Number 215 January, 2009
What's Sauce For The Goose
Oscar Wilde said: "Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." We might add, that in Canada the most vocal proponents of this form of selfishness generally ensure that they live as far away as possible from the result of their sermonizing.
Keep Tight Hold Of Nurse -
For fear of finding something worse. Eight months after floating the idea, the immigration department revealed its new, improved, immigrant job list in late November: "Thirty-eight in-demand occupations were unveiled by the Harper government last week, setting out a new selection criteria for skilled immigrants [which] come into effect immediately. Skilled workers whose occupations are on the list will be fast-tracked for acceptance as permanent residents under the skilled worker immigration class. New applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be processed, and the application fee will be refunded. ... The controversial plan was first introduced ... as a way to reduce the backlog of 900,000 immigration files and bring in the right skilled immigrants. Previously, applicants faced wait times of up to six years. Under the new rules, applicants should receive a decision within six to 12 months. [Included among] the skilled jobs ... Head Nurses and Supervisors, Registered Nurses [and] Licensed Practical Nurses." (South Asian Focus, December 3, 2008) Meanwhile, "thousands of nurses who have left Canada for the United States went not for money, but for regular work and because they're highly valued there, a major study on cross-border flight finds. 'Salary wasn't a key factor,' said Dr. Linda McGillis Hall ... 'it was quite far down on the list. And it's not burnout. In many cases, they are doing exactly the same jobs. There were two clear factors: The opportunity to have a full-time job and the fact that the United States places a very high value on Canadian-educated and Canadian-trained nurses.' [While Canada places a very high value on nurses trained somewhere else on someone else's dime!] Canada spent the 1990s losing nurses after health-care cuts shut hospital beds and cut staff and full-time jobs. Ontario, in particular, lost 8,346 nurses between 1992 and 1997. [And then the province was poleaxed by SARS. According to] McGillis Hall, 'Twenty per cent of our nurses are working in the United States. We obviously do a very good job of preparing them for practice.'" (Toronto Star, September 30, 2008) For practice elsewhere. What's wrong with this picture? Nuttin', according to our immigration AND multiculturalism minister. One contributory factor in Toronto's two separate SARS outbreaks was the fact that former finance minister and PM "Paul Martin, cut $6 billion from healthcare funding to Ontario over the four years between 1995 and 1999. [Not surprisingly,] between 1995 and 1999, 250,000 hospital positions were cut in Ontario. In addition, nursing in the province was increasingly casualised, with fifty per cent of nurses working part-time and often holding down two or three jobs at separate hospitals. [The kind of contagion mixing opportunities an upstart infectious agent dreams of!] Understaffed infection surveillance and control systems in hospitals played a part in the spread of SARS [and,] unfortunately, few Ontario hospitals have the necessary numbers of infection control nurses, as outlined in provincial recommendations." (BNet Business Network, Summer 2004) Because 20% are working in the US, where they're appreciated? As noted by Mark Steyn, "ours was not merely the only SARS 'hot zone' outside Asia, but the only jurisdiction on the planet in which the epidemic was entirely incubated and spread by the healthcare system. In other countries, you had to go to weddings and hotels and badly plumbed apartment buildings to get it. In Toronto, you had to go to hospital." (Maclean's, February 17, 2006)
Heroin And Death
In 1971, two congressmen were dispatched to Viet Nam to investigate reports of growing heroin addiction among US troops. What role the world's most addictive drug played in America's most disastrous military venture is unknown, but the congressmen concluded that addiction rates ran 10 to 15 per cent, rising to 25% in some units. And then there's Afghanistan, the country where nobody ever wins: Among Canada's soldiers, "a National Criminal Intelligence Assessment report [says,] 'compared to previous years, trafficking offences have seen a steady increase, while possession offences demonstrated a significant spike for 2006.' ... Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan continue to be at risk for drug use and drug trafficking, especially in heroin, said a second report called Task Force Afghanistan Criminal Intelligence Overview." (UPI, December 20, 2008) In September 2007, 250 Canadian soldiers who tested positive for drugs were prevented from deploying for Afghanistan. At that time, the Canadian military had "tested almost 7,000 soldiers since mandatory drug testing of personnel headed to Afghanistan began in 2006. [Former Liberal Immigration Minister and then Defence critic -- federal Minister of Sport in the late 90s -- the inexhaustibly talented Denis Coderre offered up this bizarre insight] '"Drug-free sport ... It's exactly the same thing as DND, those people represent us,' he said." (Canada.com, September 11, 2007) Surely, even the most rusticated half-wit might be expected to fathom the difference between a shooting war with fundamentalist zealots in a nation of poppy fields -- and running and jumping. Nevertheless, the comment goes some way to explain what he did with the Immigration portfolio. To the end of 2008, 106 Canadian soldiers had lost their lives in Afghanistan.
