Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 29, 2011


Roadshow video: Elizabeth McIsaac Changing Labour Market Outcomes (Maytree)
In this clip, Elizabeth talks about the TRIEC model and how its replication has helped to improve their own work.

Roadshow video: Donna Quan Ensuring Student Success (Maytree)
In this clip, Donna talks about the importance of the TDSB reaching out to newcomer parents and caregivers to ensure their childrens success.

Visible minorities in the boardroom: has there been progress? (Tara Perkins, Corporate Knights)
Rising diversity on boards is something that should happen naturally, but it will have to start in the lower ranks of corporations, where managers must help to ensure that members of visible minority groups obtain the same training and experience as non-visible minorities, suggests Bill Holland, executive chairman of CI Financial.
Full Diversity Index –

Chill of ministerial comments erodes independence of Immigration and Refugee Board, former chair says (Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen)
The Immigration and Refugee Board describes itself as Canadas largest independent administrative tribunal. But according to a former IRB chair, the boards independence appears to be eroding. Peter Showler, who chaired the IRB from 1999 to 2002, said the quasi-judicial boards independence is vital to safeguard the autonomy of its individual members, who rule on refugee claims made in Canada, hear immigration appeals and conduct admissibility hearings and detention reviews.

With Cotler alive, well and working, Tories confirm plot for his riding (Jane Taber, Globe and Mail)
Just before the spring election, a leaked document from Immigration Minister Jason Kenneys office listed Mount Royal as one of the top 10 Target Ridings Very Ethnic featured in a presentation by a Kenney staffer. The riding is ethnically diverse, with a significant Jewish population and Mr. Kenney has made a career of courting the ethnic vote. In addition, three days before the election, the Prime Minister visited the riding. Mr. Cotler noted that this was the first time that Stephen Harper had been to Mount Royal, long considered a Liberal stronghold.

Heres to the next half-century (The Economist)
WOMEN ARE NOT at the top anywhere, says Herminia Ibarra, a professor at the INSEAD business school near Paris. Many get on the high-potential list and then languish there for ever. That is broadly true not only in business but also in politics, academia, law, medicine, the arts and almost any other field you care to mention.

Building a Better Sense of the Equity Picture (Barbara McKenna, Canadian Education Association)
In the past year, my organization the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) has been involved in a fruitful collaboration with CEA to bring together some of the leading thinkers in education to develop a broad and coherent sense of what equity in education means and what we can actually do to promote it in all its many facets. With that goal in mind, CEA asked me to share some of SCOPE’s resources on equity in education. Below is a list of some key research and products our piece of the pachyderm which hopefully contributes to a better sense of the big picture.

Canada told to prosecute, not extradite alleged war criminal (CTV)
“In Canada he could stand trial for crimes against humanity, for war crimes, for the actual human-rights abuses.” Sosa was arrested earlier this year in Lethbridge, Alta., and is accused of lying to American immigration authorities when he applied for U.S. citizenship about whether he had committed a crime or been a member of a military organization. The groups want the Canadian government to take a stand in the case, but so far have not received a response from the federal justice minister. Eisenbrandt said the Canadian government has an obligation to do something in this case. “There are very strong laws in Canada that allow for the prosecution of crimes against humanity and war crimes even when they’re committed overseas,” he said.

Chris Selleys Full Pundit: The limits of Canadian tolerance (Chris Selley, National Post)
Licia Corbella, writing in the Calgary Herald, and Robert Fulford, writing in the National Post, are convinced that institutional oversensitivity towards imported cultural practices is at least partly to blame for the alleged honour killings currently being prosecuted in Kingston, Ont. If [the murdered girls’] parents were born in Canada and could speak the language, then they all would have been removed from the home and the father and mother would have had restraining orders placed against them, an Iranian-Canadian social worker tells Corbella. We emphasize multicultural propriety more than the welfare of individual human beings. And this goes triple for Muslims, says Fulford.

Author argues multiculturalism not suitable in a democracy (Lisa Goudy, Leader-Post)
Canadian author and professor Salim Mansur loves Canada, but he argues that multiculturalism does not support democracy. A political science professor at the University of Western Ontario, Mansur spoke in Regina Monday night about why multiculturalism goes against liberal democracy and the values outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Pier 21 taking immigration exhibit across Canada (Chronicle Herald)
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 plans to hit the road. The national museum has issued a tender to put together a travelling exhibit that will start off from Halifax in 2013, then cross the country for four years, ending up back in Halifax in 2017 to coincide with the150th anniversary of the country.

Security agencies urged to track human rights records (CBC)
The Canadian Human Rights Commission is urging Parliament to pass legislation that would require national security organizations to monitor their human rights performance, saying data should be tracked and made public. The special report to Parliament, called Human Rights Accountability in National Security Practices, is based on a decade of research by the commission.

