Matrixvisa Issue No. 2/2016 – TRAVEL ITENIRARY, ECONPMY & LEGAL REPRESENTATION

CONTENTS

  1. New Location
  2. Visits to South Africa
  3. Immigration News
  4. Follow Rules after arrival in Canada
  5. Economy News
  6. How to search for work
  7. Choosing Legal Representation
  8. Job

1. NEW LOCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Our new South African office location is (by appointment only):
Mandela Square - Sandton (West Tower, 2nd Floor)
Maude Street
Sandown, 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
 

2. SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL PLANS (MARCH TRIP)

Matrixvisa will be in South Africa from 18-31 March. 

Friday 18 March 2016 in Johannesburg (from 8:00 am- 4 pm)
Meetings will take place at our office in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Saturday 19 March - Sunday 20 March at Oliver Tambo Airport.
Meetings will take place at the City Lodge located on the Oliver Tambo Airport (not the City Lodge at Barbara Rd, which is 5 km away from the Airport). Most GPSs take drivers  to the City Lodge at Barbara Rd, which is the wrong City Lodge Hotel).

Sunday 20 March 2016 in Johannesburg (from 8:00 am- 4 pm)
Meetings will take place at our office in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Monday 21 March 2016 (8:00 am - 5:00 pm) in Johannesburg
Meetings will take place at our office in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Tuesday 22 March 2016 (2 pm  - 9:00 pm) in Kimberley
Location will be provided to clients.

Wednesday 23 March 2016 (12:00 noon - 4:00 pm) in Bloemfontein
Location will be provided to clients.

Thursday 24 March in Stellenbosch.
Office 301, 3rd floor, Eikestad Mall, 43 Andringa Street, Stellenbosch

It would be wise to make appointments in advance by contacting Cobus. Please email him at cobus@matrixvisa.com with the date and time you want to book an appointment for. 

Our next trip will be 12-21 May 2016, so mark your calendars!

 

3. IMMIGRATION

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Process. The new Minister of Employment and Social Development (ESDC) announced that she has requested the Parliamentary Standing Committee to review the foreign worker program. That would include the LMIA process.  During 2010 Cobus Kriek (director of Matrixvisa) was invited to appear as a witness before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. During the past 2 years Cobus Kriek was invited to meet the senior policy advisors of the Minister of ESDC and CIC about matters relating to LMIA and work permits. Matrixvisa has written to the Minister of ESDC about the problems of the LMIA process recently. We hope to appear before the committee again during LMIA related hearings during 2016.

Canadian experience case study. An international student (Mr. Haseeb)  graduated from McGill University in Canada and subsequently obtained a post graduate work permit that would allow him to work anywhere in Canada. He then obtained a job offer for CAD86 700 per year from an oil refinery in Ontario. The employer later determined the applicant was not a Citizen or Permanent resident and rescinded the job offer. This resulted in a complaint at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal that previously ruled that a lack of Canadian experience may not be used as an excuse not to provide a job offer to an immigrant.

Alberta Provincial Nominee Program. The Program opened its doors for applications on 27 January 2016. Surprisingly the program remained unchanged with the same forms and processes. The director of the program, Mr. Trefan, recently spoke at a conference in Calgary. It seemed as if the program was opened for political reasons and that a new points system may be on the horizon. The program can again be closed any day because there are too many applicants.

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. The Program also opened in January 2016 and skilled workers can only emigrate with a Provincial Certificate of Nomination with a job offer after an employer has advertised for 2 weeks.

Biometric Screening. By 2018 the Canadian government will require biometric screening for workers, immigrants and visitors from 151 countries, up from the 29 countries that presently require screening. These details will be shared with Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.

 

4. FOLLOW THE RULES AFTER ARRIVAL IN CANADA

Did you ever stream a video (illegally downloading it) or walk across a street without using a crosswalk? Immigrants are advised to follow the rules carefully after their arrival.

It was recently reported that in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the fine for jaywalking (crossing a street without using a cross walk section) is now CAD697,50 (about R8000).  I have seen pedestrians being fined in other cities. The message is clear:  follow the rules after arrival in Canada.

