Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 28, 2011


Let’s Talk: A Language Interpretation Toolkit for Service Providers in Ontario (CLEONet)
This electronic “toolkit” is one of the most comprehensive of its kind, and will provide invaluable support to service providers across the human services including health, legal, education, employment and social services. We hope that you will participate in promoting its use by disseminating information regarding the toolkit to your stakeholders.

Racism is alive and well in Canada (Montreal Gazette)
The recent staging of blackface at an institution of higher learning in Montreal is disturbing, to say the least. But it can serve as a potent reminder of the ongoing legacies of racism and racist cultural practices against blacks in the west – and yes, this includes Canada. As a professor of (among other things) Canadian art history, I can state unequivocally that there is a profound deficit of knowledge of Canada’s racist past among university-aged students in Canada. When I introduce topics such as the vast visual culture of transatlantic slavery to my mainly white Canadian students, the majority initially approach the materials exclusively from a perspective of American and Caribbean slavery. It is always a moment of shock when they learn that Canadians (French and British) for centuries also enslaved peoples of African and native descent.

Ontario leaders spar on jobs, taxes in televised debate (CTV)
McGuinty spent much of the debate defending his record. But he put Hudak on the defensive over what he described as the PC leader’s attitude towards “foreigners.”
Hudak used the term earlier in the campaign in referring to a Liberal program that would give tax breaks to companies that hire professional immigrants. Hudak defended himself by saying it was the Liberals who had originally used the term to describe the program.

No shark fin soup for you (Cape Breton Post)
Its been suggested that a Canadian ban on imported shark fins would hardly register as a blip within the international shark fin trade in that 95 per cent of the market is in China but that shouldnt preclude the federal government from making a strong statement on an egregious practice by imposing such a ban… It will take the support of the Conservative party, with its majority in the House of Commons, to impose a ban on importing shark fins into Canada. It remains to be seen whether the Conservatives who are looking to China as a market for Canadian seal products and who make a priority of courting the ethnic vote will support the initiative.

Immigrants strive to improve their language, writing skills to succeed in a new land (Leader-Post)
Attempts to attend English-as-asecond language classes were also interrupted by her medical condition. In addition, as the spouse of someone on a student visa, Ibrahim did not have easy access to immigrant services. Now, she says, she is much happier. She became a permanent resident in 2008 and has taken further ESL classes. As the busy mother of four children, she still spends much of her time at home, but she says, “My English is getting better. I have focused more on speaking and listening than on reading and writing. Now, I am with Frontier College and their programs are so good. I am not depressed any more

Structural Transformation & Critical Investments in First Nations on the Path to Shared Prosperity Pre-Budget Submission, 2011 (First Perspective)
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) appreciates the opportunity to outline First Nations priorities for the 2012 Federal Budget. Building on previous pre-budget submissions, which have variously focused on demonstrable need in child and family services, health, housing, water and capital infrastructure, environmental stewardship, economic development, social development and housing, we emphasize that a fundamental transformation of the relationship between First Nations and Canada is required in order to achieve better results for First Nations. It is clear that change needs to happen in Canadas approach to First Nations.

Canada can benefit from more immigration (Vancouver Observer)
An effective immigration policy can lead to a renaissance of ideas, initiative, and investment throughout Canada. The five pillars of an effective immigration policy can include strategies to fill labour shortages; attract investor immigrants; reunite children and families; provide humanitarian relief for people escaping persecution; and help populate and develop socially and economically depressed areas. My principle of sustainable immigration basically means that Canada should aim for the right mix of the above five pillars to maximize the net benefit to the country while taking into consideration the needs of the global immigrant community.

Saluting community leaders (Hamilton Spectator)
Six local citizens are to be honoured for their leadership this fall with induction into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction. The gallery made the announcement Tuesday. Its board of directors looks at a broad range of areas when selecting honourees, but all are people who contribute to the city of Hamilton, typically through volunteer work, their profession or community leadership, said board member Andrea Farquhar.–saluting-community-leaders

Agents of Change – 2011 Winners (Centre for Social Innovation)
At CSI, we’re in the business of helping people who are making the world a better place. With the support of ING Direct, we launched the 2011 Youth Agents of Change Competition last spring to find 20 outstanding youth who were making a difference in their communities and across the city.

