While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning “village” or “settlement”. In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier later used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village, but the entire area subject to Donnacona (the chief at Stadacona); by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this small region along the St Lawrence River as Canada.
From the 16th to the early 18th century “Canada” referred to the part of New France that lay along the St. Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named The Canadas; until their union as the British Province of Canada in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country, and the word Dominion was conferred as the country’s title. The transition away from the use of Dominion was formally reflected in 1982 with the passage of the Canada Act, which refers only to Canada. Later that year, the name of national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day. The term Dominion is also used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion.
Changes to the Express Entry system in Canada will take effect from this weekend relating to job offers, points awarded and permanent residence applications.
From 19 November the points awarded by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for a job offer will change in three ways. Firstly points will be awarded for job offers of eligible candidates on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt work permits.
It means that many people in Canada temporarily on an employer specific LMIA exempt work permit but who want to stay in Canada permanently will no longer need to get an LMIA to be awarded job offer points by the CRS.
Secondly, job offers will only need to be a minimum of one year in duration once they receive permanent residence. Officials said that it means that more highly skilled candidates working in contract based industries will have a higher likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Finally the points awarded for job offers will be reduced. A total of 50 points will be awarded to candidates with a valid job offer in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B occupation, while a total of 200 points will be awarded to candidates with a valid job offer in a NOC 00 occupation.
The number of points awarded for a job offer often made it hard for highly skilled candidates without job offers to get an invitation to apply. This change means Canada will now welcome more highly skilled candidates whose skills and experience will help support and grow our economy.
Officials explained that the change in points for job offers will now also better recognise the skills and experience required for the job, together with the value that it brings to the economy.
There will also be changes in the education points with 15 points for a one or two year diploma or certificate obtained in Canada, 30 points for a degree, diploma or certificate of three years or longer, or for a Master’s, professional or doctoral degree of at least one academic year.
With these changes, more former international students will be able to transition to permanent residence using the Express Entry system. Former international students are regarded as a key source of candidates in Express Entry because of their age, education, skills and experience.
It is also thought that in addition to the time already spent in Canada, integrating into Canadian society permanently will be easier because they will have established social networks and familiarised themselves with life in Canada.
From 19 November candidates will have 90 days to complete an application for permanent residence if they get an invitation to apply. This will give candidates more time to gather all the required documentation and submit a complete application.
Immigration Minister John McCallum said that the changes are part of a number of improvements the Government is making on a continual basis to bring changes for a fairer and responsive immigration system that will address emerging needs and ensure long term economic growth for the middle class.
He explained that highly skilled immigrants, such as those who come through the Express Entry system, help strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in the global marketplace and are able to quickly contribute to Canada’s economy and society. They help create jobs, spur innovation and provide opportunities that benefit Canada’s middle class.
‘“We have committed to doing more to attract highly skilled immigrants to come to Canada and become permanent residents, because this is important to build our economy and strengthen our society. I am confident that the changes to Express Entry will be one of the many positive outcomes of the changes we will be bringing to our immigration system,’ he added.
Canada wants to attract more French speaking immigrants, but the move has been criticised amid claims that others arriving in the main French speaking part of the country are struggling with the language.
According to Immigration Minister John McCallum, Francophone newcomers make an important contribution to Canada and highlight the nation’s commitment to ensuring the vitality of Francophone communities and rich bilingualism.
He pointed out that the Government has taken a number of steps to increase the number of Francophones settling in Canada, including promoting Francophone minority communities to French speaking foreign nationals abroad.
It has also been encouraging the use of the Provincial Nominee Programme, fostering Francophone services to French speaking immigrants, working with employers to promote Francophone foreign nationals for permanent jobs in Canada, and consulting with Francophone minority communities on newmeasures.
The Immigration department has also re-established the Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption that allows employers in Francophone minority communities to recruit French speaking workers to highly skilled jobs on a temporary basis.
However, a report from the political party Coalition Avenir Quebec suggests that many newcomers to the city where French is spoken do not have a good enough grasp of the language and they should be encouraged to improve their skills rather than targeting more fluent French speakers.
It also suggests that non-French speaking immigrants should be given more help to learn the language, including free lessons and adds that the French language in Quebec is losing ground as around 200,000 new Quebecers don’t speak it.
Spokesman Clare Samson, a member of the National Assembly, said many women, for example, are cut off from society and can’t help their children with school because they are not given proper access to French language classes.
Samson explained that she has spent the last six months interviewing 23 immigrant support groups, immigration experts and demographers and concluded that Quebec must pump an additional $175 million a year into integration if it wants to keep its French language alive and well, and its workforce productive.
‘Some of those French classes are given in buildings that are not suitable for the learning process. They have no equipment, no computers, they bring their own dictionaries to class. We have to realise that if we’re to welcome 40,000 new immigrants every year, we have to take responsibility,’ she added.
Quebec has already announced it will raise the number of immigrants it accepts annually to 51,000 in 2017/2018 and to 52,500 in 2019.