Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 30, 2011


National Post takes heat for running transphobic ad (blogTO)
I wouldn’t want to be the National Post’s ad manager right now. Making waves on Twitter this morning is transphobic ad the paper ran from the Institute for Canadian Values, a group that, amongst other things, takes issue with the Toronto District School Board’s Equitable and Inclusive curriculum (PDF), which challenges homophobia and transphobia… The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards prohibits ads that “condone any form of personal discrimination, including that based upon race, national origin, religion, sex or age,” which it seems pretty clear this one does. It’ll thus be interesting to see exactly how the Post responds.

Gotta have faith: Findings show religion still vital to Canadians (Ottawa Citizen)
You could call it religion’s hallelujah. Though certain faiths remain in dire straits, a new report finds rumours of the death of Canadian churches to be greatly exaggerated — particularly when it comes to Catholic and evangelical denominations, which are actually flourishing in light of recent immigration patterns. “Most observers assumed that religion in Canada would follow the European pattern of secularization, where religion would be practised by fewer and fewer people over time and eventually border on being extinct,” says sociologist Reginald Bibby, a leading expert on religious life in Canada.

PNP returns to haunt Liberal campaign (CBC)
Immigrant investment and the Provincial Nominee Program looked to be a tired issue when the writ was dropped for P.E.I.’s Oct. 3 election, but new revelations brought it to the forefront of the campaign.

Ottawa-Vanier endorsement: Meilleurs experience gives her the edge (Ottawa Citizen)
Ottawa-Vanier is a complex and fascinating riding a mini-Canada, some candidates call it because of its economic, ethnic and linguistic diversity. The riding, which includes the leafy neighbourhoods of Rockcliffe and Beacon Hill North, in addition to the more urban areas of Lowertown, Overbrook and Sandy Hill, is heavily francophone and, in recent years, has been solidly Liberal, both federally and provincially.

McGunity addressing problem with his proposed tax credit (insideHalton)
Until we start turning off the tap (reducing immigration), or finding a way to ensure immigrants have Canadian validation before they arrive in Canada, Mr. McGuintys employment tax incentive program will help. Its clear that theres some discrimination among employers in hiring. At least Mr. McGuinty is addressing the problem.–mcgunity-addressing-problem-with-his-proposed-tax-credit

A Toronto treat – Pinoy indie films enjoy screen time alongside Hollywood flicks (Inquirer Entertainment)
Surely, the Philippines made its presence felt at the Tiff this year. Last year, there was no Filipino film in Toronto, Alix said. Having four Filipino entries was a windfall because the Tiff is one of the most important festivals in North America. Screening in Toronto can open doors to a lot of possibilities. Isda, an entry in the Directors Showcase in this years Cinemalaya, had been picked up by US firm Visit Films even before the Tiff screening.

Ontario needs a real equity agenda (Toronto Star)
After three weeks of campaigning, all three political parties have laid out their full strategies in their quest to lead the next government of Ontario. But are voters more informed today than they were a month ago on issues that matter? The answer is probably not. The election outcome is important to all Ontarians, but it is particularly so for marginalized communities who need extra support. Yet it is often these very same communities whose issues are missing from the glossy campaign brochures. Being more than 25 per cent of the provinces population, yet occupying only about 10 per cent of the seats in Ontarios Legislature, could be one reason why racialized communities including both native peoples and peoples of colour dont see their concerns reflected in the parties platforms. Another possibility: complex issues of racial inequity and the required solutions do not fit nicely into media sound bites or in todays new media a 140-word tweet.–ontario-needs-a-real-equity-agenda

Scotiabank recognized as leader in Aboriginal relations (Digital Journal)
Scotiabank is proud to have been recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) as Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Gold Level. Scotiabank is one of only four companies awarded with the distinction of PAR Gold by CCAB this year. The recognition took place at CCAB’s 9th Annual Gala Celebration in Vancouver.

The View from Ottawa (National Review)
In a dimly lit, garishly decorated lounge at the Millennium U.N. Plaza Hotel, Min. Jason Kenney is calmly stating his governments policy concerning a vote on Palestinian statehood. Yes, the Canadian government supports a two-state solution, but that depends on the agreement of both parties. Symbolic confrontation, he notes, is not helpful. This demure presentation is at odds with his firebrand reputation. The 43-year-old minister of citizenship, immigration, and multiculturalism is a rising star in the Conservative party, which in May formed its first majority government since 1993. An MP from Calgary Southeast, Alberta, Kenney orchestrated the partys electoral strategy, which focused on winning naturally conservative immigrants such as the Vietnamese and Poles.

