Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 3, 2011


Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2011 (CIC)
The 2012 levels plan reflects the Government of Canada’s efforts to address economic, social and humanitarian objectives. The admission range of 240,000 to 265,000 is maintained for the sixth consecutive year, reaffirming the commitment to sustained immigration levels to continue to fulfil the Department’s objectives. The range is based on consultations with provinces and territories, stakeholders, Action Plan for Faster Immigration objectives and operational capacities.

More economic immigrants taking advantage of fast track (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
Canada is attracting increasing numbers of a new class of economic migrants, one that is already changing the face of the immigrant experience in this country. The Canadian Experience Class program fast tracks permanent residency applications for skilled foreign workers and graduate students who have spent time in Canada on temporary permits or student visas.

Editorial: Immigration plan must recognize spouses’ desire to work (Calgary Herald)
Immigration Canada’s plan to require a two-year waiting period before permanent residency is granted to a sponsored spouse from another country is an eminently sensible one that will go far toward stemming the tide of foreign marriage fraud. Statistics released by the federal government indicate that, in 2010, 16 per cent of more than 46,000 applications for foreign spouses and partners were rejected. It is not known how many of those were determined to be sham marriages, but fraud was a factor in some of those turndowns. However, the plan must come with a strategy for allowing legitimate, sponsored spouses to find jobs more easily during the two years they live in Canada.

Attracting and retaining international PhD students the focus of new initiative (Canada News Centre)
Canada intends to accept up to 1,000 international PhD students per year as permanent residents through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear announced today, on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “Doctoral graduates play a unique role in the economy. They drive research, encourage innovation and pass on their knowledge through teaching,” said Minister Goodyear. “And quite simply, Canada needs more of them.”

Canadian Experience Class brings the world’s best and brightest to Canada (CIC)
Following a substantial increase in the number of student visas issued in recent years, Canada has welcomed its 10,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. The CEC, created in 2008, offers a pathway to permanent residency for international students and skilled and highly skilled temporary foreign workers. Through the CEC, those eligible can apply from within Canada and expect a decision quickly, whereas in the past, they may have spent several years waiting in the immigration queue.

Gov’t program expediting applications for permanent residency for temp foreign workers, students to expand next year (Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News)
A government program that expedites applications for permanent residency for temporary foreign workers and international students is poised to expand next year. According to government sources, Citizenship and Immigration is set to welcome 7,000 people through the Canada Experience Class in 2012 — the largest influx since the Conservatives launched the program in 2008. The program allows those studying in Canada, as well as skilled professionals here on temporary foreign worker permits, to jump the queue and obtain permanent residency quicker and without having to first return to one’s home country.

Summary of mainstream media coverage –

‘Goodfella’ campaign poster spurs human-rights complaint (Natalia Alcoba, National Post)
The City Hall press gallery has been asked to take down a provocative campaign poster that describes one-time mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi as a “Goodfella” following a human rights complaint.

Building Immigration Partnerships (Sylvia Cheuy, Tamarack Institute)
The Local Immigration Partnership Handbook recommends the establishment of leadership roundtables, called Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs), whose role is to work collaboratively at the local level to establish a local settlement strategy and targeted action plan to create welcoming communities that effectively attract and retain immigrants. This is appreciated as a two-way process where both the new immigrant and the host community adjust and change.

Program for Chinese immigrants reformed (Shawn Berry, Daily Gleaner)
The province is moving to address concerns about a project that used private consultants to fast-track immigrants from China. The program came under scrutiny earlier this year after New Brunswick’s auditor general revealed there was no followup on whether those nominees came to this province after reaching Canada.

N.B. stops accepting immigration applicants from China following review (Winnipeg Free Press)
New Brunswick has halted all applications under a Chinese immigration pilot project following an internal review of the province’s nominee program. The decision announced Wednesday follows a review by auditor general Kim MacPherson, who in February raised concerns about the provincial nominee program. MacPherson noted that the province accepted more than 5,500 immigrants under the nominee program between 1999 and 2009 but didn’t track where they ended up living.

For mosque critics, it’s all about gridlock (Peter Kuitenbrouwer, National Post)
Markham’s population has exploded by close to 50% in the past decade, going from 218,000 in 2001 to 304,000 this year. Still, this municipality northeast of Toronto clings to the moniker “Town of Markham” and retains vestiges of rural quaintness, such as Main Street Unionville; locals generally steer clear of town hall and re-elect their council without fuss. But that changed last week. About 250 people packed council chambers and shouted down the Mayor about an item not even on the agenda: the city’s quiet approval of a second Markham mosque on the north end of town. “This is Markham Spring!” one man shouted. Some call this “Islamophobia.” At the very least, Markham today has a big-city problem, or at least a big suburb problem: designed for automobiles, it is gridlocked.

Together We Prosper Conference – November 17, 201 (Trent Centre for Community-Based Education)
The Peterborough Partnership Council on Immigrant Integration will be holding its second TOGETHER WE PROSPER CONFERENCE–taking place NOVEMBER 17th from 1-8pm at the Holiday Inn in Peterborough.

