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Woe, Canada: U.S. lawmakers lament skilled immigrants moving north – CBC.ca

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American immigration laws have gathered dust for decades. Reform efforts have stalled amid partisan bickering. Businesses warn it’s costing the country talent.

And that’s why some U.S. politicians cast a jealous glance northward on Tuesday.

A group of lawmakers held a congressional hearing titled, “Oh, Canada! How Outdated U.S. Immigration Policies Push Top Talent to Other Countries,” in a misspelled reference to the national anthem.

It was an event ostensibly intended to seek lessons from Canada’s experience but wound up casting a spotlight on factors stymying U.S. immigration reform.

Democratic politicians who organized the hearing warned of a reverse brain-drain. They said the U.S. must make it easier to draw skilled workers.

One California lawmaker, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, whose district includes Silicon Valley, shared a news article that said tech employment is growing  slower in her area than in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton.

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, seen here at a 2019 hearing, warned Tuesday that tech employment is growing a faster in Canadian cities than in Silicon Valley, in her district. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

She blamed a confusing American immigration system — defined by lotteries, annual caps on visas and company-driven sponsorships of candidates.

“Is it any wonder why talented workers are moving to Canada?” asked Lofgren.

“We’re stuck in a time warp. It’s like driving around with a 30-year-old paper map while others easily navigate the road with turn-by-turn directions from their smartphones. And we’re falling behind as a result.” 

She told a story about a fellow alumnus from her alma mater, Stanford University, with rare computer skills; he spent years in the U.S. as a temporary worker; he paid $4 million in taxes in the U.S.; still, he never managed to get permanent residency.

He eventually moved to Canada.

Another Democrat fumed that some of the ideas Canada uses to attract educated workers are actually American ideas — ones the U.S. never implemented.

U.S. President George W. Bush, seen here at a 2007 event on immigration reform. His effort stalled, as did efforts by Barack Obama and Donald Trump. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York specifically referred to Canada’s visa program for startup companies modelled on part of a decade-old U.S. bill that stalled in Congress. 

He also alluded to Canada’s Express Entry visa and two-week visas for coveted workers, and its Global Talent Stream program for companies.

A glimpse into a stalled debate

“Those who have been failed by the U.S. immigration system are now turning to Canada,” Nadler said. 

“The results are paying off — with Toronto earning the moniker ‘the Silicon Valley of the North.'”

The hearing offered evidence of why American reform efforts have kept stalling — even now. It was apparent in questions raised by the different parties at the meeting, held by the House of Representatives’ justice committee. 

The country’s political parties have clashing priorities.

Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, said the meeting’s focus was a mistake. He also suggested Canada’s economy has little to teach the U.S. (Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press)

Republican politicians face pressure from their voters to tighten the southern border and control migration as a first objective. Democrats, meanwhile, prioritize granting a path to citizenship for past migrants.

As a result, the parties have been incapable of reaching an agreement on any plan that could get the supermajority required to pass both chambers of Congress.

Donald Trump also talked about emulating Canada’s immigration points system. It went nowhere. Just like it did under Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

With efforts at wide-ranging reform seemingly stuck again, Democrats are hoping to use a budget bill to pass some limited changes, and perhaps grant status to the young migrants known as Dreamers.

At the hearing, Republicans suggested Democrats have their priorities backward. 

Several complained about its focus: instead of Canada, they said, lawmakers should be talking about Mexico and what Republicans characterize as a migration crisis on the southern border.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, seen here last year, says its frustrating that U.S. ideas for visas haven’t been passed, but that Canada has implemented them. (Susan Walsh/Pool via Reuters)

Copy Canada? Why?

One California Republican said the majority party is pursuing the wrong ideas.

Tom McClintock said Democrats are focusing on immigration changes coveted by the corporate community — the chance to bring in more foreign workers whom they can hire at low wages, he said.

“This Congress … places Americans last,” McClintock said. “And it places foreign labour and the big corporations … first.”  

He also took a dig at the notion that the United States should be relying on Canada for economic lessons: he said the U.S. had higher economic growth than Canada before the pandemic, far higher worker salaries, and a far lower unemployment rate.

“Comparing their economy to ours for some reason doesn’t seem terribly appealing to me,” McClintock said. “But that may be just me.” 

Furthermore, U.S. immigration levels actually remain far higher than Canada’s in absolute numbers. The U.S. attracts slightly more immigrants from Canada than Canada attracts from the U.S

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to tech-sector employees in San Francisco in 2018 about immigrating to Canada. His government, like Stephen Harper’s before him, introduced reforms to speed up immigration for skilled workers. (Jeff Chiu/The Associated Press)

On the other side of the ledger, the U.S. immigration rate has slowed significantly in recent years and the country attracts a far lower share of immigrants than Canada as a percentage of overall population.