Never Mind Canada's Economy, What About Dada-Ji?
Brampton's South Asian Focus, December 10, 2008, offers up a refreshingly selfish take on Canada's worsening economic outlook: "Parental sponsorship will likely be a major casualty of the economic crisis in Canada, says a top immigration consultant. While there might be a case for denying sponsorships when jobless applicants might be finding it hard to care for their families, it would still be hard on them to have the rug pulled out from under their feet if they've lost their job just at the time the officials call for verification. ... David Cohen of Canadian Immigration Law Firm [said] if the person happens to be unemployed at that moment, his sponsorship papers will in all probability be summarily rejected. A sizeable proportion of South Asian communities tend to sponsor their relatives or submit applications to bring their family members to Canada. Typically, parents and grandparents are considered part of the same family, a cultural truism that Canadian laws have refused to acknowledge. [It's hard to see how Canada could possibly be more generous in its interpretation of the word 'family'. No one else permits 'reunification' of the most far flung relations, fiancees and same sex spouses, but, evidently, it still falls short of South Asian expectations.] Canada lost more than 70,000 jobs in November-- the largest loss in a single month since the deep recession in of the 1980s. Ontario faced the brunt, choking off 66,000 jobs during November. Experts believe that after Christmas, especially in first quarter 2009, jobless numbers will go even higher. Canadians will probably see a considerable number of refusals of sponsorship cases in the New Year due to soaring rate of unemployment, Cohen indicated. ... Cohen argued that, upon refusal, the sponsor can appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds to allow the sponsorship to go through. ... Citizenship and Immigration Canada DOES NOT require any income criteria for a Canadian or permanent resident to sponsor a spouse or dependent children. 'The income provision is only to sponsor parents, grandparents or relatives other than spouse and children,' said Cohen. 'As long as you are not getting welfare, you are good and don't have any income obligation.'"
Friendly Greeting -- Deadly Insult
Sweden's Sveriges Television has launched something that sounds every bit as unfunny as Little Mosque on the Knuckle-Dragging Prairie. SvT's Halal-TV "is meant to show how the three women [hosts -- or maybe that's hostesses -- it's hard to know what's PC-Speak among Moslem females] view their Swedish homeland through the lens of their Muslim beliefs. SvT described Halal-TV as a 'road trip' through Swedish society ... to help deconstruct the often monolithic view of Muslims held by many Swedes. [A laudable goal, but one that detonated during the maiden episode, when two of the female hosts] refuse to shake the hand of Aftonbladet newspaper columnist Carl Hamilton, electing instead to greet the guest by putting their hands on their chests, leaving Hamilton's extended hand hanging in the air and prompting a sharp exchange. 'I'm sorry, you ought to shake my hand,' said Hamilton, according to a transcript published in the Expressen newspaper. 'That's something I decide,' replied [25-year-old dental hygienist Khadiga] El Khabiry. 'No, I don't think so!' Hamilton shot back. The war of words escalated when [22-year-old doctor-to-be Dalia] Azzam Kassem then asked Hamilton what he thought a Swede who had converted to Islam ought to do. 'He should shake hands when in Sweden. If he can't manage that then he can go live in a cave and be a hermit,' said Hamilton. 'It's about how we live as Swedes. That's how we socialize, we shake hands. It's not we who are the problem. The problem is that you come here and don't want to shake hands, so it's actually you who are the problem.' 'We didn't come here. I was born here,' El Khabiry reminded Hamilton. Writing about the incident [later] Hamilton asked, 'Is it racist to want to shake hands with a Muslim?' ... 