News Headlines – November 1, 2010

IMMIGRATION/SETTLEMENT/DIVERSITY

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program: Closed, but just temporarily (Canada Immigration Newsletter)
The Federal government declared a moratorium on the acceptance of new applications in the Federal Immigrant Investor Program on June 26, 2010. Now, four months later, Quebec has announced a moratorium in effect from October 13, 2010 on the acceptance of new applications under the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.
http://www.cicnews.com/2010/10/quebec-immigrant-investor-program-closed-temporarily-10806.html

Visa form too intrusive, Russia tells Canada (Globe and Mail)
A visa war may be on the horizon after Canada imposed new rules for getting into this country that require Russian applicants to describe their military service, which is against Russian law. Earlier this month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced a new uniform questionnaire that must be answered by anyone coming from a country where a visa is required to enter Canada.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/visa-form-too-intrusive-russia-tells-canada/article1777568/

A sign that Windsor celebrates its diversity (Windsor Star)
Calgary residents are beating their chests and basking in global acclaim for having shattered those tired old redneck cowboy stereotypes about Canada’s oil capital in electing Naheed Nenshi as the country’s first Muslim mayor. Well good for them. Two thumbs up. But from a Windsor vantage point, this is hardly trail blazing. Seven years ago this city elected its first mayor of Lebanese descent in Eddie Francis and this week it handed him a third term with a powerful mandate and, for good measure, voted in two new councillors, Al Maghnieh and Ed Sleiman, who happen to have been born in Lebanon but are as Canadian as a Tim’s cruller as well as passionate Windsorites.
http://www.windsorstar.com/business/sign+that+Windsor+celebrates+diversity/3752068/story.html

National Bank Financial Group Sponsors The 2010 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (PR Net)
National Bank Financial Group is proud to announce its first year of partnering with the 2010 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival. Through this initiative, National Bank becomes both Major Sponsor of the 14th edition of Canada’s premier pan-Asian international film festival, dedicated to presenting the best of Asian cinema to Toronto and Canadian audiences, and Presenting Sponsor of the November 14 Festival Closing Night Gala to be held at the Royal Theatre. The 2010 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival will take place from November 9 to 14 at selected participating theaters in downtown Toronto. “This is a great opportunity for National Bank Financial Group to show its support to Toronto’s cultural diversity and arts scene,” said Financial Group Marketing Manager Lucie Brouillette. “Its another example of how National Bank is truly part of the community in which we serve our customers.”
http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=525159&Itemid=29

Agency helps immigrants carve new lives in Canada (Toronto Star)
When Shi Fu Li arrived in Canada five months ago, everything from the currency to the cuisine to the customs were foreign to him. Aside from Christmas, there were no other traditions the Beijing born lawyer could relate to. But Cross Cultural Community Services in Mississauga is helping make the transition from the old world to the new much smoother. Through CCCS, Li is learning the difference between a Loonie and a dollar, how to get around on the transit system, HST, the banking system and where to buy a postage stamp. The organization, a United Way of Peel Region agency, helps new immigrants like Li settle. According to the 2006 census, Peel had the highest increase of immigrants between 2001 and 2006. Immigrants accounted for 49 per cent of the regions population in 2006.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/883811–agency-helps-immigrants-carve-new-lives-in-canada?asid=94419050

Taste of whats to come? Denmark struggles with racial tolerance (Toronto Sun)
If you want to know what the social, cultural and racial trend is in Europe and every country is different look no further than Denmark. No country adopted multiculturalism and ethnic tolerance with the enthusiasm and idealism of Denmark. Some countries had little choice but to accept an influx of people with different and conflicting values and mores. When its African colonies gained independence, and when Algeria broke away after a bitter war, France became home to millions of displaced Arabs… To a great degree it worked. But not with Muslims, who chose not to integrate, but to live in self-chosen ghettos where Danish liberalism and tolerance were seen as decadent and offensive. This all came to a head in 2005 when an obscure magazine published 12 political cartoons featuring Mohammed. Months later, streets in parts or the world ran with blood, the cartoonists lives were threatened, Islamic outrage caused the rest of the world to shudder, cringe and apologize for allegedly showing disrespect to the Prophet. Denmark retreated.
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/peter_worthington/2010/10/29/15884841.html

