Posts Tagged ‘canada immigration online’

Trinity Bellwoods no longer official G20 protest site

Friday, May 7th, 2010
Trinity Bellwoods Park

Trinity Bellwoods Park

Summit officials have abandoned Trinity Bellwoods Park as the G20’s official demonstration area, but at least one group still plans to rally there in June.

In an about-face Thursday, the G20’s Integrated Security Unit announced it will be moving the protest zone, explaining the change as a response to complaints from area residents and consultations with city hall.

The security unit has yet to announce the new site, but the Ontario Federation of Labour says it’s sticking with Trinity Bellwoods.

The OFL expects thousands to attend its G8 and G20 march on June 26, organized in conjunction with groups such as Oxfam, Greenpeace and the Canadian Labour Congress.

The OFL plan is to meet at Queen’s Park and march along University Ave. and Queen St. W., concluding at Trinity Bellwoods, chosen last week by summit officials as a “designated speech area” for G20 protesters.

“We plan on keeping our rally at the park because nobody has told us otherwise; not the police, not the city,” said OFL president Sid Ryan.

But area residents oppose even this labour rally. At a meeting Thursday night, the Trinity Bellwoods Community Association voted 33-0 against the rally being held in the park.

Resident Steffan Randstrom said he was skeptical the labour rally would only attract peaceful demonstrators. “People will travel here from all over the world to do crazy s—,” he said. “Why do you choose a residential park for such an event? I’ve got kids and I don’t want them to meet crazy anarchists.”

The OFL’s Laurie Hardwick and Toronto police Const. George Tucker, of the Integrated Security Unit, tried to calm their concerns.

“We have no intention of doing any damage to your community,” Hardwick said. She assured them most of the demonstrators would be out of the park by about 4 p.m.

Hardwick estimated the crowd at 5,000, but residents worried the numbers could swell to more than 20,000.

“Why isn’t this happening at the CNE?” said David Ginsberg. With thousands of people in the park, “our kids are not going to be able to play,” he said.

Outside in the park, Anne Louise Pearl, who was walking her dog, said she was happy the designated speech area was being moved from the heavily used park.

But she was also concerned about the OFL rally, noting some recently planted saplings might be damaged. “I still don’t understand why they have to use this park.”

Mark Critoph, a graphic design professor in the park with his daughter Asha, 6, said he supports people’s right to protest and did not want to fall prey to the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome. “I would not attend it, but it’s got to be somewhere,” he said.

Mark Gelineau, manager of Great Stuff, a nearby clothing store, said he felt better upon hearing the park would only host the labour rally, which might attract business, instead of a designated protest zone, which might attract vandals. “Rallies are usually positive things,” he said.

The OFL’s Ryan said his rally venue was chosen prior to summit officials picking Trinity Bellwoods as the designated speech area. He said the OFL worked closely with police to select the site. The federation originally wanted Coronation Park but settled on Trinity Bellwoods after police asked them to find an alternative location that didn’t require marching across the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Blvd.

Ryan said the OFL already has permits for the parade route and Queen’s Park but has only a conditional permit so far for Trinity Bellwoods. However, the federation is already making permit payments and meeting its obligations, even hiring 300 marshals to keep radical protesters from infiltrating its rally.

“City hall has to approve the permit but I can’t see why the Canadian Labour Congress or OFL would have a rally permit turned down,” Ryan said. “That would be highly unusual.”

Summit officials say they have no issue with the OFL using Trinity Bellwoods as long as its permit is approved by the city.

City councillor and mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone said he was “totally unhappy” when Trinity Bellwoods was announced as the protest site. He thinks the park, bordered by homes and families, is no place for protesters.

Pantalone said he brought his concerns to Police Chief Bill Blair, who told him Wednesday the site would be moved. He said Queen’s Park is now being considered for the protest zone.

But for Ryan, the summit is an international event being staged by the federal government — protesting outside the Legislature would be pointless.