That trend accelerated during the Trump years as Canada experienced its largest spike in skilled immigration in decades.

What witnesses said

Witnesses at the hearing expressed alarm at the current trajectory.

Stuart Anderson, a former official in the George W. Bush administration and executive director of a Washington-area think-tank on trade and immigration, said the number of Indian students has plunged at U.S. universities and surged in Canada. 

“Canada views immigration as essential for economic growth,” said the prepared text of Anderson’s remarks.

“The world has changed since [the last major U.S. immigration reform in] 1990. U.S. immigration policy has not.”

He warned of potential long-term consequences. He said his own research indicates that immigrants created more than half of the U.S.’s billion-dollar startups.

And all the key players who helped create Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, he said, were immigrants to the U.S. — including Canadian-born Derrick Rossi of Harvard University.

Another witness lamented that the U.S., of all places, still uses a paper-based system rather than computers to process immigration applications. She said that causes delays.

The mentality of the U.S. system is often based on detecting fraud, rather than seeking talent, said Jennifer Grundy Young, the head of a technology trade organization.

She supplied written testimony that included the story of a colleague and her husband. They spent 18 years in the U.S. on work visas, never managed to get permanent residency, and moved to Toronto where they’re recruiting others to come to Canada.

“Make no mistake, the Canadians have come to compete,” said the submission from Grundy Young, the CEO of the Technology Councils of North America.

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What Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games – CTV News

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TOKYO —
Michael Woods came agonizingly close to opening Canada’s medal account on the first full day of competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Take a look at what Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games:

ARCHERY

Men’s individual — Crispin Duenas, Toronto, finished 16th in the ranking round with a score of 665.

Mixed team — Canada (Stephanie Barrett, Mississauga, Ont., and Duenas) placed 17th overall in the ranking round with 1,295 points, just missing a berth in the main draw by two points.

BADMINTON

Mixed doubles — Josephine Wu, Edmonton, and Joshua Hurlburt-Yu, Toronto, lost their group-stage match 2-0 to Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.

Women’s doubles — Rachel Honderich, Toronto, and Kristen Tsai, Burnaby, B.C., were defeated by Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen of the Netherlands, 2-1.

Men’s doubles — Jason Ho-Shue, Markham, Ont., and Nyl Yakura, Pickering, Ont., lost 2-0 to Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Women — Melissa Humana-Paredes, Toronto, and Sarah Pavan, Kitchener, Ont., won their opening group-stage match 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) over Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands. Heather Bansley, Waterdown, Ont., and Brandie Wilkerson, Toronto, lost 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-11) to the Chinese team of Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia.

BOXING

Men’s welterweight (63-69 kg) — Wyatt Sanford of Kennetcook, N.S., lost 5-0 to Merven Clair, Mauritius, in the round of 32.

CYCLING

Men’s road race — Michael Woods, Ottawa, placed fifth overall in a time of 6:05:26, one minute, seven seconds behind the winner; Guillaume Boivin, Montreal, was 65th (6:21:46); while Hugo Houle of Ste-Perpetue, Que., 85th (6:25:16).

EQUESTRIAN (DRESSAGE)

Individual — Chris von Martels, Ridgetown, Ont., and his horse, Eclips, were seventh in their qualifier group after the first day with a score of 68.059.

Team — Following the first day, Canada is ranked 11th with 2,191 points, with the other riders (Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu, Saint-Bruno, Que., and Lindsay Kellock, Toronto) to compete in the coming days.

FENCING

Men’s individual sabre — Shaul Gordon of Richmond, B.C., lost 15-10 in the round-of-32 to Mojtaba Abedini of Iran.

FIELD HOCKEY

Men — Keegan Pereira of Pickering, Ont., had the lone goal as Canada (0-1) lost 7-1 to Germany.

GYMNASTICS (ARTISTIC)

Men’s floor exercise — Rene Cournoyer, Repentigny, Que., placed 68th in qualifying with a score of 11.766, did not advance.

Men’s horizontal bar — Cournoyer, was 36th in qualifying (13.266), did not advance.

Men’s parallel bars — Cournoyer, 63rd (12.333), did not advance.

Men’s pommel horse — Cournoyer, 55th (12.800), did not advance.

Men’s rings — Cournoyer, 33rd (13.666), did not advance.

Men’s vault — Rene Cournoyer, 44th (13.866), did not advance,

Individual all-around — Cournoyer placed 55th overall (77.697), did not advance.

