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Newsletter. Issue 16. July 31, 2010

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Newsline Canada

Public Service Employment Act to be reviewed to ensure all Canadians have an equal opportunity
July 22, 2010

OTTAWA – Today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, President of Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, in consultation with the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, asked for a review of the provisions of the Public Service Employment Act as well as any related policies and practices, with a view of ensuring that all Canadians have an equal opportunity in applying for positions in the federal Public Service.

"While we support diversity in the Public Service, we want to ensure that no Canadian is barred from opportunities in the public service based on race or ethnicity," said Minister Day.

"I strongly agree with the objective of creating a Public Service that reflects the diversity of Canada, and with fair measures designed to reach that goal. But we must ensure that all Canadians have an equal opportunity to work for their government based on merit, regardless of race or ethnicity," stated Minister Kenney.


Changes to Canada’s 2010 immigration plan - English or French language test required
Nick Noorani -June 29, 2010

Under changes to the federal skilled worker program and the Canadian experience class, all new applicants are required to include the results of an English or French language test as part of their application.

Sometimes doing the right thing may not be a popular step, but it is the right thing to do. After a quick announcement last Saturday, not many media carried the true story. In a 45-minute phone call, Minister Jason Kenney cleared many misconceptions about the changes.

“Canada is adjusting its 2010 immigration plan to put even greater emphasis on economic recovery and further reduce the federal skilled worker backlog,” reads the official press release from Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

The minister clarified at the outset that these changes were not in any way a reduction of immigration numbers, but a way to bring in more transparency, controls and lastly a speedier more efficient processing system.

One of the most important factors contributing to an immigrant’s economic success is the ability to speak one of Canada’s official languages. Under changes to the federal skilled worker program and the Canadian experience class, all new applicants are required to include the results of an English or French language test as part of their application. The language requirements themselves, however, are not changing.

Previously, applicants had the option of proving their language ability through a language test or a written submission. The written submission was intended for people whose first language was English or French. However, non-native English and French speakers frequently used this option - in many cases, using someone else’s writing sample - making it difficult for visa officers to perform an accurate assessment of the applicant’s true language ability.

According to the minister, “With the results of a language test, FSW applicants will know before they apply exactly how many points they will be awarded for language ability on the federal skilled worker selection grid. Canadian Experience Class applicants will also know in advance if they meet the minimum language requirements necessary as part of their application.”

He added: “In keeping with the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, processing times are expected to improve because the visa officer simply assigns points based on the language test result instead of taking the time to review a written submission. Finally, many regulatory bodies and industry sectors require language testing or other proof of language assessment, so in taking the test, applicants are one step further on the path to integration into the Canadian labour market.”

The fact is a large number of immigrants who do not have language proficiency simply are unable to get a job in their field and end up with low-paying positions and as the minister rightly put it, “We are not doing them any favours.” This is a great step and will help immigrants succeed!

On the federal skilled worker category, Canada still receives thousands more applications each year than can be processed and accepted. This is true even when you consider that Canada has the highest relative level of immigration in the developed world, with a quarter million permanent residents admitted every year.

Effective immediately, to be eligible to apply as a federal skilled worker, applicants must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 in-demand occupations. These occupations were identified through analysis of updated labour market information and consultations with provinces, territories, stakeholders and the public.

For those applying under the occupation list, the government will limit the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 per year as a way to better manage the supply of applications with labour market demand. Within the 20,000 limit, a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. The limit does not apply to applicants with a job offer. Minister Kenney assured me that these files would be processed within six to 12 months and if they had applicants within these categories who had arranged employment in Canada, they would be processed even if the cap had been reached. The balance of 105,000 immigrants needed to maintain the targets would come from the backlog of 540,000 files that are made up of the old backlog of 380,000 files and 160,000 new files. “It is irresponsible to have six-year wait times,” said Kenney, and it is hoped that these changes will bring wait times down.

