Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 7 2011


Canada needs more caregivers, please (Globe and Mail editorial)
To compensate, there will be a lower quota in other categories, including live-in caregivers. The target is 8,000-9,300, compared to 10,500-12,500 in the past two years. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why would a country with a declining fertility rate and the expected mass retirements of baby boomers want to recruit yet more older people? “The government has it backwards,” says Sergio Karas, an immigration lawyer.

We shouldn’t hesitate to call honour killings barbaric (Farzana Hassan, Calgary Herald)
But why such reluctance to call these heinous crimes using terminology that best describes them? Is it political correctness that prevents many from addressing the issue head on? Is it fear of stigmatizing a particular culture or religious community? Is it simply naivete of the worst kind? There are several reasons for such deliberate misuse of words and the resultant obfuscation of facts on honour killings. Some individuals fear Islamist groups and avoid terminology linking this phenomenon to fundamentalist Islam. The left-leaning multiculturalists also believe in showing deference to each subculture within Canada, despite the rampant abuse of women within these communities. They hence reject certain words deemed culturally charged.

Ottawa to target ‘marriages of convenience’ (Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star)
In a crackdown on fraudulent marriages, the Canadian government is proposing a period of conditional permanent residence requiring a sponsored spouse stay in a “bona fide” relationship with their sponsor, possibly for two or more years. Another proposal would prevent a person who has been sponsored as a spouse from sponsoring a new partner for five years.

Powerful Punjabi press has its fans and foes (Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star)
We’ve all heard about the power of the press. It pales in comparison to the power of the Punjabi press. At least that’s the view of an increasing number of people who say they have become victimized by a highly influential — and what they call irresponsible — ethnic media in the Greater Toronto Area. Take the case of a 33-year-old bride who landed in Toronto after her husband sponsored her arrival from India. She left him within weeks, alleging abuse, and the spurned husband went to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, saying she had married him only to come to Canada.

Language test: A sensible requirement for Canadian citizenship (Windsor Star)
It makes sense that proficiency in one of our country’s official languages would be included in the criteria for becoming a Canadian citizen – and on paper it is. However, that’s not always the case when it comes time to apply the rules. As a result, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the federal government will be looking at more rigorous language testing when it comes time to apply for citizenship.

‘Par excellence’ of multiculturalism is Winnipeg: ex-GG (Bill Redekop, Winnipeg Free Press)
IMMIGRANTS to Canada shouldn’t have to wait until the second generation to feel like they belong — former governor general of Canada Adrienne Clarkson believes newcomers belong as soon as they arrive. “‘We’re Canadians now. We’re not waiting one generation. We’re Canadians now,'” Clarkson said her father often reminded their family, who arrived in Canada from Hong Kong as refugees in 1941.

Sikh-Canadian WW I soldier remembered (CBC)
One of 10 Sikh soldiers who fought with Canadian regiments during the First World War was remembered Sunday at a special service in Kitchener, Ont. Pte. Buckam Singh is believed to be the only Sikh-Canadian soldier from the First or Second World War to have a military gravesite on Canadian soil. But the Kitchener site had been long forgotten until an amateur historian rediscovered it three years ago.

CFP: Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, June 11-13, Vancouver (Refugee Research Network)
The Twelfth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations will be held in Vancouver, Canada from 11-13 June 2012. This Conference will address a range of critically important themes in the study of diversity today. Plenary speakers will include some of the world’s leading thinkers in the field, as well as numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Review: Development of guidelines for recently arrived immigrants and refugees to Canada: Delphi consensus on selecting preventable and treatable conditions (CMAJ)
The Canadian Helicobacter Study Group recently convened a meeting addressing at risk populations for infection in Canada. In addition to native Canadians, data regarding recent immigrants was extensively reviewed and indicated that immigrant populations were at increased risk (1). Thus we suggest that H. pylori should be among the infectious diseases selected as high priority conditions for guideline development in recent immigrants in Canada because the majority of immigrants come from high prevalence regions, which also have an increased risk for gastric cancer development. Furthermore screening tools as well as inexpensive and effective interventions exist to eliminate infection, which could prevent the development of disease complications.

Canada’s shameful “new” immigration policy (Catherine Ford, Troy Media)
This is the Canada in which I grew up – a country that recognizes hardship because living in this climate can be hard and lonely; a country that values the desire for a new life; that welcomed the diasporas: Doukhobors from Russia; those escaping Communist Czechoslovakia and Hungary, those fleeing dictatorship in Chile; boat people from Vietnam; refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia – all of these disparate people contributing to make Canada what it is today. This is not the Canada we are preserving, certainly not the country we will be leaving for our children if a xenophobic government has its way. Shame on them.

