Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 8 2011


Diversity gap in elected office: Deeper and wider than previously thought (DiverseCity)
A new research report released today examines the diversity of those who ran as candidates and those elected in recent federal, provincial and municipal elections in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Diversity Gap: The Electoral Under-Representation of Visible Minorities was conducted by Ryerson University’s Myer Siemiatycki on behalf of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project. The research shows that while they comprise 40% of the GTA population, only 11% of those elected for office are visible minorities. This means that we would need to elect almost four times as many visible minorities, across all levels of government, for visible minorities to hold elected office in proportion to their share of the population in the GTA.
Read this report, summary or news release. –

Politicians in GTA lack diversity (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Only 11 per cent of the 347 GTA elected officials at the three levels of government are held by visible minorities, who make up two of five residents in the region. A study released Tuesday by the Maytree Foundation — compiled at the completion of this year’s federal, provincial and municipal elections — found that visible minorities account for 25 per cent or 12 of the 47 GTA seats in the Ontario legislature. Visible minority group representation is dismal at the federal and local levels — making up 17 per cent of the region’s 47 seats in the House of Commons and just 7 per cent of 253 municipal council seats.

Visible minorities vastly under-represented in municipal politics (Marcu Gee, Globe and Mail)
Immigration has changed the face of Canadian cities, but the complexion of their city council chambers remains much the same. Visible minorities, too scarce at all levels of government, are vastly underrepresented in municipal politics. “We think of local governments as the most grassroots and closest to the people,” said Myer Siemiatycki, a Ryerson University professor who looks at the discouraging numbers in a new report, to be released Tuesday, for DiverseCity: the Greater Toronto Leadership Project. Yet “they are by far the worst in terms of having diverse identities elected.”

Council doesn’t reflect the population (Mississauga News)
An academic study has confirmed what’s been obvious in Mississauga for a long time: City Council doesn’t reflect the true makeup of the population of the city. Almost 50 per cent of Mississaugans are members of visible minority groups, but the 12 seats on City Council are held by white people. In Brampton, where a whopping 57 per cent of the population are visible minorities, only one of the 11 councillors is not white.–council-doesn-t-reflect-the-population

Supporting immigration is just so Canadian (Jeffrey Reitz, Toronto Star)
If the Ontario election campaign reflected anything about the politics of immigration in this country, it was the generally positive role that it plays. Most notably, the opposition issue of supposedly unfair benefits to “foreign workers” was a spectacular flop because the public holds a fairly positive view of immigrants. This and the increased prominence of new Canadians as candidates were cheerful and encouraging reminders of the changing face of Canadian politics, and also of Canadians’ general openness to immigration.–supporting-immigration-is-just-so-canadian

Kenney right on language (Edmonton Journal)
A Windsor Star editorial: 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 Ottawa will be looking at more rigorous language testing when it comes time to apply for citizenship. “I have met too many citizens that don’t speak English or French,” Kenney said recently. “That should never have happened. Under this new system that’s not going to happen any longer.”

Nominee program drawing immigrants (Bill Redekop, Winnipeg Free Press)
THE number of immigrants arriving in Canada under the Provincial Nominee Program continues to climb and will total from 42,000 to 45,000 next year, the federal government said. The estimate for 2012 is based mostly on immigration applications that have already been processed this year. It takes at least a year to process most applicants. About 40,000 PNP immigrants are expected to arrive in the current year.

More Provincial Nominees Planned for Alberta in 2012 (Canada News Centre)
The Government of Canada will continue to provide Alberta with a record amount of space in the country’s immigration program in 2012, Minister of State (Democratic Reform) Tim Uppal, announced today on behalf of Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to welcome 42,000 to 45,000 people under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), including nominees themselves, their spouses and dependants. CIC is on track to welcome a record number of provincial nominees this year and could set another milestone in 2012 if provinces submit enough nominations early on to fill their allotted space in the program. Alberta’s proportion of all nominations was 24 percent this year. The PNP

Faith in the Workplace: Exploring Canada’s Rapidly Changing Employment Landscape (Canada Newswire)
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.

Nominations Now Open for Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2012 (Marketwire)
Canadian Immigrant magazine and RBC today announced the open call for nominations for the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2012.” The fourth annual awards program seeks to recognize and celebrate the stories and achievements of outstanding Canadian immigrants from coast to coast who inspire newcomers and Canadians alike.

Calgary hosts 2011 Diversity Conference (660News Radio)
The Calgary Police Service is happy to report a three day diversity conference is sold out. Some 300 people from across Canada, and a few international delegates, will converge on the Delta South Hotel this week to discuss diversity. Sergeant Bill Dodd with the Police department’s Diversity Resources Team, tells 660News the goal is to create barrier free, inclusive organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion.–calgary-hosts-2011-diversity-conference

Adrienne Clarkson offers insights into how immigrants overcome trauma in Room For All of Us (Charlie Smith,
A former governor general hopes that her new book will give Canadians insights into the challenges facing immigrants to this country. In Room For All of Us: Surprising Stories of Loss and Transformation (Allen Lane Canada), Adrienne Clarkson profiles several Canadians who overcame incredible adversity and managed to achieve a great deal. Eight are immigrants, and the ninth, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, was born shortly after his family moved here from Tanzania. There’s a tenth profile of an Anglophone family with deep roots in the Quebec City area.

Quebec to accept record number of immigrants in 2012 (Canadian Immigrant)
Quebec unveiled their immigration plan for 2012 this week, stating the province will continue to grant a record numbers of visas to immigrants, despite complaints that it’s not doing enough to integrate newcomers, many of whom don’t speak French. The province also welcomes a large number of international students every year. Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil announced Tuesday that Quebec would let in between 51,200 and 53,800 new arrivals in 2012 with the same number of immigrants expected in 2013 and 2014.


Webinar recording – Onboarding Skilled Immigrants: Ensuring success for new hires (
On October 26, 2011, hosted a webinar with representatives of Proctor & Gamble and Providence Health Care talking about how onboarding programs can be used to ensure new immigrant hires reach their full potential.


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

Thirty-Nine (Steve Munro)
Day-to-day transit service is under attack from City budget cuts and Provincial underfunding. Toronto’s recent history of strong ridership may continue only by an accident of high energy prices and traffic congestion, not from an active plan to serve growing demand and population. This is really not where I had hoped to see our transit system by now. The 40th anniversary will come in 2012 when transit will still be fighting for its life politically and financially in Toronto. We should have been celebrating a renaissance.


Why Business Might Just Save the World (Part 2) (Peter Dietz,
At the most fundamental level, social finance differs from the market from which it has evolved in that it embeds values and meaning into people’s lives instead of atomizing and dis-embedding the individual from his or her surrounding community and environment. For example, social finance enables products and services such as Bixi bicycles, which are shared, promote healthy lifestyles, get people out of their cars, and reduce a commuter’s impact on the environment. Traditional finance, by contract, invests in automobiles that are privately owned, remove people from the streets they travel on, and release tremendous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Investments in shared transport as opposed to privately owned cars is a simplification but hopefully illustrative of finance re-purposed.

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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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