Matrixvisa Issue No. 1/2016 – NEW YEAR'S ANNOUNCEMENT & NEWS

CONTENTS

  1. New Location in South Africa
  2. Immigration News
  3. Efforts by Matrixvisa to Protect the Public
  4. Job Availability - Saskatchewan
  5. Smallest Issues Reach The News
  6. International Politics
  7. Economic Developments
  8. Corporal Punishment In Canada (Spanking Law)
  9. Dog Sledding – A Winter Activity

 
NEW LOCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
 
Our new South African office location is (by appointment only):


Mandela Square - Sandton (West Tower, 2nd Floor)
Maude Street
Sandton, Johannesburg
2146
South Africa

Our number is (087) 750-0341 with extensions to the following people/departments:
101 - Cobus Kriek
102 - Accounting Department
103 - Administrative Department
 

IMMIGRATION NEWS
 
The Quebec Investor Program is planning it’s next opening in March or April 2016. Investors must have a net worth of CAD 1, 6 million and invest CAD800 000 interest free over 5 years. The investment can also be financed for CAD220 000.
 
A New federal Entrepreneur Program is available. The program costs CAD350 000 and no minimum net worth is required.  The applicant can use their own business plan or technology or Matrixvisa and assist in finding a business opportunity.  Permanent Residence visa are issued with in 5 months.
 
The new Prime Minister, Right Honourable Justin Trudeau made an election promise to allow more grandparents to immigrate and the quota of parents and grandparents was increased from 5000 to 10 000 this month for 2016. We used a specialized courier that stood in line from 5 am on Monday 4 January at the immigration office responsible for applications for parents and grand parents.  We have seen photos of a courier that had 5 bags of applications containing an estimated 1500 applications, and this courier was there since Sunday night to be first in line when the doors opened on Monday morning.
 
Canada is in the process of accepting 25 000 Syrian refugees.  Some of the minority groups such as the Yazidi people have been persecuted by ISIL. Six mass graves have been found of women. One grave has between between 40 and 80 years of age.  It was reported that they where killed as they where too old to be raped or used as sex slaves. The Yazidis are an ancient tribe with a mix of Christian, Muslim and Zoroastrian beliefs. Some Canadian reports referred to the group as Christians. All the indications are there that genocide is being committed against this group by ISIL.  It is therefore not surprising that the Canadian public has indicated that our fighter jets should remain in the Middle East to bomb ISIL targets. The Canadian Special Forces (known as Joint task Force 2 or JTF2) are also training resistance groups in Syria to fight ISIL.
 
According to some rumors, Express Entry points will drop in the coming months as the process is not getting enough immigrants due to the current pass mark being just too high.  During 2015 Express Entry draws took place twice a month but this year we have already seen 2 draws in the first 2 weeks of January.
 
As many know, the Occupations-In-Demand of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (also known as the SK PNP) was expected to open on 1 January 2016. As we later found out that the stream did apparently open but the Saskatchewan government never informed the public on their website that it opened.  On 4 January 2016 at about 3pm, the SK government posted a note online to state that the stream closed and that the 500 openings were filled. We were surprised and perplexed by the announcement.  We inquired into the situation: length of time that it was open online etc. An officer from the Saskatchewan Nominee Program (Ms. Whitney Gratias) called us back this morning (12 January 2016). In response she informed us that there was never an announcement made (online) on 1 January 2016 confirming that the program was even open.  It is not known publicly how many applications were made in the Occupations in Demand Stream, if any.  One possibility is that the SINP PNP received so many applications in the Express Entry Stream (that opened in November 2015) that the overflow (or some of it) was channeled to the Occupations in Demand Stream. Yesterday another officer called a different immigration law office and said the opening was a "glitch" and that the Occupations-in-Demand Stream actually never opened. It seems as if we will never officially know what happened. A Freedom of Information request has shown that by December 2014 the SK PNP had about 4300 entrepreneurs that had applied for the visas from Jan 2011 to Dec 2014. The SK PNP only issues 250 Entrepreneur certificates in the Entrepreneur Stream per annum and that implies the waiting period is 16 years for that province!  Once again there is no clear picture of the processing time for the Entrepreneur Stream; obtaining clear answers is not always possible.
 
