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Immigration may help Canada lower interest rates




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On October 26, the Bank of Canada (BoC) increased the policy interest rate by 50 basis points, up to 3.75%.

2022 has been a year full of continual interest rate hikes, as the BoC has been increasing its policy interest rate throughout the year in an effort to  aggressively combat inflation in Canada. Initially, when first reported on January 26, the BoC’s policy interest rate started the year at 0.25%. Since then, the rate has increased by at least 25 basis points with every hike.

A policy interest rate is a reference point, set by the Bank of Canada, that informs the interest rates charged to consumers on mortgages and lines of credit by banks across the country.

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What this means for consumers will depend on if they are borrowing money from the bank (‘borrowers’) or if they are able to save their money (‘savers’) but the following will outline the impacts that Canada’s current interest rate circumstances are having on both these groups.

Savers: With the increase in interest rates, banks may now (although they are not obligated to) raise savings account interest rates proportionally to match borrowing interest rates, especially if competitive pressures are put on these institutions.

Borrowers: As an example, homeowners are potentially due to see a rise in debt or they may struggle to acquire a new loan due to rising interest rates. For instance, a homeowner set to renew their fixed-rate mortgage could face more expensive monthly payments. Similarly, variable-rate mortgage owners may see increased payments over time that mirror these new policy rates.

Why are interest rates rising?

Now that we’ve covered what is happening with interest rates in Canada, let’s talk about why.

Simply, interest rates are going up to eventually bring inflation down. Essentially, this is an effort to stabilize the economy because higher interest rates will discourage consumers from borrowing money since it will now cost them more money to do so. The purchasing of goods will decrease accordingly, as will demand in general. Subsequently, consumers will become more likely to save money as interest rates on savings products also rise. These measures will slow down and stabilize the economy, for the betterment of all Canadians in the long run.

For now, however, interest rates may continue to rise in the short-term for a little while longer – but potentially not for as long as once expected (but more on that later).

Are rising interest rates having a negative impact on Canadian immigration?

Considering the impact that rising interest rates can have on the Canadian population economically, it may seem reasonable to expect this kind of economic uncertainty to discourage immigrants from coming to Canada, or at least give them a reason to think a little harder about their other options. Fortunately for Canada’s economic and social prosperity, this is not the case.

After a period of slower immigration due to border closures and pandemic restrictions, Canada’s immigration numbers are starting to work their way back to normal. In fact, 2021 saw Canada welcome its highest-ever number of immigrants in a single year. The over 405,000 landed permanent residents cumulatively surpassed the previous record set in 1913.

In other words, Canadian immigration is not adversely impacted by rising interest rates, and things are looking bright for the country’s immigration future. This positive outlook is reaffirmed by Canada’s immigration targets over the next few years, which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has laid out in the Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024.

As part of that plan, Canada is now looking to welcome over 430,000 immigrants annually between now and 2024.

2022 end-of-year immigration target: 431,645

2023 immigration target: 447,055

2024 immigration target: 451,000

Canada’s next Immigration Levels Plan, for 2023-2025, will be announced by November 1, 2022.

Note: The new Levels Plan may result in revisions being made to the immigration targets for 2023 and 2024, but the targets set by IRCC should remain high, as Canada looks to increase immigration to make up for low numbers during the pandemic and further brighten Canada’s economic and social future by welcoming newcomers to this country.

If rising interest rates aren’t hurting Canadian immigration, what do the two things have to do with one another?

Contrary to the negative connection that some may assume between interest rates and foreigners coming to Canada, economists such as Stephen Brown of Capital Economics allude to the idea that seeing more immigrants come to this country could greatly help Canada lower interest rates sooner than other countries around the world.

Research from Statistics Canada suggests that immigrants play a big part in addressing Canadian labour shortages. If fact, research published in June of 2022 indicates that 84% of growth in the Canadian labour force during the 2010s was accounted for by immigrants. Accordingly, a higher degree of immigration to Canada in the future could help continue to ease pressure on labour shortages across the country — one step, albeit a significant one, on Canada’s journey to eventually reducing interest rates.

Welcoming more immigrants is expected to help combat Canada’s high job vacancy rates and ease the burden of rising wages on the Canadian economy. Since newcomers to Canada would help weaken labour demand by reducing country-wide job vacancies, experts say that Canada can expect immigration to play a significant role in the eventual steadying of the economy because of reduced interest rates.

