Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 18, 2011


Filling the diversity gap: the next generation is ready (DiverseCity Toronto)
Meet Barbara Tabuno, daughter of Filipino immigrants, and city council candidate in a hotly contested by-election is Mississaugas Ward 5 by-election. When she filed her papers to run, she knew shed be David to a number of political goliaths. Considering her relative youth (shes 24 years old) and inexperience, placing 10 out of 27 candidates was a promising result. Barbara was building on an impressive record of community commitment. She has chaired the Mayors Youth Advisory Committee, in addition to being a member of Celebration Square Mississauga Committee, Healthy City Stewardship Centre, Living Green Master Plan for Mississauga. She is particularly active in engaging Mississauga youth.

Colour-coding civic power (Adam Giambrone, NOW Toronto)
Most of us would agree that we should strive to include people from every background in our civic institutions. But a troubling trend is emerging when it comes to citizen appointees to the boards of directors of over 120 city agencies, boards, commissions, corporations and special-purpose bodies, like the Toronto Arts Council, the Library Board, Exhibition Place, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund board, etc. If the current process continues as is, well have one of the least representative groups of appointees in the last 20 years.

Companies believe boards are diverse, even when they aren’t (Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun)
If approximately one in seven of a company’s board seats are held by women, is that good enough? How about one in 20 for visible minorities or less than one per cent for aboriginals? Apparently so, according to most board respondents surveyed in the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s second annual report card on board diversity, which was released Wednesday. The report’s survey of 218 charity board members and 164 Top 500 board members found that 15 per cent of board seats were held by women, 5.3 per cent by visible minorities, 2.9 per cent by people with disabilities and just 0.8 per cent by aboriginals.

Guelph immigrants tell stories through photos (Chris Seto, Guelph Mercury)
The photo essay at Immigrant Services, located on Paisley Street at the intersection of Imperial Road, fills a room with dozens of photos from immigrants in Guelph, each one serving as a small window into their immigration story. Coupled with each framed photo is a brief description of where the shot was taken and why it is significant. Roya Rabbani, executive director of the immigrant service, said the display helps tell the story of diversity.–guelph-immigrants-tell-stories-through-photos

COSTIs Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre (Mattia Bello, Corriere Canadese)
COSTIs newly renovated downtown building will now be known as The Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre. The edifice at 100 Lippincott Street was built 90 years ago, and for the past 22 years has offered temporary shelter to over 15,000 refugees. The building is being re-named today after the well-known Calabrian entrepreneur, Ralph Chiodo, president of Active Green & Ross and head of Peel Chrysler Fiat, who donated $300,000 towards renovations. The project, costing $3 million, was completed thanks to contributions by the federal and provincial governments, each donating $1 million to COSTI. The remaining $1 million comes from fundraising by several entities in the private sector such as Fausto Gaudios Banca Italiana IC Savings. 130 people gathered in front of the historic building for the ribbon cutting. Also present were Don Meredith, and Charles Souse, the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Torontos Immigrant Population (St. James Town Initiative)
Of the more than 200,000 annual newcomers to Canada, 42% settle in the Toronto CMA [Exhibit 1: Where Newcomers Settle] . Because of Torontos popularity among newcomers, 55% of Torontos population aged 15 and up are 1st generation immigrants, and this proportion is steadily increasing. Nearly a quarter of Torontos population are 2nd generation immigrants, and only one fifth are 3rd or higher generation status.

Video: Immigrant integration (Toronto Sun)

What makes parents murder their daughters? (Murtaza Haider,
Halfway between Toronto and Montreal, ghastly details of a murder trial are unfolding. The dead are three young Muslim girls and their stepmother. Stand accused of their murder are the parents and the brother of the dead girls. What makes Muslim parents murder their own children, especially daughters, is a question that has leapt to the front pages of newspapers all across Canada. It is, unfortunately, not the first time that Muslim parents in Canada have murdered a female child. Such murders are known as honour killings where parents murder their daughter/s to protect the family honour.

The world in a classroom (Candice Ward, Metro Calgary)
The world got a whole lot smaller at one Calgary school on Thursday. Tom Baines School celebrated International Education Week with cultural performances by students from around the world. It is important to be proud of your identity and learn to respect our diversity, said Miriam Quapp, spokeswoman for the event, titled Creating a Culture of Awareness.–the-world-in-a-classroom

Africentric high school is approved, but it still needs a home (Kate Hammer, Globe and Mail)
Its believed it will be a first for Canadian public education an Africentric high school approved by the Toronto District School Board this week but it will need to find a home before it can become a reality. Staff are seeking an existing school that has extra space to share, easy access to public transit and a parent council in place that views the Africentric model favourably.