It was reported in the National Post on 12 February 2016, that due to the new Copyright Modernization Act that went into effect on 1 Jan 2016, as well as the availability of new technology, film studios can determine if Canadians download (“stream”) movies in violation of copyright laws. It was reported that an Internet Service Provider in Ontario, TekSavvy Solutions are now legallyforced to mail 5000 copyright infringement notices to the customers ofTeckSavvy Solutions in Ontario. A Canadian anti-piracy firm, Canipre, which represents several Canadian firm companies, has identified about 1 million Canadians downloading movies illegally. The fine is CAD5000 but some studios offer to settle the claim for a few hundred dollars. In a court case during Feb 2014, a court ruled that TekSavvy must disclose the names of clients who illegally downloaded the films by Voltage Pictures (movies such as ‘Hurt Locker’, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and ‘Don Jon’). 
 

5. ECONOMY NEWS

Low Oil Price. The low oil price continues to have a negative impact on the Canadian Economy. At the moment 2.2 million barrels of oil a day is unprofitable at USD 35 per barrel in Canada.  In Venezuela, the United Kingdom and the USA, oil is also unprofitable at approximately 230 000, 220 000 and 190 000 barrels per day. We are therefore not alone in this struggle of low oil prices. As a result some Canadian employers are cutting off oil (called “shutting-in”) production which has led to 10 000 job losses in Alberta during January 2016.  Despite the dismal economic times, some Albertan cities such as Edmonton has actually seen job growth during January 2016.

Job Losses. Finning is one of Canada’s largest Caterpillar dealers and it operates in the UK, Canada and South America. During 2015 Finning laid off 1900 people (440 in Western Canada) with another 500 lay-offs expected in 2016. It was reported on the Canada Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that its worldwide profits dropped from $1.8 billion in 2014 to $1.52 billion in 2015. The Canadian division’s profit dropped to $698 million in 2015 which is a 26% drop from 2014.

Possible signs of Oil Price Recovery. On 12 Feb a glimmer of hope appeared as the oil price increased by close to 10%.  It is too early to say if this is an indication of market recovery.

Oil Pipeline. In the past 2 weeks most media outlets presented information about the importance of pumping Canadian Oil (from Western Canada) to Eastern Canada. There seems to be consensus amongst fellow Canadians that the pipeline from West to East must be built.  As the public interest grows, more interesting information is being discovered: Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries are deliberately trying to depress the world oil prices.  At the same time Saudi Arabia is now selling 84 000 barrels of Saudi oil to an eastern refinery in New Brunswick, owned by Irving Oil. Irving Oil stated they need 350 000 barrels of oil a day at their New Brunswick refinery. Until the pipeline is built they have to buy oil from Angola, Nigeria, Saudi-Arabia and the United Kingdom.  It was also reported that Eastern Canada Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and others import 634 000 barrels of oil every day, as oil from Western Canada  (Alberta and Saskatchewan) cannot reach the Eastern provinces. The low oil price has led to 100 000 job losses in Alberta. As a result the Alberta government is working hard to get the pipeline approved by the liberal Mayor of Montreal (Denis Codere) who is trying to stop the pipeline.  He is being reminded in the media that for decades the Quebec government has received so called “transfer payments” from Western Provinces such as Alberta.  Since 1963 Alberta has not yet received a dollar in transfer payments while other provinces benefited from Albertan oil.

Commodity Prices. The gold price increased by 5.3% in January which is good news for Canadian gold mines. The S&P GSCI (formerly the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index) serves as a benchmark for investment in the commodity markets and as a measure of commodity performance over time. The S&P GSCI has shown that 9 of the 24 commodities have shown posted gains, which represents further good news for Canada.

Airline news. Canada has 3 domestic airlines: Air CanadaWest Jet, and New Leaf. West Jet is considering limiting the delivery of new aircraft from the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier in Quebec due a decrease in business in Western Canada. Air Canada announced that it will purchase 45 new jets from the Canadian Aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier in Quebec, with a possible additional 30 aircraft later. More can be seen about Bombardier here. This is a proud moment for Canadians: we can manufacture our own aircraft while competing with international players inthe aviation industry.   Bombardier is a world leader in aviation, rail transport as well as smaller vehicles (such as snowmobiles, and motorbikes). More can be read at BRP. Many of Bombardier’s rail vehicles are being used in Beijing, Paris and many other world cities. Despite the big order from Air Canada,   Bombardier is going to terminate 7000 people from its total of 64 000 international employees. There will be no layoffs in the aviation section.            

Cellular Phone Industry.  One of Canada largest cellular phone companies, Telus,  reported that during the second half of 2015 they only added 4400 new customers, compared with 50 000 new customers during the second half of 2014. That is a decrease of almost 1000% in 12 months.

Ontario Job Creation. The good news is that in Ontario 19 800 jobs were created during January 2016 as exports increased due to the low Canadian Dollar.

