Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 15, 2011


President of Maytree Foundation Ratna Omidvar retells her struggles upon arriving in Canada (Canadian Immigrant)
And Omidvar calls on immigrants to lead the way. “Government plays a huge a role, but people should lead. You can’t socially engineer integration; you can’t force people to be friends with each other. We have to think about who we have dinner with. We need to invite people into our homes. We need more neighbourliness.” Like Omidvar’s example shows, immigrants need to become leaders not only in their own stories, but the story of Canada as a whole.

Managing Immigration & Migration (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Julia Deans, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, about the Hague Process on Refugees and Immigration, which looks at how politicians and businesses manage migration. It’s at the centre of a discussion taking place today in Toronto.

DiverseCity Fellows unveil creative city-building projects (CivicAction)
The DiverseCity Fellows, a group of 25 rising leaders from across the public, private and non-profit sectors, have announced this year’s six collaborative city-building projects addressing a range of social and economic issues in the Toronto region.

Tories keep barking about Grits’ ‘affirmative action subsidy’ (Hamilton Spectator)
The Progressive Conservatives brought their attacks on the Liberal plan to hire “foreign workers” to Hamilton Wednesday. Hamilton Mountain PC candidate Geordie Elms and Elizabeth Witmer, the PC MPP in Kitchener-Waterloo, railed against a Liberal policy that would provide a subsidy to companies that hire immigrants.–tories-keep-barking-about-grits-affirmative-action-subsidy

Ontario’s Fight Over “Foreign Workers” (The Agenda)
A Liberal program that would represent less than 0.01% of the provincial budget is the biggest issue so far in the Ontario election campaign. What are the pros and cons of offering tax breaks to speed hiring of skilled immigrants?

Immigrant tax credit could shape Ottawa West-Nepean race (CBC)
The Ontario Liberal Party’s plan to offer a tax incentive to companies hiring new Canadians has added another spark to the provincial race in Ottawa West-Nepean. Talking with residents in the largely urban riding, the proposal from Dalton McGuinty’s government appeared to be on top of people’s minds, just as it has dominated the public debate between McGuinty and PC leader Tim Hudak.

RBC president guest speaker of Sept. 22 business luncheon (Inside Halton)
The upcoming luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 22 will feature Gord Nixon, president and CEO of Royal Bank of Canada. The Diversity and Inclusion: The Path to Achieving Our Full Potential luncheon event will see Nixon share his insights on why diversity matters, the success behind RBC’s activities, and how diversity can help spur growth and innovation, among other topics.–rbc-president-guest-speaker-of-sept-22-business-luncheon

CBSA wanted list results in first deportation (
A Jamaican man who was named on the Canada Border Services Agency’s most-wanted list has become the first fugitive removed from Canada since the list was released this summer.

Hindu groups oppose McGuinty tax credit (Toronto Sun)
A majority of Ontario Hindus are outraged by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s plan to issue a $10,000 tax credit to firms that hire immigrants, according to Hindu leaders. The Canadian Hindu Advocacy, in a statement, denounced the tax credit proposal saying community members are against the idea.

We rebuilt from a temple’s ashes (Hamilton Spectator)
Thursday, many Hamiltonians remember that awful Sept. 15, 2011, when arsonists firebombed the local Hindu Samaj Temple on Twenty Road, thinking it was a mosque. The arson came on the heels of the horrific tragedy of Sept. 11’s terrorist attacks on the United States, leaving thousands dead. That firebombing was 10 years ago today. This senseless act became a rallying call for Hamiltonians of all stripes to get up and be counted. And get up they did.–we-rebuilt-from-a-temple-s-ashes

Minister Kenney Calls for Smooth Transition to the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (Market Watch)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today called on the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) to do its utmost to ensure a smooth transition to the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), the new regulator of immigration consultants.