Africentric high school necessary (Arnold A. Auguste, Share)
What would any reasonable person who cares about the future of this city say to the setting up of a publicly funded school for “students who have experienced difficulty while attending a traditional secondary school”? Given how vital formal education is in today’s knowledge- and information-based economy, the answer should be that such a proposal is not only sensible but necessary. In fact, Toronto’s Board of Education, now the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), came to the same conclusion some 40 years ago when it decided to begin providing alternative education environments to ensure that every child could have access to the kind of education setting that would enable optimal learning.

Study: Newcomers, native-born Canadians agree on importance of integration (Michael Gorman, Chronicle Herald)
A new survey on immigration shows that the things that are important to native-born Canadians are equally important to newcomers. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in Montreal collaborated with Dalhousie University on the work. The results, to be introduced today in Halifax at the foundations annual conference, show that almost all Canadians surveyed believe immigrants should find ways to integrate such as adopting “Canadian values” of gender equality and tolerance for others and learning about Canadas history and culture.

Canadian Muslim Organizations, Leaders & Imams Issue Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence (
As October, the Domestic Violence Awareness month, has ended and we now approach December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Muslim Canadians reflect on the reality of domestic violence within our own communities, compounded by abhorrent and yet persistent pre-Islamic practices rooted in the misguided notion of restoring family honour. As Muslims, we base our ethics and behaviour on the teachings of the Quran and the authenticated example of the Prophet Muhammad, who never hit a woman and taught the men that the best amongst you is he who treats women the best. The Quran unequivocally emphasizes the sanctity of all life, forbids all forms of coercion in matters of religion, and reminds us all that each of us is accountable for our actions directly to God, the only Judge.

Defamation of Muslim scholars in Canada must stop (Abdel Rahman Elsayed, Univerity of Waterloo Imprint)
There has been an unsettling trend in conservative-leaning media like the National Post to demonize Muslim scholars and to instil a fear of Islam and Muslims in Canada. A significant number of Muslim scholars have recently been targets of right-wing media attacks. In June 2010, Dr. Zakir Naik was banned from giving speeches in U.K., and Canada followed suit barring him from giving his speech at the annual Journey of Faith conference in Toronto that year. In June 22, 2010, the National Post published an article entitled More hate on speakers list for Islamic conference, in which Dr. Naik was quoted saying that every Muslim should be a terrorist. One can only imagine the implications of such a statement given the fact that Dr. Naik has a very large audience of Muslims worldwide who respect him and listen to him. But did Dr. Naik actually say this?

Europe could learn from Canada on handling social diversity: Blair (Hamilton Spectator)
Europe should take a page from Canadas playbook when it comes to handling religious and cultural diversity, former British prime minister Tony Blair said Thursday. Speaking at a panel on interfaith outreach at the University of Toronto, Blair said theres a disquieting and discomforting backlash against minorities in some parts of Europe.–europe-could-learn-from-canada-on-handling-social-diversity-blair

Three local ‘Safe Harbours’ recognized for their efforts (Comox Valley Echo)
Three local Safe Harbours were recently awarded for their efforts in supporting diversity and rejecting discrimination in the Comox Valley. Comox Valley Airport received the 2011 Comox Valley Safe Harbour Champion Award. Alano Club of Courtenay and Comox Valley Community Justice Centre were recognized as Champion Award Nominees.

MP proposes bill to repeal controversial Section 13 of human rights act (Your Legal Rights)
Wild Rose MP Blake Richards is in support of a bill before Parliament looking to repeal a problematic section of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Brian Storseth, MP for Westlock-St. Paul, brought forth the private member’s bill for second reading Nov. 16, saying that Section 13 of the Human Rights Act purports to defend human rights but actually undermines freedom of expression.

Burnaby school trustee candidate in hot water over Muslim comments (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
Burnaby school trustee candidate Charter Lau is in a bit of hot water for his connection to a Christian organization’s online statements about Muslims. Lau is a candidate for Burnaby Parents’ Voice, a party that formed in opposition to the school board’s policy on sexual orientation and gender identity. Mayor Derek Corrigan brought the website to the attention of representatives from the Burnaby mosque.

