to welcome them Tuesday night to their new lives in Canada.

The family had arrived from Syria, by way of neighbouring Arab countries and the work of two local groups that forged a partnership to ensure refugees from one of the world’s biggest humanitarian disasters can make a home in Edmonton.

“I feel like I have come back to life again,” Al Masalmi said through a translator, while members of the Islamic Family and Social Services Association and the Mennonite Central Committee looked on.

His youngest son, age five, buried his face in his mother’s skirt.

It was the children who made the arrival so emotional, said Huda Mawed, a distant relative of the family.

“It’s just nice to see them safe and out of harm,” a teary Mawed said.

The Syrian conflict erupted in 2011. It has left almost four million people as refugees. The Mennonite Central Committee in Alberta, which has a decades-long tradition of privately sponsoring refugees, wanted to assist the families affected by the catastrophic civil war.

Through community connections, the Mennonite group partnered with Islamic Family and Social Services Association, or IFSSA, to find families to sponsor. The Mennonite organization holds a refugee sponsorship arrangement with the federal government.

“The missing piece from IFSSA is they have no sponsorship arrangement with the government,” said Donna Entz, with the Mennonite Church of Alberta. The Mennonite Central Committee “is ultimately responsible, because we signed the papers, but there’s been a memo of understanding between IFSSA and us that (they) are responsible for the settlement, providing the housing for the year and helping find them a job.”

Entz spent most of her adult life with the Mennonite Church in Burkina Faso in Africa and returned to Canada in 2010.

Colombian activist Luis Alberto Mata won bid for permanent residence after 12-year delay


Torstar News Service
Human rights advocate Luis Alberto Mata, centre, with wife Diana and son Jacobo, was delighted to learn Friday that his 12-year struggle to attain permanent residence in Canada is finally coming to an end.

After a 12-year delay, an accepted refugee from Colombia has won a bittersweet battle against Ottawa to gain permanent resident status.

Luis Alberto Mata, who was granted asylum in Canada in 2003, was notified Friday by the federal justice department that he will receive his permanent resident visa by the end of the month.

“I’m really happy and grateful that the Department of Justice did something that I’d deserved for many years,” said the Toronto man, who has lived in limbo as a “protected person” because immigration officials would not render a decision on his permanent residence application all these years.

“I was sad and didn’t see any hope in my life. Now I can finally get the security that I need to establish myself in Canada and move forward.”

Mata and his supporters had been kept in the dark about what caused the inaction by immigration officials, but believed it was a result of the human rights activist being mislabeled as a “guerrilla sympathizer and collaborator” in propaganda by previous Colombia authorities.

CALGARY: Increase in TB rates is due, in large part, to “an influx of immigrants and refugees from high-risk countries”

Increase partly due to influx of immigrants and refugees from high-risk countries

CBC News Posted: May 13, 2015 9:57 AM MT Last Updated: May 13, 2015 11:37 AM MT

Staff at one of Calgary's TB clinics are having trouble keeping up with demand for their services so Alberta Health Services is reviewing the clinic's operations.Staff at one of Calgary’s TB clinics are having trouble keeping up with demand for their services so Alberta Health Services is reviewing the clinic’s operations. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

​Calgary’s tuberculosis clinic is facing a surge in demand as the number of active cases in the city has increased by 42 per cent since 2010.

The Calgary region saw 64 people with active TB in 2010, but that number has risen to 91 people last year. The number of latent cases requiring treatment is also on the rise, from 175 in 2010 to 294 last year.

The same trend is happening across the province.

Dr. Judy MacDonald, Calgary’s medical officer of health, says staff at the city’s one TB clinic identified they were having trouble keeping up with demand, so Alberta Health Services is reviewing the clinic’s operations.

Dr. Annalee Coakley, at Calgary’s Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic, says all newcomers are now screened for tuberculosis. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

“Recognizing that there was demands that the staff were saying we’re having trouble meeting these needs, what do we need to do?”

MacDonald says the increase in TB rates is due, in large part, to an influx of immigrants and refugees from high-risk countries.

Immigrants from the Caribbean and refugees from East Africa and South Asia more likely to have psychotic disorders: study

Refugees and some immigrants more likely to have psychotic disorders: study

Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, May 11, 2015 12:00PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 11, 2015 3:53PM EDT

The experience of moving to a new country may put refugees and some immigrants at a higher risk of psychotic disorders, a new study suggests.

The study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday, compared the rate of psychotic disorders in first-generation Canadians to the rate in the general Ontario population.

It found that immigrants from the Caribbean and refugees from East Africa and South Asia have a 1.5 to 2 times higher risk of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. The study also found that refugees have a 25 per cent higher risk of psychotic disorders, compared to other immigrants.

Mo Yeung Ching (Muyang Cheng) suing Canadian government for $1.75 million for denying him “statutory, constitutional, as well as international treaty rights”

Interpol issued this picture along with a wanted notice for Muyang Cheng. An Immigration and Refugee Board decision confirms he is also known as developer Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching. (Interpol)

IRB decision confirms Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching wanted by Interpol, Ching’s lawyer says no merit to allegations

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: May 02, 2015 11:44 AM PT Last Updated: May 02, 2015 2:58 PM PT

Prominent Vancouver developer Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching lost his bid for refugee status because he is wanted by Chinese authorities for embezzlement, according to newly obtained Immigration and Refugee Board documents.

IRB panelist Gordon McRae rejected Ching’s claim for refugee status last October after finding he may have “committed a serious, non-political crime outside of Canada.”

Ching and two other men are accused of defrauding China’s Hebei provincial government out of $502,040 as part of a land deal in the late 1990s.

Also known as Muyang Cheng

The IRB decision, obtained by CBC through Winnipeg Federal Court, confirms that the 45-year-old developer is also known as Muyang Cheng, the man identified on an Interpol arrest warrant.

“The elements of the crime lead me to conclude that it is what would be described in Canada as a ‘White Collar Crime,’” McRae wrote.

“It was committed by well-educated, well-connected, well-established persons, one of whom was in a position of trust.”

The IRB decision lends clarity to confusion that arose after the Chinese government released a list of 100 economic fugitives last month.

The list contains the same picture as an Interpol ‘wanted’ notice for a man named Muyang Cheng.

Chinese media reported Cheng was Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching, but his Canadian lawyers wouldn’t confirm the match.

McRae’s decision leaves no doubt: ”In July 2000, he permanently moved to Vancouver and opened his own land development company called Mo Yeung International, a company he runs to this day.”

Denies all allegations

However, in an emailed statement to CBC News on Saturday, Ching’s lawyer, David Lunny, said the allegations against his client are entirely without merit.

“Mr. Ching immigrated to Canada from China openly and without subterfuge. There were no charges against him in China and no grounds for any charges,” Lunny said.

“He did not flee from anything and he has never been in hiding. He was not then and is not now a fugitive. The accusations which are now made against him by the Chinese government and repeated in the media here are without foundation and they emanated only after a change in the leadership of the Chinese political regime.”