The Alberta Provincial Nominee Program (AB PNP) is about to open on 27 January 2016.  The expectation is that the new program will be modeled on Federal Express Entry with a very big emphasis on people currently working in Alberta.
 
 
EFFORTS BY MATRIXVISA TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC
 
In 2011 it became an offence to practice immigration law without being an authorized representative. Cobus Kriek was invited to appear as a witness before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in October 2010 as part of the law making process. The committee adopted one of the recommendations by Cobus Kriek and made it part of Canadian law. Since then the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Counsel has reported 671 contraventions to the Canadian Border Service Agency or the CBSA  (i.e. people practicing immigration law without authorization). Matrixvisa completed several Access to Information requests and obtained the following statistics:  
 
Number of cases reported to the CBSA (leads) since 2011 = 412
Number of cases being opened = 71
Number of cases currently being investigated = 53
Number of Charges laid = 12
Number of cases closed with no charges = 17
Number of cases before the courts = 10
 
It clearly shows that the CBSA is missing about 251 cases reported to them, and very few cases are being prosecuted.  Cobus took the matter up with Robert Thompson (the Head of Criminal Investigations in Toronto), Mr. Steven Harper (the previous Prime Minister) and Mr. Saunders (the Director of Public Prosecution Service in Ottawa). Cobus was invited to meet with the staff of Honorable Stephen Harper’s office during December 2015 to discuss the issue.
 
In Canada there are 2 national newspapers, the National Post and Globe and Mail. Cobus took the lack of action by the federal government to the National Post in November 2015 and on 16 January 2016; the National Post published an article about the discoveries by Cobus with reference to the lack of Action by the Federal Government. It is hoped the media pressure will result in more federal action, for now we have to wait and see.
 
  
JOB AVAILABLILITY – SASKATCHEWAN
 
A client in Saskatchewan is hiring the following:

  • Two family physicians,
  • Orthopedic surgeon,
  • Dermatologist,
  • Cardiologist,
  • Ophthalmologist,
  • Neurologist,

 
If you are working in any of those fields and would like to immigrate to Canada, please send your resume to cobus@matrixvisa.com
 
 
SMALLEST ISSUES REACH THE NEWS
 
Due to the stability in Canadian society and very low crime rate, the media in Canada will report the smallest “newsworthy” occurrence.  One can probably quote examples every day, but here are just two: A few years ago the Minister of Women Affairs, Helen Guergis allowed her husband to use her Ministerial phone for private business and that reached the newspapers!
 
Last month it was reported on National News that Social workers who work for the provincial government took on average 10.7 sick days a year while the other civil only took 9.8 days in annual sick leave. That gave the provincial government a reason to declare that social workers have more stress at work. Social workers are doing good work in our communities but maybe the statisticians have too much time on their hands in Saskatchewan. 
 
It is therefore no surprise that in-depth discussions of the daily weather is done on every news channel. Canadians keep weather records for hundreds of years. On national news it was reported that 24 December 2015 was the warmest day in Toronto in 175 years (it was winter but only 15 Celsius). In Canada there is a specialized TV channel, The Weather Network (See http://www.theweathernetwork.com) that broadcasts weather 24 hours a day.
 
 
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
 
Since 1973 Denmark and Canada have had a dispute about a worthless island Hans Island (North of Greenland) as both states claim Hans Island to be part of their territory.  Last month a professor from University of British Columbia and a colleague from Aarhus University in Denmark suggested an “Aarhus Declaration” which we accepted. This would allow the establishment of a “condominium of shared responsibility.”  Under this collaboration the island would become part of an international park that symbolized peaceful relations between the people of Nunavut in Canada and the people of Greenland(autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark).
 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS
 
It was reported this week that despite the job losses in Alberta, Canada created 158 000 jobs during 2015.

Picadilly mine in New Brunswick closed indefinitely and laid off 430 employees.  This was prompted by low potash prices..
 
