Immigration & Diversity news headlines – December 12, 2011

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY

First Intercultural Innovation Award at 4th UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Doha – BMW Group and UNAOC honor ten cutting-edge initiatives (BMW Group)
Among the winners of the first Award for Intercultural Innovation: the project MEJDI of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, which is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding in the Middle East, and the Canadian Maytree Foundation with their DiverseCity onboard initiative that fosters the empowerment of ethnic minorities in the Greater Toronto Area. The two projects won the first and second prize, respectively. The third prize went to the pan-European project CafeBabel.com, which convinced experts with its Europe on the Ground initiative, an intercultural journalism project.
https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/pressclub/p/pcgl/pressDetail.html;jsessionid=tjmtTmLhw7nKskcbvHpq2QHvKf2lQdfGmgzHLh4W2wyLr2nM5psQ!47692906?outputChannelId=6&id=T0123938EN&left_menu_item=node__2200&status=published

Video of the awards ceremony (Cathy Winters is presented the award in the 26th minute): http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/12/1300-doha-local-time-gmt3-awards-ceremony-arabic.html

Diversity in leadership, a summary of recent coverage (Maytree)
Our recent German Exchange showed us just how global the desire to include diversity effectively in our institutions has become. Since we released The Diversity Gap: The Electoral Under-Representation of Visible Minorities there seems to have been a sudden increase in other Canadian reports and stories about diversity in leadership. This is a good thing, even if the news is not terribly good. You may have read some of the stories and even the reports. Weve compiled what weve come across recently for you below.
http://maytree.com/blog/2011/12/diversity-in-leadership-a-summary-of-recent-coverage/

RBC Sponsorship of Upcoming Canadian Supplier Diversity Conference in March 2012 Announced (Canada Newswire)
The Diversity Business Network, (DBN), is pleased to announce that RBC, Canada’s largest bank, will be the presenting sponsor at the Canadian Supplier Diversity Conference 2012 – Diversity Our Economic Strength. “The Canada of today reflects diversity, and diversity for growth and innovation is one of RBC’s key values,” states Jennifer Tory, Regional President for Greater Toronto Region at RBC. “As presenting sponsor for the March conference, we hope to create opportunities to share ideas, collaborate and explore possibilities to help diverse-owned businesses develop, grow, and prosper across all our communities,” Tory comments.
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/893691/rbc-sponsorship-of-upcoming-canadian-supplier-diversity-conference-in-march-2012-announced

Preserving a dark chapter in our nations history (Lubomyr Luciuk, National Post)
The first prisoners, 109 men, arrived in January 1915, shipped along the Transcontinental railway from Montreal into the remote Abitibi region of northwestern Quebec. Hundreds more would join them eventually, including women and children, not because of any wrong they had done but only because of who they were. Mostly immigrants from western Ukraine, lured to Canada with promises of freedom and free land, they were branded enemy aliens at the outbreak of the First World War because they had arrived bearing Austro-Hungarian passports.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/12/lubomyr-luciuk-preserving-a-dark-chapter-in-our-nations-history/

Canadas Interfaith Christmas (OnIslam)
In a nation with a rich mix of cultures, Canadas Christmas season offers an opportunity to share different cultures and traditions between the countrys Muslims and Christians. We love Christmas, Raheel Raza, a Muslim interfaith diversity consultant and author, told CTV Toronto on Sunday, December 11.
http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/454969-canadas-interfaith-christmas.html

Editorial: The upside of exit visas (Calgary Herald)
Although there are unresolved issues around cost and privacy, an exit visa system for both Canada and the U.S. seems logical and overdue. The federal government has admitted to losing track of more than 40,000 failed refugee claimants ordered deported from Canada in the past 15 years. Precisely, the federal Immigration department says it has outstanding deportation warrants for 40,815 people whose refugee claims have been denied. Without an exit visa system, it has no way of tracking them.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial+upside+exit+visas/5843752/story.html

