Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 9, 2011


Visible minorities vastly underrepresented in municipal politics (Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail)
Why? Prof. Siemiatycki notes that there are no political parties at the municipal level to recruit or support minority candidates, so they must largely go it alone. To make things harder still, they must often battle entrenched incumbents who stay on term after term. Because municipal politics often gets less attention than federal or provincial campaigns, the candidate with long tenure and name recognition has a big advantage. For the same reason, many minority candidates scorn the municipal field and jump straight to a higher level. Kristyn Wong-Tam, the only new visible-minority councillor to be elected to Toronto Council last year, says Toronto should follow the example of many big Canadian companies and strive to diversify by reaching out to minority groups.

Visible minorities thin on the ground at Canadian city councils (Anna Mehler Paperny, Globe And Mail)
Winnipeg councillor Mike Pagtakhan looked around at a Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting this year and was delighted to see some non-white faces among the throngs. Until he introduced himself. I asked, Hey, are you councillors, reeves, mayors? They said, No, no: Were with the administration. I thought, Uh, okay. It was unreal. I was just shocked.

Colour not an issue ( editorial)
Now, an academic study has confirmed whats been obvious in Mississauga for a long time: City Council doesnt reflect the racial makeup of the citys population. Almost half of Mississauga residents are members of visible minority groups, but the 12 seats on City Council are held by white people. Is this fair? Absolutely. These 12 civic representatives were duly elected through the ultimate exercise in democracy. They received the most votes. This time-tested process is colour blind.–colour-not-an-issue

Teacher Diversity in Canada (BC Public School Employers’ Association)
This article examines the racial diversity of the teacher population in Canada. The authors compare the number of teachers of colour in Canadian elementary and secondary schools from the 2001 and 2006 Census data with the diversity of the student and general populations. The authors explore ways to address the gap between the proportion of Canadian educators and students of colour by interrogating the leaky pipeline metaphor that scholars employ to account for labour shortages. They contend that the pipeline metaphor does not sufficiently explain the disparity and they explore other reasons for its existence.

Women in Local Government – Getting to 30% (FCM)
Since 2005, FCM´s Standing Committee on Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal Government has undertaken a number of initiatives, activities and programs to encourage women who are considering running for municipal office. The newest element of this campaign is the Getting to 30% Project. The program is designed to recruit and train women to run in municipal elections, through a series of campaign schools and webinars, as well as a campaign manual.

B.C. to get bigger voice on intake of immigrants (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
B.C. is about to get a bigger say in what kinds of skilled immigrants the province will take in each year. The federal government announced on Monday an expansion of the Provincial Nominee Program, under which immigrants with skill sets the province deems desirable, or those most likely to invest and create jobs, are able to have their permanent-resident applications fast-tracked. The program is jointly run by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and B.C.’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.

Diversity In Films (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Alice Shih. She is a film journalist and a board member of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.

Embrace Diversity (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Grade 12 student Radyiah Chowdhury. She recently spoke about diversity and what it is like being a young Muslim woman, at the annual gala of the Canadian Centre For Diversity.

Child Migration Research Network
The Child Migration Research network (CMRN) has been established to help assess the impact of migration on children and youth. The aim of the CMRN is to bring together researchers who look at how migration affects children and to highlight research work, especially that in grey literature or other hard to reach sources, that focuses on this area.

Education Services Internship (Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21)
Internships are developed in collaboration between the Manager of Education Services and the student taking into account the interests and needs of both. Internships include at least one major project in addition to regular Education Services tasks and activities. Interns are welcome to participate in PD and training opportunities and will deliver programming for students. Former internship projects have included lesson plan writing, Canadian curriculum matrices, development of education services department PD programs, special event planning, museum outreach, etc.

Canada-Alberta Enhanced Language Training for Skilled Immigrants: Call for Proposals (Integration-Net)
The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to identify and select the most qualified proponents to
undertake projects that integrate language training with other employability components to
increase the settlement, integration and labour market outcomes of immigrants in Alberta.

Event Nov 12, Vancouver – Lost in translation? Challenges and the future of inclusivity in diverse media (Tracy Bains, Coop Culture)
Were hosting a panel this weekend as part of Media Democracy Days to discuss the challenges and opportunities for members of diverse media.

Author Esi Edugyan takes home the Giller Prize (John Barber, Globe and Mail)
Calgary-born novelist Esi Edugyan has prevailed against almost 150 other Canadian novelists to win the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize, worth $50,000. Clearly taken aback by her triumph, Ms. Edugyan acknowledged her fellow competitors and Patrick Crean of Thomas Allen Publishers, who saved this book when it most needed saving following the bankruptcy of Key Porter Books, her original publisher. A new mother resplendent in a black gown and sparkling silver necklace, Ms. Edugyan offered special thanks to her father, Kweku, an immigrant from Ghana who brought his family to Canada in the 1970s.

