Why Canada is the Best Place for Your Business

Why Canada is the Best Place for Your Business

Few countries are friendlier to small businesses and start-ups than Canada, and, feeling that support, entrepreneurs have an enormous impact on Canada’s economy. Over 100,000 new small businesses are created every year, and companies with fewer than 50 employees collectively make up over a quarter of the nation’s GDP.

Immigrant entrepreneurs are a huge reason why Canadian small businesses are so successful. According to Statistics Canada, by the late 2000s, approximately 19 percent of immigrant workers were self-employed, compared with 15 percent of people born in Canada. This means that nearly one in five newcomers has started a business within the last decade.

While entrepreneurialism is often seen as territory for the young and ambitious, newcomers of all ages are successfully launching businesses in Canada. In fact, the average age for immigrant entrepreneurs admitted to Canada is 42 years old. 

Canada is truly a country that readily embraces new small business owners from around the world. The federal government recognizes the important contributions foreign-born entrepreneurs make to the Canadian economy, and there is a push to make Canada an even more welcoming place for immigrants to come and start a business. 

In 2013, the Government of Canada began offering 2,750 Start-Up Visas to attract immigrant entrepreneurs who focus on technology. This means that there is more opportunity than ever for immigrants to start a business here.

Canada’s proximity to the United States also means that Canadian small businesses have access to the one of the largest markets in the world. And Canada’s well-developed technological infrastructure makes it one of the best places in the world for tech and Internet-based ventures.

There is also plenty of support from the private sector to help small businesses thrive. Entrepreneurs in Canada are able to turn to supportive financial institutions to access a range of products and services. For example, Scotiabank’s Running Start for business Tool is a great way to investigate how you can start or grow a company in Canada. You can also contact a Small Business advisor to discuss the steps you need to take in order to launch a business.

With such a friendly business environment for immigrants and so many resources available, it’s an ideal time for newcomers in Canada to consider launching a small business.

For help in filing your application contact me at info@brxgroup.ca or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us https://www.facebook.com/InvestorServicesAndImmigration.

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Two Occupations in Canadian Immigration Program Reach Sub-Cap

Two Occupations in Canadian Immigration Program Reach Sub-Cap

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the mainstay of Canadian economic class immigration, has reached the maximum allowable applications in two of the 24 eligible occupations.

The FSWP has a cap of 5,000 total applications, and a sub-cap of 300 applications per occupation, for the period between May 4, 2013, and April 30, 2014. Applications exceed either the total cap, or the sub-cap per occupation, will be disregarded.

In a recent update from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), financial and investment analysts and computer programmers and interactive media developers are shown as having reached their respective caps.

The total number of applications received in all occupation is currently at 1,103, leaving 3,897 spots left in the FSWP for the one year quota period.

Of the occupations still accepting applications, computer engineers (except software engineers/designers) is currently closest to its cap, with CIC reporting 116 applications received.

On the other end of the spectrum, CIC reports zero audiologists and speech-language pathologists applications received and only one application received for each of the mining engineers and petroleum engineers occupations.

For help in filing your application contact me at info@brxgroup.ca or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us https://www.facebook.com/InvestorServicesAndImmigration.

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Rio de Janeiro’s World Cup and Olympic hostels boom

Rio de Janeiro’s World Cup and Olympic hostels boom

While Rio de Janeiro takes pride in its nickname of “The Marvellous City”, as far as hotel accommodation goes, Brazil’s tourism capital could more accurately be called “the expensive city”.

With Brazil’s own tourist board recently bemoaning the fact that Rio has the third most expensive hotel rooms in the world, getting a bed for the night in the city has never typically been wallet-friendly.

According to the latest figures from the tourism authority, the average cost of a hotel room in Rio is now $247 (£161) per night.

Its report says that only Miami ($294) and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic ($247) are more expensive. Global tourism hotspots like New York ($246) and Paris ($196) are both cheaper than Rio, its survey found.

The high price of hotels in Rio is put down to a number of factors, including insufficient supply, the city’s enduring popularity as a holiday destination, and Brazil’s strong economic growth boosting domestic tourist numbers.

Yet with the city due to hold the final and other key games in next year’s football World Cup, and host the 2016 Olympics in its entirety, the price of its hotel rooms are only like to rise further as hoteliers take advantage of the additional spikes in demand.

Thankfully, a growing number of hospitality sector entrepreneurs are coming to the rescue of cash-strapped tourists, and Rio is seeing a boom in the establishment of hostels – the lower cost, dormitory-based, shared bathrooms alternative to hotels.

Commercial potential

Hostels may have long been popular with independent travellers on a budget, but in Brazil they are a relatively new phenomenon.

