Recent News

Nominees sought for awards honouring Canada’s most inspiring immigrants

By Adam Martin-Robbins, York News | Do you know an immigrant who is truly inspiring? Then you ought to nominate them for an award celebrating their achievements. Nominations are open for the 2018 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards until Feb. 27 at 11:59 p.m. “These awards celebrate the significant contributions Canadian immigrants have made in communities across Canada,” Ivy Chiu, senior director, newcomer strategy, RBC, said in a news release. “As we reflect on the amazing achievements we’ve seen over the past 10 years, we can look ahead and be proud of all that we have accomplished together, and all that we will in years to come.” To nominate someone, visit canadianimmigrant.ca/rbctop25. Program sponsor RBC will select one of the winners for the RBC Entrepreneur Award. One of the winners will also be selected for the Youth Award, which recognizes the achievements of young immigrants, between 15 and 30 years old, who are making a difference in their adopted country. Added for this year’s program, is the Settlement Agency Award, which recognizes exceptional work done by immigrant settlement agencies to help newcomers succeed. One agency will be selected for this new award from a list of nominees. Once nominations close, a panel of judges will review all nominees. A shortlist of 75 finalists for the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants awards and the finalists for the Settlement Agency Awards will be released in March. That will be followed by an online voting phase that will help determine the winners, which will be announced in June. Read...

Having a job offer is no longer key to immigrating to Canada

By Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star | Canada’s rebooted economic immigration selection system has created a bigger pool of eligible candidates by making it easier to apply without a job offer. With the tweaking of criteria by the federal government more than a year ago, applicants with backgrounds in industrial, electrical and construction trades have become less competitive while international students are getting a boost because their Canadian education is now worth more. According to the latest immigration data, a total of 101,107 eligible applicants were entered into the candidate pool from January to November, 2016, when Ottawa changed its selection system that ranks them and invites those who make the cut-off in each draw to apply for immigration under the economic class. Draws are held multiple times each year. In the six months after the introduction of changes that included drastically reducing the bonus points awarded to candidates with job offers, 77,207 were entered into the pool. Although the 2017 total of candidates is not yet available, it’s bound to surpass the total from the year before. Before the changes, almost 40 per cent of those invited to apply for immigration had a job offer. Now, only one in 10 applies with a job already lined up. The changes to the system place a greater emphasis on so-called human capital — personal attributes such as age, education and language proficiency — and have won the praise of immigration experts, who have argued those qualities are more important for newcomers to succeed in Canada in the long run. “It is difficult to predict an economy’s long-term needs. A skill shortage...

Shortage of Chinese and South Asian chefs impacts Metro Vancouver restaurants

By Kevin Griffin, Vancouver Sun | During the lunch rush at The Boss on Main, there are about 100 people seated in the booths eating and ordering food. In the kitchen everyone is working full-tilt including cook Shuji Chen. Chen’s specialty is preparing the kinds of Hong Kong-style Chinese food that regulars like. He’s an expert in using a commercial wok. It’s much more challenging to use than a home wok because it’s bigger and heavier and doesn’t have a single long handle to grab onto: you have to learn how to cook — and not burn yourself — by holding the side grip with a cloth. What makes Chen unusual is his age. At 64, he’s been working in the kitchen of The Boss since he came to Vancouver from Guangzhou in 1986. After 28 years, he’s dropped down to working four days a week from six. He knows he’s getting close to retirement but he plans to keep cooking, at least for a few more years. What’s happening with Chen in the kitchen of The Boss is not unique in Metro Vancouver. There is a general shortage of chefs for many restaurants but it’s even worse in restaurants specializing in the national cuisines of China, India and other countries. Chefs are aging and they’re not being replaced either with new immigrants with specialized cooking skills or by locally-trained chefs. Behind the scenes, restaurants are figuring out ways to deal with the shortage. Some are paying more or closing sections. Others are reducing hours so they’re no longer serving, for example, lunches on some days. Owners and their...

Vancouver Chinatown’s history woven into Chinatowns across the globe

By Joanne Lee-Young, Vancouver Sun | A dozen or so people are gathered in the dining room of a cosy Vancouver home to look back on a special trip they made to Kaiping in southern China. Plates are laden with food and treats of all sorts brought to share. There’s baked salmon, stir-fried broccoli, takeout boxes of barbecued pork and duck, a selection of gourmet cheeses with thin apple slices, and Ziploc bags of black sesame and peanut brittle. Later, bottles of Scotch come out, and there is both laughter and reverence as the group chat about what they experienced and who they met. It’s a weekend gathering just ahead of Lunar New Year, one grounded in many of the holiday’s traditional and universal themes: travel and reunion, abundant food, drink and revelry. Underpinning it all is a deep respect for one’s family and forebears. As Vancouver aims for UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for its Chinatown, reflecting on this trip to Kaiping reveals the fascinating, long-standing connections that exist between the two cities. Kaiping is a city in southern China’s Guangdong province known for its hundreds of crumbling “diao lou” fortress towers and villas, which were built in the early 20th century by Chinese families who returned to the area after making good on a whole new life overseas in cities such as Vancouver. They returned to Kaiping with money to invest and a love of Western styles. The diao lou buildings, made of imported cement, feature ornate balconies and turrets like those on a medieval castle in Europe, but they are also infused with details that hark...

Immigrants fuel Canada’s high education rates

By The PIE News | The percentage of degree holders among 25 to 35 year olds is 36% for second generation migrants, compared to 24% for peers with Canadian-born parents. According to the Immigration Department analysis, this may be down to the fact that many migrants already enter Canada holding university degrees and have high expectations for their children’s academic achievements. In turn this leads to the pursuit of degrees by the next generation. “Parents’ expectations regarding education matters, and immigrant families, particularly Asian families, tend to have higher educational expectations for their children, on average, than families with Canadian-born parents,” said the report. Not all source countries fare the same: more than half of second-generation immigrants from China and India hold degrees, compared to about 30 to 37% of those from Western Europe. Canada was just behind Korea in 2016 as the most educated country in the world according to OECD. Over 60% of its citizens aged 25-34 year old and 42% of 55-64 year olds have university degrees – well above the OECD average. Around the world, second generation immigrants to the European Union have higher tertiary education attainment rates than their non-immigrant peers, a 2016 Eurostat report showed. Across the EU, 36% of first generation and 38% of second generation immigrants had post-secondary degrees in 2014, compared to 31% of native-born peers with native background. However, there were differences between members states. In the UK, the fifth best-educated country according to OECD, about half of first generation and 47% of second generation migrants had university degrees, compared to 37% of native-born citizens. In Belgium the percentages...