Diversity (Invest Toronto)
With a larger foreign born population that Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York, Toronto is a city of unmatched diversity and tolerance ( See Figure 1. Foreign Born Population). Diversity of race, religion and lifestyle help define and set Toronto apart from other global cities. It is home to virtually all of the world’s cultural groups and is a city where more than 100 languages and dialects are spoken. With over 200 distinct ethnic origins represented, the Toronto region is a true mosaic of cultures, languages, abilities, hopes and dreams. With 46% of the Toronto regions current population foreign born, and with over 100,000 immigrants settling in the region every year, Toronto promises even greater diversity in years to come. (with links to Maytree and DiverseCity)
http://www.investtoronto.ca/Quality-of-Life/Living-in-Toronto/Diversity.aspx

How Canadian Cities are Responding to International Migration – PPT (presentation by Livianna Tossutti, Brock University)
Analyzes municipal government discourse and policy responses with respect to immigration and cultural diversity in six Canadian cities
Develops a typology of local models of settlement and diversity management
*Normative premises underlying recognition of cultural diversity in public domain
*Breadth of responses
*Locus of authority
Accounts for variations in models
http://www.ssc.uwo.ca/mer/merprogram/presentations/Tossutti,%20L.%20-%20Canadian%20Cities,%20International%20Immigration.ppt

When it comes to the burqa debate, France should look to Canada (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News)
As the burqa controversy continues to make headlines in France, it is worth examining what France could learn from Canada, which has worked to reconcile freedom of religion with national security and women rights… Canada has a history of using reasonable accommodation when it comes to all religious and cultural practices, meaning that accommodations should be made for minorities, within reason. Stemming from a 1985 labor law, reasonable accommodation keeps norms in the workplace or in society flexible in order to avoid discriminatory practices. The primary objective of reasonable accommodation is to provide a society with security and peace while respecting and gaining a better understanding of its diversity.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=120984

Sways Women of Influence (DiverseCity blog)
Sway Magazine, a Toronto-based magazine, released a special issue this month showcasing black women of influence. Some of the leaders profiled are:
* Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean, the former Governor General of Canada (profile)
* Audrey Campbell, President of the Jamaican Canadian Association (profile)
* Janice Gairey, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Ontario Chapter (profile)
* Esther Enyolu, Executive Director of Womens Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham (profile)
http://diversecitytoronto.ca/blog/?p=595

What is a Canadian Citizen? (The Mark News)
These questions will be grappled with in a conference series commencing this month in Vancouver. The first installment of Citizenship from Coast to Coast to Coast will be hosted by the University of British Columbias Liu Institute for Global Issues and kicks off a collaboration with the Trudeau Foundation that will see sister conferences hosted in Iqaluit in spring 2011 and Halifax the following fall. Citizenship from Coast to Coast to Coast aims to spark a conversation about citizenship, to discuss what it means to be a member of a community and of a country, and to examine how notions of citizenship at the city level are related to and diverge from those at the regional and national levels. Four themes will be explored: the nation and the city; sovereignty and self-rule; belonging and inclusion; and language. Participants will be drawn from universities, governments, and the community sector, and an emphasis will be placed on integrating theoretical, practical, and applied perspectives on citizenship, while grounding the national conversation in this countrys diverse local and regional contexts. Canadas debate on citizenship too often occurs at the centre with its overly narrow and inward-looking vantage point. In this way, it excludes the countrys peripheries, fails to consider both urban and isolated regions, and does little to connect the many ways that citizenship is experienced and expressed. Its time to engage in a more responsible conversation about citizenship.
http://www.themarknews.com/articles/2949