Social justice and diversity key subjects for new UBC program (Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun)
Social justice, diversity and aboriginal perspectives will be dominant themes in all courses offered by the University of B.C. education faculty starting next fall as a result of a program overhaul thats been in the works for several years. The subjects wont be taught as separate courses but will be infused throughout the curriculum, Associate Dean Rita Irwin said in an interview this week. The program will have a very different look and feel, she noted.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Social+justice+diversity+subjects+program/5844715/story.html

Canadian citizenship not for sale: Minister Kenney provides update of investigations into citizenship fraud (Canada News Centre)
The Government of Canada is now investigating 6,500 people from more than 100 countries for fraudulently attempting to gain citizenship or maintain permanent resident status, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Canadian citizenship is not for sale, said Minister Kenney. Canadians are generous people, but have no tolerance or patience for people who dont play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a Canadian citizen. The Government will apply the full strength of Canadian law to those who have obtained citizenship fraudulently.
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=643719

Thousands to be stripped of Canadian citizenship in historic fraud sweep (National Post)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is expected to make the announcement that Canadian citizenship is not for sale on Friday. He will unveil the details in Montreal where Nizar Zakka an immigration consultant suspected of fraud was arrested in 2009. Zakka is suspected of providing would-be Lebanese immigrants with false evidence indicating that they were living in Quebec when they were not to support their cases for permanent residency.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/12/09/canadian-citizenship-to-be-stripped-from-thousands-in-historic-fraud-sweep/

Time to crack down on fraudulent immigrants (Lorne Gunter, National Post)
Canadians are generous people, but have no tolerance or patience for people who dont play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a Canadian citizen. The government will apply the full strength of Canadian law to those who have obtained citizenship fraudulently. With those blunt words, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Friday in Montreal that his department and the RCMP have gathered evidence on as many as 6,500 new citizens or permanent residents who acquired their immigration status fraudulently. Mr. Kenney intends to strip them of their status and deport them, if they are in the country. He added, Canadian citizenship is not for sale.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/09/lorne-gunter-about-time-to-crack-down-on-fraudulent-immigrants/

Kenneys Anti-Immigrant Mean Streak Continues As He Targets 6500 Immigrants For Citizenship Fraud (R. Paul Dhillon, The Link)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenneys anti-immigrant mean streak continues as he targets an additonal 6500 people for citizenship after already stripping 1800 of citizenship earlier. On Friday, Kenney announced that the Conservative government is now investigating 6,500 people from more than 100 countries for fraudulently attempting to gain citizenship or maintain permanent resident status.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=12321

Spotted: Your comments on citizenship fraud investigations (CBC Community Team)
After two years of investigations by Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP, roughly 2,1000 people may have their Canadian citizenships revoked and another 4,400 may be prevented from upgrading their permanent residency status to full citizenship. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday that those in the hot seat may have obtained their citizenships fraudulently after spending little or no time in Canada.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2011/12/spotted-your-comments-on-citizenship-fraud-investigations.html

Canada Marks Human Rights Day (Canada News Centre)
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement on the occasion of Human Rights Day: 2011 was a landmark year for human rights, we saw hundreds of thousands of people step forward in the face of violent repression to claim their rights.
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=643919

Two charged in white pride group only the beginning (Michael Mui, 24Hours Vancouver)
The charges laid last week against two men belonging to a white pride group have barely scratched the surface of growing hate-driven organizations in Canada, according to an anti-racism group. Alan Dutton, executive director for the Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society, said groups are now actively turning young people against visible minorities and blaming immigrants for the economic downturn.
http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/local/2011/12/11/19109726.html

Loathsome ideas find a voice with B.C. neo-Nazi groups (Brian Hutchinson, National Post)
There are 15 of them at most, all of them young, male and white. They are local members of an international neo-Nazi network, men attracted to hate. While B.C.s lower mainland isnt notorious for white supremacy movements, they do exist, say police. In small numbers, without structured leadership but with common cause and intent, the racists creep below the surface. Sometimes, they attack. On Friday, police announced the arrests of three B.C. men alleged to have committed a string of vicious, physical assaults on non-whites. The three are believed to associate with Blood and Honour, a group said to be named for the slogan engraved on Hitler Youth pocketknives. Blood and Hate is more apt.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/09/brian-hutchinson-loathsome-ideas-find-a-voice-with-b-c-neo-nazi-groups/

