Canada offers temporary residency to travelers stranded by U.S

Canada will offer temporary residency to any travelers stranded by U.S. President Donald Trump’s orders temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries, a senior official said on Sunday.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told a news conference he did not know how many people might be eligible but said only a handful of passengers headed to the United States from Canada had been denied boarding.

Trump’s decision on Friday, which also affects refugees, left many people uncertain of whether they could enter the United States.

“Let me assure those who may be stranded in Canada that I will use my authority as minister to provide them with temporary residency if they need it,” Hussen said.

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has refrained from criticizing the United States, which takes 75 percent of Canadian exports, preferring instead to stress Canada is open to refugees.

“Every country has the right to determine their policies,” said Hussen.

The Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, or CCLA, called on Ottawa to withdraw from a Safe Third Country agreement with the United States, under which Canada returns asylum seekers crossing the border.

“There’s a danger that the U.S. is doing blanket detentions and deportations … and not honoring asylum claims,” said CCLA Executive Director Sukanya Pillay.

Such a move would be diplomatically insulting and Hussen said the pact would remain unchanged for now.

Local and national politicians have condemned Trump’s ban and the opposition New Democrats want an emergency debate in the federal Parliament.

The U.S. Consulate in Toronto said it would suspend services on Monday because of a planned demonstration.

More than 200 Canadian technology company founders, executives and investors said on Sunday that Ottawa should immediately give temporary residency to those displaced by Trump’s order.

“(We) understand the power of inclusion and diversity of thought, and that talent and skill know no borders,” they said in an open letter.

Canada wants to attract tech workers from abroad while retaining those who are often lured away. More than 300,000 Canadians work in California’s Silicon Valley.

Bob Vaez, the Iranian-born chief executive of tech firm Event Mobi, canceled plans on Sunday to accept an industry award in Las Vegas. Many event organizers could seek alternative locations, he said.

“Are they going to keep their conferences in the U.S., knowing that so many people are going to be barred?” he said.

(Additional reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Andrea Hopkins in Ottawa; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Peter Cooney)


Canada needs 300,000 immigrants to drive it’s economy.

To replenish its aging workforce, the Liberal government in Canada, will from next year, increase the intake of immigrants to 300,000. The move, according to investigation, was to help drive economic growth.

The previous target from 2011 to 2015 was 260,000 and the increase followed what Minister of Immigration, McCallum, called the “special circumstances” of the Syrian refugee crisis. That number will now be the permanent base.

The government’s economic growth council had recommended raising immigration levels to 450,000 over the next five years, but McCallum rejected the target.

There has been much debate over the targeted immigration level at a time when Canada struggles with high unemployment. There have also been questions about the country’s ability to smoothly integrate newcomers into communities.

The minister said other measures would be announced at a later date to streamline the process for economic applicants and to improve the process for permanent residency for international students. He further reinstated that students were among the best candidates to become Canadians, yet they had been “shortchanged” by the system in the past.

Kevin Lamoureux, the parliamentary secretary to the House Leader, said immigrants not only fill jobs that would otherwise remain vacant and help to develop provincial economies, but they also contribute to the character and social fabric of communities. If not for immigration, population of his province of Manitoba would have declined in the last decade.

Issuance Of Passport In Canada, Best So Far – Dabiri-Erewa

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said the issuance of Nigerian passport in Canada is stress-free.

Dabiri-Erewa dismissed an old CBC video circulating on social media creating an impression that Nigerians in Canada go through hell in securing a new Nigerian Passport.

According to her: “This is not true.”

Dabiri-Erewa explained further: “The video in circulation was broadcast on CBC in 2013 and the High Commissioner to Canada, the late Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe diligently dealt with the issue then to strengthen the structure of the Passport Section of the Nigeria High Commission, in Ottawa at the time to make it possible to obtain passports in less than a day in Ottawa,

“The lady who was at the helm of affairs in Immigration section at the time was asked to leave Ottawa.

“Not only that, the High Commissioner at that time the late Ojo Maduekwe granted interviews to put into perspective what happened and promised Nigerians then that it would never happen again. And it never did.

“It must be pointed out here that up till today applicants can obtain their passports in two hours at the Nigerian high commission in Ottawa This is verifiable from Nigerians in Canada.

“It is really uncharitable and worrisome that the video in question was posted on a day late Ambassador Madueke was being buried and honored as a worthy leader and Statesman. I appeal to all Nigerians to disregard the video.”

While noting and admitting that some embassies must step up their attitude in dealing with issues relating to Nigerians in their host counties, Dabiri-Erewa said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration is determined to ensure that the rights and welfare of Nigerians whether at home or in the Diaspora remain major priorities of this administration.

Canada Working With Nigeria To Defeat Terrorism- Calderwood

The outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Perry Calderwood, has said that Canada’s government has been working with Nigeria to defeat terrorism through various trainings for the Nigeria police, especially in investigation techniques.