Additionally, Brown forecasts that more immigration will mean that “rental price inflation [will] likely … slow in 2023”. In other words, an increased number of property rentals — the expectation that comes with more immigrants coming to Canada — could help regulate overall pricing over time, adding more stability to the country’s housing market to the benefit of the economy.

Ultimately, what this all means is that Canada’s expected influx of immigration over the coming years could be advantageous for everyone that calls this country home — not only the immigrants coming to Canada in search of a better life but also the entire country from an economic viewpoint.

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More 'police' centres run by China found around world: NGO – CTV News



A human rights organization says it has found dozens of additional overseas Chinese “police service centres” around the world, including at least two more in Canada.

In a new report released Monday called “Patrol and Persuade,” the Spain-based non-governmental organization Safeguard Defenders says it used open source statements from People’s Republic of China authorities, Chinese police and state media to document at least 48 additional stations.

This on top of the 54 stations revealed in September, bringing the total number of documented centres to 102 in 53 countries. Some host countries also have co-operated in setting up these centres, Safeguard Defenders says.

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The stations are accused of targeting Chinese nationals living abroad, particularly those who allegedly committed crimes in China, in order to coerce them to return home.

Safeguard Defenders reports that along with the three police “stations” previously confirmed in the Greater Toronto Area, which are operated out of the Chinese city of Fuzhou, it has found newly confirmed centres in Vancouver, operated out of Wenzhou, and another whose location is unknown but operates out of Nantong.

In a statement to CTV National News on Monday, the RCMP said it’s “investigating reports of criminal activity in relation to the so-called ‘police’ stations.” No further details were provided.

A similar statement was given by the police force to CP24 in late October following the previous report of Toronto-area stations.

The consulate general of the People’s Republic of China said at the time that the stations are to help Chinese citizens renew their driver’s licences, given many of them are unable to return to China due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the “local volunteers” facilitating this “are not Chinese police officers.”

However, Safeguard Defenders says the vast majority of the newly documented stations were set up starting in 2016, years before the pandemic began.

In its previous report in September, Safeguard Defenders found that Chinese police “persuaded” 230,000 claimed fugitives to return to China “voluntarily” between April 2021 and July 2022. Among the tactics used, Safeguard Defenders said, included denying suspects’ children in China the right to education and punishing relatives through “guilt by association.”

The U.S. Department of Justice accused seven people in October of a yearslong campaign to harass and intimidate a U.S. resident to return to China.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended the G20 summit in Indonesia in November, his office told reporters that he had raised concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping of “interference” in Canada.

Asked about what specific interference he referred to, Trudeau later told the House of Commons, “We’ve known for many years that there are consistent engagements by representatives of the Chinese government into Canadian communities, with local media, reports of illicit Chinese police stations.”

With files from CP24 Web Content Writer Joanna Lavoie, CTV National News Vancouver Bureau Chief Melanie Nagy, CTV News Toronto Videojournalist Allison Hurst and The Canadian Press 

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Trudeau 'extremely concerned' about report Canadian parts ended up in Iranian drones – National | – Global News



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “extremely concerned” over a report Canadian-made parts have been discovered in Iranian drones used by Russia in its war on Ukraine.

Trudeau shared his worries with reporters in Ingersoll, Ont., Monday after the Globe and Mail reported on Sunday the discovery by a non-profit organization, Statewatch. Its “Trap Aggressor” investigation detailed last month that an antenna manufactured by an Ottawa-based Tallysman Wireless was featured in the Iranian Shahed-136 attack drone.

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Read more:

Canada sanctions Iranian drone makers amid Russian strikes in Ukraine

Click to play video: 'Federal government ‘extremely concerned’ about report Canadian-made parts found in Iranian attack drones used in Russia: Trudeau'

Federal government ‘extremely concerned’ about report Canadian-made parts found in Iranian attack drones used in Russia: Trudeau

The drones have been used recently by Russia in Ukraine as Moscow increases its strikes on the country’s energy and civilian infrastructure.

“We’re obviously extremely concerned about those reports because even as Canada is producing extraordinary, technological innovations … we do not want them to participate in Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, or Iran’s contributions to that,” Trudeau said.

“We have strict export permits in place for sensitive technology that are rigorously enforced, and that’s why we’ve been following up with this company, that’s fully cooperating, to figure out exactly how items that we’re not supposed to get into the hands of anyone like the Iranian government actually ended up there.”

