March 19, 2017
Photo By Edward Akinwunmi
Black History Month 2017
February 25, 17 SOFIFRAN Festiv Ébène 2017
The Black History Month 2017 was hosted by the SOFIFRAN: an organization of francophone women living in south Ontario.
The event coincided with the tenth anniversary of the organization.
African Association of Niagara celebrates Black History Month 2017
The African Association of Niagara treated lovers of African music and culture to a soiree to mark the Black History Month 2017.Story and Photos by Edward Akinwunmi
Canada to welcome 1200 Yazidi
February 21, 2017—Ottawa, ON – Canada plans to welcome approximately 1200 survivors of Daesh this year, including vulnerable Yazidi women and children and their families, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Minister Ahmed Hussen announced today.
It is expected that nearly 400 government-assisted refugees will have arrived by February 22, 2017, which is 120 days from the date of the motion passed by the House of Commons last fall.
Canada is working with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), with the cooperation and support of the Iraqi government, to identify vulnerable Yazidi and other survivors of Daesh both inside and outside of Iraq. While neither Canada nor the UNHCR makes selection decisions on the basis of religion or ethnicity alone, it is expected the majority of the 1200 Canada will welcome will be Yazidi.
While vulnerable women and children are being identified, the total includes their family members in order to keep families together.
In addition to the 1200 government-assisted refugees Canada will welcome, the country is also facilitating the private sponsorship of individuals who fall within this vulnerable group.
More Yazidi and other survivors of Daesh will arrive in Canada as privately sponsored refugees. All individuals will have an immigration and security interview by an experienced visa officer, comprehensive security screening and biometric checks as well as medical exams. As part of the screening process, additional work is being done to identify settlement needs.
The estimated cost for this initiative is $28 million.
“Our Government is committed to offering protection to survivors of Daesh, and we are committed to taking the necessary time to do this right. Our operation aims to bring to Canada those at the greatest risk, and to give them the support and services they need to make a new home, and to restart their lives here,” says Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
New Canadians take oath on a special day
February 15, 2016
Today was a special day for 49 immigrants who became Canadian Citizens.
The day was special because it coincided with major landmark events in Canada.
Today is the anniversary of the founding of the Canadian flag and this day in history is also the recognition of February as the Black History month following a motion introduced by the first Black Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons, Jean Augustine.
Amir, originally from Iran was the first to be called to receive his certificate of citizenship.
In an interview, flanked by his family he told mosaicedition.com he was excited and thankful for the opportunity given him by Canada.
Santosh, originally from India said the journey to citizenship took almost 5 years and expressed her gratitude to Canada for giving her the citizenship.
Sotosh shows her son,Aryan her Canadian citizenship certificate
The new citizens, drawn form 20 countries received a gift in commemoration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation. They received a free entry pass to Canada’s historical sites including over 1200 museums from coast to cost.
The special access pass and discounts on travel fares will expire in February 2018.
The presiding officer of the citizenship ceremony, Julia Koschitzky centered her message on the significance of the Canadian flag.
“Our red and white flag means home to all Canadians and inspire a fierce sense of national pride,” she said.
“They are a symbol of our open heart and our open minds, of our diversity, and our values, including love for democracy and respect for individual rights and freedom.”
Julia Koschitzky said the Canadian flag “is a constant reminder of the great privilege we share as citizens of this country”.
The ceremony, which took place at the MaRS innovation district in Toronto, was a reminder to the new Canadians of the contribution of immigrants to Canada’s development.
Usha Srinivasan, VP Learning and Insights, MaRs Discovery district noted that the building where the ceremony took place was where insulin was discovered by immigrants, Dr. Frederick Banting and Professor John Macleod.
“MaRs is the largest global innovation centre in the world.”
“We work with innovators to help solve global challenges in the world,” said the VP Learning and Insights.
“In the past 8 years we have seen great innovations brought to the market and half of the innovators are foreign born citizens,” she said. Usha Srinivasan advised the new citizens to fully engage in activities outside their communities, volunteer, contribute and learn from other Canadians.
The Institute for Canadian Citizenship hosted the citizenship ceremony. The Institute delivers programs and special projects that inspire inclusion, create opportunities to connect and encourage active citizenship.
Story and photos by Edward Akinwunmi
Bonhomme Québec Carnival 2017
February 11, 2017
The arrival of Bonhomme, at the grand parade of Carnival de Quebec was met with songs, dances and clapping to the official Bonhomme music.
Bonhomme, the official mascot of the carnival danced on the float and waved to cheering adults and children on the parade route.
The parade route was lined by adults and children all bundled up to fend off the below zero degree temperature.
The grand parade is the highlight of the winter carnival, which attracts tourists from Canada and abroad. The carnival featured various cultural aspects of the province of Québec and Canada.
Story and Photos by Edward Akinwunmi.
January 30, 2017
Hundreds marched in Toronto today, to protest the order of no entry placed by the United States on seven Muslim countries for 90 days.
The protesters congregated in front of the American Consulate where they listened to various speakers who criticized the ban.
They had a sit-in on the road obstructing the early morning flow of traffic for a few minutes. They marched peacefully to the front of the city hall where they chanted slogans.
A few minutes of silence was observed in memory of Muslims killed in a recent shooting during prayers at a Mosque in Quebec.
Story and photos by Edward Akinwunmi
Chinese New Year of Rooster
Chinese New Year 2017 - Year of Rooster
January 28, 2017 Posted January 29, 2017
The Chinese New Year Celebration of the year of Rooster was marked in Chinatown, Toronto with traditional lion dancing, eye dotting and cultural performances.
Many Torontonians and visitors braved the winter cold to experience the red Chinese New Year at the Dragon City Mall on Spadina Avenue.
The Chinatown Business Improvement Area of Toronto organized the event.
The deputy Mayor of Toronto, Minnan-Wong wished the community a good new year on behalf of Mayor John Tory.Story and photos by Edward Akinwunmi.
Posted January 21, 2017
Opioid crisis should be a National Public Health Emergency
British Columbia –Conservative MPs Cathy McLeod (Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo)) and Dianne Watts (South Surrey – White Rock) have joined the BC Health Minister Terry Lake in pleading to the federal government to declare the opioid crisis a National Public Health Emergency.
“With over 900 deaths in our province in 2016, the call is loud and clear for the federal Liberal government to take action and declare this crisis a National Public Health Emergency,” said the parliamentarians in a joint statement.
“December was the deadliest month, with 142 deaths from illicit drug overdoses and there is no end in sight to this epidemic,” they stated.
They called on Health Minister Jane Philpott to declare a national public health emergency, enhance border security measures to stop the flow of fentanyl and carfentanil into Canada, immediately undertake a national fentanyl and carfentanil education awareness campaign, support detox and treatment facilities and mental health in our communities and provinces and create a national strategy for tracking opioid overdoses.
January 10, 2017
Ahmed Hussen is new Minister of Immigration
Ahmed Hussen is the new Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
He is part of the new cabinet changes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Ahmed Hussen is the Member of Parliament for the riding of York South-Weston. A lawyer and social activist, he has a proven track record of leadership and community empowerment.
Born and raised in Somalia, Ahmed immigrated to Canada in 1993 where he settled in Regent Park and quickly gravitated towards public service.
In 2002, he co-founded the Regent Park Community Council and was able to secure a $500 million revitalization project for Regent Park, all while ensuring the interests of the area’s nearly 15,000 residents were protected.
Ahmed also served as the National President of the Canadian Somali Congress – a Somali community organization that works with national and regional authorities to advocate on issues of importance to Canadians of Somali heritage and strengthen civic engagement and integration.
His results-driven reputation led to an invitation to join the task force for modernizing income security for adults in the Toronto City Summit Alliance. Ahmed is fluent in English, Somali, and Swahili, and earned his Bachelor of Arts (History) from York University and his Law Degree from the University of Ottawa.
John McCallum, the former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, will be Canada’s Ambassador to China.
Duties on drywall will hurt Canada
OTTAWA – Conservatives in the parliament have welcomed the ruling of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal that duties imposed on drywall imported from the United States to Western Canada are contrary to Canada’s economic, trade or commercial interests.
The Tribunal’s report found that such duties have or will substantially reduce competition, or cause significant harm to consumers or businesses.
“I’m pleased that we were able to detail the harm drywall duties as high as 276% were causing our communities,” said Gerry Ritz, Member of Parliament for Battlefords–Lloydminster and International Trade Critic.
“We were seeking the elimination or a reduction of tariffs and the Tribunal heard us loud and clear, recommending in its report an immediate temporary elimination of duties and a drastic reduction of any future duties the Finance Minister chooses to impose.”
“These duties were a shock to businesses in my riding and fixed-price contracts meant people either took a loss or jobs were cancelled all together,” said Kevin Waugh, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Grasswood.
“I hope the Liberal government reflects on the outcome of their actions and takes into consideration Canada’s economy and Canadian jobs the next time they sign off on something.”
“The people of Fort McMurray have been through enough; more expensive drywall and supply issues are making things much worse,” said David Yurdiga, Member of Parliament for Fort McMurray–Cold Lake and Northern Affairs Critic.
“I’m glad I was able to bring up these concerns to the tribunal to secure a special remission for the Fort McMurray region and the people in my riding. This exemption needs to be implemented as soon as possible.”
Improvements to Express Entry
November 14, 2016—Ottawa, ON
Changes to Express Entry, which will take effect on November 19, are part of a number of improvements the Government is making on a continual basis to bring changes for a more fair and responsive immigration system that will address emerging needs and ensure long-term economic growth for the middle class.
In a statement, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada states that the Improvements include awarding points for job offers to eligible candidates already in Canada on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt work permits, and to international students who completed their studies in Canada.
Donald Trump is the 45th President of USA
November 9, 2016
Donald Trump, a Republican, is the 45th President of the United States of America.
In a very close election, he defeated his opponent Hillary Clinton, Democrat, contrary to political polls and opinions that predicted a win for Hillary Clinton.
In his victory speech, Donald Trump promised he would be a president for all Americans. He reached out to those who did not support him to join him in fulfilling his promises. “It is not a campaign but a movement,” he said.
Canada will welcome 300,000 immigrants in 2017
Canada will welcome 300,000 immigrants in 2017, announced Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, John McCallum.
Immigration levels in 2017 will support economic growth and innovation in Canada while helping to reunite more families and reduce processing times, said the minister.
Leniency period for Canada’s new Electronic Travel Authorization extended until November 9
Electronic Travel Authorization changes November 9
September 20, 2016 – Ottawa, ON
To give travellers and airlines more time to prepare for changes when flying to or transiting through Canada, the government is extending the leniency period for the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) requirement until November 9, 2016.
Starting November 10, 2016, Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, will need a valid Canadian passport to board their flight to Canada otherwise they will experience delays.
All visa-exempt travellers (except United States [U.S.] citizens) will need an eTA to board their flight. In March 2016, Canada introduced the eTA requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada temporarily by air. eTA was a key commitment under the Canada U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan to develop a common approach to pre-screening air travellers coming to either country.
A six-month leniency period was put in place so that travellers who are unfamiliar with eTA could still board their flight to Canada. This leniency period, which was set to end on September 29, has now been extended until November 9, 2016.
“In consultation with airline partners, we’re taking further steps to minimize any travel disruptions,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “We are extending the leniency period and doing another major information blitz in Canada and abroad to encourage affected travellers, including dual Canadian citizens, to plan ahead and get the necessary travel documents before they book a flight to Canada.”
Canada Employment Insurance Commission announces 2017 rate
September 14, 2016
Gatineau, Quebec - The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) today announced that the EI premium rate for 2017 will be $1.63 per $100 of insurable earnings, which is the seven-year break even rate forecast by the Chief Actuary in the 2017 Actuarial Report on the Employment Insurance Premium Rate.
The release of the new EI premium rate for 2017 marks the beginning of the CEIC assuming responsibility for setting the annual EI premium rate. In the future, the Commission will set the premium rate each year based on the seven-year break-even rate, which is a rate forecast to cover the projected costs of the EI program over a seven year period, including any cumulative surplus or deficit in the EI Operating Account.
The CEIC also announced today that for residents of Quebec covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), premiums will be reduced by $0.36 per $100 of insurable earnings. As such, they will pay $1.27 per $100 of insurable earnings. The Maximum Insurable Earnings (MIE) for 2017 will increase to $51,300 from $50,800 in 2016. The MIE is indexed on an annual basis and represents the ceiling up to which EI premiums are collected and the maximum amount considered in applications for EI benefits.
The Commission also announced the premium reductions for employers registered under the Premium Reduction Program (PRP). For 2017, it is estimated that the reductions will provide registered employers and their employees with $955 million in premium relief.
Registered employers will be notified individually, as individual reductions may vary. Employers not qualifying for a premium reduction pay 1.4 times the announced EI rate for 2017, that is $2.28 per $100 of insurable earnings.
Furthermore, for self-employed Canadians who have opted-in to the EI program, the annual earnings required to qualify for special benefits will increase to $6,888 on January 1, 2017, up from $6,820 for 2016.
The level of earnings required by self-employed Canadians to be eligible for EI special benefits is indexed annually to growth in the MIE.
