Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 7, 2011


Game on! A new sports festival attempts to erase the divide between jocks and nerds (Yonge Street Media)
The origins of StreetSport, which attracted about 250 people to its inaugural event on Brampton’s Main Street, goes back more than a year. Gruchy was among the 25 applicants chosen for an annual fellowship with DiverseCity, a leadership skills development program created by CivicAction and the Maytree Foundation. Intended to nurture leadership in and among underrepresented racial and ethnic communities, the fellowship groups participants together to create action projects for the city.

Religious leaders confront myths that stop faithful from donating organs (Toronto Star)
Rabbi Reuven Bulka has spent years spreading that message within the Jewish community and beyond with limited success. He is up against centuries of the cultural belief that one should be buried “whole.” This prevents people from supporting organ and tissue donation and costs lives: One person dies every three days in Ontario awaiting a life-saving transplant. “You are trying to undo in a relatively short time, a decade or two or three, thousands of years of fundamental practices,” says Bulka, 67, a longtime Rabbi in Ottawa and chair of the board at Trillium Gift of Life Network, the provincial agency mandated to organize organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Bulka will be in Toronto Oct. 4 to participate in a forum discussing organ donation from the Jewish perspective, organized by the National Council of Jewish Women.

Strong Canadian immigration interest is a ‘big, good problem’: Kenney (Toronto Observer)
Having the bride’s grandmother at the wedding is a must for many families. Unfortunately, numerous immigrants in Scarborough have had family members miss out on such family celebrations because of visa complications. This was just one concern shared by South Asians who came to the Masjid Al-Jannah mosque in Scarborough on Oct. 1 to hear federal immigration minister Jason Kenney speak. The long line for immigration is a “big, good problem,” Kenney told them. “There are far more people who would like to come to Canada than we can practically receive in any one time.” It has been increasingly difficult to deal with the demand as more and more applicants result in longer delays, Kenney said.

Bashir Lazhar a powerful portrait of immigrant experience (Edmonton Journal)
It’s a powerful but delicate human portrait of the immigrant experience: dispossession, alienation and our own habits of intolerance. We meet a haunted man who’s diffident but eager to please. And since we’re a country of immigrants, refugees from the multiple terrors of the world, we’re confronted with … our own selves.

NHL diversity: An idea that needs to be heard (Washington Post)
Since 1995, NHL Diversity, one of the league’s charitable arms, has been a key element of its “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative. The NHL offers support for minority youth hockey organizations, including one at the Fort Dupont skating rink. Current black NHL players have come through the league-sponsored program, and others run by individuals. The NHL needs to do a better job making stuff like this known. Sometimes, it makes sense to toot your horn loudly, “and we haven’t always done the best job telling our story, in terms of diversity,” said former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes, who is black. “I can tell you, first-hand, with my own involvement within the last five years, we’re doing a better job now. Clearly, given [the Simmonds incident], it’s something we have to continue to work on.”

Canada: Czech visas to stay June 2012, “we are monitoring the situation” (
Canada’s revised asylum system, which would once more permit Czech citizens to travel to Canada without visas, will not be launched until June of next year. News server Aktuá reported this morning that the Canadian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Valerie Raymond, has confirmed that information, adding that the Embassy will continue to monitor events in the Šluknov foothills. Ottawa reinstated visas for Czech citizens in June 2009 because of the increased immigration rate of Romani people from the Czech Republic complaining of racial discrimination and seeking asylum in Canada.

More Immigration Workers Needed Says Canada Employment Immigration Union (Muchmor)
There are thousands of people in Canada waiting for their citizenship applications to be completed, and the Canada Employment Immigration Union says more workers are needed to clear the backlog. Citizenship and Immigration recently contracted 86 temporary workers to help clear a backlog in citizenship applications at the Sydney, N.S. office. All applications from across Canada are processed there. The average minimum wait is currently 19 months, up from 15 months in May. CIC says it plans to continue using temporary workers to clear the backlog, if it can find the money.

More immigration workers needed: union (CBC)
There are thousands of people in Canada waiting for their citizenship applications to be completed, and the Canada Employment Immigration Union says more workers are needed to clear the backlog. Citizenship and Immigration recently contracted 86 temporary workers to help clear a backlog in citizenship applications at the Sydney, N.S. office. All applications from across Canada are processed there.