Judge jails woman charged with defrauding seniors, immigrants (Joshua Rapp Learn, Globe and Mail)
A Toronto woman who defrauded seniors, newly arrived immigrants and others of nearly $200,000 over three years was sentenced Monday in Ontario Superior Court to two years imprisonment. Christina Tse, 38, pleaded guilty to 16 charges, including six counts of fraud over $5,000 and multiple counts of false pretences. The charges were filed between 2007 and 2010. One of her victims was a man awaiting a kidney transplant.

What Happens to Second-Generation International Children? (Multilingual Living)
The focus of this article will initially be on children of professional parents employed in international organizations and other multinational companies worldwide (based on a survey carried out in Switzerland among officials working for the United Nations family of organizations). It will be supplemented by comments about third-generation children, and will conclude with further research regarding the adjustment process of children from modest socio-economic backgrounds. The survey results reflect answers to questions pertaining to nationality changes, language(s) adopted, education, careers chosen and integration status.

Raising an interfaith family? Lets talk (Toronto Star)
With the holiday season fast approaching, the Star is preparing a series on children of interfaith families. If youre raising an interfaith family any combination of faiths please tell us how you approach spirituality and ritual with your children and how they respond, not just during the holidays, but all year round.–raising-an-interfaith-family-let-s-talk

Event Dec 5: Limmigration et les accommodements culturels : où en sont les Québécois ? (IRPP)
L’Institut de recherche en politiques publiques vous invite à vous joindre à son président Graham Fox pour un déjeuner-causerie intitulé « L’immigration et les accommodements culturels : où en sont les Québécois ? ». Les présentateurs seront Leslie Seidle (directeur de recherche, Diversité, immigration et intégration, à l’RPP), François Rocher (directeur de l’École d’études politiques à l’Université d’Ottawa) et Fo Niemi (directeur exécutif du Centre de recherche-action sur les relations raciales).

GTA’s changing demographics: making the market more interesting (John Michael McGrath, Open File Toronto)
As early as 2006, more than half of Toronto’s population was born outside Canada. Given where Canada’s immigrants are coming from (mostly South Asia and China), the demographics of the city are changing as a resultwe’re no longer a city where “diversity” meant choosing between Anglican and Presbyterian churches. There are all sorts of effects to this kind of change, but one is that marketers have to step up their game to sell products in the city. The Globe and Mail had an article this weekend about how marketing is changing to keep up with Toronto.

Border info-sharing plan triggers privacy concerns (CTV)
Part of the goal, Fife said, is to keep better tabs on people who obtain landed immigrant status in Canada but then return to their home country to live, while still collecting Canadian benefits such as health coverage. The system will also help Ottawa track the roughly 40,000 illegal immigrants currently believed to be living in Canada, as well as potential terrorists and war criminals. However, Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is concerned about the amount of information that will be shared — particularly since she hasn’t been consulted on the project, Fife said.


Access to justice should not look like a lottery (Lorne Waldman and Audrey Macklin, The Ottawa Citizen)
Members of the Immigration and Refugee Board make life and death decisions every day. Our justice system generally provides that when a government official makes such an important decision about you, you can request that a judge (who is independent of government) review that decision. The purpose of judicial review is to ensure that the government decision maker acted according to law. Decision makers are human and sometimes they make mistakes. They may misunderstand the law, misapply it, or treat people unfairly. Access to the courts is widely understood as a pillar of the rule of law. It provides a means of assuring accountability for the exercise of state power.

Ottawa man charged with human smuggling (Meghan Hurley, The Ottawa Citizen)
An Ottawa man faces human smuggling charges after a year-long investigation. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) began an investigation, dubbed Project Vista, after they got a tip from a person whose identity was used in an immigration scheme. The CBSA alleged the man acted as an immigration consultant and forged documents to help sponsor immigrants to Canada.


Video: Big Ideas: Alex Himelfarb on the consequences of tax cuts (TVO The Agenda)
How Did Taxes Become a Bad Word? The Former Clerk of the Privy Council, Alex Himelfarb, discusses why we should be investing more, not less, in our future. While today’s political leaders exalt the benefits of increased tax-cutting, Himelfarb argues that further tax cuts will come with serious consequences, including cuts to services and deeper inequality. According to Himelfarb, what we need is nothing less than a re-think about what our future is worth. His lecture was produced in collaboration with the Literary Review of Canada.

Tom Kent refused to believe Canadians had turned to the right (Duncan Cameron, Rabble)
Kent, who passed away Nov. 15, left Canadians a testament: equality of opportunity, and fairness of outcomes was what he wanted to see for Canada. In a Toronto Star article drawn from a longer paper — the first to be published by the Broadbent Institute — Kent called for Canada to pursue social democracy: “a society where the enterprise of productive employment in a market economy is joined with active government to secure the public interest.”


TRIEC is hiring: Curriculum Developer/Facilitator for the TRIEC Campus project. Deadline for applications: December 8th (TRIEC)
The TRIEC Campus Curriculum Developer/Facilitator is responsible for the development of curricula to support the capacity to integrate skilled immigrants into the workplace.