Canada will spend $138 million to improve immigration detention
August 15, 2016
Laval, Quebec: Canada Border Services Agency
Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, has announced an investment of up to $138 million to transform the immigration detention system in Canada.
The new National Immigration Detention Framework will enhance alternatives to detention and include key investments in federal detention infrastructure.
In keeping with the objective to ensure that detention is truly a last resort, the Government of Canada is expanding the availability of alternatives to detention.
A community supervision program will also be developed, in partnership with stakeholders, to provide tailored risk management for released detainees.
Beginning this summer and continuing into fall 2016, a series of stakeholder engagement consultations will be held to expand the range of available alternatives to detention and reduce the number of minors in detention to the greatest extent possible.
In addition, new infrastructure projects will replace the immigration holding centres in British Columbia and Quebec to dramatically reduce the need for the use of provincial correctional facilities for immigration detention.
The funding will also be used to enhance mental and medical health services and support for individuals in immigration holding centres.
$2.5m for Rural Patients in Ontario
August 7, 2016
Ontario is strengthening health care in Northern communities by finding innovative ways to deliver care to patients through a new pilot project for rural health hubs.
As part of her week-long visit to more than a dozen Northern Ontario communities, Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement today at Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre, one of five sites chosen for the pilot project.
Ontario will provide $2.5 million in funding over three years for the five hubs. The funding will enhance service integration at the five health care locations to help them become fully integrated health hubs that better meet the unique needs of rural communities, and that provide high-quality care for patients.
They will connect modern services and coordinate transitions between caregivers and doctors -- and make it easier for patients and their families to understand and access their health care choices.
Along with community partners, the five health care centres participating in the pilot project are Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre, Dryden Regional Health Centre, Manitouwadge General Hospital, North Shore Health Centre -- formerly Blind River District Health Centre and the Haliburton Highlands Health Services.
The United Kingdom voted June 23, 2016 to leave the European Union (EU).
The Brexit vote to leave has since come under criticism by some who voted to leave.
Some of those who supported the exit are now having buyer’s remorse as the consequences of the vote to leave the EU are coming to light.
Canada welcomes 25,000 Syrian refugees
February 29, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Canada has now welcomed more than 25,000 Syrian refugees as part of the #WelcomeRefugees initiative.
The plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of February 2016 has met the commitments of a quick and successful resettlement effort while not compromising security or health requirements.
With the arrival of these refugees, attention now turns to helping them successfully integrate into Canadian society. Syrian refugees have gone to communities where there are settlement supports in place, with consideration given to whether they have family members in Canada, as well as the availability of schools, and housing.
Privately sponsored refugees have gone to the community where their sponsor lives. In both cases, Syrian refugees will begin to access to settlement services over the next few months including language classes; employment services such as help finding jobs; professional mentorship programs and workshops that focus on the requirements for building a successful life in Canada and fully integrating into Canadian society.
This significant achievement was made possible by the efforts of multiple organizations including federal departments and agencies, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the International Organization for Migration, other international partners, the governments of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, provincial and municipal governments, private sponsors, service provider organizations, donations from Corporate Canada and with broad support and generosity from Canadians.
The government’s commitment to resettling Syrian refugees to Canada will continue in 2016 as both government-supported and privately sponsored Syrian refugees will continue to arrive on commercial flights in the months ahead.
Approximately 8,500 more government-supported refugees are expected to arrive this year. (News.gc.ca )
February 3, 2016.
Canada has so far welcomed 15,685 Syrian refugees. With this latest figure the government is optimistic it will meet the goal of settling 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February.
It is processing over 13,978 applications to meet the deadline.
John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship gave the update today at a news conference in Ottawa.
The minister said the temporary halt by some cities on accepting refugees does not affect the air transportation of those arriving.
“While some cities have a temporary halt, others have been running smoothly,” he said.
The housing needs of the new arrivals are being addressed in partnership with the private sector. “Housing is significant but manageable,” he said.
The government has made an appeal to the private sector and some developers are pledging their support with provision of subsidized housing. The use of military bases as temporary housing for the Syrian refugees is not needed as at this moment.
John McCallum said that the recently launched family link initiative has identified 157 Syrian families in Canada who want to bring in family members and 5 Canadians who have the means to sponsor the refugees. He appealed to more sponsors to take advantage of the family link program.
By Edward Akinwunmi
Canada announces the Syrian Family Links initiative
January 26, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Today, Syrian Family Links was launched to help connect Syrian refugees abroad with private Canadian sponsors through the help of the refugee’s family in Canada.
Through this initiative, Syrians in Canada can identify family members who are refugees in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey and help link them with local sponsorship groups in Canada who are seeking someone to sponsor.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) partnered with Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS) to help reunite members of the Syrian community in Canada with family members who are refugees but do not have the means to sponsor them.
Through its Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), CCS will put sponsors in contact with Syrian refugees. Family members in Canada and potential sponsors will then be responsible for discussing general terms of sponsorship.
Once sponsorship terms are agreed upon, the sponsor will submit an application under the IRCC’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees program. Refugees will be subject to the same screening criteria as all privately sponsored refugees (PSRs).
Both groups can register for the Family Links initiative through the RSTP.
Minister McCallum condemns pepper spray incident in Vancouver
Ottawa, January 9, 2016— John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has condemned the pepper spray attack on a group of Syrian refugees.
"I was appalled when I heard of last night’s incident outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre in Vancouver, in which an unknown assailant pepper sprayed a group of Syrian refugees. Paramedics treated more than two dozen men, women and children for exposure to the noxious substance," he said.
"That the group was there to attend an event welcoming them to Canada only makes this attack even more infuriating and reprehensible. Canadians know that this incident is an affront to our values as a nation, and is at odds with the overwhelmingly positive welcome that Syrian refugees have received in communities across our country."
“As Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, I wish all of the victims of last night’s attack a quick recovery, and I look forward to our police and legal system bringing the perpetrator to justice.”
Canada is not collecting any information on the religion and sexual orientation of Syrian refugees.
December 16, 2015
The government is relying on the list of refugees made available by the United Nations, which does not track the religion or sexual orientation of those fleeing the conflict area.
During a joint national conference call by John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, it was disclosed that though the government announced it would prioritize the settlement of Syrian refugees by considering the most vulnerable, it could not provide statistics on the breakdown of those being admitted to show their status.
Addressing the question of how many Christians, Yazidis and the LGBT community had been admitted, the Minister said no such database was created.
John McCallum noted that the refugees had been treated badly by the Syrian government and by ISIS adding that keeping a database of each person’s religion and sexual orientation was very complex.
The next two weeks will see a wave of refugees coming from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. An average of two flights per day is expected.
The government has increased capacity for medical examinations from 600 per week to 800 per day. The Minister said some refugees already approved to come to Canada might not come before the end of the year due to issuance of exit visas and human element.
He expressed appreciation for the cooperation of the government of Lebanon in accelerating the issuance of exit visas. The other factor that is beyond the control of Canada is human element of refugees winding down their affairs and saying good-bye to families. Canada would give any approved refugees more time to travel if needed.
Meanwhile, Canada will not pursue its appeal in the case of The Federal Health Program (IFHP) for refugees. The case involves changes made in 2012 to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for refugees, refugee claimants and claimants who were denied refugee status.
The temporary coverage announced after the Federal Court decision will stay in place until a new program is implemented.
By Edward Akinwunmi
Service providers for refugees and newcomers get more funds.
December 9, 2015 – Ottawa, ON
John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship today announced that more funding will be provided for resettlement and settlement service providers by extending current contribution agreements and providing new funding where and when it is needed.
As an essential first step, Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) service providers will receive a 25 percent increase to this year’s funding, $3.6 million, to ensure they have supports in place as soon as refugees arrive.
Over the next four years, a total of $335 million will be used for settlement and resettlement services, both in Canada and abroad, in stages as Syrian refugees needs arise.
Approximately $94.5 million of that money will be used to provide income support to refugees.
Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade for Ontario John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.,Dr Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and councilor James Pasternak at COSTI Immigrant Services in Toronto.
Toronto: December 3, 2015.
One of the ways to deal with multiple housing needs of Syrian refugees coming to Canada is to maximize the number of refugees with family connections.
“It is easier to settle in a country if you have family ties”, says John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
The Minister was at COSTI Immigrant Services in Toronto to meet with frontline settlement charity organizations and members of the Syrian Community.
Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade for Ontario, Dr Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and councilor James Pasternak accompanied the Minister.
On the vetting process of the Syrian refugees, the Minister said Canada security agencies have expressed satisfaction with the security vetting process. Independent security agencies that are not part of the government have in addition, said the approach to vetting the refugees was satisfactory.
“Canada takes the refugees from the United Nations list, and receive a certain amount of clearance through the United Nations.”
The refugees are then subjected to extensive interviews by Canadian experts oversees.
John McCallum noted that the refugees are fingerprinted to be included in the Canadian and American databases. It is after this process that Canada would choose the most vulnerable people. He stated that every refugee that is admitted into Canada would become a landed immigrant with permanent resident status on stepping on the Canadian soil. “Anyone interviewed who could not satisfy the security agencies would have the file set aside.”
On the reaction of American officials to Canada’s decision to bring in Syrian refugees, the Minister said he had had conversations with officials south of the border noting the conversations were cordial and positive.
The officials were satisfied with Canada’s cooperation in providing the electronic identification of those coming in and out of the country, a decision made by the previous administration.
He wants Canadians to be confident and reassured that their security concerns are being addressed.
Story by Edward Akinwunmi
November 24, 2015 – Ottawa, ON – The Government of Canada is taking immediate action to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada as quickly as possible, through a five-phase national plan.
Canada can and will do more to help Syrian refugees who are desperately seeking safety, by offering them a new home.
The five phases are identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada, selecting and processing Syrian refugees overseas, transportation to Canada, arrival and welcoming in Canada, and settlement and community integration. Protecting the safety, security, and health of Canadians and refugees is a key factor in guiding the Government of Canada’s actions throughout this initiative.
The government will identify all 25,000 refugees to come to Canada by December 31, 2015. Of those selected, the target is to have 10,000 Syrian refugees arrive in Canada by the end of this year, and the remainder to arrive by the end of February 2016.
Canada will be working closely with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to identify registered Syrian refugees who can be resettled. Canada’s focus will be on identifying vulnerable refugees who are a lower security risk.
Health and security screening will be completed overseas. This will include the collection of biographic information and biometric screening of all refugees, verified against databases.
The government also has several thousand applications in processing for privately sponsored refugees (PSRs) under way, and these will be included as part of the commitment. The majority of these will be finalized in the coming weeks.
These refugees will be admitted into Canada, in either Montreal or Toronto, and then continue directly on to their destination community.
November 4, 2015
Justin Trudeau takes oath of Office
Ottawa – November 4, 2015 The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau was sworn into office today at the Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
The Prime Minister arrived at the ceremony in a bus with some members of the 42nd Parliament.
Members of the public cheered Justin Trudeau on as he walked the route to the ceremony. He greeted admirers, signed autographs and even took selfies.
The ceremony was attended amongst others by close family members including his wife Sofie and children and his mother Margaret Trudeau.
Story by Edward Akinwunmi
Toronto – October 27, 2015
The Prime Minister-designate, Justin Trudeau, met today with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at Queens Park. It was cheers for the Prime Minister-designate as his limousine cruised to the front of the Ontario legislature.
It was his first meeting with the Premier since his party won the majority of seats in the 42nd Parliament.
Also today in Toronto, Justin Trudeau attended the celebration of life ceremony of late Ken D Taylor. Dignitaries converged on Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto to offer prayers and pay tribute to the late Canadian Ambassador to Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979.
Ken Taylor was credited with helping six Americans escape with the help of the American Intelligence Agency by procuring Canadian passports for the hostages in an operation called the “Canadian Caper”.
Story by Edward Akinwunmi
October 19, 2015
Poll workers help a voter at an acute care facility to cast his ballot.Photo/Election Canada
The new Prime Minister of Canada is Justin Trudeau. The 43-year-old former teacher and leader of the Liberal Party defeated the incumbent Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party with a majority win of seats in the House of Commons.
Mr. Trudeau, the son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau promised in his victory speech to listen to all Canadians, as they demanded a change of government by the mandate given to his party.
Festival D’Été de Québec 2014
Quebec City: July 13, 2014
The Quebec summer festival was spectacular. The eleven-day festival of music, dance and theater drew thousands of revelers to downtown Quebec City.
Mosaic Edition was at the festival to see first hand the much talked about summer festival of North America.
Mosaic Edition was at the Hydro Quebec stage and witnessed the eclectic performance of FeFe Pop group from France. Fefe understood the crowd and carried the audience with him with his choruses and dance moves. Occasionally, the energetic artiste would leave the band on stage to dance and sing with the audience while navigating through the thick crowd.
Seun Kuti, from Nigeria, the youngest son of the legendary king of Afrobeat, late Fela Kuti dazzled the audience with his saxophone and dance moves that would remind one of his late father.
He was backed by the Egypt 80 band, which consisted of some of those who played with his late father. Seun Kuti opened the act with VIP (Vagabond In Power), a tune of his late father to condemn excessive use of power by government. He got the audience going with his original composition; IMF (International Mother F*****s).
The song was directed at the monetary body and the stringent policies of the body to the disadvantage of poor economies.