REFUGEES

Canada hails Thai arrest of Tamils as warning to smugglers (Globe and Mail)
Authorities in Thailand say they have arrested another 100 Tamil migrants, and Canadas Immigration Minister says the bust ought to send a strong message to human-trafficking syndicates: Dont target Canada. Weve increased our police and intelligence presence in human-smuggling transit countries, including Thailand, Jason Kenney said in an interview, alluding to pre-emptive actions now being taken by federal agents.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-hails-thai-arrest-of-tamils-as-warning-to-smugglers/article1778228/

No watering down refugee-smuggling penalties, Kenney vows (National Post)
This underscores the fact that smuggling syndicates are very active in the transit countries, in Thailand in particular, and they continue to target Canada, which is why we have to act, Mr. Kenney said Friday. Mr. Kenney refused to discuss options for amending the legislation and said the government is committed to enacting measures to deter migrants from using criminal smuggling syndicates to get to Canada by treating them more harshly than other asylum-seekers after they arrive.
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/watering+down+refugee+smuggling+penalties+Kenney+vows/3748839/story.html

Analysis: Bill C-49 punishes asylum seekers (CCLA)
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has grave concerns regarding the governments new Bill C-49, which would cause significant and unjustified harms to people seeking safety in Canada. The aims of Canadas Immigration and Refugee Protection Act include: offering safe haven, facilitating family reunification, and granting fair consideration to refugees as a fundamental expression of Canadas humanitarian ideals, None of these aims are met in Bill C-49 which, rather than protect refugees, would detain them for very long periods without justification or review; would adversely affect the rights of children; and would, for no justifiable purpose, significantly detract from the ability of those granted refugee status to settle into their new home and all this in violation of international law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
http://ccla.org/2010/10/29/refugee-bill-punishes-asylum-seekers/

Hunt: Making room for unemployed, narcissist refugees (Calgary Herald)
Tamils stashed in boats are one thing. Somalis in flight from civil war — yeah, I get that, too. But celebrity refugees?
Yet thanks to a recent incident, fading celebs may make up our next great wave of immigration. In case you missed it, last week in Vancouver, Oscarnominated actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi filed an immigration claim to the Canadian government for refugee status, saying they feared for their lives in the U.S. because someone is killing movie stars. Cynics might view it as the desperate cry for help of an unemployed actor. Maybe — but either way, I’m thinking Quaid, brother of Dennis Quaid, is on to something here. After all, what are immigrants for, if not to fill in the gaps where a country lacks some sort of skill set?
http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Hunt+Making+room+unemployed+narcissist+refugees/3754045/story.html

In the wacky world of immigration, Quaid’s at home (Edmonton Sun)
His hearing is set to begin Nov. 8. Thats just fantastic, because the last thing Canadas immigration system needs is another embarrassing display of its flaws. Canada is the only country on Earth that considers asylum and refugee claims from the U.S. Some reports say there are hundreds of such claims every year, mostly from military deserters, fugitives from justice and the like. Each one of these claims ends up in front of an immigration and refugee board, which must review the case and determine its merits. The claims are rarely, if ever, accepted, and it all ends up being an enormous waste of time, government resources and taxpayers money. Meanwhile, real refugees from war-torn countries, oppressive dictatorships or disaster areas, who legitimately fear for their lives or safety, have to wait longer to get their cases resolved while the obviously bogus claims are being processed.
http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/columnists/andrew_hanon/2010/10/29/15883666.html

Canada’s Immigration Minister seeks Church aid for Iraqi refugees (Catholic Register)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is holding the gate open for Iraqi refugees another two years, and asking churches again for help. By extending the program aimed at Iraqi refugees, Canada could welcome another 8,000 Iraqi refugees in 2012 and 2013. They would join approximately 12,000 Iraqis who will have come to Canada between 2009 and 2011. Addressing the churches and other faith-based sponsorship agreement holders, Kenney told a Toronto news conference, Im asking you to get engaged. Do more. Raise more funds. Sponsor more refugees.
http://www.catholicregister.org/canada/canadas-immigration-minister-seeks-church-aid-for-iraqi-refugees

