Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 6, 2011


Skilled immigrants and Ontario small business: A natural fit (CBC)

“Ontario has a choice,” businessman/philanthropist Alan Broadbent said recently. “We can treat immigration as a cost or a benefit.” If we choose the latter, he said, “we benefit from education that we have not paid for, we benefit from talent that is truly global in a rapidly globalizing economy.” Broadbent is the head of Avana Capital Corporation as well as the Maytree Foundation, a non-profit group interested in social issues that funds, among other things, an organization called ALLIES (Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies).

City ups minority presence in public jobs to 3.86 per cent (Sherbrooke Record)
The City of Sherbrooke has increased the number of public employees stemming from minority groups from 21 to 69 over the last five years according to statistics revealed at Monday night’s council meeting. A total of 3.86 per cent of city employees now come from either native groups, visible minorities or ethnic minorities according to the statistics, not including part-time or seasonal employees.

Hey, big spenders (Ottawa Citizen)
High annual outlay, healthy economy drawing immigrants, international retailers to Ottawa, forum told.

Event Oct 28: Exploring How Immigrant Women Conceptualize Activism: Implications for Mental Health Promotion (CERIS)
Panelist: Judith MacDonnell, Faculty of Information, York University. Moderator: Sandeep Agrawal, Ryerson University.

U of T launches India Innovation Institute (South Asian Philanthropy)
In addition to helping U of T researchers engage with colleagues in India and around the world, The India Innovation Institute will foster new, multidisciplinary collaborations. Professor Dilip Soman, Corus Chair in Communications Strategy and a professor of marketing at Rotman, will be the institute’s inaugural director.

What makes suburban voters tick? (Toronto Observer)
When asked by an audience member about the importance of the ethnic vote, Galabuzi answered, “Just ask Jason Kenney if it’s important or not.” Kenney, the federal citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister, was at a Scarborough mosque recently to campaign for local provincial PC candidates ahead of the Oct. 6 election. Writer Dave Meslin said the habit of not voting at all is a large problem and it has to do with what day elections are held.

Ottawa family gains citizenship, but without mother (CBC)
A family who fled Ethiopia for Canada four years ago say they are frustrated with Canada’s immigration rules, after the father and three of his children gained citizenship but the mother was denied over a failed test. Mersha Yirga Nekash and three of his children became Canadian citizens at a ceremony in Ottawa Wednesday, but he said the real celebration won’t begin until his wife, Menen Garsherba, becomes a Canadian as well.

Canada attempts to streamline immigration (
Canada is currently struggling to deal with a backlog of immigration applications. The backlog of immigration applications is hurting Canada’s reputation as a top immigration destination for skilled migrants. In some cases people are choosing Australia as an alternative immigration destination. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that the situation was a “huge problem”. He has spoken frequently about the need to streamline the application process and get the backlog under control.

Something brewing beneath transphobic ads in Ontario (
The struggles of LGBT youth and trans people are both being framed as a conflict of rights. But comparing the rights of people to participate in society to the rights of people who want to intimidate and prevent them from doing so is a false equivalence. Anti-bullying ordinances, positive portrayals of LGBT people in teachings and student-driven initiatives to support LGBT youth are not unreasonable things to ask. During discussion of the policy proposed in Edmonton, columnists at the National Post complained that the particular ordinance called for affirming LGBT kids. Youth absolutely do have a need and a right to be affirmed as people. The rights of kids to have a safe space should not be trumped by the rights of people to make it hostile.

Citizens talk about diversity (Strathmore Standard)
Over 50 citizens from rural centers including Brooks, Chestermere, Burdett, Vermillion, Medicine Hat, Tofield, Olds and Strathmore attended a unique cultural diversity symposium called Opening Doors: Creating Conditions for Success on Sept. 29 and 30. The event was hosted by the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and the Southern Alberta Rural Intercultural Learning Network and aimed to share best practices and engage employers, businesses and citizens in a conversation about cultural diversity, multiculturalism and building welcoming communities in rural centers.


Mandatory detention of refugee children in Canada: A public health issue? PDF (Paediatrics & Child Health)
Dr. Rachel Kronick, has just published an online article calling upon paediatricians and other health professionals to oppose detention of asylum-seeking children, especially in the context of Bill C4. She presents an excellent summary of the negative impact of detention on children’s mental health, as well as some case examples drawn from her research interviews with detained families in Canada, and concludes with a strong critique of Bill C4.,%20Pulsus%20Group%20Inc&HCtype=Consumer

Chinese family granted refugee status (Toronto Sun)
“The children are Canadians and they would have been stigmatized in China,” Kellogg said. “They will be shunned by other Chinese because they were born abroad.” He said there are at least 25 cases involving women and China’s one-child policy waiting to be determined.


Vital Signs report a call to action (Chronicle Herald)
Statistics on poverty, school drop-out rates, health risks and employment have something in common with government programs set up to deal with these issues. Both are most valuable when we put them to practical use. Statistics matter most when they turn on lightbulbs and trigger thoughtful action. When they help people identify a problem or opportunity and get them to do something about it. And even the best of social programs are only effective if people they’re intended to help know about them and feel able to use them.

Social programs are in public interest (Catholic Register)
Investing in social programs that tackle poverty makes “economic sense,” according to a new report by a federal advisory group on poverty. “It is in the public interest for all governments in Canada’s federation to invest in preventing poverty and improving economic and social well-being,” said the National Council of Welfare in its report “The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty.”