An aura of mistrust still lingers (Peggy Curran, The Gazette)
Building trust is still a very tough sell in Montreal – for cultural communities, the police and the general public. Since Marc Parent took over as chief of the Montreal police force a year ago, he’s been working hard to forge new partnerships with visible minorities and cultural communities, all of which can name lots of reasons not to believe the cops are always on their side.

Serving Youth in Newcomer Communities (Settlement AtWork)
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is pleased to introduce and to offer its member agencies a six-week on-line facilitated training on: Serving Youth in Newcomer Communities. If you are looking to create new or improve existing youth services, this 6-week facilitated course is designed for you.

CASSA Conference: Mental Health, Addiction, Chronic Disease and Sexual Health in South Asian Communities (Estelle Sun, Wellesley Institute)
Nasims presentation was part of the plenary panel discussion about health equity in South Asian communities and presented findings from community-based research involving the South Asian immigrant community in St. James Town. The presentation addresses how to re-think health from an equity perspective to successfully meet the needs of diverse populations.

Cultural Obligations and Parenting (Anjum Choudhry Nayyar, YummyMummyClub)
Its fall and the time of the year when I go through periods of celebrating and commiserating the cultural obligations that are thrown into my parenting routine. My South Asian heritage is rich with cultural events and celebrations that can offer so much to children and families. But, it can also be overwhelming.

What to watch at the 2011 Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival (The Ethnic Aisle)
The Toronto International Reel Asian Film Festival kicks off its 15th anniversary with an opening gala screening of Lovers Discourse tonight at the Isabel Bader Theatre. Directed by Derek Tsang, Kowk Cheung and Jimmy Wan, the lush exploration of love and heartbreak is one of our top picks of films to check out this week.

Townhall meeting looks at Canadian immigration (
The Leeds & Grenville Immigration Partnership has organized a town hall meeting on Nov. 17, at the University of Guelph Kemptville campus, conference room 1 W.B. George, from 6-8 pm. Anyone with an interest in immigration is invited to attend. A light dinner will be served. A town hall meeting will give the community an opportunity to come together and discuss the positive impact that immigration can have in and around North Grenville, and some of the ways that we can achieve that potential, said Matthew Raby, the Immigration Partnerships Program Manager.–townhall-meeting-looks-at-canadian-immigration

Immigration program benefits Alberta, minister says (CBC)
A federal cabinet minister says Alberta will continue to be a key beneficiary of a federal program that allows provinces to tailor immigration to fit local labour needs. Minister of State Tim Uppal says Alberta accounted for 24 per cent of the workers brought in under the provincial nominee program in 2011.

Federal plan calls for skilled immigrants (James Wood, Calgary Herald)
Alberta will be able to bring in a substantial number of highly coveted skilled immigrants under a planned increase to provincially designed programs, the federal government said Monday. But the province said it needs more details from Ottawa and is uncertain whether the federal plan will boost the number of trained immigrants it’s been seeking through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson: a voice for tolerance and diversity (Scott Stockdale, The Canadian Charger)
Human beings are not at the centre of all being, God is; but we have been given the responsibility for caring for much of creation. We are not self-made men and women, so we should only be grateful for anything we can accomplish and we are held accountable for all that we are given. This message of ethical transcendence, if sincerely embraced, directs a person to be kind, generous and courageous that’s a pretty good way to live. As the chair of the Islamic Studies program at Huron University College, Dr. Mattson said her most important job is simply to develop a good program in Islamic Studies for the students to give them an understanding of the history of Islam and the diverse beliefs and practices of Muslims over time.

The demographic tsunami will hit Atlantic Canada first (David Campbell, Globe and Mail)
In his column on November 5, Jeffrey Simpson did a good job of explaining the looming impact of the aging population in Canada and how it will eventually impact public services. What he didnt say is this demographic tsunami is hitting Atlantic Canada first and this region has far less capacity to address it than the rest of Canada. In 1971, the median age of the population in Atlantic Canada was less than the national average. Alberta had an older population compared to all four Atlantic Provinces. After decades of people goin down the road and very little immigration, Atlantic Canada is now much older than the rest of Canada.

How welcome are Muslims in Canada? (Ayman Oweida, The Gazette)
In a recent survey by Léger Marketing for the Association of Canadian Studies in Montreal, Canadians were asked how positive they feel about different groups. Muslims received the lowest ranking. The results echoed the findings of a previous survey for the association, this one marking 10 years since 9/11, which found that a majority of Canadians believe that conflicts between Western nations and the Muslim world are “irreconcilable.” Muslims continue to struggle to integrate safely and openly into Canadian society. Even Canadian-born Muslims find it difficult to be Muslim; growing up as a Muslim here isn’t always easy. Most kids and teenagers are afraid of expressing their Islamic identity, and thus end up living a kind of doublestandard life filled with psychological dilemmas and religious and moral sacrifices.

