• Canada Spousal Sponsorship,  Immigration Lawyer,  Mississauga Immigration Lawyer,  Spousal Sponsorship

    IRCC Says 80% of Spousal Sponsorship Backlog Now Cleared

    You have successfully immigrated to Canada. Now, you might be thinking about bringing your family members, such as your spouse to live with you. However, the very thought of applying for spousal immigration would make one feel very irritated and disturbed. The reason behind these feeling is very simple. It was mainly because the Spousal Sponsorship Immigration Program would take a lot of time to get processed.

    According to Mississauga immigration lawyer, previously for spousal sponsorship application to get processed, lot of time was wasted. Initially for processing the application, almost two years was needed. However, IRCC claims that with some recent changes within the Spousal Sponsorship program have made the processing time very fast. Now, a person in order to get united with their spouse won’t have to wait for that long.

    mississauga immigration lawyer

    Why Is There A Backlog?

    Studies have shown that spousal sponsorship program/ application often faces a backlog. According to a study, the reason behind the backlog is mainly due to the wrong decisions which are often taken by IRCC and the federal agency. Lack of proper communication between them often leads to an application getting delayed.

    For instance, during the year 2014, IRCC came up with the decision that the inland spousal sponsorship case should be handed by another organization in Toronto and not Alberta which was initially handling it. It was one of the main reasons, when the waiting time for the application started to grow.

    Another reason which has been cited by Mississauga immigration lawyer was when the agency handling the immigration application decided to come up with a new form. Even candidates who successfully filled and submitted the old form before the introduction of new one, was asked to fill the new form.

    immigration lawyer

    What Canada Aims To Do?

    Backlogs of spousal sponsorship program are a very common thing. However, the Canadian government recently announced that it has been able to clear 80% of the backlog. The announcement which was made by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, tries to harp on the point that the government believes to unite the immigrants with their family members as quickly as possible.

    Mississauga immigration lawyer tries to point to the prospective clients that previous backlogs of the applicants have been easily overcome. The applicants received the decision about immigration from the visa office. It has been made possible because of certain changes within the spousal immigration policy.


    Ways It Has Been Overcome

    Now, Canadians who is having a foreign spouse don’t need to worry about the long waiting time. One needs to wait for only a few months and maximum 1 year. This has been made possible because of some changes within the application form. With the changes, Mississauga immigration lawyer feels that the immigration office could process the forms much faster.

    Now, one would need to submit a police certification and declaration form at the very beginning. With fewer questions and documents required, the processing request would become fast.

    When you are planning to bring your spouse, taking the help of Mississauga immigration lawyer can be helpful. They can guide through the immigration process properly.

  • women and leadership network

    CAAWS Recognizes Influential Women of 2015

    The 2015 Year of Sport has come to an end, and CAAWS is pleased to announce its annual Most Influential Women List.

    Ottawa, January 21, 2016 – Following the “2015 Year of Sport in Canada” the CAAWS Most Influential Women List recipients are demonstrating their influence from coast to coast and from provincial to international levels in all roles of sport and physical activity. These women have made a significant impact in their areas of expertise and are role models for future generations.

    “After an exciting Year of Sport in Canada, we have seen some very positive shifts with women taking on more leadership roles that influence sport at the highest level, and female athletes showing their influence on and off the field, said Karin Lofstrom, Executive Director CAAWS. “We are excited as well to expand our CAAWS Most Influential Women List to showcase our new Wall of Influence which will recognize women who have had an ongoing influence in sport in Canada and have been on our list 5 or more times.”

