Bill Warner, PhD.
Canada unveils new immigration pilot for rural and northern communities
Canada unveils new immigration pilot for rural and northern communities
Pilot will facilitate permanent residence for foreign workers of various skill levels
January 24, 2019 By Stephen Smith
The Government of Canada has unveiled a new five-year economic immigration pilot that will help rural and northern communities in Ontario, Western Canada and Canada’s three territories attract and retain skilled foreign workers.
The community-driven Rural and Northern Pilot builds on the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program launched in 2017 and will facilitate permanent residence for foreign workers of various skill levels in eligible communities in the following provinces and territories:
• British Columbia
• Northwest Territories
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says eligible communities can be either a city with a population of 50,000 or less located at least 75 kilometres from the core of a metropolitan area of 100,000 or more, or a city of up to 200,000 people that qualifies as remote.
Like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIPP), the new Rural and Northern Pilot will operate alongside Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program.
Canada now brings in more refugees than the U.S.
For the first time in the history of the United Nations refugee program, the U.S. has slipped behind another country.
by Jason Markusoff Jan 23, 2019
Source: Resettlement arrivals of refugees, Global Trends Annex Tables, UNHCR, 2009-2017; 2018 estimates sourced or calculated from relevant Government immigration, refugee, and asylum ministries and departments. Notes: Numbers provided by UNHCR are self-reported by contributing governments.
Canada’s status as a global leader in refugee resettlement—new figures show it has eclipsed the U.S. in the number of refugees it brings in—owes less to Canadian generosity than a cool disinterest from a neighbouring administration.
Robert Falconer, a Calgary-based researcher, had been following Washington’s retrenchment from refugee assistance under President Donald Trump out of both professional and personal interest: his father landed in Edmonton as a refugee after fleeing Augusto Pinochet’s 1970s dictatorship in Chile. Falconer wondered whether the U.S. refugee intake had begun to fall towards Canadian levels, which were lower than the height of 2016’s Syrian resettlement program but higher than recent years. But when he collected the figures, he was surprised. “I didn’t realize how drastic the change was,” says Falconer, who’s with the University of Calgary School of Public Policy.
The United States took in 24,000 refugees through the global refugee program last year and Canada accepted 28,000. This marks the first time that United States slipped behind another country in the history of the United Nations refugee program, which began in 1946 in the grim shadow of the Second World War. Canada’s resettled refugees are about double what the country took in earlier this decade, while the American levels are less than one-third of what they recently were, and the lowest in any year since 1977, according to the U.S. State Department.
Canadian imam: Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is worse than murder
Canadian Cleric Younus Kathrada: Congratulating Christians for Christmas is Worse than Murder pic.twitter.com/1S73XPjfRk
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 24, 2018
Younus Kathrada tells youths in British Columbia they should be offended by tenets of Christianity, with which there is ‘enmity,’ adds: ‘I’m not saying go out and just kill them’
A Canadian imam has said Muslims who congratulate Christians for the Christmas holiday are committing crimes worse than adultery and murder.
During a sermon at the Muslim Youth of Victoria in British Columbia, Sheikh Younus Kathrada said he viewed with “great sadness” his fellow Muslims’ casual treatment of the “false holiday.”
And he asserted that Muslims “must be offended” by Christians’ beliefs, in a video of his sermon provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Everything you need to know about being gay in Muslim countries
When the US supreme court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage last year, the White House welcomed it with rainbow-coloured lights and many people celebrated by adding a rainbow tint to their Facebook profile.
For the authorities in Saudi Arabia, though, this was cause for alarm rather than celebration, alerting them to a previously unnoticed peril in their midst. The first casualty was the privately run Talaee Al-Noor school in Riyadh which happened to have a rooftop parapet painted with rainbow stripes. According to the kingdom’s religious police, the school was fined 100,000 riyals ($26,650) for displaying “the emblem of the homosexuals” on its building, one of its administrators was jailed and the offending parapet was swiftly repainted to match a blue rainbow-free sky.
The case of the gaily painted school shows how progress in one part of the world can have adverse effects elsewhere and serves as a reminder that there are places where the connection between rainbows and LGBT rights is either new or yet to be discovered.
In Afghanistan, only a few years ago, there was a craze for decorating cars with rainbow stickers – which Chinese factories were only too happy to supply. It wasn’t until the Afghan Pajhwok news agency explained how they might be misinterpreted that the craze came to a sudden halt.
Look on the internet and you will also find copies of the “Rainbow Qur’an” for sale – an unconsciously gay edition of the holy book with tinted pages of every hue and recommended on one website as “an ideal gift for Muslims”.
The Saudi teen who fled her family has been granted asylum in Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Friday that the country has accepted the UN’s request to grant Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun asylum.
The Saudi teen whose pleas for asylum went viral after she fled from her family and escaped to Thailand earlier this week has been granted asylum in Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Friday that the country had accepted the United Nations request to give asylum to 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun.
“We have accepted the UN’s request that we grant her asylum,” Trudeau told reporters. “That is something that we are pleased to do because Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world.”
A top Thai immigration official said earlier Friday that Alqunun had been granted asylum in Canada, and had boarded a flight for Toronto with a “smiling face.”
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) January 11, 2019
Alqunun made international headlines this week after she escaped from her family, who had been vacationing in Kuwait, and boarded a flight to Bangkok, Thailand, on January 5. Alqunun was intercepted at the airport in Thailand, where authorities confiscated her passport and planned to deport her back to her family.
Alqunun resisted, saying that she feared for her life, and appealed for asylum. She has claimed that she faced abuse at home, and feared punishment because she had denounced Islam. (Her family has denied allegations of abuse, according to Thai officials.)
The teenager barricaded herself in her airport hotel room and refused to leave until she could speak with UN officials, who could determine her asylum status. After a nearly 48-hour standoff that Alqunun and her supporters broadcast through social media, the Thai authorities dropped their efforts to deport Alqunun, and the teen was allowed to meet with UN representatives.
Earlier this week, the Australian government confirmed that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had referred Alqunun’s asylum request to the country.
Canada, in the end, welcomed Alqunun and provided emergency resettlement, according to a statement from the UNHCR. The organization noted that Alqunun’s case “was dealt with on a fast-track ‘emergency’ basis in light of the urgency of her situation” — a benefit not afforded the rest of the world’s refugees.
YouTube to crack down on conspiracy videos: Video site to stop recommending ‘blatantly false’ videos to users
Following complaints over the number of unwelcome videos appearing in recommendations, the Google-owned site says it plans to try and banish them.
It says ‘borderline’ videos that come close to violating community guidelines or those which ‘misinform users in a harmful way.’ will now be excluded.
We’ll begin reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways—such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.’
YouTube says the decision affects less than 1 percent of videos – but this will still impact millions of clips.
‘We think this change strikes a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to our responsibility to users,’ YouTube said.
However, it will not ban the videos.
‘To be clear, this will only affect recommendations of what videos to watch, not whether a video is available on YouTube.’
The change relies on a combination of machine learning and real people, google said.
‘We work with human evaluators and experts from all over the United States to help train the machine learning systems that generate recommendations.’
However, only US recommendations will be changed.
‘This will be a gradual change and initially will only affect recommendations of a very small set of videos in the United States.
‘Over time, as our systems become more accurate, we’ll roll this change out to more countries.
‘It’s just another step in an ongoing process, but it reflects our commitment and sense of responsibility to improve the recommendations experience on YouTube.’