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Canadian officials on lookout for 'economic immigrants'

Canada is trying to keep the door closed to "economic immigrants" trying to sneak into the country as visitors while working illegally, according to officials.

The would-be migrants, many from economically struggling countries, are taking the jobs Canadians don't want, said Liberal Member of Parliament Jim Karygiannis.

While Canadian immigration officials won't comment officially, Sun Media reports that customs agents are refusing entry to "hundreds of suspected economic migrants from cash-strapped European countries."

Officials of the Canada Border Services Agency are meeting flights daily to inspect the documents of arrivals. Visitors can stay in Canada for up to six months but can't work during that time unless they enter properly with visas.

Many of those sent home had jobs waiting, often in the construction, manufacturing and food industries, where they will work for less than Canadians are paid, officers said.

Second ship of Tamil migrants en route?

Canadian military and police agencies are trying to determine if smugglers are attempting to get a second ship of Tamil migrants to Canada.

Government officials confirm there are rumors of another ship headed toward British Columbia after the successful landing of one with 492 Sri Lankan migrants two months ago.

All of the arrivals, who have claimed refugee status seeking to be admitted to Canada, are being detained for processing, with the exception of 34 people who have been released.

The Tamil community in Canada has offered pay for the bonds for the release of the rest, many of whom have relatives in the country, largely in Toronto.

News in brief

• Canada's central bank is expected to take a pause in raising interest rates for the rest of the year after the economy unexpectedly shed jobs in September. There were 6,600 jobs lost, and the unemployment rate was at 8 percent. Full-time jobs rose by 37,000 last month, but that was offset by 44,000 fewer part-time positions. Over the past year, employment has grown by 2.1 percent, or 349,000 jobs.

• Col. Russell Williams, commander of Canada's largest air force base, in Trenton, Ontario, has indicated he will plead guilty to killing two women, sexually assaulting two others and breaking into homes to steal women's underwear. Williams, 47, a pilot to prime ministers and commander of troops, will admit to the crimes in court Oct. 18, attorney Michael Edelson told Superior Court Judge Robert Scott.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar zoomed to within about a half-cent of parity with the U.S. currency before falling back Friday to 98.88 cents. The U.S. dollar is worth $1.0113 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent, while the prime lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets advanced, with the Toronto exchange index at 12,537 points and the TSX Venture Exchange at 1,783 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 10, 20, 24, 32, 37 and 47; bonus 49. (Oct. 2) 7, 13, 18, 23, 26 and 27; bonus 46. Lotto Max: (Oct. 1) 10, 12, 13, 25, 28, 29 and 41; bonus 39.

Regional briefs

• Ontario police are looking into 318 claims from people seeking to claim a stolen Lotto Super 7 ticket worth $12.5 million. They want to find the rightful owner of the ticket sold in 2003 in St. Catharines who then won a free ticket. A store clerk, now under arrest with two family members, allegedly kept the free ticket that won the jackpot. Technology can profile the winner and confirm the original purchase, officials said.

• Twice in a month, workers at a Montreal-area child care center have left a child behind. Police were called when a couple went to the Childhood Friends day care for their 2-year-old to find the doors locked. Last month, a woman's day care permit was revoked after she left an 18-month-old girl alone for two hours, not knowing she was still there.

• Ryan Doon of Toronto thought he had won $1 million in McDonald's Monopoly game but he will not be passing "Go" or collecting. He found a Park Place sticker on his box of fries and confirmed on McDonald's Canadian website that it was worth $1 million. Sorry, he was told, you need both Park Place and Boardwalk to win. McDonald's quickly corrected the website, not even offering him a Happy Meal, Doon said.

Jim Fox can be reached at

Canadian officials on lookout for 'economic immigrants' 10/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 9, 2010 4:31am]
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