'Who should adapt to whom? For the hosts of Halal-TV, the answer is obvious. The handshaking majority in Sweden should adapt themselves to the Muslim-believing-non-handshaking minority,' he writes. 'I don't have a problem with faithful Muslims or others who don't want to shake hands. On the other hand I have a hard time understanding people who think that I'm discriminating against them because I want to greet them as most people are greeted in Sweden.' Considerably fewer viewers, 295,000, tuned in to watch the Halal-TV than the 400,000 viewers producers had hoped would watch the new programme." (The Local, The English Language Newspaper in Sweden, November 4, 2008) So what kind of tantrums do Swedes want? Strange to tell, ill natured outbursts of pure rage are a beloved Christmas staple: "In Sweden millions of people have tuned in to watch the hot-headed Disney character's Christmas special every year since 1959. More than 3.5 million people tuned in to the show aired on Sveriges Television (SVT), close to 40 percent of the Swedish population. ... SvT programming director Thomas Nilsson said the future of the sailor suit-wearing hero, known as Kalle Anka in the Nordic country, was safe in Sweden. 'Kalle has been the number one or number two (programme) for years.'" (The Local, December 25, 2008) Lucky Swedes. If only Canadians were permitted a little light hearted seasonal nonsense.
Whatever Happened To -?
Greyhoundbus beheader and cannibal Vince Weiguang Li has been found mentally fit to stand trial. The shattered family of 22-year-old victim Tim McLean is suing the RCMP (who stood by for hours while Li carved and ingested choice cuts of his victim) as well as the federal government for negligence. Unfortunately, the family is not specifically suing the Immigration department. There are simply too many "oops, we goofed" entries in the Immigration ledger. At the very least, Canadians deserve a public account of how Li managed to enter under the skilled worker category, as a computer programmer, when his work history consists of swinging a mop. If Li scammed his way in, he can and should be deported at the conclusion of his sentence -- assuming there is one. Instead, horrified Canadians were told almost from the outset that Li was "ours" in perpetuity and not to get uppity ideas about deporting him. It is one thing for the public to be angry with the courts for pathological leniency, another entirely when the question of deportation is allowed nowhere near the bench. -- He ate him. "'From all accounts, it was an entirely unprovoked attack,' said McLean's mother, Carol de Delley. 'My son was sleeping; he had his headphones on with his head up against the window. And this man just lost it, he stabbed him a couple of times [actually 40 times], and then beheaded him, and it just gets more gruesome from there.' De Delley quit her job as a school bus driver after the attack because she couldn't stand to get on a bus. ... Li's trial is set for March 2. He has not yet entered a plea, but his lawyer told reporters here that the trial is expected to focus on his mental health. That could set the stage for a verdict that would allow him to be freed by a provincial review board once he is deemed healthy and no longer a threat. That possibility outrages De Delley. 'What he did didn't just destroy my son and our family, but think of all those people on that bus,' she said. 'They are Mr. Li's living victims. I know what I see in my mind, and I wasn't there. I can't imagine having actually witnessed it, and having to live day and night with those images in my mind.'" (Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2008) Question: Does some anonymous bureaucrat also lie awake nights tormented by those same images and the knowledge that it was he who rubber stamped Li's entry? For that matter, how do Manitoba Mounties sleep? The RCMP were at the scene by 9 pm, but Li was not arrested until he made a move to escape the bus -- at 1:30 am!