    The CAAWS Most Influential Women List of 2015 is as follows (in alphabetical order):
    Full profiles and photos available for editorial use:
    • Stacey Allaster, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Toronto, ON
    • Dr. Julia Alleyne, Chief Medical Officer, TO2015, Toronto, ON
    • Brenda Andress, Commissioners of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Newmarket, ON
    • Rachel Bedingfield, Co-Chair, WomenActive-NS, Gaspereau, NS
    • Martha Billes, Chairman Emeritus, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charity, Calgary, AB
    • Chandra Crawford, President and Founder, Fast and Female, Canmore, AB
    • Guylaine Demers, Chief Organizer, Conversation 2015 Women and Sport, Quebec City, QC
    • Waneek Horn-Miller, Pan American Games Chef de Mission, Kahnawake, QC
    • Kaillie Humphries, Olympian, Athlete Ambassador, Calgary, AB
    • Sue Hylland, President and CEO, Canada Games Council, Ottawa, ON
    • Lorraine Lafrenière, CEO, Coaching Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON
    • Rachel Lewis, COO, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver BC
    • Dr. Margo Mountjoy, Vice President, UANA, Guelph, ON
    • Kelly Murumets, President and CEO of Tennis Canada, Toronto, ON
    • Michele O’Keefe, President and CEO of Canada Basketball, Toronto, ON
    • Karen O’Neill, CEO of Canadian Paralympic Committee, Ottawa, ON
    • Christine Sinclair, Captain, Canadian Women’s Soccer, Burnaby, BC
    • Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee, Vancouver, BC
    • Hayley Wickenheiser, Member, IOC Athletes’ Commission, Shaunavon, SK
    • Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, Richmond Hill, ON

    In addition to the Most Influential Women List, CAAWS also highlights emerging leaders in Canada, as the Ones to Watch. These game-changers are making a difference in sport and physical activity, and we are eager to see the great things that will continue to come from these strong individuals.

    • Kadeisha Buchanan (Toronto, ON), Member of Canadian National Soccer team, 2015 BMO Canadian Female Player of the Year
    • Sasha Gollish, (Toronto, ON) 2015 Academic All-Canada, Bronze Medallist at Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games in 1500m
    • Brooke Henderson, (Smiths Falls, ON) #18 in the world, LGPA card at age 17
    • Kia Nurse, (Hamilton, ON) Member of Canadian National Basketball Team, Gold Medallist at Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games and 2015 FIBA Americas
    • Aurélie Rivard, (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) Para-swimmer of the Year (Swimming Canada), 7x Medallist at Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games

    Congratulations to the new 2015 CAAWS Wall of Influence inductees!
    Profiles and photos found here:
    Charmaine Crooks
    Melody Davidson
    Clara Hughes
    Nancy Lee
    Anne Merklinger
    Chantal Petitclerc
    Carla Qualtrough
    Beckie Scott

    The CAAWS Most Influential Women List is voted on by a CAAWS selection panel, compiled by both public nominations and contributions from knowledgeable sport and physical activity leaders. The panel reviews the submissions and bases its decision on accomplishments and scope of activities in the 2015 calendar year. This is the 14th edition of the list. Previous lists can be found at: http://www.caaws.ca/influentialwomen/e/past_lists.htm

    The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.

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    Ottawa, May 31, 2016 – After completing a thorough search for the new leader, CAAWS is excited to welcome Allison Sandmeyer-Graves as the new CEO of the organization.

    “I am privileged to announce the hiring of Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the non-profit sector to CAAWS”, said Jennifer Fenton, Chair of the CAAWS Board of Directors. “We believe Allison is the right leader to leverage CAAWS’ extensive expertise, resources, programs and relationships to fundamentally influence gender equity in Canada’s sport and physical activity system. With growing public concern for achieving gender equity, CAAWS is well-positioned and poised to support organizations and stakeholders to respond and adapt constructively. Allison’s leadership during this pivotal time will be key to realizing the real and lasting change that we seek on behalf of all Canadians.”

    Sandmeyer-Graves joins CAAWS after a decade in senior leadership roles with Free The Children, a Toronto-based organization that built and leads a national and international movement challenging the status quo for young people and their communities. She brings with her significant experience in scaling social impact through innovative partnerships, programming, fundraising and operations. Her past work includes designing the year-long program to accompany the We Day events across Canada, engaging and supporting young people to raise millions of dollars and contribute volunteer hours to Canadian causes annually in a coordinated effort.

    Sandmeyer-Graves’ academic and professional career has largely focused on supporting excluded populations to access opportunities and assert their rights and entitlements. She is thus steeped in CAAWS’ core values and principles. For Sandmeyer-Graves, the sport and physical activity system is an ideal point of influence to improve the lives of Canadian women and Canadian society as a whole.

    “I believe that sport and physical activity offer powerful avenues for people to realize their full potential in every area of life. Involvement in sport and physical activity from a young age was key to me developing a strong sense of self and of community. My goal is for every girl and woman to feel as encouraged and well-supported as I was then and am today,” said Sandmeyer-Graves. “CAAWS’ achievements over the past 30 years in advancing equity for women and other marginalized groups to benefit from and contribute through this space is remarkable. I am honoured to carry this mission forward.”

