New Canadian Media
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 20:48

The Loneliness of Being an Immigrant

By: Lu Xu in Halifax 

“I don’t have anything else to do,” says Keith Bi. He is cleaning pig intestines—a tedious job. In the sink of his café in downtown Halifax sit two bowls filled with cold water and floating chunks of pig intestine that he bought from Toronto. Bi’s back is arched forward. He selects one of the intestines and turns it inside out so that he can see where the fat is, and carefully cuts out the white fat with a pair of scissors. It’s delicate work. He has to make sure he takes out the fat without poking holes. His right hand skillfully guides the blades of the scissors close against the inside wall. In one quick movement, the fat slips away into to the sink.

Bi is making a traditional Chinese dish: pot-stewed pig intestines. The café business has been quiet today, as it is on most days. He had to let go his only employee because he couldn’t afford the salary; he’s often the only one inside. A few days before, he added a catering service hoping it would increase revenue. And this traditional stew is something he wants to serve as part of his catering service.

He could’ve just thrown the intestines into a pot and boiled them all together—the fat would’ve just melted into the water, which he could’ve simply thrown away. But, as Bi says, he doesn’t have anything else to do.

In 2011, Bi immigrated from the city of Xi’an, China, on a working visa after being told by one of his relatives who lives in Halifax that Canada is a good place to live. He wouldn’t have to deal with the complicated social relationships that occur in China; relationships are more straight forward in Canada, he was told. And he could even open his own business. He decided to come to Canada first, and then hopefully bring his wife and son in the future.

Bi is not happy with the status quo in modern China. People often go around the law and rules, which has turned non-elites in the country resentful. You are a fool if you just obey the rules, people think. Networks and knowing the right people matter more. For someone like Bi who wants to play by the rules and is not part of the 1 percent, building a life in Canada seemed to be a good choice.

Since Bi came to Canada, he has worked as a chef, a cleaner, and other low-paying jobs. He had one goal: permanent residency. And he worked hard for it like most immigrants do. In 2014, three years after he arrived, he received his PR. It was a long time coming. His wife was supportive and helped with his application by sending all the required documents from China. Two weeks later, he bought himself a round-trip ticket to China and two one-way tickets to Canada for his wife and son. But one week before they were about to leave China, his wife told Bi that she was not coming to Canada with him. Instead, she wanted a divorce. The next day, she packed up her belongings and left.

Bi was shocked. He hadn’t seen it coming. Everything was going as planned and then all of sudden his life was falling to pieces. He went from a happy new immigrant with a PR in hand, to a lonely, divorced man explaining to a customs officer why his wife was not with him.

It takes Bi an hour to finish the cleaning the pig intestines. After washing his hands, he takes off his hat. His hair is longer than he’d like and it gets slippery with sweat when he works. But he hates the black baseball hat. Still, he wears it. “No matter where the kitchen is you have to put it on if you work in one,” he says. Bi is firm when it comes to obeying rules.

Bi is a forty-seven-year-old Chinese immigrant and the owner of Coffee Corner, a café located in the windowless basement below the office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The café is only thirty-five metres squared and is a convenience store with a help-yourself take-out lunch service. He does all the work himself and schedules his tasks to get things done on time. He learned how to be efficient when he worked in China as a chief inspector in a five-star restaurant. He was a good manager and knows how to train people. Once, he had two hundred people working under him.

In the late ’90s, Bi was honoured to work in a restaurant of its kind. Not only because it was well-paid, but also because of the associated privileges that came with the job. Most restaurants were only open to foreign guests, which is why he was taught how to cook Western food and learn basic English. They had products that you couldn’t get even if you had the money. It was almost like they got to see a different world.

But Bi never settles. He went all the way alone from Macau, in southern China, to Halifax, in Eastern Canada.