McKee Uses Blood & Honour Arrests to Promote Violence (Jon Woodward, CTV)
The leader of the Calgary faction of Blood and Honour said criminal charges won’t deter members of the group in Vancouver from using violence as part of a neo-Nazi campaign. Kyle McKee told CTV News that he doesn’t have “a stitch of remorse” for his own crimes, and expects that the two members of the Vancouver faction of the white nationalist group will continue intimidating minorities.
http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.com/2011/12/mckee-uses-blood-honour-arrests-to.html

National Pride Brings Happiness, but What You’re Proud of Matters (Science Daily)
Research shows that feeling good about your country also makes you feel good about your own life — and many people take that as good news. But Matthew Wright, a political scientist at American University, and Tim Reeskens, a sociologist from Catholic University in Belgium, suspected that the positive findings about nationalism weren’t telling the whole story.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111209171944.htm

Muslim women speak for themselves (Tom Ford, Winnipeg Free Press)
A lot of discussion these days about Muslim women, but the problem is few of us get a chance to sit down and talk with some of them. I have met quite a few simply because I work as a volunteer in one of Winnipeg’s largest affordable-housing societies. The women were all different, but none of them had the characteristics of the Muslim-woman stereotype — a supine creature who is browbeaten or sometimes beaten by her husband.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/muslim-women-speak-for-themselves-135425448.html

Face time required to become Canadian citizen (Mark Dunn, Toronto Sun)
If you want to become a Canadian, you’ll have to show your face. Under sweeping regulations that take effect Monday, Muslim women will have to remove their niqabs or any other face-coverings such as burkas before reciting the oath of citizenship to become Canadian, QMI Agency has learned.
http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/11/face-time-required-to-become-canadian-citizen

Niqab In Court (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Amanda Dale. She is Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic in Toronto.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/12/12/niqab-in-court/

Justice and the veil (Carissima Mathen, Ottawa Citizen)
The Supreme Court should find a way for women who wear the niqab to seek redress for sexual assault… The niqab appeal heard in the Supreme Court of Canada this week is a perfect storm of competing interests. The case concerns a complainant, known only as NS, who made allegations of sexual abuse (including child sexual abuse) against a relative and a family friend. At the preliminary inquiry the defendants asked that NS be ordered to remove her niqab – a garment that covers her body and most of her face – before being permitted to testify. After questioning NS, the judge ordered that the niqab be removed. The case was appealed twice before arriving at the Supreme Court.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Justice+veil/5839857/story.html

Praying For Change (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about plans to address issues of domestic violence later today during prayer service with Imam Yusuf Badat. He is with the Islamic Foundation of Toronto . The move comes after he and dozens of other Muslim leaders and organizations recently signed a “Call to Action to Eradicate Domestic Violence”.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/12/09/praying-for-change/

Canadian Imams take a praiseworthy stand on honour killings (Jonathan Kay, National Post)
Since the War on Terror began on Sept. 11, 2001, the Western world has been asking Muslims to raise their voice against terrorism perpetrated by extremists in the name of Islam. When prominent Muslims answer that call, as many have over the last decade, they deserve praise and recognition. The same is true when prominent Muslims raise their voice against honour killings, a practice that is not unique to Islam, but which is most common in Muslim nations such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, and among Western immigrant communities originating therefrom. Honour killings may be fairly described as a form of terrorism, but one that targets only women. Its function within traditional societies is to quite literally terrorize women into assuming the stifling roles prescribed for them by family patriarchs.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/12/09/jonathan-kay-canadian-imams-take-a-praiseworthy-stand-on-honour-killings/

Event: February 21&22, 2002 – Toronto: Seeking Solutions Symposium (CERIS)
The Hospital for Sick Children and Womens College Hospital will present a forum that brings together ethicists, legal experts, researchers, practitioners, policy analysts, community members, decision makers to address access to care for individuals living in Canada without health insurance.
http://ceris.metropolis.net/wordpress/?p=131