Will immigrants save the French language in Quebec, or hasten its demise? (Maclean’s)
Yet increasingly, language advocates are turning this apparent success story into a narrative of decline of the French language in Quebec. The reason: though the pair conduct much of their public lives in French, they speak their native Spanish in the confines of their home. Earlier this year, the governing Liberals announced plans to cut the yearly number of immigrants allowed into the province by 4,000, to 50,000, by 2012, while the the right-of-centre Action démocratique du Québec has called for a further clawback to 46,000. The Parti Québécois believe immigration should be set at the ability to Frenchify new arrivals, says PQ spokesperson Éric Gamache, and popular former Péquiste minister François Legault, who is flirting with the idea of running for premier, has called for the number to be capped at 40,000. Others are even more strident. We must become our own country, period, militant sovereignist Gérald Larose told La Presse in the wake of a report detailing a decrease in the percentage of Quebec-born francophones. His argument: an independent Quebec would have absolute power over its immigration policy.


The Assisted Voluntary Returns Program deserves our support (Maytree blog – Peter Showler)
When parliament passed the Balanced Refugee Reform Act in June 2010, a small but positive government initiative escaped notice during the debate over fast versus fair procedures. When the government recently announced that implementation of the new refugee system would be postponed until June 2012, this same initiative inexplicably caught the attention of right wing commentators on refugee policy, notably Tom Godfrey of the Toronto Sun and the Fraser Institute. The proposal is the Assisted Voluntary Returns (AVR) program and it works like this.

Action requests from CCR Working Groups, September 2011 (CCR)
At the recent CCR meetings, the Working Groups identified the following key action requests directed towards CCR members. Whether you were able to participate in the Working Group meetings or not, please take a look at these suggestions for follow up.

Palestinian family to move to Comox Valley (Comox Valley Record)
The paperwork has been sent off and the Abo-Nofal family are waiting to come to the Comox Valley. In the next two or three months, Ali, Laila, Reem, Mariam and Rana will leave the Al Hol refugee camp in northern Syria and fly out of Damascus to the Comox Valley.


Tasha Kheiriddin: Wealth redistribution wont solve poverty (National Post)
Politicians love to talk about investments. But what they usually mean is wealth redistribution. When kept within reason, such redistribution does buy a better quality of life for the majority of people. But the notion that it can end poverty is fallacious. Poverty is a relative measure, and there will always be income disparity between earners. And those earners move up and down the income scale over their lifetimes, as Amela Karabegovic and Charles Lammam of the Fraser Institute pointed out in the National Post earlier this week. The makeup of the poor is thus constantly changing, making a permanent state-ordered lift an endless and impossible exercise but one sure to keep social scientists and anti-poverty activists employed for years to come.

Where poverty and race intersect (Hamilton Spectator)
Race its a four-letter word that people dont like to talk about. In this modern age and often proudly diverse community, many people particularly dont like to talk about how race and poverty intersect, agreed participants at a forum on poverty and race hosted by the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion Thursday night. In Hamilton, 51 per cent of recent immigrants, 34 per cent of people of colour and 39 per cent of aboriginals have low incomes, according to Ontario census statistics.–where-poverty-and-race-intersect


Helping immigrant workers fit in (Globe and Mail)
Ms. Raquel, whose success story is highlighted in a travelling photo exhibit by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), and other foreign-born workers have benefited from many groundbreaking programs to help newcomers overcome barriers in the Canadian workplace, such as language and cultural issues. Such initiatives will be even more important in the years to come. A recent Statistics Canada report suggests that, by 2031, one in three workers could be foreign-born, up from about one in five in 2006. Such a dramatic change in the labour force will make it even more important for employers to help immigrant workers adapt.

Government of Canada helping internationally trained professionals get jobs (Canada News Centre)
The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education is receiving support from the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to organize a workshop with over 40 Canadian regulators and professional associations that will focus on the development and management of mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) with other countries. MRAs ensure that foreign professional standards meet Canadian professional standards and allow internationally trained workers to become licensed almost immediately inCanada.

September 2011 News (Office of the Fairness Commissioner)
The office has released its 2010-11 annual report, Licence to Succeed. “As a result of our work, qualified individuals will know Ontario as a place where their training and qualifications are the only criteria for practising their profession,” writes commissioner Hon. Jean Augustine, PC, CM.

Managing Values Across Cultures (Harvard Business Review)
Management thought leaders share their ideas on values in business.


Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, Traffic & Transit, Building & Development and Other News.

Your City, Your Map (Ushahidi)
We are flocking to the city. Great storytellers are using many mediums to surface the evolution of cities from Urbanized (documentary film) to living in Arrival City (book). The Institute of the Future created a Future of Cities, Information, and Inclusion Map (book) / 10-year forecast map (PDF) to demonstrate the evolution of cities and includes Ushahidi examples. People are telling map stories of corruption, urban design, neighbourhoods, city-building, cooperation, traffic, preparedness and more.

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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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