Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 19, 2011



Shelbyville’s Ambassadors of Welcome (Cities of Migration)
In May 2011, PBS aired a unique documentary, Welcome to Shelbyville. It examines the challenges immigrants to Shelbyville, Tennessee have faced, and takes a look at this small town’s efforts to build a new, broader community that welcomes these new immigrants and helps them adjust to life in the United States. Made in collaboration with The Welcoming Tennessee Initiative (WTI), the film was part of a strategy to bridge the gaps between old and new Tennessee residents.


Canadians still support high immigration levels: study (Saira Peesker, CTV)
Most Canadians support ongoing high levels of immigration — but those who don’t are more likely to be immigrants, Conservatives, women or the elderly, according to a study released Tuesday. The study, released by Montreal’s Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP), found that overall, Canada remains a consistently welcoming place for newcomers, with support for high levels of immigration unaffected by dips in the economy, international terrorism or other events linked to specific ethnic groups.


Diversity and Flexibility Key to Growth for University Canada West (Vancouver Sun)
The university is fiercly proud of its global diversity and building a community of engaged learners. UCW’s domestic student population has roots from around the globe and the university hosts a large percentage of international students.


Guyana-born advocate for supplier diversity honoured (Arnold A. Auguste, Share)
When it comes to advocating for supplier diversity that promotes the sourcing of products and services from groups not traditionally included in supply chains, Terry Sawh is at the head of the class. Last week, the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC) honoured the Guyanese-born entrepreneur with the Procurement Advocate of the Year award at its seventh annual Business Achievement presentation ceremony.


Ethnic enclave series: ‘Little Italy’ spreads its wings (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
A host of visible minority and ethnic groups has formed into lively communities in different regions of Metro Vancouver, our fast-growing multicultural city of 2.2. million people. Over the past five days, The Vancouver Sun’s ethnic mapping series has profiled the city’s strong Chinese, South Asian, Filipino and English neighbourhoods. Today and tomorrow, we point to the locations of the next largest visible-minority and ethnic groups. Where are the Dutch, Iranians, Swedes, Poles, Scots and others? In The Sun’s efforts to map diversity throughout the metropolis, we’ve put together a guide to the whereabouts of 18 more of the city’s visible-minority, ethnic and aboriginal groups.


Time to undo multiculturalism mistake (Salim Mansur, Cobourg Atheist)
In my recently published book – Delectable Lie: A liberal repudiation of multiculturalism – I discuss at some length why this policy reflected an act of bad faith on the part of Trudeau and company, and how it continues to be detrimental to the vitality of a liberal democracy. The bad faith resided in the ridiculous proposition that all cultures are equal. This is the keystone of multiculturalism as an idea, and it is untenable.


MP Calandra welcomes celebration of Citizenship Week (King Township Sentinel)
Markham MP Paul Calandra Monday welcomed the start of Canada’s Citizenship Week. Since 1987, Canada has been celebrating the diverse culture in the country through Citizenship Week annually in the third week in October. This year, across the country, Canadians will be celebrating through the theme of “Our Citizenship.”


Society celebrating 30 years of diversity (Lexi Bainas, The Citizen)
The Cowichan Intercultural Society is really in a mood to celebrate. The hard-working group has been around for 30 years and will kick up its heels Saturday, Oct. 22. The society has undergone many changes since it began back in 1981. At that time, a large influx of Vietnamese refugees led Valley residents to organize a non-profit group called the Cowichan Valley Intercultural and Immigrant Aid Society.


Financial planners demystify role (Jonathan Chevreau, Financial Post)
Recent immigrants to Canada are often unaware of government retirement programs that may be available to them at age 65. Toronto CFP Kenneth Siebel is conducting a seminar for russian immigrant parents on how the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security work. Attendees win a chance to contribute $100 to their grandchildren’s registered education savings plans. A similar tack is being taken in Vancouver by CFP Phyllis Wang, where she will be showing recent female professional immigrants about career transitions and financial planning.


Politics in Full Sentences. The Story of Naheed Nenshi’s Purple Army. (Very Ethnic)
A highly educated, fiscally conservative multicultural meritocracy average age 35.7 elects a fiscally conservative 38.7-year-old mayor who graduated from Harvard. The fact that he is pious, possibly gay and lives with his parents did not register. We picked the best person for the job. We sometimes do that in Calgary. Or so we like to tell ourselves. The question then: why was everybody—including the people who built the campaign—astonished that it happened?


Immigration application backlog ballooned to over 1 million (South Asian Generation Next)
In answer to questions from New Democrats at House Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration’s first meeting, CIC’s officials revealed that under the current Conservative government,
the backlog of immigration applications has increased to over one million;
Canada will accept fewer immigrants this year than in 2010; and,
there will be no additional resources to address the serious issues facing the immigration system in the future.


“The book is about Contribution.” Asim Hussain, the author of Khadjia Goes to School  (South Asian Generation Next)
A Pakistan Canadian Asim Hussain has written a book titled “Khadija Goes to School.” The book’s cover attracts attention of children. However, Asim insists that the book relates to people of all age groups. The title of the book is written in Arabic calligraphic style on the cover. The reason Asim says there is calligraphic style used on the cover is “this book is art. I am inspired by my Semitic background, along with many other life experiences.”


