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Newsletter. Issue 2004-03. February. 07, 2004
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Newsline Canada

Canadian Government to tell immigrants what is required in Canada before they immigrate.
Excerpts from Throne Speech.
OTTAWA-The Martin government has acknowledged there is a problem of qualified immigrants who can't find work in their fields in Canada because their credentials are not recognized.
"The government will do its part to ensure speedier recognition of foreign credentials and prior work experience," the Speech from the Throne stated.
The government also promised to tell immigrants what is required in Canada before they immigrate.
"It will also implement measures to inform prospective immigrants and encourage the acquisition of necessary credentials before they arrive in Canada," the speech said.
This has been a complaint of many immigrant communities in Canada, and Toronto-area MPs have been pressuring the government to address the issue.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Judy Sgro has said that it is a high priority for her department.
The government also promised to devote more effort to helping immigrants integrate into the Canadian economy and the communities where they live.
"Immigrants have helped to build Canada from its conception and will be the key to our future prosperity," the Speech from the Throne stated.

Canada faces severe labour shortage, strain on pension system, by 2030
-- Watson Wyatt Canada comments on international pension readiness report --
    TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Canada faces a severe labour shortage by 2030 that will place significant strain on the country's public and private pension system, according to a new global report by the World Economic Forum and Watson Wyatt Worldwide. The report was released at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting last week in Davos, Switzerland.
    Looking at Canada, the report predicts the country's labour supply to grow more slowly than the population beginning in the coming decade, eventually stagnating, and then to begin to shrink in the 2020s -- thus creating a significant labour shortage. By 2030, Canada's total dependency rate is predicted to rise by 26 percent, while old age dependency will increase by 93 percent from rates in 2000.
    "This increased dependency burden will lead to an enormous strain on the Canadian pension system," said Ian Markham, Director, Pension Innovation for Watson Wyatt Canada. "In the coming decades, as the baby boom generation begins to retire and leave the workforce, Canada will need to determine how to support an aging population that produces fewer workers."
    One potential remedy to this situation is to adopt programs that promote greater workforce participation at all ages. The report shows that activity rates in Canada fall short of rates in the top-five OECD countries for every age and gender group -- most noticeably among older age groups (55+). If Canada were to adopt measures to increase labour-force participation of older age groups to rates similar to those of the top-five OECD nations, it could significantly reduce its old age dependency rates.
    "Watson Wyatt continues to be a leader in the area of demographic trends and labour-force productivity research, and their combined effects on the pension system," said David Burke, National Retirement Practice Director for Watson Wyatt Canada. "We're extremely proud to be involved in this landmark study with the World Economic Forum."

Employment: The Weaknesses Are Showing
There are currently 1,266,900 Canadians who want to work but do not have a job.
OTTAWA, Feb. 6 /CNW/ - Statistics Canada's report on employment in January 2004 shows the unacknowledged weaknesses that have been growing for a while in the Canadian economy. The size of the labour force is stable, but job creation has stalled. "If the economy cannot create new jobs when the labour force is not growing, what does it mean for the future?" asks Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "Youth unemployment is still growing, overall job creation in the private sector is down and overall job creation in the public sector seems to have reached its peak. Yet there are still 1.266 million Canadians looking for work and are not finding any. This is why this country needs a jobs' policy, an industrial strategy, a plan to address in a proactive way the setbacks in the manufacturing sector and the continued increase in youth unemployment."
The unemployment numbers - Statistics Canada reports that, last month, in January 2004, the unemployment rate held steady at 7.4%, the same as in December 2003. Last year at this time the jobless rate was the same. Still, this compares negatively to the jobless rate of 6.9% in January 2001. In seasonally-adjusted numbers, there are currently 1,266,900 Canadians who want to work but do not have a job.

Senior Economist Pierre Laliberté's Analysis
- As of yet, the market does not show a solid recovery in the private sector. The public sector, which has done more than its share over the past year to sustain job growth (close to half of all jobs created in 2003), appears to be throwing in the towel (-3,000 jobs). Weakness still prevails in the goods producing sector (-17,000 jobs) and growth in private services sector (+19,000) barely makes up for it.

