Immigration & Diversity news headlines – December 2, 2011


Do Admission Criteria and Economic Recessions Affect Immigrant Earnings? PDF (IRPP)
Michael Abbott and Charles Beach recommend that immigration policy continue to favour skilled workers, as immigrants entering Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program consistently have higher earnings than do other classes of immigrants.

Seven years in waiting: Canadian immigrants hoping to reunite with relatives sooner (Sacha DeVoretz, Vancouver Observer)
It has been three years since Raj Man Dangol and his family have seen his aging parents. In 2006, Raj made his way to Canada from the USA. At the time when he decided to immigrate to Canada he had no idea that it could take as long as seven years for his parents to join him in Canada. Originally from Nepal, Raj sought the opportunity to study business in the U.S. Living and studying with a visa permit for 10 years, he thought it would take too long for his immigration papers to be processed to stay in America. He knew that Canada could process an immigration application much faster than the US and saw Canada as a great place to live. His wife and two children made the journey to Surrey, where he now works at Canada Post as a supervisor. The only piece missing in his life now are his parents.

‘Super visa’ immigration program launches (Louise Elliott, CBC News)
A program that allows Canadians to apply for so-called super visas launches Thursday, but the NDP immigration critic is worried that the new 10-year visa for parents and grandparents may be hard to obtain. The new visa is part of the Conservative government’s plan to battle an enormous backlog of about 165,000 parents and grandparents who are trying to join family in Canada.

Newcomers group OK with new federal spending rules (CBC)
The P.E.I. Association for Newcomers doesn’t expect to lose any funding under new Citizenship and Immigration Canada spending rules. CIC recently announced that $5.2 million in funding for settlement services on P.E.I. in 2012 will be spent helping immigrants directly, rather than on administrative, travel and capital costs for settlement organizations. CIC argues it’s adjusting its funding to the provinces to fit changing migration patterns.

Now in effect: A guide to the latest in justice and immigration policy (Tobi Cohen,
From tougher sentences for murderers to the parent and grandparent super-visa, a series of items on the Tory agenda are set to come into force.

Leaders send a loud message: Domestic violence is un-Islamic (Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star)
Islam does not condone domestic violence. The Quran does not sanction the idea of honour killings. This is the loud and clear message from almost 60 prominent Muslim organizations, dozens of community leaders and activists from all over Canada, and a sermon that will be delivered from mosque pulpits next Friday even as the high-profile Shafia trial continues in Kingston.–leaders-send-a-loud-message-domestic-violence-is-un-islamic?bn=1

Canada Muslims Decry Honor Killing (OnIslam)
Dozens of prominent Muslim organizations and community leaders joined their hands to decry domestic violence that some wrongly relate to Islam, confirming that Quran does not sanction the idea of honor killing. This is a call to action within the Muslim community, Samira Kanji, CEO of Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto, told Toronto Star.

The history of ‘honour killings’ (CBC)
There are documented cases of men being killed for ruining a family’s reputation, but the vast majority of the victims are female. Believed to have originated as a patriarchal tribal custom, honour killings are a global phenomenon. A 2000 report by the UN Population Fund estimated that as many as 5,000 women and girls are killed each year by relatives for allegedly dishonouring their family.

Islamified Fashion (Olga Pazukha, Schema Magazine)
“I like colors and I like flowers, and I like head pieces with feathers coming off of them,” says Nailah Lymus designer for Amirah Creations. Words that can come from any designer, or any woman. The thing that sets Lymus apart is that she is Muslim, and as both a woman and designer she creates looks that set to break the stereotypes of Muslim women only wearing black and covering up.

UNHATE Campaign | A Lot of Haters? (Shima Ghailan, Schema Magazine)
The UNHATE campaign was launched in collaboration with United Colors of Benetton who have a particular philosophy and are no strangers to stirring the pot. The intention is to have a world that is accepting of each other and that resorts to peaceful resolutions rather than violence and hatred. It features images of highly controversial political and religious figures sharing a kiss. This included figures locking-lips such as Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu. And no, they weren’t playing spin the bottle. All images were digitally altered. In a press release, Benetton said “the central theme is the kiss, the most universal symbol of love, between world political and religious leaders”. By them sharing a symbol of love, the group hoped that it would spark some hope and positive energy in a time of great conflict.

