Posted on Sun, Nov. 07, 2004
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THE CANADIAN REPORT
Americans look to move north
Many Americans have a new interest in Canada after the re-election of President Bush - not for flu shots, but to move.
In what's being called "backlash" by fervent Democrats, Canada's immigration Web site - canada.gc.ca - is flooded with a record number of visits from U.S. residents dismayed over the election results. Immigration lawyers also are busy with calls about moving to Canada.
Many people are doing more than just casual surfing, said Maria Iadinardi of the Citizenship and Immigration Department.
"The most-visited pages were the skilled worker online self-assessment pages to see if they'd meet the selection criteria," she said.
A new record was set within hours of Bush's acceptance speech as six times more Americans than usual at the site, amounting to 115,016 hits.
The waiting time to move is shorter if you're married to a Canadian, for which help is available at www.marryanamerican.ca, a satirical site also being inundated by visitors.
Prime Minister Paul Martin said he'd welcome aspiring U.S. immigrants but joked they can't say they're refugees or expect preferential treatment.
The number of U.S. immigrants to Canada has slowed to about 5,000 a year from a high of 23,000 during the Vietnam War.
Prime Minister Martin has made a new request to U.S. President George W. Bush to settle cross-border trade irritants.
"Obviously, during any election campaign there is a hiatus in certain numbers of matters," Martin said.
There's a need for a "new multilateralism" on international problems such as punitive U.S. duties on Canada's softwood lumber and wheat, and restrictions on imports of Canadian beef over one incident of mad cow disease.
Martin called Bush on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory and also spoke with Democrat John Kerry to congratulate him on his campaign.
News in brief
Citing abuse from parishioners, low wages and lack of job security, some stressed-out United Church of Canada ministers are putting their faith in the Canadian Auto Workers. In an unprecedented move, about 30 clergy from Ontario and others from Western Canada met with union officials to begin an organizing drive.
Former football star Tommy Kane was called "manipulative" and "narcissistic" as he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the stabbing death of his estranged wife last year. The former Seattle Seahawk and Toronto Argonaut pleaded guilty in a Montreal courtroom to manslaughter in the death of Tammara Shaikh, a mother of four children.
Montreal-based Molson Inc. will give shareholders a special premium if they agree to a proposed merger with Colorado beer maker Adolph Coors Co. The offered $3.26-a-share dividend is a response to shareholder demands before they agree to back the original $6-billion merger.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says gambling is here to stay despite a report showing problem gamblers contribute more than a third of the revenues. "We have come to rely on gambling revenue," McGuinty said. The province pulls in $4 billion a year from casinos.
Facts and figures
The strength of the Canadian economy - adding 34,000 jobs last month and a steady jobless rate of 7.1 percent - helped pushed the dollar to a 12-year high.
The Canadian dollar is 83.50 cents U.S., while a U.S. dollar returns $1.19760 Canadian before bank exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 2.5 percent, while the prime-lending rate is 4.25 percent.
Canadian stock markets are mixed, with Toronto's composite index lower at 8,868 points and the Canadian Venture Exchange higher at 1,636 points.
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