Canadian Human Rights Act amended to include Aboriginal citizens (McGill Daily)
The House of Commons passed Bill C-21 in 2008, allowing First Nations communities immediate access to the complaints process against the federal government, and affording First Nations governments a three year transitional period to allow for possible complaints against them. The Bill did not come into full effect until this past June, when the transition period ended.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada British Columbia/Yukon Region: Call for Proposals (Integration-Net)
This is to advise you that the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) – British Columbia and Yukon Region is issuing a request for Letters of Intent for Welcoming Communities Initiatives (WCI) under the Community Connections activity stream of CIC’s modernized Settlement Program, for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

The Cultures of Risk Tolerance (Social Science Research Network)
This study explores the links between culture and risk tolerance, based on surveys conducted in 23 countries. Altogether, more than 4,000 individuals participated in the surveys.

Breaking ‘the silence’ on internments (Montreal Gazette)
“The biggest motif in this story is the silence,” says Joyce Pillarella, an oral historian who has spent the last two years hunting down newspaper clippings and court records and talking to relatives of the Montreal men, all now dead, who were sent away when Canada went to war with Benito Mussolini’s fascist government. “They didn’t want to tell their kids what happened and perhaps hurt them. Men were men. They lived to their roles and they were ashamed because they were unable to live up to their responsibilities to their families.” Pillarella’s interviews are part of a national archive on the treatment of Italian Canadians as enemy aliens compiled for the Torontobased Columbus Centre, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Mosaic or not, multiculturalism is ‘integration’ (Times & Transcript)
Debate needed A thorough, high profile debate about multiculturalism would be healthy for Canada. What many promoters of ‘multiculturalism’ seek is not what most Canadians would support. It also isn’t always what the official Canadian policy on multiculturalism outlines. There is a need to dig deeper to discuss the most important issues rather than the too-often-highlighted superficial ones (should RCMP officers be allowed to wear turbans, for example).

Ottawa calls for probe of PEI immigration program (Globe and Mail)
The federal government is calling in the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to investigate allegations of fraud and bribery in a PEI immigration program that allowed hundreds of primarily Chinese nationals to buy their way into Canada.

Court backs Husky oil executive’s bid to get visas for his Nepalese servants (Globe and Mail)
Asim Ghosh, the chief executive at Husky Energy Inc., has successfully gone to court to force diplomats at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi to reconsider their initial decision to refuse the Chhetris temporary work visas. The case has shone a light into the world of temporary workers, a category of newcomers whose arrival has now outpaced permanent immigrants in Alberta, raising union fears that Canada is becoming a country of guest workers.

Immigrants doing well on education tests (Niagara Falls Review)
The newest arrivals to Niagara appear to be benefitting from redoubled efforts to build their reading, writing and numeracy skills. That’s what new data released by the province’s Education Quality and Accountability Office says about the District School Board of Niagara. Among a number of test scores, come the statistics about English language learners, who are new immigrants to Canada or children who speak a language other than English, for whom the board has set up plans to help improve their skills in the classroom.

Press related to yesterday’s FCM report release:

Cities press Ottawa to do more for immigrants (Globe and Mail)
Canadian municipalities say the federal government’s narrow focus on helping new immigrants with language training and employment assistance ignores the basic needs of people coming to Canada from abroad – including affordable housing and public transportation.

Immigrants need more affordable housing, transit: study (CTV)
The federal emphasis on integrating immigrants through language training and recognition of foreign credentials is far too narrow, says a new paper. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is proposing a new strategy for integration that would broaden the focus to include affordable housing and public transit.

Municipalities want a say in Canada’s immigration policy (Montreal Gazette)
Canada’s economic stability and growth risk falling apart if municipalities aren’t given a formal role in helping develop federal immigration policies, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said Wednesday.