“Queen’s Park is not an acceptable site,” he said. “It’s too far away. You don’t even get an opportunity to get down to the perimeter of the security fence.”

He said the OFL wrote a letter to city hall Thursday morning, offering to move the rally if the city would find a more suitable location. Ryan said he has yet to hear back.

Ryan is frustrated with the reaction to the OFL’s use of the park as a rally site and said the group is fully committed to protesting peacefully, as is its democratic right.

“These politicians that are complaining, they stand with us at protests all across the city, all across the country, and then we have a protest and they say, ‘Not in my backyard,’” he said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, NORAD conducted flight tests throughout the day on Thursday in preparation of the G8 and G20 summits. The tests are to continue into Friday.

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Victims Duped by Immigration Fraudster

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
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The law firm of Abrams & Krochak, Canadian Immigration Lawyers, is licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (province of Ontario) to provide legal services for persons wishing to immigrate to Canada. Please be aware that there are some immigration consultants that claim to be a legitimate provider of such legal services, but who are not licensed by the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC).

To our Friends and our Fans, please do not be taken advantage of by unlicensed consultants. Begin your legal Canadian immigration today by completing our Free Eligibility Online Assessment at

http://www.akcanada.com/assessment.cfm

Victims Duped by Immigration Fraudster

An uncertified immigration consultant in Windsor has been charged with fraud after 11 clients allegedly paid him thousands of dollars for services they never received.

The victims made payments to the consultant ranging from $2,000 to $100,000 in the belief that applications to immigrate to Canada were being made on their behalf.

But no such applications were ever submitted, said investigators with the
Immigration and Passport Section of the Windsor RCMP.

Eleven counts of fraud have been laid against Francesco Salvatore Sam Burgio, 45, of Amherstburg, Ontario.

Police identified 11 victims, but believe there may be others.

Often, individuals who have been victimized are reluctant to come forward fearing that reporting their situation will interfere with their ability to gain legal immigration status in Canada, Cpl. Rod Rudiak of the Windsor RCMP said in a press release.

The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) had revoked Burgios license back in 2006.

That should have set off red flags for anybody who was considering hiring him, CSIC Chair and Acting CEO John Ryan said in a release.

Most people would never consider hiring an unlicenced doctor or lawyer, and consumers need to realize that hiring an uncertified immigration consultant is just as unwise, he said.

In reaction to the arrest, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Minister Jason Kenney said Tuesday that unscrupulous immigration consultants heap misery upon their victims and pose a serious threat to the reputation of Canada’s immigration system.

The charges against Burgio come just weeks after Vancouver-based consultant Fereydoun Hadad was sentenced to a year in prison after pleading guilty in January to defrauding an Iranian man seeking to immigrate to Canada of over $49,000.

Hadad had convinced the would-be immigrant to set up a bank account in Canada and deposit money in it. By forging the mans signature, Hadad withdrew the funds for his personal use.

Unscrupulous consultants are a significant problem and tackling it requires all levels of government to work together and make it a priority, Kenney said a statement after Hadads conviction.

Preying on people who are desperate to have a new start in Canada, or who are trying to bring their family members here, is unconscionable. As the Speech from the Throne promised, we will be taking steps to address this, Kenney added.

Ryan welcomes a government crackdown on fraudulent immigration consultants, saying legal loopholes permitted the practice to go on for too long with little danger of legal repercussions.

Only members licenced with the CSIC, a provincial or territorial bar, or Quebec notaries may advise or represent clients before the Government of Canada for a fee. However, friends, family, or religious organizations may offer free help.

The CIC website states that the government will not deal with any unauthorized person charging a fee for immigration services. To assist prospective immigrants, the website provides detailed information about e-mail and Internet scams, fake websites, and computer viruses.

Dont be a victim of a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, the CIC warns.

Don't be a victim of Fraud

Don't be a victim of Fraud

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