Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 25, 2011


Team London And The Mayors Mentoring Scheme (Cities of Migration)
In August 2010, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson launched a city-wide mentoring scheme to provide positive role models for disadvantaged young teenagers. Part of Londons innovative use of the voluntary sector to resolve wider social problems, the scheme has already attracted 1,700 volunteer mentors.

Multiculturalism, made in Canada (Daniel Cere, Montreal Gazette)
For good or ill, multiculturalism is a groundbreaking development in the theory and practice of modern liberal democracies. It is hailed as a remarkable global advance by some, and blamed as the cause of troublesome cultural and political conflicts by others. However, in the heat of debate, the foundational role of Canadian political thought and statecraft in the multicultural project has been largely overlooked. This month Canadians are marking the 40th anniversary of their officially multicultural country: on Oct. 8, 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to declare multiculturalism as its state policy. As the intellectual and political architect of multiculturalism, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau put forward a deep theory of the multicultural liberal state and, as a statesman, pressed for a robust enactment of this theory in public policy and constitutional reform.

Multiculturalism does not mean anything goes (Brian Seaman, TroyMedia)
Multiculturalism has been described as a failure by various European leaders, including U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. However, as Canadians discuss the issue, care must be taken to distinguish our experience from Europes. France has banned hijabs and niqabs from public facilities. Switzerland has banned the construction of minarets. European Union agencies charged with learning why African, Arab and Turkish immigrants arent fitting in well identify poverty and racism as barriers to integration. Politicians bemoan this lack of integration. Racist skinhead louts or ultra-rightist thugs clash with their darker complexioned counterparts on the streets of Paris, Amsterdam and Milan. Such is Europe. Such was always Europe, cynics say.

Why are judges giving immigrants who commit serious crimes a second chance? (Michael Friscolanti, Maclean’s)
In theory, his removal should have been routine. According to the law, any non-citizen sentenced to more than two years cannot challenge his pending deportation at the Immigration and Refugee Board, paving the way for a supposedly swift ejection. But Barkza had one option lefta backdoor tactic that more and more foreign criminals are using to fight their deportations: he returned to court and appealed his sentence. Last month, his wish was granted. Albertas highest court agreed to shave 2½ months off the original term, leaving Barkza with a final sentence of two years minus one day. That 24-hour distinctionthe difference between two years, and two years less a daywas just enough to reinstate his appeal rights to the IRB, a process that will certainly delay, if not cancel, his flight out of Canada.

Suspect war criminal still avoiding extradition (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is looking at ways of deporting from Canada a suspected war criminal from Pakistan whose government does not want him back. I am looking into this case, Toews said on Monday of the deportation of Arshad Muhammad, who is accused of taking part in crimes against humanity. It is a long-standing problem (obtaining travel documents) with both Pakistan and India.

Laurier graduate student receives national award for immigration research (Exchange)
The second annual national Gunn Award was presented today to Alyshea Cummins, a Masters student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. The Award was presented by the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. The Gunn Award recognizes excellence in immigration research and is an initiative of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society and the International Migration Research Centre at Laurier University.

Bollywood goes Hollywood, and Toronto is the testing ground (Aparita Bhandari, Globe And Mail)
This sort of wild adoration isnt uncommon for the 45-year-old actor often referred to as King Khan. Hes the Indian film industrys biggest star (the only possible rival to his title is Bollywoods patriarch Amitabh Bachchan). So Toronto should brace itself: On Wednesday, Khan returns to town for the North American premiere of RA.One Bollywoods biggest-budget spectacle to date with a price tag of more than $20-million. (The premiere takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and coincides Wednesday with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.)

Line blurred between accused and victim in honour killing trial (Christie Blatchford, National Post)
Prosecutors allege they were murdered in a planned and pre-meditated killing meant to restore the family honour, purportedly damaged by the three rebellious teens, the older two of whom had boyfriends. An expert witness will testify later that such killings in some cultures the family are Afghans who came to Canada in 2007 revolve around the notion of the control of womens bodies, especially womens sexuality

Margaret Wente’s facile attack on Canadian academics in The Globe misses the point (John Baglow, The Mark)
Three Canada Days ago, Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente (a naturalized American) wrote a column citing Pierre Bertons definition of a Canadian: someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. She admitted to having tried this on, and then wondered aloud if todays immigrants would attempt the feat. As a result of her comments, Wente has now been called a racist not, it must be said, for the first time. But by well-respected academics.

Event Nov 8, 2011: RBC Intercultural Speaker Series with Naomi Alboim (NorQuest College)
Join us for an informative and interactive investigation and discussion of immigration and integration trends and practices with Naomi Alboim. On November 8th we expect a day that will produce new insights and provide participants opportunities to share perspectives on immigration and integration in Alberta and Canada going forward.

Legal immigration profound, meaningful, beautiful (Seattle PI)
The nativism in the States contrasts with north of the border, where a multicultural Canada puts out a welcome mat to emibrees. Canada funds immigration integration efforts at a level that surpasses us, said Mayorkas. Canada really does fund their immigration programs. In Mayorkas view, legal immigrants should be encouraged in their hope for a better life. They have chosen to invest in this country.