Gail Asper never gave up on rights museum dream (Martin Knelman, Toronto Star)
In Winnipeg’s North End, where I grew up, we took multiculturalism and diversity for granted, even if nobody used those words at the time and the variety of backgrounds among my high school classmates rarely extended beyond white and European. Yet, despite its colourful history, lively demographic and special flavour, it seemed to me Winnipeg was an isolated place in the middle of nowhere facing a bleak future, on its way to becoming the town history forgot. That’s why I moved to Toronto.–gail-asper-never-gave-up-on-rights-museum-dream?bn=1

Lawsuit aims to return citizenship to elderly “lost” Canadians (Tamsyn Burgmann, The Canadian Press)
Peter Brammah sailed with the Canadian navy and later worked for Calgary’s police force. Despite serving this country as both a naval and police officer, he can’t actually call Canada his own. When he applied for a passport in 2002 — more than fifty years after moving here at age 10 — he was swiftly denied. Pointing to an archaic set of laws, the government informed him he’s never been a citizen. So the 75-year-old will file a lawsuit Monday, aiming to set a precedent to force the return of Canadian identities to thousands of other elderly people who similarly believe they’ve been unjustly excluded.

LOST CANADIANS: The political timeline (Chris Montgomery, Vancouver Observer)
Nov. 2011: A lineup of people still being denied what they claim is their rightful Canadian citizenship prepares to take the government to court, arguing a range of discriminations based on age and gender.

Multiculturalism ‘an insidious assault’ on freedom (Barbara Yaffe, Calgary Herald)
Salim Mansur has written the mother of all politically incorrect books – slamming multiculturalism, a policy that has become so integral to western societies such as Canada. The Kolkata-born political scientist, who teaches at the University of Western Ontario in London, says what few others will: All cultures are not equal, and immigration from Islamic countries has been harmful to the West.

Visiting my birthplace in India helped me understand my parents better (Victor Chai, Globe and Mail)
I’m Chinese but was born in India. In 1983, when I was 3, I immigrated with my family to Toronto from Calcutta. We were a typical Chinese immigrant family, except we happened to be from India. We’ve got a unique past but in many ways our story is the Canadian story. My parents struggled in their adopted country so my brother, sister and I could make something of ourselves. My mother told us that her dream was for all of her kids to graduate from university, which we did. I went on to law school and a career as a corporate lawyer, first in New York and now in London.

Adrienne Clarkson celebrates Canadian diversity, ‘cosmopolitan ethic’ (Adelia Neufeld Wiens, Winnipeg Free Press)
Each year, Canada welcomes a quarter of a million new people. In this book of essays and profiles, Clarkson tells the story of 10 individuals who have come to Canada from places of great difficulty and threat, places such as Uganda and Vietnam and Chile. “There is room,” she asserts, “for all of us.” Writing with a keen sense for a gut-wrenching story, Clarkson suggests that Canada is developing what the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Muslim Ismaili sect, calls a “cosmopolitan ethic.”–canadian-diversity-cosmopolitan-ethic-133287748.html

excerpt: dusan’s toronto (Rick Salutin, Toronto Star)
He brought to Toronto with him another European tendency as well, which you could call the intellectual style in drawing. In modern Europe, debates over ideas were often at the heart of political clashes, and editorial cartoonists never shied away from attempts to find pictorial equivalents for those complex ideas. They didn’t simply focus on leaders and events … But for him now Toronto is clearly home, and he feels at home here, which is what you feel looking through this collection. He has an attachment to the place that many accomplished, cultivated, worldly immigrants also display. I confess I find a certain mystery in this widespread sense of connection. It sometimes amounts to an almost fervid protectiveness toward the city.–excerpt-dusan-s-toronto

What’s the place of immigration in N.B.? (Jean-Marie Nadeau, Telegraph-Journal)
We need to re-examine our reception and immigration practices and move beyond profit- and utility-based models of immigration “for us,” as Mr. Belkhodja puts it. We will not be able to solve all our denatality, exodus and economic development problems (particularly in rural areas) with immigration. Immigrant reception also means a concern for the immigrant’s expectations and concerns. It requires a desire to know our immigrants in order to better integrate them into our communities. Moreover, it allows us to grow through their contributions to our culture, instead of just narrow-mindedly lining our pockets. We need to make diploma recognition easier, in addition to recognizing life experience and skills, so that immigrants are able to find real employment that is in keeping with their occupational skills. The immigrant also has requirements and responsibilities. He/she must be open to learning about the new host society, make efforts to integrate into it and contribute to its development.