ROWING

Women’s lightweight double sculls — Jennifer Casson, Kingston, Ont., and Jill Moffatt, Bethany, Ont., were second in their qualifying heat in seven minutes, 11.3 seconds to earn a berth in the semifinals.

Women’s pairs — Caileigh Filmer, Victoria, and Hillary Janssens, Cloverdale, B.C., won their heat (7:18.34) and advance to the semifinals.

Women’s fours — Canada (Stephanie Grauer, Vancouver; Nicole Hare, Calgary; Jennifer Martins, Toronto; Kristina Walker, Wolfe Island, Ont.) finished third in their race (6:40:07) and will need to advance through the repechage stage.

Women’s eights — Canada (Susanne Grainger, London, Ont.; Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Calgary; Kristen Kit, St. Catharines, Ont.; Madison Mailey, Lions Bay, B.C.; Sydney Payne, Toronto; Andrea Proske, Langley, B.C.; Lisa Roman, Langley, B.C.; Christine Roper, London, Ont.; Avalon Wasteneys, Campbell River, B.C.) placed second in their qualifier (6:07.97) and will race in the repechage.

Men’s lightweight double sculls — Patrick Keane, Victoria, and Maxwell Lattimer, Delta, B.C., were third in their heat (6:27:54) and will go to the repechage.

Men’s pairs — Kai Langerfeld, North Vancouver, B.C., and Conlin McCabe, Brockville, Ont., finished third (6:40.99) and qualified for the semifinals.

Men’s fours — Canada (Jakub Buczek, Kitchener, Ont.; Will Crothers, Kingston, Ont.; Luke Gadsdon, Hamilton; Gavin Stone, Brampton, Ont.) were fifth in their heat (6:05.47) and will be in a repechage.

SOCCER

Women — Janine Beckie, Highlands Ranch, Colo., scored both goals as Canada downed Chile 2-1, to improve to a win and a draw.

SOFTBALL

Canada beat Australia 7-1 to improve to 2-1 in the group stage.

SWIMMING

Women’s 100 butterfly — Margaret MacNeil of London, Ont., posted the fifth-best time in qualifying (56.55) to advance to the semifinals.

Women’s 400 individual medley — Tessa Cieplucha, Georgetown, Ont., was 14th in qualifying (4:44.54), did not advance; Sydney Pickrem, Halifax, did not start.

Women’s 4×100 freestyle relay — Canada (Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez, Toronto; Taylor Ruck, Kelowna, B.C.; Rebecca Smith, Red Deer, Alta.) posted the third-best time in qualifying (3:33.72) to earn a berth in the final.

Men’s 100 breastroke — Gabe Mastromatteo, Kenora, Ont., was 38th in qualifying (1:01.56), did not advance.

TABLE TENNIS

Mixed doubles — Mo Zhang, Richmond, B.C., and Eugene Wang, Toronto, lost in the round-of-16 to Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, 4-1.

TAEKWONDO

Women’s flyweight (49 kg) — Yvette Yong, Toronto, lost her round-of-16 match to T.K. Truong of Vietnam, 19-5.

TENNIS

Women’s singles — Leylah Annie Fernandez, Laval, Que., def. Dayana Yastremska, Ukraine, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, in her opening match and will play Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in the second round.

Women’s doubles — Gabriela Dabrowski, Ottawa, and Sharon Fichman, Toronto, were eliminated after losing their first-round match to Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani of Brazil, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

VOLLEYBALL

Men — Canada lost to Italy 3-2 (26-28, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-11) in its opening group stage match.

WATER POLO

Monika Eggens of Pitt Meadows, B.C., scored three goals but Canada (0-1) lost to Australia, 6-5.

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‘Shadow pandemic’ of femicide looms, experts warn as Canada prepares to reopen – Global News

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After more than a year of quarantines, lockdowns and separations due to COVID-19, Canada is slowly reopening. But experts say another pandemic, of femicide and domestic violence, has been quietly raging across the country.

The proof is in the reports. Preliminary findings from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability’s (CFOJA) mid-year report found 92 women and girls were killed, mostly by men, between January and June of this year.

Femicide is the killing of a girl or woman because of their gender. Men were identified as the accused in 79 out of 92 killings in the first half of 2021.

Indigenous women were over-represented in this year’s report, making up 12 per cent of femicide victims, despite comprising just 5 per cent of Canada’s overall population.

Read more:
Are you experiencing abuse? Here’s how to get help

Experts say the data is unsurprising.

“We, as in violence against women organizations, advocates and survivors, have been naming that there is a shadow pandemic happening and that is gender based violence,” says Farrah Khan, a gender justice advocate and manager of Ryerson University’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education.