    “Allison’s experience helping to develop a national movement will without a doubt assist her in CAAWS’ mission to achieve gender equity across the sport and physical activity sector in Canada,” said Fenton. “She is focussed on making a positive impact in this field, and we are confident she will.”

    A detailed bio for Allison Sandmeyer-Graves can also be found on the CAAWS website.

    CAAWS thanks Lighthouse Search for their exceptional work in leading the CEO search process.

    The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.

  • women and leadership network


    Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, has been appointed to the Canadian Senate. OTTAWA (Friday, March 18, 2016) – The Canadian Paralympic Committee congratulates Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission for Team Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, on her appointment to the Canadian Senate.

    “On behalf of the Paralympic community, I would like to congratulate Chantal for this appointment,” said Gaetan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.  “Chantal is such a strong role model for all Canadians.  She is recognised around the world for her Paralympic achievements and her leadership both on and off the field of play. We are very proud to have Chantal lead our team at the Paralympic Games in Rio in September. Her professionalism, passion and commitment to excellence has and will continue to have a positive impact on our Canadian athletes. We are confident that she will carry on these strong attributes in her new role as Senator.”


    Chantal Petitclerc (Montreal, Que., originally from Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Que., coached by Peter Eriksson), para-athletics: Petitclerc is one of the most successful athletes ever in Paralympic sport. She competed at five Paralympic Games (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and won 21 medals, including 14 gold, in wheelchair racing. In 2008 she won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year and was named Canadian Press’ female athlete of the year. Petitclerc is a public speaker, broadcaster and athlete mentor, currently serving as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

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    Karin Lofstrom to step down as Executive Director of CAAWS

    After almost 20 years with the organization, Executive Director Karin Lofstrom has announced that she will be stepping down at the end of March, 2016.Karin Lofstrom has been with CAAWS since 1997. She held the position of Operations Manager until 2002, and then expanded her leadership role in the industry as the Executive Director. She has been the dedicated face, leading expert and a passionate voice on gender equity for girls and women in sport.  Karin has received many well-deserved awards and a great deal of industry recognitions, all while continuing to raise awareness and increase the numbers of girls and women participating and leading in sport and physical activity.

    “Karin has been an invaluable leader to the organization. Her collaborative style has supported the development of strong partnerships throughout the Canadian sport and physical activity sector, contributing to the gains achieved for gender equity. We know Karin will continue to be an influential advocate and ally for girls and women as she pursues other professional and personal interests. Karin’s departure comes at a time of exciting new opportunities for CAAWS, and she is committed to facilitating a smooth transition for the new Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors as CAAWS continues to grow and broaden its impact,” says Jennifer Fenton, Chair of CAAWS.

    “I have been fortunate to work at CAAWS where I have followed my passion daily – to improve sport for girls and women as participants and leaders,” Lofstrom stated. “I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many of the great women sport leaders of our time. I have appreciated working with all the fine men, women and organizations who are dedicated to ensuring gender equity for girls and women in sport. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a job they enjoy so much. We have definitely seen a positive advancement made over the years, but I know there is still much more work to be done. I am leaving CAAWS, as I am interested in having the flexibility to work on specific projects, and to spend more time with my family and friends. I will continue to be involved in sport as a contractor and/or volunteer and will also work on my golf game.”

    The new CEO Position Call can be found here and at www.lighthousesearch.ca.

    The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders.  CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders.  Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.

  • women and leadership network

    CAAWS CEO – Position Profile

    The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is accountable for the leadership and management of all activities and operations advancing the vision, mission, values and strategic plan of CAAWS Women in Sport Canada.

    CAAWS has a solid foundation and a supportive Board who recognize the importance of bringing innovation to the organization. You will engage with key stakeholders to effectively communicate the value and relevance of the CAAWS brand, programs and initiatives.  As the CEO you will ensure our value proposition attracts sponsors and partners to support the vision and long-term strategy of our Association. You are ultimately in charge of growing awareness and support for the organization and its mission.

    As a leader, you will attract, recruit, develop and retain the staff and volunteers that will help you achieve best-in-class objectives.  You will inspire this team to support and add value to all participants and partners to which we are accountable. You will also leverage your recognized status as a thought leader to continually advance our position and be a positive contributor to the future of equity in sport in Canada and globally.