Usually, the stories we hear about immigration are inspiring—about how a refugee family endured trauma and rebuilt their life after coming to Canada. These stories are true, but there are also others—stories of immigrants, especially people with an Asian background, who experience high levels of emotional stress. A 2012 report by Citizenship and Immigration Canada suggests that immigrants from Asia and Pacific are more likely to have emotional problems, including depression or loneliness, than those who come from the rest of North America, the United Kingdom, and Western Europe.

Opening a new chapter in life is never easy. The first time Bi tried to launch a restaurant it fell flat, he says due to a poor choice of partners. And although his second attempt is also struggling, he will never give up. He gets up at 5:30 a.m. before the sun rises and leaves after 6 p.m. on most nights. He doesn’t sit down until noon. Since the café is in a basement, the only time he gets to see the sun on a winter weekday is when he goes outside to have a smoke. He throws on his ten-year-old leather jacket and strolls down the hallway, joking that smoking for him is like an injection, to motivate himself.

He tries his best to strike up a conversation with his customers when they walk through the café door. He smiles—he’s always cheerful around his customers—and asks how they are. He often tells them to leave their money at the counter or pay him later if he is away in the bathroom or smoking. He trusts them. He thinks everyone who works in the building has a decent heart. To his customers, he is an attentive Chinese immigrant who runs a convenient café but they don’t see that when he’s on his own, he gets lonely now and then. When the café is empty, Bi is quiet.

Loneliness is a terrifying thing. It’s like a black hole that sucks you in. Bi’s thoughts go wild when he slows down. He thinks about how rough it has been starting a business, how rebellious his son is, and, above all, how he doesn’t have the family he wanted at his age.

In Chinese culture, a family is one of the most important parts of a man’s life. The pressure from parents to get married and have children is relentless. Divorce and being childless are still new concepts for the community, and like many other divorced men in China, they think it’s somehow a failure or a mistake that they are responsible for.

When friends visit, he always cheers up. It just doesn’t happen very often.

The combination of living overseas, divorced, with a struggling business has made this restless man depressed—but Bi says he will always keep trying to make a better future. In April 2016, he boarded a plane to China to meet a woman he had been talking to online for six months. He didn’t know how things would turn out, but he hoped that they would like each other—that she would eventually join him in Canada. Nevertheless, he hopped on the plane.

When he arrived in China, he took a bus to meet her but missed the stop while helping blind person dial a number on their cell phone. Bi apologized to the woman when he met her and explained what happened, but she lashed out. “Why did you help a blind person?” she said. “It’s none of your business.”

In that moment, Bi knew she wasn’t the one.

Three months later, he flew back to Halifax, alone.

On a wednesday in January, at around 1:40 p.m., Bi is sitting at a small table outside his café eating lunch. It is his first break in five hours of work. His bowl is filled with a few spoons of some dishes from his buffet, all mixed together. Like many other Chinese people, he doesn’t separate his food. Although he’s a chef, he doesn’t seem to have a high standard for his own meals. He eats whatever is left over.

Bi adjusts his hat, places his cell phone on the round table in front of him, and starts eating. He is focused on his food with his face close to the bowl. There are no customers around, so he plays his cell phone out loud. It’s a video clip from a Chinese media outlet called Today’s Headline—how he keeps track of what’s happening back home. Most influential media outlets in China are controlled by the government, but Bi believes that Today’s Headline is trustworthy enough. Throughout the day, he has a surprising guest: his brother He and the man’s wife. He calls him “brother He” not because they are related but in the traditional Chinese way of addressing a man older than him with respect.

“What brought you here?” Bi asks, just happy that his friends have come. Bi pours two cups of coffee for them and mentions his new plan for a small change in the store: he stretches his arms wide and gestures to demonstrate what the changes are going to be as if he is sharing exciting news he has kept for a long time. His smile is broad and his eyes alight. At one point, he even squats on the floor trying to outline where his new counter will go.

When friends visit, he always cheers up. It just doesn’t happen very often.

One morning, a Thursday, I tell Bi that tomorrow is the Chinese Lunar New Year. He acts surprised—as if he forgot. For Chinese, it is a day of family reunion, when people who work far from home brave the traffic to see their parents.

“Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve?” Bi says. “Well then, I need to call my parents first thing in the morning.” He says he stopped celebrating festivals or his birthday a long time ago. Later that day, a lady walks into the store. She is one of the regular customers who works in the building. The card machine isn’t working very well, and she doesn’t have cash.

“You can pay me next year,” Bi says.

“Next year?”

“January 28 is the Chinese New Year.”

Oh yes, Bi remembers. He remembers clearly.

He doesn’t have anything planned for the holiday, and still hasn’t talked with his son. They haven’t spoken in nearly two months.

Friday is usually the least busy day for him, and today, quiet is not what he needs. He seems distant and tries to keep busy. Brother He calls and invites him to dinner, which seems to lift his spirits. Bi takes out a pizza and adds it to the daily menu—the first time in weeks he has added something new.

The following day, Bi arrives at the store at the normal time, 6 a.m., pours cold water into the coffee pot, carefully places the pot in the coffee machine, and turns it on. He takes out his iPhone, dials a number, and puts it on speaker phone. The iPhone screen is broken. His parents are both over eighty and don’t have a computer at their home. Phoning is the only way he can reach them.

Bi seems peaceful when he talks to them; he has a flicker of a smile on his face. As he talks, he takes out bread and puts it into the toaster, cooks bacon, and fries eggs for the morning sandwiches. He moves around his small kitchen placing his cellphone here and there. During the phone call, he doesn’t stop working for a second.

After about thirty minutes, Bi tells his parents that he needs to get back to work, and hangs up. He didn’t want to call in the first place. Why would he? He knew what his parents would ask about: work and family. And he knew he had to lie. Like many Chinese immigrants, he never tells his parents back in China any bad news. He would rather lie than tell them the real story—the story about how difficult it is to build a life in a foreign land.

“It’s called white lies,” Bi says with a grin. But when he talked to them he felt pained.

Their questions only reminded him of his reality: the rebellious son that he hasn’t talked to for almost two months, his cafe that is barely getting by, and, above all, his loneliness.

But he couldn’t tell them the truth. He had to lie. He had to lie well so that his aged parents so far away wouldn’t worry.


Lu Xu, who hails from China, is studying journalism at the University of King's College in Halifax. This article was republished under arrangement with the Walrus Foundation.

Published in Arts & Culture

In partnership with Apathy is Boring, New Canadian Media will be posting first-person accounts from the 150 Years Young Project, a campaign that highlights the positive impact youth are making throughout their communities.

Komal Minhas, Owner of Ko-Media and Co-Founder of Dream, Girl

“Entrepreneurship builds a huge amount of resilience, capacity, emotional intelligence, and growth. My advice to young entrepreneurs is to take your time and build a strong group of people around you who can help you down your path- and remember to keep an intentionality to the hustle.”

As a successful young female entrepreneur who is the co-founder of widely viewed documentary Dream, Girl and the owner of her own media company, KoMedia, you may be surprised to learn that Komal Minhas got her start in Grand Prairie, Alberta. This rural city played an integral role in Komal’s story, as she was raised there by parents who immigrated from India. She grew up watching her parents face the many trials and triumphs of new immigrants and was inspired by their entrepreneurial spirit as they created a home for themselves. She also grew up witnessing the effects that patriarchal culture can have on women, and particularly young women and women of colour. She was always taught to dream big and she took this belief with her across the country as she started on a new path in Ottawa to pursue her dream of empowering women and girls.

