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Take a Free Ride with MiWay on New Year’s Eve

In the spirit of the holiday season, the City of Mississauga’s MiWay – invites people to ride its service for free from 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2012.

“Travelling on MiWay is also the perfect way to travel to and from the New Year’s Eve event at Mississauga’s Celebration Square.” Visit Celebration Square for more information.

For those travelling home after midnight, service hours will be extended on routes that depart from local malls, GO Stations and from the Islington Subway Station.

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Important Changes for Live-In Caregivers

Live-in caregivers will be able to get open work permits about 18 months sooner.

The Government of Canada has taken action to protect live-in caregivers from abuse and exploitation with regulatory improvements implemented in the Live-in Caregiver Program in 2010 and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2011. Changes include:

  • Allowing live-in caregivers to apply for permanent residence after 3,900 work hours, rather than two years of work, to ensure overtime is appropriately recognized;
  • The elimination of the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence;
  • Increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work obligations, from three years to four;
  • The adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime, holidays, sick leave, and the terms of termination and resignation;
  • Defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the caregiver’s travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance, workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees;
  • Emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately;
  • A dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the department’s Call Centre;
  • An assessment of the genuineness of the job offer, including confirmation that the caregiver would be residing in a private residence and providing child care, senior home support care or care of a disabled person in that household without supervision, as well as whether the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and whether the accommodations being provided are adequate; and
  • A two-year period of ineligibility from hiring foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, for employers who have failed to live up to the terms of past job contracts.
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Changes to Citizenship Ceremony

Starting December 12, 2011, you must show your face when you take the Oath of Citizenship at a citizenship ceremony.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials need to see you take the oath. If they cannot see you, you will not receive your citizenship certificate on that day.

In some circumstances, it is difficult to ascertain whether candidates are taking the oath because they are wearing a full or partial face covering.

As it is necessary to ensure that ALL candidates take the Oath of Citizenship, the following procedures are to be implemented immediately:

  • To facilitate the witnessing of the oath taking by CIC officials, all candidates for citizenship are to be seated together, as close to the presiding official as possible:
    • For larger ceremonies (50 or more candidates), additional CIC officials will be required to assist in the witnessing of the oath taking.
  • At time of check-in, all candidates wearing full or partial face coverings must be reminded that they will be required to remove their face coverings for the oath taking portion of the ceremony:
    • They are to be informed that failure to do so will result in the candidate not becoming a Canadian citizen on that day and not receiving their citizenship certificate.
  • The preamble message delivered by the clerk prior to the commencement of the ceremony must reinforce that during the taking of the Oath of Citizenship; candidates must be seen taking the oath in either English or French.
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Important Canada Pension Plan changes

Significant changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) will occur in January 2012 to reflect the way Canadians are living, working, and retiring. The changes will affect both employees and self-employed workers aged 60 to 70. The changes will not affect you if you are already receiving a CPP or Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) retirement pension and you remain out of the workforce.

What’s new?

Contribution changes (what you will pay):

  • All workers aged 60 to 65 will be required to make CPP contributions—even if they are receiving a CPP or QPP retirement pension.
  • Workers who are 65 to 70 years of age and who are receiving a CPP or QPP retirement pension will be required to contribute unless they have elected to stop their CPP contributions. To elect to stop contributing to the CPP, workers will have to be at least 65 years of age and do the following:
    • Employees (who may also have self-employment income) will have to complete Form CPT30, Election to Stop Contributing to the Canada Pension Plan, or Revocation of a Prior Election and give a copy to their employer. In addition, employees should send the original to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The election will take effect on the first day of the month after the employee gives the form to their employer.
      • Note: The CRA has been accepting Form CPT30 since December 1, 2011, but only from those employees who as of December 31, 2011 are at least 65 years of age and in receipt of a CPP or QPP retirement pension.
    • Self-employed workers will have to complete Schedule 8, CPP Contributions on Self-Employment and Other Earnings, when they file their income tax and benefit return for 2012 or any subsequent year. The election will be effective on the first day of the month referred to in Schedule 8.

Benefit changes (what you will receive):

Changes to CPP retirement pension benefits began in 2011 and will continue to be phased in until 2016. If you are retired, or are planning your retirement, go to www.servicecanada.gc.ca/cppchanges for tools and information on how the changes to CPP retirement pension benefits may affect you.

Statistics

  • Since 1998, Canada’s average retirement age has been increasing.
  • From a low of 22% in 1996, the employment rate of individuals 55 and older climbed steadily to 34% in 2010.

According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the average retirement age was 60.9 in 1998, and it rose to 62.1 in 2010.