    You are comfortable operating in a smaller, not-for-profit organization where you will influence the future success of the business.  You have a proven track record of leadership, developing new business, sales and marketing, and customer service. You are recognized for connecting sponsors with properties to advance business objectives.  Your energy and enthusiasm are infectious.  People enjoy being around you because you are friendly, confident and approachable.  You possess a unique blend of operations, business savvy and sales skills, with creativity, superior relationship building skills and a genuine passion for sport participation and equity in Canada.


    Vision and Strategy

    • In cooperation with the Board, develop and implement an operational plan to achieve the Associations’ short-term and long-term business objectives.
    • Establish a business model that maximizes revenue.


    • Manage the day-to-day duties of the organization.
    • Creatively and effectively use all the talent available to achieve objectives and fulfil initiatives.  Leverages the staff, volunteers, Board and partners.
    • Ensure there is a clear accountability process, best practices, and reviews are in place and effectively utilized.

    Sponsorship and Partnerships

    • Continue to expand and strengthen crucial partnerships and funding. Maintain highly productive relationships with strategic private/public partners.
    • Identify, prepare and submit compelling applications for government grants and funding.
    • Responsible for leading the acquisition, maintenance and retention of corporate partners and sponsors to increase self-generated revenue.
    • Ensure that exceptional service is provided and that all contractual obligations are met with private/public partners.

    Marketing and Communications

    • Lead overall marketing and communications strategy and activities that are focused on the monetization of assets and increasing the awareness of the issues, our brand and mission.
    • Act as the key spokesperson and become an extension of the brand.
    • Communicate the vision, mission and plans effectively to all stakeholders including the Board, staff, and external key stakeholders to ensure that mutual interests are served and objectives achieved.
    • Align communication to ensure that our messaging is consistent and supports our brand.

    Programs and Initiatives

    • Ensure programs, content and workshops are focused on supporting the vision and mandate of the organization, and that they can be monetized.
    • dentify and target key demographic groups.  Provide initiatives to meet their needs and address gaps in the provision of services and support for girls and women.
    • Align and collaborate with other organizations that empower girls and women.

    Network / Relationship Management

    • Work effectively with the staff, Board of Directors, partners, and key stakeholders to accelerate the realization of the CAAWS vision and strategic plan.
    • Seek input and perspective on key issues and projects and be an active listener who builds consensus.

    Operations and Finance

    • Effectively manage the Associations operations to ensure all business objectives are met and continuous improvements occur.
    • Ensure there are sound financial processes and budgetary disciplines in place, including identifying and implementing cost and efficiency improvements.
    • Manage the preparation of annual reports and other documents on behalf of the organization.



    • Believes in gender equity.
    • Five to seven years of progressive operational and business experience within a sport organization, sports related business, not-for-profit, or member based organization.
    • Relevant undergraduate degree in business or sport administration, finance, human kinetics, health and recreation education or related field.  A Master’s degree would be considered an asset.
    • Brings an understanding of women’s issues and diversity issues faced in sport.
    • An entrepreneurial mindset with strong business acumen and operational experience.  Has developed and successfully executed an operational plan that supports the achievement of an organization’s objectives.
    • Demonstrated ability to work with government and in the political sport arena.
    • Intellectual capacity and professional stature to lead an organization. Operates with an understanding that responsibilities might change over time and has the breadth of capabilities to allow for effective leadership in all areas of an organization.
    • An innovative thinker and visionary with the ability to engage and inspire others while staying focused on moving the agenda forward.  Leads and motivates others to achieve the goals of the strategic plan.
    • Strong marketing and sales experience with proven success activating a brand and driving revenue through multiple sources.
    • Has been responsible for revenue generation with the demonstrated ability to identify, pitch and close deals.
    • An outstanding team builder with abilities to seek out, nurture and build partnerships within and outside the sport and physical activity sector.
    • Knowledge of government grant/funding application processes and has successfully taken the lead on submission(s).
    • Strong advocacy skills to continuously advance the vision of an organization.
    • Strong written and oral communications, public/media relations and events expertise.  Brings a charismatic presence and is an adept public speaker who will enhance the image of the organization.
    • Has effectively supported the requirements of a Board and its members.  Brings an understanding of governance and experience working with a voluntary Board.
    • Operates with fiscal responsibility demonstrating strong budgeting, business planning and resource management skills. Has experience with the challenges of an organization undergoing growth during difficult financial times and knows how to get things done with limited resources
    • Solid project management skills and effective time management and prioritization skills. Develops long and short term plans.  Plans, organizes and monitors performance according to priorities with the ability to multi-task and set/reset priorities.
    • Demonstrated ability to use sound judgement and decision making skills.
    • Approaches problems from a solution-oriented standpoint and acts with tact and sensitivity.
    • Non-territorial with a successful track record of performing effectively in a team setting. Driven by team success as opposed to personal success.
    • Moves comfortably in all circles and relates well to a wide range of people with an ability to manage and influence strong personalities.   Has excellent relationship building skills and ability to leverage connections in support of the organizations’ mission.  Will ensure that you have a seat at the table and that parties are receptive to your message.
    • An achiever, goal-oriented, sets high standards and is very focused on achieving results. Has the energy to invest what it takes to deliver, day in and day out.
    • Resourceful.  Will do whatever it takes to get things done.
    • Confident, has strength of character and commitment to the highest standards of professional and work ethics.
    • Has an outgoing personality; is approachable, friendly and open.
    • Bilingual (English/French) is preferable.