Straight up – MLA Kevin Lamoureux (Ang Peryodiko)
I am expecting to see changes in immigration policy in 2012 and I will do my best in keeping you up-to-date and to be a strong advocate for positive change. My first impressions of Canada`s Immigration Committee are mixed and I will provide a better explanation of that statement in a future story. For now I wanted to bring to your attention something that I believe would be of interest to you. There seems to be growing support for multiple year visiting visas and I suspect that we will begin to see more being issued as early as 2012 as the Government is looking at ways to reduce backlogs in countries like the Philippines. The big question being talked about on this issue is: By making it easier for parents to acquire a longer visiting visa for countries like the Philippines, will it reduce the number of parents wanting to immigrate? The problem is that worldwide the demand for sponsoring parents has dramatically increased and at the current rate it will not be long before it will take well over 10 years to sponsor a parent from a country like the Philippines. As a result there is growing pressure to loosen visiting visa rules for parents.

Library settlement program helps newcomers (Jessic Cunha,
A program that helps immigrants adjust to life in Canada celebrated its second anniversary at the Beaverbrook branch of the Ottawa Public Library on Friday, Oct. 28. Around 40 people gathered at the Beaverbrook branch, with similar events held at library branches across the city. “It’s a very good list of programs we have built through our libraries,” said Susan Kan, executive director of the Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre and originally from Hong Kong. “The partnership with the libraries is very important.”–library-settlement-program-helps-newcomers

Canadian women politically stifled, report suggests (CBC)
Canada lags behind countries like Burundi, Latvia and Guyana when it comes to how much political power women wield relative to men, a new report suggests. The survey of 135 countries by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum found that Canadian women have nearly closed the gap with men in educational attainment and health, but not in the economic realm, nor — by a wide margin — in politics.

Coffee Run: Taking in the diaspora at Tim Hortons (Dave Bidini, National Post)
I stood in line for too long — my gate time encroaching — but it was a moment well spent. Almost all of the women working there were small and South Asian, their hair netted above their work stations. One of them arrived for her late-morning shift, and while the rest carried on their business, they did so while peppering their co-worker with a torrent of questions, partly in English, and partly in a language I didn’t understand.

Discipline Panel Finds Member Guilty of Professional Misconduct; Imposes Severe Penalties (Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants)
CSIC’s independent discipline panel has found Joan Raymond guilty of professional misconduct for accepting funds from clients and providing no services in return. As a result, Ms. Raymond has been ordered to make restitution and has had her CSIC membership revoked. The Discipline Panel heard evidence from Ms. Raymond’s clients both in person and through a CSIC Investigator. The evidence indicated that Raymond accepted their money and then failed to provide any immigration consulting services.

Popeyes in fight over Halal chicken (Laura Stone, Toronto Star)
A group of Muslim restaurant franchisees is fighting fast-food chain Popeyes Louisiana Chicken in court over the right to sell hand-slaughtered Halal meat for religious reasons. The battle in Ontario Superior Court comes after the Atlanta-based franchise moved to replace the chicken supply with machine-killed birds in 14 Toronto restaurants. The company says it’s still Halal-certified; the franchisees claim the machine method is against the beliefs of a majority of Muslims. “If I begin selling machine-slaughtered chicken, I will immediately lose an enormous segment of my customers,” reads the sworn affidavit from Abdul Haffejee, who owns eight Popeyes in the GTA.–popeyes-in-fight-over-halal-chicken

What do Muslim Canadians want? (Christian Leuprecht, Troy Media)
Canada has been welcoming newcomers at an extraordinary rate by world standards and a record-setting one by our own. Many arrive from societies that are burdened by a history of sectarian violence or that lack the habits of pluralist acceptance, tolerance, and self-restraint that are at the heart of Canadians’ identity as a liberal-democracy. Given the potentially deleterious consequences for liberal-democratic values, we wondered: To what extent do the values and opinions of newcomers differ, if at all, from those of Canadians as a whole? There has been a dearth of empirically-based research on the attitudes to democracy of newcomers to Canada in general and Muslims in particular. Since Islam is, according to Statistics Canada, the country’s fastest-growing religion and Muslims the fastest-growing non-Christian communities, it made sense to put to the test the heightened scrutiny to which this particularly subgroup has been subject. While no community, Muslims included, is homogeneous, our recent study, What Do Muslim Canadians Want?, is intended to contribute to an understanding of Canadian Muslims’ attitudes to the pluralist-democratic values that matter deeply to Canadians.
Full report:

Use Your Words Wisely | “Islamist”, Marginalizing Muslims (Schema Magazine)
In September of 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper proposed that the biggest threat to Canada was “Islamicism”. Yes—Islamicism. No need to look up a definition. It’s not there. In the spirit of positive-thinking, while it may be flattering to have a new word created to describe an entire community, I think we’ll pass on this one. The “word” Islamicism proposes that these individuals harbour fundamental, violent and oppressive values which are applied through force. So what did popular media do? Take that term and slightly adjust it to “Islamist”. Recently, this term has been used to describe people, a government, or an ideology. They weren’t identified by their first name, party name or any other descriptions. Their entire presence was simplified to a term with negative connotations.