Interculturism, sil vous plaît (Arnold A. Auguste, Share)
Imagine that the City of Toronto issued a 16-point ‘Statement of Values’ guide for new immigrants outlining what kind of behaviour is acceptable here and what is not. Now, imagine that, among the points, new immigrants would be informed that “children are our most precious good” and that there should be no “excessive punishments, corporal and sexual abuse, confinement, neglect, forced labour, humiliation, willful malnutrition”. And what would your opinion be of a guide that informs of the importance to our way of life of punctuality, good hygiene, avoiding smells like cigarette smoke and “strong odours emanating from cooking”?
http://www.sharenews.com/editorial/2011/12/09/interculturism-s%E2%80%99il-vous-pla%C3%AEt

Gatineaus values guide for immigrants stirs controversy (South Asian Mail)
The city of Gatineau says its newly released statement of values is aimed at helping newcomers integrate. But critics say it infantilizes them and treats immigrants like they came out of a cave. The administration of Mayor Marc Bureau says it published its list of essential values to help the newly arrived fit in and learn how to interact in their new environment, according to the guide.
http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=102262

OHRC unveils Human Rights 101 e-learning in Arabic and Spanish (Canada Newswire)
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today announced it is working on two new versions of its popular e-learning module, Human Rights 101 at an event to celebrate International Human Rights Day hosted by Overland Learning Centre, a Toronto District School Board (TDSB) adult learning centre and the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office. The Overland Learning Centre has a large English as a Second Language Program helping many new Canadians integrate into Canadian society.
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/892963/ohrc-unveils-human-rights-101-e-learning-in-arabic-and-spanish

Attention Writers Aged 16-25 Open Call for Diaspora Dialogues Shorthand Zine (Diaspora Dialogues)
Diaspora Dialogues is inviting young writers between 16 and 25 to submit original short-form writing (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, graphic fiction, or drama) to publish in Shorthand, our new online zine: http://diasporadialogues.com/youthsite/zine/
http://diasporadialogues.com/articles/youth/2011/12/09/zine-opencall/#.TuYJOmMr2So

Immigrant Communities What Works? (communicating.across.boundaries ~ )
I had a fascinating conversation a few weeks ago with a woman whose parents are Sikhs from the Punjab region of India. As a young couple they immigrated to Canada and raised their family in a suburb of Toronto. She grew up in a multicultural neighborhood with native-born Canadians, Koreans, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Somalis, Bangladeshis, and more. No one talked about diversity, they lived it. What made this community work? What is the make-up necessary for an immigrant community to work? What are the policies that support this or are there any? What is the attitude of those who are native to the community? How does that affect the experience of the immigrant? Ive asked a lot of questions because there is a complexity to the issue that makes it difficult to dissect.
http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2011/12/08/immigrant-communities-what-works/

Muslim women celebrate all faiths (Daniel Nolan, Hamilton Spectator)
Staged by the Muslim Women Council of Hamilton, the Celebration of Holidays Friday night featured representatives of Hamiltons different faiths explaining how they mark their annual holiday in December. A Christian minister explained the traditions behind Christmas and a member of the Jewish community told about Hanukkah and how a temple menorah lit with only enough ritual oil to burn one day burned for eight days. A member of the Hindu community also explained the origins and significance of Diwali, which is celebrated between mid-October and mid-December.
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/637483–muslim-women-celebrate-all-faiths

Student audience hears first-hand account of violent school bullying (Cynthia Reason, InsideToronto.com)
Mere hours after the second reading of the province’s new anti-bullying bill Wednesday, a group of south Etobicoke youth sat riveted by the stories of a young man who could have been saved years of torment had the legislation been around when he was in high school. When Jeremy Dias, now 27, was in Grade 10 his family moved from Edmonton, Alberta to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he was the only visible minority in his new high school. On Dias’ first day of class, a fellow student called him the N word, while another threatened him with death. His new principal’s response: “Boys will be boys! Just suck it up.”
http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1260707–student-audience-hears-first-hand-account-of-violent-school-bullying

