Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 18, 2011


An eight-point plan to get jobs for immigrants (Sean Stanleigh, Globe and Mail)
A report released Tuesday is the result of the first stages of the research project “exploring existing policies, programs and initiatives that engage or otherwise influence the human resource practices of SMEs,” the executive summary reads. “The overall goal is to develop new, innovative ideas, and to promote promising programs that encourage SMEs to hire skilled immigrants.”

Canadians are living in an age of deep diversity (Globe and Mail editorial)
The term “visible minority” may have outlived its usefulness in Canada. That demographic category, used by Statistics Canada and in federal employment-equity law, refers to non-whites, with the exception of aboriginals. A new survey shows, however, that visible minorities are a very heterogeneous group, and that other demographic markers – such as religion and class – can more accurately predict discrimination and other barriers that certain groups face.

Catalyst Canada Gala Pays Tribute to Champions; Advancement Is Good for Women and Good for Business (Marketwire)
The Catalyst Canada Honours is a unique celebration of champions of women in corporate Canada. This year’s outstanding Champions demonstrate bold commitment, passion and results in advancing women within their organizations and in society at large. Ms. Leroux has implemented an unprecedented organizational restructuring at Desjardins, establishing ten multidisciplinary taskforces with equal numbers of women and men on each; Ms. Tory has worked continuously throughout her 30-plus year career to advance women and visible minorities at RBC and in her community; and Mr. Bach has, in his four years as Director, championed diversity at KPMG within Canada and on a global level.

Minister Kenney hosts a special version of “Are you Smarter than a 10th Grader?” at the Canadian Citizenship Challenge (Canada News Centre)
Grade 10 students kicked off Citizenship Week today by participating in an interactive game-show quiz that pitted them against two Parliamentary Press Gallery members’ knowledge of citizenship and history. The event, hosted by the Historica-Dominion Institute, challenged Colin Horgan (iPolitics/CTV) and Sonya Bell (iPolitics) to match wits with students from Immaculata High School at The Canadian Museum of Civilization.

A Mixed-Race Family’s Values (Renee Sylvestre-Williams)
As I thought more and more about my particular situation, I realized that it was starting to sound like I was saying that because I haven’t had problems there are no problems. That is not true at all. Read through our #ethnichat and #ethnicchat held last Friday and you can see that we are not as post-racial as we like to think. So what does a mixed-race family think about when potential family members are introduced? Not surprisingly, the same things that concern every family – values, education and personality.

In a grim world, Canada’s a bright spot (Jay Bryan, Montreal Gazette)
An immigration system that has long focused on attracting valuable skills is serving this country well, as is a quality of life that enables Canada to attract large numbers of immigrants, which creates a growing market.

Bringing the world to B.C.’s postsecondary schools (Vancouver Sun)
When it comes to attracting foreign students, BC postsecondary institutions are already firmly on the global stage. The province’s educational institutions are world-renowned for their quality, drawing nearly 94,000 students a year to B.C. to further their education.

Ontario communities celebrate English as a Second Language Week (Canada Newswire)
The expanding role of English as a Second Language (ESL) to educate new Canadians is being honoured across Ontario during ESL Week, which takes place October 23-29, 2011. ESL Week is an annual celebration of ESL education that has the involvement of dozens of Ontario communities, thousands of ESL educators, students, and several learning institutions and school boards.

Newcomers less likely to support immigration than mainstream Canadians (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Recent immigrants and visible minorities are less likely to support immigration than mainstream Canadians, says a new study. The study, by the Institute for Research on Public Policy released Tuesday, also found women, retirees, people with high school education or less, those struggling to secure jobs and Conservative party supporters are less open to immigration.–newcomers-less-likely-to-support-immigration-than-mainstream-canadians?bn=1

Ethnic mapping 3: Filipinos live beside Skytrain stations (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
“Remittance” is a word heard often among Metro Vancouver’s 80,000-strong Filipino community, the third largest visible minority in the city after Chinese and South Asians. The word refers to the way overseas Filipinos – known as “Balikbayans” – routinely transfer payments or financial gifts to the old country by mail or, more commonly, by electronic means through financial institutions.

Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism (CIC)
The Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism recognizes individuals across Canada who have made exceptional contributions to multiculturalism and diversity. You can nominate anyone who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, 18 years old or older. Find more details about how to nominate someone in the Nomination Guidelines. The deadline to nominate someone is March 1, 2012.

Equine Canada Call For Nominations (
Equine Canada wishes to recruit and develop directors who bring a range of needed professional skills, background, and diversity that is reflective of the community it serves. Knowledge in equine activities and strategic expertise in various aspects of non-profit governance is deemed an asset. Functioning on the board requires logical, innovative, forward thinking individuals able to work well in a team.

