Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 25, 2011


Good Ideas from Toronto: An Exchange of Immigrant Integration Practices (Maytree)
From November 28 to December 2, a delegation from Toronto, led by Maytree?s president Ratna Omidvar and chairman Alan Broadbent, will visit four cities in Germany (Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, and Cologne) to share good practices in immigrant integration. In each city, the delegates will also have an opportunity to visit with staff of German projects to learn about local immigrant integration practices.

November Newsletter (Maytree)
In this issue:
The Occupy Movement: A Lesson in the Risk of Inequality
Toronto Meets Germany in a Four-City Exchange of Good Integration Ideas
Whats Next for Voter Diversity in Ontario?
From Mentee to Mentor: How Skilled Immigrants Are Paying It Forward
Ensuring Success for New Hires: Lessons from P&G and Providence Health Care
Diversifying Your Board: Why Its Good and How to Do It
Social Purchase for Social Purpose
Alan Broadbent on Cities and International Collaboration
Remembering Tom Kent a Giant of Canadian Social Policy
Gift Giving just Got Easier
News You Can Use

November Newsletter (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
Mayor Len Brown: Listening to Local Leadership in Auckland
Margie McHugh: Talking E Pluribus Unum Prizes
Copenhagen: Taking a Diversity Charter to the Business Community
Marketing Good Practice in Seattle
Deloitte’s Dialogue on Diversity: Setting the Stage for Business Growth and Innovation
On the Trail of Good Ideas: Mentoring Makes Rank
More Good Ideas Go on the Road!
Submit Your Good Idea!
Good Ideas in the News

Manitoba municipalities seek women candidates (Anne Thomas, The Uniter)
More must be done to educate and spark political interest and participation among Canadas visible minorities, a new report out of Ryerson University recommends. Released earlier this month, report author Myer Siemiatycki noted that in Toronto, where visible minorities make up 40 per cent of the population, only seven per cent are represented on city council. In Winnipeg, city council has better statistics for non-aboriginal visible minorities – making up 16.8 per cent of Winnipegs population, and 13 per cent of city council (two of 15 councillors).

News Release Minister Kenney announces increased settlement funding for 11 provinces and territories (CIC)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today announced allocations for federal funding of settlement services in all provinces and territories outside Quebec for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The Government of Canada wants newcomers to integrate into Canada. That is why we have tripled settlement funding since 2005-06, said Minister Kenney. We are committed to ensuring the distribution of settlement funding is fair and that immigrants receive the same level of service, regardless of where they choose to settle.

Immigrant settlement money to dip in 2012 (CBC)
The federal government will cut $31.5 million from immigrant settlement services in Ontario in 2012, CBC News has learned, making it the second year in a row the province has lost settlement funding from Ottawa. At the same time, federal funding for services that help immigrants with language, jobs and housing will go up in every other province and territory. The government earmarked $583 million for settlement services across Canada for 2011-12, down from $622 million the year before

Attempt to cut immigrant backlog could backfire (Alex Butler, Centretown News)
A proposed two-year moratorium on applications to bring parents and grandparents of immigrants into the country is intended to cut the existing backlog of applicants, but could result in difficulties for immigrant families. The mortorium intends to cut down the backlog of about 165,000 family members trying to enter Canada. In addition to stopping applications, Canada, in 2012, will take an increased number of grandparents and parents who have already applied.

Eritreans in Canada shaken down by despot back home (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
They thought coming to Canada would free them from the oppressive Eritrean regime, but many new Winnipeggers from the small nation in the Horn of Africa are being squeezed for money by agents of the government they fled. Daniel Awshek told the Winnipeg Free Press he was shocked when he first arrived and attended a community gathering where he was hit up for money to support the one-party state headed by President Isaias Afewerki and the ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. “They asked every family to pay $500 each for the Eritrean Defence Forces to fight against Ethiopia,” said Awshek, a nurse and refugee minister at the Eritrean Pentecostal Church.

Together We Prosper: immigrant integration conference thursday (Mathieu Lachapelle,
This Thursday, the Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration is hosting its second Together We Prosper conference. To find out more, Arthur spoke with Jason Stabler, organizer of the event and Partnership Council Coordinator of PPCII.