Eau De Corruption
It is a source of wonder to the rest of the world that a nice, preachy country like Canada should offer visas to strippers. To outsiders it may sound like a cosy arrangement with flesh smuggling gangsters, but Canadians know they must not question immigration policy -- it's a government agency run on tax dollars and utterly immune to criticism. After the slapstick antics of the Judy Sgro Envelope Licker Scandal, there were hand-on-heart assurances that stripper visas would be abolished. In fact, they still exist, albeit in less tumescent form: As of last spring, "only 17 exotic dancer permits have been issued since the Conservatives came to power, down from 423 in 2004. [In 2003, 661 jiggle visas were issued, 552 of them to Romanians. The declining numbers have not escaped the notice of flesh peddlers. In April 08, security was tightened around then] Immigration Minister Diane Finley following threats related to Conservative efforts to keep foreign strippers out of Canada. Numerous threats, of an escalating nature ... are directly linked to Bill C-17, the government's anti-stripper legislation, and hinted at an organized crime connection. ... Finley introduced the anti-stripper legislation early last year ... as a measure she said would crack down on sexual exploitation and human trafficking." (CTV, April 23, 2008) Repulsive as this may be, it can't be entirely unexpected -- coercion and extortion midwived the stripper visa into being: "Intimidation by organized crime and 'bad guys' in the adult entertainment business led Human Resources Development Canada to establish a special fast-track entry programme for foreign exotic dancers [in 1998], according to a senior government official. Bureaucrats at HRDC and Citizenship and Immigration have known for years that many foreign dancers, mainly from Romania and Eastern Europe, were being trafficked by criminal syndicates and, ... despite evidence from police and reputable organizations that the women were compelled into prostitution, HRDC officials would not shut down the labour-market programme that exempted strip club owners from having to prove a scarcity of native-born dancers. The insider, speaking on background, said: ... 'Nobody seems to know how it got approved. Nobody seems to know the origin of the thing. When [we] pressed them on it, the answer was, well, they didn't want their local people having to deal with the club bookers or the owners or whomever they were having to deal with,' said the official. 'The best answer [we] got is that they wanted to get their people out of dealing with these characters, these guys.' ... By giving a blanket exemption to foreign strippers, department officials did not have to deal with strip club owners or their representatives on a case-by-case basis, said the official said. This meant the Immigration Department had little choice but to grant temporary work permits to exotic dancers since HRDC had designated the strip club industry as facing a labour shortage." (National Post, December 18, 2004) It just makes you swell with pride to see your country capitulate to the inducements of thugs. And remember, no criticism! In reality, there is actually a surfeit of "dancers" in Canada and a shortage of customers staying away in droves from the feral scrum of rapacious "dancers" competing to loot their pockets and max out their cards. Nice.
Their Computers Can't Talk To Each Other
"The first person charged in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, which became law in 2000, was Desire Munyaneza, for his alleged role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He was arrested in Toronto in 2005 after a five-year RCMP probe. [A new study of multi-agency efforts to prosecute modern war criminals and genocidists was] prepared by the consulting firm Goss Gilroy Inc. for the Justice Department. ... The Goss Gilroy study estimated prosecution costs of $4 million by examining an 'African' case and a 'European' case, neither of which it identified further. The study notes that the cost would typically be spread over 30 months, and that travel alone accounts for about $1.5 million of the total. Last year, the four departments [RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Justice Department] agreed to use scarce resources to prevent more alleged war criminals from entering Canada, rather than for prosecutions of persons already living here, despite pressure from human-rights groups that Canada use the courts more often. [And the figures suggest that this is an immigration, rather than an existing domestic problem.] Between 2001 and 2006, officials removed 221 people and prevented another 2,100 from entering the country. ... The report is especially critical of a key database created by Citizenship and Immigration but later transferred to the Canada Border Services Agency. The agency is unable to exploit the so-called Modern War Crimes System database because the programming is incompatible with the CBSA's own computer systems. 'This means that CBSA, as the main user of MWCS, cannot input new information into the system, or update it, as the platform used by the agency is not compatible with the one used by CIC (Citizenship and Immigration),' says the document. The report calls on the government to provide money to upgrade the system." (Toronto Star, December 14, 2008)
Still Careening Downhill