Author to discuss Muslim antisemitism (Jewish Tribune)
Media personality Tarek Fatah will be at Beth David Synagogue on Nov. 24 to discuss his book, The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Antisemitism. Its a topic that needs to be discussed, Fatah told the Jewish Tribune in a telephone interview, because it hasnt been addressed in the last, I would say, close to 500 years. All antisemitism is discussed from a Christian perspective, which is very different from Muslim antisemitism. Christian antisemitism is rooted in the accusation that Jews are Christ-killers, Fatah explained, whereas Muslim antisemitism is based on a lot of the Hadith material of the 8th and 9th centuries.

Programs to help new immigrants (Callie Norwich, The Brock Press)
On average 250,000 immigrants move to Canada per year, in hopes of finding a new and better life for themselves and family members. Yet, many have issues making Canada a home due to the fact that they feel unwelcome, uncomfortable or have issues finding employment. This is why many non-profit organizations run programs to assist them. There are programs offered in certain cities that help immigrants feel welcome and teach them valuable skills about business and culture practices in Canada. For instance, the Crossroads program is offered in the Niagara Region is run by the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre. It offers many business courses, English courses and helps these new Canadian citizens acclimatize.


Feds cut privately-sponsored refugee claim intake to a trickle (Kristen Shane, Embassy)
He said he’s talked to other groups wanting to sponsor gay refugees who are in similar situations. “Everyone is a combination of frustrated and confused by what are really mixed messages from the government,” said Mr. Pepper. “They can’t make it sound simple: ‘Go out and do a Group of Five and do your job as good Canadian citizens,’ and then kind of muddy the waters with what really appear to be, from everyone I talk to, restrictions and contractions of our international commitments.”

COSTI Immigrant Services Celebrates Renovations to Toronto Shelter (Marketwire)
Federal and provincial representatives joined COSTI Immigrant Services board members and staff in Toronto today to celebrate the completion of major renovations to the COSTI Immigrant Services’ Reception Centre, newly renamed the Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre. Approximately 1,000 refugees and homeless people pass through the centre each year, which provides temporary accommodation and settlement services to refugees. The upgrades improved resident rooms, the common kitchen, flooring, and plumbing. In addition, the electrical wiring was brought up to standard and new air conditioning units were installed throughout the building. This renovation project extends the life of the building, making it safer and more efficient for both residents and staff.

Refugees welcomed to new home: Hamilton (Stacey Escott, Hamilton Spectator)
All of the children speak English and with everything being so new, they are a little shy. That changed somewhat during the familys recent visit to First Pilgrim United Church for Wesley Urban Ministries Welcome Circle. Its the third such event since the project started in May as part of RAP, the Resettlement Assistance Program that welcomes new government assisted refugees who have experienced hardships and are just arriving in Canada. Community members and service providers are on hand to offer assistance with education, English classes, housing, employment and any other challenges they may face. In three meetings, about 77 refugees, half of them under 18, have been officially welcomed into the city.–refugees-welcomed-to-new-home-hamilton


Service Canada employees told to keep mum on existence of complaints office (Gloria Galloway, Globe and Mail)
There is an office within Service Canada where jobless people who have waited undue lengths of time for their first employment-insurance cheque can complain about the delay but Service Canada employees are not permitted to tell them about it. Its called the Office of Client Satisfaction, and it promises to work to resolve any issues brought to its attention. But call centre agents who field questions about EI claims say they have been warned by their bosses not to mention its existence to the frustrated people on the other end of the line.


More skilled immigrants needed to boost economy: study (Carmen Chai, Postmedia News)
The federal government should focus on increasing the number of skilled immigrants and refugees to boost the Canadian economy, a policy report recommends. On Tuesday, the Institute for Research on Public Policy released a report showing that these two immigrant groups do better economically than any other immigrant cohort entering the country.

Do Admission Criteria and Economic Recessions Affect Immigrant Earnings? PDF (IRPP)
Given that skills-assessed economic immigrants have had consistently higher earnings than other classes of immigrants, Canada should reverse the decline in the proportion of immigrants admitted in the skilled worker category


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

Sheppard Subway Inches Along (Steve Munro)
The Toronto Star reports that Rob Fords Sheppard Subway proposal might creep eastward from Don Mills Station rather than bounding in one leap to Scarborough Town Centre. An initial push east to Victoria Park might be a target for 2014, in time for the next municipal election, although the opening date would come later. Considering that Ford was going to finance and build the entire Sheppard line in that time, this is a tad slower than promised during his election campaign.

Video: The Tides of Municipal Finance: A Dock Side Chat with Harry Kitchen and Enid Slack (IMFG)
Join the AMO President and respected academics Dr. Harry Kitchen and Dr. Enid Slack as they discuss how the municipal dollars come in and where they go out. Together these two municipal finance experts will give meaning to the numbers. Dr. Slack will present some of the pitfalls and unintended consequences other jurisdictions have faced when attempting to favour assessment for some property owners over others. Dr. Kitchen will present recently commissioned AMO research on new trends in municipal expenditures nation-wide. What costs are growing fastest? How our property taxes compare to elsewhere in the Country?

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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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