Mosaic Edition witnessed in addition, the Neto Yuth Reggae Band from Quebec. Neto Yuth preached a lot of love and peace with their lyrics.
The performance of Karim Diouf was a thriller. The crooner entertained the audience with genre of reggae and African music supported by different invited artistes who displayed their mastery of energetic African dance.
The festival (Festival D’ Été De Québec) featured headliners including Billy Joel, Bryan Adams, Blondie, Suuns, Paul Daraiche and others.
Festival D’Été de Québec is a must see for lovers of music across the world.
Story and photo by Edward Akinwunmi. See more photos.
February 3, 2014 — Ottawa — Visitors to Canada will automatically be considered for a multiple-entry visa, starting on February 6, 2014. Multiple-entry visas allow qualified visitors to come and go from Canada for six months at a time for up to 10 years without having to reapply each time.
The fee for the temporary resident visa (TRV) program will now be reduced from $150 to $100 for the processing of either a single- or multiple-entry visa.
By harmonizing the single- and multiple-entry visa fees, the visa application process will become simpler for applicants and promote tourism and trade by increasing the number of eligible travellers who are able to make multiple visits to Canada, says the CIC.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
The former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday evening, 5 December 2013 at the age of 95. The world will miss a great leader.
The Niagara Folk Arts Festival has kicked off in St. Catharines. It will feature various cultural associations in the region displaying their dance, food and music. Mosaic Edition captured some photos at the opening ceremony.
Drumming for kids
The African Association of Niagara has started a drumming lesson for young members of the association.
The lesson is one of the activities of the association to develop a cultural awareness for young ones born in Canada.
The program has been made possible by the City of St. Catharines.
Gavin Webb, a PhD in Ethno Musicology is the instructor for the program. During the first lesson attended by Mosaic Edition, the young drummers were told the basics of drumming and learned different styles of playing the 'djembe' drum.
Gavin Webb told Mosaic Edition that the first lesson was 'a good' start though the participants had no background in drumming.
He said the idea of the program was to make the participants eventually form a group to support the activities of the African association.
Gavin Webb went to the Volta Region, Ghana in 1996 for studies. He came back to Canada to attend the University of Toronto before returning to Ghana for his masters at the University of Ghana. He left for Ghana again in 2000, where he completed his PhD at the University of Ghana. He lived in Ghana for over 12 years during which period he travelled to some parts of The Africa continent to research African music.
The participants at the end of the first lesson were able to demonstrate their knowledge of drumming to the delight of their parents who also joined in learning the skills of African drumming.
The class is offered at no cost every Saturday between 9.00am and 10.45am. It takes place at the Multicultural Folk Arts Centre, 85 Church Street, St. Catharines.
Story and photo by Edward Akinwunmi
Designated Countries of Origin Announced
Publisher gets Queen's medal
The Publisher of Mosaic Edition Edward Akinwunmi has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
He was among residents of Welland riding who received the medal in recognition of their contribution to the community.
Other recipients of the medal were Bunny Alexander, Betty Ann Baker, Stella Blanchard, Huguette Brauweiler, Grace-Ann Cambray, Marcel Castonguay, Ethan Chase, Helen Durley, Fred Farnham, Robert Jollife, John Kwekkeboom, Sharon Leavere, Dawna McArthur, Mark McMullen, John Murray, and Fred Neale.
Others were Robert Neill, Henry Nikitczuk, Henry O’Keefe, Jack O’Neil, Stephen Quesnelle, Edythe Phillips, Carol Rapelje, Anthony Romero, Tony Saltarelli, Robert Saracino, Arnold Steed, Francine Villeneuve and Peter Willetts. The Member of Parliament representing Welland Malcolm Allen presented the medals to the recipients. “The 30 recipients represent a mosaic of individual experiences and accomplishments.”
Residents of St. Catharines get Queen's Medal
Distinguished citizens of St. Catharines riding have been honored with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. The Member of Parliament for the riding, Rick Dykstra presented the medals.
Citizenship brings responsibility
Oct 17, 2012 - Brampton
Citizenship carries a lot of responsibility, says Citizenship Court Judge Harry Dhaliwal. “Becoming a Canadian does mean more than having a piece of paper,” Judge Dhaliwal remarked, while addressing 62 new Canadians at a citizenship ceremony hosted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Brampton Library, in celebration of Citizenship Week.
A citizen of Canada should share a common set of Canadian values having rights and responsibilities such as being a full member of the Canadian family with responsibility to obey the Canadian laws. He hoped the new Canadians would serve as source of inspiration to others.
“Your future is going to shape the future of this country,” he noted.
Canadian Experience Class marks success
Minister Kenney congratulates Gaurav Gore , Canada ’s 20,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – Ottawa, Ontario
"And so, today, as part of that momentum, I’m pleased to announce that we have just admitted the 20,000th permanent resident to Canada through the Canadian Experience Class. And the 20,000th resident is Mr. Gaurav Gore of Toronto, originally of India, who came to Canada to do his Master’s at the Rotman School of Business here at the University of Toronto, was shortly thereafter employed, works for the Bank of Montreal." Read more...
Canada revokes citizenship
Ottawa, September 10, 2012 — The Government of Canada’s investigation into residence fraud continues to grow, with nearly 11,000 individuals potentially implicated in lying to apply for citizenship or maintain permanent resident status. Citizenship and Immigration Canada ( CIC ) has begun the process to revoke the citizenship of up to 3,100 citizens who obtained it fraudulently. Read More...
39 persons charged by the RCMP for marriage fraud.
Montréal, August 28, 2012 – 39 persons have been charged by the RCMP for a total of 78 new counts of indictments for misrepresentation and procuring feigned marriage.
The initial part of this investigation by the RCMP Immigration and Passport Section had led last February to the dismantling of an alleged criminal organization involved in illegal immigration.
The purpose of the current part of the investigation was to lay charges against the individuals who allegedly took part in marriages of convenience. They are scheduled to appear in Court on October 16, 2012 stated the RCMP on their website.
In October 2009, the RCMP initiated an investigation dubbed Project CONJUGAL, the purpose of which was to address the legitimacy of hundreds of suspicious marriages. The investigation revealed that Mr. Niang, a bogus immigration consultant who is believed to be the mastermind behind this scheme, provided advice on how to submit misrepresented facts to Citizenship and Immigration Canada to individuals whose visas were due to expire.
The statement said he organized fake marriages with the assistance of accomplices to allow these individuals originating from North Africa to remain in Canada. The network recruited young Canadian women in the Montréal area and arranged for them to participate in marriages of convenience in exchange for money.
The RCMP investigates suspicious activity by criminal organizations offering fraudulent advice to circumvent Canadian immigration laws or illegal services to help obtain Canadian citizenship more quickly or facilitate entry into Canada.
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, in a statement noted “We wish to commend the RCMP’s Immigration and Passport Section for their successful efforts in bringing charges not only against the alleged mastermind of the operation, Mr. Niang, but also against those individuals who allegedly chose to participate in a marriage fraud scheme designed to circumvent Canada’s immigration laws.”
“These charges underline that the Government of Canada takes immigration fraud very seriously and those involved in these acts will face serious consequences."
“Over the past 12 months, our Government has introduced a series of measures to fight marriage fraud. Canadians depend on an immigration system that is fair and secure. They don’t want us to allow phony marriages to discredit our entire immigration system. That is why we will protect the integrity of the immigration system and weed out those engaging in this type of fraud.”
see RCMP and CIC websites
Canadian Multiculturalism Day 2012
St. Catharines, June 27, 2012 - Canadian Multiculturalism Day was marked in front of the city hall, St Catharines with the creation of mosaic of international flags by newcomers.
Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect and to appreciate the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society.
The event, which was organized by the Community Connections Department of the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, featured an interactive world map showing the country of origin of the newcomers and music by the PK Hummingbird Steel Band. The Executive Director of the Centre, Jeff Burch stated that it was the second time the organization was celebrating Canadian Multiculturalism Day. The celebration was intended to show, that St. Catharines was a diverse city. The City of St. Catharines has been running the oldest heritage cultural festival in Canada called the Niagara Folk Arts Festival. "We want people to know how diverse we are in St. Catharines", he noted.
Some of the newcomers turned up in their traditional dresses and proudly planted the flag of Canada and flags of their various countries on the lawn of the St. Catharines City Hall.
On November 13, 2002, the Government of Canada, by Royal Proclamation, designated June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day.
Story and Photo by Edward Akinwunmi
Removal of Foreign Criminals Act
Ottawa, June 20, 2012 — Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, introduced legislation today to expedite the removal of foreign criminals from Canada and to enhance the safety and security of Canadians.
“The Harper Government is putting a stop to foreign criminals relying on endless appeals in order to delay their removal from Canada during which time they continue to terrorize innocent Canadians,” said Kenney “Canadians are generous and welcoming people, but they have no tolerance for criminals and fraudsters abusing our generosity.”
The Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act focuses on three areas which would make it easier for the Government to remove dangerous foreign criminals from our country, make it harder for those who may pose a risk to Canada to enter the country in the first place and remove barriers for genuine visitors who want to come to Canada.
Through the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, the Government hopes to streamline the process to deport convicted criminals by limiting their access to the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Immigration Appeal Division. This will reduce the amount of time certain criminals may remain in Canada by up to 14 months, reducing their chances of committing more crime on Canadian soil.
Another change in the proposed legislation would ensure that foreign nationals who are inadmissible on the most serious grounds - security, human or international rights violations, or organized criminality - will no longer be able to delay their removal by applying for a program that is meant for cases deserving of humanitarian and compassionate consideration.
Ottawa, May 18, 2012 – More than 3,500 Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applications have now been approved since the Super Visa was introduced on December 1, 2011, with an overall approval rate of 83 percent, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is a great success,” said Minister Kenney. “Our Government is committed to family reunification. I’m happy to see that the program is growing and that more and more eligible parents and grandparents are getting the opportunity to spend longer periods of time with their loved ones in Canada.”
The process for getting a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is simple and straightforward. Applicants for the Super Visa must submit proof that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum income level, demonstrate that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance and undergo the Immigration Medical Examination. Ninety-nine percent of Super Visa applicants who met these requirements also went on to meet all
Ottawa, February 16, 2012 — Legislation to protect the integrity of Canada’s immigration system was introduced today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
The proposed measures include further reforms to the asylum system to make it faster and fairer, measures to address human smuggling, and the authority to make it mandatory to provide biometric data with a temporary resident visa application. Read more...
OTTAWA, ONTARIO - The Government of Canada is making it much harder for people convicted of crimes that result in bodily harm against members of their family or other particularly violent offences to sponsor any family class member to come to Canada. Read more..
November 2, 2011
Following a substantial increase in the number of student visas issued in recent years, Canada has welcomed its 10,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Read more..
Friends of Publisher of Mosaic Edition, Edward Akinwunmi and Haitian born music sensation Nelo Chouloute came together recently for a business luncheon and networking at a reception in Montreal.
The event was to introduce Mosaic Edition multicultural newspaper and Mosaic Edition on-line to the Montreal audience. In addition, musical talent Nelo Chouloute used the occasion to inform of his project featuring remixing of his debut CD and video production to go with the music. Read more
Commuting between regional municipalities in Niagara Region is being improved with the launch of Niagara Region Transit. The new service aims to enhance transportation connection between municipalities and between existing transport services offering alternatives to travelers throughout the region. Read more...
August 27, 2011 - TorontoJack Layton was honoured by Canadians from all walks of life during a memorial ceremony in Toronto to honour the life of the leader of the NDP.
Toronto, Ontario, August 18, 2011 — Today, the federal government expanded its “Wanted by the CBSA” list to include individuals who have failed to comply with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and have criminal convictions in Canada. Read more...
June 25, 2011
Members of Asian Television Network International and Publisher Mosaic Edition Edward Akinwunmi at the garden party.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs. Laureen Harper held a garden party today on the lawns of 24 Sussex, Ottawa. Read more..
May 14, 2011
May 5, 2011
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney was photographed summer 2009 at the North Toronto Korean Festival. Photo/Edward Akinwunmi
Despite being credited with the strategy of the Conservative Party’s inroad into some ethnic communities of Canada, which resulted in a majority government for his party, Jason Kenney refused to gloat at his first cultural media national teleconference.
The minister opened the telephone conference with a gratitude to the ethno-cultural media outlets in Canada for their serious coverage of the election. Read more...
April 21, 2011
TOWN HALL FORUM/DEBATE
Candidates for the 41st Federal Election in St. Catharines riding participated in a debate and town forum focusing on immigration, multiculturalism, and settlement of newcomers to Canada. Read more...
Caregivers deserve to be landed from day one, says the Member of Parliament for Welland in the 40th House of Commons, Malcolm Allen.
He was speaking to Mosaic Edition at a town forum in St. Catharines organized by Caregivers Niagara.
Malcolm Allen, Irish born, said his party will push for the enactment of parts of the immigration committee report which recommended landed status for caregivers upon arrival.
Malcom Allen is the NDP candidate for Welland in the 41st Federal election. Read more....
The public debate was sponsored by Mosaic Edition to bring issues affecting newcomers to the attention of the candidates.