It was in fact only in 2006 that the first hostels opened in Rio and Sao Paulo. At the time the concept of sharing a bedroom with strangers was a novelty for Brazilians, but a growing number have since learnt about their advantages – especially the much lower price.

Today official figures show that Rio has 72 hostels, used by both foreign tourists and travellers from across Brazil. And the number of hostels in the city is continuing to grow quickly as the World Cup and Olympics get closer.

Typically the price of staying in a hostel in the city starts from just $25 for a bunk bed in a large dormitory.

Gustavo Pira, a lawyer, and his friend Joao Daltro, a financial market specialist, are two people who decided to open a hostel in Rio after they realised the big commercial potential that the World Cup and Olympics offered.

Their hostel Meiai opened in the middle-class, beachfront community of Botafogo earlier this year.

“There was a lot of talk going on about the lack of rooms to receive all the visitors the city would be receiving,” says Mr Pira. “That’s when we got interested [in opening a hostel].”

Mr Pira and Mr Daltro started by studying the competition for six months, and putting together a detailed business plan.

While they have chosen not to reveal the cost of opening their hostel in the city, they said it can vary from about $140,000 to $1.3m, depending on factors including whether the building is being rented or purchased, its size, and the level of amenities on offer.

Rodrigo Leporage is another businessman who decided go into the hostel sector, opening the Rio Rockers venue in Copacabana, Rio’s main tourist area, back in 2006 with his father and brother.

He said that back then there were only three or four other hostels in the neighbourhood, but that today he has lost track of the number.

“The advantage for us, hostel owners, is that suddenly it became very expensive to come to Rio. And hostels arose as an interesting alternative,” says Mr Leporage.

Safety concerns

But while Rio officially has 72 hostels including the likes of Meiai and Rio Rockers, Luis Geraldo, the local director of trade body Hostelling International, and manager of the Copa Hostel, also in Copacabana, says the actual number now surpasses 200 after growing by 30% in the past year.

He is concerned that many unscrupulous hostel owners deliberately avoid getting registered so they do not have to meet safety standards.

“Many of them don’t have all the required papers, such as fire department authorisation and municipal, state and federal registration, and therefore they don’t show up in official accommodation statistics,” says Mr Geraldo.

At the same time as Rio’s hostel community needs to clamp down on such bad apples, the city’s hotels sector is also busily increasing the number of hotels and available rooms ahead of the Olympics.

Not that commentators think the cost of hotel rooms in Rio will do anything but soar during the World Cup and Olympics, despite threats by the government to clamp down on “abusive” prices.

This is all good news for hostel owners, and back at the Meiai hostel, Mr Pira is confident all its 60 beds will be filled for the two big events.

“It’s great for the hostels sector in Rio,” he says.

Why Study in Canada

Top Reasons to Study in Canada

So you want to study in Canada, but you need just a few more facts before committing to the full experience? Here are a few of the many reasons why others have chosen Canada for their study abroad experience.

Qualifications Valued Around the World

Canada’s high academic standards and rigorous quality controls mean that you’ll be earning a high-quality education that will open doors for your future and benefit your career over the long term. A Canadian degree, diploma or certificate is globally recognized as being equivalent to those obtained from the United States or Commonwealth countries.

Affordable Education

The quality of education and living standards in Canada are amongst the highest in the world, but the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally lower than in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. As such, Canada is often the preferred choice for students attending college or university.

Multicultural Society

With almost all of the world’s ethnic groups represented in Canada, it’s hard not to find ethnic foods and recreation activities associated with specific cultures. In fact, your international student advisor can help you get in touch with any number of ethnic clubs and associations for you to join while you’re here.

Healthy and Safe Communities

While you may have heard of or experienced Canadians’ friendly and open nature, you may not have known that the United Nations consistently ranks Canada as one of the best places in the world to live. As an international student in Canada, you’ll enjoy all of the same freedoms which protect Canadians – respect for human rights, equality, and a stable and peaceful society.

World-Class Language Education

Did you know that Canada is a bilingual country and is considered a world leader in language training? Since teaching French and English as a first and second language is an integral part of a Canadian education, you will be able to improve your fluency and capacity for either language as you further your studies.

Exciting Campus Lifestyle

Canada’s post-secondary campuses aren’t only wired with the latest in sophisticated technology, but countless other modern amenities as well. From Olympic-quality sports facilities to public concert halls and art galleries, Canada’s post-secondary campuses offer you enormous possibilities for learning and leisure. Plus, you’ll have incredible opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and gain valuable experience through student-run governments, radio, newspapers and businesses.

