More Americans heading north

By JIM FOX, Times Correspondent
Published August 5, 2007

In numbers not seen since the Vietnam War, Canada has become the promised land for thousands of American immigrants.

The number of U.S. citizens moving to Canada was at a 30-year high last year at 10,942 and double the number admitted seven years ago.

In comparison, the number of Canadians moving south dropped sharply last year to 23,913, down about 6,000 from 2005.

The Association for Canadian Studies based in Montreal compiled the statistics that executive director Jack Jedwab said shows many of the Americans are increasingly well educated with half having college degrees.

He suggested the immigration pattern reflects the U.S. economic downturn along with social and political considerations.

The politics of war also played heavily from 1970 through 1974 when Canada admitted between 22,000 and 26,000 Americans a year, many of them Vietnam draft dodgers.

Canada now is "undoubtedly narrowing the brain drain" as the most educated immigrants arriving are from the United States and fewer Canadian professionals are leaving, Jedwab said.

Most of the arrivals settled in Ontario followed by British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.

Praise on Afghanistan

Canada has been applauded for its efforts in war-torn Afghanistan by President George Bush.

"The president thanked the prime minister Stephen Harper for Canada's steadfast support for the people of Afghanistan," presidential spokesman Tony Snow said after a 20-minute phone call between the two leaders.

The chat was in advance of the leaders' summit in Montebello, Quebec, on Aug. 20 and 21 when Harper hosts Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon for private talks.

In brief

- The ruling Conservative Party will be able to gauge its support in two midterm elections in Quebec. Voting is set for Sept. 17 in Outremont and Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot to fill vacancies in the House of Commons.

- The Canadian government is no longer in the telephone business as it will allow competition in most local markets. The major phone companies say the deregulation will allow them to lower prices and offer more services.

- Jesse Imeson, 22, who was one of Canada's most-wanted fugitives, has been arrested in the woods near Port-du-Fort, Quebec. He was featured on America's Most Wanted after being accused of murdering Windsor, Ontario, bartender Carlos Rivera, 26, and William Regier, 72, and his wife Helene, 73, at their farmhouse in Mount Carmel, Ontario.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar turned higher on Friday after Statistics Canada reported that June's building permit value was $6.9-billion, the second-highest month on record.

The dollar traded at 94.83 cents U.S. while the American greenback was worth $1.0545 in Canadian funds.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate remains at 4.5 percent while the prime lending rate is 6.25 percent.

Canadian markets are lower, with the Toronto Stock Exchange index at 13,565 points and the Canadian Venture Exchange 3,081 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 7, 21, 23, 37, 43 and 48; bonus 35. (July 28) 1, 5, 17, 32, 39 and 45; bonus 40.

Regional briefs

- Royal Dutch Shell is planning to invest up to $27-billion to expand its oil sands project in northern Alberta.

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a brief visit to the Dunville area of eastern Newfoundland that was damaged by post-tropical storm Chantal on Friday.

Jim Fox can be reached at canadareport@hotmail.com.