by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
Filipinos abroad sent back home cash worth $2.063 billion in July—the biggest amount on a monthly basis so far in 2014.
Almost four-fifths of July’s cash remittances were from Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and United States.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data released this week showed that cash remittances coursed through banks last July exceeded by 6.0 percent the $1.946 billion sent home by Filipinos overseas during the same month in 2013. It was the second straight month that cash remittances exceeded the $2-billion mark.
From January to July, cash remittances totaled $13.485 billion, up 5.8 percent from $12.746 billion in the same seven-month period in 2013.
The BSP noted that cash remittances from land-based workers grew 5 percent to $10.3 billion, while those from sea-based employees rose 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion.
The robust cash remittance flows came “on the back of stable demand for skilled Filipinos abroad,” the BSP said, citing Philippine Overseas Employment Administration data showing that job orders during the January to July period hit 540,037. Over two-fifths of the overseas jobs bagged by Filipinos were in the production, professional, service and technical sectors in the countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and UAE.
The BSP added that the continuous expansion of bank as well as non-bank remittance service providers both internationally and domestically sustained cash remittance flows.
Personal remittances from Filipinos abroad, meanwhile, went up 7.1 percent to $2.284 billion in July from $2.132 billion in the same month in 2013.
According to the BSP, personal remittances “measure the total amount of remittance flows into the country, including cash and non-cash items that flow through both formal (via electronic wire) and informal channels (such as money or goods carried across borders).”
As of the end of July, personal remittances reached $14.958 billion, 6.4-percent higher than the $14.063-billion haul during the first seven months of last year.
“The continued expansion in personal remittances during the first seven months of 2014 was mainly due to the steady increase in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (by 5 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (by 8.4 percent),” the BSP said.
Problems for detained immigrants in Canada overcrowded cells, lack of support for detained children and inadequate mental health care.
OTTAWA—A confidential Red Cross investigation found numerous shortcomings at Canadian facilities for immigrant detainees including triple-bunked cells, lack of support for detained children and inadequate mental health care.
In addition, because there are no dedicated immigration cells in many parts of the country, newcomers are often held in provincial jails or police facilities alongside suspected gang members and violent offenders, says the Canadian Red Cross Society’s inspection report.
Through an agreement with the Canada Border Services Agency, the independent humanitarian organization monitors the treatment and conditions of people detained in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The border agency holds people who are considered a flight risk or a danger to the public, and those whose identities cannot be confirmed.
The Red Cross makes 28 recommendations to help close various “protection gaps” noted by inspectors during 63 visits to facilities in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. In many cases the problems constituted a failure to comply with national or international standards.
The organization makes a confidential annual report to the border agency, which released the findings for 2012-13 under the Access to Information Act.
Agency spokesman Pierre Deveau said a number of steps have been taken to address the Red Cross’s concerns.
However, he did not provide details and refused to make anyone available to discuss the report.
While the border agency operates holding facilities in three provinces, an estimated 3,952 immigration detainees were housed across Canada in 2012 in correctional institutions, commingled with criminal populations. (Data for the first quarter of 2013 was unavailable.) Continue reading
The government has begun invalidating the passports of Canadians who have left the country to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander revealed in an interview on Friday.
The minister told the National Post his department had also revoked the passports of several Canadians who had not yet left the country but who had intended to travel to the volatile region to enlist as foreign fighters.
He would not disclose the number of passports Citizenship and Immigration Canada had revoked over the conflict but said there were “multiple cases.” The government says about 30 Canadians are with extremist groups in Syria and 130 are active elsewhere.
“Yes, I think it’s safe to say that there are cases of revocation of passports involving people who’ve gone to Syria and Iraq already,” Alexander said. “I just don’t want to get into the numbers, but multiple cases.”
The action means Canadian fighters in Syria and Iraq may effectively be stranded there. Their passports are no longer valid and therefore cannot be used to return to Canada. Nor could they be used to travel elsewhere.
This week the Post revealed the identity of another Canadian with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Mohamed Ali, a 23-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., left Canada in April and later wrote online about playing soccer with severed heads.