New Issue of International Journal of Refugee Law (Forced Migration)
Articles:
– Refugee Status Determinations and the Limits of Memory, by Hilary Evans Cameron [abstract]
-Bridging the Gap Between Refugee Rights and Reality: a Proposal for Developing International Duties in the Refugee Context, by Jeannie Rose C. Field [abstract]
– Waiting for Life to Begin: the Plight of Asylum Seekers Caught by Australia’s Indonesian Solution, by Savitri Taylor and Brynna Rafferty-Brown [abstract]
– UNHCR and Turkey, and Beyond: of Parallel Tracks and Symptomatic Cracks, by Marjoleine Zieck [abstract]
http://fm-cab.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-issue-of-ijrl.html

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

RCMP trying to diversify the force (National Post)
RCMP recruiters are making a big push into Canadas ethnic and minority communities after the forces senior managers set unprecedented diversity benchmarks last month. The benchmarks call for new recruits to consist of 30 per cent women, 20 per cent visible minorities and 10 per cent aboriginals. Recruiters across the country are reaching out to those groups through new print, television, radio and Internet ads in no fewer than 10 different languages, including Arabic, Portuguese, Ukrainian and Hindi.
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/RCMP+trying+diversify+force/3748956/story.html

CITY OF TORONTO/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Michael Coren wonders: Did *Diversity* bite back? (Toronto Sun)
Then comes one of the most delicious political ironies in decades. Multiculturalism bit back. The very diversity that the left has claimed to support dared to think, speak and vote for itself and decided that a man of the people was preferable to a man of the peoples masters. Ford not only won, he smashed his opponents and was declared Torontos mayor within eight minutes of the polls closing. The chattering classes are claiming this was because the white, angry, male and suburban people voted for him. Some did. But it takes more than that to win.
http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/michael_coren/2010/10/29/15881861.html

Reforming council: Cut it in half or elect it at large? (Toronto Star)
There seems to be no shortage of ideas for changing the size of Toronto City Council and the way it is elected. For instance, mayor-elect Rob Fords winning platform included a pledge to cut the number of Toronto city councillors to 22 from 44. As well, Liberal MPP Mario Sergio has a private members bill that would trim the size of council to 32, including an eight-member board of control elected through new mega-wards. Sergios bill would also impose a limit of two consecutive turns in office. Newly elected Ward 32 councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon also campaigned on limiting politicians to two terms and pledged last week to press for this reform as one of her first priorities in council. And I Vote Toronto, a coalition of urban activists and community groups, is continuing to push for extending voting rights in municipal elections to permanent residents who are not yet citizens.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/883393–reforming-council-cut-it-in-half-or-elect-it-at-large

Spacing Toronto Monday Headlines
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to the Election Aftermath, Transit, Transportation, City Building, Community, History, Law & Order and Other News
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2010/11/01/mondays-headlines-166/

TEDxToronto – Dave Meslin “Redefining Apathy” (YouTube)
How often have you heard that people don’t care? “The problem is that government puts too many obstacles in our way” [when it comes to being active and engaged citizens}. They also make civic engagement seem unappealing and dry. Imagine if retail ads were as unappealing and dry as government notices of meetings requesting public input on important issues?
http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDxTalks#p/search/5/LuHNVYW4tW0

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Anti-poverty activists take wait-and-see approach to Ford as mayor (Toronto Star)
Downtown Toronto may still be reeling from last weeks municipal election, but in the citys suburbs where Rob Ford swept every ward, anti-poverty activists and social service agencies are cautiously optimistic. Were hopeful, said East York mother Elise Aymer, of ACORN, a 20,000-member group of low- and moderate-income residents in the city which champions tenants rights, living wages and tighter rules for the payday loan industry. I think Rob Fords message of fiscal accountability resonated with many Torontonians of low- and moderate-income, she said. Aymer lives next to the ethnically diverse and economically challenged Crescent Town area, one of the citys 13 priority neighbourhoods targeted for social investment under outgoing Mayor David Miller.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/883651–anti-poverty-activists-take-wait-and-see-approach-to-ford-as-mayor