  • women and leadership network

    Here’s Why Women Who Play Sports Are More Successful

    Studies have shown that girls who play sports are more likely to graduate from college, find a job, and be employed in male-dominated industries.

    According to research by Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, approximately 70% of children in the U.S. are dropping out of organized sports before the age of 13. This is particularly alarming for women because studies have shown that girls who play sports are more likely to graduate from college, find a job, and be employed in male-dominated industries.

    EY research shows that among senior business women in the C-suite today, 94% played sports and over half played at a university level — suggesting a strong correlation between their success in sports and their success in business. In fact, of the 400 women EY surveyed, 75% said that a candidate’s background in sports positively influenced their decision to hire them. These women put a particular premium on female athletes because they know — very personally — how participating in sports can impact work ethic. So to have young women drop out of sport at an early age is not only an alarming statistic, it is a wake-up call for parents. Their girls could prematurely be walking away from something that could have a bigger long-term effect.

    These statistics have caused me to reflect on my own experience as a young athlete, and specifically the role my parents played. I was a four-sport athlete in high school. I played basketball, softball, tennis, and golf. My true passion was softball, but basketball was an intercollegiate sport. I eventually decided to pursue basketball in college at Purdue and leave the other three sports behind. But my parents never tried to make me pursue just one sport. I loved the variety. I only narrowed to one sport in college when, as a scholarship athlete, it was necessary.

    My father empowered me to play. He and my mother showed up to every game. They truly cared. And I loved having them there. I can’t imagine a world where they weren’t there. But there was never an expectation. They just loved watching me play. And I loved them watching me. Often, my father and I would discuss my performance after games, but only if I wanted to. I would ask him questions, and he would answer. We discussed ways I could improve, and he would practice with me in our backyard. He knew I didn’t need to be told I had made a mistake, but rather understand how not to do it again. And he would help me with that.

    There’s no doubt that it was my parents’ interest and support that encouraged me to continue playing sports throughout my childhood. Their interest was pure joy, not judgment or unfair criticism. They were all in because I was all in. When I was younger, organized sports was still novel for girls. When my friends quit playing, and dropped out to be “more like girls,” I kept going. And my parents went with me. I never wanted to stop, so I didn’t. And I know that the nonjudgmental, joyous support of my parents was a huge factor — not only in my success as an athlete, but also in my professional success today.

    I’m not alone in accrediting my career success back to my experience as an athlete. Later this week, I’ll be taking part in a discussion at the NFL Women’s Summit with Claire Shipman, television journalist and co-author of The Confidence Code. Claire and I will be among women leaders from business, government, sports and a variety of other fields taking part in what promises to be an amazing exchange of ideas.

    In Claire’s words:

    “Something happens when girls play sports — they embody the experience of not just of winning, but the critical experience of losing. It’s that process of carrying on and clearing hurdles that really builds confidence. It’s an incredibly useful proving ground for business and leadership.”

    That “something” happened to me when I played the sports I chose. And it was the constant support I received from my parents that made possible the success I’ve experienced. Our EY research is further proof that there is a strong connection between sports and women’s leadership at the highest levels. So I encourage all parents to think hard about encouraging your daughters to stick with sports — your decision could affect the rest of their lives.