Cities seek help to meet immigrant demands (Toronto Star)
Should affordable housing and public transit be counted — and funded — as a service for new immigrants? They are, according to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

More gov’t funding needed for immigrant support (Lethbridge Herald)
For refugees and immigrants from around the world, Lethbridge is a welcoming and accepting city. Local organizations and agencies have helped nearly 400 refugees settle in over the last three years, as they learn the language and ways of their new land. Now Canada’s cities, realizing that’s become an ongoing challenge, are urging more federal and provincial funding to help immigrants and refugees succeed. In Lethbridge, officials say they’d welcome that kind of assistance.

Municipalities shut out (The Province)
Canada’s economic stability and growth risks falling apart if municipalities aren’t given a formal role in helping develop federal immigration policies, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said Wednesday. “Canada’s economic future is tied directly to our ability to successfully attract and retain new immigrants. Every immigrant’s arrival is an economic and social investment in our future,” says a federation report that describes municipalities as “the frontline, first responders for many immigrants’ needs.”


C-4 – Anti-smuggling or anti-refugee? (CLEONet)
On 16 June 2011, the government reintroduced the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act as Bill C-4 (formerly Bill C-49). Despite the title, most of the provisions in the bill punish refugees, not smugglers. The people who will suffer if this bill is passed are people fleeing persecution, including children.

Call for papers: Restructuring refuge and settlement: Responding to the global dynamics of displacement (immigrantchildren)
The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University hosts the 2012 Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) conference May 16-18th at York U, Toronto. From the call for papers: “The 2012 CARFMS conference will bring together researchers, policymakers, displaced persons and advocates from diverse disciplinary and regional backgrounds to discuss the issue of restructuring refuge and settlement witha view to better understanding how migration policies, processes andstructures responds to the global dynamics of displacement. We inviteparticipants from a wide range of perspectives to explore the practical,experiential, policy-oriented, legal and theoretical questions raised byrefuge and settlement at the local, national, regional and internationallevels.

New Issues/Free JRS Articles (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
A list of new and available articles related to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants.

Mexican mother faces deportation this week (Montreal Gazette)
She fled for Montreal on a flight paid for by her father in 2006 and applied for refugee status. A psychiatrist treated her for post-traumatic stress, and prescribed medication for her anxiety and depression. She found an apartment in Point St. Charles, a full-time restaurant job, a husband. The medications, which she takes to this day, allowed her to eat and sleep again. She gave birth to two children, now age 2 and 4. “For the first time, I am living a normal life without violence, without aggression,” she said. “I’m starting to feel like finally there is something good in my life. After 30 years.”


Ontario bishops push poverty on to election radar (Catholic Register)
In “Your Right to Be Heard: A Guide to the Ontario Election — 2011” (download the full statement here), the bishops urge Catholics to ask candidates about poverty reduction strategies, homelessness, unemployment and “basic income that is sufficient for food and housing.” They also remind Catholics of their duty to vote. “It is inconceivable that people would consciously decide not to vote,” the guide said.

Toronto’s cost-cutting proposals will have serious impact on the health of vulnerable people, warns Medical Officer of Health (Wellesley Institute)
In his in his review of the potential health impacts of Toronto’s Core Service Review, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David McKeown, has cautioned that some City of Toronto cost-cutting proposals will have a serious health impact on the city’s most vulnerable populations.

Does a rising tide sink all boats? (Vancouver Sun)
This week, the Conference Board followed up that first report with one that looked at income inequality on a global scale. In that report, Canada was ranked as a country with “medium” income inequality. We were just below the U.S., which was on the cusp of moving into the ranks of countries with “high” income inequality. But Canada’s rate of growth in income inequality, the report stated, was now greater than that of the U.S., while the growth rate in the U.S. had slowed. We were closing the gap on our neighbour to the south, the one we love to criticize for its obscene gulf between rich and poor. But so what? Does any of this matter? So what if the rich get richer here? Isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about improving the economy, so everyone has the opportunity to see their incomes rise?