What are the levers for more equitable school systems (Canadian Education Association)
As SCOPEs Prudence L. Carter, one of the panelists at the forum, began her opening remarks about equity in education, she posed the question, What are the levers that allow us to move towards greater equity? She went on to explore the question by suggesting four: standards, reliable data systems, teacher quality, and effective strategies for low performers. The idea is that, if we continue to integrate appropriate sources of leverage into our school systems, then all students, especially those marginalized by virtue of race, gender, socio-economic status, and special learning needs will be raised to new and acceptable levels of success.
http://www.cea-ace.ca/blog/stephen-hurley/2010/10/5/what-are-levers-more-equitable-school-systems

SOCIAL INNOVATION

Task Force on Social Finance (CSI blog)
Social Finance refers to forms of capital intended to produce a blended value social and financial return on investment. There are new social finance instruments popping up all over the world, from CSI’s own “community bond” to the UK’s social impact bond (a pretty amazing innovation!). In Canada, despite the work of a few notable stand-outs (e.g., socialfinance.ca), the conversation hasn’t matured very far.
http://socialinnovation.ca/blog/task-force-social-finance

Feds rush to social media to engage public, but lock out their own staff (Winnipeg Free Press)
For bureaucrats used to filling out forms in triplicate and waiting days for approval to open their mouths, freedom in the form of 140 characters was a novelty. But then the Clerk of the Privy Council started tweeting. Since Wayne Wouters began using the social messaging site, his online presence has been taken as a call to thumbs by the public service. Tweeted one user: “When the Clerk is tweeting, it shows the rest of (the Government of Canada) that it’s ok for the rest of us.” Well, not quite. As government departments rush to embrace social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to connect with the public, there are different rules for individual public servants.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/sci_tech/feds-rush-to-social-media-to-engage-public-but-lock-out-their-own-staff-106365333.html

DIVERSECITY VOICES

Ontario Feed-In Tariff Program: $8 billion of Deals So Far (Greenenergycafe.com)
DEREK WONG, a Toronto based sustainability consultant writes.
http://www.greenenergycafe.com/?p=2416

Does the diaspora open the door to African identity? (Sway Magazine)
“The study of Africa within African studies and that of African diaspora studies have traditionally been taken to be distinctive fields. As a rule, when people speak of the African diaspora, they refer predominantly to the former slave diasporas in North America, Brazil and the Caribbean”. – ATO QUAYSON writes.
http://swaymag.ca/2010/10/does-the-diaspora-open-the-door-to-african-identity-2/

Fatherhood (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dalton Higgins about his latest book called, “Fatherhood 4.0 – iDad Applications Across Cultures”.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/2010/11/fatherhood.html

OTHER SOCIAL COMMENTARY

Lack of census data will imperil policy-making (Toronto Star)
Statistics Canada recently released population projections for Canada between now and 2036. The population of seniors is expected to double from its current rate to be about a quarter of the total population by 2036. The ratio of working age population to seniors would drop from about 5:1 now to 3:1 in 15 years and fall further to 2.5:1 by 2036. These projections confirm the consequences of lower fertility and mortality rates and the impact of Canadians living significantly longer. This backdrop explains the need for continued immigration, which has been an ongoing Canadian reality. The logic for current and future immigration goes as follows: beyond satisfying other objectives, such as family reunification and humanitarian needs, immigrants provide an economic contribution to the country that helps deal with the economic needs of the indigenous population that, according to projections, is stagnating in number as it ages. This raises a simple but natural question: have our immigration policies been able to meet this need? Given what we see in our population projections that immigration would be the principal source of population growth in Canada in future years this is a fundamentally important question. Data available from the long-form censuses of the past provide information that can be the basis for research on this question.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/883374–lack-of-census-data-will-imperil-policy-making

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marco

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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