A member of the Snowbirds is dead and another has sustained critical injuries after a jet crashed shortly after takeoff into a neighbourhood in Kamloops, B.C. earlier Sunday.
The Royal Canadian Air Force confirmed the fatality in a tweet at 5:25 p.m. on Sunday. The surviving member of the crash suffered serious injuries, but are not considered life-threatening.
The Snowbirds had been on a tour of Canada called ‘Operation Inspiration’ due to not being able to fly due to COVID-19 bans on public gatherings. They’d flown through Eastern Canada, arriving in Moose Jaw earlier last week, and then headed to Saskatoon and eventually westward.
A cross-Canada tour is nothing new for the CF Snowbirds, but this trip was specifically aimed at thanking all the frontline workers facing the challenges of COVID-19.
According to their Twitter feed, they were headed to Comox, B.C.
OKANAGAN: We know some areas are starting to clear up, however transit through some of the mountain passes have very low cloud cover which is unsafe for flying 9 jets. We are going to preposition to Comox to start working our way west.
The Transportation Safety Board has offered its assistance to the Snowbirds in the investigation of the crash after the aircraft fell into a residential area near Kamloops.
After hours with no new information, a nation eagerly awaited for updates regarding those inside the aircraft, British Columbia Health Minister, Adrian Dix initially confirmed that one was injured.
Late this morning @BC_EHS received multiple calls about a plane crash near the Kamloops airport. Paramedics and air ambulances were dispatched and one individual was transported to hospital. Our thoughts are with all affected during this difficult time.
This week, School District 58 announced that Princeton Secondary School has dropped its longstanding Rebels name, stating it was outdated and “had nothing to do with Canada, for one thing, or our school.”
The reasoning, said the school district, was that the team name was directly linked to the American Civil War.
In an interview with Global News on Saturday, board of education chair Gordon Comeau said new staff “were researching everything out and they came across the fact that the name the Rebels had, at one point in time, been associated with the Confederate flag and the Confederate uniform, and ties, really, to the Confederate cause during the American civil war.
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“And the board felt that these images, although they were used recently and had been for years, they just have no relationship to Canada, for one thing, or our school.
“And nowadays, it’s just not an appropriate thing. We see it all over the news, and we have a policy that’s pretty clear — it’s to raise awareness and improve the understanding of the human race and lives of all people.”
Washington Redskins to undergo review of team name
Washington Redskins to undergo review of team name
Gordon said parents and students were informed of the board’s unanimous decision to drop the name.
“These incidents were a wake up call for us and a call to action,” said board chair Noel Burke.
Burke spoke to the assembled crowd of young people and community members, saying that the school board would immediately form an anti-racism task force, composed of staff, students and people of colour.
He said the task force’s first report will be ready by Sept 1.
Burke said the Quebec English School Board Association, of which he is a member, will be calling on the Education Ministry to do a curriculum review in order to better represent diversity in all subjects, not just history.
“The Lester B. Pearson School Board acknowledges that systemic racism exists in society, in our communities and in our schools,” said Burke.
“We must take an active role with addressing racism with students and staff.”
More than 100 people attended the rally outside Pierrefonds Community High School on Saturday afternoon.
The event was organized by Youth Stars, a Montreal non-profit organization serving youth. They said it was a chance for young people to speak out about racism and what changes they want to see.
Malik Shaheed, a director at Youth Stars, spoke to the crowd, saying: “The goal of today’s event is for you to meet your local stakeholders. To let them know how you feel.”
Every two weeks, the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) holds Express Entry draws inviting candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence.
IRCC then aims to process the permanent residence applications of successful candidates within six months.
Under Canada’s Constitution, immigration is an area of shared federal and provincial jurisdiction, although the Constitution gives the federal government more power.
Twelve out of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories operate their own immigration programs. Quebec has its own skilled worker system due to its special status within the Canadian federation. The remaining provinces and territories welcome skilled workers through their own PNP streams.
Each province and territory designs their own PNP selection criteria and administer their PNP streams based on their local labour market needs.
Skilled workers arriving from the U.S. also obtain Canadian permanent residence through the PNP.
While some of these individuals are captured in IRCC’s Express Entry data, since a portion of PNP immigrants are processed through Express Entry each year, the available data does not capture all U.S. skilled workers who come to Canada through the PNP, as well as the other federal immigration pathways that the country offers.
Hence, there is a strong chance that the actual number of skilled workers who came to Canada from the U.S. in 2019 is markedly higher than the 10,000 who came through Express Entry.
Skilled worker immigration from the U.S. is rising for the following reasons.
First, Express Entry has played an increasingly important role in Canada’s skilled worker system since it first launched in 2015. Whereas only 26,000 individuals received an Express Entry invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence that year, the figure now stands at over 85,000 annually.
Given that skilled workers from the U.S. have a competitive edge when submitting an Express Entry profile since they are fluent in English, have high levels of education and work experience, a larger number of them in absolute terms are gaining PR through Express Entry.
Canada also launched its Global Skills Strategy in 2017 to help employers in Canada bring foreign tech talent to the country more easily. A key component of the strategy is the Global Talent Stream which enables employers in Canada to bring foreign tech workers in about one month (compared to longer processing times for non-tech workers).
Among those arriving to Canada through the strategy are workers from the U.S. who are then going on to transition to Canadian permanent residence through the likes of Express Entry.
The third major reason is likely the uncertainty surrounding U.S. immigration policy. While the need for foreign workers in the U.S. has continued to increase, political gridlock has made much needed U.S. immigration reform difficult to achieve. As such, many foreign nationals working in the U.S. have made the choice of pursuing permanent residence in Canada.
How to submit an Express Entry profile from the U.S.
If you wish to consider immigrating to Canada, Express Entry is a fairly straightforward process:
Step 1: See if you are eligible for one of the three Express Entry programs. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is likely the most viable option for you if you have not lived in Canada before.
Step 3: Once you have entered the Express Entry pool, wait to see if you get an ITA for permanent residence. Express Entry draws happen bi-weekly. Another major benefit of entering the pool is you increase your immigration odds since provinces and territories can review your profile and provide you with an invitation through their PNP.
Step 4: If you obtain an invitation, submit your permanent residence application. IRCC aims to process PR applications within 6 months.