The Canada Revenue Agency Revokes the Charitable Status of the Canadian Foundation for Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation (Marketwire)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will revoke the charitable registration of the Canadian Foundation for Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation (the Foundation), a Toronto-area charity. The notice of revocation will be published in the Canada Gazette with an effective date of December 10, 2011.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-canada-revenue-agency-revokes-the-charitable-status-of-the-canadian-foundation-for-tamil-refugee-rehabilitation-2011-12-09

CBCs Punjabi Hockey Night In Canada Returns To The Airways (The Link)
Punjabi community and the federal New Democrats are celebrating the CBCs decision to reinstate their Punjabi-language broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada. The first broadcast of the season will be this Saturday, December 10 (today), and features the Vancouver Canucks taking on the Ottawa Senators and the Edmonton Oilers playing the Calgary Flames. New Democrats led the call for the restoration of this multicultural service.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=12390

Vancouver Suns Chinese-language website lures fast-rising ethnic group (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The Vancouver Sun is reaching out to Metros largest visible minority with the official launch Saturday of its extensive Chinese-language website. In an effort to serve more of Metro Vancouvers roughly 400,000 ethnic Chinese residents, The Sun has become the first English-language daily in Canada to create a Chinese-language website devoted to news, business, lifestyle and more.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Vancouver+Chinese+language+website+lures+fast+rising+ethnic+group/5839326/story.html

Immigrant Activist Group Says Jason Kenney Hates Your Grandparents (The Link)
The People v. Kenney Campaign sent out this notice where they criticize the always boastful immigration minister of telling lies that Canada is accepting a record number of immigrants. Minister Jason Kenney is yet again falsely saying that Canada is accepting a record number of migrants. He made a recent announcement about increasing the number of parents and grandparents visas to 25,000 in 2012.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=12382

Challenging the anthem (Roy Moffett, Ottawa Citizen)
Our “patriot love” is not in Canada but elsewhere as is the case with all immigrants to Canada. As someone who has sponsored refugees and attended many Citizenship ceremonies, I find it deplorable that these new, non-native Canadians should be required to sing an anthem that excludes them.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Challenging+anthem/5839846/story.html

Canadian Ethnic Media Association unveils award winners for 33rd Annual Gala (Voice of Toronto)
CEMA Award Winners for 2011 are:
Television – Ela Kinowska, independent producer, for her documentary And Who Are You?;
Print – Thien Huynh, reporter, Thoi Bao Newspaper, for his series Theres No Place Like Home;
Internet – Sue Chun, producer, www.Jane-Finch.com for her overall body of work;
CEMA Innovation Award – Mohsin Abbas, Editor, Diversity Reporter;
Sierhey Khmara Ziniak Award – Roman Brytan, Program Director, World FM.
http://voiceoftoronto.com/wp/2011/12/canadian-ethnic-media-association-unveils-award-winners-for-33rd-annual-gala/

Mixing family traditions a holiday balancing act (Tina Yazdani, CTV)
No two families are alike, particularly in their traditions. So in December, it seems as if every home has inadvertently come up with creative ways to lap up the holiday season. This is especially true in Canada, a nation with a rich mix of cultures. Whether it’s by decorating reindeer figurines with menorah antlers, spray-painting dried bagels to use as ornaments on a Christmas tree, or stuffing turkeys with Jollof rice, it’s becoming increasingly popular for interfaith families to combine holiday traditions.
http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111209/interfaith-family-holiday-traditions-111211/20111211/?hub=TorontoNewHome&cid=top

Event Jan 12 Toronto – The Emerging Ethnic Markets in Canada: The Pioneers of Multicultural Marketing (American Marketing Association)
Canadas multicultural policy bolsters a blended mosaic of cultures, traditions and people. According to the 2006 Census, ethnic groups accounted for 16.2% of the countrys total population. How are Canadian marketers responding to the countrys changing demographic? What is the importance of embedding a multicultural marketing strategy within your organization? How can you effectively tap into these cultural markets to impact the bottom line?
http://www.ama-toronto.com/events/event/show?id=4606668%3AEvent%3A24212