It was also meant to introduce new Canadians to the civic responsibility of understanding the national political discourse before casting their vote. Look out for the 41st Parliamentary Election Debate 2011. Read More...
The 40th Parliament was shut down today after a vote of no confidence by the opposition parties passed in the House of Commons.
March 7, 2011
The controversy Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has found himself on the strategy of the Conservative Party (CP) to target ethnic voters has opened up a lot of discussion on the reality of the growing strength of the cultural media and their audience. Read more..
February 12, 2011
Trisha Dela Cruz is the 2011 Queen of the Filipino Canadian Association of Niagara, FCAN. The new FCAN ambassador hopes to study criminology.
She told Mosaic Edition after her crowning in Niagara Falls that she looked forward to experiencing various diverse cultures of the region during the Niagara Folk Arts Festival in May.
Trisha Dela Cruz will represent the Filipino community as the 2011 Ambassador to the festival.
Fergie Jenkins, Canadian baseball hall of famer was in St. Catharines to launch his commemorative Canada Post stamp as part of activities celebrating the Black History Month.
He was at the Distinguished Speaker Series special luncheon organized by the St. Catharines – Thorold Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Brock University.
He commended the role played by parents in making sure their kids play sports. Read more...
Warren Salmon was at the Kuumba Festival celebrating the Black History Month at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto with his son Shakari (8). His ancestors came to Canada from Jamaica in 1912.
He told Mosaic Edition he was at the exhibit to show his son some Black Canadians who have made significant contributions to the country. Read more...
African Healers, AIDS and witchcraft (2008). Read More...
Kormos-political pugilist of the voiceless (2007). Read more..
Fort Erie pastor helps newcomers start own service in French and Creole (2008). Read more....
Region Supports Bid to Bring 2021 Canada Summer Games to Niagara Region
Posted January 21, 2017
Council has voted to support a bid to bring the 2021 Canada Summer Games to Niagara in the form of a $10.35 million financial commitment.
With the vote, the Region joins together with Niagara’s 12 local municipalities in order to make their application by the end of the month.
The final selection of the Canadian Summer Games host will be publically announced in late March or early April of 2017 through a media event.
The $10.3 million commitment made by Regional Council sends a strong message to the bid evaluation committee that Niagara is invested in this endeavor.
The provincial and federal government have also each committed up to $10.3 million to support the games. The Niagara Sport Commission projects that the 2021 games will likely have an economic impact of as much as $240 million with support for 1,500 jobs and $76 million in salaries and wages.
Fidel Castro Former leader of Cuba is dead.
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a Cuban politician and revolutionary who governed the Republic of Cuba for 47 years as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2006. He died November 25, 2016, in Cuba
November 21, 2016
Ontario Invests in New Campus at Centennial College
Ontario is giving more students opportunities to train for high-tech manufacturing, robotics and aerospace jobs by investing in a new campus for aerospace programs.
Premier Kathleen Wynne joined representatives from the Government of Canada and Centennial College today to make the announcement at the future site of the Centennial College Downsview Park Aerospace Campus in Toronto.
The joint investment will make it possible for about 500 new students to attend three new aerospace and aviation-related programs. Four hundred aviation students from another Centennial campus will join them at the new Downsview facility.
Liberal government’s indecision on the TPP has rendered Canada invisible on the world stage
November 21, 2016 OTTAWA, ON – Official Opposition Trade Critic Gerry Ritz says Canada should be consistent on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In a statement in response to reports that emerged out of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima indicating that Mexico, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore have committed to pursuing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with or without the United States, the Member of Parliament said the political climate in the United States should not dictate Canada’s policy positions when it comes to international trade, and it certainly should not preclude Canada from being a leader on the world stage.
Liberal Plan Has Failed Canadians
November 1, 2016 OTTAWA, ON – Today’s fiscal update is a clear sign the Liberal economic plan has failed, says Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
“Canadians are worse off today than they were a year ago,” said Ambrose. “The government is spending at record levels and taxes are higher, yet more people are unemployed and there are fewer full-time jobs.”
Conservatives Demand Immediate Action on Energy East
September 20, 2016 OTTAWA, ON - Conservative Members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, Mark Strahl, Critic for Natural Resources, John Barlow, MP for Foothills, and Shannon Stubbs, MP for Lakeland, are calling on the Minister of Natural Resources to stand up for energy workers and immediately restart the pipeline review process for the proposed Energy East pipeline.
“Over 110,000 energy workers have lost their jobs since the Liberals took office. They are losing their homes and they are losing hope for their futures,” said MP Strahl. “It’s high time that the Minister of Natural Resources stood up for these working families and the communities they live in by getting the pipeline review process restarted immediately.”
Last month, the three member panel charged with reviewing the proposed Energy East pipeline resigned, bringing the review hearings to a sudden stop. With public hearings suspended and no date set for when a new panel will be installed, the project and the tens of thousands of workers it would employ remain in limbo.
The Liberals have taken no action to date to appoint a new panel.
$749,500 OTF grant assists Activate Aurora in its quest to make Aurora ‘Canada’s Most Active Community’
(Aurora, Ontario, September 18, 2016) - Aurora will become “Canada’s Most Active Community.” The declaration was made by Activate Aurora chair Ron Weese during a launch ceremony Sunday held in front of a packed gym at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex.
A $ 749,500 investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation will allow for the development of a cross-sector program that will serve as a model for other jurisdictions wishing to build an active and healthy community.
“Congratulations to Activate Aurora on receiving an Ontario Trillium Grant,” said Chris Ballard, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora. “Aurora has declared it will become Canada’s Most Active Community by 2020 and this funding will help it to make good on that promise. Too many Ontarians face serious health issues including type-2 diabetes, childhood obesity and mental health challenges. Activate Aurora’s program will help people face these issues head-on by fostering and encouraging an active lifestyle and a healthy diet for residents of all ages.”
Lookout Point Country Club to Host Hyundai PGA Scramble of Canada National Final.
Taking place Sept. 29-Oct. 1, the national final features 25 teams, comprised of four amateurs and a PGA of Canada professional playing in a 36-hole scramble format.
March 8, 2016 – Ottawa, ON
The Government of Canada has plans to bring in between 280,000 and 305,000 new permanent residents in 2016. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, today announced that Canada will welcome a greater number of immigrants in 2016 —with a special emphasis on family reunification.
OPPOSITION MP MICHELLE REMPEL ON THE PROPOSED CUTS TO ECONOMIC IMMIGRATION
March 8, 2016
OTTAWA, ON –
The 2016 Immigration Levels Plan indicates that the federal government will be cutting economic immigration, says Conservative Party MP Michelle Rempel.
“The Liberal government has announced that they are cutting 15,000 spots for federal skilled workers, 8,000 spots from caregivers, and 900 spots from business immigration streams.”
“They are effectively cancelling our previous Conservative government’s plan to reduce the backlog in the Caregiver Program, which included increasing our targets to 30,000 caregivers each year for a two year period,” said the parliamentarian.
“These caregivers support families and the most vulnerable, and they play a vital role in Canada’s economy.”
"With nearly a 250% increase to the refugee stream, Syrian refugees are still without language training and permanent housing, which the government has not explained how it will pay for.”
Trudeau’s plan for massive deficits threatens jobs and growth
February 16, 2016
Ottawa, ON – Today the Liberal government continued to blame others instead of acknowledging Justin Trudeau’s “spending problem”, said Opposition Finance Critic Lisa Raitt.
“The Conservative Party left the Liberals with a $1.2 billion surplus, and in less than 100 days the surplus was squandered by Prime Minister Trudeau.”
“Last week Justin Trudeau finally admitted that he will break his promise to keep his deficits below $10-billion and he also raised doubts about his government’s ability to balance the books by 2019/2020,” said Lisa Raitt.
January 26, 2016
Ontario has announced new decisions on the proposed design of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)
The government also released details on the ORPP's funding policy. The details released today, combined with details released last August, will help employers prepare for the implementation of the ORPP, beginning on January 1, 2017.
Conservative Party announces Leadership election date
January 19, 2016
OTTAWA - The Conservative Party's Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) met in Toronto this past weekend to discuss the process for the Party to elect its next leader. Among the items discussed, LEOC selected May 27, 2017 for Conservative Party members to elect their next leader.
January 12, 2016
Selkirk, MB - This morning approximately 70 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) returned to CFB Gagetown from Lebanon and Jordan. These are the first of the 230 Canadian troops to return from Operation PROVISION, the CAF’s contribution in support of the Government of Canada’s efforts to welcome Syrian refugees to Canada. Member of Parliament James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman), Official Opposition Defence Critic, thanked the members of the CAF for their service.
January 12, 2016
Ontario is helping hundreds of community agencies provide safer and more accessible facilities for individuals, children and families.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the Herizon House in Ajax today to highlight the investment of nearly $36 million toward upgrades and repairs at more than 350 community agencies across Ontario.
This investment includes $28 million that was distributed last summer and nearly $8 million that was delivered in December. These investments will help Aboriginal healing and wellness centres, violence against women community agencies and developmental services providers maintain and improve their facilities.
The funding will also go towards helping children's treatment centres, children's aid societies and youth centres provide safe and comfortable environments for the children and families who rely on their services. Funding for the Partner Facility Renewal Program was made available through the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Ontario gets more electric vehicle charging stations December 8, 2015.
Ontario province is putting its new Climate Change Strategy into action by investing $20 million this year from the Ontario Green Investment Fund to build more public charging stations for electric vehicles.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray made the announcement while taking part in the United Nations' 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) on climate change in Paris, France.
Through the $20 million grant program, the province is seeking public and private sector partners to create a network of fast-charging electric vehicle stations in cities, along highways and at workplaces, apartments, condominiums and public places across Ontario.
A shift to low- and zero-emission vehicles is vital to the fight against climate change and achieving Ontario's greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Ontario's new $325 million Green Investment Fund commits money for projects that fight climate change.
November 25, 2015 ONTARIO COULD BE FIRST IN CANADA WITH CONCUSSION LEGISLATION SPONSORED BY MPPS IN ALL PARTIES: MACLEOD QUEEN’S PARK – Today, PC MPP for Nepean-Carleton Lisa MacLeod introduced Rowan’s Law in the Ontario Legislature with support from Liberal MPP John Fraser and NDP MPP Catherine Fife, who co-sponsored the bill.
If Rowan’s Law passes, it will be the first concussion legislation in Canada. “Concussions can have lasting effects and, as we have seen with Rowan Stringer, can be potentially fatal,” said MPP MacLeod. “I am proud that my colleagues in all parties will join with Gord and Kathleen Stringer and myself to support what could be the first concussion legislation in Canada. This bill could save lives.”
Gord and Kathleen Stringer, constituents of MPP MacLeod, agreed: “If you give kids the tools and the education to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion and provide an avenue to report on those, they will be better prepared to make the necessary decisions regarding their personal health or to help their friends and teammates.”
Named for Rowan Stringer, an Ottawa teen who died in 2013 from multiple concussions, Rowan’s Law would create an expert advisory committee to advise on the 49 recommendations that stemmed from a Coroner’s Inquest into Rowan’s death.
The recommendations aim to enhance the safety and health of youth athletes, and include making concussion awareness mandatory in Ontario’s curriculum.
Ontario Investing up to $2.27 Billion to Enhance Health Care and Patients’ Experience
November 18, 2015 The new Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital will open its doors on December 13, providing expanded health care services and an improved patient experience. The facility is triple the size of the existing Oakville hospital it will replace. Ontario is investing up to $2.27 billion in this project
November 14, 2015: Paris was attacked by a group of terrorists Friday evening that has left up to 127 people dead. The coordinated attacks involved the use of explosives, rifles and hostage taking. Apart from the dead, many people are still in hospital for various wounds. Three days of national mourning has been declared in France.
November 13, 2015 Official Opposition:
"Changes to mission against ISIS must have vote in Parliament"
OTTAWA - Canada's Official Opposition Conservatives today called on Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal government to commit to a debate and vote in Parliament on any changes in the mission against ISIS.
“We heard from the Prime Minister almost immediately following the election that he told President Obama that Canada would be pulling out of the allied air strike mission against ISIS," said Rona Ambrose, Official Opposition Leader.
"Today, I'm asking the Prime Minister to follow the leadership of Conservatives on this issue, and commit to a debate and vote on any changes to the mission against ISIS.”
Premier's China Mission Generates $2.5 Billion in Agreements
November 13, 2015
$750 Million in Agreements Signed in Beijing
Premier Kathleen Wynne concluded her second mission to China today in Beijing, where 38 new agreements valued at $750 million were signed by delegates.
This brings the estimated total value of agreements from the mission to $2.5 billion.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announces action on Syrian refugee crisis November 9, 2015 – Ottawa
John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has announced the creation of a new Cabinet ad hoc committee to help bring Syrian refugees to Canada.
This is part of steps towards delivering on the government’s commitment to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of 2015. The Government of Canada has committed to expanding Canada’s intake of refugees from Syria by 25,000 through immediate government sponsorship, and also work with private sponsors to accept even more, fully restore the Interim Federal Health Program that provides limited and temporary health benefits to refugees and refugee claimants, and invest at least an additional $100 million this fiscal year to increase, without reducing standards, refugee processing as well as sponsorship and settlement services capacity in Canada.