- While in January 2004 we see full-time jobs replacing part-time ones, it should be noted that most of the new jobs created - 80% - are of the self-employed kind, something which is the hallmark of a weak labour market.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 2.5 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site: www.clc-ctc.ca

Launch of Summer Work Experience 2004
    TORONTO, ON, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - The Honourable Joseph Volpe, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today launched Summer Work Experience 2004, formerly known as Student Summer Job Action. Summer Work Experience is part of the Government of Canada's commitment to help Canadian students find summer jobs that will help them develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to prepare for and participate in Canada's rapidly evolving labour market.
"Our future depends heavily on providing good employment opportunities for Canada's young people and helping them prepare for tomorrow's evolving labour market," said Minister Volpe. "Through these initiatives, and with the help of employers from all sectors of the economy, we are increasing their chances of getting a good start in their working life and developing the skills needed to succeed."
"I would also like to encourage employers to hire students with disabilities, and help them gain access to sustainable employment. Summer Career Placements has special provisions that can help employers hire young people with disabilities," added Minister Volpe.
Summer Work Experience consists of all Government of Canada initiatives, under the Youth Employment Strategy, designed to create summer employment opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students. The Youth Employment Strategy invests in human capital and aims to ensure that Canada has a highly qualified and skilled labour force to meet the employment needs of the 21st century.
A major component of Summer Work Experience is Human Resources and Skills Development's Summer Career Placements initiative, which offers wage subsidies to employers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to create job opportunities related to the career interests and the fields of study of students aged 15 to 30 inclusive. The deadline for employers to submit an application for a wage subsidy to hire a student under the 2004 Summer Career Placements initiative is MARCH 26, 2004, except for the Northwest Territories and Nunavut where the deadline is APRIL 2, 2004.
Last summer, Summer Career Placements helped more than 51,000 Canadian students gain valuable career-related work experience.
Human Resource Centres of Canada for Students (HRCC-S) are another key part of Summer Work Experience. In total, approximately 480,000 youth received help at over 330 HRCC-Ss across Canada. Both employers and youth received information on wage rates, labour laws, federal and provincial/territorial programs, and health and safety in the workplace.
"The Human Resource Centres of Canada for Students are the heart of the Summer Work Experience program," said Minister Volpe. "Last summer, they enabled over 200,000 students to add work experience to their résumés and provided over 280,000 youth with job search assistance. These summer jobs are an effective, concrete way of breaking the 'no experience/no job - no job/no experience' cycle."
Employers and students interested in participating in one of the Government of Canada's student summer initiatives are invited to contact their nearest Human Resource Centre of Canada, visit youth.gc.ca, or call the toll-free Youth Info Line at 1 800 935-5555 for a free copy of the Summer Work Experience 2004 brochure.
See the following backgrounder:

Ontario and Great Britain announce driver's licence exchange
QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Ontario and Great Britain have signed a memorandum of understanding which will recognize British drivers' licences as being acceptable for exchange in Ontario, Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar announced today as part of the McGuinty government's commitment to building a global Ontario.
Since July 1999, Ontarians who move to Great Britain have been able to exchange their Ontario class G driver's licence for the British equivalent without taking the required knowledge and road tests. From March 1, 2004, the same benefit will apply to British drivers who move to Ontario. To ensure safety, applicants will be required to pass a vision test and meet medical standards.
"We're committed to achieving our potential by building a truly global Ontario," said Takhar. "By making it easier for residents moving between Great Britain and Ontario to get settled and start sharing their skills, we're ultimately strengthening cooperation between our countries and helping to attract skilled talent from around the world."
David Reddaway, the British High Commissioner, who was in Toronto for the official signing of the memorandum of understanding, responded by saying, "The UK and Ontario enjoy a very wide range of valuable partnerships and exchanges. I am delighted that Ontario is now able to reciprocate the arrangements for the exchange of driving licences which we offer to Canadian drivers in Great Britain."
Ontario currently has reciprocal agreements with France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, South Korea, 23 American states and all Canadian jurisdictions.

Ontario Government to end mandatory retirement
CBC News
Toronto - The Ontario government is crafting legislation that would end the practice of mandatory retirement at age 65.
The new law is expected to be introduced when the legislature resumes in the spring.
Under the current rules, employers in Ontario can force their workers to retire at 65.
The province's human rights commissioner calls that practice a form of age discrimination.

Job-hunting trends for 2004
Career Expert Cites Tactics That are 'In' and 'Out' When Looking for Work
TORONTO, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - Just as tastes in clothing and music change over time, so do the preferences of hiring managers, notes Tracey Turner, executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing firm placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals. According to Turner, candidates who understand the current mindset of employers have an edge in the job hunt.
"Today's managers are risk-averse; they simply cannot afford to make hiring mistakes. As a result, they're interested in applicants with a documented record of success," says Turner. "For job candidates this means being able to show, not just tell, what they can do. Words hold very little weight right now; employers want proof of a professional's abilities."
Turner says that more information is better than less when applying for jobs. "Employers are willing to spend added time reviewing resumes and cover letters, so these materials can be more detailed than in the past. Candidates also should be prepared for a lengthier interview process, including meetings with potential peers."
Adds Turner, "Professionals must ensure their resumes reflect their achievements in former positions and illustrate all of the skills they bring to the table, since companies may be hiring one person to fill what was once several different roles."

