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Hausse du nombre de réfugiés mineurs qui arrivent au Canada non accompagnés

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Élisée Makola avait 15 ans lorsqu’elle a quitté la République démocratique du Congo.

Deux ans plus tard, elle est arrivée seule à l’aéroport international Pearson de Toronto avec une seule valise remplie de vêtements tropicaux, décrit-elle.

Il y avait le risque d’être persécuté et tué. Je l’ai vu. Je me suis dit que si j’avais la chance d’y échapper, je la prendrais.

Élisée Makola

La jeune femme, qui a maintenant 23 ans, explique avoir été séparée de sa famille dans un climat de violence et d’instabilité dans son pays natal. Elle s’est enfuie en Zambie puis s’est ensuite rendue jusqu’au Canada.

Khalid Sadiqi, originaire de l’Afghanistan, avait 17 ans lorsqu’il est arrivé au Canada. Il a fui seul son pays en 2015, inquiet pour sa sécurité alors que les talibans commençaient à faire des gains territoriaux.

Portrait de Khalid Sadiqi qui regarde au loin.Khalid Sadiqi est arrivé au Canada à l’âge de 17 ans après avoir fui l’Afghanistan. Photo : CBC / Evan Mitsui

Il explique que la décision a été difficile à prendre étant donné qu’il est le plus jeune d’une famille de huit enfants.

Il s’est rendu aux États-Unis, a pris un autobus de New York à Buffalo et a ensuite traversé à pied le pont Rainbow jusqu’à Niagara Falls, au Canada.

Ça peut être si difficile de quitter son pays. Les défis peuvent être liés à la langue, la culture, la façon dont les gens vivent.

Khalid Sadiqi

Il affirme que l’organisme Matthew House à Toronto, qui accueille des réfugiés, a grandement contribué à son accueil et à son intégration et que les gens qu’il y a rencontrés sont devenus sa nouvelle famille, après des années difficiles loin de ses proches.

Un problème en expansion

La fondatrice de l’organisme Matthew House, Anne Woolger, et militante de longue date pour les immigrants, constate que l’arrivée de réfugiés mineurs non accompagnés est une problématique relativement récente.

Je ne me souviens pas de les voir arriver comme cela il y a 30 ans, affirme-t-elle.

Anne Woolger regarde par la fenêtre en souriant.Anne Woolger a fondé, en 1998, l’organisme Matthew House pour les réfugiés. Depuis, l’espace a été aménagé et peut désormais héberger une dizaine de mineurs non accompagnés. Photo : CBC / Evan Mitsui

Elle remarque que de plus en plus d’adolescents viennent se réfugier au Canada et qu’ils partagent tous des histoires similaires de persécution et de torture dans leur pays d’origine.

La plupart des réfugiés qui arrivent au pays sont parrainés par le gouvernement ou le secteur privé, mais ceux qui se présentent à la frontière sans l’avoir annoncé au préalable doivent s’organiser seuls à leur arrivée.

Anne Woolger souligne que ces adolescents non accompagnés sont souvent laissés à eux-mêmes, sans endroit où loger.

Elle ajoute que dans ces circonstances, plusieurs se retrouvent dans la rue, une réalité qui l’inquiète.

Avec les informations de Nazima Walj de CBC

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Ottawa unveils funding for poultry and egg farmers hurt by free-trade deals

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Canadian egg and poultry farmers who’ve lost domestic market share due to two recent free-trade agreements will soon have access to $691 million in federal cash, Canada’s agriculture minister announced Saturday.

Marie-Claude Bibeau shared details of the long-awaited funds in a virtual news conference.

“Today we position our young farmers for growth and success tomorrow,” she said.

The money follows a previously announced $1.75 billion for the dairy sector linked to free-trade deals with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim, one that came into effect in 2017 and the other in 2018.

The dairy sector funds were to flow over eight years, and the first $345 million payment was sent out last year.

But on Saturday, Bibeau announced a schedule for the remaining payments that will see the money flow over three years — beginning with $468 million in 2020-21, $469 million in 2021-22 and $468 million in 2022-23.

Bibeau said the most recently announced funds for dairy farmers amount to an average farm of 80 cows receiving a direct payment of $38,000 in the first year.

Payments based on formulas

David Wiens, vice-president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, said the money will help farms make investments for the future.

“I think particularly for the younger farmers who have really struggled since these agreements have been ratified, they can actually now see opportunities, how they can continue to make those investments on the farm so that they can continue on,” he said.

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Employee of Ottawa Metro store tests positive for COVID-19

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Metro says an employee of its grocery store on Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa has tested positive for COVID-19.

The company says the employee’s positive test result was reported on Nov. 25. The employee had last been at work at the Metro at 50 Beechwood Ave. on Nov. 19.

Earlier this month, Metro reported several cases of COVID-19 at its warehouse on Old Innes Road.

Positive test results were reported on Nov. 2, Nov. 6, Nov. 11, and Nov. 19. The first two employees worked at the produce warehouse at 1184 Old Innes Rd. The other two worked at the distribution centre at the same address.

Metro lists cases of COVID-19 in employees of its stores and warehouses on its website

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Tinseltown: Where 50-year-old ‘tough guys’ become youngsters again

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Audy Czigler wears glitter like a Pennsylvania miner wears coal dust. It’s on his face and hands, in his hair and on his clothing. It’s an occupational hazard that he says he just can’t get rid of.

And when he’s sifting through job applications from people wanting to work at his Tinseltown Christmas Emporium on Somerset Street W. in Hintonburg, the glitter is a consideration. For he’s not looking for people who can simply endure it; no, he’s screening for people who revel and carouse in glitter, for those for whom the 10,000th playing of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is as refreshing as the first, for those who believe that the 12 days of Christmas last 365 days a year. The believers.

Sure, he has heard the voices of skeptical passersby on the sidewalk outside his shop, especially in the summer months when visions of sugarplums have receded from many people’s minds.

“I hear them out there a few times a day,” he says, “wondering how a Christmas store can possibly survive year-round.

“I want to go out and tell them,” he adds, but his voice trails off as a customer approaches and asks about an ornament she saw there recently, of a red cardinal in a white heart. Where is it?

There’s scant room for sidewalk skeptics now, crowded out by the dozens of shoppers who, since October, have regularly lined up outside the store, patiently biding their time (and flocks) as pandemic-induced regulations limit the shop to 18 customers at a time.

Once inside, visitors will be forgiven for not first noticing the glitter, or even the rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside playing on the speakers. For there’s no specific “first thing” you notice. The first thing you notice is EVERYTHING — a floor-to-ceiling cornucopia of festivity, reminiscent perhaps of how the blind man in the Gospel of John may have felt when Jesus rubbed spit and mud in his eyes and gave him sight for the first time.

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/tinseltown-where-50-year-old-tough-guys-become-youngsters-again

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