Premier Embarks On First California Mission Mission Will Build Opportunities in ICT, Cleantech and the Film Industry October 30, 2015.
Premier Kathleen Wynne will begin her first mission to California on Sunday to strengthen ties between the two regions by expanding existing relationships, building new partnerships and furthering new business opportunities.
In San Francisco, the Premier will meet with leaders from the information and communications technology (ICT) field including entrepreneurs, innovators and venture capitalists,to promote Ontario as one of the best places in the world to do business.
In Los Angeles, the Premier will meet with representatives from the film industry to talk about Ontario's extensive experience in film and television production, high-quality infrastructure and a supportive business environment, including tax credits.
Ontario is the number one film and television production centre in Canada, and the third-largest in North America, behind California and New York.
October 29, 2015
MPPs Will Debate Hudak’s Opportunity in the Sharing Economy Act This Afternoon MPP’s Private Member’s Bill Will Empower Ontarians To Earn Additional Income
QUEEN’S PARK – Today is the day MPPs can say yes to saving you time and money while encouraging innovation in the Province of Ontario.
MPP Tim Hudak's Private Member's Bill, Opportunity in the Sharing Economy, is up for debate this afternoon, giving MPPs their first opportunity to discuss how government can empower hard-pressed Ontarians to make more money from things they already own, such as their car, home or parking spot. "That added income means a lot to many families in Ontario. People have told me that driving for Uber helps them make ends meet, or gives them the opportunity to send their child to college or university," said Hudak. "Today is about empowering Ontarians while encouraging investment and entrepreneurship in our province," added Hudak. The Opportunity in the Sharing Economy Act, the first legislation of its kind in Canada, is a modern, province-wide licensing system that allows Ontarians to make money through Uber, Airbnb and Rover.
Boréal Timmins and GoldCorp Help Meet Northern Ontario Job Market Demands Wednesday, October 28, 2015 – Timmins – Collège Boréal Collège Boréal’s Timmins campus received an important donation impacting its Motive Power Techniques – Heavy Equipment program.
GoldCorp – Porcupine Gold Mines donated 23 pieces of equipment including three scoop trams, three side by side vehicles, two Miller trucks, two standard transmissions, one gear box, two straight axel differentials, one MSHA diesel engine, one Manitou fork lift, one small Kubota hydraulic excavator, one mini CAT TM differential with internal brakes, two iVECO 4 cylinder diesel engines, two Cummins 4.5 engines (model QSB), one differential with brake disk, and one differential with internal brake and external planetary final drive. Operations at Porcupine Gold Mines include the Hoyle Pond Mine in Porcupine, the Dome Mine and Mill facility in South Porcupine along with the Hollinger Pit which operates directly within the City of Timmins.
According to the recently published report Local Labour Market Forecast 2011-2031 by the Far Northeast Training Board (FNETB), the impact of the upcoming retirement of the last wave of the baby boomer generation will have major impacts on the Northeastern Ontario labour market by 2031.
In Timmins, the demand for qualified workers is expected to be the highest in Trades, Transport and Equipment Operators, and related fields following the retirement of 1,954 workers within the next twenty years.
In Collège Boréal’s Motive Power Techniques – Heavy Equipment program, students learn to repair and maintain diesel engines and various components for industrial, agricultural, forestry, and construction machinery. Collège Boréal is the only college in Ontario to offer this program in French. It is available in Timmins and Sudbury.
October 27, 2015
SCOTT DEMANDS THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON ANTI-TRAFFICKING TASKFORCE QUEEN’S PARK – During Question Period today, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Critic for Women’s Issues, Laurie Scott (MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) asked the Attorney General on whether the government intends to act on her Private Member’s Motion, calling for the creation of a provincial taskforce to combat human trafficking in Ontario.
In May of 2015, the motion received all-party support in the Legislature. The initiative aims to create a team of police, Crown attorneys and victim’s services dedicated to: coordinated information sharing between law enforcement agencies, multi-jurisdictional projects, and consistent specialized services for victims.
“Since my Private Member’s Motion received support back in May of this year, it is disheartening that the government still has not taken action to implement such a taskforce,” said Scott.
“Last week, the joint press conference indicated that the success of Operation Northern Spotlight and Operation Cross Country was due in part to law enforcement agencies’ sharing of best practices and intelligence, and collaboration to disrupt human trafficking.”
The cross-border investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) yielded over 190 arrests on trafficking-related charges, dating back to 2005.
Scott Tod, Deputy Commissioner of the OPP, Warren Coons, Chief Superintendent of the RCMP, and Joseph S. Campbell, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigative Division, emphasized the importance of coordinated information sharing and collaboration between agencies, given that human trafficking is not isolated to a single jurisdiction.
Scott asked the Attorney General why the government has yet to take the necessary action to combat human trafficking more effectively through the creation of the aforementioned taskforce. A specialized force is essential to ensure sustained efforts to combat trafficking.
Collège Boréal Boasts Impressive Results Following National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 – Sudbury – Collège Boréal Dental Hygiene students of Collège Boréal have passed the national accreditation examinations with flying colours. In a statement, the Collège states that 100% of Collège Boréal Dental Hygiene students passed the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination (NDHCE) in May 2015. Dental Hygiene graduates must register with the College of Dental Hygienist of Ontario in order to practice in the province. To do so, they must pass the NDHCE, a four-hour written exam designed to assess a candidate's readiness for entry-to-practice. Administrated by the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB), the examination is offered three times per year in several locations across Canada. Collège Boréal’s Dental Hygiene program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) and supported by the Consortium national de la formation en santé (CNFS).
Harper Government Introduces Oath of Citizenship Act Bill will ensure all citizenship candidates show their face as they take the Oath
June 19, 2015 — Ottawa —
Today, the Government of Canada introduced the Oath of Citizenship Act, to ensure Canadian citizenship applicants show their face while taking the Oath of Citizenship during citizenship ceremonies. The Oath of Citizenship Act will ensure that candidates are seen and heard reciting the Oath in community with others, to confirm their commitment as new citizens to Canada’s laws, values and traditions. Swearing or affirming the Oath is a legal requirement, a public declaration that a citizenship applicant is committed to adopting and upholding Canadian values. The Oath of Citizenship Act will require that the Oath be sworn or affirmed publicly and openly, and in a way that others can verify: aloud and with face uncovered.
Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan finalize agreements to help people in Saskatchewan get jobs August 25, 2014 Regina, Saskatchewan
Agreements have been signed by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to help connect Canadians with available jobs. The two agreements were signed by Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, and Jeremy Harrison, Saskatchewan Minister Responsible for Immigration, Jobs, Skills, and Training. The Canada–Saskatchewan Job Fund Agreement invests in initiatives that respond to labour market needs. It also provides funding for programs and services that support the labour market readiness of under-represented groups such as First Nations and Métis people and people with low literacy levels. The Canada Job Grant is an innovative, employer-driven approach to help Canadians gain the skills and training they need to fill available jobs. It is designed to be flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, in all industries and regions. By requiring employers to put more skin in the game, the Canada Job Grant will result in training that leads to guaranteed jobs. The Government of Saskatchewan will be accepting inquiries regarding applications via their provincial website as of September 2, 2014.
More Options for Ontario's Francophone Students
May 13, 2013- Ontario Government Offering More Support to Study and Train in French
Premier Kathleen Wynne visited the University of Ottawa today, where she announced new support that will help more Francophone students study in French in the field of their choice. Starting in 2013-14, Ontario's Francophone students who travel a minimum of 80 kilometres to attend full-time studies in French will qualify for the Ontario Distance Grant, no matter where they live in the province. The grant will expand opportunities for approximately 1,000 more Francophone students to study in French anywhere in Ontario. The government is committed to supporting a prosperous Francophone community in Ontario through initiatives in education, health and culture. Measures like this one will help give Francophone students more opportunities to succeed, helping them find great jobs and helping them with their everyday lives.ALERT!! - APRIL 22, 2013. Our contact email email@example.com was briefly hijacked. We are resolving this issue. We advise that no money be sent to anyone soliciting on our behalf or in the name of Edward Akinwunmi. Ignore any spam letter asking for money to be wired. Thanks.
Strengthening Canada’s Ties with Nigeria - October 8, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement as he concluded his first official visit to Nigeria: “I would like to thank Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru and the Nigerian people for their warm hospitality.” “Our discussions were productive and brought home just how much our two governments have in common: both are focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for our peoples; both understand that prosperity and security are inextricably linked; and both are committed to religious pluralism. “Sadly, Nigeria is dealing with a deadly insurgency by radical extremists in the North who are bent on using a warped reading of religion as a pretext for cowardly violence. I pledged Canada’s support in the struggle against the scourge of terrorism.” “I was honoured to inaugurate the Binational Commission, which is evidence of our cooperation as mature partners and friends. I’m confident that it will lead to real action and new opportunities for political, economic, security and development advances.” “We are prepared to announce today the start of exploratory talks toward a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement to encourage more Canadian businesses to come to Nigeria.” “In Lagos, I met with Canadian and Nigerian business leaders, including with representatives of the newly formed Canada-Nigeria Business Association. Canadian companies see the potential in the Nigerian market, and I was pleased to see the breadth and expansion of Canadian business interests in Nigeria, from oil and gas, to aeronautics, to electricity, to information technology.” “Our government recognizes the importance of forging deeper ties with countries like Nigeria, whose economies are booming and where Canadian companies can expand and succeed. Canada’s ties with Nigeria are strong and getting ever stronger, and that’s good news for both our countries.” http://www.international.gc.ca
English students gain skills for employment at IWC HAMILTON, ON September 2012 - Over 250 newcomers were welcomed back to English classes at Hamilton’s Immigrant Women’s Centre this September. Language learners increase their knowledge and skills for employment while developing crucial language skills, preparing them for the Canadian workplace. With 20 classes and three locations, newcomer men and women who have been in Hamilton as short as a few months gather for daily comprehensive lessons that aid in their integration into Canadian society. “There is plenty of research that states barrier number one for newcomers is the language barrier. We also hear about the determining factor to settling is employment. These things are the two top priorities for every immigrant: language, and employment. Having classes where both can be addressed is important,” said Radenka Lescesen, Settlement Manager. Silvia Reynaga, a Teacher’s Assistant at the IWC explained, “[The program] helps participants to gain confidence and develop professionalism.”
YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services Opens in East-end Hamilton (March 19, 2012), HAMILTON -- A YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services office has opened in Hamilton’s east end, offering settlement and employment services for recent immigrants to Canada. This new centre – located at the corner of Barton Street and Centennial Parkway – is a satellite office of the main YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services in downtown Hamilton. “There’s a large population of newcomers to Canada settling in the east end, and we want to ensure that they have easy access to settlement and employment services,” says Lily Lumsden, Senior Regional Manager of YMCA Employment, Training and Settlement Services. The new east-end centre offers services including language assessments to help newcomers determine their level of English-language proficiency, and referrals to programs that can help with English language skills. Newcomers can also find orientation and information services aimed at helping them settle in Hamilton, including assistance in connecting with other local services that can help them with their settlement needs. These services are funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In addition to settlement services, YMCA staff can also help clients find much-needed job training, and full-time and summer employment opportunities through services funded by the province of Ontario.
- Posted January 12, 2012 - Publisher of Mosaic Edition loses mother and brother. Read more
Hamilton, November 30, 2011 – Representatives of the City of Hamilton and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) gathered today for the official opening of Collège Boréal’s new Employment Options Emploi centre. Located at 2 King West, (Bay & King) Lloyd D. Jackson Square, this one-stop service centre offers for free a full range of bilingual services available to all residents of Hamilton. Read more..
Sudbury, November 24, 2011 – Members of the Boards of Governors of Niagara College and Collège Boréal, their senior staff and respective Presidents, met this weekend in Niagara to solidify the first year of their partnership. Read more..
October 29, 2011 St. Catharines, Niagara - Libya Free The Best is yet to come - Yasmine Mousa - This week the Libyan community in Niagara had more than one reason to rejoice. Besides Halloween and a week ahead of the Eid al Adha one of the most revered occasions on the Muslim calendar: the celebration of a Free Libya. Read more..
September 13, 2011 - Canadian-Teacher-At-Large #6 MEGA MALL WISHES AND STRATFORD DREAMS... I have been bad. Not bad in the traditional sense but bad in the sense that it has been ages since I have written anything. Mary Grace Betsayda writes from London, U.K. Read more...
HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2011) - University researchers and the automotive industry will now come together to develop "green" automotive technologies, thanks to a new investment by the Government of Canada. Read more...
Canada outlines support for drought-stricken East Africa August 17, 2011 Ottawa, Ontario―Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced further details of Canada's support to the more than 12 million people in East Africa affected by the worst drought and famine in more than a generation. "Canada is deeply concerned by the growing impact of the drought and famine. As I saw on my recent visit to the region, the international community is working to meet the challenges of severe hunger and malnutrition and rapidly growing numbers of refugees," said Minister Oda. The Government of Canada is working in partnership with Canadians through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. Through this relief fund, the Government of Canada will match the generosity of Canadians. For every dollar an individual Canadian donates over a 10-week period (retroactive to July 6, 2011 and ending September 16, 2011) to a registered Canadian charity responding to the drought in East Africa, the government will contribute an equivalent amount to the relief fund. The Government of Canada will administer the relief fund separately, disbursing sums to organizations best suited to make an effective and real difference in the lives of people affected by the drought. As well, through CIDA, Canada has increased its financial contribution by $50 million. This pledge follows the $22.35 million provided by CIDA earlier this year for humanitarian assistance in the region, bringing Canada's total support to $72.35 million, in addition to the relief fund.
