A trailing spouse story: Getting to easier

Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC

Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC

“Happy New year! Welcome to the January #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl.

This January we talk about beginnings. We all were there at some point in time. We all started out in strange lands. How was it like starting over in a new country – if you have done it multiple times, does it get easier or harder? And what are you building in this new year?

Three years, give or take.

That is how long we have been in Beautiful British Columbia. Notice the first letters are capitalized? That’s how the early settlers-migrants-long-time residents see-know British Columbia. And they are right. Mountains meet seas in the in-between, and it is a majestic sight to behold. There’s just the cold to overcome, and the sometime-loneliness that could eat you up, and the opportunities that do not seem to be enough. But this country is waking up, and maybe we are in the midst of a revolution-emergence-stirring of some sorts.

Which gives me hope (and excitement).

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Canada: a compassionate country

Prod and Eleanor Laquian

Prod and Eleanor Laquian

As editor-in-chief of a Canadian newspaper, I had the privilege of meeting some awe-inspiring people. I will be featuring them here and I hope you will let them touch you and enrich your lives as they have mine.

29. That is how many times the Laquians have moved their household.

Nairobi, Kenya, Santiago, Chile, Suva, Fiji in the South Pacific, Beijing, China and many cities in between—they have been there and have called it home. They made lovely memories in all of them, but had little or no roots. The restless (by choice and by circumstance) can grow weary of impermanence too.

Until Canada.

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Canada is not a hotel

Minister Jason Kenney

Minister Jason Kenney

In Canada, several changes are happening on the immigration front. Many immigrants, old and new, are very interested, even apprehensive. But politicos reacted fast to allay the fears of the public. The article below, which was an interview of Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, was published in the Philippine Canadian Inquirer.

Richmond, B.C.—Mr. Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Development and Minister of Multiculturalism, came to Richmond  to discuss the budget unveiled by Minister Jim Flaherty as Economic Action Plan 2014 but was—understandably—bombarded by questions on the spate of changes on the immigration front.

Indeed, media representatives of three of the largest and fastest growing immigrant population in Canada—the Chinese, South Asians and Filipinos—met with the minister at a roundtable to seek answers to questions that are making their groups very concerned: Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act and what it would spell for their groups in the near future. 

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Are Filipino families going to be reunited in their lifetimes?

raincouver

4 seasons in 1 day

Immigration is a topic close to my heart. After all, I myself am an immigrant. Below is an article I wrote for PCI after I interviewed Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. To those parents or grandparents of Filipino-Canadians  who are waiting to immigrate to Canada, or to anyone interested in starting their lives in Canada, read on.

Canada, going the way of America—at least in immigration—is the fear of most Filipino-Canadians. In America, family reunification is a farce, or at least the 25 years or so of waiting makes the lives of separated families seem like one. Those who leave have to reckon with their guilt; those who are left behind are despondent and desolate. The tarmac bears witness to their goodbyes.

The long immigration lines have started to appear in Canada as the waiting period for family reunification stretched to almost a decade. It would soon be overwhelmed with the growing numbers if nothing was done, so Citizenship and Immigration Canada decided to freeze the lines in 2011. Very recently, however, they announced that the bars are to be lifted as solutions to the backlog have been found.

But at what cost?

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