Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 14, 2011



Recognizing employer excellence in immigrant integration (Maytree blog)
Successful economic integration of skilled immigrants requires leadership and innovation from our business community. This leadership and innovation should be recognized. Thanks to Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council’s Immigrant Success (IS) Awards and Hire Immigrants Ottawa’s Employer Excellence Awards, this recognition is happening in the Toronto and Ottawa Regions.


‘We have something special to do in the world’ (Barbara Turnbull, Toronto Star)
Canada has transformed immigrants and immigrants have transformed Canada. That’s the focus of Adrienne Clarkson’s new book, Room for All of Us: Surprising Stories of Loss and Transformation (Allen Lane), her celebration of immigrants’ contribution to Canada. The former governor general is now 72; she arrived here from Hong Kong at age 3. Thus, she is well placed to examine the waves of immigration who have come to Canada, with personal stories from each group, including Naheed Nenshi, Calgary’s Ismaili-Canadian mayor, and David Albahari, a Serbian-Canadian writer.–adrienne-clarkson-on-how-immigrants-have-transformed-canada


Sweden’s big immigration idea: the ‘Canada model’ (Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail)
For decades, Canadians have looked to the Swedes for inspiration. There was Ottawa’s campaign to get lumpy 30-year-old Canadians to be as fit as “the 60-year-old Swede.” There are frequent calls to imitate Stockholm’s environmental policies. And, of course, there’s hockey. But in recent months, the tables have turned. Policy circles in Stockholm have been dominated with talk of adopting “the Canada model.” That, in fact, is the title of a widely discussed new Swedish book titled Kanadamodellen – “The Canada Model,” which urges Sweden’s governments to start making things look more like their Nordic fellow on the other side of the Atlantic.


Call for study participants: The Cultural experiences of immigrant Arab youth in Canada (ZS Worotynec,
Doctoral student, Sarah Rasmi, University of Guelph, is conducting a study examining the cultural experiences of immigrant Arab youth in Canada. The study is seeking Arab youth, 18 to 25 years old and in Canada less than 10 years ago.


Rabindranath Maharaj Named Recipient of the 2011 Toronto Book Award (Marketwire)
Rabindranath Maharaj was named the recipient of the 2011 Toronto Book Award for his novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy tonight at a reception at Toronto Reference Library’s Appel Salon. “I want to congratulate Rabindranath Maharaj for his wonderful novel The Amazing Absorbing Boy,” said Councillor Gary Crawford, representing Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto City Council. “His book gives a unique perspective about our diverse city, and was selected from 78 book submissions. All of these authors tell great stories about Toronto and can be very proud of their work.” Toronto Public Library’s City Librarian Jane Pyper commented, “In this clear-eyed look at Toronto as it appears to a young Trinidadian immigrant, Rabindranath Maharaj has given all of us a new way of seeing our city. I congratulate him on this fine novel.”


Event Dec 7-8: Diversity and Inclusiveness 2011: The New Competitive Advantage (Conference Board of Canada)
For the first time, we’re planning a public debate during the conference on a major diversity issue. This will be a lively, controversial discussion, featuring leading Canadian thinkers arguing their ideas and opinions and subjecting them to the scrutiny of their adversaries. You’ll have the opportunity to pose direct questions, and ultimately decide who wins and who loses.


The value of diversity (Bree Borsellino, The Cord)
When I looked around on Sunday at my entire family speaking a different language I could understand them, but I couldn’t fulfill my desire to join in with them. This is why I think the importance of bilingualism and multilingualism should be more stressed in and among families. According to Susan Munroe, quoting from the 2001 Census Statistics on Languages in Canada, “nine out of ten people in Canada still speak either the English or French languages at home … Only ten per cent spoke a language other than English or French at home, compared to 18 per cent who reported another language as their mother tongue.” Due to Canada being known for its multiculturalism, this fact is astonishing. It suggests that many people whose native language is different from English or French do not speak it on a daily basis. It makes me all the more interested in learning Italian.