Ottawa, August 5, 2011 — Prospective immigrants and visitors to Canada now have a new interactive web tool at their fingertips to help them determine if they are eligible to come to Canada. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today the launch of the Come to Canada Wizard. “We understand that our application processes can be complex, but this new tool is a major service improvement,” said Minister Kenney. “The Wizard will make it easier for potential immigrants and visitors to navigate the application process.”
Volunteer Awards - Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has announced that the call for nominations to recognize outstanding Canadians who volunteer their time and energy to make stronger communities across Canada is now open. The period to nominate is now open until September 9th, 2011 either on-line or by submitting written nomination papers. The awards will recognize individuals or groups of volunteers, businesses and not-for-profit organizations in five regions across Canada , and will offer a national award in two categories: one for lifelong achievement and one for new volunteers.
July 10 2011 - Drunk driving ban under review By Guidy Mamann, J.D. It seems that the time has come for Canada to review its ban on foreigners convicted of impaired driving. Read moore....
April 7, 2011 - Hamilton
The Immigrant Women’s Centre is now providing services for newcomers in the East of Hamilton at its new temporary location of 2255 Barton Street East. Through funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the 2011-12 fiscal year, the Immigrant Women’s Centre is taking on the Job Search Workshop services in Hamilton, in addition to Welcoming Communities programming. The Centre is also expanding its orientation services for newcomers. Located in a busy and accessible strip plaza, the Immigrant Women’s Centre on Barton Street will be staffed with three full-time and two part-time orientation and referral workers. The centre will complement other essential social services already available in this part of the city. Services will be available in Punjabi, Arabic, Pashto, Kurdish, Hindi, Bengali and Urdu.
March 29, 2011 - Ethnic voters and election promises. Read more..
March 24, 2011 -- YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services will now be the first point of contact for newcomers to Hamilton. Read more....
Living in concern over loved ones in Libya - Yasmine Mousa. Read more...
Conservative party’s immigration record misses the mark. Read more..
The year 2010 witnessed the highest number of legal immigrants in more than 50 years to Canada. Read more...
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax—Canada’s sixth national museum has been opened officially. Read more...
Canada has announced changes to airport screening that will increase convenience for the travelling public while maintaining a consistently high level of security. Read more...
Canada will not recognize the expulsion of her Ambassador to Ivory Coast by the defeated President Laurent Gbagbo. The order itself is illegitimate since Canada views the regime of Laurent Gbagbo as illegitimate. Read More....
Indo-Canadian business leaders asked for input on Canada's economic growth. Read more...
Volunteers to receive Prime Minister's Award. Prime Minister Harper pays a visit to Welland.Read more...
Newcomers in the Hamilton area will continue to have access to the settlement services they need. Read more...
Liberals call for security infrastructure funding for Coptic Christian churches that may be at risk. Read more..
"Massive Conservative cuts to settlement agencies shred services for new Canadians at Christmas" - Liberals call for reversal of decision. Read More...
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney held a teleconference to respond to recent criticisms of the federal government's cut of funding of some immigrant settlement groups. Read more....
The Immigrant Women’s Centre (IWC) has received a total of $300,000 in additional funding by Citizenship and Immigration Canada on an emergency basis to take over SISO’s integration and settlement assistance program.
In a statement, the IWC noted that since the recent withdrawal of funding from SISO by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, there had been confusion in both the media and the public as to how the resulting gap in essential services for newcomers in Hamilton will be filled.
"The IWC’s concern is that Hamilton’s newcomer families have the information they need to find the agencies that will enable them to access services essential to their settlement. The IWC is working hard to lessen the impact on the most vulnerable stakeholders, having their doors wide open for newcomers and their families."
The centre has five different locations in Hamilton, combined with 27 member team, supporting in 24 different languages as of November 22, 2010. Out of these, thirteen were recently hired with the funding, many of whom were previously employed at SISO.
The IWC’s settlement services include assistance with forms and immigration, trauma support and employment counseling,
referrals to community services, workshops and sessions as well as information on housing, healthcare, the labour market and
credential evaluation. Also offered are various workplace skill courses, language training and childminding.
Along with the Immigrant Women’s Centre, other Hamilton agencies have received emergency funding. Niagara Folk Arts
Multicultural Centre is now handling the Host program, and the YMCA is adding newcomer youth services such as homework
club, drop-in, and conversational circles. The Francophone Centre also offers settlement services for French-speaking
"Each agency is well-equipped and ready to serve the immigrant and refugee population in Hamilton."
Hamilton – An interim chief executive officer (CEO) has been hired for Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO) of Hamilton. Sandra Mlekuz, of Hamilton,assummed her new post December 6, 2010. She is currently the vice-principal at St. Charles Adult Education Centres in Hamilton and has a long history of community involvement. “We are very pleased to announce that Sandra Mlekuz is joining SISO,” says SISO board chair Hussein Hamdani. “We are in a time of transition at the agency and Sandra has a very strong background in leadership and management.” “I look forward to joining SISO as interim CEO,” Ms. Mlekuz says. “While SISO currently has big challenges, I believe it also has much strength, and the services provided are vital to our community. We will work with our partners and funders to rebuild and refocus the agency.” Ms. Mlekuz says she is sensitive to the newcomer experience because she grew up in an immigrant family and has worked extensively with immigrants and refugees throughout her career.
Lifting of visas on Taiwanese good move for Canada. Read more...
Collège Boréal has officially launched its new Culinary Arts program (Arts culinaires – cuisinier). Read more..
The Government of Canada has introduced the Preventing Trafficking, Abuse and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act. The reintroduction of these important legislative amendments to Canada 's immigration laws will help protect vulnerable foreign workers such as exotic dancers who could be victims of exploitation or human trafficking. Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Status of Women, and Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, made the announcement. Read more..
Kevin Johnson, Consul General US Consulate in Toronto speaks on U.S - Canada relations in the 21st century. Read more...
Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program should be treated like the crown jewel of our annual immigration plan… but it’s not. By Guidy Mamann. Read more....
Bishop Gerard Paul Bergie is the new Bishop of St. Catharines Diocese. Read more...
Immigrants and newcomers were provided an opportunity by the Canada Border Services Agency, CBSA to familiarize themselves with various services offered by government agencies at a one-day exhibition and workshop. Read more..
FCAN Memorial Sports Awards Night. Read more...
Employers should hire more newcomers says Minister Kenney. Read more...
Minister Oda dismisses criticism on neglect of Africa. Read more...
Canada proposes law on human smuggling. Read more....
Niagara Welcomes Newcomers - Bruce Timms. Read More...
Anti-Smuggling Legislation Violates Refugee Rights - Amnesty International. Read More..
Attack the criminals, the traffickers and smugglers, not the victims. Read more..
Migrant Farm Workers need to be empowered. Read more...
Child Advocacy Centre get $5.25m. Read more...
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced a new program to help newcomers gain valuable Canadian work experience, a significant hurdle for many immigrants. Read more...
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has announced the Liberal Party’s plan to help family caregivers with the cost of caring for sick or aging loved ones at home. Read more...
There are no cultural boundaries to Bollywood. Read more
Harriet Tubman gets Sculpture. Read more...
REGIONAL CHAIR ALAN CASLIN CONTRIBUTES $10,000 TO KIDS CAMP FUND FROM ANNUAL CHARITY GOLF TOURNAMENT
WELLAND, MARCH 13, 2017-Regional Chair Alan Caslin has announced a $10,000 donation in support of children’s outdoor education, using proceeds raised at the 2016 Regional Chair’s Charity Golf Tournament.
Today’s donation to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Foundation (NPCF), will help underprivileged children gain access to camp programs at Balls Fall’s Conservation. “Children and families often have limited opportunities to connect with nature-it is my goal as Regional Chair to ensure that every child has the chance to experience the beauty of what our Region has to offer”, states Caslin, “The health benefits of connecting with nature is well documented and I am confident this program will have a wide-reaching positive impact on our communities.”
Ball’s Falls Conservation Area is the centre of education programming and public education within the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), hosting over 7000 students annually. Over the past number of years, the introduction of high quality, curriculum based, and interactive programs has given children the opportunity to explore the natural environment through hands-on experiences.
“Some students are linguistic learners, some are visual/spatial learners, while others are naturalistic and kinaesthetic learners”, says Education Programing Assistant Jill Walters-Klamer, “Outdoor education emphasizes many learning styles that are difficult to replicate in the classroom. Chair Caslins’ generous donation will help us extend this experience to even more children, and we are very thankful for his support.”
Outdoor education reduces Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms, allowing those affected with ADD to excel in an environment that best suits their learning abilities. It has also been proven to improve academic performance, one study showing an increase of 27% in science testing scores by those that participated in outdoor education programs (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
The camp fund will be in effect in time for the upcoming 2017 Summer Camp season. Parents interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org after May 1st for registration information. Only applicants who meet program eligibility requirements will be accepted.
February 26, 2017 Posted February 28, 2017
Wilma Morrison is 88.
Wilma Morrison, a leader in the black history movement in Canada is 88 years old.
Her birthday was marked at the Nathaniel Dett Memorial Chapel, BME church, Niagara Falls.
Dr. Wilma Morrison, an advocate for preservation of black history from the time of the Underground Railroad celebrated the event with a cross section of the community.
The special service was followed by a concert.
T-Bone, a Canadian music legend performed at the after service concert as a donation to help the historic church and also in honor of his friend, Wilma Morrison.
T-Bone was born in Niagara Falls and attended the BME church as early as age six.
Nathaniel Dett Memorial Chapel, BME church was established in 1814 on a land donated by freedom seeker Oliver Pernel.
Story and Photos by Edward Akinwunmi
FAST Expands to Fort Erie
February 28, 2017
FAST Expands to Fort Erie; Changes at Pacific Highway Increasing benefits for Trusted Traders
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today that a new dedicated Free and Secure Trade (FAST) lane and inspection booth have opened at the Fort Erie, ON, port of entry.
The new FAST lane provides eligible commercial vehicles with expedited passage and reduced wait times. At the same time, the Pacific Highway port of entry in Surrey, BC, has modified its existing FAST lane and booth to a new model called “FAST-1st”, which uses lighting and queuing technology to provide pre-qualified vehicles with priority access.
A dedicated approach lane leading to the border will reduce wait times for Trusted Trader members. FAST is a joint Canada–U.S. initiative to enhance border and trade security while making cross-border commercial shipments simpler and subject to fewer delays. FAST gives members of the CBSA Trusted Trader programs access to dedicated lanes and booths at specified ports of entry that allow them priority access to the border and expedited clearance. FAST lanes and booths are also in operation in Sarnia and Windsor, ON.
Later in 2017, the CBSA will enhance FAST member benefits by expanding the eligibility criteria for FAST lane use to include members of either of the CBSA’ s trusted trader programs, i.e. Partners in Protection or Customs Self-Assessment.
Currently, the FAST lanes are only accessible to those who are members of both programs.
From Canada Border Services Agency
February 1, 2017
Wrold Hijab Day
The World Hijab Day was marked in St. Catharines with activities aimed at educating the public on hijab.
The event was attended by a cross section of the community.
Some participants had a chance to try the hijab and keep the scarf.
Janet Epp was at the mosque to satisfy her curiosity about visiting the house of prayer. She was at the mosque to show support for the Muslim community in view of the incidents in the United States and in Quebec City.
She stated that multiculturalism was completely positive for Canada.
Janet Epp at the World Hijab Day St. Catharines
“I am so happy to wear it,” she said.
A participant and a citizen of St Catharines who wanted to remain anonymous said she was attending the event in support of the Muslim community who has gone through so much in the past week.
She mentioned the ban on citizens of some Muslim countries from entering the United States by the US government and the tragic situation in Quebec during which 6 Muslim men were killed while praying in a mosque in Quebec City.
“I looked forward to this day because I have never been in a mosque,” she said.
Sister Bilkis of Gamer Foundation, the organizer of the event said she came across the Hijab Day last year. She saw it was going on in the US and she decided to bring it to St. Catharines.
“It was my first time to do it, that was 2016.”
"Amazingly many came and over 200 scarves were given away. People had so many questions and wanted to know how to wear the hijab."
"We invited them to our mosque and people tried it and took the scarves home,” she noted.
Sister Bilkis assist an attendee wear the hijab
Some attendees wanted to know if the hijab is forced on Muslim women. “You are not forced to wear it,” said Sister Bilkis. She wears hijab for her faith and during prayers.
“I am here to celebrate diversity,” says the Niagara Regional Chair, Alan Caslin.
Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin at the World Hijab Day St. Catharines“Canada is a country of immigrants, made up of immigrants. My parents are immigrants. It is a country that celebrates diversity.”