While immigrant numbers increase year by year, immigrant outcomes continue to scream like a deflated balloon. And the trend is all dependably downward: According to Statistics Canada, "established immigrants — those who had lived in Canada for between 11 and 15 years — had more difficulty finding jobs reflecting their educational attainment in 2006 than they did in 1991. ... In 1991, about 12% of long-term male immigrants with a university degree had jobs with low educational requirements. By 2006, this proportion had increased to 21%. The gap between these long-term male immigrants and Canadian-born workers widened during this period. The proportion of Canadian-born university-educated men who had jobs with low educational requirements remained stable at about 10%. ... These increases for established immigrants suggest that the difficulties, which have long plagued immigrants who have arrived recently, today have an impact on established immigrants. They also suggest that difficulties experienced by recent immigrants are not necessarily temporary. The proportions for recent immigrants — those who have lived in Canada for less than 5 years — were also up, but remained within the levels observed since 1991. Among these short-term immigrants, nearly 24% of university-educated men had jobs with low educational requirements, as did slightly less than 40% of their female counterparts. A number of factors could have been behind this deterioration for long-term immigrants. Among men, the change in their profile explained only one-quarter of the deterioration. The factors included in the profile were mother tongue, country of origin, level of schooling, age, region of residence and visible minority status. On the other hand, certain fields of study lowered their chances of having a job with low educational requirements. The fact that many of them had degrees in applied sciences provided some protection in 2006. ... Thus, an important part of the deterioration for immigrants during the 15-year period appears attributable to factors other than socio-demographic characteristics. Some of these factors may have included the language skills of immigrants, as well as the non-recognition of their credentials, their level of schooling or their experience acquired in foreign countries. They might also have included the quality of education received by nationals of relatively new countries of origin, economic cycles and the immigrant class in which the individual gained admittance to Canada, that is, refugee, family reunification and economic immigrant." (Exchange Post, December 22, 2008) With such consistently lousy outcomes and a tanking economy, Ottawa is bringing even higher numbers in this year.
Hoochie Koochie HIV
"An HIV-infected stripper who knowingly passed on the virus to her unsuspecting husband faces possible deportation because she has been criminally convicted for her reckless behaviour. In a ruling made public Tuesday, the Federal Court dismissed a deportation challenge from Suwalee Iamkhong [aka 'Ricky'], a landed immigrant who came to Canada from Hong Kong on a work visa in 1995 to perform as an exotic dancer at Toronto's famous Zanzibar Tavern. Originally from Thailand, Iamkhong met Canadian Percy Whiteman at the strip club soon after her arrival and she married him in 1997. Iamkhong, 39, tested positive for HIV in Hong Kong, but she did not divulge her condition to her husband until she fell ill and was hospitalized [with a related meningococcal condition] in 2004. Iamkhong was sentenced in August 2007 to three years in prison after being convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and aggravated assault. [With a sentence of more than two years, she is subject to removal at completion of sentence.] Whiteman, who has been publicly vocal about his wife's deceit, ... said that his ultimate goal is to see her kicked out of the country, particularly since he is still her legal sponsor and remains responsible for her until 2011. ... Whiteman said he received a letter last week from Correctional Service of Canada informing him that Iamkhong has been released from prison and is being detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency pending her deportation. He has filed a civil lawsuit against Iamkhong and the Immigration Department, alleging it did not take appropriate steps to screen her health when she entered the country on a work permit for exotic dancing." (Star Phoenix, December 16, 2008)
More unsavoury details emerge in Whiteman's August 18, 2007 interview on the Craig Bromell Show: "I found out while we were in court and that that she was a prostitute back in Hong Kong. ... Immigration Canada asked her for a full medical but they forgot to do a follow up ... Immigration now is telling me that they don't know where her medical records are. ... Immigration Canada welcomed her [to] Zanzibar with some kind of agent they were using at the time; her manager at the time was Wally Waterman. He knew of her test and they said: 'Oh don't worry about it.' ... There was a media ban on this for over three years ... protecting her. ... In 2001, when she got her landed immigrant papers, her and her sister went down to Thailand and they both had [enhancement] surgeries and I was very concerned when I found out that they had both had a blood transfusion and her sister up here is married. Her sister is even a stripper [also at the Zanzibar], her sister has even been out 'doing other acts' and everything like that so this whole situation has just been bottled too much.