“Though globally, terrorism has become common, but there must always be effort to contain its spread. Beyond this, we have been engaging in inter-communities’ dialogue to sustain peace in states like Benue”, Calderwood said during an exclusive interview.

He also pointed out that in response to the humanitarian needs in the Lake Chad Basin region, Canada recently announced a plan to provide more than $26 million for humanitarian assistance in 2016. ‘’This will help to provide food, drinking water, hygiene, sanitation and health services, treatment for acute malnutrition and support for livelihoods for vulnerable populations, including refugees, internally displaced persons and communities hosting refugees’’.

He explained that in achieving this, his country is partnering with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Children’s Fund, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the International Committee of the Red Cross Action Against Hunger, among others.

On corruption, Calderwood revealed Canada has specifically told the Nigerian government: “If there are funds that have been traced to Canada, there are mechanisms in place for our government to respond to this kind of request. It’s through our Federal Police and through our Justice department and the contacts are there already.

“People feel frustrated that it takes time to retrieve funds that may have been stolen and stashed in Canada in form of real estate or something…but remember that in any country that respects rule of law, certain procedures must be followed. A government simply just doesn’t have power to seize something and return it somewhere. You have to go through the legal processes.”

He pointed out that the international community, including Canada, has worked very hard to strengthen rules and prevent illicit funds from flowing in the first place.

Credit: Thusday

American Citizen Flees To Canada And Asks For Asylum Because He Thinks US Police Will Kill Him Because He Is Black

Can you blame him? An American citizen, 30 year old Kyle Canty, has applied for asylum in Canada after claiming he fears the police in the U.S will kill him just because he’s black. Kyle went for a vacation in Vancouver in September and after staying for a few weeks, decided he was safer there as a black man than the U.S and decided to stay.
According to CBC, during an Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) hearing on October 23, Kyle said ‘I’m in fear of my life in the U.S because I’m black… This is a well-rounded fear’.

Kyle, who is representing himself at the IRB hearing, then cited the police shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in New York City at the hands of cops as examples of US police exterminating black people ‘at an alarming rate’.

Kyle said he was arrested for trespass in Salem, Oregon, after he spent two hours talking on the phone and using free Wi-Fi at a bus stop. He said he was harassed or targeted by police because of his race.

‘I got bothered because I’m black,’ he said. ‘This is a history of false arrest. My name is ruined because of the false arrest.’  Above is his mugshot from the arrest
Kyle is currently is living in a homeless shelter in Vancouver. The board, though commended him for representing a strong case, are yet to determine if he will get the asylum.

Ajiroba Oladipupo: Justin Trudeau, Canada Elections And The Nigerian Experience

I have been inundate with comments on the recently concluded elections in Canada that saw 43 years old, and leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau emerging as the next Prime Minister of Canada. Having been on ground and actively involved across different platforms on governance and political issues in Canada, to an extent, can give account of what transpired.

Justin Trudeau rode to victory on the back of many young people that bought his vision for post-secondary education and love his charismatic sense. Also, significant migrant community, especially from the Caribbean supported him on account of the immigration policies implemented during his father’s tenure as a Prime Minister. In other words, there was a track record that spurred him to victory. Many candidates across the party platforms were supported by ordinary citizens without any hope for compensation. Personally, I put in many hours voluntarily to canvass for my choice candidate and even donated my hard earned money for the campaign.

Fast forward to Nigeria, what do we have? Noise makers well divided along ethnic and/ or religious lines. Lazy young people who seek patronage from old political figures, praise singing and ready to their dirty biddings for pea nuts. Even when this same set of people who have been raping them for many years are being tried, the armies of jobless citizens are ready to protest and are fast to tell us their masters are being witch-hunted.

It is often said that one cannot eat his or her cake and have it and the same time. This is particularly true in the Nigerian case where citizens look forward to enjoy patronage during election period, and at the same time expect such elected officials deliver on good governance. If we are to see any change, then the followers must withdraw from the bilateral symbiotic relationship it enjoys with the political leaders. If this does not happen, let us forget it, we all will write, talk, shout and die and yet nothing will ever change.

The young people as a matter of urgency, must sit up and start being pro-active. The willingness to be a tool in the hands of these political leaders must cease henceforth. Money politics must be discouraged, and citizens with genuine agenda to promote general prosperity of all must be encouraged to get elected. Governance is not a rocket science, and we can get it right if bold enough to do what is right.
Time to start walking the talk is here. Nigerian youths must arise and send the old politicians away.

Oladipupo is a member of Leak Times Editorial Board and a Nigerian Sustainable Development Expert currently based in Toronto, Canada.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Rapper Meek Mill Shades Toronto Mayor, Questions His Audacity And Authority To Ban Him

After the Toronto Mayor Norm Kerry tweeted at Meek and said he was no longer welcome to Toronto, Meek Mill lashed back; he took to Twitter too, to call out the interfering Councillor and ask what gave him the ‘audacity’ to make such statements.