Bishops of Canada reflect on immigration, receive reports on CCODP (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops)
For the session on immigration, the Justice and Peace Commission had invited Dr. Martin Mark from the Office for Refugees of the Archdiocese of Toronto. He shared his experiences with immigration, focusing particularly on Canadian legislation.

Report: Chinese Immigrants Dental Care Pathways in Montreal, Canada (Mei Dong, DMD, MSc; Alissa Levine, PhD; Christine Loignon, PhD; Christophe Bedos, DDS, PhD, Canadian Dental Association)
Objective: To better understand the dental health care pathways of Montreal-based Chinese immigrants. Conclusion: Understanding immigrants dental health care pathways can help dental health care providers supply culturally competent services and help policy makers devise preventive dental health care programs to suit community needs and cultural contexts.

What happens to liberal values in hard times? (P Pushkar, Asian Times)
But what if some kinds of values – in this case liberal values – are prone to easy abandonment because they never developed deep roots in ways we thought they did? With no end to bad economic news, how many Europeans and Americans will retain or abandon liberal values? If more of the latter, which members of society are likely to become victims of growing intolerance and injustice? The so-called “undeserving poor” certainly. Additionally, the victims are also likely to be from among what Canadians label as “visible minorities”. From this perspective, for the millions of visible minorities who live in the West, the hard times of today may be the beginning of worse to come. They face the prospect of greater discrimination in the economic and social spheres or more. Are we then headed for an era of growing illiberalism in the liberal democracies of the West so far as “others” – whether the poor or visible minorities – are concerned? Are the foundations of liberal democracies really so shallow?

TESL Ontario announces Scarborough student winner of province-wide creativity contest celebrating learning English as a Second Language (Canada Newswire)
A Scarborough student, Kathy Song, is the winner of a province-wide, multi-category creativity contest designed to capture the spirit of ESL education, the Teachers of English as a Second Language of Ontario (TESL Ontario) today announced. Song is an ESL student with Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services in Scarborough, who won the grand prize for an essay.


Media Advisory: Public Service Commission (Marketwire)
The Public Service Commission’s 2010-2011 Annual Report, along with 11 audit reports and the Report on the Agreement on the Follow-up to the Audit of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, will be tabled in Parliament. Two other documents will also be released. The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) will table its 2010-2011 Annual Report to Parliament, as well as 11 audit reports and the Report on the Agreement on the Follow-up to the Audit of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. In addition, two other documents will be released.

Hill Dispatches: This week there will be lots of action as the government pushes its agenda vigorously (Karl Nerenberg, Rabble)
The House will continue debating the refugee bill and the Wheat Board this week, while the omnibus crime bill is still before committee. It is interesting that even witnesses before the committee who say they support the bill do so with considerable reservations. Irvin Waller is an internationally respected victims’ rights advocate and criminologist at the University of Ottawa. He told the committee he supported the measures in Bill C-10, but then spent most of his time saying that increased and mandatory sentences and other punitive measures would only make sense if there were corresponding muscular and serious measures on the prevention side.

Refugee Forum to Analyze Impact of New Balance Refugee Reform Act (Salvation Army)
On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, immigration and refugee experts, including Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) representatives, lawyers, community advocates and social agency leaders will provide an in-depth discussion of the upcoming changes to the Canadian refugee law, to be enacted in June 2012 through Bill C-11, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act… In addition, to mark the 20th anniversary of the FCJ Refugee Centre the Refugee Forum will recognize Judy Broadbent of the Maytree Foundation, a person dedicated to the journey of uprooted people for decades. Judys passion for the wellbeing of young people finds expression at the foundation through the Maytree Scholarship Program, providing scholarship opportunities to refugee students. Unlike other, more traditional scholarships the support of the Maytree program goes beyond financial resources. Judy has built a program that provides a community of support, recognizing the emotional and social needs of students who are often alone in Canada. To date 160 students have benefited from the Maytree Scholarship program.

Video Resources: LGBT Asylum Issues (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
The LGBT Asylum News blog regularly posts videos that focus on asylum and RSD issues relating to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender asylum seekers. Here are a few recent ones.

Woman loses bid to stay in Canada (James Turner, Metro Winnipeg)
A Russian woman living in Winnipeg and hoping to stay in Canada who says she fears violent persecution from racist skinheads back home has lost a bid to overturn government ruling saying shes not in need of protection. But that doesnt mean Tatyana Lebedeva will be immediately kicked out of the country, her lawyer said Monday. The 55-year-old mother sought refuge in Canada after arriving on a visitors visa in 2008.–woman-loses-bid-to-stay-in-canada


November 23: Seeking paths to justice – Special Forum (CLEONet)
At this forum, you will learn about our innovative plans to tackle these issues. Many challenges were already identified in our recent Paths to Justice: Navigating with the Wandering Lost report. We want your feedback on what else we can do to improve access to justice. What challenges have you noticed in the last 6 or 7 months? Have you seen improvements?

