Canada to ban immigrants in polygamous, forced marriages

The Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, has announced that the government will ban people who have taken part in practices that are “incompatible with Canadian values” — such as those in polygamous or forced marriages — from immigrating to Canada.Minister Alexander outlined the government’s position at a news conference with Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch in Toronto on Wednesday morning. Alexander said that the bill would eliminate premature and forced marriages from Canada’s immigration system and the country as a whole. The bill is expected to pass with full support from the majority Conservative caucus in Ottawa.

“The intention [of the bill] is very clear,” said Alexander. “We will be enhancing the ability of the immigration system to detect and then to act on cases of polygamy. There are many cases — at least hundreds across the country, maybe even more — of people who have come here with multiple wives without that fact being confirmed in the immigration system and without anything having been done about it, even when it’s detected later.

“We will give ourselves the tools to act. Polygamists are not welcome in this country and, if and when they are found in our immigration system, they will be removed from this country.”

TORONTO: Haheen Afzal becomes citizen in spite of catastrophic citizenship test results

‘Comedy of errors’ lets woman become Canadian citizen despite abysmal results on citizenship tests

Republish Reprint | November 20, 2014 | Last Updated: Nov 20 8:41 PM ET
More from Adrian Humphreys | @AD_Humphreys
A Canadian citizenship ceremony. Before someone can become a Canadian citizen, they are required to demonstrate linguistic competence in either of Canada’s official languages and show an adequate knowledge of Canada’s social, civic and political norms.

Matthew Sherwood for National Post/FileA Canadian citizenship ceremony. Before someone can become a Canadian citizen, they are required to demonstrate linguistic competence in either of Canada’s official languages and show an adequate knowledge of Canada’s social, civic and political norms.

TORONTO — A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of 20 on the test’s knowledge component was nonetheless granted a Canadian citizenship certificate.

A “series of administrative errors” put Haheen Afzal — despite her abysmal results on the tests — before a citizenship judge in Hamilton, Ont., swearing an oath to the Queen and being issued a citizenship certificate.

When the mistake was discovered, Ms. Afzal did not want to surrender her citizenship and fought to keep it. Continue reading

RICHMOND,B.C.: Members of Immigration Watch Canada protest Canada’s immigration policy

Video update: Protestors blame immigration numbers for traffic woes

PHILIP RAPHAEL / RICHMOND NEWS
NOVEMBER 19, 2014 10:55 AM

The gathering of about a half dozen people unfurled a large, yellow and black-lettered sign stating “Fight gridlock: cut immigration” for northbound commuters to see.

Dan Murray, spokesman for the group said the level of immigration in Canada is unwarranted and wants the federal government to reduce the numbers, which he believed would help lessen the impact on city streets.

“More people, more cars,” said Murray. “Every two people who come in as immigrants bring another car onto the road. That’s how it works.” Continue reading

Reis Pagtakhan: In the fight against racism, tolerance is not enough

Reis Pagtakhan: Should we really be just ‘grudgingly enduring’ our neighbours?

By Reis Pagtakhan, for CBC News Posted: Nov 19, 2014 8:34 PM CT Last Updated: Nov 20, 2014 6:45 AM CT

When discussing issues of racism and discrimination, governments, academics and civic leaders often promote “tolerance” as a way to combat these problems. As the argument goes, if Canadians tolerate people of different races, religions, sexual orientations and backgrounds, Canada will be a much stronger society.

A number of years ago, I read an article in which someone argued that merely tolerating someone else is an extremely low bar. By definition, when a person has to tolerate someone or something, that person has to endure or accept someone or something they find to be, at best, unpleasant.

People tolerate things ranging from pain, abuse and depression to minor annoyances such as boring movies, noisy neighbours, insects and inclement weather. Continue reading

HALIFAX: Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services changes name to avoid sharing the acronym with terrorist group


Stephanie Taylor/ for Metro Employee Mehmet Iskin poses for a photo next to the newly unveiled sign at ISANS, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

ISIS, better known in Nova Scotia as Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services, has a new name.

Director of operations Gerry Mills said the reason why the Halifax-based organization, which works to support new immigrants, made a name change to the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia on Wednesday is “pretty obvious.”

She said many clients and community members felt the old name —which shared the same acronym as the terrorist jihadist group — should be changed so as not to confuse or trigger anyone. Continue reading

More condos needed to keep up with immigrant demand, CIBC says

Bank says Canadian immigrants form a significant chunk of potential condo buyers

By Pete Evans, CBC News Posted: Nov 19, 2014 10:46 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014 11:45 AM ET

Fears that Canada is building far more condominiums than it needs are overblown because of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are moving here in increasing numbers, one of Canada’s biggest banks says.