The Shahed-136 is manufactured by Shahed Aviation Industries, one of two Iranian drone makers Ottawa sanctioned last month for reportedly supplying Russia with its lethal drones. After denying reports it was supplying Moscow, Iran acknowledged for the first time on Nov. 5 it had sent Moscow drones before the Feb. 24 war began.

Click to play video: 'Russian missiles smash apartment block in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv: mayor'

Russian missiles smash apartment block in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv: mayor

It denied continuing to supply drones to Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Iran of lying, previously saying Kyiv’s forces were destroying at least 10 of its drones every day.

Aside from its Iranian-made engine, the Shahed-136 consists entirely of foreign components, Statewatch said in its report. It cited Ukrainian intelligence managing to identify more than 30 European and American companies’ components, with most parts coming from the United States.

A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it fired on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 17.

Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Drones like the Shahed are packed with explosives and can be preprogrammed with a target’s GPS coordinates. They can nosedive into targets and explode on impact like a missile, hence why they have become known as suicide drones or kamikaze drones.

Shaheds are relatively cheap, costing roughly US$20,000 each — a small fraction of the cost of a full-size missile.

Read more:

‘Game-changing’ drone warfare in Ukraine may tee up new phase of conflict: official

Drones “provide a critical capability” to exploit vulnerabilities in defences, and their use may be a prelude to a new phase in the conflict, U.S. Army Lt.-Col. Paul Lushenko previously told Global News.

Gyles Panther, president at Tallysman, told the Globe the company is not “complicit in this usage” and “is 100-per cent committed” to supporting Ukraine.

Ottawa is working to understand how the parts ended up in the drones, and wants to “ensure” incidents like this don’t “happen again in the future,” Trudeau said.

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Available Nexus appointments Canada



There’s good news for those looking to expedite their border crossing experience.

To mitigate the ongoing backlog issues at Canadian border crossings, border officials have reopened two Nexus and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) enrolment centres in Canada.

It’s the first time any Nexus and FAST offices have been open in Canada since the pandemic began, and federal officials say more offices will be opening in the future.

The Nexus program, which has over 1.7 million members, is designed to speed up the border clearance process for its members, while also freeing up more time for Canadian and U.S. border security agents to tend to unknown or potentially higher-risk travellers and goods.

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The benefit of Nexus is that it allows for those travelling between the two countries to save time, skipping long lineups and using the shorter, dedicated Nexus lanes when crossing the border, as well as designated kiosks and eGates at major airports, and quicker processing at marine crossings.

Reopening these two Canadian centres is the first phase of a larger plan to address the lengthy Nexus and FAST backlog, and will increase availability for applicants to book appointments to interview for Nexus pre-approval, the Canada Border Service Agency said in a statement Monday.

Those looking to get Nexus approval can now schedule interviews, by appointment only, at the Lansdowne, Ont. (Thousand Islands Bridge) and Fort Erie, Ont. (Peace Bridge) enrolment centres, through the trusted traveller programs portal.

Travellers looking to apply will still need to complete a new two-step process, and the Canadian offices don’t mean applicants won’t have to cross the border to finalize the process.

If conditionally approved for Nexus status, travellers can complete the first part of the interview at one of the two reopened Canadian enrolment centres, then complete the second interview portion just across the border at the corresponding U.S. enrolment centres on the other side. For Lansdowne, that’s Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and for Fort Erie, it’s Buffalo, N.Y.

To become conditionally approved, both the CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have to grant approval prior to scheduling the interview portion, and interviews need to be conducted on both sides of the border.

“Nexus and FAST are a win-win for Canada and the United States – and we’re working hard to find creative solutions to reduce wait times, address the backlog and help more travellers get Nexus cards,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of public safety, in a press release. “This new, two-step process is further proof of our commitment to it. We’ll keep finding solutions that leverage technology and streamline renewals.”

Applicants also have the option to complete a one-step process and schedule complete interviews at enrolment centres in the U.S., which may be a preferred option for those who don’t live near the two centres currently open in Canada.

And those who are already members of the Nexus program and are awaiting an interview can renew their membership ahead of its expiry date in order to retain their travel benefits for up to five years.

More centres are expected to open at select land border crossings in the future, as this initial phase carries on, CBSA says.

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