Immigrants welcomed by county (Barrie Examiner)
Immigrants are being welcomed to Simcoe County with open arms. The county’s new local immigration partnership launched its community consultation process on Tuesday with a day of roundtable discussions and brainstorming at the Simcoe County Museum. The county is one of 45 jurisdictions in the province that has been engaged by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to host a partnership which are intended to develop local partnerships and community-based planning around the needs of current residents and newcomers

More religious pamphlets for government workers (Toronto Sun)
Ontario government officials say the success of an employee guide to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has prompted other publications for workers who celebrate Diwali, Christmas and Easter.

Race And Ethnicity (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Denise Balkissoon, she is a Toronto writer and co-founder of The Ethnic Aisle blog. The talk on “downtown versus suburbs, race and ethnicity” starts tonight at 6 p.m. at the 519 Community Centre on Church Street.


Jason Kenney: Our plan to combat human smuggling (National Post)
Last week, the House of Commons began debating a bill to crack down on the dangerous crime of human smuggling. Unfortunately, this bill has been widely misunderstood and even misrepresented by special interest groups, and by the opposition, who are effectively filibustering it. I am confident that when the hyperbole and inaccuracies are cleared away, Canadians will support the balanced approach the government is taking to address this threat to our generous immigration system.

Kenney hopes human smuggling bill will pass before Christmas (Embassy)
Mr. Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews often make announcements together these days. Expect more of the Kenney-Toews duo this fall, as Mr. Kenney says he hopes to see legislation tabled to streamline and speed up the process of removing foreign criminals. These changes come amid a constant emphasis on economic immigration that Mr. Kenney says will continue. Embassy sat down with him in his East Block office Sept. 21 to explain these changes and more.

CIC travelling refugee exhibit launches in Toronto (Canadian Immigrant)
Travelling across the country to promote World Refugee Day, Citizenship and Immigration Canadas (CIC) refugee exhibit has finally landed in Torontos North York Central Library on Tuesday. Featuring photos and stories of refugees who were able to start anew in Canada, the tour, according to the CIC, highlights Canadas long tradition of providing a safe haven to refugees.


SmartSAVER update: Toronto families to receive vouchers for Canada Learning Bond dollars! (Maytree blog)
In a few weeks, 60,000 Toronto families will receive a special notification from the Federal Government inviting them to claim their Canada Learning Bond. We need your help to make sure families take this opportunityity to get their kids free education money!

Kids not safe from bullying, expert says (Toronto Star)
Canada is not doing a good job of addressing bullying so it remains a major problem, says one of the countrys leading experts on the issue. Here we are, a country that has an international reputation of being so nice and dealing with issues of diversity, inclusion and equity, and yet at the level of children, we really arent doing a good job, said Professor Debra Pepler of York University, who is also a scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children.

OP/ED: MP says income inequity bad for all, not just the poor (Castlegar Source)
It seems that the Conference Board of Canada (CBC), the voice of the big business community, is beginning to realize what progressive economists have argued for years that income inequality is bad for everyone, not just the poor. High inequality can diminish economic growth if it means that the country is not fully using the skills and capabilities of all its citizens or if it undermines social cohesion, leading to increased social tensions. High inequality raises a moral question about fairness and social justice, says a June CBC report.

How Canada performs: Income inequality (ChildCareCanada)
Is Canada becoming more unequal? Income inequality in Canada has increased over the past 20 years. The richest group of Canadians increased their share of total national income, while poor and middle-income individuals lost ground. The gap between the real average income of the richest group of Canadians and the poorest group grew from $92,300 in 1976 to $117,500 in 2009. Another worrisome trend is the rise in elderly poverty since the mid-1990s, following 20 years of dramatic reductions. Between 2006 and 2009, nearly 128,000 more seniors were living in low income. Of that amount, 70 per cent were women.