Meek Mill was prebilled to perform at the Pink Print Tour on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Toronto, Canada, alongside Nicki Minaj, Dej Loaf and Tinashe.

Canada Leads Countries Selling Most Number Of Weapons To Nigeria To Fight Boko Haram

A report released on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) shows a growth in the number of countries supplying arms and weapons to Nigeria and Cameroon to aid their fight against Boko Haram. Canada has been found to be the top seller among those nations.

The report listed Canada as the world’s 13th-biggest arms exporter over the past five years. It was the 14th-biggest weapons exporter in the previous five-year period.

According to the list, Canada facilitated the sale of 40 armoured vehicles to Nigeria in 2013 and 2014. It wasn’t detailed if all came from private companies. Two of those companies were identified as the Streit Group and INKAS.

Credit: ibtimes

The 2014 Halifax International Security Forum Concludes #HISF2014

23 NOVEMBER 2014

HALIFAX, NS –The 2014 Halifax International Security Forum has united individuals who are on the ground facing consequential local threats, writers who challenge and influence the world’s thinking on security, and decision-makers who make the tough choices. These individuals completed a successful conference today and set the security agenda for the upcoming year.

The 6th annual Halifax International Security Forum featured three hundred participants from sixty countries, including the largest US congressional delegation to set foot in Canada, led by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), and international security leaders from the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East.

“We met against the backdrop of a turbulent, troubling year and we are tackling the challenges ahead as a network of thinkers who are committed to improving our prospects for peace,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of the Halifax International Security Forum. “Our systems, with values that lead to democracy, opportunity and peace are better than the alternative. Let’s take good care to secure them strongly in 2015.”

The Halifax International Security Forum featured an introductory session that was broadcast live online, eight plenary sessions, a Halifax Chat with the 11th President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, numerous senior level nation-to-nation meetings as well as off-the-record discussions about today’s most pressing security issues. Political leaders, senior military officers, business leaders, academics and members of the media spoke frankly about war, peace, leadership, Africa, resources and new challenges such as cyber security.

Together with Ipsos, the leading global market and opinion research firm, the Halifax International Security Forum released new findings about global views of today’s crises. These findings indicate global citizens increasingly see the world as a more dangerous place and are more fearful of armed conflict and epidemics.

The Halifax International Security Forum is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC. The Forum is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors, including the Government of Canada, the Halifax Canada Club and our media partner Foreign Affairs who share the vision that a more peaceful, cooperative and secure world is achievable.

Omojuwa Halifax 2014

2014Banner2 Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak speaks at the Halifax Security Forum at the Westin Nova Scotian hotel in Halifax


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Follow the Halifax International Security Forum on twitter @HFXforum and join the conversation using #HISF2014

A full list of participants and detailed agenda, as well as photos and videos from past years, is available at

For more information about the Halifax International Security Forum please contact our communications team at:

102 Snakes Found in Home in Canada

One hundred and two snakes were found in a home in Canada and they filled up five pillowcases. Apparently, these were “just” garter snakes, and it was in a rural area of Canada, and the snakes were just preparing to hibernate for the winter.

Recently a family in Canada, discovered a few small snakes in their basement and called the local wildlife rehab agency.

Megan Lawrence, the agency director, said, “The family contacted us when they found a few garter snakes in their basement. … They were finding more and more and … they were finding them in their kitchen and their bedrooms, and they decided it wasn’t a good idea to have them there anymore.”

So Lawrence and her partner used about five pillowcases to collect the serpents, and then moved the snakes into a bucket to count them. They then separated the snakes by size. She said the longest snake was nearly one meter, or a little over 3 feet, and the shortest was approximately 22 centimeters, or about 8 inches.

A snake expert at the local museum, Ray Poulin, says nothing about this story is too unusual for folks in Regina.

“That is about a normal amount,” Poulin said. A hundred “garter snakes in a basement is about a normal amount. … Usually snakes at this time are going down … getting up to your house and going straight down.”
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Canadian PM Vows to ‘Fight Terror’ After Ottawa Attack

Canada’s prime minister has condemned the “brutal and violent” shooting of a Canadian soldier in Ottawa and a hit-and-run that killed another soldier earlier this week, saying the incidents are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism.

“But let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated,” Stephen Harper said in a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday.

Harper said the attacks would not deter Canada from working with international allies to fight terrorism around the world, and vowed to go after those who are involved.

“This will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, to fight against the terrorist organisations who brutalise those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores,” he said.

Harper spoke hours after a gunman shot and killed a soldier guarding a war memorial then stormed the Canadian parliament before he was killed.

The prime minister was holding a meeting with party members in the parliament building as the gunfire erupted. Members of the parliament were also inside the building when the attack took place.

Canadian authorities and the media have identified the suspected attacker as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

The 32-year-old suspect was deemed a “high-risk traveller” by intelligence services, and according to media reports he recently had his passport confiscated.

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