Mandarin newcomers guide published for P.E.I. (CBC)
Many Chinese immigrants on P.E.I. can now turn to a helpful guide written in their own language when they arrive on the Island. The guide was first published last year, in English and French, and covers essential information such as how to get a health card and how to set up a bank account.

Filipinos make a life in Calgary (Tony Seskus, Calgary Herald)
Just as the family bakery has thrived for nearly two decades, so has Calgary’s Filipino community. The population more than doubled between 1996 and 2006, climbing to 24,920 people. Over the last two years, the Philippines has emerged as the top source of immigrants to the Calgary region.

Interpreter places hope on Canadian courts (Paul Watson, Toronto Star)
Blocked by Canadas immigration minister and abandoned by the Canadian military he bravely served, a former battlefield interpreter now hopes our courts will rescue him from a Taliban vendetta. Lorne Waldman, a Toronto immigration and refugee lawyer who has successfully argued cases all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, is one of three lawyers who offered to take on Afghan Sayed Shah Sharifis case free of charge. Reluctantly, Sharifi is taking Waldman up on his offer.–interpreter-places-hope-on-canadian-courts

Religious and Cultural Appropriation in the Newspaper and the Courtroom (Diana, Muslimah Media Watch)
As if the media coverage of the trial werent grotesque enough, what seems to be unfolding in the courtroom is a theatrical display of outlandish finger pointing on all sides. The Crown Attorney seems to be prosecuting, not a murderous man and his female accomplice, but a Muslim man and his Muslim wife, and their cultural traditions which demand that they, in defending their honor against the threat of their daughters un-Islamic and un-Afghan behavior, carry out honor killings. In doing so the prosecution has drawn a huge divide between Afghan and Muslim culture and Western values, contributing to the growing Islamophobic sentiments surrounding the coverage of the case.

Electing to engage harmony and inclusion from the start (Ken Herar, The Times)
Now that the elections are over and the signs are coming down, it’s time to look towards the future and create positive dialogue regarding the issues in our community. One of the issues that wasn’t discussed during this election was our growing cultural divide. This divide does not only exist here in Abbotsford and Mission, but throughout several pockets within our country. Local elected officials have an important role and responsibility in demonstrating leadership on this topic.

BUILDING THE FUTURE: The Aga Khan Museum (Fannie Sunshine,
Come 2013, a $300-million Ismaili project will come to life on Wynford Drive.
Ground was broken on the project during a May 2010 ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Aga Khan. The 17-acre development in the Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue area will be made up of the Ismaili Centre Toronto, the Aga Khan Museum and a park.–building-the-future-the-aga-khan-museum

Multiculturalism: Like it or despise its insidiousness? (Zoey Duncan, Openfile Calgary)
But all this multicultural stuff? Some would have you believe it’s despicable. In fact, Calgary Herald editor Licia Corbella calls it an “insidious idea” that ultimately “smears freedom.” (Sheesh, hyperbole much?) Citing author Salim Mansur, who recently published a book on Canadian multiculturalism, Corbella writes that “its simply not true that all cultures are of equal value” because “established criteria makes it possible to judge which cultures and ideologies are superior and lead to better outcomes” (emphasis OpenFile’s). She goes on to say that “great Western thinkers” have declared that freedom is the key to human achievement and should not be abridged in the name of equality. Noticeably, there’s no mention of what scholars from non-Western cultures have to say.

Unity in Diversity: Canadian Multiculturalism works (Brian Seman, Troy Media)
The Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre recently hosted a conference that brought together multiculturalism experts from Canada and the European Union. Multiculturalism is an inherent feature of Canadian society. Arguably, the contours for multicultural Canada are found in the early days of our countrys history. The pre-eminent political leaders of pre-Confederation Canada, John A. Macdonald and George Etienne Cartier, looked with alarm to the political and social divisions in the United States which brought that country to civil war. Determined to avoid political deadlock and civil strife, they and the other framers of our legislative, judicial and administrative branches of state created a system of government that has worked remarkably well at preserving the unity of our immense land.

