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More immigrants choosing western provinces: Census

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More immigrants choosing western provinces: Census

Cheaper real estate and growing ethnic communities drawing settlers away from Toronto, Vancouver

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By:  Metro Published on Wed Oct 25 2017

Calgary and other western Canadian cities are beginning to accept a greater share of the nation's newcomers, according to the latest census numbers released by Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada released its portrait of Canadian society Wednesday as part of the 2016 census. It shows 22.3 per cent of Canadians identified themselves as part of a visible minority. In 1981, when the agency first began collecting the information, only 4.7 per cent of Canadians identified themselves as part of a visible minority.

Statistics Canada estimates that with current trends continuing by 2036, visible minorities will represent as much as 35.9 per cent of the population.

The data showed that Alberta is now receiving a greater share of immigrants than British Columbia.

In 2001, Alberta was home to 6.9 per cent of recent immigrants, but for 2016 that number jumped to 17.1 per cent. The other Prairie provinces are also accepting a greater share of new Canadians than in the past.

Fariborz Birjandian, CEO of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, said the influx of people to Calgary in particular will be a gold mine, as long as the three levels of government continue to manage the influx.

"If you're not prepared, I think we'd have some consequences," he said.

Typically Immigrants have flocked in the greatest numbers to Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, but Birjandian said Calgary is beginning to get a critical mass of certain socio-cultural groups, which means we're seeing more and more of those people coming here.

He added that compared with Toronto and Vancouver, our housing market is much more affordable, which makes the city more attractive.

As for managing the influx, Birjandian believes we're doing a great job so far.

"Refugees that came to Calgary indicated the highest percentage of home ownership in the country – that obviously shows we've done a good job," he said.

He thinks the city needs to have more preparation at the policy level to make sure Calgary continues to be a welcoming city where newcomers can settle.

At the national level, Canada is experiencing levels of immigration not seen for nearly a century.

Hélène Maheux, an analyst with Statistics Canada, said the 21.9 per cent of people identified as immigrants in the census is the highest it has been since 1921.

“In 1921, just before that there was a huge boom of immigration in the west where we encouraged a large number of immigrants to settle in that part of the country.”

She said after that boom, Canada largely closed the door for decades before gradually allowing re-opening them and admitting more people.

The largest ethnicity that people report to census takers remains simply Canadian with more than 11 million people reporting that way, which typically means their families have been in Canada going back three generations or more.

- WIth Files from Ryan Tumilty

Source: http://www.metronews.ca/news/calgary/2017/10/25/more-immigrants-choosing-western-provinces-census.html

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Transition to Employment Services for Newcomer Professionals (TESNP)

Transition to Employment Services for Newcomer Professionals (TESNP)

A specialized program to help newcomer Engineers, Technologists and Technicians re-enter the labour market in alternative or emerging sectors.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

  • Identify sectors and employers that require your expertise
  • Recognize and market your transferable skills
  • Modify your resume for new career directions
  • Conduct an effective job search and access the hidden market
  • Secure and retain sustainable employment in Alberta’s growing industries

BENEFITS

  • 6-Week Transition to Employment Workshop
  • Access to Safety Training and CCIS’ Project Management Course
  • Job search support
  • Connections to the local labour market

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Have worked as an Engineer, Technologist or Technician for only 1 Canadian employer, or for 2-5 years since your arrival in Canada
  • Received formal industry training from an institute outside of Canada
  • Are facing barriers to re-entering the labour market in your field of expertise
  • Have an active Employment Insurance (EI) claim, or have received EI or maternity/paternity benefits within the past 5 years
  • Are interested in redirecting your career path into emerging or alternative sectors

 

FUNDED BY

tesnpfunder

 

Contact Information:

Sholeh Mahdavi, Project Manager
Phone: 403.290.5110     403.262.2006  
Email:

 

 

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CARF Accreditation

CARF Announcement2c Oct 2017

 

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Rocky View Immigrant Services and London Drugs Airdrie Partner to Support New Canadian Families in the Region

Rocky View Immigrant Services and London Drugs Airdrie Partner to Support New Canadian Families in the Region

Airdrie, Alberta – Canadian retailer, London Drugs, today launched #Welcoming150, a special program and donation drive that will support 150 new Canadian families across Western Canada who left their country of origin sometimes due to unsafe circumstances. As part of celebrating Canada 150, the program will support families identified as still-in-need by participating agencies in the various markets where London Drugs stores are located. In Airdrie, London Drugs is proud to be partnered with Rocky View Immigrant Services.

“Our customers show us time and time again, that they want to support people in their local communities,” said Colleen Lancaster, Store Manager, London Drugs Airdrie. “Because of this, it’s important for us to provide these opportunities where we can, to help connect our store staff and our customers to the people in our community that can use a little extra support and care. Together, we can make a significant positive impact supporting these families in need.”

Starting today, people can visit London Drugs in Airdrie to learn about the families adopted by the store, and donate items based on the specific needs of those families. Items collected will then be delivered to the participating 150 families across Western Canada before Canada Day on July 1, 2017.

“We are grateful to people in Airdrie and surrounding communities for their generosity. On behalf of the families we work with, we would like to thank everyone for truly reinforcing our Canadian values, and showing what it means to be Canadian during this very special time in the country’s history,” said Fariborz Birjandian with Rocky View Immigrant Services.

The Continued Need for Refugee Support

According to Rocky View Immigrant Services, there is continued need amongst refugee families in the area. Items needed currently include:

  • Hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
  • Kitchen wares such as dishes, cutlery, cooking utensils, small appliances, etc.
  • Linens for the kitchen, bath and bedroom.
  • Food including snacks, cooking oil, rice, pasta, flour, cereal, juice, etc.
  • Cleaning supplies including laundry soap, broom, dust pan, iron, etc.
  • Family needs such as books, games or puzzles.