Could Amanda Knox Spend a Holiday in Canada?  (Chantal Desloges, South Asian Generation Next)
If you are a permanent resident, only serious crimes will bar you from entry; however, if you are a student, visitor, or temporary worker, even minor infractions may be enough to keep you out.


Ethnicity and Disability  (Jacqueline Chatterpaul, South Asian Generation Next)
So why is there so much shame associated with it? I don’t need to refer to the study to say that South Asian immigrant mothers’ perceptions of their child s disability are influenced by both traditional cultural notions of disability, as well as those imposed on mothers through institutional and societal norms. “Back home” the shame associated with disability was based on economic grounds. The dependency of a disabled child meant one less person contributing to the family income. Any medication involved would be a drain on whatever income the family brought in. It was impractical. But in a society like Canada where disabled peoples have rights, reservations and resources, this mentality does not have to thrive.


Asian immigration driving Canada’s positive dietary trends (Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun)
If Euro-Canadians are feeling a bit smug that seafood consumption is up and beef consumption is down in this country, they can cut it out right now. A new report from the NPD Group finds that most of the positive dietary trends in Canada – more fruit snacks, less red meat, more seafood – are being driven by Asian immigration. Although it is possible that all Canadians are adopting more Asian eating habits as culinary fusion takes hold. Asians now make up about 11 per cent of Canada’s population, that’s 3.3 million people. According to food and beverage analyst Joel Gregoire people of Asian descent are more likely than the average Canadian to reach for fruit as a snack.


Toronto grandmother faces immigration nightmare for family (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
The couple has asked Immigration Minister Jason Kenny’s office to exercise discretion and issue their grandson a temporary resident permit to come and stay with them until he can care for himself, or until his mother is rehabilitated. The family’s application for the permit was rejected by the Canadian visa post in Manila, which suggested the Mirandas bring the child here through international adoption, a process that can take up to two years. Mary Joseph, the family’s lawyer, said an adoption through a qualified agency costs $20,000, beyond the reach of the grandmother’s income as a domestic caregiver.–toronto-grandmother-faces-immigration-nightmare-for-family


Failure Rates Keep on Soaring After Tougher Canadian Citizenship Tests (SBWire)
Previous failure rates for the test ranged between four and eight per cent. However, these rates reached thirty per cent when the new test was introduced. Officials reworked the test since this high rate would slow down the whole process since would-be Canadians who failed the test had to plead their case before the citizenship judges. This reworked test has cut down the failure rate to around twenty per cent, which is still relatively high. To further avoid swamping the system, officials are allowing applicants who flunked the first time to try a second time.


Tories further boost military role in citizenship ceremonies (Tobi Cohen,
Members of the Order of Military Merit are now eligible to preside over citizenship ceremonies, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Tuesday in yet another move aimed at selling Canada’s military to new Canadians.






On a Collision Course with the Charter (Janet Dench, The Mark)
The House of Commons will soon vote at a second reading on the Conservative government’s Bill C-4, or the “Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act.” This legislation sends a misleading and dangerous message to Canadians: that foreigners pose a threat to the country. From a policy perspective, Bill C-4 is a jaw-dropper. It is advertised as an anti-smuggling bill intended to deter the arrival of refugees that are smuggled into the country. Its provisions, however, mainly target the refugees, rather than the smugglers. The legislation imposes mandatory one-year detention for refugees upon their arrival in Canada, without review by a judge or tribunal. This, however, is only the beginning of the bill’s incoherencies.


DNA Tests: A barrier to speedy family reunification (CCR)
Demands for DNA testing are causing significant hardships for some families, especially those who cannot afford the test or who have already been waiting years to be reunited. Most troubling of all is the impact on children, kept separated from their parents. The report makes recommendations to the Canadian government to review current practices relating to DNA testing and their impacts on affected families and to adopt clear guidelines designed to ensure that DNA testing is only used as a last resort. 8 pages, 2011.


Anti-Smuggling Law Punishes Victims, Critics Charge (Fawzia Sheikh, InterPress Service)
A former immigration officer and a refugee lawyer both agree on one issue regarding a controversial Canadian bill: The government’s plan to expedite anti-human smuggling legislation is unlikely to deter the flood of undocumented migrants to the country and instead bolsters Ottawa’s stature as tough on protecting national borders.


Bill C-4: Mandatory Detention for Designated Refugee Claimants (Chantal Delsoges, South Asian Generation Next)
Critics of Bill C-4 claim that mandatory detention violates Canadian and international law. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for example, grants everyone the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned. Yet, supporters of the bill view the provisions as a necessary evil


Bill C-4 – What is it really about?  (Rathika Sitsabaiesan, South Asian Generation Next)
On September 19, 2011, I stood in the House of Commons and participated in the debate concerning Bill C-4, a bill which the government has called “The Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act”. However, in my opinion, this bill is not at all about stopping human smugglers, but rather it is an attack on refugees and on the Canadian Immigration System.