Online Dating | Little White Lies and Racial Preferences (Vinnie Yuen, Schema Magazine)
The Vancouver Sun published an article about recent research on online dating. The results? Many people lie and want someone of their own ethnicity. Research shows that a hefty 81 per cent of people misrepresent their height, weight or age in their profiles. Fortunately, they’re usually small lies, because eventually they might meet in person. Women described themselves to be 8.5 pounds thinner. Men only lied by about 2 pounds in weight, but round up half an inch in height.

BLOG REPLAY: CBC Muslim Youth Forum (CBC)
Do Canadian Muslims need to change? That question was discussed at CBC Manitoba’s Muslim Youth Forum in Winnipeg on Thursday evening. Check out our blog for a recap of the topics that came up during the forum.

Fort McMurray gains new Canadians (Morgan Modjeski, Fort McMurray Today)
Fort McMurray recently wel­comed just under 300 new Canadian citizens, as three citi­zenship ceremoniestwo held on Thursday and one todayrecently took place here in Wood Buffalo. The first two ceremonies held on Thursday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with 97 individuals taking the oath at the ceremony and 111 individuals taking the oath at the second, were held at West­wood Community High school.

The system failed the Shafia sisters (Janet Bagnall, Montreal Gazette)
It seems at this point like everyone knew what danger Montreal sisters Zainab, Sahar and Geeti Shafia and Rona Amir Mohammad, one of their fathers two wives, were in before the four drowned somewhere near Kingston, Ont. School staff, the Montreal police, both of the citys child-protection services, relatives, friends, boyfriends, a womens shelter, a stranger on the street so many people had heard of threats to their safety before they died in June 2009.

Presentation at SickKids Hospital: Social Determinants of Health for Immigrant Youth (Wellesley Institute)
St. James Town Initiatives Nasim Haque presented to a range of service providers on November 30, 2011, at the Hospital for Sick Children. The topic of this presentation was immigrant youth and the living conditions, settlement, and acculturation issues that play a role in determining their health and well-being.

Refugee, immigrant kids deficient in vitamin D (CBC)
An alarming number of new immigrant and refugee children in Canada are not getting enough vitamin D, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan says. Hassan Vatanparast has been testing the nutrition levels of 130 refugee and immigrant children in Saskatchewan between the ages of seven and 11.

CUPE Ontario launches Employment Equity campaign (Benzinga)
Ontario’s diverse population is one of its great strength, but that diversity is not represented in workplaces. Because governments are doing nothing to create fair and just workplaces, the province’s largest union this morning announced it is taking matters into its own hands. At the opening of its Human Rights Conference in Toronto, the Ontario division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) today introduced its new Employment Equity campaign.

Cleared from terrorist blacklist, Abdelrazik furious with Ottawa (Andrew Chung, Toronto Star)
Abousfian Abdelrazik has been removed from the United Nations terrorist blacklist, a major victory in his quest for a normal life, but he remains bitter toward the Canadian government. The former Sudanese refugee and Canadian citizen, for instance, highlights how Canadian officials seemed unconcerned despite a warning from their Sudanese counterparts that they might turn the case over to a shadowy agency known for its extrajudicial executions.–cleared-from-terrorist-blacklist-abdelrazik-furious-with-ottawa

Empowering new Canadians in their journey (Diane Sawchuk, Ottawa West EMC)
The lyrics may have been sung in a language that was unfamiliar, the dance steps different from their own and the traditional dress worn by many a colourful blaze of design, but the women attending Cultural Explosion – both as artists and audience – had something in common. They were new Canadian women celebrating their cultural diversity. And in many cases, they were empowered with the assistance of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa (IWSO).

Citizenship and Immigration Canada staff lacks training: Auditor General (Indo Canadian Voice)
The Canada Border Services Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada lack the guidance, training and information to properly determine who should and shouldnt be let into the country, according to the auditor general. In his report released Tuesday, Interim Auditor General John Wiersema says the two departments focus most of their energies on defending cases where they have denied an individual entry into Canada a small percentage of applicants rather than on reviewing the cases of people allowed entry into the country.