Automotive manufacturing. In Windsor, Ontario, Chrysler is opening a new automobile plant that will employ 1200 Canadians.

Mortgage rates (‘Bonds’). Great news for Ontario consumers is that a local bank in Ontario is now offering a mortgage (bond for real estate purchase) at 1.69%, which makes purchasing a house more affordable.

Ontario Risk factors. The good economic climate in Ontario is being adversely affected by two factors:

  • The advantage of Ontario might be short lived as the Canadian dollar will not remain low forever. When the Canadian dollar strengthens the price advantages for exports might disappear.
  • There are also concerns about the debt of the Ontario provincial government, which is extremely high. The Ontario provincial debt is about CAD 290 billion and increasing. The Fraser Institute reported that since 2003 the Ontario government’s spending (4.7%) has exceeded economic growth and population growth (2.8%). It was mentioned in the National Post on 18 Feb 2016 that if the budget increases were kept within the 2.8% increase the province could have had a CAD15 billion surplus instead of a 7.5 billion deficit for 2016. It was further reported that Ontario is one of the highest indebted Sub-Sovereigns in the world. For those who have an interest in Ontario, research the following:  ‘Ontario Sub Sovereign Debt’. The large provincial debt is being discussed in the media as well as the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Finance this week.

Confidence in Canadian Economy. The Ontario government published a report from a research firm Edelman Brand that Canadian companies are the most trusted in the world in the firm’s annual trust and creditability survey.  Sweden, Switzerland and shared the honour. More can be read at the following links:

http://www.investinontario.com/spotlights/companies-headquartered-canada-are-most-trusted-world and http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/2016-edelman-trust-barometer/

It was reported in the National Post on 29 January 2016 that Canadian companies and government raise CAD1.5 billion per day on the capital markets. During 2015 CAD381.81 billion dollars were raised on the Capital markets (from both inside and from outside of Canada).  This is an increase from about CAD346.22 Billion during 2015. These investments again support the trust that is in the Canadian economy and in Canadian companies.

Tourism. Due to the depreciation if the Canadian Dollar, Canadians must now pay CAD1.45 for one US Dollar (USD). As a result more Canadians plan to have vacation in Canada and more US visitors are coming to Canada to spend their greenbacks.  As a result, Toronto Dominion Bank expect US visitors to spend 9.6 billion dollars in Canada during 2016. More Americans also drive to Canada to take flights from Canadian airports due to the strong USD. During 2015 an additional 600 000 Americans visited Canada for an overnight visit (more than 1 day stay in Canada). During 2015, 10 000 Canadians also found employment in Tourism. As a result, tourism is now the 5th largest sector (measured by GDP). The top four are: Finance and Insurance, Oil and Gas Extraction, Retail Trade and residential Construction. The Mining Industry is the 8th on the list.

Agriculture.  It was reported by the Canada Broad Casting Corporation that there is strong growth in legumes (peas, chickpeas, beans and lentils) as the CAD is weaker and there is strong demand from India, Turkey, China and Bangladesh. The amount of dry peas is projected to increase by 14 % while lentils are projected to increase by 13 %. Twelve months ago yellow peas were selling at $7.50 a bushel but now it is between $12.75 and $14. Lentils were selling at 27 cents a pound but now sell for 45 and 57 cents per pound. In Saskatchewan the expected earnings from legumes is CAD2.5 billion.

Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). It was reported that several LNG projects in British Columbia have been placed on hold or abolished as LNG companies said they couldn’t secure any orders as LNG. Countries that where quicker to start their LNG projects in Australia and Mozambiquesecuredmany orders from clients world wide.

6. OTHER NEWS

On 12 Feb 2016 is was reported in the Edmonton Journal that a roof rat was discovered in the town of Drumheller (Alberta).  The reason for this report is twofold: Firstly Albertans are proud to state that there are no rats in Alberta.  Secondly there is lack of newsworthy items and the media will grab just about anything to keep the pages of the newspaper filled. 

7. HOW TO SEARCH FOR WORK

Certain foreign nationals from outside of Canada struggle to find work.  Why you might ask?  Fourteen possible reasons can be seen here.

We are often asked if there is a shortage of specific skills in Canada.  If you asked that question or thought about it, please read the article that was published by Matrixvisa in the Canadian immigration law magazine ImmQuest during 2015. The article can be viewed at points 26.