After completing a degree in Journalism from Carleton University and graduate studies in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo, Komal fell in love with telling stories through video and documentary and gained an understanding of how business can have a positive impact when led by intentional and thoughtful leaders. Thus came the creation of KoMedia, which aims to create systemic change in how females are treated and does by undertaking projects that tell the complex and empowering stories of women and girls from around the world. Soon after, she connected with fellow entrepreneur Erin Bagwell, who had the innovative idea of creating a documentary that showcases the stories of female entrepreneurs, giving a voice to this underrepresented segment. Komal became a co-founder of the project, helping to create the documentary from pre-production, to production stages in New York City, to premiering across the world. The film has had many successes, from a sold-out public premiere at the Paris Theatre in NYC to a premiere hosted by Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in Ottawa. Komal is currently working out of Ottawa, a city that she continues to call her home-base despite having worked in many thriving cities around the world. 

Christo Bilukidi, Entrepreneur, OCH Ambassador, and Former NFL Player

“I just want to show youth that you are not limited to anything in this world because of your upbringing, your circumstances, or your environment. You can do anything you set your mind to. A lot of people might tell you this, but I believe this because I have lived it, and that’s why I am an OCH Ambassador”.

Growing up in Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) and coming from a single-parent immigrant household, Christo Bilukidi was taught the values of hard work and perseverance. These came in handy when he found himself playing football for the first time in the twelfth grade and having a natural affinity for the sport, beginning a journey that he never imagined himself undertaking. By pushing himself through trainings, try-outs, and SAT tests, Christo earned a full-ride scholarship to play football at Georgia State University. Soon after, he was drafted into the NFL and played for the Oakland Raiders, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Baltimore Ravens. 

After five seasons in the NFL, Christo decided to take his retirement and follow a different passion: entrepreneurship. He is now a co-owner of a successful tailored suit business, Idlewood, and uses his free time for volunteerism. Christo decided to return to Ottawa, where he felt a strong sense of community in his home city and wanted the chance to give back. He is an OCH Ambassador, using his experiences growing up and in the sporting community to be a positive role model to youth. He cites that he will take part in as many community outreach opportunities as he can get his hands on, and is often engaging in public speaking at high schools or community centres in OCH neighbourhoods. On top of this, Christo is working on organizing a football camp for youth that he hopes will feature current NFL players and local Ottawa players to help empower young people through athleticism. He believes that sports are a great tool for youth empowerment, as they teach discipline, hard work, and motivation.


The 150 Years Young Project: In celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, Apathy is Boring is teaming up with community organizers and city ambassadors to recognize positive contributions by youth. Follow the hashtag #150yy for more!

Published in Arts & Culture

Starting a business in Canada can be a surprisingly straightforward experience for immigrant entrepreneurs.

Yet, every newcomer that travels the self-employment route faces bumps along the way. That’s why having an entrepreneurial mentor who’s had the same experience can make a big difference.

Canadian Immigrant

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Published in Economy

by Florence Hwang in Regina 

Skilled immigrants are more likely than Canadian-born citizens to be their own boss, according to the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.

By the late 2000s, 19 per cent of Canada’s immigrants were self-employed. The report from the Metcalf Foundation and Maytree examines the challenges and opportunities immigrants face with regards to self-employment and entrepreneurship

While in the past Canada has used immigration to fill its labour market needs — Chinese migrants who helped build the railway, temporary foreign workers to supplement the agricultural industry — creating their own businesses also allowed many immigrants to bring family over from their homeland.

Riding the wave of Italian immigration

Ever since Ralph Chiodo was young, he has loved cars. His dream was to open his own autobody shop. He now has 72 franchise locations in Ontario.

When Chiodo was 12, he worked in a blacksmith shop in Italy. He shoed horses, repaired wagons and plows for farmers. But what he really wanted to do was fix cars. 

At 14, he landed at Pier 21. In 1959, he started working at a gas station in Toronto — getting the job was the easy part. 

“He shoed horses, repaired wagons and plows for farmers.”

In the ‘50s and ‘60s, thousands of Italians immigrated to Canada annually. Many were sponsored by family members already in Canada, including Chiodo.

Once he got his mechanic’s license in 1965, he opened his own garage and auto repair centre. By 1972, he opened an autobody shop, followed by a Chrysler Dodge dealership in 1980.