Fighting poverty pays off, report says (CBC)
The federal government could save billions of dollars if it tackled the roots of poverty, according to a new report from a government advisory body. The report from the National Council of Welfare urges the governing Tories to take a long-term “investment” approach to preventing poverty, rather than a short-term program spending approach.
Report –

“The Indignity of Aging: Ontario’s Homecare System” (CBC Metro Morning)
A four-part series from Mary Wiens looking at Ontario’s homecare system.

Ethnic Media (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Madeline Ziniak. She is the National Vice President of OMNI Television, and executive chair of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association.


New foreign worker rules change employer responsibilities (Calgary Herald)
In its struggle to develop a vast land mass, Canada has always been short of money and people. It was true when the transcontinental railroad was built and it’s true today, says human resources lawyer Loretta Bouwmeester. As energy investment dollars pour into Calgary from Asia and Europe, the looming question is where to find the people to build all the multibillion-dollar projects, says Bouwmeester, a partner in the Calgary office of Miller Thomson.

Skilled immigrants boost GTA companies fortunes (Yonge Street)
GTA employers who hire skilled immigrants have an easier time expanding locally and globally, according to survey funded by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). As reported by Canadian Manufacturing, 93 percent of the polled GTA business with skilled immigrants on their workforce responded that hiring immigrants is beneficial for international expansion. “The results of a recent survey in the Greater Toronto Area shows there are benefits to hiring skilled immigrants for manufacturers that do business abroad.”


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, Budget Cutbacks, Traffic News and Other News.


A cohesive vision of how to measure the strength of local community services (Belonging Community)
In a timely piece of research, given the current budget debates at the municipal level, St. Michaels Centre for Research on Inner City Health (CRICH) released a report titled Community Service System in Toronto neighbourhoods: What should the City pay attention to? The report concluded Torontonians want the Community Service System to offer programs that are accessible, available and well funded.
Report –

HR Council Survey: Driving Change Understanding Executive Directors (HR Council)
The HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector (HR Council) is currently conducting a national survey of nonprofit leaders in an effort to explore and better understand the characteristics, motivatations and challenges of executive directors. The survey has a dual-track, with questionnaires for executive directors and those who sit on nonprofit boards to provide feedback and input from their own perspectives on the executive director role. The survey is not intended to collect feedback on the performance of individual executive directors, but rather focus on the perceptions of the role itself from two distinct vantage points.

The Privilege of Doing Good (Social Finance)
I winced slightly during the opening session of SOCAP and wondered if Id wandered into another variation of dealing with white mans guilt. Phrases like changed forever, southeast Asia, compelled to do something, and Peace Corps sounded like the clichés of philanthropy and of international development. I thought, perhaps, that we were here to do something new, with a new perspective, and that wed traveled beyond some of these sentiments. Like my colleagues who have written their reflections on SOCAP, I gleaned a massive amount of information on the spaces within social entrepreneurship and impact investing. I do this work because I love the newness and the possibility. I love the build. While much of their reflection has landed on the financial and investing side, there is room for the perspective from a cultural studies side, from critical theory to reflect on the dynamics of what we are building.


Benjamin Perrin: The governments omnibus crime bill is not draconian (National Post)
There is a widely held sentiment that Canadas criminal-justice process has left victims and their families behind, and that our laws have failed to keep pace with the reality of serious crimes, including terrorism, organized drug crime, human trafficking and predatory pedophiles. This is not merely a sentiment but, in many cases, a reality. Last week, the federal government acted on a campaign promise to introduce an omnibus package of criminal justice reforms that had been introduced and debated in the previous minority Parliament for years, only to be stalled. Predictably, the usual suspects have appeared to raise a hue and cry railing against the Safe Streets and Communities Act. They call it retrograde, costly, and American-style.

Child Trafficking digital library updates (
Ten new documents on children on the move and migration have been added to the digital library of the website.

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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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