REFUGEES

Improving the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (Canada News Centre)
Canada is proposing changes to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program that would help to reduce backlogs and improve processing times, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. These proposed changes would result in faster processing times, thereby improving the efficiency of the PSR Program, said Minister Kenney.
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=644019

Massive difference in refugee cases (Cristin Schmitz, The Lawyers Weekly)
The Federal Courts top judge says his court is scrutinizing the validity of a new academic study that casts doubt on whether the courts judges are always deciding refugee cases on their merits. A soon-to-be published statistical review of 23,047 refugee cases decided by the Federal Court from 2005 through 2010 discloses large divergence among individual judges in how often they grant leave to appeal to refugee claimants who have been turned down by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), says its author, Osgoode Hall law professor Sean Rehaag.
http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&volume=31&number=31&article=2

E-Learning Course: Use Of ICTs And Social Media For Human Rights Work (Refugee Research Network)
This e-learning course is intended for staff members of human rights and social justice NGOs and inter-governmental organisations who are responsible for information and communication (i.e. information officers, web editors, communication specialists) within their organisation. There are still a few places available in the course. Application deadline: 15 December 2011.
http://www.refugeeresearch.net/node/8974

2012 Centre for Refugee Studies Graduate Student Conference Power, Representation, and Identity: Narratives by, about, and around refugees and forcibly displaced persons April 20-21, 2012 , York University, Toronto (Refugee Research Network)
The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) Student Caucus is pleased to announce that the Annual Student Conference will take place on April 20th and 21st, 2012 at York University, Toronto, Canada. This event offers graduate and upper year undergraduate students from across disciplines, as well as practitioners, with a keen interest in migration and refugee issues the opportunity to present and discuss their research ideas with fellow students, academics, professionals, frontline practitioners, researchers, scholars and all those interested in forced migration issues.
http://www.refugeeresearch.net/node/8973

Flash mob for fun and childrens rights (Ashley Csanady, Record)
A flash mob descended on Waterloo Town Square Saturday to sing some familiar tunes with unfamiliar lyrics. As children skated with Santa on the ice, the mob gathered at 2 p.m. to promote awareness of childhood refugee issues.
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/637884–flash-mob-for-fun-and-children-s-rights

Reaffirming Protection… (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Here’s the draft text of the Ministerial Communiqué adopted yesterday at the “Intergovernmental Event at the Ministerial Level of Member States of the United Nations on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 50th Anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (7-8 December 2011).”
http://fm-cab.blogspot.com/2011/12/reaffirming-protection.html

GLOBAL: Prioritise higher education for refugees – UN (University World News)
A study commissioned by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has stressed the need to prioritise access to higher education for refugees, as a tool to rebuild lives and for post-conflict reconstruction. The report Refugee Education: A global review by the policy development and evaluation service of the UNHCR, published last month, said access to education among refugees was limited and uneven across regions and settings of displacement.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20111209200817999

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Reading Report (CBC Metro Morning)
According to a new report released today by People for Education, fewer grade 3 and 6 students in Ontario say they like to read.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/12/12/reading-report/

Know Your Rights (CBC Metro Morning)
Your Legal Rights is a new website that aims to inform you about your legal rights. It was recently launched by Community Legal Education Ontario.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/12/12/know-your-rights/

Living wage: a necessary conversation (Hamilton Spectator)
A coalition of community partners launched a critically important conversation in Hamilton on Friday. That coalition, Living Wage Hamilton, aims to engage employers, workers and the public in a discussion of the community benefits of a living wage. Living wage is not the same as minimum wage. Living wage is not legislated. It is a quality-of-life indicator that may vary from community to community and is undertaken voluntarily by employers.
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/editorial/article/637650–living-wage-a-necessary-conversation

Should Hamilton become a Living Wage community? (Don Wells, Hamilton Spectator)
On Friday, Dec. 9, a coalition of community partners launched a campaign to make Hamilton a Living Wage Community. What is a living wage? Its the wage needed to lift low-paid workers and their families out of poverty.
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/637224–should-hamilton-become-a-living-wage-community