Following are job-hunting tactics that Turner says are "in" and "out" for 2004:
Using terms such as "team player" and "results-driven"
Citing specific examples that demonstrate these sought-after traits
One-page resumes for people with seven or more years of experience
Two- to three-page resumes that highlight quantifiable achievements
Functional resumes organized around skills and experience
Resumes that list work experience in reverse chronological order
Trying to camouflage employment gaps
Explaining gaps in the cover letter, noting current activities (part-time or temporary work, volunteering, etc.)
Relying on want ads for job leads
Sending resumes to a "target list" of companies you want to work for
Networking only within your industry
Networking within and outside of your industry, as well as online
Vague or embellished answers to standard interview questions
Real-life examples that illustrate the points you're making
References with impressive titles who don't know you very well A variety of well-informed references, including former peers
Telling the interviewer you want the job
Offering to assume the role on a trial basis

"Pursuing temporary-to-hire positions can be a wise move, as a growing number of employers want to ensure a candidate is a fit before extending an offer of full-time employment," says Wendy Fox, division director for The Creative Group. The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada, and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.

Permanent Resident Card Fact Sheet
OTTAWA, Feb. 2 /CNW/ -
The PR card replaces the paper IMM 1000 Record of Landing document and is the proof-of-status document required by permanent residents seeking to re- enter Canada on a commercial carrier (airplane, boat, train or bus). A permanent resident is someone who has been allowed to enter Canada as an immigrant but who has not become a Canadian citizen.
Total number of PR cards produced to date: 918,000 Number of temporary travel documents issued (from January 1 to 18, 2004): 3,000 Total number of urgent case requests processed by CPC Sydney (received after December 1, 2003): 11,600
Total number of PR card applications to be processed (submitted after November 2003): 85,000
Total number of PR cards awaiting pick-up at local CIC offices (including appointments not kept by clients):
Halifax 300
Montreal 3,300
Toronto 14,500
Vancouver 6,000
Permanent residents (landed immigrants) of Canada who intend to travel outside the country are required to obtain a PR card before leaving Canada. If you have already applied for your PR card, check the status of your PR card application on-line by using the e-Client Application Status (e-CAS) service on CIC's Web site at www.cic.gc.ca
If you have already applied for a PR card and you intend to travel within the next month but you have not yet been contacted by CIC, your situation may be considered urgent.
To expedite your application, please fax the following information to (514) 496-8670:
- surname and given name;
- client ID number (if available);
- date of birth;
- home address;
- telephone number;
- e-mail address (if applicable);
- a copy of your plane ticket; and
- a copy of your current passport pages containing
your name, date of birth and photograph.
If you meet these requirements, your application will be examined and you will be contacted within two business days.
If you are planning to travel outside Canada and have not yet obtained a PR card, be sure to submit your application well in advance of your expected departure date. It takes 8 to 12 weeks to process an application.
Application and information kits for existing permanent residents are available at www.cic.gc.ca The application kit outlines the documents that are required, how to fill out the application form and where to send it for processing.
Application kits may also be picked up at local CIC offices that are open to the public.
Applications for a PR card must include the Supplementary Identification Form, which can be ordered on-line through the CIC Web site, as well as a fees receipt. An original receipt will be sent to you automatically when you order the Supplementary Identification Form.
The Supplementary Identification Form and the receipt may also be obtained by contacting the Permanent Resident Card Call Centre at 1 800 255-4541.
Permanent residents (landed immigrants) who are outside Canada and are returning to the country by commercial carrier can apply for a temporary travel document at the nearest visa office. To view a list of the Canadian visa offices that issue temporary travel documents, visit www.cic.gc.ca
A temporary travel document is not intended to replace the PR card.
Permanent residents may mail a completed application for a temporary travel document to a Canadian visa office at the location to which they will be travelling. They may also submit an application in person at any Canadian visa office around world, including the United States.
Prior to issuing the temporary travel document, the visa officer must be satisfied that the applicant is now outside of Canada, and will normally require that the travel document be picked up in person at the visa office.
Application forms for temporary travel documents are available at Canadian visa offices overseas or on-line at www.cic.gc.ca
To obtain a travel document, you will need to prove your identity and your permanent resident status. You also need to meet the residency obligation of a permanent resident. Refer to the Document Checklist on-line at www.cic.gc.ca for more information on the documents you need to submit with your application.
CIC's visa offices overseas are ready to assist permanent residents who require a temporary travel document urgently.
For further information: www.cic.gc.ca

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