Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 27, 2011


Immigrants essential: Mayor (Jan Dean,
“Many people think the success of Calgary and Alberta is because of ‘luck’ — because we have carbon molecules under our feet,” he said. The oil sands, he points out, are two hours away from Calgary.
Nenshi credits immigrants who have brought their work ethic and skills west for its success. To continue to be successful, whether as cities or a country, what’s needed is to spread Canada’s brand around the world to attract the best and brightest immigrants. Nenshi describes immigration as “one of the greatest bait-and-switch games in human history,” saying it gives points to would-be immigrants for their education and skills, yet makes it difficult for them to get Canadian accreditation once they arrive. “That’s a waste of human potential,” he said.–immigrants-essential-mayor

Beaverbrook branch to celebrate Library Settlement Program Days (Phil Ambroziak, Kanata EMC)
The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) truly is the ultimate source for information. This definitely holds true for new Canadians looking to adjust comfortably to their surroundings and to learn everything they need to know about starting a new life in their adopted homeland. “The Library Settlement Program helps integrate newcomers into the community,” remarked Patricia Skarzynski, supervisor at the Beaverbrook branch of the OPL.

Canada’s visa policy may yet scuttle free-trade deal (Cat Contiguglia, The Prague Post)
As two years of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada reach an endgame, Czech officials are sticking to threats to block ratification if a controversial Canadian visa requirement is not lifted. “We hope we won’t need any visa at the time when the ratification procedure starts,” Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Tlapa, who has taken part in the negotiations, told The Prague Post. “Otherwise, we will have a serious problem.”

MPG developing diversity toolkit for political parties (Migration Policy Group)
The Migration Policy Group is putting together a toolkit for political parties to mainstream diversity throughout their party processes, such as during their outreach to potential voters, how they select candidates, how they recruit employees and buy goods and services.

Pros & cons of collecting demographic data to improve educational equity for students (Diane Dyson, Belonging Community)
On Monday, more than sixty school board staff and community members from Ottawa and the GTA area gathered at York University for a roundtable on the topic of student demographic data and educational equity. Sponsored by the Knowledge Network for Applied Education Research, the project hopes to corral the various ways boards are using non-academic data about students to better serve their academic needs. It’s a topic that is difficult to summarize within an afternoon’s work, however Peel region’s Paul Favaro set the stage, highlighting many key challenges.

Swedes urged to adopt Canada’s immigration model (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
A new Swedish book adds voice to a chorus of voices urging the Swedish government to adopt Canada’s immigration system. The Globe and Mail reports the book, titled Kanadamodellen — “The Canada Model,” touts our country’s targeted immigration programs, points-based recruitment scheme, and ethnic networks of support in major cities that help newcomers find employment.

A one-stop shop for newcomers opens on Main East (Jeff Green, Hamilton Spectator)
It’s a one-stop shop for newcomers, and it’s entirely free. After Settlement and Integration Services Organization’s (SISO) funding was cut in February, pockets of organizations aimed to ease the transition for new Canadians popped up across the city, offering to take up the new slack.–a-one-stop-shop-for-newcomers-opens-on-main-east

Ottawa moves to curb marriages of convenience (Bill Curry, Globe and Mail)
The suspicions started when the same relatives showed up again and again in wedding photos. Then came the elaborately staged – and entirely fake – wedding receptions. Now, as Canadian intelligence officials working in China, India and other foreign missions are locked in a cat and mouse game to nab immigration fraudsters, Ottawa is preparing to unveil a new “conditional” immigration status to curb marriage fraud.

Canada’s Largest Conference on “English as a Second Language” for new Canadians (Canada Newswire)
English as a Second Language (ESL) education is crucial for new Canadians so they can find employment, develop relationships and integrate into Canadian society. These and other ESL related issues will be addressed at the 39th Annual TESL Ontario Conference from October 27-29, 2011, starting at 8:30 AM at the Sheraton Centre Hotel, 123 Queen Street West, in Toronto. The conference offers a variety of workshops, plenary speakers, research symposia and a panel discussion on many relevant issues.

A defence of Metro’s ethnic enclaves (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Will growing ethnic enclaves lead to distrust and division among Metro Vancouver residents? “Or might enclaves provide a safe haven where minority cultures flourish within a cultural mosaic made up of groups from China, India, Korea, the Phillippines, Europe and elsewhere? These are the difficult questions that surfaced in my six-day series on ethnic enclaves in Metro Vancouver, which ended last week.

Canadian citizenship celebrated (Nick Lypaczewski Times-Journal)
Last week marked Citizenship Week in Canada and the YWCA St. Thomas Elgin celebrated the occasion with an annual citizenship celebration, an event to highlight the pride of being Canadian. “It was fabulous; it was a really good night,” YWCA manager of education and employment Shelley Harris said.


FCJ Refugee Centre recognizes Judy Broadbent for her dedication to the wellbeing of refugees (Maytree blog)
On October 25, 2011, the FCJ Refugee Centre recognized Judy Broadbent, vice chair of Maytree, for her dedication to the journey of uprooted people. As Francisco Rico-Martinez, Co-Director of the FCJ Refugee Centre, pointed out, Judy’s passion for the wellbeing of young people finds expression through the Maytree Scholarship Program, which provides scholarship opportunities to students who came to Canada as refugees. 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.

Join flashmobs to promote the rights of non-citizen children and youth (CLEONet)
In order to raise awareness amongst Canadian citizens about the fact Canada does not respect non-citizen children and youth rights, the CCR Youth Network is preparing several flashmobs throughout Canada. This period of the year is a strategic moment since the United Nations is ready to examine Canada (November 2011-June 2012) on its respect of children rights. In addition, the objective of the flashmobs will be to gather signatures on a petition about non-citizen children and youth, so that we can then meet with Canadian MPs and give them the petitions.