Innovative and Abundant Research Opportunities

Since research is one of the key components of a Canadian post-secondary education, you’ll have ample opportunity to become a part of this vibrant aspect of education. In Canada, government and industry together support research including: telecommunications, medicine, agriculture, computer technology, and environmental science.

Land of Possibilities

Under Canada’s highly dynamic and hands-on academic environment, you will not only acquire knowledge and skills in analysis and communication, but you will also learn how to express yourself, demonstrate your creativity, and develop your self-confidence! Teachers and professors are always available and eager to help with lessons, and studies fuse academic excellence with interaction and collaboration in the classroom.

Possibility of Immigration

Did you know that some international students with Canadian credentials and Canadian work experience may apply for permanent residency without having to leave Canada? For more information about the possibility of immigration to Canada once your schooling is complete, please contact me at info@brxgroup.ca or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us https://www.facebook.com/InvestorServicesAndImmigration.

Brazil – Canada

Toward a more Brazilian Canada

Taking the time and effort to understand the region and its dynamics will pay off in terms of status and influence, but today, Canada can also derive important lessons from the region. The last country on Mr. Baird’s itinerary, Brazil, deserves particular attention.

Brazil is a vast country with a diverse population, one of the world’s major producers of food, energy and minerals, and the No. 1 producer of coffee, sugar cane and orange juice. It is abundantly rich in natural resources and has leveraged them for economic growth.

But unlike Canada, it has consistently engaged globally with particular countries and regions over the course of the past two decades as part of a strategy to ensure sustainable economic growth. Also unlike Canada, Brazil has leveraged its natural and strategic resources over the past decade to transform itself into a global power – the sixth-largest economy in the world – featuring as strong a sense of social purpose as of economic might.

In the 1990s, president Fernando Henrique Cardoso saw active insertion into the global economic and political order as imperative to the consolidation of democracy and the fight against inequality. Early in the next decade, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s populist galvanization of the country’s potential produced a unique social compact that lifted 12 million people out of poverty and supported the expansion of Brazil’s regional and global leadership.

The extent to which Brazil is accepted as the region’s leader is debatable – countries such as Colombia and Argentina balk at Brazilian dominance – but its emergence as a counterweight to the United States in the Americas and voice for the global South is clear. Mr. Cardoso’s government resisted the Free Trade Area of the Americas proposal, refused to participate in Bill Clinton’s Plan Colombia and strongly opposed both the Cuban embargo and the attempt to depose Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in 2002.

Lula opposed the Honduras coup and the U.S. refusal to back the deposed president’s return. The decision to back Iran’s pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy was further indication that Brazil had no intention of aligning its foreign policy with Washington’s. During Lula’s reign, Brazil opened 33 new embassies, 19 consulates and five new diplomatic missions.

Today, Brazil boasts one of the world’s highest rates of foreign investment and participates as vigorously at the World Economic Forum as it does at the World Social Forum. The recent protests are a result of the new middle class’s rising expectations, and indicative of the fast pace of social and economic development.

Canada’s natural economic competition with Brazil in areas such as agriculture, energy, minerals and aerospace, combined with Brazil’s leadership on the climate file, have already pushed Canada-Brazil relations to concentrate on specific issues. While science, technology, energy and education are key to moving relations forward, other areas warrant observation, such as diversity management.

The Brazilian population is one of the most varied in the world. Approaching 200 million people and encompassing people of African, European, Middle Eastern and indigenous descent, Brazil also boasts the largest Japanese population outside of Japan; the largest Italian population outside of Italy; and the largest Lebanese population outside of Lebanon.

As it developed, Brazil created a redistributive system designed to address problems faced by those most economically and socially disadvantaged, regardless of race, tenure, ethnicity or geography. Clearly, the results have been mixed, but the concept of a social contract between the country’s wealthiest and poorest is well entrenched.

There is a lesson here for Canada. The social fabric of this country is the result of the successful integration of people and cultures attracted to social and political freedom and economic opportunity. Today, however, as Canada seeks to develop its northern regions, natural resources and energy infrastructure, relations and communications with indigenous peoples remain shamefully underdeveloped, and the needs and aspirations of many communities are woefully misunderstood or ignored.

As we work toward a compact with our own people to gain that essential social licence, a better understanding of the terms of Brazil’s emergence and current social unrest may offer insights.