Numbers have been steadily rising since the COVID pandemic began. CFOJA, which tracks femicides across the country, said 160 women and girls were victims of femicide last year, an uptick from the 118 who were killed in 2019.

Khan said the health crisis that has led to repeated lockdowns across the country has “set women up” for unhealthy relationships that could result in their deaths. Women, who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, accounted for more than 35 per cent of job losses across the country and make up a majority of Canada’s minimum wage workers.

Read more:
‘Perfect storm’: Growing calls to address domestic violence during coronavirus

She says this could have prompted many women to move in with potentially abusive partners to save on costs that left them trapped and unable to leave when things began to escalate in an unsafe way. Things like child-care problems and food insecurity, also rampant during the pandemic, are also reasons women end up trapped with their abusers.

“The lockdown has increased the abusers’ access to them, has increased their ability to control their mobility, increased their ability to set strict rules about who they interact with,” she said of women during the pandemic, including those with abusive family members.

“I worry about the people also that are living through it right now that are not reaching out to services, are not feeling safe to do so because someone is monitoring their phone, somebody is monitoring their computer.”

Of the 160 women killed according to the report, researchers said 128 women and girls were killed by men. A majority of them were killed in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut accounting for 13.68 per cent and 5.21 per cent respectively.


Click to play video: 'Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown'



5:15
Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown


Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown – Feb 23, 2021

Victims of abuse could see more challenges in rural and remote areas, Khan says, because of isolation and the lack of mobility sometimes present in those communities.

“Already mobility is challenged. Already there’s no computer in the house that doesn’t have spyware on it,” Khan said, adding that “what’s needed in Toronto is different than what’s going to be needed in rural and remote areas.”

Numbers are also stacking up in more densely populated provinces.

In Ontario alone, femicide has increased by more than 84 per cent in the first half of 2021, according to the latest report from the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH).

Read more:
Women facing more violence amid coronavirus pandemic: national survey

“[When] we compare that to the prior year, there’s been an increase every single month,” Marlene Ham, executive director of OAITH, told Global News. “To have six months in a row show an increase in the number of femicides, that does surprise us, but it also really concerns us.”

From December 2019 through June 2020, the report found 19 confirmed femicides throughout the province. The next year, they reported 35.

Younger women between the ages of 18 and 35 accounted for a majority of this year’s femicides at 30 per cent, while younger men between 18 and 35 years accounted for 50 per cent of all perpetrators this year. Researchers found intimate partner cases made up 80 per cent of femicide cases in 2021.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ham said OAITH began noticing more femicides in Ontario when the province reopened, likely as a result of women trying to leave their abusers.

“When survivors leave or make a plan to leave, for some of them that can be the most dangerous time,” she said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance. For a more comprehensive list of resources, click here.

Get help:

Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
Toll-free TTY: 1-866-863-7868

Get help:

Shelter Safe: Network of women’s shelters across Canada
Canadian Family Law Lawyers Network
Phone: 1-888-660-4869
Legal Aid Domestic Abuse Hotline
Phone: 1-800-668-8258
Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
Phone: 1-877-454-4035
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Phone: 416-323-9149 ext. 234
Email: info@schliferclinic.com

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Fauci says prospect of open border for fully vaccinated Canadians part of active U.S. talks – CBC.ca

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U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says the prospect of opening the U.S. border to fully vaccinated Canadians is part of an “active discussion” in the White House.

“I can tell you that the border situation and letting Canadians in who are fully vaccinated is an area of active discussion right now in the U.S. government,” he told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics in an exclusive Canadian interview.

“As a public health official, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why policies haven’t changed.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. government issued a renewal order keeping the borders with Canada and Mexico closed until August 21.

According to U.S. Homeland Security officials, the move is part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the more contagious delta variant.

The delta variant has been wreaking havoc south of the border, where infections and hospitalizations are up in nearly all 50 states.

Fauci said the delta variant now accounts for 83 per cent of cases in the U.S. Those cases are concentrated in southern states, where vaccination rates are lower than the national average.

“In some of the southern states where the level of vaccination is very low and the level of the transmission of the virus is very high, we’re seeing a significant surge in cases,” Fauci said. 

“This virus has an extraordinary capability of efficiently spreading from person to person.” 

The White House has enlisted the help of celebrities and athletes to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, particularly in states led by Republican governors. In recent days, high-profile conservative figures such as Fox pundit Sean Hannity have encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.

Fauci said the U.S. must increase its vaccination rate to end current outbreaks of COVID-19.  

“We’re seeing some of them starting to come around, which is a really good thing, because we’ve got to realize and act on it, that the common enemy is the virus,” he told Power & Politics.

“The virus doesn’t have any idea who’s a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent.” 

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