“Together with that diverse culture we are stronger. And we need to celebrate that, and we do.”
“There is no room for hate, in Niagara or anywhere in Ontario, Canada or the world.”
“Niagara is a great place to live, work and raise the family and we are welcoming to all different cultures and ethnic classes. This is a warm and welcoming region.”
Mosaic Edition observed a long line of attendees waiting patiently to try the hijab.
Story and Photos by Edward Akinwunmi
January 23, 2017
Lemieux Announces Plan on Free Speech
OTTAWA – Pierre Lemieux, candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, today released details of his plan to strengthen free speech in Canada. This announcement comes after a meeting with University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson, a vocal critic of the growing prohibitions on free speech including frustration at the mandated use of manufactured gender-specific pronouns: there are over 40 such as “ze” and “xer” and the list is ever-growing.
“Freedom of speech in Canada is under attack,” said Lemieux, shortly after the meeting concluded. “Protection from discrimination is entirely different from not wanting to be offended. Chronic political correctness is strangling free and respectful debate in Canada and it has to stop.”
Lemieux proposes the creation of a legislative committee of Parliament which would invite Dr. Peterson and others to provide insight in a review of all laws governing speech to ensure that they properly balance freedom of speech and reasonable limits with a particular focus on limiting government enforcement of political correctness.
He would also move to immediately repeal Bill C-16 should it be passed by the Liberal government, which seeks to entrench gender identity and expression in the same laws that govern hate speech.
“There is a big difference between free speech and forced speech,” stated Dr. Peterson, who indicated support for Lemieux’s proposals.
“It is wrong to jail someone for holding different attitudes or beliefs, or for simply refusing to use specific words on demand in a free society. The last thing we need are more laws forcing Canadians to use specific, made-up words ‘on demand’ or face penalties.”
Get money to hire summer students: Deadline to apply for Canada Summer Jobs funding extended to February 3
Small businesses and organizations wanting to hire summer students this year now have until February 3, to submit their applications for support from the Canada Summer Jobs program.
The Canada Summer Jobs program makes it easier to hire students during the summer by providing up to 50 percent of the minimum hourly wage for small businesses and public sector employers, and up to 100 percent for not-for-profits, plus employment-related costs. Students can start working as early as April.
Canada to fast track entry of highly skilled workers
November 30, 2016— Mississauga, ON – Canadian companies will soon be able to bring in the highly-skilled experts they need to grow, flourish and provide good jobs faster than ever before.
Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains announced this today while speaking spoke about the Global Skills Strategy and the Innovation Agenda with stakeholders, including the Council of Canadian Innovators, at Therapure Biopharma, a fast-growing biopharmaceutical company founded in 2008.
The Global Skills Strategy will help attract highly qualified talent from around the world to support the growth of companies in Canada, spurring innovation and driving the economy.
To be implemented later in 2017, the Global Skills Strategy will establish an ambitious two-week standard for processing visas and work permits for low-risk, high-skill talent for companies in Canada, create a dedicated service channel for companies looking to make large, job-creating investments in Canada and drop the work permit requirement for very short-term work (for instance, 30 days or less) in low-risk fields. Brief academic stays would also be eligible.
November 29, 2016
Bilingual Military Veteran Joins Conservative Leadership Race
Pierre Lemieux, a Canadian Forces veteran and former Ontario Member of Parliament, officially announced his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada earlier today with an email to Conservative supporters.
Lemieux served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 20 years, advancing to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel before retiring from the military. Afterwards, he served nearly 10 years as the Member of Parliament for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, which has the largest francophone population of any riding outside of Quebec.
In his role as Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister assigned to Mr Lemieux the responsibilities of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Official Languages, to the Minister of Agriculture and to the Minister of Veterans Affairs.
Un vétéran bilingue porte sa candidature
Le 29 novembre 2016 Ottawa, Ontario
Pierre Lemieux, un vétéran des Forces Canadiennes et ancien député pour Glengarry-Prescott-Russell a fait l’annonce officielle de sa candidature à la chefferie du parti Conservateur du Canada par le biais d’un courriel à ses supporteurs.
Lemieux a servi le Canada au sein des Forces Armées Canadiennes pour 20 ans avant de prendre sa retraite au rang de Lieutenant-Colonel.
Suite à sa sortie des Forces Armées, il a été élu député fédéral. Il a représenté la circonscription franco-ontarienne de Glengarry—Prescott—Russell pour près de 10 ans. Au cours de son service comme député, il a rempli le rôle de secrétaire parlementaire du Ministre des Langues officielles, du Ministre de l’agriculture ainsi que du Ministre des Anciens combattants.
November 26, 2016
Fixed student contribution simplifies Canada Student Loan eligibility
Ottawa, Ontario - Canada plans to introduce a fixed student contribution to determine eligibility for financial assistance through the Canada Student Loans Program.
Beginning in 2017, students will only be expected to provide a fixed contribution of between $1,500 and $3,000 per academic year. This will be based on their family income and family size.
Peter Schiefke, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth), disclosed the plan while speaking to students and student leaders at Carleton University today about Education Savings Week.
Peter Schiefke, who spoke on behalf of MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, highlighted the importance of planning and saving early for post-secondary education.
He noted how the Government of Canada supports education savings through incentives like RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plan) and the Canada Learning Bond. The new fixed student contribution will provide students with the simple predictability of a fixed amount to contribute towards their education costs.
The simplified fixed contribution will allow low and middle income students to better save, budget, and plan for their future. They’ll no longer need to estimate their earnings or savings, and will know in advance the amount they’ll need to contribute toward their education costs. In addition, more students will be able to continue to work and gain valuable job experience without having to worry about a reduction in their level of financial assistance.
The fixed contribution will also benefit adult learners, many of whom may work while studying, or who have spouses whose resources would previously have been considered in determining eligibility. Canadians facing barriers to employment will be exempt from making any contribution, including Indigenous students, students with permanent disabilities, students with dependent children, and current or former Crown wards.
November 21, 2016
The City of Welland launched its new user-friendly website today.
The website, located at welland.ca, has a fresh new look, improved navigation, and is far more adaptable to mobile devices. Creating a current and responsive website is an initiative resulting from the municipality’s efforts to improve communications and engagement with residents, and enhance the quality and availability of information and resources.
“We’re evolving into a “smart city” and using advances in digital technology to become better connected with and responsive to residents,” said Mayor Frank Campion.
“The new website was engineered to accommodate today’s user, and will grow and evolve with the users of tomorrow because technology is continuously developing.”
Laura Secord memorial
November 14, 2016
Niagara-On-The-Lake – The Government of Canada has awarded the Friends of Laura Secord a Canada 150 Fund grant of $132,500 towards the construction of a memorial designed by world-renowned architect Douglas Cardinal in DeCew House Heritage Park, Thorold, Ontario.
The memorial celebrates reconciliation with First Nations peoples and is intended to generate a deeper understanding of the important role First Nations peoples played in the founding of Canada.
DeCew House was the final destination of Canadian heroine Laura Secord in her fateful journey to warn British and allied leadership of an impending American attack in the War of 1812.
The memorial has been planned to coincide with Canada's sesquicentennial events celebrating the country's confederation on July 1, 2017. Its contemporary relevance is to be understood in the context of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Action items outlined in the Commission's report include Commemoration Events, Education, Youth Programs, Health, and Culture.
The 65th annual Meridian Grande Parade, Niagara Wine Festival takes place in Downtown St. Catharines.
September 24, 2016
Niagara Region of Canada is noted for quality wine production.
Photo by Edward Akinwunmi
Collège Boréal Launches Sexual Violence Awareness Campaign
September 21, 2016 – Sudbury
Following the Government of Ontario’s launch of the Action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment in March 2015 and Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment) in 2016, Collège Boréal is now launching its Sexual Violence Awareness Campaign for the students and staff in all its campuses and sites.
At the beginning of the school year, students were welcomed to Collège Boréal with a very important message: consent is the key to every relationship between two individuals; in other words, NO means NO!
Today, Collège Boréal is launching the Draw the Line Campaign in collaboration with the Centre Victoria pour femmes. Draw the Line is a provincial campaign managed by the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) & Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes.
Collège Boréal has chosen this campaign to help raise awareness amongst the entire community of people frequenting the institution for one reason or another.
September 14, 2016
Wainfleet Leads the Way with New Staff and New Vision
Wainfleet, ON – “For the past few months, Council and staff have been working closely together to form a solid, unified and energetic team that will bring our municipality toward some key priorities, which will help us grow and prosper,” says CAO, Michael J. Smith.
“These priorities include an achievable Strategic Plan, exceptional communication between the Township and residents, and well-trained, motivated staff who realize the only standard for public service – is the highest standard.”
A dynamic reorganization of the municipal management team has seen some established staff seeking new positions, as well as new team members coming on board.
Mr. Randy Deguire, brings an impressive array of academic and technical skills, along with over 12 years of practical field experience to his position as the Chief Building Official (CBO) for the Township.
A sworn peace officer with By-law enforcement and building standards experience spanning back over 10 years, Mark Tardif, will be a strong presence as Wainfleet’s new By-Law Enforcement Officer. As the primary liaison between Township residents and the Bylaws enacted by Council, Mr. Tardif’s role is requires both knowledge and diplomacy. “In my public service career, I have found that communication and finding common ground are the most important keys in any situation,” said Officer Tardif.
Wainfleet’s new Deputy Clerk, Lee Gudgeon, spent 13 years as a senior advisor to federal and provincial Members of Parliament. His current responsibilities centre on secretariat and advisory duties for Council, as well as roles on the Committee of Adjustment, and as the Freedom of Information Officer and Accessibility Officer for the Township. “I’m very excited to be working in Wainfleet,” Mr. Gudgeon said.
In his 28th year in the fire service, Wainfleet’s new Fire Chief, Kevin Foster, started as a volunteer firefighter in 1987 with the Town of East Gwillimbury for 13 years. He served as a firefighter and qualified as a fire suppression Acting Captain in the Town of Richmond Hill, before becoming the Fire Chief in North Kawartha in 1999.
He was the first full-time Chief of the North Kawartha Fire Department. Prior to assuming the top post in Wainfleet,
The recruitment of a Manager of Corporate Services/Treasurer/Clerk is currently underway. In the interim, Wainfleet’s Acting Treasurer and Manager of Accounting, Ms. Mallory Luey, has been ensuring the Township’s finances remain in good order.
Wainfleet Mayor, April Jeffs, is pleased with the changes taking place. “As the elected representatives of the residents of this Township, Council needs to have confidence that the voice of the people is being acted on,” she said. “With a strong team comes confidence.”
September 12, 2016. Posted September 13, 2016
Throne Speech Announces Electricity Cost Relief, New Child Care Spaces
As part of its balanced plan to build Ontario up and help people in their everyday lives, the Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would rebate an amount equal to the provincial portion of the HST on residential, farm and small business electricity bills as of January 1, 2017.
Rural electricity ratepayers would receive additional relief and commercial, institutional and industrial ratepayers would also benefit from lower electricity costs.
The government also announced that it will create an additional 100,000 licensed infant to preschool child care spaces within the next five years, starting in 2017.
The government's plan was outlined in the Speech from the Throne delivered today by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario's Lieutenant Governor. The speech opened the second session of the province's 41st parliament.
Collège Boréal signs mobility agreements with European institutions
Monday, July 11, 2016 – Sudbury
Collège Boréal Students at Collège Boréal will now have the opportunity to expand their horizons, thanks to the possibility of school exchanges in Belgium and France.
Recently, Collège Boréal signed its two first overseas mobility agreements with the Haute École Provinciale de Hainaut Condorcet (HEPH-Condorcet) in Belgium and the École Pratique de Service Social (EPSS) in France.
May 10, 2016
Leader Patrick Brown to the Premier: Autism doesn’t end at five
QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown used Question Period to demand the Government reverse their cuts to autism therapy.
“Cutting IBI treatment for children over five is a mistake. It is a mistake to take the chance for IBI treatment away from 5 year old Keith in Toronto,” said Brown, referencing a five year old boy who was removed from the waitlist for therapy.
“His mom called these changes ‘devastating for [her] child’s future.’ And she said the devastating cuts to Keith’s treatments are ‘heartbreaking.’” As of May 1st, the Liberal Government has terminated IBI treatment for those five and above, despite IBI being considered an effective and life-changing treatment for many. By the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ own numbers, approximately 85 per cent of children who receive IBI therapy are over the age cut-off.
“Thousands of families waited for years for IBI treatment, then with a stroke of a pen, this government ripped any ounce of hope they had away from them,” said Brown. “Will the Premier put herself in the shoes of these families? Will she give them the hope they need? The hope they deserve?” concluded Brown. “Will you fund IBI for kids over five? Autism doesn’t end at five.”
April 12, 2016
Premier Wynne Continues to Refuse Calls for Public Inquiry into Fundraising
QUEEN’S PARK – Following yesterday’s meeting with the Premier to discuss reforms to political fundraising rules, Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown expressed his disappointment that the Liberals continue to refuse his calls for a public inquiry into the Government’s fundraising practices.
“I am very disappointed with my meeting yesterday. The meeting was a sham. A Liberal PR stunt,” said Brown. “We will not back down. We will not be bullied into dropping our request for a public inquiry.”