Arranged employment is one of the six factors under Canada's new points system for selecting immigrants under the skilled worker category. It is essentially a genuine job offer by a Canadian employer that is approved (validated) by Human Resources & Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). According to the minister, this category ensures that immigrants are not stuck in the “survival job conundrum” and will be given priority at all times.

The minister also confirmed that there would be a comprehensive review of the provincial nominee program in conjunction with provinces to design a more standardized program that would benefit all provinces. Additionally, the Auditor General has asked for more information on the program as there is a lack of data on whether it meets its objectives and whether immigrants who come in under this program get jobs commensurate with their education and previous careers and lastly whether they move out of the province after landing.

The government is also proposing new eligibility criteria for the immigrant investor program so it makes an even greater contribution to the Canadian economy. Proposed regulatory changes will require new investors to have a personal net worth of $1.6 million, up from $800,000, and make an investment of $800,000, up from $400,000.

The minister confirmed that there would be no changes or impacts on the family reunification class.


Kenya Referendum Date 4 August 2010 - Advisory

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission has officially announced the Referendum date for the proposed new Constitution of Kenya to be 4th August, 2010.

Kenyan voters will be required to respond to the question
"Do you approve the proposed new Constitution?" Or in Kiswahili "Je, unaikubali katiba mpya inayopendekezwa?" during the said referendum. See the announcement from the Government Broadcaster KBC Link....

See Advisory…

Dear Member,

As we draw near to the referendum date, August 4th 2010, it is important that we all be very security conscious throughout the voting, counting, and announcement periods. Depending on which side wins, there are bound to be different kinds of reactions exhibited by sections of Kenyans.

The Security agencies in Kenya have taken cognizance of this and beefed up security in areas profiled as hot spots. So for security and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, let us please observe the following tips:-

  1. Do not engage yourself in talks on the vote i.e. YES or NO.

  2. Avoid being out late at night, and be conscious of your surrounding/company wherever you are.

  3. On August 4th go out and vote, BUT DO NOT make this a family outing day. After voting, try to remain at home and await for the referendum outcome(any reactions are exhibited after the announcement of the winning side).

  4. Avoid travelling at this period(i.e. from Nairobi or from your normal duty station for those outside Nairobi).

  5. Please note that this is not a good time for tours and site seeing.

  6. Sambau will circulate information on any security matters as need may arise

  7. However, keep yourself updated with the current news at all times and follow the proceedings keenly. If you are not sure of how to react to any situation, please do not hesitate to contact any of the sambau members whose contacts are listed below:

    Name Cell No Area
    Jonathan Periera 0752206064 Kibera
    Brendan Fernandes 0721 302727 Spring Valley
    Clyde Castelino 0751451056 Muthaiga
    Que Lopes 0750112244 Southlands
    Peter D’costa 0750708002 Langata
    Nigel Quadros 0751111105 Kibera
    Wayne 0751984749 Sarit
    Abhijeet Sarkar 0751 007 007 Pangani Parklands
    Neil Shanghvi 0750997799 Parklands
    Savio Nazir Hakada 0724994566 Nairobi area
  8. Make sure that you can always be reached through your phone. Avoid being unreachable (mteja)
  9. Security for vital installations, (communication included) is a responsibility of the State Security Agencies during volatile times. All the same, let us be alert and report any observation that may appear to threaten our services at this time through your respective sambau contact for your zone
  10. For our staff out in the regions, scan your area properly for any security concerns. In case you find the situation abnormal, and there is an issue to be addressed at a site, contact your nearest Government security agency i.e. Regular Police or Administration Police, alert your security company and alert your Sambau contact.
  11. If you have any other concern, or you have anything to share with us, please communicate the same to any one of us in Sambau. You may also email us on
  12. We would also like to request you to send us your latest phone numbers if you have updated a number recently.

Your security is priority, hence use your best judgment to ascertain your safety and keep your loved ones informed.