Rising inequality (Patrick Baud, The Varsity)
Incomes are becoming increasingly unequal in Canada. While the rich (and especially, the super-rich) are getting richer, the rest of Canada is falling behind. Families that could get by with one income 30 years ago are now struggling with two. New graduates who can find jobs have to accept mediocre salaries and wonder how to repay their loans. Meanwhile, the richest Canadians have seen their incomes increase significantly, particularly in the past decade.


TRIECs fall e-Lert is out (TRIEC)
Read about the changes weve made to the TRIEC website and why, how a Metro Morning story helped connect a skilled immigrant with his first job in Canada and why group mentoring is working for professional immigrant networks. TRIECs Executive Director, Elizabeth McIsaac, also explains why we need you to tell us who should be nominated for an Immigrant Success Award.

Learn about PAYE TRIEC Employment Partnership Initiative (TRIEC)
TRIEC has partnered with the City of Toronto, through their Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE) team, to increase access to employment opportunities for youth and skilled immigrants. This joint TRIEC/PAYE initiative will effectively give employers the opportunity to fill both entry-level and professional employment opportunities by tapping into the collective strength of both the youth and skilled immigrant talent pools at the same time.–triec-employment-partnership-initiative-2/

P.E.I. streamlines foreign-worker certification (CBC)
The P.E.I. government announced Monday a new half-million-dollar program to streamline the accreditation process for dozens of regulated trades and professions including construction, dentistry and hairdressing. The province hopes to make the province more attractive to immigrants by making it easier for foreign workers to apply their skills in the labour market.

Foreign Workers Abused in Nova Scotia (Hilary Beaumont, Halifax Media Co-op)
In 2004, Nenette moved to Nova Scotia from the Philippines. She paid a placement agency back home about USD $4,500 to find her a job at a nursing home. When she arrived, a room was waiting for her in the home of a Filipino woman who had a relationship with the original agency. The woman charged Nenette $350 per month to share a small bedroom with two other female workers. It was furnished with only a couch and a pillow on the floor. The cost included food. In addition, Nenette paid her hostess 50 cents out of every hour she worked to cover transportation to and from the nursing home. For a full-time worker, this would have cost around $80 per month. Nenette lived in these conditions for three months before finding her own apartment. She was unaware of her rights. She didnt know she could refuse a shift. The nursing home had recruited Nanette through the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, which allows employers to fill labour shortages by hiring workers from abroad.

The odyssey of a migrant worker (Jonathan Cruz, The Western Review)
Year, 2003. This was the year I started my life as foreign worker in a strange land called Drayton Valley, Alberta with the support of the Gladys and Emmanuel Schultz family of Rocky Rapids, and all my dreams became a reality. From then on I met a lot of loving families here and there who supported me in my early days of being a migrant worker and eventually a permanent resident on my road to becoming a Canadian citizen. These are the families here in Drayton Valley who open up their doors to accommodate “newcomers”. They are the Millers, Labossierres and Meades. They became a welcome house that provides a comfort zone and a refuge centre to bridge the gap of loneliness and despair for new additions to the community.

We can do better than 18 per cent (Todd Humber, Canadian HR Reporter)
Eighteen per cent. Thats a low number, by any standard. Even in baseball, where the best players are lucky to get a hit one-third of the time, batting .180 would quickly earn a spot on the bench, a one-way ticket to the minor leagues and likely mark the end of a career. Yet 18 actually, 17.7 to be precise is the percentage of senior positions at Canadian companies held by women, according to Catalyst Canada. That figure has barely nudged in the last decade, rising just four percentage points between 2002 and 2010.

Gender inequality still an issue for business women (Karlee Johnson, Sundial)
Women in the business world may still be facing gender inequality thought to be long since eradicated, a 2010 study found. The survey found that women received an average of $4,600 less initially than their male colleagues. Women were also given fewer opportunities for promotion, and their salaries increased an average of 2 percent compared with mens 21 percent in 2008. Catalyst, a nonprofit aimed at increasing opportunities for women in business, conducted a survey of 4,000 MBAs who graduated between 1996 and 2007 from business schools in the U.S., Asia, Canada and Europe.

Government of Canada Helps Youth in Metro Vancouver Prepare for the Job Market (Marketwire)
The project participants will attend life and employability skills workshops that focus on topics such as resumé writing, time management and conflict resolution. Following the workshops, they will benefit from work placements in the community. Through these placements, participants will be able to apply their new skills and gain hands-on experience. Skills Link helps youth facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, Aboriginal youth, youth with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas, and youth who have dropped out of high school.

Menial is Menial No More (Ontario Literacy Coalition’s Weblog)
A new discussion paper released today by the Ontario Literacy Coalition suggests that as a result of emerging technology, consumer expectations, and increased global competition, jobs often perceived as low-skilled or entry level need new kinds of skills and that Ontarios economy may depend on our ability to train current and future workers in these types of positions. Menial No More: A Discussion Paper on Advancing our Workforce through Digital Skillsproposes that in order for the current labour market to thrive, radical steps must be taken to enhance the skills of workers in these positions.


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

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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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