"As a new oleh to Canada..."
A "new oleh" and an "immigrant" aren't synonyms. Sorry, you pressed one of those buttons which gets me going. Canada isn't the HolyLand. This may play well in North America, but it's a real dud where the Bible took place. I'm very disappointed to read something like that in a Torah blog, but it doesn't surprise me. For years, decades actually, I've said that for questions about Israel and aliyah it should be forbidden to ask a chutz l'Aretz (out of the HolyLand) rabbi. By not keeping the mitzvah of yishuv Ha'Aretz, settling the Land, he disqualifies himself.
But don't let that stop any of you from reading Havel Havelim. Please do read it and all the posts included.