Income inequality rising faster in Canada than many of its peers (Metro Winnipeg)
A new study says Canada is rapidly catching up to the United States as a country divided between haves and have-nots. The Conference Board says income inequality has been rising more in Canada than in the United States since the mid-1990s, and faster than in many peer countries. In fact, the think-tank says Canada had the fourth-largest increase in income disparity among a sample group of 17 advanced economies during the period.–income-inequality-rising-faster-in-canada-than-many-of-its-peers

End of’s Canadian Road Trip and My Most Sincere Thanks to Everyone (Hardly Normal)
Being honest, I never thought the donation of land to feed people experiencing poverty from the first road trip could be topped. But then this year one of the biggest highlights was CDI College now giving full-ride scholarships to low or no income people. And as if that wasn’t enough, helped create Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. CAEH is still in the foundation stages, but Canada did not have national support to help people at the local level fighting poverty. The road trip ending in St John’s, Newfoundland, 3 three mayors from around Canada signed proclamations to join in the national fight to end homelessness. More mayors are soon to join, and the end result will be thousands of lives being saved.


Location of Study and the Labour Market Success of Immigrants to Canada (Statistics Canada)
Building upon this hypothesis, this study examines from a multivariate perspective, whether and how the location of postsecondary study influences the relative labour market success of immigrant workers in Canada, i.e., their employment status, earnings and education-job match rates, relative to those for the Canadian-born. To proceed, we: (i) take advantage of information on location of highest educational attainment first collected by the Census in 2006; (ii) restrict our population of interest to people between 25 and 65 years of age; (iii) focus on locations of postsecondary study that make up 95% of our target population, i.e., Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, India, China, Pakistan, Poland, France, South Korea, Romania, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Russian Federation, Germany and Iran; (iv) identify seven mutually-exclusive labour force statuses, i.e., not in the labour force, unemployed, self-employed, undereducated employee, correctly-matched employee, overeducated employee and school attendee.

Employee or “Self-Employed” Know the Difference. Know Your Rights! (Workers’ Action Centre)
An increasing number of workers who call our Workers’ Rights Information Line are being misclassified as “independent contractors” or “self-employed” in the labour market. We wanted to highlight this important issue in today’s edition of our E-bulletin as this can have many negative consequences for workers accessing basic employment protections and rights.


Thursday’s Headines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, City Budget Cutbacks, Mayor’s Approval Rating, Development, Traffic & Transit and Other News.

Think as a Region (CBC Metromorning)
Matt Galloway spoke to Carol Wilding, President & CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade, about a new report that looks at what the Toronto region needs from the next Ontario government.

Letter to Toronto City Council’s Executive Committee: Proposals regarding Toronto Port Lands plans (CivicAction)
As you consider proposals to assume planning and development control for the Toronto Port
Lands, we are writing on behalf of the thousands of civic leaders involved in CivicAction to strongly
urge you to not make any irrevocable changes to existing plans without first undertaking a
rigorous process of public consultation. The proposed changes to be discussed at your next
meeting are very significant, are not well understood and were not the subject of any substantive
debate or discussion in the last municipal election campaign.

Cities Grow Ontario (Martin Prosperity Institute)
The Cities Centre, Innis Urban Studies Program, and Martin Prosperity Institute (all at the University of Toronto) along with contributors from universities across Ontario, have just released Cities Grow Ontario: Urban Challenges and Prospects. The report is meant to draw attention during this provincial political season to the role of cities in generating Ontario’s prosperity and the impact that urbanization has across the entire province.

Recipe for Community makes vibrant, yet underserved, neighbourhoods stronger (Vital Signs)
The success of Recipe for Community lies in its collaborative nature – it’s a neighbourhood revitalization initiative that builds on residents’ ideas, as well as being a partnership between Toronto Community Foundation and the City of Toronto, with support from community and corporate sponsors.


TakingItGlobal launches new initiative to strengthen Youth Movements (McConnell)
Foundation grantee, TakingITGlobal, in collaboration with the Global Youth Action Network, and the Knight Foundation, are launching, a project that will aggregate and showcase youth-led and youth-serving projects globally.

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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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