The inspiration behind #Welcoming150 is two-fold. First, it provides continued support for new Canadian families who come from unsafe backgrounds. Second, it honours the legacy of Tong Louie, whose family acquired London Drugs in 1945 and grew the company to what it is today. In 1914, Tong Louie was born to an immigrant Chinese family who owned a wholesale food business. Tong Louie and the Louie family have been instrumental in shaping today’s retail industry in Canada.

“Welcoming and helping newcomers distinguishes what makes Canada great and so we are very excited to launch and facilitate this support program in all London Drugs stores in June, across Western Canada,” said Clint Mahlman, executive vice president and chief operating officer, London Drugs. “As a proud family-owned 72-year-old Canadian company, we will also be contributing corporately, alongside the donations from our customers and staff to ensure each family’s immediate needs are met.”

To learn more about the #Welcoming150, the families, and how you can support, please visit http://www.londondrugs.com/welcoming150

ABOUT LONDON DRUGS

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 79 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store www.londondrugs.com London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,000 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

ABOUT ROCKY VIEW IMMIGRANT SERVICES

Rocky View Immigrant Services (RVIS) was created to assist newcomers integrate and settlement into their new communities of Airdrie, Chestermere, Cochrane and Rocky View. RVIS provides immigrants and refugees with orientation, information and referrals to schools, community and government services, youth support, and cultural Interpretation, amongst others.

RVIS is a project of Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS).

For interviews, photos/video, or more information, please contact:

Angela Joyce, London Drugs Media Relations

403.681.9286

Fariborz Birjandian, CEO, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society

403.262.2006

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'Appalling' shortage of immigration appeal judges means long delays for justice, Calgary lawyers warn

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'Appalling' shortage of immigration appeal judges means long delays for justice, Calgary lawyers warn

Vacancies on Western Canada's immigration appeal tribunal expected to cause backlogs

By Jennifer Lee, CBC News Posted: Jun 07, 2017 7:54 PM MT Last Updated: Jun 08, 2017 9:41 AM MT

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Calling it a "crisis," Calgary lawyers are warning an extreme shortage of judges to deal with immigration appeals in western Canada will make already lengthy waits for family re-unification unacceptably long.

The Immigration Appeal Division — a tribunal that hears rejected family-class immigration cases — is experiencing a dramatic reduction in board members.

The majority of cases dealt with by the tribunal involve people trying to bring spouses and other family members to Canada. It also hears cases of permanent residents, refugees and others who have been ordered out of the country.

According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), 11 federally-appointed judges should be hearing appeals — in Calgary and Vancouver — for the entire western region. But as of June 16, the IRB says it will be down to just one judge in each city.

The Privy Council Office, which took over the appointment process last year, tells CBC News there is one full-time and one part-time position in Vancouver and one member in Calgary.

"I'm very alarmed," said Peter Wong, a Calgary immigration lawyer who says, even when there was a full complement, the western region was short-staffed. "This crisis has already occurred."

Fears of more delays, cancellations

The glut of vacancies is spurring a cascade of concern that the western arm of the Immigration Appeal Division — which dealt with 1,756 new cases last year alone —  is about to grind to a halt.

Michael Greene, a partner in Calgary-based Sherritt Greene Immigration Lawyers, calls the situation "appalling."

"Within a week, they're basically going to have an empty house," said Greene, who points out the one full-time judge left in Vancouver will be a new appointee.

New members generally take nine to 12 months to be considered fully productive.

"Everybody else will be gone and [there will be] nobody to handle this enormous volume," said Greene.

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That means cases will be delayed, cancelled or not booked at all, and wait times will balloon beyond the current 12- to 18-month timeline, according to Wong.

"To me that's unacceptable," he said. "Spouses and people waiting for their parents should not have to be waiting two years, [or] three years to have an appeal heard. They need to have their day in court."

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada admits backlogs are a possibility.

In an email, a spokesperson for the department said officials are doing what they can to resolve and finalize cases, including having judges from Toronto deal with western Canadian hearings. 

"However, we will refrain from scheduling hearings we do not have the operational capacity to hear, and it is possible that some appeal hearings will need to be postponed," read the statement.

Families already struggling

Families are already waiting too long to have their cases heard. according to Fariborz Birjandian, CEO of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society.

Further delays are a big concern for the organization, which hears from a lot of newcomers about the situation. 

"They are really suffering. They are frustrated," said Birjandian. "If we are bringing 300,000 people to this country, we have to be prepared for it."

Birjandian is calling on the federal government to take immediate action. "They're not moving as fast as they need to be...We want them to start looking at it today."

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Backlog caused by government overhaul 

The immigration vacancies are part of a large, nationwide backlog in appointments to federal Governor in Council positions.

The Trudeau government said last year the delays were caused, in part, by its decision to overhaul the entire appointments process and bring in a more transparent, merit-based system.

Through that change-over, responsibility for appointments to the Immigration Appeal Division shifted from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to the Privy Council Office (PCO).

A spokesperson for the PCO says the department hopes to finalize additional appointments in the coming weeks and is going through a selection process to identify more candidates.

"There's obviously a real problem in the way they've transitioned to their new appointment process," said Greene, who says many clients will no longer be able to have in-person hearings with judges.

"They'll have to settle for video hearings, which are just woefully inadequate," he said.

"It's a terrible process right now... And it's going to get far worse."

 

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-immigration-judge-shortage-1.4150043

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