Student club creates “change through education” (Erin Collins, The Argus)
The Lakehead WUSC chapter is currently focused on three major campaigns. These are Shine a Light, dedicated to providing girls in refugee camps with access to education, the Student Refugee Program (SRP), which sponsors student refugees pursuing education on campus, and Buy Into Change: Invest in People, which promotes the purchase of fair trade products. The SRP program in particular has been a success, with five sponsored students currently attending class on campus. Zahid explains that the chapter at Lakehead does well considering the accomplishments of bigger schools with more funding. “Big schools like UBC that have more resources are sponsoring the same number of students as we are.”

Backlog for parents and grandparents expected to worsen (MLA Kevin Lamoureuxm, Ang Peryodiko)
That is the problem and the current Minister of Immigration is attempting to buy time instead of trying to address the issue. He has asked that the immigration committee in Ottawa conduct a series of meetings on the issue of backlogs. I represent the Liberal Party of Canada on the immigration committee and I have formally requested that the committee arrange for a video conference with immigration in the Philippines. These committee meetings have the potential to have an impact but I must say that I am not pleased with the amount of time that both I and the immigration critic for the NDP are given to question witnesses. The Minister of Immigration is also saying that he is consulting with Canadians and that after his consultations he will take action. The problem that I have with this action is that Mr. Jason Kenney has been Minister of Immigration since 2008 and he should have acted long before now to address the problems that we are facing today within his department. In the spirit of cooperation I would like to make two tangible suggestions to the Minister that would help the current situation.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) Joins Canadians in Celebrating the Citizenship Week (Digital Journal)
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) joins Canadians in celebrating “Citizenship Week” (Oct. 17-23). Through knowledge, commitment to and the preservation of the rights and responsibilities associated with Canadian citizenship, all Canadians will feel a greater sense and appreciation of belonging. “Belonging to Canada is sought after by hundreds of thousands of people from around the world for a number of reasons, including our shared vision and commitment to human rights. It is our individual and collective responsibility as Canadian citizens to strengthen and create a harmonious Canada, work towards removing all barriers, and promote a greater sense of belonging by affirming the rights and responsibilities of all citizens which include a shared commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”, said Ayman Al-Yassini, CRRF Executive Director.

Karakatsanis: Supreme Court’s new trend-bucking wild card (Tamsin McMahon, National Post)
Raised in a traditional Greek home, Andromache Karakatsanis couldn’t speak English until Kindergarten and wasn’t allowed to date until university – promptly marrying her husband when the couple was in second year at Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School. The 55-year-old multilingual daughter of immigrants, Justice Karakatsanis’ ascension to the Supreme Court of Canada comes less than two years after she joined the Ontario Court of Appeal, and her slim dossier of appellate court judgments make her a wild card as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s choice for one of two vacancies on the country’s top court.

Recent Immigrants and the Crisis (Andrew Jackson, Behind the Numbers/CCPA)
It is no secret that times of high unemployment and precarious work are especially tough for new and recent entrants to the job market, notably young workers and recent immigrants. The latter were especially hard hit in the recession and slow recovery of the 1990s, when new immigrants had great difficulty finding decent jobs and it took longer and longer for immigrant earnings to catch up with those of Canadian-born workers. When there are many more suitable applicants for jobs than there are job vacancies, the tendency of employers to undervalue international credentials and international work experience is even more pronounced. Further, the great majority of recent immigrants belong to racialized groups, and racial discrimination is a bigger obstacle to hiring and promotion in tough economic times.


Help needed as refugee family arriving Oct. 31 (Comox Valley Echo)
The refugee Palestinian, Abo-Nofal family of Ali, Laila, Reem, Mariam, and Rana will be leaving the United Nations desert camp in Northern Syria and travelling to Comox on October 31st. This is a month earlier than expected! So the committee sponsoring this family is busy and looking for support from the Valley.