BlackBerry in Brazil

BlackBerry inaugurates technology center at PUC-Rio and has plans to manufacture handsets in Brazil

Canadian Minister opened the Tech Center at the university, and said that the company is an important part of the relationship between the two countries

The BlackBerry inaugurated Thursday its Tech Center in Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with PUC-Rio. The Canadian maker of smartphones and tablets with the initiative aims to encourage applications and new business start-ups based on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which tries to cope with fierce competition from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

– The initiative is strategic because they have plans to manufacture their devices in Brazil, and so these technology centers receive subsequent investment from information technology law – reveals Professor Carlos José Lucena, one of the pioneers of computing in Brazil and coordinator Software Engineering Laboratory (LES) at PUC-Rio, where the center will be based.

The director general of Brazil BlackBerry, John Stricker, confirmed that the company intends to manufacture its new handsets in Brazil:

– We are evaluating the best way to begin to produce them here, because the country is a very important market – says Stricker. – We know that you can not be big in Latin America without being big in Brazil, hence there is the intent to manufacture “in situ”.

The Tech Center at PUC-Rio will be the fourth opened in Brazil (there are three more, in Maceió, Recife, São Paulo) and meet students in the areas of computing, design and engineering. Initially, it will be ten, and receive devices with BlackBerry 10 to develop your applications and work together with the Canadian company seeking new business opportunities.

– Canada has long been collaborating with PUC-Rio, especially through the University of Waterloo, and this new partnership will help foster innovation and create jobs – said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, John Baird, who cut the ribbon inaugração of the Tech Center in the opening ceremony. – Our government usually works with technology companies through direct investment, education and tax incentives. And the BlackBerry is part of our daily lives … I use it so much that I get to sleep with my BlackBerry.

For the minister, the company is part of the growing rapprochement between the Brazilian and Canadian governments.

– It is certainly an important factor in the gradual increase in our bilateral relationship – said.

BlackBerry’s attempt to reinvent itself with new platform is proving difficult with successive losses and setbacks in the international market. Stricker, however, points to the flexibility in the use of BlackBerry 10 as its main weapon – especially the virtual keyboard more oiled and Balance function that allows the user to switch between a profile oriented apps for work and a profile more personal and leisure.

Students who began working with the system in the Tech Center mention the ease of programming functions for creating an smart factor for usability design aspects. Among the first topics proposed for the Apps are the Olympics in Rio in 2016 – and one of the first ideas is to think of software that help users to find the chaotic transport infrastructure Rio and orient themselves to get to the sites of future events .

The BlackBerry does not reveal the investment made in the Tech Center, but beyond the assigned devices, the company will be responsible for hiring personnel and managing resources to maintain the initiative.

Sex for Visas?

Sex for Visas? US State Department confirms probe of US consular official in Guyana

The State Department acknowledged it is investigating alleged “improprieties” regarding a consular official who until recently was posted to Guyana, following reports he was trading visas for money and possibly sex. 

The department said in a statement it was “aware” of the allegations, without going into detail. 

“The department takes all allegations of misconduct by employees seriously,” a spokeswoman said in an email.

“We are reviewing the matter thoroughly. If the allegations are substantiated, we will work with the relevant authorities to hold anyone involved accountable.” 

The department would not identify the individual, though media reports in Guyana have. 

Mark Benschop, publisher of the Guyana Observer, told FoxNews.com that his organization’s investigation shows that the U.S. employee was in touch with “questionable characters” ranging from “unscrupulous businessmen” to people in the drug trade. 

Benschop said the officer was either part of a scam or “manipulated” into getting involved. 

He said one source close to the individual explicitly claimed he was trading visas for money — Benschop said rates were said to be as high as $40,000, though the officer presumably would have split that money with others. 

The Guyana Observer also reported last week on allegations that the official issued “dozens of visas” to Guyanese women for sex. 

Benschop told FoxNews.com that it might not have been a quid pro quo with the women — “not necessarily ‘have sex with me and I’ll give you a visa'” — but it came close. 

He also said the officer was removed from his South American post and sent back to Virginia recently, well before his assignment was scheduled to end in September. 

AFP previously cited “government sources in Guyana” as saying the official used a popular Georgetown, Guyana, restaurant and bar to conduct his business. Another local media report claimed the alleged visa scam may have been going on for months. 

The allegations conjure bad memories in Guyana, coming 13 years after a former U.S. embassy official — Thomas Carroll — was arrested, and ultimately imprisoned, on charges of selling U.S. visas for thousands of dollars apiece. 

Benschop explained that some in Guyana use the services of what are known as “backtrackers” — black-market operatives who charge money for people having difficulty obtaining a visa. They then coordinate with “corrupt” embassy officials, with whom they split the money, to facilitate the issuance of the visas. 

Benschop said the individual in question had been seen on trips with “known backtrackers.”