Apply now for President’s Fellowship (Canada Newswire)
The Association of Electronic Journalists – is now accepting applications for the annual President’s Fellowship. The fellowship provides an opportunity for a working journalist to attend a seminar at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. Poynter offers an assortment of seminars on issues ranging from Leadership and Management, to Reporting Writing and Editing, to Ethics and Diversity, among others.


Some Accountability, Please (Deborah Coyne, The Mark)
This is Part 1 of a three-part series focusing on citizen disengagement from the political process in Canada, and how we can best go about fixing it. Part 1 describes how Canadians have become disillusioned with dysfunctional and unaccountable political institutions.

Engage November 2011 (Tamarack Institute)
Collective Impact on Poverty: Lessons from Vibrant Communities
Home Means Much More Than a Roof
Ideas we’re following:
A Focus On Community Well-Being
Citizen Participation In A Digital Age
ALLIES: A Network Of Support – A Movement For Change
Building Immigration Partnerships

Food banks supposed to be a temporary measure: OUR OPINION (Barrie Examiner)
It was never supposed to be this way, of course. Food banks were always supposed to be temporary measures, designed to feed those who fell through the gaps in our social assistance programs. Food banks were never meant to feed the same people on a regular basis.

The solution to income disparity? Consumption taxes (Timothy Taylor,Globe and Mail)
Early in the Canadian Occupy protests in October, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney described the movement as “constructive”—the understandable product of worsening income inequality. He was partly right. He should have said the protests were potentially constructive, but only if parties on both sides of the barricades open their minds about taxes, specifically the superior redistributive potential of consumption and value-added taxes (VAT) over income taxes. If you’re interested in closing the gap between rich and poor and you believe that only higher income taxes on corporations and the rich will do it, you’re defeating your own cause.


Potential Of immigrants (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with our business commentator Michael Hlinka.

Employers failing to put diversity into practice (Canadian HR Reporter)
Many Canadian employers are finding it easy to put diversity and inclusiveness into a mission statement but difficult to put them into practice, according to a white paper by Deloitte based on roundtable discussions in eight cities across Canada with representatives of business, community-based diversity and immigrant organizations, and Deloitte professionals. Often, organizations are clinging to outdated notions, such as requiring employment experience in Canada, said Welcome to Canada. Now what? Unlocking the Potential of Immigrants for Business Growth and Innovation. The dreams of educated newcomers are being eroded by unrecognized credentials, no Canadian experience, a lack of support for networking and lingering biases in recruitment.

Event Nov 9: Faith in the Workplace: Exploring Canada’s Rapidly Changing Employment Landscape (Idea Workshop)
On November 9th, Canada’s foremost experts on immigration, economic development and faith-related issues converge in Toronto for a dynamic conference surrounding culture and faith in the workplace. Hosted by KPMG and presented by leading not-for-profit organization, Skills for Change — a specialist in employment success for internationally educated professionals — the conference features a keynote address by Senator Don Meredith, a provocative panel discussion and an opportunity to speak with prominent Canadian employers invested in diversity hiring, including Scotiabank, Home Depot and the University of Toronto.


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

Newsstand: November 3, 2011 (Torotonist)
It’s that time again: time to change your underpants and find out what’s going on in the world. Ready? Onto step two, the news: maverick library board member revealed; Rocco Rossi’s goodfella posters, and the accusations of racism, resurface at city hall; never before seen footage from inside the G20 detention centre; separated bike lanes might be on the way; and a sad story about sadness and poppies.

Memo to Queen’s Park (Steve Munro)
The Liberals, content to re-announce past commitments, proposed little on transit during the election. Queen’s Park remains silent on any transit initiatives. This might be a sign of consistency if only we did not hear daily about “congestion” and the need for much better transit in the GTA. Bob Chiarelli, formerly Mayor of Ottawa, replaces Kathleen Wynne as Minister of Transportation (also as Minister of Infrastructure). The Ministry’s website describes Chiarelli as “a champion of public transit, including clean light-rail expansion”, and for once we have a transition between Ministers that might not wreck a pattern of support for transit within the government. There is much to do. Simple recitations of committed projects must give way to discussions of a future, much improved world for transit in the GTA and other major Ontario centres. Herewith, a few suggestions about what the “major minority” (Premier McGuinty’s term for a not-quite majority) of our new government might do on this file.

“Beyond The Rhetoric” (CBC Metro Morning)
Toronto activist Dave Meslin walked Matt Galloway through a new exhibit called “The Fourth Wall: Transforming City Hall” , it is on now at the Urbanspace Gallery at 401 Richmond Street West.


Why Business Might Just Save the World (Peter Dietz,
My task was to argue for the position that private sector approaches, and the private sector itself in partnership with the community sector, can effect large-scale social transformation. This is a belief I have settled into, reluctantly at first, over a period of close to ten years working almost exclusively with nonprofit and charitable organizations as well as on independent projects with a social purpose. I’m a technologist and history student whose lived experience has convinced him that partnerships with business and business approaches hold enormous promise for long-term positive social transformation.



The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

3 ways to minimize cultural misunderstandings in the workplace, from #diversity #inclusion No, You Can't Borrow My Hijab...