Event Dec 2: Beyond Canadian Experience: Mobilizing Diverse Talent for Corporate and Community Success
A half-day session Beyond Canadian Experience: Mobilizing Diverse Talent for Corporate and Community Success brings together business leaders and experts in the areas of employment, immigration and human resources to explore innovative ways to connect immigrant communities to corporate opportunities.

Kingston’s Immigrant Entrpreneurs – PDF (Kingston Immigration Partnership, Global Talent, Local Business)
A new home, a new business. Makes sense, right? Well, it certainly makes sense for our community, as immigrants to Kingston have a long history of building our local businesses. And often, it makes sense for the diverse individuals that come to call Kingston home. And when we say diverse, we mean diverse: MBA grads and artists, business professionals and social entrepreneurs, longtime Canadians and just-arrived. This publication is but a glimpse at immigrant entrepreneurship in Kingston; a conversation-starter to get us thinking and talking about the people that make this city a great place to do business, and about the people we will need to help us build our shared future prosperity.

Loblaw recognized as having one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures (Canada Newswire)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – CSR is embedded into Loblaw’s business practices and is driven by five principles, respect the environment, source with integrity, making a positive difference in our community, reflect our nation’s diversity and be a great place to work.

Layoffs, foreign-pilot hires separate issues: Transat (François Shalom, The Gazette)
Air Transat and Air Canada pilots say that a federal program is allowing Canadian charter airlines to hire foreign pilots en masse and on a permanent basis, resulting in layoffs of available Canadian pilots – such as the 17 Air Transat pilots who were cut this week. Transat spokesperson Debbie Cabana said the layoffs “are intended to be temporary” and “stem essentially from adjustments to flight schedules in a seasonal industry.”

Upcoming information session on hiring foreign workers (Energetic City)
Business owners who are experiencing a worker shortage are encouraged to attend an information session at the Quality Inn Northern Grand on Monday, December 5 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. The meeting will focus on how employers can find ways to give jobs to foreign workers, either on a temporary or permanent basis. Hosted by the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program, along with Service Canada, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, those in attendance will learn how they can use their programs to attract and keep foreign workers.

7 Career Tips for New Canadian Immigrants (Diaspora City)
An increasing number of people today immigrate to Canada for personal reasons, better job prospects or for a better life. Now that you have passed the first step of immigrating to Canada, you may want to keep the following seven tips in mind to ensure you build a successful career in Canada.


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

What is Service Efficiency? (Steve Munro)
City Manager Joe Pennachetti was asked to explain the difference between an efficiency and a change in service. He replied that if an existing service could be delivered at less cost, thats an efficiency. Otherwise, its a change in the level of service. Thats the new spin we have on service cuts. Changes to TTC routes are not cuts because people can still ride buses and streetcars, just not as comfortably. This assumes you can get on at all. Often I am asked how the service cuts could be backed out. There are a number of considerations.

November 28 Budget Launch: Death by a Thousand Cuts (Social Planning Toronto)
Today, the City of Torontos Budget Committee began its annual budget process with the launch of the 2012 staff recommended operating and capital budgets. Over the next seven weeks, City Council will debate these draft budgets before making final decisions at its January 17-19 meeting. With todays launch, the City has released hundreds of pages of documents detailing these budgets ( Todays update outlines key points from the 2012 operating budget. Over the next week, I will provide further updates on the capital budget and delve into individual program area budgets.

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office holds holiday toy drive (Danielle Milley, InsideToronto)
For the first time, the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office is holding a holiday toy drive.
The supervisor of TNO’s Ontario Early Years Centre, Razia Dawood, said they’d been thinking about organizing a holiday toy drive for a while, but the motivation to actually plan one came from the action of a local resident.–thorncliffe-neighbourhood-office-holds-holiday-toy-drive

Full House to Save the Citys Housing and Homeless Support Services (Social Planning Toronto)
Check out the videos from this event: ( part 1 of 8 ) One hundred residents filled the gym of St. Stephens Community House to discuss the fate of affordable housing and homeless support programs in the City budget at the Housing, Homelessness and the City Budget public meeting on Thursday, November 24. Hosted by Housing Action Now (HAN) and co-organized by Social Planning Toronto, the event was moderated by HAN co-chair Barb Hurd with Kensington Bellwoods Community Legal Services. Speakers included Beth Wilson (Social Planning Toronto), Linsey MacPhee (Toronto Drop-In Network), Susan Gapka (Tenants for Social Housing), Joy Connelly (, Phil Nazar (Toronto Christian Resource Centre) and Michael Shapcott (Wellesley Institute).

hop to it! (Sarah, The Laughing Medusa)
Last week I mentioned that Im a firm believer in making Canadas elections more fair. So I was honoured when the Better Ballots campaign asked me to talk at the launch of Local Choice last week. Local Choice is a campaign to give Ontarios cities the ability to choose how to make their elections work best for them. I gave a brief talk about why I believe ranked ballots are the best way to move forward with improving Torontos elections. Heres what I had to say.

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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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