Hole opens on the street in Canada

Hole opens and swallows backhoe on the street in Canada

Panoramic image shows the backhoe immersed in the hole near the intersection of Montreal

A backhoe was swallowed by a big hole in Montreal in eastern Canada. The vehicle went through the stretch of road on the corner of Ste-Catherine and Guy when the ground gave way, as shown in pictures on Tuesday. A businessman reportedly told authorities of the town hall of the risk of transporting heavy equipment, without being heard.The driver of the backhoe was not injured but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Device driver was not injured but was taken to a hospital as a precaution

Buraco se abre no Canada

Buraco se abre e engole retroescavadeira em rua no Canadá

Imagem panorâmica mostra a retroescavadeira imersa em buraco perto de cruzamento de Montreal.

Uma retroescavadeira foi engolida por um grande buraco em Montreal, no leste do Canadá. O veículo percorria o trecho da via na esquina das ruas Ste-Catherine e Guy quando o chão cedeu, conforme mostram imagens desta terça-feira. Um empresário teria avisado autoridades da prefeitura da cidade do risco do transporte do pesado equipamento, sem ser ouvido. O motorista da retroescavadeira não ficou ferido, mas foi levado a um hospital por precaução.

Motorista do equipamento não se feriu, mas foi levado a um hospital por precaução.

Canadian citizenship not for sale

Canadian citizenship not for sale: Minister Kenney provides update on residence fraud investigations

The Government of Canada’s investigation into residence fraud continues to grow, with nearly 11,000 individuals potentially implicated in lying to apply for citizenship or maintain permanent resident status.

We are applying the full strength of Canadian law to those who have obtained citizenship fraudulently,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Canadian citizenship is not for sale. We are taking action to strip citizenship and permanent residence status from people who don’t play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a Canadian citizen.”

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has begun the process to revoke the citizenship of up to 3,100 citizens who obtained it fraudulently. Minister Kenney first announced the investigations last year. CIC is working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and Canadian offices abroad to tackle this fraud.

Today’s announcement is the end-result of the hard work done by the RCMP and CBSA, and they should be congratulated for their dedicated effort in bringing these charges forward,” said Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. “These efforts reinforce our government’s commitment to protecting the integrity of our immigration system.”

The Department has also been working on cases of those who are not yet citizens. Nearly 5,000 people with permanent resident status who are known to be implicated in residence fraud have been flagged for additional scrutiny should they attempt to enter Canada or obtain citizenship. The majority of these individuals are believed to be outside the country.

Permanent residents must reside in Canada for three years out of four years prior to applying for Canadian citizenship. To retain their status as permanent residents, they must be physically present in Canada for two out of five years with few exceptions.

In typical cases, permanent residents will use the services of an unscrupulous immigration representative to fraudulently establish evidence of residence in Canada while living abroad most, if not all, of the time. This is perpetrated so that individuals can fraudulently maintain their permanent residence status and later apply for citizenship. RCMP and CBSA criminal investigations have found that a family of five may pay upwards of $25,000 over four or more years to create the illusion of Canadian residence.

Finally, CIC has flagged the files of another 2,500 individuals where, for various reasons, there are concerns. These individuals will be watched closely should they make future applications. This makes a total of nearly 11,000 individuals tied to citizenship and residence fraud investigations.

To date, CIC and its partners have removed or denied admittance to over 600 former permanent residents linked to the investigations, and have denied about 500 citizenship applications where the applicants do not meet the residence requirements. Almost 1,800 applicants linked to the investigations have abandoned their citizenship applications as word about these investigations spreads.

We will not stand by and allow people to lie and cheat their way into becoming citizens,” added Minister Kenney. “I encourage anyone who has information regarding citizenship fraud to call our tip line to report it. There is no time limit for investigating this type of fraud.”

Over the past six years, Canada has had the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history. The Government of Canada is committed to creating an immigration system that brings the world’s best and brightest to Canada while protecting our immigration system against those who would abuse our generosity.

Cases involving false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances in the citizenship process—for example, pretending to be present in Canada to meet the residence requirements for obtaining citizenship—should be referred to the citizenship fraud tip line at CIC’s Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday). Tips may also be reported by email at Citizenship-fraud-tips@cic.gc.ca. Those overseas can also contact the nearest Canadian visa office.

All other types of immigration fraud can be reported to the CBSA’s Border Watch Tip Line at 1-888-502-9060. Tips accepted by the Border Watch Tip Line include, but are not limited to, suspicious cross-border activity, marriages of convenience, misrepresentation in any temporary or permanent immigration application, or the whereabouts of any person wanted on an immigration warrant.

For help in filing your application contact me at info@brxgroup.ca or call 416-560-1464 (Toronto). Visit our page on Facebook and follow us https://www.facebook.com/InvestorServicesAndImmigration.

See you soon.