Minister Kenney Opens Nominations for Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism (Marketwire)
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today called on Canadians to submit nominations for the fourth annual Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism. The award pays tribute to people in Canada who have contributed to multiculturalism and the integration of new Canadians. It commemorates the legacy of the late Senator Paul Yuzyk, who worked to establish multiculturalism as a fundamental characteristic of Canadian identity.

Editorial: Human link in border defence in disrepair (Vancouver Sun)
The federal government has accepted all of the recommendations of the interim auditor-general for improving Canadas flawed visa approval system. Thats encouraging. But so far, the needed reforms exist primarily as a promise, and given the appalling lapses John Wiersema found when he looked at how visa officers are assessing more than a million visitors to our country every year, Canadians should remain skeptical that this vital screen door is being repaired.

Ethnic Newspapers (CBC Metro Morning)
April Lindgren’s study of local news coverage in the daily Chinese newspaper Ming Pao. She is a journalism professor at Ryerson University.

Fighting Homophobia (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Brandon Hay. He is Executive Director of the Black Daddies Club. Tomorrow evening at 6 p.m., the club will host an event called “Queer as Black Folk” .

Niqab Pulled Off (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Inas Kadri. She had her niqab pulled off her face by a stranger in a mall last summer.

Human Rights Trump Religious Freedom in Polygamy Case (Farzana Hassan, Huffington Post)
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms must protect the rights of all individuals, not just of those who commit egregious actions in the name of religious freedom. It is in this spirit that B.C.’s Chief Justice ruled to uphold Canada’s polygamy laws on Nov. 23, 2011. Polygamy, he concluded, was harmful to women and children who are often coerced into such unions through physical and sexual abuse. According to the judge, it institutionalizes gender inequality and its harmful effects far outweigh the validity of the right to religious freedom. However, he also cautioned against the prosecution of minors in polygamous marriages.


Majority of refugee judges fail qualifying tests for new posts (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
More than half of the current refugee judges applying for the same job in a revamped asylum system have failed the qualifying exam and screening for the new posts. Sixty-three Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) members political appointees who assess and adjudicate asylum claims applied for the new positions under the Balanced Refugee Reform Act that takes effect in 2012. However, as of November, only 10 have passed the exams and screening process, while nine are awaiting final interviews, said the refugee board.–majority-of-refugee-judges-fail-qualifying-tests-for-new-posts?bn=1

Federal government hits YouTube to promote its refugee resettlement program (Jason Fekete,
The federal Conservative government has launched a new YouTube video highlighting Canadas refugee resettlement program and what it says are examples of how it can change a familys life.

News Release A Brighter Future: New Refugee Video Unveiled (CIC)
A new YouTube video highlighting how Canadas refugee resettlement program can change a familys life was launched today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Concert raises money for to sponsor refugees (
The East End Refugee Committee (EERC), a hands-on refugee sponsorship and support coalition of several local churches, is holding a fundraising concert on Saturday, Nov. 26. The event, which will feature the Bach Children’s Choir and the Beach Chamber Youth Orchestra, will take place at St. John’s Norway Anglican Church, 470 Woodbine Ave., at Kingston Road, starting at 7:30 p.m.–concert-raises-money-for-to-sponsor-refugees


Goar: Queens Park offers crumbs to Ontarios poor (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Next week, welfare rates go up but not by enough to buy a child a Christmas present, to put healthy food on the table or even to stave off eviction for many families. On Dec. 1, the provinces 475,000 neediest people get a 1 per cent raise. For an individual, that amounts to an extra $7 a month. For a single parent raising two children, it is $9 more. Keep in mind that consumer prices are rising by 3 per cent, so the modest increase will be gobbled up by inflation.–goar-queen-s-park-offers-crumbs-to-ontario-s-poor

Vibrant Communities: Cities Reducing Poverty (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
The Foundation is pleased to highlight Tamarack Institutes latest publication, Cities Reducing Poverty: How Vibrant Communities are Creating Comprehensive Solutions to the Most Complex Problem of our Times. Through stories and a unique analysis by editor Mark Cabaj, Cities Reducing Poverty details the poverty reduction efforts of collaborative groups in six Canadian citiesCalgary, Montreal, Surrey, Hamilton, Saint John, and the Niagara region.