The biggest economic news is probably the low oil price as it has dipped below USD30 a barrel and that was the lowest in 12 years. Canada was one of the world’s largest oil producers and the current oil price has resulted in 100 000 people loosing their jobs in Alberta alone.  Many have taken up vacancies in other provinces around the country. Many experts say this is close to the bottom and it will rise later in the year.
 
What is interesting is that there is not just one oil price in the world. There are actually fifteen different oil markets and associated prices in the world: Brent from the North Sea (most expensive in the world), West Texas Intermediate in the USA, Western Canada Select (which is the market where Canadian Oil is being sold and also one of the cheapest in the world), Permian Sweet, North Dakota Light Sweet, Eagle Ford Condensate, North Dakota Sour,  Iraq Barash Heavy, Mexican Mix, Indonesia Duri, Ecuador Oriente, Saudi Arab Heavy, Colobia Vasconia, Iran Foroza and Venezuela Basket.
 
A Canadian company TransCanada is planning a 4600 km pipeline to take 1 million barrels of oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the Eastern provinces such as Ontario and Quebec. See http://www.energyeastpipeline.com. Due to the fact that Canada is 12 000 km wide, oil from Albert and Saskatchewan is being sold in the USA while Eastern Canada must buy it’s oil from the North Sea in Europe at a much higher cost than buying Canadian oil from Western Canada.  This CAD 15,7 billion pipeline will result in billons of savings to Canadians in the coming decades.
 
Many consumers are complaining that the gas prices (Petrol) are not low enough.  In the Canadian media many reasons where mentioned:  Eastern Canada use expensive imported oil, consumers use vehicles that are heavy users of gas, refinery limitations were mentioned as possible reasons for higher gas prices. The website http://www.gasbuddy.com/Canada shows the gas prices in different parts of the country.
 
The Canadian dollar has dropped to CAD0,69 for USD1,00.  Therefore Canadians must now pay CAD1,43 for USD1,00. As a result many are planning annual vacations in Canada and not the USA.
 
The hope is that one of the twenty proposed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) projects in Northern British Columbia (BC). The LNG Canada project is one such project, which is a joint venture by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Mitshubishi and PetroChina (see http://lngcanada.ca). According to reports it might go head this year.  LNG Canada must obtain approval from the First Nations before the project goes head. The hope is that these projects will go ahead to allow people that lost their jobs in the down turn of the oil price to find employment. Again.
 
A new $ 9 billion hydroelectric dam is being started in Northern BC (see https://www.sitecproject.com).  As the project is close to being started there are protestors from some groups including some from the First Nations.  The Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, has joined a well known Canadian environmentalist, David Suzuki , in protest at the Site C dam.
 
In most large infrastructure projects developers experience resistance from First Nations in Canada.  In Canada the term “First Nations” refers to the various Aboriginal groups in Canada that represent about 850 000 of the 30 million people in Canada.  The First Nations have 671 independent “nations” that have their own tribal lands. Some aboriginal peoples in Canada have also adopted the term “First Nation” to replace the word “band” in the name of their community. A band is a legally recognized "body of Indians for whose collective use and benefit lands have been set apart or money is held by the Canadian Crown, or declared to be a band for the purposes of the Indian Act.” While the word "Indian" is still a legal term, its use is erratic and in decline in Canada. Some First Nations people consider the term offensive.  Therefore, after arrival in Canada, count your words!

 
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN CANADA (SPANKING LAW)
 
Groups that oppose corporal punishment of children have spent many years urging successive governments in Ottawa to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code that permits parents and teachers to use reasonable force to correct the behavior of youngsters in their care. In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that physical force was acceptable (that within certain bounds) it cannot be used on children under the age of 2, it cannot involve implements such as a paddle or a belt and blows to a child’s head are not allowed. Teachers and faith-based groups praised the decision, saying the people who are responsible for raising children must have the leeway to decide when moderate physical discipline is required.


DOG SLEDDING
  
Last week Natasha Boshoff (an employee of Matrixvisa) and Walter Kriek (he emigrated as a 6 year old with his parents from South Africa), enjoyed dogsledding close to Banff in the Rocky Mountains. A True Canadian experience.