Resources – Newcomer Integration Toolkit (Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration)
The Newcomer Integration Toolkit provides physical and human resources that will aid in the building of community capacity to support immigrant integration and social inclusion. The toolkit aims to support social service agencies by providing resources, practical supports and best practices that will enable the community to better meet the unique needs of newcomers. The toolkit is the product of a collaboration between the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration, New Canadians Centre and Community and Race Relations Committee.

New Brunswick Office: Call for Proposals (CIC)
This letter is to advise you that the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), New Brunswick office, is issuing a Call for Proposals (CFP) for settlement programming for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The purpose of this CFP process is to elicit proposals for the delivery of settlement services consistent with CIC’s policies. The CFP process will include the provision of the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) to help with the resettlement of Refugees to Canada, and activities and projects under the Settlement Program. Deadine: November 14, 2011.

Video: Sensitivity inequality (
Ontario government employees are being forced to show extra respect for Muslim colleagues during Ramadan. Is this going too far?


Iraq war resister Rodney Watson still awaits fate in Canada (
Rodney Watson recently marked the second anniversary of his move to a one-bedroom apartment in the First United Church on East Hastings Street. As a former U.S. soldier and a conscientious objector to the war in Iraq, Watson took sanctuary in the building after Canadian immigration authorities ordered that he be deported in September 2009. Since then, he has made a life in the Downtown Eastside church with his wife, Natasha, and their two-year-old son, Jordan, as he awaits word on his application to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.


Web-based tool on poverty and homelessness (CLEONet)
Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) in North Carolina USA have teamed up with a web development company called McKinney to create an interactive web-based tool that will challenge the way you think about poverty and homelessness.

Mayor Nenshi discusses poverty-reduction initiative at Tamarack Institute event honoring urbanist Jane Jacobs (AlphaTrade)
“We are entering a new era of community building bringing leaders from all sectors together and taking lead on issues facing our cities,” said Paul Born, director, The Tamarack Institute. “The inspiration of Jane Jacobs and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi provide us with real hope that cities can lead.”


The hunt for talent at an emerging giant (Globe and Mail)
Accenture is more than ready to meet this challenge. About five years ago, it set up human capital and diversity teams across the globe to ensure the engagement and retention of employees – in addition to its already robust human resource strategy, which includes attractive compensation and benefits packages. Ms. Thompson was appointed to lead the human capital and diversity initiative in Canada – and she and her team have been busy. Over the last five years, they’ve rolled out a number of action plans and programs, including social events to connect employees, leadership development programs and interest groups for women, employees with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

Ottawa introduces small business hiring credit (CBC)
The program will give “the small business owner a tax cut equivalent to the additional EI premiums, up to $1,000,” the memo says. “As a result, a small business could hire an additional worker at a salary of up to $40,000 or two part-time workers at a salary of up to $20,000 each and they would not have to pay additional EI premiums.” The Conservatives say this credit provides an incentive for small businesses to create jobs. However, small businesses would not necessarily have to hire new workers to qualify. They could also trigger the credit by increasing wages for existing employees, which would also cause the EI premiums payable to rise. Conservatives maintain the credit could help businesses retain staff.


“Toronto Needs To Succeed” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Rahul Bhardwaj, president and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation, about this year’s “Toronto’s Vital Signs” report.


Traditional census the only option for 2016, Statistics Canada says (Globe and Mail)
The Tories killed the long-form and replaced it with the voluntary National Household Survey, saying people should not be threatened with fines or jail time for refusing to answer detailed personal questions. Many ideas have been floated in the media and in political circles on options for overhauling the census process. One suggestion was to adopt a national repository of citizen data. Scandinavian countries do this through central population registers. Mr. Royce, a Statistics Canada adviser, looked at that option as well as a number of others based on examples from around the world. He said it could take decades before Canada could completely replace its census with a population register that includes data on topics ranging from dwellings and employment to education and income. Establishing such a system would cost much more than a census, and people would have to support the idea of having all their data stored in a central place.

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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 6, 2011

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