greatest source of immigrants in 2012
MANILA, Philippines Two mannequins dressed in Tim Hortons outfits stand at the front of a classroom plastered with posters which explain to prospective Filipino immigrants how and why they must wear parkas, toques, gloves and boots to survive Canada's diabolical winters.
Classes are offered in French by a native Quebecer for those intending to emigrate to that province. There are crash courses in Canadian culture, customs and currency. The French and English words for "O Canada" are posted on a wall adorned with Canadian flags.
As Tim Hortons exclusive agent in the Philippines, Mercan Canada Employment Philippines Inc. is regularly tapped to find hundreds of temporary workers for its restaurants in Canada. After working at Tims for two years those workers can become eligible to apply for permanent landed immigrant's status.
"There are lots of benefits of going to Canada. The biggest one is citizenship, but also good pay, free medical care and a much better free education for children," said Jose Yazon, a part owner and president of Mercan Employment whose parent company is based in Montreal. "The people who come to us definitely know that Canada is the best deal because they have done their research."
It is such a good deal that Yazon and his family emigrated to Edmonton last year with two of their four children, where his wife, Reselle, who trained as a nurse 20 years ago in the Philippines, immediately found work in a clinic.
Mercan is believed to be the largest of about 50 Filipino employment agencies who help locals prepare their documents for Immigration Canada and counsels them on life in Canada. Every morning at least 100 people show up at Yazon's Manila office to ask about becoming temporary workers, caregivers or some other category of workers eligible to settle in Canada. Many more than that make contact every day via the Internet.
Given the high level of interest, it is small wonder that the Philippines pipped China and India last year as the greatest source of immigrants to Canada. Still, it is likely that many Canadians are not aware of this.
"I think that it is partly because Filipinos tend to be modest, humble people," said Kate Bailey, who oversees 16 Canadians and 67 local staff in the immigration section of the Canadian embassy in Manila. "As far as I've seen, there is no job that they consider themselves unfit to Kevin Pierre-Louis L Jersey do. That is a bit different to some other immigrant populations who think that they are immediately going to go into a high paying job.
"You need a range of people in a population, don't you, not just rocket scientists? Because if rocket scientists aren't supported, how are they going to build their rockets?"
Jose and Reselle Yazon emigrated to Edmonton from the Philippines last year.
Jose Yazon is part owner and president of Mercan Canada Employment Philippines Inc., a recruitment agencies that provides workers for Canadian companies such as Tim Hortons.
The Philippines quietly became Canada largest source of immigrants last year. About 32,000 Filipinos became landed immigrants in 2012.
Filipinos may be invisible to many Canadians because unlike other immigrant communities, which are heavily concentrated in urban centres such as Toronto and Vancouver, many Filipinos live in small towns all across Canada.
"Hard working, successful at adapting to Canadian life, speaking English well. These are the hard facts that lead to good outcomes," Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said in praising the contribution that Filipinos have been making in Canada. are committed to being citizens, to being volunteers, to being public minded. People like them because they take up challenges beyond just working and finding a place to live."
Tobias Enverga, who worked his way up to a senior position in the Bank of Montreal after arriving in Canada from the Philippines 32 years ago, said he presumed that one of the reasons he was appointed as a senator by the Harper government last fall was that "they are impressed by how Filipinos have assimilated and have contributed to the economy.
Jahmaica Oropesa hopes to soon join her fiance, Robert Tanante, a nurse who emigrated from the Philippines to Saskatchewan last month.
Tanante only complaint was that it was already too cold, she said.
The Philippines has quietly become Canada leading source of immigrants. About 32,000 Filipinos became landed immigrants in Canada last year.
"As long as Filipinos can get a foot in the door, they are happy because Canada is a paradise for them. There is a blend of cultures and there is freedom. Speaking from my own experience, we can do whatever we want in Canada and we will get rewarded if we work hard."
About 32,000 Filipinos became permanent residents in Canada last year. That's about double the number that did so only eight years earlier.
Ottawa reckons 535,000 Filipinos now live in Canada. Some Filipino Canadian groups put the figure as high as 850,000. Whatever the real number, Filipinos are part of the fastest growing ethnic community in Canada.
Robert Tanante joined this wave last month. The 22 year old nurse has been "preparing for our future in a small town in Saskatchewan where he says there are lots of other Filipinos," said his fiance, Jahmaica Oropesa. Having grown up in a tropical climate, Tanante's only complaint so far was that it was already terribly cold, she said.
The Philippines has quietly become http://www.nflseahawksofficialonline.com/Kevin_Pierrelouis_Jersey_Seahawks Canada leading source of immigrants.
About 32,000 Filipinos became landed immigrants last year, many of them after visiting employment agencies in the Philippine capital which encourage immigration to Canada.
There has been some criticism in Canada Kevin Norwood L Jersey that the influx of temporary workers from the Philippines and other countries has been taking entry level jobs away from young Canadians.
"This is going to be a constant conversation," Chris Alexander said. "We have to make sure and I spoke to a group of employers in Calgary about this yesterday that Canadians get first crack at jobs, That is an absolute rule of our labour market."
On the http://www.nflseahawksofficialonline.com/Kevin_Norwood_Jersey_Seahawks other hand, he said that few Canadians east of Manitoba appreciated how dire the lack of workers was in some places in Western Canada.
While generally satisfied with the Live In Caregiver Program, under which Filipinos provide about 90 per cent of the nannies and care workers who come to Canada to care for children and the elderly, Alexander said his ministry was studying whether it was necessary to keep the "live in requirement." There would also be tweaks to the program to ensure that those claiming to be caregivers were qualified for such work, that there were additional protections against abusive employers and that a processing backlog of three years before they could become landed immigrants was sharply reduced.
"But nothing will stop strong immigration from the Philippines from continuing or for caregivers to come," Alexander said.