Long-term immigrants in NS more likely to be working than locals: Stats Canada (Openfile Halifax)
You’re half as likely to be unemployed if you’re an immigrant who’s been in Nova Scotia for more than ten years. According to graphs and numbers put together by The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, while immigrants who’ve been here for less than five years have an unemployment rate of 11.9 per cent (Nova Scotia’s average is 9.3 per cent), immigrants who stick it out for ten years or more have unemployment rates of 4.9 per cent. That’s just over half the national average of 8 per cent.

MP Glover Announces Funding for Immigrant Youth to Prepare for the Job Market (Marketwire)
The Government of Canada is providing job preparation training and work experience to local youth who are new to Canada and who face barriers to employment. Mrs. Shelly Glover, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, announced today that the Winnipeg Salvation Army will receive over $99,000 in federal Skills Link funding to support its Multicultural Family Centre project.

American workers a good fit for Alberta (Troy Media)
Americans need jobs and Alberta needs workers. A similar culture, language, and geographic proximity can simplify the process of bringing U.S. workers north. What’s lacking is a history of labour mobility. With an appropriate framework in place that makes recruitment and integration more seamless the available labour pool could be greatly enlarged.

Diversity in culture and faith: a contributor to workplace success? Share your thoughts (Diversity)
The business-oriented discourse on faith, religion and culture in the workplace has evolved into one that takes a closer look at how a workplace can benefit from the varying aspects of diversity such as these. With approximately 78% of Canadians identifying with one faith/religious practice or another, this aspect of diversity undoubtedly is co-represented by the multicultural landscape of our workplace. For many, it is intrinsically a part of who they are. How has diversity in culture and faith contributed to your company or organization’s success? Comment below and share your thoughts.

Let’s talk about your business. Ideally in your mother tongue.” “Our economy speaks all languages. (WISE5)
These findings were communicated during an informative webinar entitled Enterprising Cities: Incubating Immigrant Entrepreneurship and hosted by Cities of Migration. The webinar focused on “two city-led programs in Helsinki and Vienna that are boosting the local economy by providing practical tools and services that help new immigrant entrepreneurs turn good ideas into business success.” An initiative of the City of Vienna and the Vienna Business Agency, Mingo Migrant Enterprises offers various supports in the most common native languages of immigrants. The City of Helsinki’s Economic and Planning Centre and Business Development offers EnterpriseHelsinki, “a proactive and practical business-counseling service to help new immigrant entrepreneurs launch their ideas with confidence.”

Wage theft across the province (Workers’ Action Centre)
“How can a family continuously open company after company after company and not pay their workers?” asks WAC organizer Karen Dick in a Windsor Star article published this week. But as
workers who were employed by Global Fiber Recovery in Windsor found out, our broken labour laws allow employers to do just that.

New Burnaby program creates bridges to employment (Vancouver Sun)
New program connects new Canadians with professionals in their field to share information and network. Working together with the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, the Burnaby Board of Trade is promoting the Burnaby Workplace Ambassador Project, a program designed to create opportunities between internationally trained workers and local employers.


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

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

Broke City? (Torontoist)
Last night, the University of Toronto’s Cities Centre had its first talk in a series called Toronto in Question. The question, Is Toronto Broke?, brought Enid Slack, director of the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance at the University of Toronto, and Shirley Hoy, CEO of the Toronto Lands Corporation and former City Manager, together for an evening of frank discussion

Is Toronto broke or not? (Spacing)
Hoy talked about the structural deficit that has been present in Toronto’s budget ever since amalgamation and provincial downloading, which was supposed to be revenue neutral but wasn’t, she said, because Toronto has more social housing than other municipalities. (A questioner pointed out that the deficit was exacerbated by three years without a property tax increase under Lastman). Slack also pointed out that there are several kinds of downloading — for example, when the province improved water standards after Walkerton but did not provide money to municipalities to make those improvements, or when the federal government encourages more immigration but does not provide sufficient services to help immigrants adapt, leaving the city and schools to take up the slack.


Canada has best reputation in the world, study finds (Yonge Street Media)
Canada has the best reputation in the world, according to a new study conducted by the Reputation Institute. The study, which polled 42,000 respondents worldwide, revealed that Canada is considered by the international community to be a safe, stable and welcoming country. “Carried out by the Reputation Institute, an international research firm specialized in corporate reputation management, the study measured aspects such as trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings, to gauge the public perception of a country.”

What Canada Needs Most – Resilience – Important new McConnell Publication (Al Etmanski)
A Resilient Society is Inclusive, Sustainable and Innovative. That pretty well sums up the fruits of the JW McConnell Family Foundation’s journey over the last fifteen years. Fifteen years of learning, risk taking and jettisoning assumptions. A period in which the foundation shifted from funding buildings to supporting the adaptive capacity of people; from helping Canadians cope with change to actively intervening and guiding it; from certainty about their assumptions to openness – constantly learning, adapting and co-creating with their grantees.

What exactly is a B Corporation? (
Certified B Corporations are “a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.” To receive certification, companies must meet high quality and independent standards of social and environmental performance including the following: Accountability, Employees, Consumers, Community and Environment. This certification, based on a points system, is provided through B Lab, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting this growing ecosystem of companies creating good.

Social media – you get it, you really get it! Now what? (TechsoupCanada)
Allison Fine spoke to a group of nonprofits at Network Orange (ING Direct’s new cafe and coworking space in downtown Toronto) about social media and where we go once we’ve figured out the basics of how to update our Facebook wall or send a tweet. More importantly, she discussed what it means for our organization to truly embrace social media – a painful but critical change from a traditional, hierarchical, complex organization to a networked nonprofit. (note, we organized this session)

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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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