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How to applying for your Canadian SIN card, health care card and more



By Gloria Suhasini

Along with all the tasks we have covered so far, applying for documentation such as your Permanent Resident card, your social insurance number, driver’s licence and health card will be important to cover during your first month in Canada.

Let’s start with the Permanent Resident card…

Receiving your Permanent Resident card 

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll have to give an address for where your Permanent Resident card is to be sent. This card gives proof of your residency in Canada If you don’t have an address, CIC’s website will provide you will instructions on how to get your card. If you don’t get your Permanent Resident card within 30 days of being in Canada (and having provided CIC with a mailing address), you should call them at 1-888-242-2100 (it’s toll free).

You should note that if you don’t receive your card within 180 days of the day you entered the country, you’ll have to reapply for the card and pay a fee. Make sure you take care of this identification document before any others in your first month in Canada.

Social Insurance Number (SIN) card

The next documentation you will want to secure is a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card. You will require a SIN card to work legally in Canada. Your SIN is a nine-digit number — it’s a good idea to memorize it when you get your card. To get an application for a SIN card, just visit the nearest provincial human resources centre or contact CIC at 1-888-242-2100 for more information. Your local settlement agency or post office will also be able to supply you with a SIN cardapplication form.

Finally, you can download the form online from All you have to do is fill it in and submit it online with this option. Human Resources Canada will send you your SIN card in the mail. Note that there is a processing fee for requesting a SIN card.

Health insurance card

Another very important form of documentation that you will want to secure in your first month is a health card. Each member of your family will need his or her own health card — this includes small children and newborn babies. Each province has its own healthinsurance card, so you will have to apply for one via your provincial ministry of health office. 

To apply, you’ll need to show your birth certificate or Confirmation of Permanent Residence and your passport. You can also use your Permanent Resident card as well. Before applying, check to see what documentation your province requires and ensure you have it on hand when applying. 

Also note that in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and New Brunswick, you will have to wait for 90 days before you can apply to a healthinsurance card. If you are settling in one of these provinces, it’s highly advisable that you secure private healthcare insurance in the interim. There are many options available to you, so do discuss this with a settlement agency representative or contact your provincial ministry of health office for advice on the bestinsurance company options to meet your needs. 

You can also go to any doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, pharmacy or hospital to obtain a form. It’s advisable that you connect with a settlement agency representative to help you fill out the form if you are unclear on any element of it, as this is a very important document. 

Your health insurance card will cover the following things: 

  • Hospital care 
  • Treatment and examinations performed by your family doctor
  • Many types of surgery
  • Many types of laboratory tests
  • Almost all immunizations
  • X-rays

However, your health insurance card will not cover: 

  • Various prescription drugs 
  • Dental care 
  • Prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses (in some provinces, your health insurance card will not cover visits to an optometrist, a.k.a. eye doctor) 
  • Ambulance services 

Note: When you gain employment, ask if your company offers a health benefits package, as many cover all or a portion of the cost associated with the services mentioned above that your provincial healthinsurance card does not cover. 

Driver’s licence 

In order to operate a motor vehicle in your province, you must obtain a driver’s licence. It’s the law — so if you do want to drive, get your driver’s licence first. You can use an international or foreign driver’s licence for up to 60 days in all provinces, but after that you will have to obtain a provincial driver’s licence. 

To start, you will want to contact the ministry of transportation in your province. Just go online and do a search for your province and “ministry of transportation” or call 1-800-387-3445 for general information on driver’s licences. 

Depending on the province, you may be subjected to going through training or a graduated system of testing (most provinces require this). Depending on your country of origin, you may or may not be subject to going through the fullapplication process for a driver’s licence. 

Note that the government does not pay for driver’s training and you may have to go to an accredited driving school in order to learn to drive if you do not know already (or if you do not have a friend or relative with a full licence who can teach you). 

Also note that in order to drive in any province, by law, you must have driver’s insurance from an accredited car insurance company. It’s also wise to keep a record of your car insurance from your country of origin that you will want to present to the insurance company when you apply for insurance, as many will note your experience and if you have a good driver’s record, it can help you get a better monthly payment rate. Yes,car insurance is costly, but know that it protects you and the other driver in case of an accident.

Canadian News

Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs



Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, left, and Toronto Mayor John Tory take part in a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting in Toronto on Wednesday July 25, 2018. Ten-year-old Julianna Kozis of Markham, Ont., and 18-year-old Reese Fallon of Toronto were killed in Sunday's shooting attack, and 13 other people were injured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.

While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.

At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.

We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.

Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.

We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.

A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.

Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.

We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.

We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.

We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.

Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.

Our emergency services keep people safe.

Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.

Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.

Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.

We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.

With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”

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Canadian News

Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality



Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.

Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.

Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.

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Canadian News

Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?



The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.

He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture.  That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries.  Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.

The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.

Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.

Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response.  However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.

Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth.  Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.

In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide?  Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed?  However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.

The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?

Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.

Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.

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