Other Canadians allegedly with ISIL and similar extremist groups in the region include Hasibullah Yusifzai of Burnaby, B.C., and Calgary’s Farah Shirdon, who this week threatened attacks on the United States, before Twitter suspended his account.
Alexander said while they were few in number, he was troubled that Canadians had joined ISIL, which has been committing widespread atrocities in an attempt to impose its militant version of Islamic law on Syrians and Iraqis.
“We are not by any means the leading contributor of foreign fighters to Syria, even though the dozens that are there and the 130 that are abroad (with other extremist groups) is a disturbing number for all Canadians. But we want to ensure that Canada’s good name is not besmirched by these people any more than it already has been and that Canadians are protected.”
As some older, more established community press fold, others try to reinvent themselves to survive in the niche but competitive ethnic market.
RON BULL / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO
Corriere Canadese, the Italian-language newspaper publised in Toronto for almost six decades, has suspended operations.
Immigration from Italy to Canada was at its peak in 1954 when the late Dan Iannuzzi founded Corriere Canadese, an Italian-language newspaper, in Toronto.
Almost all of the Italian migrants — more than 60,000 a year — then arrived in Canada as labourers, with little English or education. The community paper was their link to their new and old homes in the pre-Internet world.
“They had no voice. They were viewed as people who acted funny and talked funny with their hands,” said Lori Abittan, president and CEO of Multimedia Nova Corporation, the public company that now owns the paper.
“Corriere Canadese helped them integrate into the Canadian society and created the links for them with the rest of Canada.”
While Canada has been experiencing an explosion of multicultural and multilingual media outlets — with about 3,000 alone by one estimate — their booms and glooms go in cycles with the fluctuating immigration inflows from their respective communities.
These days, things are not good for the long-time publications among the older, established immigrant communities from Europe, as immigration flow from the old world on the continent has slowed to a trickle. Continue reading
Why Western-educated Muslim Youth Embrace IS?
by BINOY THOMAS
Why are so many Muslim youth, born and raised in the liberal West fighting alongside Islamic State for a cause that they believe would see Islam as it existed a thousand years ago, as the dominant force in the world?
What did the West do so wrong that they have pushed them so far into the past to be mindless barbarians?
The liberal Western intellectuals do not want to discuss it, because if you scratch that scab, the fingers will point right back at these very same ivory tower influencers who always had an excuse for all sorts of bad behaviour.
Look at the way, we treat our classrooms, where bad behaviour becomes an opportunity for governments and unions to create committees and reports that put real dollars into the hands of friends and sympathizers. The most egregious of these elements are in the left of the political and media spectrum (ie. if they are any different from each other). I remember one report, some years ago about how many times Ontario students say ‘f— you’ to their teachers, and the people the writer interviewed were all either offering excuses for the abusers or showed no particular alarm at this trend. The writer had his/her own demons to hang out to dry, and that’s not to say, we do not. We all do. There was no one who said that it was just plain wrong and such behaviour has no place in a classroom. That would be considered rude and absolute, an anachronism in our fifty shades of grey universe.
The movement to pass the parcel (student) without testing them for what they have learned (play school stretched into adulthood) is yet another case of justifying bad attitude of those not wanting to put in the time to study. It might help the teachers to become even lazier than required under the law, but really, are we doing the young ones a favour? Or are we pushing them to be dealers?
What do we do with most acts of criminality, especially when committed by the youth? We blame poverty, lack of opportunity, social service cuts, shortage of basketball courts, discrimination, low intellect, alcohol abuse, climate change, anything at all that can help us detach ourselves from the actual job of stating the obvious or passing judgement. Often, after I read certain verdicts from the Canadian courts, I get the feeling the judge was simply too lazy to write a few more extra pages, which you need to do when finding someone guilty, and instead let someone walk with a gentle admonishment. Nobody wants to call a spade a spade without running the risk of being painted as a zealot. Continue reading
Yezdi Pavri Is New Chair Of The Canada-India Business Council
Toronto: Yezdi Pavri, retired Vice Chairman of Deloitte Canada has assumed office as the Chairman of The Canada India Business Council (C-IBC) effective September 15.