“Ask any real estate developer in any of Canada’s major cities about the risk of overbuilding, and the first line of defence would be immigration and its critical role in supporting demand,” CIBC economist Benjamin Tal said in a report Wednesday. “It turns out that at least for now, this claim is more valid than widely believed.”

Immigrants already represent about 70 per cent of Canada’s population growth at the moment — and half of those who come to Canada are in the prime homebuying age range of between 20 and 45. Continue reading

TORONTO: Immigration consultant Razgar Hasan arrested on sexual assault charges


Torstar News Service Immigration consultant Razgar Hasan, 56, has been charged with sexual assault and breach of trust.

An immigration consultant faces charges of sexual assault and breach of trust.

Police say that on the evening of Sept. 20, a 23-year-old woman who had just immigrated to Canada visited an office on Finch Ave. W., for professional services. The woman alleges she was propositioned for sexual favours and was sexually assaulted. She told police she fled the office at her first opportunity.

Razgar Hasan, 56, was arrested on Saturday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 18.

SASKATCHEWAN: Prince Albert’s junior hockey team unveils new mascot, stirs public controversy

Prince Albert’s junior hockey team unveils new mascot, stirs public controversy

Clare Clancy, The Canadian Press

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    REGINA – A Saskatchewan junior hockey team is under fire after unveiling a new mascot that critics are calling offensive to Middle Eastern people.

Prince Albert Raiders spokeswoman Amber Pratt said the mascot’s costume is based on the Western Hockey League team’s original logo introduced in 1982 which depicts an Arabian raider character holding a sword and a hockey stick.

“The version that we brought to life is happy, with a big smile on his face,” she wrote in an email on Tuesday.

“He wears hockey pants and a hockey jersey. He is a positive symbol of Raider history and was loved by fans when introduced on Friday night.”

Pratt said she is surprised by the criticism and the organization has received way more positive comments than negative.

But Rhonda Rosenberg, executive director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, said the mascot plays into possible discrimination.

The idea of a somewhat violent Muslim man is a stereotype that is really difficult for a lot of people to live with,” she said.

Rosenberg added that if a team uses a mascot representing a particular cultural group “at the very least they need to check in with some people who are of that background.” Continue reading

ELECTION 2014: Richmond gets a new-look school board

ELECTION 2014: Richmond gets a new-look school board

New school trustees Sandra Nixon, Alice S. Wong, Ken Hamaguchi and Jonathan Ho. -

New school trustees Sandra Nixon, Alice S. Wong, Ken Hamaguchi and Jonathan Ho.

— Image Credit:

Change swept over the Richmond Board of Education Saturday, as the majority of its newly-elected school trustees will be serving in political office for the first time—including two independents.

Jonathan Ho, Ken Hamaguchi, Sandra Nixon and Alice S. Wong are the new faces on a board whose remaining seats were reclaimed by Richmond First incumbents Donna Sargent, Debbie Tablotney and Eric Yung.

Two of the new trustees—Hamaguchi and Nixon—were elected as independents, something rarely seen in a city where slates dominate school board.

“Nobody was more surprised than I was,” said Nixon, who watched the results at home with her family. “I was saying to myself a few days beforehand if I was in the top 12 I’d feel that I’d done pretty well.”

Nixon, 44, has two children in Richmond schools and is a minister at Grace Memorial United Church in Vancouver. She’s hoping to bring to the board a “really independent voice” free of party ties.

That independence might have earned her votes, along with those from voters looking for change after a long teachers’ strike.

“Whether it’s legitimate or not, I think there was a perception, (with) the strike especially, that trustees weren’t doing enough to speak out, or could have done something differently.”

Nixon said she’ll advocate for better funding for local schools, and also plans to address Richmond’s lack of an LGBTQ policy addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning issues. Continue reading

MISSISSAUGA: Morad Maher Thatcher arrested in Tim Horton random stabbing

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By: Sam Colbert Staff Reporter, Published on Mon Nov 17 2014

A man has been arrested in connection with a stabbing at a Mississauga restaurant Friday afternoon.

The victim was sitting with friends at the Tim Hortons and Wendy’s at Britannia Rd. and Terry Fox Way at around 12:30 p.m. when a suspect approached him from behind and allegedly stabbed him, according to Peel Regional Police. The suspect fled southwest across Britannia Rd. to a townhouse complex.

The victim was taken to Credit Valley Hospital with multiple stab wounds, paramedics said at the time.

Police arrested 21-year-old Morad Maher Thatcher of Mississauga on Monday. He has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

He will appear in court in Brampton Tuesday morning.

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