His advice for new immigrant entrepreneurs: “Treat people fairly. This includes not only the customers, but the suppliers, landlords and everybody [else]. There’s no substitution for treating everyone fairly.” 

Iranian engineer starts own business

Mahboob Bolandi, who came to Canada from Iran in 2008 on a student visa, keeps himself motivated by not losing the big picture about the future of his business, Texers Inc.: “I always think of the objective and the success I will face and I will achieve through hard work. It has helped me to do and go forward.” 

He started his ceramic materials business after he took the Entrepreneurship Connections program ACCES Employment in June 2014. Texers specializes in technical ceramics used in high technology, engineering or medical applications.

“I was doing everything by myself… doing accounting, doing a website, doing social media.”

Starting his own business meant a lot of work because he was the only person running it: “I was doing everything by myself [. . .] doing accounting, doing a website, doing social media [. . .] Now I have enough time to focus on real business and growing the business.” 

Bolandi gained valuable insight into contributing to Canadian society by serving as a board member on non-profit organizations, particularly those that were serving newcomers.

“But I’m thinking out of box now […] that being useful to your society, to your community, to serve your country does not necessarily mean doing something related to what you studied,” he notes.

Hire yourself if no one hires you

When Rene C. Berrospi first came to Canada from Lima, Peru in July 2011, he had more than a decade of international experience in immigration law, but he couldn’t find an entry-level position.

His solution was to start his own consulting firm: A&R Global Consulting.

There weren’t any programs to help immigrants with starting their own business, Berrospi says. 

Luckily, he was able to get a business plan in place: “Because I have a legal background, I did my research … people without a legal background … have no idea … what kind of legal structure they need,” Berrospi says.

“This is the advice I also give my clients: If no one wants to hire, hire yourself."

Another challenge is adapting to marketing in North America: “The marketing is different in North America than other countries so you have to adapt to that too and what kind of market you will have.” 

“I [started] with two clients from two different countries. Now I’m helping a lot of different people from different backgrounds and nationalities. The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council chose me because part of the business I’m running [is] an internship program for young Canadians,” he says.

In addition to securing clients from all over the world — Korea, Ireland, Indian, Hungary, Romania, Brazil, Argentina — four of his interns have found work in legal or consulting firms.

Berrospi warns that entrepreneurship is not a nine-to-five job: “I’m very busy. I cannot complain.” 

He advises new immigrants looking to become entrepreneurs not to be scared. As history has shown, he thinks there are a lot of opportunities to do business in Canada: “This is the advice I also give my clients: If no one wants to hire, hire yourself.”  

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in History

 Moreno wants to make all women look beautiful in the one thing most of us hate buying — bathing suits....

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Canadian Immigrant

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Published in Latin America
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 00:41

Syrian Finds New Life, Success in Canada

by Tazeen Inam in Mississauga

Over the next six years, the cost of bringing Syrian refugees to Canada will reach $1.2 billion. The federal government has earmarked $275 million in support for the immediate processing of the refugees as well as financial support and health care for one year. 

While some Canadians have expressed concerns over this, others see it as a long-term investment.

A report issued by financial co-operative Vancity suggests that Syrian refugees are expected to boost British Columbia’s economy by more than half a billion dollars over the next 20 years.

According to Naveed Chaudhry, executive director of Peel Multicultural Council, this could be because Syrians coming to Canada are not from an under-developed country; they are educated and entrepreneurial in nature.

“Yes there is an upfront cost of bringing them into Canada, but I think the benefits far outweigh these costs,” says Chaudhry.

Oppression and entrepreneurship 

One immigrant who is currently living the Canadian dream is Nabil Orfali, an IT project manager from Syria, who now owns a consulting firm in Canada. 

Orfali graduated in 1998 from a university in Damascus. Shortly after, he developed and launched the first online payment portal in Syria. At 20, he was one of the first people in the country to specialize in web development and worked for a newly established IT company, Syriancom.