Shouldnt Burnaby accept diversity? (Alex Vergeychik, Burnbay NewsLeader)
I was appalled to learn that Burnaby School Board recommends certain parents send their children to private school where their beliefs will be better accommodated (as stated by Ron Burton, Burnaby incumbent school trustee from Burnaby Citizens Association, in his recent interview with The Peak newspaper). I would expect to see this kind of discrimination in some deeply totalitarian country, but not in modern-day Canada.

Address on Multiculturalism at Hanoi University of Social Sciences and Humanities (David Johnston, Governor General of Canada)
In Canada, we strive to work together and with othersand we are fortunate to live in one of the most diverse countries in the world. Forty years ago, Canada became the worlds first country to officially adopt a policy of multiculturalism, and today our diversity is the foundation of our national identity and a source of great pride for Canadians. It also gives us a strong global advantage. The world has long embraced Canada and made us stronger, and we in turn strive to reach out and welcome newcomers. As you may know, our country is home to 250 000 Canadians of Vietnamese origin, who contribute so much to the social, economic and cultural fabric of our society. The presence of Vietnamese Canadians in our communities enriches our lives at home and expands our understanding of this dynamic and important region. Canadas diversity has always been one of our strengths, as well as a beacon of hope for the world.

Targeting Canadas invisible Hispanic community (Simon Houpt, Globe and Mail)
When theres a gold rush on, smart people look for silver. In the last few years, Canadian marketers have been retooling their organizations to target newcomers to the country. Ethnic media are bursting with ads targeting Chinese, Filipino and South Asian immigrants. (Or at least as bursting as media outlets are these days.) But theres another group of newcomers, all but unknown and ignored, that some people believe present a sweet opportunity to savvy companies willing to learn another language: Hispanic-Canadians.

ReminderCall for Nominations 2012 Equine Canada Director-at-Large Election (
Equine Canada wishes to recruit and develop directors who bring a range of needed professional skills, background, and diversity that is reflective of the community it serves. Knowledge in equine activities and strategic expertise in various aspects of non-profit governance is deemed an asset. Functioning on the Board requires logical, innovative, forward thinking individuals able to work well in a team.

Talkin’ ’bout my generation: Managing age diversity in the workplace (Katie McDonald, Dal News)
Spoiled, sheltered, entitled just some of the words sometimes used to describe young people that fall into the millennial generation, those born in 1980 or later. But is there any evidence to support these claims? Is there real data to suggest millennials have impractical career expectations and over-the-top salary expectations, like the baby boomers and generations Xers imply? Ed Ng, associate professor in the Faculty of Management, along with colleagues from the University of Guelph and Carleton University, surveyed over 3,000 Canadians as part of the Generational Career Shift Project. Their three-year study asked participants to describe career experiences and answer questions about job expectations and priorities, with the hope of discovering how different generations view expectations, experiences, attitudes and outcomes as their careers progress.–bout-my-generation–managing-age-diversity-in-the-workpl.html

Reshaping Canadas Immigration System Changes to Temporary and Permanent Resident Immigration Categories (Robert Iozzo, Dale & Lessman LLP)
Public opinion on the impact these changes may have on potential applicants, the economy and job creation has been mixed. Altough it may be too early to speculate as to what effects these changes may have, there has been a large consensus supporting the idea that the current policy change is aimed more towards economic growth as opposed to individual immigration or family integration. The Conservative Government has certainly been quick to vocalize that the changes will benefit all classes of immigration; however, such is to be expected when entertaining political rhetoric. In the next coming weeks, we will be exploring each individual category in order to give our readership a more in-depth look at the changes to each individual category and how they may affect their situation both from an individual and business type perspective. In the interim, we suggest that any information regarding the changes to the Canadian immigration system derived from the general media be taken with a considerable amount of salt as any changes in policy and interpretation should be considered by qualified, experienced counsel.

Immigrants dont feel as healthy as studies suggest, new stats show (Oliver Moore, Globe and Mail)
Immigrants are less likely than native-born Canadians to believe themselves in good health, in spite of repeated studies showing that migrants tend to be healthier, new research from Statistics Canada shows. The so-called healthy immigrant factor which holds that newcomers arrive in better shape than native-born Canadians, but that their health declines toward the national norm without reaching it has been widely documented.

