The latest news on global employee mobility - June 22, 2017

June 22nd, 2017

NEWSLETTER: GLOBAL EMPLOYEE MOBILITY

CANADA

On June 19th, Bill C-6, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act, received Royal Assent.

As of June 19, applicants must no longer intend to continue living in Canada after obtaining citizenship, giving more leeway to Canadians who have to live abroad for personal or professional reasons. Other modifications to the Act, effective immediately, include abrogating the power to revoke the citizenship of those with dual nationality who have been found guilty of a crime against national interest. Citizens living in Canada with dual nationality who are accused of such a crime will face the Canadian justice system just like every other Canadian that breaks the law.

Some of the changes, expected to come into effect later this fall, will give more room to manoeuvre to younger and more elderly applicants who wish to obtain citizenship.

For more information, read the government’s press release here.

Express Entry to begin awarding additional points to candidates with siblings in Canada and to candidates with strong French language skills

Effective June 6th, improvements to the Express Entry system will help support the integration of skilled workers as they begin their new lives in Canada. Indeed, new points will be awarded to candidates with siblings in Canada. Other changes include awarding points to candidates with strong French language skills, removing the requirement to register with the Job Bank, and a new approach to rank tied candidates in the Express Entry pool.

Feel free to contact our team with any questions about these changes. To read the news release, click here.

Trade deficit shrinks to near zero as exports jump to record

This past march, Canada’s trade deficit was estimated at $135-million, a near billion dollar improvement in comparison to the $1.1-billion deficit last February. The resurgence in demand for Canadian goods stems from commercial partners other than the United States.

With the exception of the United States, exports to our most important trade partners increased by over 15% in March, notably due to a weak Canadian dollar.

In this article, however, several economists suggest that the increase in Canadian exports must be interpreted with caution, mainly because of the instability that the president of the United States may provoke with his administration’s potential trade restrictions.

Click here for the full article.

Trump nominates key donor Kelly Knight Craft as U.S. ambassador to Canada

Mr. Trump picked Kelly Knight Craft for the post in February and had the State Department vet her, but did not formally nominate her until last Wednesday.

When Ms. Craft will be installed in Ottawa is unclear. She must first have her nomination reviewed by a Senate committee before coming before a vote in the full chamber.

Her appointment comes at a pivotal time in U.S.-Canada relations. The two countries are gearing up to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement, the pact that regulates the vast majority of Ottawa’s foreign trade. Mr. Trump has fired rhetorical shots at Canada in the run-up to the talks, accusing Canadians of “taking advantage” of the United States under the deal.

The United States has been without an ambassador to Canada since January, when Mr. Trump asked all of former president Barack Obama’s envoys, including then-ambassador Bruce Heyman, to step down before Mr. Trump took office.

Read more by clicking here.

Federal government urged to create oversight bodies for border agency

In a recent report, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association proposed the implementation of two independent oversight bodies to deal with complaints against Canada’s border officials.

This report explains that “deplorable conditions” in detention facilities and “egregious officer conduct” have led to “a worrying number of deaths of migrants in detention.”

The federal government has held consultations on the matter, but were unable to come to a consensus.

To read the article in the Toronto star, click here. To read the BCCLA report, click here.

UNITED STATES

U.S. punishes American firm after its Canadian subsidiary leases cars to Cuban embassy in Ottawa

A recent case in Ottawa illustrates that the re-initiated American sanctions against Cuba affect businesses outside the United States, including Canadian ones.

The cause of the dispute is a series of 13 lease agreements between Honda Canada Finance, Inc. and the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa. Despite being a Canadian company, its transactions are subject to U.S. law and sanctions, as it is a majority-owned subsidiary of the American Honda Finance Corporation.

U.S. law, however, may conflict with Canadian laws. Therefore, Canadian companies that have business dealings with Cuba have a tough road to navigate.

Do not hesitate to contact our team with any questions. Click here to read more.

Trump Reverses Pieces of Obama-Era Engagement With Cuba

On June 16th, the president of the United States announced that he was reversing some of the open market policies with Cuba, and that he will reinstate the commercial and travel restrictions on the island governed by Raul Castro.

The new policy nevertheless allows the American embassy in Havana to stay open, and changes nothing for Cuban-Americans who wish to travel or send funds to Cuba.

To read the full New York Times article, click here.