While working full-time, he started an internet cafe as a side business with a group of friends but like many other shops, it fell prey to the corruption and oppression of local security forces and the government.

"I think the benefits far outweigh these costs.”

“There was no security in Damascus as they just wanted money and kept the shops closed for hours in the name of security. Incomes were very low,” remembers Orfali.

Things for Orfali and his peers deteriorated when they were conscripted into the army by the ruling government.

“I [would’ve had] to stay three years minimum in military service, which [meant being] out of touch with technology, so I just ran away to Saudi Arabia,” he shares.

He applied for immigration to Canada in 2001 and finally arrived in a the country six years later with his wife and two-year-old daughter. 

Adaptation in a new country 

Orfali’s story is not much different from those of other newcomers to Canada. Like many immigrants, he experienced difficulties initially landing a job.

But after he experimented with his resume, he got a job as a project manager in one of the larger IT companies, Navantis, in Toronto. 

The recession of 2008 hit him hard though, and he was laid off after three months. 

He applied for immigration to Canada in 2001 and finally arrived in a the country six years later.

“I was shocked and took it personally that I was probably not qualified,” Orfali remembers. “I did not [think] that it was the recession. This was tough and difficult to deal with, but again I didn’t give up and [I] kept my spirits high."

A few months later he managed to get another job with the Ontario government services, but was soon laid off again. 

“[The] manager said I [was] not a ‘good fit’ for the team. I don’t know why, I was doing a great job, but they laid me off, and it was another shock and shattered my confidence.”

Entrepreneurial success in Canada

After working for several years at a company called Cyberplex, Orfali decided to tap into some of the entrepreneurial spirit in his blood.

Orfali, who always dreamt of establishing his own company growing up in Syria, started working on an online startup: reviewsgurus.com. It was eventually recognized by the Canadian Trade Commission and Orfali was sponsored to go to the Silicon Valley. 

“That was a great experience. [I] got in touch with mentors, investors, entrepreneurs,” he shares. “Although I wasn’t able to raise money [from an] investor [. . .] those were the best three months of my life.

“[I] got to the bottom of how to build a successful business.”

After returning to Canada, Orfali started a project with Canadian Tire. He worked there for another two years until he started his own consultancy firm by the name of TechGuilds in December, 2014.

“In 10 months the firm is hitting a revenue of $1.2 million per year. I hired mostly newcomers, interns and fresh graduates, including three Syrians,” explains Orfali. “So that’s my contribution to Canada, and it’s still growing.” 

Based on the experience Chaudry has had with Syrian immigrants over the last 25 years, Orfali's entrepreneurial spirit doesn't seem uncommon.

“Syrians are from a very diverse and open-minded society. I have seen them settling fast and becoming contributing members of the society.” 


 Journalist Priya Ramanujam mentored the writer of this article through the NCM Mentoring Program

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Economy

Are you an immigrant business owner? An aspiring entrepreneur? An upcoming mentoring and networking event can give you guidance and connections on starting a business in Canada. The Immigrant Entrepreneur Exhibition, to be held on May 27, 6-8 p.m., at the Bonsor Recreation Complex Banquet Hall (6550 Bonsor Ave. Burnaby, B.C., near the Metrotown Skytrain […]

