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Latest edition – Spring 2015

Strong interest follows launch of Express Entry

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Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander welcomes, from left, Xin (Frank) Zhao, Yaoyao (Anita) Zheng and Emma Hughes as the first permanent residents admitted to Canada through the new Express Entry system.

With the launch of Express Entry on New Year’s Day this year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada embarked on a new and progressive way to open Canada’s doors to international skilled workers and professionals.

As of early April, 6,851 Express Entry candidates have received an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

On April 10, a little more than three months after the launch of Express Entry, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander welcomed three of the first Express Entry candidates to become Canadian permanent residents: Emma Hughes of Ireland and Yaoyao (Anita) Zheng and Xin (Frank) Zhao of China.

“With Express Entry, highly skilled candidates with a high chance of success in Canada are invited to apply for permanent residence. And bringing them to Canada is now quicker and easier than ever before,” said Minister Alexander.

Express Entry is now the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

The new system also means that immigrants are more likely than ever to have the skills Canadian employers need, have better English or French language skills and arrive ready to work and contribute to their communities. Together this translates into more success and better results for newcomers, for employers and for Canada as a whole.

To learn more about Express Entry, visit our website or read our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Canada opening doors to more Iraqi, Syrian refugees

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Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander (right) and Christian Paradis, Minister for International Development and La Francophonie, announce the next phase of Canada’s response to the crises in Syria, Iraq and the broader Middle East at a news conference in Toronto on Jan. 7, 2015.

On January 7, 2015, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, announced that Canada will welcome an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees and 3,000 more Iraqi refugees.

These additional resettlement commitments will include both government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees. Canada will work with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and private sponsors to resettle these refugees in Canadian communities.

Adding to previous commitments, Canada will resettle a total of 11,300 Syrian refugees. In addition, since 2009, Canada’s total Iraqi resettlement commitment will total 23,000 refugees by 2018. Canada has already resettled more than 20,000 Iraqis. As well, Canada will resettle 5,000 refugees out of Turkey to help meet the growing number of refugees in the region.

Canada is one of the world’s largest providers of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees. To date, Canada has committed more than $680 million in humanitarian, development and security assistance in response to the Syrian crisis. Visit the Refugee and asylum web page for more information about Canada’s refugee protection programs.


Black History Month celebrates Canadian athletes

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Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney presents Rosemary Sadlier, president of the Ontario Black History Society, with a framed copy of CIC’s 2015 Black History Month poster at an event in Toronto on Feb. 1. “The proud legacy of black Canadians goes back to the early beginnings of Canadian history,” Minister Kenney said.

Trail blazers and champions in the world of sports took centre stage in February, as Black History Month adopted an athletic tone.

Reflecting that 2015 has been dubbed the Year of Sport in Canada, the Government of Canada’s Black History Month celebrations highlighted Canadian athletes who not only excelled on the field of play, but who broke barriers and became leaders in their communities.

“This year, as we celebrate the Year of Sport in Canada and look ahead to hosting the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, we recognize the great achievements of black athletes in Canadian history,” Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney said at the official launch of Black History Month.

Canadian Olympian Phylicia George spoke at the official launch about the power of sport, saying, “There are few other things that cross language barriers and exist above cultural norms like sport.  It’s not just athletes that benefit from the lessons sport can provide.  Rather, I think it sets a beaming example of what the world could be like if we examined our similarities more than our differences.”

To learn more about Black History Month and the athletes highlighted this year, visit our website.

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New Canadians take oath at citizenship ceremonies

More than 2,000 people created a human Maple Leaf at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre on Feb. 12, during Flag Day festivities.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander joins new Canadians to sing O Canada prior to the Toronto Raptors’ NBA game on Feb. 11, 2014

Above: More than 2,000 people created a human Maple Leaf at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre on Feb. 12, during Flag Day festivities.

Left: Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander joins new Canadians to sing O Canada prior to the Toronto Raptors’ NBA game on Feb. 11, 2014.

Becoming a Canadian citizen is something to celebrate, and more than 100 new Canadians did so at citizenship ceremonies in February.

On Feb. 11, Air Canada Centre was the venue when 34 new Canadians took the oath of citizenship before the hometown Toronto Raptors played the Washington Wizards in a match of top NBA teams.

The new Canadians were sworn in as new citizens in the ceremony hours before the game, then sang O Canada on the court prior to tipoff.

The ceremony received positive news coverage from the Toronto Star.

Jamaal Magloire, a Toronto native who played for the Raptors during his 12-year NBA career, praised the link between Canadian multiculturalism and the sport of basketball.

“Basketball, like Canada, opens doors for people of all ethnicities,” Magloire, now a community ambassador with the Raptors, told the Star.

On Feb. 12, a hundred new Canadians took the oath of citizenship at ceremony that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Maple Leaf becoming our national flag.

Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander was one of 2,015 people who formed a human Maple Leaf at the event at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

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Take part in our citizenship

Canada marks the 70th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau liberation

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Minister of State for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal travelled to Poland in January to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

On Jan. 27, 1945, the extent of Nazi cruelty was revealed, when Soviet soldiers liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and a shocked world learned of the inhumanity of the Holocaust.

The brutality of Hitler’s regime was witnessed throughout the Second World War, but when Red Army soldiers reached Auschwitz-Birkenau, the depths of Nazi depravity were stunning: More than a million people, most of them Jewish, were exterminated at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland between 1940 and 1945.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation, Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, travelled to Poland in January to represent Canada at the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.

“Canada is a leader in the international fight against anti-Semitism because it is a Canadian tradition to stand for what is principled and just,” Minister Uppal said. “Our government is dedicated to ensuring future generations understand the lessons of the Holocaust in order to prevent acts of hate and genocide.”

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Helping Francophone Canadians flourish outside Quebec

The Canadian Francophone Experience

On March 20, the International Day of La Francophonie, CIC launched a new video featuring stories from Francophone immigrants and their families who have chosen to live in a Francophone community outside Quebec.

Featured in the video are four families who moved from, respectively, France to Labrador City, N.L., Madagascar to Vancouver, Belgium to Winnipeg and from the West African nation of Benin to Edmundston, N.B. They share their reasons for immigrating to Canada and how they’ve been able to maintain their Francophone culture in predominantly Anglophone areas of the country.

The Government of Canada is committed to increasing Francophone immigration in Francophone minority communities across Canada in order to help these communities across the country flourish, and to enrich our country’s linguistic duality.

You can watch the video now at Canada.ca/immigrationfranco and share it with your friends and colleagues.

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Canadian diversity promoted as part of Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is playing an active role in one of the largest sporting events ever held in Canada, and organizations interested in promoting multiculturalism across the country still have a chance to get involved. 

This summer, Canada will host the Toronto 2015 Pan and the Parapan American Games, bringing close to 10,000 athletes and coaches from across the Americas and the Caribbean to Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Through the Inter-Action funding program, CIC is providing funding to groups wishing to help celebrate the rich culture of the Americas and the benefits it brings to Canada, as well as showcase Canada’s diversity and pluralism to athletes and visitors during the Games.

To learn if your organization qualifies for Inter-Action funding, we encourage you to visit CIC’s website.

The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games take place July 10-26, 2015, and the Parapan American Games follow from Aug. 7-15, 2015.

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