Deepa Mehta says adaptation of ‘Midnight’s Children’ pushed her in new ways (Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press)
Mehta offered up the details as she accepted a lifetime achievement award Thursday from the Canadian Centre for Diversity, which provides programs that teach youth to see beyond stereotypes. “I’ve been here for many years and worked out of Canada so it’s marvellous to be … recognized as a Canadian,” said the Indian-born Mehta, who described her latest accolade as “particularly heartwarming.” “And not only as a Canadian but as a Canadian who matters. It’s very emotional.”

Finding strength through immigration in Winnipeg (Rebeca Kuropatwa, Canadian Immigrant)
“We initially came to Canada on my ex-husband’s work permit [a truck driver] and, as his dependant, I wasn’t allowed to work,” says Leigh. “Money was tight and at times it was lonely — especially the first winter, as we spent most of our time indoors, hiding from the cold in our small basement apartment.” She also hadn’t anticipated having any communication difficulties, but Leigh notes she “didn’t consider their accents, sayings or phrases not translating” to Canadian ears … so, she had to adapt. Thinking back, Leigh says, “I’ve surprised myself so many times since we decided to move to Canada. I completed all our immigration paperwork my first try … initially thinking I wouldn’t be able to. I was unsure I had the strength to go it alone, without the backup of my parents and the familiarity of the area I grew up in.”

VIDEO: Giller contender David Bezmozgis (CBC)
David Bezmozgis, who is of Latvian heritage, is a nominee for his debut novel The Free World, a chronicle of a Soviet-Jewish family of refugees stranded in Europe. In the video above, Toronto-based Bezmozgis talks to CBC about taking the immigrant story and translating it for others, exploring the ‘greatest hits of Soviet culture’ and finding inspiration in Mordecai Richler.


Looking out for our neighbours (Toronto Sun editorial)
In his excellent series, The Fence, published by Sun Media and featured on the Sun News Network, QMI Agency feature writer Thane Burnett took a eye-opening stroll along the Texas-Mexico border barrier, and then looked north to Canada with Mark Borkowski, an assistant commissioner with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “We don’t believe the same tactics (as the Texas-Mexico fence) should be applied to northern security,” Borkowski told Burnett. But he did not rule it out, either.

Hospitality overflowing (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Canada’s largest private sponsor of refugees, Winnipeg’s Hospitality House, is struggling to stay hospitable with a surge in the number of arrivals and a 60 per cent cut in funding. The federal government is trying to clear a backlog of applications that’s left people languishing in limbo too long, said Hospitality House executive director Tom Denton. “They’ve doubled landings under private sponsorship programs.” The non-profit church-run agency isn’t accepting any new sponsorship applications until the backlog is cleared, he said. And it is trying to keep up the hospitality in what’s suddenly become a full house.

Bigotry keeps Roma on the run (Anna Porter, Toronto Star)
Jozsef and Timea live in a sparsely furnished apartment in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park. The central feature of their living room is a pink toy house with white balconies and a few tiny people, none of whom seem to interest the shy 3-year-old who is flicking through a book while watching children’s television. Jozsef used to work for Viktoria Mohacsi, former Hungarian member of the European Union Parliament. Timea worked in the human rights sector. They had a reasonably comfortable life in Budapest. Yet in September 2009 the small family left their home as refugees. They felt they had to escape.–bigotry-keeps-roma-on-the-run

Operational Guidance for Refugees in Urban Areas (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
UNHCR issued its policy on urban refugees in September 2009. Subsequently, the agency produced a booklet on “Designing Appropriate Interventions in Urban Settings: Health, Education, Livelihoods, and Registration for Urban Refugees and Returnees” which outlined the challenges associated with providing support in urban environments and suggested “appropriate UNHCR interventions in a few critical sectors of assistance and protection.” Since that time, the agency has begun disseminating operational guidance to further facilitate the practical implementation of its policy on refugee protection and solutions in urban areas. The following publications are now available, with a third forthcoming.


A Fix for Our Faltering Politics (Deborah Coyne, The Mark)
Canadians are disengaged from political processes because Canada’s political institutions and leadership are no longer accountable and responsive to their needs. This arises as much from the marked trend toward governing by executive decree (while sidestepping transparent legislative oversight) as from the dysfunctional and opaque terms of relations between various levels of government. In order to address the resulting confusion and alienation that citizens feel, one step we should consider is the establishment of a Canadian Council of Governments designed to facilitate the constructive and open collaboration of all levels of government – federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, and aboriginal. (A similar council was established in Australia in 1992.)