Immigrant artists at Eastside Culture Crawl Nov. 18-20 (Canadian Immigrant)
The doors to hundreds of artists studios in East Vancouver will be opened to the public during the Eastside Culture Crawl, Nov. 18-20, 2011, and among the painters, photographers, sculptors and other visual artists participating this year are a large number of Canadian immigrants. Here, we preview the main event with our own mini crawl, featuring some tremendously talented newcomers.

The magic of diasporas (The Economist)
Immigrant networks are a rare bright spark in the world economy. Rich countries should welcome them. These networks of kinship and language make it easier to do business across borders (see article). They speed the flow of information: a Chinese trader in Indonesia who spots a gap in the market for cheap umbrellas will alert his cousin in Shenzhen who knows someone who runs an umbrella factory. Kinship ties foster trust, so they can seal the deal and get the umbrellas to Jakarta before the rainy season ends. Trust matters, especially in emerging markets where the rule of law is weak. So does a knowledge of the local culture. That is why so much foreign direct investment in China still passes through the Chinese diaspora. And modern communications make these networks an even more powerful tool of business.

Celebrate national days to boost multiculturalism (Jesse Ferreras, Pique Newsmagazine)
Celebrating national days is perhaps the best way to boost multiculturalism in Whistler. That’s the conclusion of a discussion hosted Thursday night by the Whistler Forum for Leadership and Dialogue that brought out all mayoral candidates and several candidates for council to discuss how best to embrace diversity in the world’s number one winter sports community.

South Asian Drama Festival Highlights Immigrant Issues (Bhaswati Ghosh, South Asian Generation Next)
The ninth annual Hindustani Drama Festival, organized by RangManch-Canada took place in Mississaugas Maja Prentince Theatre on Saturday. This years festival featured plays in five languagesUrdu, English, Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati.

Embracing Duality of Cultures forum, a Welcome Step from India Rainbow (South Asian Generation Next)
A recent youth forum organized by India Rainbow Community Services of Peel reflected this very issue, with a theme centred on Embracing Duality of Cultures. Participants in the event reflected on their personal experiences. Generation Next talked to two participants about the relevance of such events and their learning from the same.

Festival reflects cultural mosaic (Kristi Patton – Penticton Western News)
Like most immigrants, Jean Makosz came to Canada in search of a better life. But unlike many, the Scottish woman had a firm grip on the language. Still, she faced many challenges. And it is because of that experience she now volunteers at the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services centre in Penticton

Social networking can be interactive & fun Saqib Saleem, youth star of Mughse Fraaandship Karoge (Saurabh Agarwal, South Asian Generation Next)
Recently Yash Raj Films new youth film studio released Indias first ever movie based on Social Networking called Mughse Fraaandship Karoge. The story entails a new era of love story where Facebook is the platform of falling in love. MFK tells a story of individuals named Vishal and Preity who use fake identities to impress their love choice. The story leading with series of miscommunication results in rib-tickling laughter riot which definitely keeps viewers interested in the film. The film marks the debut of four very talented actors, Saqib Saleem, Saba Azad, Tara DSouza & Nishant Dahiya besides director, Nupur Asthana.

Toronto Pan-AM Games opportunity for South Asian businesses (South Asian Generation Next)
Toronto 2015 the Pan / Parapan American Games will be the biggest multisport event to be ever held in Canada, and the event will provide a plethora of opportunities to local businesses in a variety of sectors. A team from the Organising Committee of the Games outlined the opportunities and explained the framework of procurement at the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerces (ICCC) Monthly Business Networking reception held November 9, 2011, at the Radisson Plaza in Mississauga.


Is Ottawa serious about protecting refugees? (Lorne Waldman, Toronto Star)
The recent stories in the Toronto Star about the refusal of a visa to the Afghan interpreter who had worked with the Canadian Forces are deeply disturbing. Unfortunately, this story is far from unique: every year many people who apply for protection at visa offices abroad are wrongly refused even though there is strong evidence that they would be at risk of persecution or serious harm.–is-ottawa-serious-about-protecting-refugees

Alarming Amount of Caribbean Women Seek Refuge in Canada (Michelle Garcia, SheWired)
The tiny island-nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines may conjure thoughts of sunny, sandy beaches, but residents of the island, many of whom are female, are making up one of the largest groups to seek asylum in Canada over the last decade. Though the islands are thought of as a travelers haven, the nation has been enduring low trade, 22% unemployment, and growing domestic violence rates.