Peterborough’s first report card on poverty released (Lauren Gilchrist, My
A report card examining poverty in our community shows that 23 per cent of students in the local public school board are not graduating from high school. Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, local medical officer of health, says it’s surprising and concerning that 21 per cent of high school students in Ontario, and 23 per cent of students in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, are not completing high school.–peterborough-s-first-report-card-on-poverty-released

Recession made the rich get poorer, but income inequality still in rough shape (Heather Scoffield, Canadian Business)
New data shows the richest of the rich actually got relatively poorer in Canada during the recession, while the other 99 per cent made some gains. But experts say that’s to be expected when stock markets sink, and there is no sign that the rapidly deteriorating income inequality that Canada has experienced over the past decade is about to reverse course.–recession-made-the-rich-get-poorer-but-income-inequality-still-in-rough-shape


Getting wise (Financial Post)
It’s been a busy week for Arnon Melo, founder and managing director of Mellohawk Logistics, an international freight forwarder based in Toronto. His company has just been recognized for its leadership role in community building by Scotiabank and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Big Impact Challenge awards program. Mellohawk was selected because of its commitment to actively hiring new immigrants and its mentorship program for students to learn about logistics and/or study English as a second language.
Big Impact Challenge –

Strong Canadian economy attracting Americans (Bill Mann, MarketWatch)
That’s probably a big reason a reversal of historical flows is going on — a “reverse brain drain,” it’s being called: Canadian immigration lawyers, according to the estimable Globe and Mail of Toronto, are reporting a surge of calls from Americans who want to move north. The statistics bear this out: A record number of Americans applied for temporary work visas last year, say the latest Immigration Canada statistics, spurred largely by the contrasting health of the two countries’ labor markets.

New study reveals mining companies are exploring alternatives, like dual-career paths, to retain knowledge workers (Canadian Mining Journal)
Skilled immigrants and new Canadians: A continued decline in fertility rates, coupled with an aging population, mean that highly skilled immigrants will grow in importance to organizations looking to fill knowledge worker skills gaps. While mining and exploration is currently competitive compared to other sectors in attracting immigrant knowledge workers, the sector must increase its efforts to tap into this talent pool in the coming years. Despite the growing importance of skilled immigrants in driving innovation and performance, many still face barriers to successful integration into the Canadian labour market, with the main challenge being costly and time consuming foreign credential recognition procedures.

Meet entrepreneur Julia Serna (Sarah Wayland, WISE5)
Julia Serna loves to make fresh coffee for her customers in the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, and she is proud to be the original vendor of fair-trade, organic coffee in the Market. When she first came to Canada, she held several factory jobs, but she didn’t really like the atmosphere. She explored the idea of opening her own business. She studied what businesses would be good for Hamilton. Also, she attended some workshops at Hamilton’s Small Business Enterprise Centre. After settling on the idea of using her Colombian connections to import and sell coffee, Julia shopped around for a location, finally settling on the Farmers’ Market where she has operated for the past seven years.

Study suggests chances of landing a job better if your name is Smith, not Singh (Steve Mertl, Yahoo! News)
Canada’s officially a multicultural society and visible minorities are increasingly present in politics, academia, big business and the media. So a survey that suggests your chances of landing a job are better if you have an English-sounding name comes as something of a surprise.


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

Ford versus Nenshi: Calgary easy winner in battle of the rookie mayors (National Post)
A year into their first terms as rookie mayors, who would you pick to run your city: Toronto’s Rob Ford or Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi? If you go by the reviews, Nenshi would appear to be the winner, hands down.

TCHC’s houses: Can TCHC have it all? (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
But does it follow that TCHC should sell its houses – the most spacious, most versatile and most integrated properties in its portfolio — to plug its capital shortfall? I think it can do better than that. I believe that if it is ready to play the long game, TCHC can have it all. It can maintain mixed income neighbourhoods, benefit low-income families, off-load its expenses, free up rent subsidies and benefit from rising property values.


Ontario Public Interest Articling Positions – Host Deadline October 24th (Connie Crosby, SLAW)
The Public Interest Articling Fellowship was conceived to meet both a significant need for legal assistance within the public interest community and to allow law students to gain valuable experience in public interest law. The program expands opportunities for articling in public interest organizations in Ontario by targeting groups that do not have access to funds to pay for an articling position. Pro Bono Students Canada (PBSC), with its extensive experience in working with public interest organizations and law students across the province, will continue to administer the program. The deadline to apply as a host is October 24, 2011, 5:00 p.m.

Accountability for nonprofits: What you need to know (HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector)
Tools and resources that outline best practices for accountability are vital to strengthening the credibility of nonprofits across Canada. Road to Accountability, an initiative of Charity Central, provides information and education about accountability and transparency for charities and nonprofits in plain language format.


Human trafficking targeted (Geoff Kirbyson, Winnipeg Free Press)
Organizers of a fundraising breakfast this week are hoping to pull the curtain back on Canada’s role in human trafficking. “It exists right here in Manitoba,” said Betty Hopkins, chairwoman of LEAF Manitoba (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund). “It’s a serious problem but it’s hidden from many people and many people choose to keep it hidden.” Human trafficking is the exploitation of people both sexually and for their labour, and is often referred to as modern-day slavery.

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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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