And the reason I want society to know and everyone in Toronto, is what if this happens to someone else? You know when we were split, I know she was seeing someone else ... I don't know their names ... but hopefully they know who Ricky and Pangey [the sister] are and they step forward -- they go get tested." Throughout the marriage, Whiteman's work weeks averaged out at an incredible 120 hours. He elaborated on the delightful terms of life with the rapacious "Ricky" -- seven years his senior -- in a June 6, 2007 interview on the John Oakley Show: "I always worked two or three jobs, I still do. I was paying for all the rent and everything and all bills for food and her and her sister were sending all their money back to Thailand for the family to build a house." Ugh. Dare one ask, what kind of "house"? Seems "Ricky" was determined to kill Mr. Whiteman one way or another. Not surprisingly, "this was not a first marriage for Ms. Iamkhong. After leaving the rice fields of her village, she landed in Bangkok, where at 15, she found herself pregnant and then deserted by her common-law husband. There was also another marriage during the subsequent 10 years, although details are fuzzy. She left her son behind, moving to Hong Kong in 1996 to work as a go-go dancer and, briefly, a prostitute." (Globe and Mail, August 18, 2007) Mr. Whiteman may be gullible beyond belief, but if the Immigration department's only function is to fill Canada's quota for HIV positive strippers, we ought to shut department doors.
"Young man, there's no need to feel down. I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground. I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town ..." (YMCA, Village People) Remember that Toronto AIDS conference about two and a half years ago? You know, the one where "more than 150 delegates from 50 countries claimed refugee status. ... Nearly all were HIV-positive [and] many of those who filed refugee claims have been successful. ... Samuel Kyambadde, 37, was among 150 delegates of African countries who attended the high-profile August 2006 conference. [He] filed a failed refugee claim four days after arriving in Toronto, saying he would face persecution in Uganda because of his homosexuality, which he claims he's kept secret so far. His claim was thrown out by an Immigration and Refugee Board and that decision was appealed to the Federal Court of Canada, who this month ruled that Kyambadde lacked credibility and rejected the case. That refusal can still be taken to a Federal Court of Appeal. [After that, there's the ministerial permit on humanitarian and compassionate grounds dodge, the church basement route, or the simple expedient of falling off immigration radar. Not surprisingly] no date has been set for Kyambadde's removal from Canada." (Toronto Sun, December 26, 2008)
Another Immigration Winner!: Jailed gangster was worth $400m: divorced wife
Meet Hai Bo Dong, another textbook case of what's wrong with Canada's dysfunctional immigration system. Hai Bo Dong is a Chinese gangster who came to Canada and was accepted as an immigrant in 1997, along with his wife and child. "Nineteen years after they were wed, the dark history of the family's lavish lifestyle and the violence that fed it was revealed in a divorce ruling posted on the B.C. Supreme Court website. Today, Dong sits in a Chinese prison, serving a life sentence for what the Chinese legal system calls 'gangsterism.' His ex-wife, Angela Liu, went to court in B.C. to fight for the family home valued at $1.7 million, a $50,000 car, and past spousal and child support worth $898,922. She argued she was entitled to the money because she has limited English, no work or career prospects, and fears her ex-husband. The judge ruled in her favour. …
Liu claimed that Dong lived the high life, owning several homes, properties and businesses in China and elsewhere, many vehicles and bodyguards. He was also a high-risk gambler in Las Vegas, losing $250,000 within two years. In 2007, he was convicted for his part in a Dalian underworld gang. Dong was jailed for life for illegal gambling, organizing prostitution rings, tax evasion, illegal possession of firearms, bribery, usury and intentional homicide. The documents state his total assets, all procured illegally, total more than $200 million yuan " an amount that would today be equivalent to more than $35 million earned mostly through 'all sorts of evil '¦ [He] bullied and persecuted people through violence, threat or other measures, dominating Dalian region." (Vancouver Sun,. January 2, 2009)
And, just when we think that our criminal import Dong may never again darken Canada's shores, the Vancouver Sun informs us: "Although he's imprisoned for life, there is said to be a likelihood that Dong will be released at some point and deported to Canada, the document states."
1. Exactly on what basis was Mr. Dong accepted into Canada as an immigrant back in 1997?
2. Who, precisely (name), approved his application?
3. Was any criminal record check done? If not, why not?
4. Did Mr. Dong have a criminal record prior to coming to Canada? If so, can he not be stripped of his citizenship for lying, as our German-bashing war crimes unit, does to Germans and Slavs who did not volunteer information they may never have been asked (Did they serve in an SS unit during the war)?
5. Why was Mrs. Dong - well, actually, Angela Liu - allowed into Canada. After 11 years here, apparently she is a distinct underachiever and has "few skills fit for the workplace, limited English abilities."