Keep secure and safe!!
Best wishes


Caring & Sharing in Unity - Goan Welfare Society - Nairobi, Kenya
14th July 2010 | Message from the Chairman of GWS
From: Goan Welfare Society Nairobi View Contact


Dear Members and Friends,

The 2010 GWS committee looks forward to serving our society and ensuring that our less fortunate members are assisted in every possible way. We would like to welcome our new committee members, Mrs. Sheila Lobo and Mr. Erico Sequeira as well as our Vice Chairman, Mr. Keith Castellino who have joined us with a lot of enthusiasm and ideas which will be of great benefit to the community. I would like to thank Mrs. Lily-anne Fernandes-Ringera, our Secretary, Mrs. Lynette Pereira, committee Member, Mr. Colin Carneiro, our Treasurer and Mr. John Fernandes, the immediate past Chairman whose dedication, support and hard work have been the driving force of the GWS committee over the past years for their continuous support.

One of our goals is to put up a home for the members who need assistance with shelter, medical and basic needs. To achieve this, a lot of time and dedication as well as support from the entire community is required.

The annual administration contribution is a minimum of K.Shs. 1,800/-($22.8404 CAD) per working member and this goes a long way in helping our welfare cases. Over the years, the cost of living has increased tremendously and the GWS spends between K.Shs. 50,000/-($634.540 CAD) to K.Shs. 100,000/- ($1,270.75 CAD) monthly for the upkeep of these cases. For those members who wish to bank the admin contribution directly into the GWS account at Imperial Bank, Parklands branch, the account number is 544 022 9001, or alternatively cheques can be dropped at the Goan Gymkhana or Goan Institute to the attention of our Treasurer.

The official World Goa Day is the 20th of August and this year will be the 10th year! The celebration will be on the 22nd of August 2010 at the Goan Institute, Pangani and will be run by a sub-committee comprising of the representatives from the Goan Institute, Goan Gymkhana, Goan villages/societies alongside the Goan Welfare Society, our aim is to celebrate our culture in pomp and splendour.

God Bless.
Christo De Sa [ Chairman GOAN WELFARE SOCIETY]


Poor attendance at The Goan Community AGM, Mombasa

The Goan Community, Mombasa is having a tough time running a vibrant club. According to the minutes of its Annual General Meeting on 11 April 2010 at the Mombasa Institute, the attendance was very poor, just 22 members out of 190 attended. Not surprisingly funds are running low and each member is asked to contribute a mandatory Kshs. 500.($ 6.36 CAD)

The meeting invited Goans residing in the Coast Province for more than a year and over the age of 18 years may apply to register as a member. Four new members were registered, one resigned and five members passed away.

The meeting mentioned the death of Tony Braganza on 1 May 2010. He is survived by his wife and three children. He was brother to the late Domnick and Peter. They thanked Andrew Abreu and Teddy Gomes for assisting in members’ funeral arrangements.

Tradition lives on in Mombasa with members encouraged to take the statue of Our Lady to their homes for devotion for 2 to 3 days. A mass is being organized followed by a lunch for the members on Sunday 20 June 2010 at the Mombasa Institute commencing at 11.30a.m. The charges are Kshs.250/- for adults and Kshs 150/- for children over 12 years of age.

Target Goa requests the Mombasa Goans to rev up the club and turn it into a vibrant center, keeping the traditions and culture of Goa alive. Take a little Goan sunshine to the dark continent.


Kampala - UK's ex-PM Brown calls or African growth
24 July 2010 | 21:20

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown has called on political leaders to ensure that Africa become a driver of global economic growth over the next decade.

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown used his first major speech since leaving Downing Street to call for Africa to become a driver of global economic growth over the next decade.

The former prime minister chose Kampala - thousands of kilometres from Westminster - and a subject close to his heart for his return to the political stage. He also made light of his ejection from Number 10, telling the audience of political leaders in the Ugandan capital: "I think you all know that President Obama spent some time as a community organiser before becoming a politician. I'm somebody who spent some time as a politician before becoming a community organiser."

