“I don’t think politics in Canada takes into account the voice of immigrants,” Daniela Rodriguez, an international student from Colombia, said about the June 2 Ontario election. Rodriguez, 25, currently resides in Scarborough and studies…
“Eligible voter” is a title only Canadian citizens can claim.
The cost to immigrate to Canada is yet another hurdle faced by immigrants who choose to come here on a student visa.
“The problem is, after you come here you have so many things that you face, especially related to money. I was a student [and] there are many students like me who are living here, paying excessive rent and paying excessive taxes,” she said.
It is a familiar story for the NDP’s Clarke, who told the audience she, too, was no exception.
“It took some time to acclimatize,” Clarke said. “We had to go through a process where my parents left respectable jobs in Jamaica to start from the bottom and work their way up [in Canada].”
Canada has committed to settling 45,000 refugees in 2019, including 19,000 through its Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.
Canada’s new Liberal government is opening its doors to immigrants wider than ever before. The Liberals released the immigration plan on Tuesday and have outlined a target between 280,000 to 305,000 for new immigrants to Canada this year. The focus will shift to family reunification and refugee resettlement.
The sheer number of refugees Canada is expected to process has resulted in 500 temporary visa officers being deployed to two visa offices in Lebanon and Jordan. Both of the offices are solely for processing refugees destined for Canada. Once a refugee has responded to a text message regarding a potential application, they go to these offices, and then through extensive security and medical testing.
The winner in the Parkdale-High Park riding, in Monday night’s federal vote, has put health care at the top of his to-do list as the new MP. On Monday, Parkdale-High Park constituents elected Liberal candidate Arif Virani over NDP incumbent, Peggy Nash. Virani attracted just over 42 per cent of votes, according to the CBC’s Canada Votes website, while Nash garnered just over 40 per cent of ballots.
The audience heard that the number of foreign students on F-1 visas in U.S. colleges and universities grew from 110,000 in 2001 to 524,000 in 2012. Forty-five percent of foreign student graduates extended their visas to work in the same metropolitan area as their college or university.
Community volunteer clinics in Scarborough are struggling to keep up with the increasing number of refugees seeking healthcare.
Getting into Canada to work just got a little harder. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently announced that starting July 1, newcomers under the Provincial Nominee Program in low-skilled professions will have to take a mandatory test in French or English before they’re allowed into Canada.