Canada’s Citizenship Week marred by ignorance and injustice (Don Chapman, Vancouver Observer)
A judicial review is about to be filed in Federal Court in Vancouver that has absolutely enormous ramifications for Canadians.  The problem is, the Ottawa politicians are either too ignorant of the laws, or they truly don’t give a damn.  It’s probably a combination of both. Hard to believe, but this case is all about the government denying citizenship to about 10 WWII war bride children, only because they were born out-of wedlock.  It matters not that these people have been in Canada for over a half a century, nor does it matter that one person is retired from the Canadian Navy and another is a registered status Indian-  what matters to Citizenship and Immigration Canada is they were all “Bastard children.”  I call them Lost Canadians, because that’s what they are:  lost in a stifling bureaucracy of a government that just doesn’t care.


Multiculturalism seems to be working (Brian Seaman, Guelph Mercury)
However, notwithstanding the apparent success of the Canadian multicultural model, the concept of multiculturalism has come under increasingly critical scrutiny, even attack. Many critics see it as a policy that promotes cultural relativism which, as an unintended consequence, undermines a common civic culture and Canadian values. But how true is that? And what exactly are Canadian values? Over Nov. 10-11, 2011, Canadian and European experts in cultural diversity issues will meet at the University of Calgary to discuss these and other related issues.–multiculturalism-seems-to-be-working


An Attack on Multiculturalism (Andy Knight and John McCoy, The Mark)
The strategy is clear: The Conservative government wants to reconstruct a sense of national identity out of the remnants of our British colonial past. This distinctly English-Canadian version of “nationhood” does not adequately represent our country’s increasingly diverse population. Indeed, this strategy could backfire because some (notably those in Quebec, among First Nations’ peoples, and among non-English, non-British Commonwealth, descendants), could view it as a step backwards – a regression. Perhaps this signals what we have been witnessing in many countries in Europe: a rejection of multiculturalism.


What they said (Jennifer O’Brien, London Free Press)
Should kids pray in public schools? Sit down while O Canada is sung? Skip music or gym class for the sake of religion? The answer — bound to be controversial, in a taxpayer-funded school system where many expect religion to be checked at the door — is yes, according to some Ontario public school boards.


Bilingualism may buffer against Alzheimer’s (CBC)
Schweizer said the results are especially important in Canada, which is officially bilingual and has large numbers of immigrants for whom French and English are at least second languages. The investigators considered the possibility that factors other than bilingualism contributed to the difference. But both years of education and occupational status were greater in those speaking one language, which the researchers said works against their hypothesis.


Mapping Ethnic Vancouver 1: The pulsing South Asian heart (Doug Todd, Vancouver Sun)
he sign at the top of the giant onion-domed Guru Nanak Temple in Surrey reads: One God. The signs on the traffic-filled thoroughfare in front of the exotic-looking Sikh gurdwara are strictly secular, announcing McDonald’s, Blockbuster, Save-On Foods and Zellers. The pulsing heart of the South Asian community in Metro Vancouver resides among this swath of brand-name outlets, large new homes, traffic-filled streets and tidy townhouses centred around west Newton, near the Surrey-Delta border. Census Canada data reveals that many neighbourhoods in this Surrey enclave — which features scores of Sikh, Hindu and Muslim temples, masala restaurants and immigration lawyers — are concentrated along South Asian ethnic lines.


Canada confirms introduction of e-passports next year (Ray Clancy, Expat Forum)
Passport Canada has announced that Canada will start issuing e-passports by the end of next year after a delay due to an overhaul of the passport application process. Chief executive Christine Desloges said that the new passports will feature a chip containing the owner’s face recognition data in order to make it easier for border guards to screen threats and detect fraudulent passports.





Money launderer loses Canadian refugee bid (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
A Venezuelan money launderer who was nabbed at a U.S. airport with $1.5 million in cash hidden in stereo speakers has lost his bid for refugee status in Canada.