Mr Brown said he wanted to see an "African century", insisting "future growth in the world economy, and future jobs in the developing world, will depend on harnessing both the productive potential and the pent-up consumer demand of this continent".

"There is an alternative to a decade of low global growth which would fail to meet both the development needs of Africa and the growth needs of Europe and America. To me the answer is obvious: as we struggle to find new sources of growth we must turn here, to Africa, to this continent of huge potential and talent," he said. Mr Brown urged African countries to boost IT in order to gain access to "high-value" economic sectors.

"A third of people in Africa now have mobiles, but less than one per cent have access to broadband," he said. "I am already working with some of you to bring together experts in this field for a major campaign and program of work, because I truly believe that the rapid expansion of internet access in Africa could transform how Africa trades, learns and holds political power accountable."

Mr Brown also insisted a new "philosophy of development" was needed for Africa. "The job of aid is to kickstart business-led growth and not to replace it," he said. "And so I believe we need to focus not just on poverty, but on wealth.

"Not just on providing services for the poor, but on an investment climate for those who bring wealth. And not simply on how to support Africa's public sector, but on how to unleash its private sector."


Uganda president calls for Africa to fight terror
The Associated Press | 25 July 2010 05:42

KAMPALA, Uganda - Uganda's president is calling on Africa to band together to fight terrorism on the continent, just weeks after twin bomb attacks killed 76 people in Kampala.

President Yoweri Museveni told a gathering of African leaders on Sunday that his government has arrested suspected organizers of the bombings and that interrogations were yielding "good information." Museveni spoke at the opening of an African Union summit that planned to focus on peace and security, infrastructure, energy and food security. The bombings two weeks ago are likely to dominate discussions in the three-day summit.

The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the July 11 bombings in two locations in Uganda's capital during the World Cup final.


Immigrants drive EU population beyond half-billion
Online: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat 
Eileen Shim, The Associated Press | 27 July 2010 11:48

BRUSSELS - The European Union's population has crossed the half-billion mark and the growth has come mostly from immigration, the Eurostat statistics agency said Tuesday.

As of Jan. 1, the 27-nation bloc had a population of 501.1 million - up 1.4 million from a year earlier, the report said.

Eurostat said 900,000 came from immigration over 2009, while 500,000 came from birth-minus-deaths population growth. In 2008, Eurostat forecast that deaths would outpace births by 2015 in the EU, leaving immigration as the only source of population growth. The EU birth rate fell to 10.7 per 1,000 inhabitants last year, from 10.9 per 1,000 in 2008, while the death rate remained unchanged at 9.7 per cent.

Many EU governments are debating raising the retirement age to offset the impact of a greying population. But some also face a public often wary about immigration; a 2009 EU survey found immigration was an area of concern in Malta, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Britain. Eurostat said the 2009 birth rates were highest in Ireland, Britain and France and lowest in Germany and Austria. The death rates in Bulgaria, Latvia and Hungary outpaced birth rates, triggering a decline in natural population growth.

The 2009 report also found that:

  • The largest population rises were in Luxembourg (17.2 per 1,000 inhabitants), Sweden (9.1), Slovenia (7.2), Belgium (7.1) and the United Kingdom (6.7).

  • The largest population drops were recorded in Lithuania (6.2 per 1,000 inhabitants), Latvia (-5.7), Bulgaria (-5.6) and Germany (-2.5).

  • There were 5.4 million births in the EU. The lowest birth rates were found in Germany (7.9 per 1,000 inhabitants), Austria (9.1), Portugal (9.4), Italy (9.5), Latvia and Hungary (9.6). The highest death rates were recorded in Bulgaria (14.2 per 1,000 inhabitants), Latvia (13.3), Hungary (13.0) and Lithuania (12.6).

Online: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat 

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