Chris Alexander, minister of citizenship and immigration, issued a statement clarifying the government’s stance on this issue for quite sometime now. He added the country has been successful in making “important changes” after imposing the visa for the first time 4 years back. He stressed the action must be viewed as a significant expression of Canada’s commitment to support legitimacy in travel and trade. He cited Canada values its strong relation with European countries. He noted the decision to lift visas for Czech travellers is an important gesture. Canada lifted visas for the Czech Republic in 2007. However, it was imposed once again in 2009 after an alarming number of Czech people sought asylum in Canada. Most of them came from ethnic Roma as they claimed there was discrimination at home. Social Development, Employment and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney was the citizenship and immigration minister when Canada imposed visas on Czechs in 2009. Kenney said Thursday there were claims of unfounded refugees flooding from the Czech Republic during that time. The refugee system in the country has improved while the number of false claims was reduced. The European Parliament voted for the reciprocity clause in September. The clause is going to impose visas on nations which overburden member-countries with their people. Canada currently requires visas for European countries like Bulgaria and Romania, along with Czech Republic.
Canada beats U.S. in exhibition
The company says handlers at San Francisco International Airport took the dog out of his crate on Monday after his flight was delayed and the pet either slipped out of his collar or broke it. Air Canada says the dog, an Italian greyhound named Larry, bolted and was last spotted about 5 miles from the airport. TODAY IN THE SKY: Your bookmark for the day’s most interesting airline stories The local CBS TV station took interest in Larry’s disappearance and says it asked the airline about its procedures after obtaining a statement about the incident. Instead, the station says it accidentally received an email from spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick urging his colleagues to ignore the inquiry and what sounded like a jab at the U.S. government shutdown. “I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog. Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time,” the station said the e-mail read. Word quickly spread online, with many voicing their outrage over the company’s response. “If you ever fly with your pet, you might not want to choose Air Canada,” one wrote on Twitter. The airline addressed the controversy in a statement Friday. “Air Canada acknowledges inappropriate comments were made in response to a reporter’s follow-up questions for additional details regarding Larry,” it said.
Canada PM Arrives in Brussels to Conclude EU Deal
Not a bad trade,” Flaherty said at a dinner in Toronto on Thursday night. Flaherty has said that despite Europe’s struggles, Canada remains very interested because the EU is still the largest market in the world in terms of the size of its middle class. The Canada-EU deal would make it easier for Canadian companies to invest in, and sell to, the 17-member EU with its 500 million consumers. One thorny issue surrounding the deal was overcome earlier when Canada announced it would lift visa requirements for Czech nationals. The Czech Republic, which had threatened to block the free trade deal over the visa issue, welcomed the announcement. Canada reimposed visa requirements for Czech citizens in 2007 because of concerns over an excessive number of asylum seekers. Canada’s Ambassador to Prague, Otto, Jelinek, said his government wants to re-establish visa-free status “in the earliest possible term.” EU trade spokesman John Clancy said in an e-mail that the European Union and Canada hope to conclude the free trade deal in the “coming days.” Harper’s office said he was headed to Brussels with the hope of concluding a deal. He will meet with the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. Yves Leduc, director of international trade for the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said he’s been told by a Canadian government official that an agreement in principle has been reached and that the European Union’s 28 members and Canada’s 10 provinces have to approve it. Canada has agreed to permit a doubling of the EU quota on cheese exports to Canada in exchange for greater access for Canadian beef and pork producers. Leduc said Canada’s cheese industry is angry because it threatens the fine cheese market in Canada. “For the dairy farmers of Canada this is a deal that is unacceptable. We’re more than disappointed,” Leduc said. “It will allow significant access of high quality or fine cheeses into Canada, a segment that is supplied by the smaller or medium size cheese factories in Canada.” Harper has said that a free trade deal between his country and the European Union could help the EU establish a beachhead as the bloc embark on separate free trade talks with the U.S.
Caroline Ouellette and Jayna Hefford also scored, and Charline Labonte made 21 saves. “It’s incredible,” said Labonte, from Boisbriand. “I couldn’t have asked for more. To bring the Canadian team here against the Americans, I knew people would answer the call. We immediately felt their support. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was worthy of Boisbriand.” Brianna Decker, Kendall Coyne and Jocelyne Lamoureux scored for the Americans. Jessie Vetter allowed three goals on 13 shot in the first period, and Molly Schaus stopped seven of 10 shots in the final two periods. The game was the second of six between the teams before the start of the Olympic Games in Sochi in February. The Canadians won the opener 3-2 on Saturday night in Burlington, Vt. “We came out really strong and we had a great start and a lot of energy,” Wickenheiser said.