New Canadian Media
Friday, 30 May 2014 17:55

Chinese Premier First To Call Modi

 New Delhi: Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi will visit India on June 8 to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to a report in the Times. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday called his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and conveyed his government’s desire to establish robust partnership with the new government of India for further […]

The Weekly Voice

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Published in India

 ON Thursday, in the B.C. Legislature, the House unanimously passed the apology motion for historical wrongs against British Columbia’s Chinese Canadian community. “We can’t undo the actions of the past – but we can acknowledge them, apologize, and learn from them,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Today, we rightly recognize and celebrate cultural diversity – and […]

Indo-Canadian Voice

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Published in History

 
A Canadian lawyers group says it is “gravely concerned” about the ongoing detention and whereabouts of prominent lawyer Gao Zhisheng, known for his courage in...

Epoch Times

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Published in International

Nearly one million Chinese visit France and Germany, while another hal...

PanAmerican World

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Published in Latin America
Thursday, 01 May 2014 16:06

Chinese broadcasters: an inside look

 Telling stories that matter to Chinese viewers, whether they have lived in Canada for years or have recently become a citizen, is what motivates two local Asian television stations. Their two news directors come from vastly different backgrounds, but both strive to address Chinese-Canadians’ need to be informed in an engaging manner. Chinese and Canadian…

The Source

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Published in National
 Beijing and Caracas will intensify their bilateral cooperation by signing agreements in areas such as agriculture, automotive, finance industry, infrastructure and technology during the visit of China's Foreign Minister...

PanAmerican World

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Published in Latin America

 The arrest of a California senator and Chinese triad members has thrown up some troubling Canadian links

Asian Pacific Post

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Published in China
Monday, 31 March 2014 20:27

Montreal as a City-State

by Yasmine Hassan 

Activists have launched a new movement to turn Montreal into a “city-state,” allowing it to govern itself, and distancing itself from the series of interesting and laughable steps taken by the Parti Québécois (PQ) government in their quest to preserve and protect the French language and culture in Quebec.

Michel David, president of the Montréal: City-State Movement and co-founder of David Landry Young Consulting Group, has watched the downward spiral that Montreal has been going through and proposed the idea of turning it into a city-state. “The Quebec approach and rules are toxic to Montreal and the result is obvious, Montreal is dying. If Montreal is to live, it has to be out of the toxic Quebec rules,” he explained.

Once granted the city-state status, Montreal has the potential to be the entrepreneurial hub of Canada. “Our traditional sources of wealth have taken a real dive. So you have to replace that with something,” said David. “The only thing I can see is entrepreneurship, a bootstrap approach where you get people who have a high desire, high capacity for work, high resistance for risk, and they come and start companies.”

Once granted the city-state status, Montreal has the potential to be the entrepreneurial hub of Canada.

Immigration hub

Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver have historically attracted the most immigrants to Canada, with Montreal being the second largest immigrant city. However, since the 1980s, Vancouver eclipsed Montreal, attracted 16 to 18 per cent of immigrants while Montreal attracted between 11 to 12 per cent.

David said his ideas would help restore Montreal as a major immigrant city. “The most likely person to want to start a business is someone who comes from the other side of the world, with ten dollars in his or her pocket and the only way to go is up and they are going to do whatever it takes,” he said. “Educated immigrants are a critical variable for Montreal’s city-state success.”

While Montreal would become its own independent entity, it would still be a part of the province of Quebec and would, in turn, be of great benefit to it by becoming its economic engine. The organizers say the city of Montreal has great potential but is currently being tied down with bogus bills and laws that are written for areas in Quebec (such as language laws limiting English in certain places and the new Quebec Charter of Values that bans all ostentatious religious symbols from public service offices) that are nothing like the unique environment in Montreal. The city is at particular risk, if Quebec Premier Pauline Marois wins a majority government in the upcoming April 7 elections.

A distinct society

Montreal boasts a multicultural citizenry, a bilingual twist, along with a huge potential to become a major cosmopolitan city. Some, like David, think of it as a “distinct society” within Canada that needs to be preserved.

In recent surveys of Canadian cities, Montreal has shown lackluster performance in terms of where it could be based on its size and number of residents, considering it has 50 per cent of Quebec’s total population. A study by the Bank of Montreal and the Boston Consulting Group reported that Montreal had a higher unemployment rate than many other areas in Canada, as well as the lowest GDP when compared to other Canadian cities of comparable size.

Based on the 2011 census, the third most spoken language in Montreal is Arabic (108,000 speakers) followed by Spanish and Chinese. Bilingualism is also on the rise with over three million Quebec residents who speak both official languages.

Based on the 2011 census, the third most spoken language in Montreal is Arabic (108,000 speakers) followed by Spanish and Chinese.

At a crossroads

Montreal is now at a crossroads, with the upcoming elections and the plans that the PQ has for it, a strategy needs to be put in place in order to turn this city around. Based on a recent survey by Montréal: City-State and IPSOS, 74 per cent of Montrealers feel that the city needs to be granted special status. Ninety per cent of Montrealers feel that Montreal is different than the rest of Quebec while 91 per cent feel that in order to stop the city from declining further, drastic measures need to be taken. As a society, Montreal’s needs differ a great deal than those of predominantly French cities and yet the PQ comes in with bills and laws that affect Montreal as well and will only cripple the city and lead to its eventual demise.

Right now, the city is far from attractive for both local and international business owners. The long list of laws and bills that you need to consider when starting your company in Montreal will turn anyone off from the idea. “A lot of people are very quietly just leaving and making alternate arrangements,” said Gary Shapiro, President of the Canadian Rights in Quebec (CRITIQ) movement, which wants to prevent government encroachment of the civil liberties of Quebec’s French and English populations. “It’s not whether they will separate or not, the fact is that no one is coming here to start businesses, to expand their business or to grow their business here, so the economy is grinding to a halt, investment grinds to a halt and the quality of life keeps deteriorating.”

Without the PQ looming over the prosperity of the city, Montreal could become a city similar to Silicon Valley, opening doors to immigrants who wish to come and start a business in Canada. “The most important source of new entrepreneurs is educated immigrants, that is the key,” explains David. “If you need entrepreneurs, you have to become a friendly environment for them.”

Without the PQ looming over the prosperity of the city, Montreal could become a city similar to Silicon Valley, opening doors to immigrants who wish to come and start a business in Canada.

The Montréal city-state movement has garnered a great deal of interest among residents looking to change the course of their city. And with the upcoming elections, what better time to discuss the idea and potentially bring it to life, for the sake of Montreal and Montrealers alike?

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in National

 

Early this month, Rebiya Kadeer, Chinese Uyghur human rights activist and President of the World Uyghur Congress, visited Ottawa to testify before the Parliament Sub-Committee on Human Rights on the situation of Uyghur Muslims in China.

Published in International

Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Edmund Bartlett is urging the Government to address concerns by some Jamaicans that a heavy Chinese economic infusion into Jamaica could negatively…

The Caribbean Camera

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Published in Caribbean
Page 10 of 12

Poll Question

Do you agree with the new immigration levels for 2017?

Yes - 30.8%
No - 46.2%
Don't know - 23.1%
The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

Featured Quote

The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

-- Canada's economic development minister Navdeep Bains at a Public Policy Forum economic summit

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