The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, Call for Student Members (University of Manitoba)
Now that the organization is up and running, we would like to reach out to law students across Canada. We would like to establish a contact person or group at every law school in Canada to organize and maintain CARLs student membership and to coordinate student involvement. We expect that CARL will be involved in court interventions, submissions to parliamentary committees, and public advocacy on topical immigration and refugee issues.


Top economist warns Canada against two-tiered health care (Karen Howlett, Globe and Mail)
Canada should remain committed to publicly funded health care, and not open the door to two-tier medicine, says a new report by a top economist. Governments can improve efficiencies in the system, including changing the way doctors are compensated, without allowing patients to pay for some services, Don Drummond, former chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank said in the report released on Thursday.

Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches (SAMI) ( Nasim Haque, Wellesley Institute)
Presented at the Social Aetiology of Mental Health Illnesss (SAMI) program of CAMH, this presentation is an overview of community based participatory research methodologies. It draws on examples from work in St. James Town to illustrate the range of information that could be drawn using arts-based participatory research method. Illustrates how participatory research methodologies can be effectively used in research resistant communities for: a) engaging and empowering marginalized population; b) facilitating communities to advocate for social changes; and c) developing new partnerships with stakeholders and initiating community-level changes working with relevant stakeholders.


How an ethnic-sounding name may affect the job hunt (Wallace Immen, Globe and Mail)
You may have a string of prestigious degrees and years of experience in Canada, but potential employers may never get that far into your résumé if your name sounds foreign, a new study has found. An underlying reason appears to be subconscious discrimination, the researchers suggest.

Event Nov 25: Join SME focus group: Hiring the right employee (ALLIES)
Does your business hire employees with college or university education, and prior work experience? Is it a challenge for you to find the right people for the job? Tell us what you think it would take to find the right employees so that your business can succeed. Participate in our focus group and help us better understand the types of programs, services and information products that can help you hire the right employees.

City hosts majority of best employers (John Stewart,
Fifteen of the top employers in the GTA are located in Mississauga, according to the seventh annual list compiled by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.–city-hosts-majority-of-best-employers

Whats in a name? (Mary Gooderham, Globe and Mail)
As a couple running a successful business, Vijay Jeet and Neena Kanwar were more than familiar with requests for donations to charitable causes. They quietly sponsored tables at fundraising dinners, bought tickets to galas and donated items to auction for charity. The couple, immigrants to Canada from the Punjab in India, had built a medical diagnostics facility they started in Mississauga into the largest provider of nuclear cardiology services in North America. They felt like giving back to the community and supported a wide range of causes.

Moncton immigrants dress for success (CBC)
Immigrants in Moncton are getting the opportunity to dress for success, thanks to a donation from a men’s clothing store. Moores Canada donated 90 new and gently used suits, along with shirts and ties, to the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA).

Workers standing up against wage theft win their wages! (Workers’ Action Centre)
Lilias story shows our campaign is working and when workers stand up against wage theft they can win. Join us as we take this fight for fairness across the province.

How to pursue your education upgrade as a Canadian immigrant (Gerard Keledjian, The Immigrant)
When I immigrated to Canada, naturally, I thought a lot about my education and employment. Was it necessary for people like me who had a university degree to go back to school to get jobs? If yes, what would be the best or right approach to pursue my education upgrade? I took those questions to UforChanges Education Director and Arts Coordinator, Sarah El-Raheb. UforChange is a community group based in the St. James neighbourhood of Toronto. It works with immigrant and low-income youth, aged 16-29, who are interested in the arts.


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

The Case for a National Transit Strategy (Mark Bourne, Torontoist)
Yesterday in Ottawa, sympathy from all parties for TTC chief Gary Webster and his call for a national transit strategybut will Harper’s cabinet listen?


Headspace: Nick Saul, The Stop Community Food Centre (Luca de Franco, Spacing Toronto)
In this latest installment of our series on local food-fighters, Spacing interviews Nick Saul, the executive director of the Stop Community Food Centre. Serving the West Davenport area, the Stop has developed its own unique program of alleviating hunger in low income communities. In this interview, Saul discusses some of the Stops broader community objectives.

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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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