Roma refugee influx at Pearson (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
Up to 50 Hungarian Roma are routinely filing refugee claims daily at Pearson airport, putting a strain on airport staff and medical services, according to border services officials. A record 110 claimants arrived at the airport one night last week, creating a challenge for immigration and security personnel working to process them, officers say. The Hungarian Roma are a stateless ethnic group that considers the name “Gypsy” derogatory.

Immigration officials closely monitoring Roma arrivals (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
Senior immigration brass are monitoring the thousands of Hungarian Romas filing for refugee status in Canada and taking steps to shut down the flow of claimants. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office said a new Balanced Refugee Reform Act to take affect in June will hopefully put an end to some of the bogus claims. “We are taking action to stop this abuse,” Kenney aide, Candice Malcolm, said on Thursday. “We are concerned about the rising number of unfounded refugee claims from people who take advantage of our generosity.”


Video: Helping immigrants find meaningful employment (Rima Kar, CityNews)
CityNews reporter Rima Kar with how one organization is leading the charge in helping immigrants find gainful employment. Includes interview with Ratna, focus on SME report/project.

Webionar November 30, 2011: Increasing Intercultural Competence: Maximizing a diverse workforce (hireimmigrants)
Developing the intercultural competence of employees will improve their ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures. This, in turn, improves employee management, teamwork, productivity and customer service. This webinar will highlight important practices to increase the intercultural competence of your employees.

October enewsletter (ALLIES)
In this issue:
• Strengthening Our Economy: Connecting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises with the Skilled Immigrant Workforce
• ALLIES: Reflecting on Our Work
• Minimizing Differences – Maximizing Talent
• Professional Immigrant Networks Expanding Across the Country!
• New Communities – New Immigrant Employment Solutions
• Councils @ Work
• Resources You Can Use
• ALLIES’ newest team member

He was a doctor in India, a trucker here and a hero for delivering a baby midflight (Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star)
“It was very exciting … I’m glad I was able to help,” Ahuja said in a phone interview en route to Collingwood in a tractor-trailer. “But I doubt I’ll use my skills again.” At least, he doesn’t expect to use them here. Like most foreign-trained doctors, Ahuja must be recertified before he can practise. But with thousands of foreign-trained doctors in the country and few opportunities for residency, Ahuja says he knows it will be almost impossible.–he-was-a-doctor-in-india-a-trucker-here-and-a-hero-for-delivering-a-baby-midflight?bn=1

From The Mark: How volunteering can help build ‘Canadian experience’ (Nick Noorani, National Post)
When Anita (not her real name) first moved from India to Canada, the marketing professional didn’t know what to expect. Even so, she never imagined finding a job in her field would be as difficult as it turned out to be. She was repeatedly turned down, because she “lacked Canadian experience.” To seek advice, Anita approached a settlement counsellor, who suggested volunteering as a good way to get that experience. “Work for free? That’s not why I came to Canada,” she said. But she decided to give it a chance, and began volunteering at the YMCA, working with new Canadians like herself. Now, three years later, Anita smiles at the memory of her original response. She remains an active volunteer with the YMCA — while heading up a leading-edge social media company at the same time.
Facebook chat with Nick today:

Government agencies clarify roles in foreign farmworkers program (Steve Arstad – Keremeos Review)
In general, though, temporary foreign workers, including agricultural workers, have access to the same recourse mechanisms as Canadian workers when it comes to labour and employment standards. Provinces and territories have primary responsibility for enforcement of labour standards and have offices that can assist all workers regarding fair pay, hours of work, rest periods and general working conditions. Workers should contact the appropriate authority in the province or territory they work in if they have concerns.


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

LORINC: How to fund a Toronto transformation (John Lorinc, Spacing Toronto)
We’ve seen a lot of opposition to Mayor Rob Ford’s administration in this past year, and a great deal of it is spot on. But on the anniversary of Ford’s victory — and also on the eve of the opening of the “Fourth Wall” project at The Urban Space Gallery — I’d like to borrow a page from Layton’s book and propose a sort-of new idea to advance the debate about the state of the city.

The Fourth Wall: Transforming City Hall (Curated By Dave Meslin, Urban Space Gallery)
City Hall also has a fourth wall. Most residents are simply spectators, passively witnessing local politics through headlines and soundbites. How can we break this fourth wall and create a culture of local citizen engagement? How can we open the doors to meaningful dialogue and participation, allowing us to collectively build the city we want to live in? The City often tries to communicate directly with citizens, to share information and seek opinions. Could they do a better job?


Five Good Ideas in the Top Right Drawer! (Alan Broadbent, Maytree Opinion)
It is our hope that Five Good Ideas will be a real help to community sector managers, and in fact to all managers whether they be in government or business, because the elements of good management are common to all. Our observation and experience is that managers in the community sector bring a high level of talent, commitment, and endurance to their work, and we believe Five Good Ideas will make them even better, and will provide a helpful companion whenever needed.

Event November 29 – December 1, 2011 Kitchener – Evaluating Community Impact Workshop (Tamarck Institute)
The Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes workshop is a three-day, interactive learning event designed to increase the capacity of leaders involved in community change efforts to better understand and evaluate the outcomes of these efforts. Due to popular demand, Tamarack is once again offering this workshop to enhance the capacity of communities.

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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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Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 26, 2011

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY Cities of Migration: a good idea that is travelling! (Maytree blog) We’re presenting ten immigrant...