Pavri succeeds Don Stewart, the former CEO of Sun Life Financial, who has served in this role with distinction for the past two years.
Pavri is recognized for his strategic business acumen and vision. He was a member of Deloitte’s national Management Committee and Client Council, and was the Managing Partner of the Toronto practice. He both founded and led Deloitte’s national Enterprise Risk Services practice and was a founding member of the global firm’s India Steering Committee.
“The Council has benefited immensely from Don Stewart’s business experience and guidance during the past two years and we look forward to increasing our reach and impact under Yezdi Pavri’s leadership,” says Peter Sutherland, President & CEO of C-IBC.
“It is truly a most exciting and opportune time for the business relationship between Canada and India to flourish and reach its true potential,” says Yezdi Pavri.
Gary Comerford, Vice Chairman of the Council adds, “I am delighted that Yezdi has agreed to be the new Chair of the C-IBC. He brings a passion and knowledge that will enable C-IBC to continue to aggressively promote trade between Canada and India.”
Pavri also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of United Way Toronto and as the Treasurer on the Board of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). He now serves on the boards of ICICI Bank Canada, Hydro One and Enterra Holdings Ltd. (the parent of Golder Associates). Mr. Pavri also acts as a Strategic Advisor in Canada to HCL Technologies Ltd.
Pavri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai and a Master’s degree in Thermal Power Engineering from Imperial College in London.
Six years ago, Walid Hejazi, associate professor at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, discovered that half the people in his program had an increasing desire to learn more about the Middle East. It wasn’t surprising given the fact that international students comprise a larger and larger portion of enrolment at the school.
“At the time there was very little offered in terms of Islamic finance on the curriculum,” he says. So he took it upon himself to build a Middle East-focused curriculum, starting with study tours to the region.
After the fourth junket, he introduced a course on Islamic finance.
Because Mr. Hejazi’s parents came to Canada from Lebanon, he has spent a good part of his life and career travelling to the region. “There’s no question that has given me perspective on that part of the world that a vast majority of professors don’t have. In fact, I’m one of the few Arabic professors on the faculty.” Continue reading
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A Toronto mother claims a niqab-wearing school bus driver poses a safety risk because she’s not easily identifiable.
Stacy Joseph says she doesn’t think the niqab, a veil that some women in the Muslim community choose to wear to cover their faces, should be worn while driving her seven-year-old son or her four-year-old boy who has special needs.
“As a parent I’m concerned that I don’t know who is driving them,” Joseph told CityNews. “I know the other bus drivers, I know them by face, I know them by name so I can easily identify them.”
She says this is not about any particular person or religion, it’s about the safety of her children.
“It has nothing to do with religion or anything like that, it’s just a matter that her face is covered and if anybody’s face was covered I’d be concerned,” said Joseph.
Under the Ontario Human Rights code, bus drivers, like any other employee in the province, must be reasonably accommodated when it comes to their religious faith – and that includes allowing them to wear religious clothing.
While the niqab is sparking concern from Joseph, others in the community say, in their experience, it’s widely accepted.
Afia Baig has been wearing a niqab in Canada for the past 18 years and although she doesn’t know the bus driver personally, she says concerns of impersonation or identity issues can be quashed by just having regular conversations with the driver.
“I see where they’re coming from, but I think they have really nothing to fear about it,” said Baig. “I think its more the fear of what is behind, what the woman is going to be like, of who is going to be sitting behind the wheel, and when she gets to know her, I’m sure 100 per cent the fear will go away.”
Niqabs have sparked controversy in the past, with protests against a Quebec law that bans women wearing the veils from receiving or providing public service.
Religious rights and security rights also collided in 2010, with allegations Air Canada failed to visually verify the identity of women boarding a flight in Montreal.
Hat tip to A.D.
Youtube :posted by abuammararafat
Uploaded on 6 Apr 2010
A person is witnessed driving a Lincoln Navigator wearing an Islamic veil (Niqab). If this person were to commit a traffic violation, or worse, then how could they be positively identified later? For example, if a veiled driver were to run over a pedestrian, then flee, how could any witnesses positively identify that perpetrator, beyond any reasonable doubt?
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