Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Naturalization Process Update

Last Friday I went to the police station! yes, I received a convocation from the Police department.  I was really stressing out before the meeting.  When I received the letter the date was wrong, it was written Thursday 18th of September.  I called to check if the date was right and they admitted over the phone that the policeman was distracted and the meeting was actually scheduled on April 18th.  They asked once again for documents and identity cards.  My husband came also.  It took 20 minutes and the poliman was dressed casually without his uniform.  I admit, my first encounter with a police officier was stressful, but since he wasn't in uniform I felt more at ease.

I had to bring my "lettre de motivation" (motivation letter), describing my journey since the day I first arrived in France, jobs and school.  I didn't know what to write, so I googled and found some examples.  I had to search a little on the appartments I lived in France, etc. The interview was casual, he asked for my papers from the start, then proceeded to ask me questions on my life in France.  He tried not to ask too much private questions, must the subject of having (or not) children came up as I was expecting it, the activities that I do with my spouse, and how we met.  Then, we felt enough at ease to ask him questions on the process.  We were wondering why he needed all those documents since I have already submitted them to the Préfecture, a couple of months ago.  He said that it is a way to see if the person is motivated enough for naturalization process.  He prepared his speech for a person who is from C a m b o d i a, but he was surprised that I was actually Canadian.  He immediatly changed his interview and was more casual.  Usually he interviews people who have difficulties speaking French.  Then he gives me an approuval opinion (avis favorable).  He said you speak French fluently, have a job, you are not a difficult case, plus you come from North America.  He told us that people from North Africa are easily granted French citizenship, due to their mutual past history.  The ones who have more difficulties are from Eastern Europe, even if they speak French fluently, they have more difficulties to gather documents for their naturalization dossier.  Another important question was "what motivates me to ask for citizenship".  I did not say that is it because I didn't want to stand in line for hours at the Préfecture to renew my carte de séjour.  I just said I wanted to be more part of this country, since I've been living here for a while and that I wanted to vote.  I don't know if they will grant me citizenship, but the hardest part was to gather all the documents they wanted.  I don't know what is next, I think the Préfecture will send my dossier to the Interior Ministry and will start to examine my application.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Little update on Q u é b e c Elections

When I woke up this morning I was pretty happy about  Quebec's election results.  They got rid of P. Marois and the péquistes.  The political strategists didn't chose the right tactics to win.  It was a mistake to copy right wings ideas from Europe.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

La belle p.r.o.v.i.n.c.e

This Monday, I returned once again to the Préfecture to sign another document (my name, husband's name, our parents names), the presence of my husband was mandatory, since it is a naturalization by marriage.  It took us 5 minutes top.  Then the fonctionnaire told us they will launch the precedure for investigation, and told us to not to be surprised if a policeman shows up at our house.  It was kind of shocking to hear that.  Who knows how long this process will last and if they will grant me the French passeport or not.  

Deep in my mind, I would really like to return home, but then again, I'm still here, because of this business we run in France.  

Sometimes I wonder how things would be if I return home.  Where would I live in Canada?  I grew up in Québec, in Outaouais, a region that is mainly "federalist", where a lot of people work for the Federal Government.  In Québec, the hope of forming a country still exists.  As immigrants, my parents never adhered to this concept.  Quebecers have the right to feel this way, it is part of their heritage. Then there was an opportunity for my parents to move to Ontario, just across the province border and they really like their new province, I followed them.  My sister, who chose to live in Montréal, wanted them to move closer to her when they will retire. 

I can help but watch regularly on TV5, the news from Montreal.  The ones who are in power in Québec, are the ones I hated so much.  After only one year and a half in place, the current prime minister of Québec (P.a.u.l.i.n.e M.a.r.o.i.s) is launching new elections for the province, to obtain majority.  She wants to create a "charter of values", I don't know if  this is the right term, but this charter mainly targets minorities.  All provincial public servants will not be allowed to show any regilious signs when working, i.e. hijabs, cross, kippas, etc.  This chart goes even against the "Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms".  I don't live in Québec anymore, it's been more than 15 years since I left, but I grew up there, I am Québécoise, I have the accent. Québec, like the rest of Canada, has a lot of immigrants, they just want to be treated equally, like other citizens.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Verts de rage

These days I'm pretty obsessed with House of cards.  If you haven't heard of it, it is a politic series. There's a another show I enjoyed a lot, is Borgen, a danish serie.  The recurrent themes of those shows are lobbies, media, rumor, manipulations, schemes.  I think this isn't too far from reality.  

Our business is still suffering from the French government decisions, we are victims of political schemes and nuclear lobbies once again.  The state-owned energy  provider is taking action to suppress any growth of green energy in France.  French authority likes to say that our energy is the cheapest in Europe.  At what cost you think?  By preventing green energy to develop, and de facto destroying jobs.  Also, French government often deploys armed forces in Africa, not so much for freedom and helping out Africans, but to secure their uranium (for nuclear plants).  

Whether we vote for the left or the right wing here, the story repeats itself.  We had so much problems with governement laws for solar energy, since we have started, and now Holland has decided to cut off incentives without any notice.  To sum up, last year Holland decided to protect French solar panel industry, by limiting chinese solar panels imports.  He decided to give incentives to the ones who decide to buy european solar panels.  All solar installers and manifacturers followed, but we knew that they are playing with fire by not playing the rules of World Trade Organization, but now we are facing a back-out of the French government.  

The truth is that we are reaching a point where green energy costs less than nuclear energy.  Nuclear lobbyists don't even have to convince the government to cut off subsidies for green energy.  The governement owns partly E.D.FLots of studies have shown that green energy costs less than nuclear, plus, the impact on the environment is less destructive.  If a wind turbine is defective, it only takes a day to take it down.  How do we demolish a nuclear plant? The French don't have the answer.  They take down one piece at the time, put the pieces in bins, and dig a hole and throw the bins in it. 

Other european countries, like Germany took a green turn, since the Tchernobyl catastrophe. France on the other hand, prefers to pursue this nuclear madness.  The environmental party in France is too weak, and have no power whatsover.  We foolishly believed Holland when he said  that he will close down the oldest nuclear plant in Alsace, and he hasn't done anything yet.

If you read French, here's some infos:

Friday, January 31, 2014

Appointment at the Préfecture

Hi, just a quick update on the naturalization application.  I went today for my appointment at the préfecture and it went relatively quickly.  My husband had to be present.  The fonctionnaire took all my papers, but she wasn't enthusiastic about the photocopy of my father's birth certificate.  I told her that I have asked her colleagues by phone several times about not being able to provide an original copy, and it was also mentioned on their website that in some cases, photocopies of parent's birth certificates are accepted.  You can expect different informations from each fonctionnaires.  The other lady scratched one document off the list (of application dossier) and today this document was needed, our last income tax return.  I don't know if I've done enough so far, but it was a long process for me.  If I was born on a country where there was no war and easy access to civil registration, well the process would be a lot easier.  

Not a long time ago, you would have to hand in documents that are less than 3 months-old, which is impossible to do if you were born on a third world country.  Although things in Canada were not really fast either, for my criminal record, it took me more than 3 months to get it. (from finger prints at the Embassy and the waiting period from Ottawa). I'm glad that I made my application through a small "sous-préfecture".  The Préfeture in Lille is too crowded.  I can't imagine applying in Paris.  The fonctionnaire told me that they have only one naturalization application to process and it was mine, that's how small the sous-préfecture is, or maybe people are not in a hurry to apply for citizenship.

That's it for now, I will have to wait several months, or years?!  En tout cas, le sort en est jeté.

*fonctionnaire = public servant