Roubini on the Instability of Inequality (Armine Yalnizyan, CCPA)
Business-school professor and economist Nouriel Roubini earned his nickname Dr. Doom by repeatedly predicting the chain of events that would cause the global economic house of cards to fall down. Yesterday he laid out the economic dilemmas that are triggering a global Occupy movement and concludes: “Any economic model that does not properly address inequality will eventually face a crisis of legitimacy. Unless the relative economic roles of the market and the state are rebalanced, the protests of 2011 will become more severe, with social and political instability eventually harming long-term economic growth and welfare.”


Poverty is a middle-class issue (Chris Baker, Telegraph Journal)
Although Canada and the global economy continue to experience turmoil, the lessons of this particular recession still remain. Even if it is driven by self-interest, the Canadian middle class has been sensitized to the issue of poverty in our society. In addition to increasing support for voluntary organizations dealing with the economically vulnerable, there is an increased focus on finding solutions to poverty. Since the middle class dominates the electorate, governments have also had to respond to the increased level of concern about poverty issues. Although New Brunswick has pursued the most comprehensive approach in this regard, most Canadian provinces have adopted or are moving to adopt specific poverty reduction strategies.






Event Oct 18 Toronto: The cost of success is free at Toronto’s largest annual small business event (City of Toronto)
In-depth seminars by entrepreneurs, technology innovators and marketing experts; access to legal and business advice; more than $100,000 in prizes; interaction with the latest technology and more than 90 trade show exhibitors – all this happens for free on a single day at Enterprise Toronto’s Small Business Forum. The forum will be held Tuesday, October 18 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto.


Online Trading: A Viable Option for Asian Immigrants (Faizan Uzmani, The Canadian)
In the recent decade, we have seen a gradually increasing ratio of people migrating from many Asian countries to the Canadian land for having a better future overall. This trend is getting momentum day by day and Canada, despite being seven seas afar from the Asian borders, seems to be a second most preferred place for our Asian fellows interestingly. Starting from highly-qualified doctors to well-skilled engineers and computer professionals, the list of aspiring immigrants rushing to the Canadian region entails a number of those people who already rejoice a good social and economic status in their homeland at Asia. Immigrants from the Asian countries opt for well-developed countries like Canada as existing circumstances in many Asian regions are not socially and economically favourable. This is mostly due to rather weaker socioeconomic conditions in Asia which have led its people to think upon leaving this land and try other places and countries to find available opportunities for meeting up essential necessities and livelihood requirements.


English name clear advantage in landing job, researchers find (Douglas Todd, Postmedia/Montreal Gazette)
If your name is Alison Johnson or Matthew Wilson, an inventive national study suggests you could do better in the job market than if you go by Min Liu, Samir Sharma or Lukas Minsopoulos. A comprehensive survey of employers in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto has discovered that job applicants with English-sounding names have a much better chance of receiving a callback than if they have Chinese, Indian or Greek names. Released Friday, the report, titled “Why do some employers prefer to interview Matthew, but not Samir?” is based on employers’ response rate to thousands of online job applications.






Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, Protests, TTC, Transportation and Other News.


Why Ranking Cities Can Be Such a Tricky Business (John Lorinc, The Atlantic Cities)
Taylor, founder of Metapolis Consulting, points out that the ostensible purpose of such rankings is widely overlooked: the sponsors aim to sell their proprietary data to multi-national corporations as a means of helping HR teams establish cost-of-living allowances for senior managers and executives posted to off-shore offices. “They can’t tell the story of the actual experience of the people who live there because they are meant to evaluate the cities from the perspective of outsiders,” says Taylor, who describes that discovery as a “revelation.” The means by which these studies are promoted to the media also suggest the sponsoring firms clearly recognize the brand bounce associated with the inevitable coverage.


Toronto Councillors Get The Boot (Justin Kozuch, Storify)
Earlier this evening, Toronto Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam and Janet Davis were ejected from a meeting for the Task Force on Child Care by Councillor Mammoliti. No justifiable reason was given. Naturally, news of the event was broken on Twitter by Councillor Wong-Tam and quickly went viral.







Focus on Human Trafficking (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a new database that provides access to human trafficking case law. The post includes additional publications.



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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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