Wise5 Preliminary Findings from Windsor (Sarah Wayland, Wise5)
We spoke with 11 men, 5 women, and 3 couples. On average, the entrepreneurs had lived in Canada for six years. Similar to Canadian business owners, the entrepreneurs we spoke with had high education levels. While they worked in a variety of industries, a substantial number owned service-oriented businesses.

Heads Up! One in Three Workers in Canada May Be Foreign Born by 2031 (Heather Williams, LEAP)
The article cites a recent Statistics Canada study that states that one in three workers could be foreign born by 2031. This should be taken as a serious heads up to corporations and regulatory bodies to adjust their infrastructure pertaining to hiring and training talent. Soft skills, that include reading, writing and interacting in a professional environment need to be taken into account as IEPs most likely will need to improve upon them to be hired.

Sikh Convention Adopts Resolution Calling For Accommodation Of The Turban At Workplaces (WSO Canada,
The World Sikh Organization of Canada held its biennial convention on Saturday November 5th at Kelowna BC and adopted a resolution calling on provincial governments to exempt Sikh workers from hard hat requirements. Marking the 27th anniversary of the organization, WSO members gathered from across Canada in Kelowna BC to discuss the organization’s future directions and policy. Notable amongst the attendees was a significant youth delegation from BC, Ontario and Quebec.

Canada urged to support its female entrepreneurs (Rita Trichur, Globe And Mail)
Canada risks lagging other countries if fails to create a national economic strategy to boost women’s entrepreneurship. The United States and other countries are devising strategies to boost entrepreneurship among women to fuel new job creation and economic growth. The topic also figured prominently at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum, eliciting interest from countries as diverse as China, Japan, Chile, Thailand, Peru and Australia.

Leaning on bilingual staff (Roman Mukerjee, Ottawa Citizen)
When I joined the federal public service, I entered at a time when the official bilingualism and multiculturalism policies were in place. The federal employment equity policy just began opening the door to me as a visible minority to enter the federal public service in Quebec. I had to clearly demonstrate my bilingual fluency as a job requirement. And, for obvious political reasons, there were staff hired to bilingual positions where they entered by simply indicating the desire to learn French.

Canada’s hard hat economy a ticket to the middle class (John Greenwood, National Post)
That goes especially for labour, which can’t be outsourced and provides one of the few sources of well-paying jobs to unskilled or unqualified workers such as immigrants, a key factor to the health of communities given this country’s traditionally high immigration rate. And unlike most other manual labour, it’s relatively well-paid. Due to labour shortages and high turnover, employers are willing to loosen the purse strings to keep valued workers. That means some take home $150,000 -plus a year. For an immigrant from Guatamala or Somalia or Portugal, it’s a ticket to middle-class life and a future, as it was for successive waves of new Canadians going back more than a century.

The outsider at the helm of Irving Oil (Gordon Pitts, Globe and Mail)
The most important executive east of Montreal is not a McCain, a Sobey, or even an Irving, but a compulsively overachieving engineer from Mumbai whose first job as a teenager in Canada was washing dishes for minimum wage. Mike Ashar is the first non-family president of 87-year-old Irving Oil, giving him enormous clout in Atlantic Canada as an indispensable deputy for the powerful but divided Irving clan.

Making a difference, a loaf at a time (Globe and Mail)
St. John’s Bakery in Toronto’s gritty east side is a business, not a charity, says Father Roberto Ubertino, executive director of the St. John’s Mission. But the bakery, a social enterprise, serves a social purpose – its staff includes refugees and immigrants with little English, former drug addicts, people with mental or physical disabilities. The bakery’s organic, traditional and highly regarded products are sold in farmers’ markets, specialty food stores and other venues across Toronto. ‘We’re a business with a social mandate,’ Father Roberto says. ‘And we’re proving this can pay for itself.’


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


Social Gold: Ted Jackson’s Financing Strategies for Non-Profits in a Turbulent World (Al Etmanski)
Ted Jackson, community organizer, fellow Frontier College alumni and Professor at Carleton University presented the following speech at the 52nd annual meeting of the Quinte West Association for Community Living. A comprehensive analysis and call to action relevant for all non profits.

“Volunteering For Lazy People” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Michelle Lee and Derek Fullerton. They are students at Durham College, and micro-volunteers.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

RT @snotforprofit: LOL! RT @kingmo: GenY coworker asked "what's RUN DMC?" I said "Its tricky to rock a rhyme, to...