Canada Escapes Recession’s Grip (Brian Mann, NPR)
America’s biggest trade partner, Canada, sailed through the economic downturn almost unscathed, with low unemployment, no mortgage crisis and not a single major bank failure. As part of WBEZ’s Front and Center series, Brian Mann reports on how Canada emerged as one of the world’s most stable and prosperous economies.
http://www.npr.org/2011/12/11/143532073/canada-escapes-recessions-grip

“Beyond Food Banks: Ending hunger in Canada” (CBC Metro Morning)
This morning, Mary Wiens begins a series called “Beyond Food Banks: Ending Hunger in Canada”. An important reality check as we approach our annual “Sounds of the Season” fundraiser for local food banks this Thursday.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/columnists/mary-wiens/2011/12/12/beyond-food-banks-ending-hunger-in-canada-1/

Real earnings show decades of decline in livable Vancouver (Craig McInnes, Vancouver Sun)
For a town that prides itself on making the podium in most comparisons, it may come as a shock that when it comes to the crucial measure of total family income, Vancouver is 22nd in Canada. As a province, B.C. is third in Canada in median after-tax income for what StatsCan calls economic families, which it defines as two or more related people, behind energy-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan but ahead of the once-dominant Ontario.
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Real+earnings+show+decades+decline+livable+Vancouver/5845672/story.html

The poor are doing better than you think (Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail)
The news on income and inequality is depressing. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting left behind, and the middle class is getting shafted. For most people, real incomes have been flat for decades or so were told. This week, the OECD weighed in with a new report that Canadas wealth gap is at a 30-year high. The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries, warned OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. The CBC illustrated the story on its website with a photo of a homeless man crouching in an alley. Thats the conventional wisdom, and its not entirely wrong. But the reality is a lot more complicated. Although the rich have got a whole lot richer, the poor have got richer, too. In all the ways that count the most nutrition, shelter, health, literacy, access to education, life span the wealth gap between the rich and poor in Canada, and even the U.S., has shrunk dramatically.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/margaret-wente/the-poor-are-doing-better-than-you-think/article2266245

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Increasing Intercultural Competence: Maximizing a Diverse Workforce (NEW) (hireimmigrants.ca)
On November 30, 2011, hireimmigrants.ca hosted a webinar examining the importance of developing employees intercultural competence (IC) and what should be included in IC training. Then two RBC branch managers talked about what they learned from their training and how they applied it in their jobs.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/resources-tools/webinars/intercultural-competence/

Diversity becoming essential – Inclusiveness helps firms compete, says executive (Derek Sankey, Calgary Herald)
Even in conservative Calgary, there is ample evidence that a new generation of thinking is taking hold in corporate circles. From the top down, the sometimes-awkward banter about diversity and inclusion – in its widest sense – is turning into casual conversations around boardroom tables, offices and water coolers. Corporate executives appear to understand more than ever the business case for it – it is both the “right” thing to do, but perhaps more importantly from a bottom-line perspective, it’s also critical to their future workforce strategy.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Diversity+becoming+essential/5841369/story.html

B.C. panel to review how to attract skilled workers, investors (Evan Duggan, Vancouver Sun)
Premier Christy Clark announced this week the creation of a task force to review the system under which skilled immigrants and foreign investors come to B.C. and Canada. Led by Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap, the nine-member group will consist of community and business leaders and will review the Provincial Nominee Program, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Immigrant Investor Program.
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/panel+review+attract+skilled+workers+investors/5841528/story.html

Top talent getting harder to find, Canada’s small business owners say (Canada Newswire)
The results couldn’t be timelier. With much of the Baby Boomer generation set to retire, nearly half (46%) of Canada’s small business owners anticipate a shortage of qualified job applicants in the coming years. A further 32 per cent are concerned about the impact this will have on their operations and 23 per cent expect to replace a significant proportion of their employees during this time frame. In fact, nearly two-fifths (39%) of survey respondents believe it will be difficult to replace retiring employees. Despite this, seven in 10 (69%) haven’t put a plan in place to deal with the impending issue, such as modifying employment practises or offering incentives to employees to stay on after retirement age.
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/893519/top-talent-getting-harder-to-find-canada-s-small-business-owners-say