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Canadian Immigrant

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Published in Economy

Canada will accept 500 immigrant applications from millionaires and their families who can invest at least $2 million in the country.
But only 60 of the 500 applications, which must be filed by Feb. 11, will be approved.
The new Venture Capital program replaces an old one critics dubbed the “cash for citizenship” program because it was found to be riddled by fraud, local media reported.
The idea is to lure international investors whose investments will boost the Canadian economy.
“This pilot program is designed to attract immigrant investors who will significantly benefit the Canadian economy and better integrate into our society, which will contribute to our long-term prosperity and economic growth,” Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said in a written statement.
Each applicant must make an investment that has risk with no guaranteed return on the $2 million. The money has to be invested over approximately 15 years into a fund operated by BDC Capital, which falls under the umbrella of the government’s Business Development Bank of Canada.
The new program represents a revamp of the old wealthy investor immigration regulation that was scrapped in June 2014.
“Under the former immigration investor program, immigrant investors had to invest $800,000 in Canada’s economy in the form of a repayable loan without meeting skills and abilities requirements of most of Canada’s economic immigration programs,” the government announced in a public statement. “Research indicated that immigrant investors under the previous program were less likely than other immigrants to stay in Canada in the medium to long term. Also, they contributed relatively little to the economy, earning very little income and paying very little tax.
But the new program is not a hit with everyone.
When plans to implement the program were announced last December, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong called the program a “tiny scheme (that) would thwart 45,000 rich Chinese who were dumped from (the old) investor immigration queue.”
The scrapping of the old program resulted in a lawsuit brought by more than 1,000 wealthy immigrants waiting for permanent residency.
Last June, a Federal Court judge ruled against the plaintiffs.
The new millionaire migration program will also require applicants to undergo intensive background checks and scrutiny by private-sector forensic accountants and auditors, according to tendering documents on a government procurement website.
The documents on the procurement website point to a new thorough and extensive examination process being implemented by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, aiming to ensure that all the wealth invested under this scheme is lawfully obtained by applicants. In addition to financial audits, applicants will also be investigated for any possible history of criminal activity or problematic political involvement.
Experts believe that this increased scrutiny might pose problems for potential investors from certain countries, the SCMP reported.
The Investor Immigration Program had become increasingly popular among citizens of Hong Kong and China, thousands of who migrated to Canada in the past 28 years. However, a deluge of applications led Canada to discontinue the program last year. At the time, about 60,000 applications were pending and had to be cancelled. Under the program, each applicant was required to provide at least C$ 800,000 as an interest-free loan to the Canadian government in exchange for permanent residency in the country.
The new IIVC is the government’s promised replacement, although it has been criticized as being completely insignificant because its small quota does not even begin to meet the high demand from Chinese investors. “What I was told was that this was a pilot project for 50 spots. The only reason they are rolling it out at all is because it was mentioned in the budget that they would, so they had to go ahead with it,” said a source from immigration industry, reported the SCMP.
The stringent checks and appraisal conditions for the program have been introduced seemingly because of China’s complaints that immigration programs such as Canada’s IIP had been helping Chinese criminals escape the country. China’s foreign ministry has even accused American and Canadian authorities of not repatriating fugitive Chinese businessmen and individuals. The Chinese government further believes that the US and Canada are the most preferred destinations for white-collar criminals fleeing China.
Immigration Canada has also warned that any lack of cooperation from the applicant which hinders the audit work will be noted as well. The final audit report is given to the applicant who in turn would have be submit it along with the complete application form. This way applicants would have the chance to cancel their applications in case the audits reveal something that puts them in an unfavorable light, like dubious finances or criminal activities.

By arrangement with the Asian Pacific Post

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Published in Policy

Winners of the Third Annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards in Ottawa were recognized for the entrepreneurial success they have achieved in Canada.

The Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards, organized by the City of Ottawa in partnership with the Economic Club of Canada, recognize four exceptional individuals who have made great contributions to the entrepreneurial community in Ottawa. 

Canadian Immigrant

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Published in National

Do you have dreams of starting your own business one day? Are you a budding entrepreneur age 15-29? There are a few spots left in Skills for Change’s brand new Youth Entrepreneurs Program in Toronto.

The program allows participants to connect with like-minded peers and members of the business community and access the resources they need to take their business ideas to the next level.

The program starts on Thursday, Jan. 22, and includes a 12-week program (Thursdays 5.30-7.30 p.m.) with interactive workshops, networking events and more.

For more details contact Jin at olberg@skillsforchange.org.

Canadian Immigrant

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Published in Education
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Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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Background Image

Breadcrumb Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Menu Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image

Bottom Wrapper

Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image
Background Color
Modules Title
Text Color
Link Color
Background Image