A New Way to Measure Happiness (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
The Foundation supported Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW)an intiative of the Atkinson Charitable Foundationwhich reports on the wellbeing of Canadians by tracking 64 indicators in 8 areas, was recently profiled in the Montreal Gazette.


New website – Allis Montral
Allis Montral est un projet port par la CR de Montral regroupant des entreprises qui conoivent limmigration comme une solution daffaires. Il vise lintgration durable des comptences issues de limmigration et favorise la gestion des talents dorigines diverses dans les entreprises montralaises. Allis Montral met les gens daffaires au cur de ses orientations et activits, en travaillant directement pour et avec les entreprises. Allis Montral sappuie aussi sur plusieurs partenaires institutionnels, ainsi que sur le rseau pancanadien ALLIES.

Deloitte on unlocking the potential of immigrants for business growth and innovation [VIDEO & White Paper] (Michelle Pinchev, CEO blog)
We commend Deloitte for tackling this important but sometimes cumbersome issue, and shedding new light on it, complete with stats, anecdotes and sound business advice. It is also apparent that Deloitte is a clear supporter of the internship model as a way for newcomers to gain meaningful, relevant work experience. Id also like to recommend the following video, from the Maytree Foundation, Torontos YouTube channel, which features Jane Allen, Partner and Chief Divrsity Officer at Deloitte talking about the barriers to employment immigrants face, and how employers can remove them.

WAC leader inspires over 1000 union members at OFL convention (Workers’ Action Centre)
This week, Estina Sebastien-Geetan, a leader at the Workers Action Centre, gave an inspiring speech to over 1,000 delegates at the Ontario Federation of Labour Convention! Estina urged the labour movement to support the Stop Wage Theft campaign and to build solidarity across our struggles for fairness at work.

Mexican farm workers file suit against Canada (Armina Ligaya, CBC News)
Three Mexican migrant farm workers have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government and their Ontario-based former employer for terminating their contract and sending them home without reason or explanation. Michael Fenrick, a Toronto lawyer who is part of the team handling the case, says this is the first suit of its kind by migrant workers invoking their charter rights. The three men are seeking $25,000 each in damages for breach of contract, Fenrick said.

Live-in caregivers made to work longer to earn status (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
For decades, the countrys caregiver program has brought in au pairs and nannies from abroad to care for tens of thousands of Canadian children and the elderly. The program has also provided an opportunity for caregivers, mostly women, to permanently settle in Canada with their own families once they fulfill their nanny requirements. But declining admissions for new nannies and longer waits for permanent resident status for those already here is fuelling speculation the program may be in jeopardy. The number of caregivers accepted into Canada declined last year to 8,400, after peaking at 13,800 in 2007.


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

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

Hardship Fund on the chopping block (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto star)
Schillinger is one of about 1,300 low-income Toronto seniors and disabled people with serious medical needs who benefit from the $900,000 city fund every year. But city council voted 23-22 last month to consider axing the fund as part of its efforts to shave $360 million from next years budget. More than a dozen community social service agencies are hoping city manager Joe Pennachetti spares the fund when he tables his proposed 2012 budget later this month. Eliminating the fund will endanger the health and wellbeing of more than a thousand Toronto residents who struggle daily with the basics, says John Campey of Social Planning Toronto, which is leading a campaign to save the fund.–hardship-fund-on-the-chopping-block

Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance launches new series of research publications (IMFG)
The Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, has released five research papers by leading scholars on municipal finance, the first in what will be an ongoing series of publications intended to inform debate on important issues in large cities and city-regions.


Big Ideas Government: Canada 2020 Launches “The Canada We Want in 2020” (Canada Newswire)
The Canada We Want in 2020 is an edited volume of 15 papers by leading Canadians – business leaders, former senior politicians and public servants, and academics. The authors propose a variety of policy options to address challenges and opportunities in the five areas identified by Canada 2020.

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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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Your morning #Immigration & #Diversity news headlines – November 23, 2011 #inclusion RT @CitiesMigration: Latest newsletter, features Auckland mayor...