Gay refugees fear scorned woman (Katherine Wilton, Montreal Gazette)
The men say they never reported either incident because they had no confidence the police would intervene. “The culture is too macho – they don’t accept homosexuality,” Gonzalez said. The gay couple fled toMontreal in the summer of 2008.


Statistical Reports (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Today, UNHCR released the companion to its annual Global Trends publication. The report, Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries: Statistical Overview of Asylum Applications Lodged in Europe and Selected non-European Countries, finds that industrialized countries experienced “a 17 per cent increase in asylum applications in the first half of this year, with most claimants coming from countries with long-standing displacement situations.” The principal countries of origin were Afghanistan, China, Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq and Iran.


Building contacts is the soul of business Satish Takhar (South Asian Generation Next)
Lou Milrad, CEO and Chair of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) was the keynote speaker at Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Business  Networking reception held at The Host in Richmond Hill on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Mr. Milrad said the GTMA and the ICCC would explore ways to work together in areas of common interest.






Goar: Suddenly, the politicians and bankers are listening (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Three years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to say, “Income distribution is important and there is a concern that a very, very small group of people have very large incomes and that others do not have those same opportunities.” Only misguided critics of capitalism and their followers used that kind of language. It would have been even more surprising to hear Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney defend street protests against income inequality as “entirely constructive.”–goar-suddenly-the-politicians-and-bankers-are-listening


Minister of State Wong releases report of the National Seniors Council (Canada News Centre)
Today, the Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), joined Mr. Jean-Guy Soulière, Chair of the National Seniors Council (NSC), in announcing the release of the Council’s Report on the Labour Force Participation of Seniors and Near Seniors and Intergenerational Relations.


Harper to give Ontario 13 more federal seats (Robert Benzie Susan Delacourt and Rob Ferguson, Toronto Star)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will award the province of Ontario an additional 13 seats in the House of Commons — half of the 26 new constituencies being proposed, the Star has learned. Under the revised plan, which Harper discussed with Premier Dalton McGuinty last Friday, Ontario would be boosted to 119 seats from 106 in time for the 2015 federal election to reflect population growth. In other changes, Alberta would gain six seats and jump to 34, British Columbia an additional five for a boost to 41, and Quebec another two to increase to 77.–harper-to-give-ontario-13-more-federal-seats?bn=1


Representation by numbers means we don’t count (The Independent, Hans Rollmann)
In Canada, there have always been two principles struggling with each other in how we structure our representation. On the one hand, there’s been a drive to entrench ‘representation by population’: the number of representatives is determined by the number of people. On the other hand however, there’s been the fact that Canada is not a single homogenous nation, but a federation of unique regions each of which expect to be treated fairly equally. So these federated partners, which we know better as provinces, have often struggled against the principle of pure representation by numbers. If Canada adopted wholeheartedly the principle of numbers, then the larger more populous partners in Confederation – Ontario and British Columbia, for instance – would wind up with a lot more power than the other partners (and places like PEI might as well just, you know, sink).






New immigrants face additional hurdles (Mary Teresa Bitti, Vancouver Sun)
Giving new immigrants an opportunity is Arnon Melo’s way of paying forward the break one of his first bosses in logistics gave him after he came to Canada. Melo is founder and managing director of Mellohawk Logistics, an international freight forwarder based in Toronto, which was recognized this year for its leadership role in community-building by Scotiabank and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Big Impact Challenge awards program.


Changes to the Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (South Asian Generation Next)
Have you ever wondered how a Peruvian field hand ended up picking strawberries in Northern Ontario? Have you ever considered why an American labourer might be drilling for oil in Fort McMurray? Like thousands of foreign workers each year, they may be working in Canada under the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This controversial program has become a common way for people from abroad to work in Canada.






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


What works in cities: Why placemaking requires passion even more than big budget (Michelle Bruch, Yonge Street Media)
Placemaking is designed to create a vision that is much more practical than a pretty architectural rendering. “The voices of the people are significant anchors,” says Fred Kent, president of the New York-based Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit that consults with cities on how to create strong public spaces. “It creates places that are meaningful to them.”


New York Times on Roncesvalles Village (Yonge Street Media)
The New York Times Travel section gives Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village a rave review. Describing the area “a hub of local design and casual-hip dining,” the article profiles five of Roncesvalles’ most innovative small business owners. “In the Roncesvalles Village area of Toronto, shop windows still trumpet ‘godziny otwarcia’—Polish for ‘opening hours.’


Building a community (Hamilton Spectator)
Anyone can build a strong community if they have the know-how, and the Immigrant Women’s Centre of Hamilton is hosting an event to help teach those skills. The Building Community Together: Community Development and Mobilization Conference will take place on Nov 2.–building-a-community




Nefarious: Merchant of Souls Screenings (Hope for the Sold)
I am super excited that Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, a film about sex trafficking, is being screened in Ontario this month!  Check out this trailer and see the event info below.


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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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