Foreign-trained workers expand Canada’s options – (Gerry Macartney, London Free Press)
Could there be any greater asset when trying to compete in the global marketplace than having an abundance of global experience and talent right in our own back yard? The London Chamber of Commerce, and many chambers across Ontario, feel strongly that the foreign-trained professionals and skilled immigrants we have in our communities are indeed the kind of assets we will need to grow our economy and expand our connections to a wider array of business opportunities around the world.
http://www.lfpress.com/money/businessmonday/2011/12/12/19111446.html

P.E.I. goes to Ireland looking for workers (Journal Pioneer)
A Prince Edward Island company says the recruitment of staff from outside of Canada has helped it expand. Bulk Carriers was one of a handful of Island companies to take part in a recent recruiting mission to the Irish cities of Cork and Dubli
http://www.journalpioneer.com/Business/2011-12-11/article-2831689/P.E.I.-goes-to-Ireland-looking-for-workers/1

Proposed citizenship ceremony leave in Nova Scotia (Christina Catenacci, First Reference Talks)
Bill 115, An Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Labour Standards Code, Respecting Citizenship Ceremony Leave received first reading in the Nova Scotia Legislature, and is currently sitting with the Law Amendments Committee. The goal of the Bill is to create an unpaid leave of absence of up to one day under the Labour Standards Code so employment is protected while employees attend their citizenship ceremony.
http://blog.firstreference.com/2011/12/09/proposed-citizenship-ceremony-leave-in-nova-scotia

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Posted Toronto Political Panel: City Halls contentious budget cuts (National Post)
Matt Gurney having been laid low by man flu, Jonathan Goldsbie and Chris Selley are left to discuss the most contentious budget cuts on the table at City Hall.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/12/12/posted-toronto-political-panel-city-halls-contentious-budget-cuts/

TTC Meeting Preview December 2011 (Steve Munro)
The Toronto Transit Commission meeting on December 14 promises to be a lively one including debates on a fare increase and on the possibility of rolling back the proposed service cuts for January 2012.
http://stevemunro.ca/?p=5829

Pay More For What? (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Karen Stintz. She is Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2011/12/12/pay-more-for-what/

Charge more and save programs, dad tells budget committee (Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail)
Mark Richardson came into city hall like a gust of fresh air into a stuffy room. Mr. Richardson, 40, is on a mission to save the sports programs at his local community centre, endangered by proposed budget cuts. He arrived just before lunch on Thursday to give a deputation to the citys budget committee, which was in the midst of two long days of public hearings.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/marcus-gee/charge-more-and-save-programs-dad-tells-budget-committee/article2266828

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

An NPO Culture of Scarcity eats fundraising for lunch (Pamela Grow, Grantwriting blog)
If you live in and work with, an NPO/NGO culture, you understand in your gut what it means to live in a Gladiator Culture; where 9 out of 10 equally qualified (but unequally prepared) foundation and agency grant apps are rejected. You know that knot in the pit of your stomach, when receiving a foundation or funding agency grant rejection letter. It comes with the territory, doesnt it?
http://www.pamelasgrantwritingblog.com/1867/an-npo-culture-of-scarcity-%E2%80%A6-eats-fundraising-for-lunch/

For nonprofits, government money is appealing, but might not help the bottom line (Joshua Benton, Nieman Journalism Lab)
For every $1,000 given through a government grant, nonprofits reduced their investment in other forms of fundraising by an average of $137. That, in turn, meant an average drop of $772 in gifts from private donors. In other words, that $1,000 check from the government netted only $410, on average, because grant recipients reduced how much they tried to raise money through other means. Well, the authors of that study, UCSDs Jim Andreoni and McMasters Abigail Payne, are back out today with another study that tries to understand nonprofit fundraising behavior. This time they look at data from Canadian nonprofits, which lets them crunch the numbers in ways unavailable to them in the United States. And they found that crowding out was even bigger than in their study that government grants led to, nearly dollar for dollar, reduced revenue from elsewhere.
http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/12/for-nonprofits-government-money-is-appealing-but-might-not-help-the-bottom-line/

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marco

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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