During yesterday’s meeting, the Premier asked the Leader of the Official Opposition if he planned on continuing to call for a public inquiry despite the Official Opposition providing a number of examples of Liberal donors who have also received lucrative Government contracts and grants or favourable policy changes.
“Yesterday the Premier claimed that political donations have never bought a policy in her government,” Brown added. “This comes despite numerous examples that are causing the public to question her government’s integrity.”
“How many times do I have to give examples of questionable dealings before the Premier supports our call for a public inquiry into her party’s political fundraising?”
April 11, 2016
Patrick Brown to the Premier: Stop the Province-wide Cuts to Health Care
QUEEN’S PARK – Today during Question Period, Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown highlighted health care cuts across the province and demanded that the Premier listen to the concerns of frontline health care workers.
“While the government has been busy attending secret $6,000 dinners, I have been touring hospitals and meeting with frontline workers across the province,” said Brown. “Just last week I was in Windsor. I was told firsthand the impact this government’s mismanagement has had in Windsor. 120 nurses are gone because of this government, and $20-million to Windsor General has been cut by this government.” Windsor Regional Hospital is facing a $20-million budget shortfall, and is being forced to eliminate 120 nursing positions.
Brown also referenced the 49 full-time positions and 12 transitional care beds which were cut from St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, and the 15 patient service centres laboratory services provider LifeLabs is closing.
For the past four years, the Liberal Government froze hospital budgets, and the most recent budget included only a negligible increase in investment. Hospitals across the province have had their budgets stretched thin and are being forced to lay-off staff, dramatically impacting the quality of patient-care their hard-working staff are able to provide.
The Liberal Government’s health care cuts are not limited to hospitals: Ontario doctors have seen a $815 million cut to physician services, Ontario’s seniors have had $50 million cut to physiotherapy services, and last year the government slashed $54 million of the Canada Health Transfer from the provincial health care budget.
“We all know Ontario doctors have been without a contract for 2 years. During that time the Liberals have unilaterally slashed physician service fees by $815 million dollars,” added Brown.
“How many $6,000 dinner tickets will it take for the Liberals to give Doctor’s a fair deal and stop the cuts?”
2016 Budget will grow the middle class
March 24, 2016
Single-family households stand to benefit from Canada’s 2016 budget as part of the focus on helping the middle class economically.
The budget would redirect funds for child benefits from previous programs to those who really need it, says Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance during a national telephone conference.
In addition, the 2016 Budget would increase the Guarantee Income Supplement for seniors up to 10 percent per year. About 900,000 seniors hope to benefit from this program by next year.
Bill Morneau reiterated the focus of the budget on growing the middle class.
The infrastructure spending will develop transit, broadband for rural communities, clean water and clean technology.
The government hopes to reduce processing times for family reunification and increase the spending for settlement programs for new comers to Canada.
By Edward Akinwunmi
March 8, 2016
Liberal Cuts to Health Care Hurt Patients and Province’s Vulnerable
QUEEN’S PARK – After four years of frozen hospital budgets and a $54-million cut to health care in last year’s Budget, the Liberal Government’s Budget 2016 included only negligible investments in frontline health care while the province’s most vulnerable continue to suffer, says Leader of the Official Opposition Patrick Brown.
“Despite the fact the budget was released at the end of February, hardly a thing has changed in our health care system. More cuts, cuts and cuts,” said Patrick Brown during today’s Question Period.
“Toronto General and Toronto Western had to cut 51 registered nurse positions. 59 were cut at Mount Sinai. 61 registered nurse Positions were lost at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton.”
In recognition of International Women’s Day, Patrick Brown also highlighted cuts to health care from across the province which have had a profound impact on women.
“We know the postpartum depression clinic at Ontario Shores is only able to open one day a week because of government cuts. Cuts are threatening the obstetrics unit at Georgian Bay General Hospital. This government still hasn’t committed to hiring a new doctor at the obstetrics and gynecology unit in Leamington,” concluded Brown.
February 27, 2016 – St. Catharines
Sofifran celebrated its 9th year of the festival Festiv’ébène 2016 in St. Catharines with cultural performances, dances and African food.
The festival coincided with Canada’s 20th anniversary of the Black History Month.
The President, Sofifran Board of Directors Nyarai Kapisavanhu said Festiv’ébène was created to honour the presence and contribution of the Black Canadian Community.
Artistic Director and President of SOFIFRAN
Nafée Faigou, Artistic Director of Sofifran stated that the organization chose head dresses and hair dos as this year’s theme.
“It touches all genders, from all ages and origins. Hair requires a constant creativity,” She noted.
The celebration featured for the first time, First Nations Iroquois Dance Group as part of culture sharing experience of the organization.
The artistes of the evening included young artiste Yolande Surin, Blandine and the Cazza Jazz, Sérénade d’Haiti, Wolanyo, Trésor Otshudi and Amadou Kienou and Djeli Sira.
Speaking with Mosaic Edition, Blandine said she delivered the rhythmic music of Africa in her performances. Her music features rumba and soukous.
By Edward Akinwunmi
Ottawa February 25, 16.
Ottawa February 25, 2016.
Canada has taken steps to ease the pathway to Canadian citizenship. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum has introduced the amendments to the Citizenship Act –C24.
The amendments would review amongst others some provisions of the law enacted in the last administration dealing with revocation of citizenship for those who commit criminal offence against Canada. During the political campaign the Liberal party promised it would look into the Citizenship Act to make sure there is no creation of two classes of citizens.
At a national teleconference, the minister reiterated his party’s position to allow the judicial system to deal with issues of Canadians with dual citizenship who commit criminal offences against Canada. “We believe that the previous law is a slippery slope’
The amendments would in addition return the 50% credit for time spent in Canada for international students, foreign workers and refugee claimant. “Canada needs international students and we want them to become citizens,” he said.
On physical requirements, the amendment would reduce the period needed to be present in the country from 5 – 6 years to 3-5. This will give those qualified an opportunity to apply for their citizenship early. The government hopes to ma
intain the integrity of the citizenship process by adding a measure that will allow it to seize fraudulent documents.
On English and French proficiency for citizenship, the age range has been reduced to 18-54 years instead of 14-64.
The Minister noted that the government could still revoke the citizenship of anyone obtained fraudulently.
Ontario Establishing an Anti-Racism Directorate
February 16, 2016
Government Working to Advance Equality for All Ontarians
Ontario is setting up an Anti-Racism Directorate to address racism in all its forms -- including individual, systemic and cultural.
Michael Coteau will oversee the Anti-Racism Directorate as Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism and continue as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
The Directorate will work with key partners such as business, community organizations, educational institutions and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
The Directorate will aim to increase public education and awareness of racism to create a more inclusive province. It will apply an anti-racism lens in developing, implementing and evaluating government policies, programs and services.
The Anti-Racism Directorate is part of the government's commitment to fight discrimination and ensure that everyone in Ontario has the opportunity to fulfill their potential and participate equally in society.
Feruary 9, 2016
Black History Month 2016 Exhibition of African head wear by SOFIFRAN
FESTIV'EBENE 2016 COIFFES ET COIFFURES TRADITIONNELLES ET MODERNES par SOFIFRAN
Photo by Edward Akinwunmi
Collège Boréal calls for help to get a new site
January 29, 2016
Letter to the Editor:
While Collège Boréal has had a campus at 1 Yonge Street in Toronto for the past several years, its lease expires at the end of 2020. Collège Boréal would like to invite the Ontario Government to help in its quest to find a new space.
The French-speaking population is growing in Central Southwestern Ontario, as illustrated by increased enrollment and program expansion in the area. A larger space must be secured in order to better meet the increasing needs of the population. Location choice, construction, and setup take time; we need to act quickly.
While currently exploring various options, Collège Boréal views positively the creation of a unique and permanent space in Toronto’s downtown area to house the new French-language university, the college’s new Toronto campus, as well as other cultural and community organizations.
It would be a major Francophone cultural hub in the heart of Queen City. The Ontario Government, as part of its annual budgetary exercise, has invited Ontarians to share their ideas on how to build the province.
Let’s take advantage of this opportunity and make our voices heard.
Pierre Riopel President of Collège Boréa
Niagara Region donates $25,000 to settle Syrian refugees
St. Catharines – December 17, 2015
St. Catharines Regional Councillor, Bruce Timms, Mayor of Pelham Dave Augustyn, Niagara Regional Chair Alain Caslin, Mennonite Central Committee Refugee Program Coordinator Moses Moini and Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director MCC.
Niagara Region has donated $25,000 to the Mennonite Central Committee, MCC for the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Niagara.
The donation is a match to that of the community, which has risen to $30,000. The Regional Chair Alain Caslin made the donation on behalf of the region.
Alain Caslin recognized the generosity of the people of Niagara for always stepping up in times of need.
Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director of MCC commended the generosity of Niagara region for encouraging the contribution of the community towards settling the Syrian refugees in the area as well as matching the donation. Moses Moini, Refugee Program Coordinator, MCC thanked the Regional Chair for the leadership and encouragement of the community in contributing to the fund.
The funds would be used for rent, food clothing and any other necssities of the Syrian refugees.
By Edward Akinwunmi
December 1, 2015
Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) from Syria would go to one of 36 cities across Canada where the federal government has agreements with service providers who are able to provide immediate and essential specialized services for refugees.
The list of the provinces and cities include Atlantic: St. John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John.
The Province of Québec would host the refugees in Québec City, Trios-Rivières, Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Montréal, Gatineau, Laval, Saint-Jérôme, Joliette, Sainte-Hyacinthe, Brassard and Granby.
In Ontario, the host cities are Windsor, Ottawa, London, Toronto, Kitchener and Hamilton.
Syrian refugees going to the Prairies would go to Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Red Deer and Lethbridge.
The province of British Columbia would welcome the Syrian Refugees in The Lower Mainland.
Refugees privately sponsored would go to a broad range of communities across Canada.
A significant portion of refugees arriving in Canada by the end of December will be privately sponsored and already have destination communities large and small that are eagerly anticipating their arrival.
As of November 24th, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is actively processing 4,511 files of Syrian refugees who have been sponsored by organizations and groups of Canadians outside of Quebec.
The majority of these privately sponsored refugees will arrive before the end of December. They will contribute to the goal of bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees by December 31.
Growing numbers of government assisted refugees will begin arriving later in December and into next year as the government seeks to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees overall by the end of February.
Conference Call: November 26, 2015
928 Syrian refuges from Lebanon have been given permanent residence and would soon be on their way to Canada. The newcomers are however, facing some delay because of the challenge of exit visa.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum in a conference call today, said the refuges would be brought by Canadian Air force plane to Toronto and Montreal as soon as they could get an exit visa.
They would then be free to go to various cities of their choice. About 36 cities have been prepared to welcome the refugees.
A website would also be set up, according to the Minister to show arrival of the newcomers. Minister McCallum said efforts would be made to address the concerns of Canadians on the decision of the government to open its doors to the refugees.
He noted that no country was welcoming to everyone but Canada’s policy on multiculturalism and settlement of refugees had been recognized as the best in the world.
“Refugees are coming here to escape terrorism,” he noted. “They are not a risk but they are running from risk.”
The government’s philosophy is pro refugee. Canada is not concentrating on the Syrian refugees alone, but in addition addressing the refugee situation in other parts of the world.
The attention devoted to the Syrian refugees, according to Minister McCallum would not affect resources towards refugees in other countries.
By Edward Akinwunmi
News: Ottawa November 24, 2015
OTTAWA - Michelle Rempel, Official Opposition Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today responded to the Liberal Government’s announcement regarding plans to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada.
"Canada is an open and generous country. Canada should continue to take an active role in assisting with the humanitarian crisis in the region." "Refugees arriving in Canada should be welcomed with open arms and the full confidence of all Canadians. Mr. Trudeau's campaign promise to resettle 25,000 refugees by December 31 did not include a comprehensive plan for safety, security, housing, health and integration into the Canadian family,” said Michelle Rempel.
"We are pleased that Mr. Trudeau has today listened to Canadians and abandoned a timeline that was not workable. Any resettlement plan must allow for the full integration of refugees as welcomed members of Canadian society.”
NEWS ST. Catharines
November 22, 2015
Santa comes to town
15 November 2015:
The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is now open. The Performing Arts Centre, the new cultural home for the community opened officially last night. The public was given an opportunity to tour the facility earlier today.
Mosaic Edition was at the event.
The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is comprised of four state-of-the-art performance venues that will host a signature presentation of international and local performing artists. Adjacent to Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), the PAC offers space for students and faculty to use during school hours.
The Government of Canada contributed up to $18 million to this project from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund. The Government of Ontario also contributed $18 million, with the City of St. Catharines responsible for the $24 million-balance of the total project cost of $60 million. As part of the City of St. Catharines’ funding formula, $5 million is being raised through a community fundraising campaign.
Story and photo by Edward Akinwunmi
Salute to veterans on Remembrance Day
The St. Catharines Chinese School marked its 30th Anniversary June 18th 2011. Mosaic Edition was at the event.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo speaks with Mosaic Edition
Halton meets Latin America
Coptic Orthodox Church soccer tournament
Francisco "Nacho" Velasquez
CAW Labour Day Parade