In representing immigrants in immigration matters for 14 years, we often see so-called “agents” in countries such as South Africa giving completely wrong advice on job searches.   Foreign nationals often appoint agents to handle their cases without understanding the importance of good job searching advice after the visa was obtained. Do your homework well before appointing agents. 

8. CHOOSING LEGAL REPRESENTATION

Before appointing an “agent” you should ask him or her the following:

  1. How many years of experience do you have in the Canadian immigration industry?
  2. Have you lived in Canada? If so, in which provinces and cities?
  3. Before starting as an authorized representative, what experience do you have that will benefit me, the immigrant?
  4. If I find a job in Canada, can you (the agent) meet with the Canadian employer in person and explain what needs to be done?

Often ex Canadian government officials venture into the immigration industry after they have been clerks (‘officers’) in immigration related federal departments in Canada. One officer was responsible for refugee settlement in Canada and he often announced that he was an ex-immigration officer. Refugee settlement includes finding accommodation and organisation of language classes. His actual experience in dealing with complex immigration problems was truly limited, but many foreign nationals are gullible and believed what he claimed.

The owner of Matrixvisa has lived in Eastern and Western Canada for 16 years. He has 16 years Canadian industry experience and access to wide networks in different industries, including: construction, insurance, information, automotive, health, agriculture, mining, and tourism, just to name a few. 


9. JOBS

MS Nav Expert

A senior individual is needed for implementation of Microsoft Dynamics® NAV for new and existing clients.

  • Leads requirements gathering and project delivery.
  • Coordinates service delivery with operations leader and project manager.
  • Works closely with technical personnel to configure and customize databases to meet client requirements.
  • Manages project implementation team.
  • Provides ongoing technical assistance for clients.

Requirements

  • Several years of progressive experience with Dynamics NAV. In-depth knowledge of the finance and distribution modules is a requirement. Manufacturing would be a definite plus.
  • Knowledge and experience with a recognized implementation methodology such as Sure Step from Microsoft.
  • Strong and demonstrable project management skills.
  • Demonstrable ability to manage budgets on time, on budget, on spec.
  • Several years of implementation experience with ERP software.
  • Effective business analysis skills in understanding client needs and delivering appropriate solutions.
  • Ability to work with client staff at any level.
  • Ability to work independently in a high-paced environment.
  • High level of understanding of business areas such as accounting, costing, job costing, etc. A Microsoft Dynamics NAV  is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suite for mid-sized organizations. The system offers specialized functionality for manufacturing, distribution, government, retail, and other industries.

Massage Therapist

An employer in Saskatchewan is looking for a massage therapist, or beauty therapist with massage training or a Somatologist with massage training.


Panel Beaters

We have several employers requesting panel beaters in many provinces.

Marine Engine Mechanic

We are searching for a marine engine mechanic that can also complete yacht maintenance for an employer in British Columbia


A Diamond Factory Manager

The applicant will be good at conflict resolution skills to maintain employee harmony. Must have 10 years’ experience in diamond factory management; and 15 years of diamond cutting and polishing experience, including mechanical sawing, bruting, blocking, polishing and diamond grading. GIA or HRD Diamond Grading Diploma required as the candidate will be expected to complete his/her AGS Credentials.

Reporting the Chief Executive and Operating Officer(s), the candidate should:

  • Possess sound knowledge of rough diamonds, rough maximization and diamond marking.
  • Possess sound knowledge of Sarin, OGI and/or Helium rough scanning, inclusion plotting and cut projection experience.
  • Knowledge of related laser operations is preferable.
  • Adept in the cutting of round, fancy as well as proprietary shapes to AGS 000 and/or GIA Triple Excellent standards in order to lead effectively.
  • Ensure that inventory is accounted for and that the proprietary inventory tracking protocols are strictly adhered to.
  • Possess the necessary skills to assist employees in every aspect of the production cycle to remedy problems and do remedial training where necessary.
  • Able to inspect all work during the production process to ensure maximum value and quality and be capable to assess cut grade using Sarin, OGI or Helium scanners.
  • Knowledge of GemCad would be advantageous Knowledge of diamond automation in particular the Dialit blocking and polishing systems would be advantageous.
  • Adept in controlling work flow between various departments to avoid any bottle necks or vacuums, and possess sound knowledge of ancillary maintenance equipment including the control consumer supplies and be able to request timely ordering of consumables and parts.

If you are experienced in any of these fields, please contact our office directly. 

See you in South Africa and hopefully later in Canada!

All the best,

The Matrixvisa Team!