The Immigration Backlog Further Restrictions is not the Solution (Rathika Sitsabaiesan, MP (Scarborough-Rouge River), South Asian Generation Next)
Time and time again, we have heard that the reductions and restrictions put into force by this government have not proven effective. We have been told by these witnesses that restricting the number of applicants in the skilled workers category has not been an effective way to reduce the skilled worker class backlog.

Migrant Workers Scholarships (Settlement AtWork)
UFCW Canada is offering 20 scholarships for the children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews of migrant workers. Each scholarship is C$500. The application deadline is Dec. 31, 2011.

AMSSA Safe Harbour Awarded Provincial Nesika Award (Safe Harbour)
We are pleased to announce that AMSSAs Safe Harbour program received the Organizational Category Provincial Nesika Award. On behalf of AMSSA, the award was accepted by Lynn Moran, Executive Director of AMSSA and Koyali Burman, Community Development Coordinator at South Vancouver Neighbourhood House and Safe Harbour Community Organizer.

How Canada Can Be An Innovation Leader (Daniel Gervais, Globe and Mail)
Its not good enough to have an intellectual property policy based on the desire to assuage the demands of our trading partners. Canadians must think innovation policies through as a nation. Naturally, Canada must take account of global rules and the need for appropriate harmonization, but those rules provide a significant leeway… Immigration policies. Canadians can probably be satisfied that the immigration rules work better here than in most other countries.

Anu Srivastava An Immigrants Success Tale (South Asian Generation Next)
Anu Srivastava has become a cultural specialist in the City of Brampton initiating and collaborating a number of different South Asian cultural events.

Rebuilding a commitment to Diversity in Community Dr. Bikram Lamba (Starbuzz)
Way back in 2007 Bill Curry wrote in Globe and Mail (Oct. 19, 2007) that some briefings provided by federal officials to the Conservative government warn that there is potential for the Québec debate to spread across the country. This was in reference to the hearings of the Bouchard-Taylor Commission in Quebec. What was true four years back is true today. With the passage of time, and with more immigrants inundating the land, the diversity and pluralism seem to be getting more complicated. There is repeated challenge to Canadian commitment to diversity.


Political Gains at a High Cost for Migrants (Your Legal Rights)
The specifics of bill C-4 seem to be slipping under the radar in Canadian mainstream media, and the Government is succeeding at pushing through mass-arrest legislation shrouded in a discourse of preventing human smuggling.

Gay immigrant who fled persecution assaulted at Toronto college (Amy Chung, Postmedia News)
An Iranian immigrant who came to Canada to find a safe haven says he’s been severely shaken after suffering a beating at a Toronto college that resulted in his throat being slashed. Mojtaba, who asked that his surname not be published, says he was taunted over his sexuality during last week’s incident. It was a wrenching experience for the 29-year-old, who says he came to Canada in 2009 in part to escape the discrimination, violence and even torture he faced in his homeland.

Refugee board patronage claims rile Kenney (Don Butler, Ottawa Citizen)
Under renewed opposition attack for making partisan appointments to the Immigration and Review Board, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney fired back Thursday, accusing the Liberals of stuffing the IRB with nearly five dozen of its partisans while in office.


Friday: Lorna Crozier hosts a special edition of The Current on Poverty in Canada (CBC The Current)
West Coast poet, Lorna Crozier will be hosting tomorrow’s program, it’s a special Friday edition of The Current called We Are the 10 per cent – Poverty in Canada. From pay-day loans to premiums on groceries, we’ll take a look at the extra costs of being poor in Canada.


Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance names new chief officer (Tristin Hopper , National Post)
Mitzie Hunter, an executive with Toronto Community Housing, has been named as CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, the city-building group founded in 2002 by the late David Pecaut.

Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to Budget Cuts, Gun Bylaws, Union Conflict, TTC & Traffic and Other News.

December 1 Communities Organizing to Stop the Cuts, Budget Committee Meets Friday (City Budget Watch 2012)
Since the Citys 2012 draft budget was released on Monday, residents have been getting together to find out more and organize to stop harmful service cuts to their communities.

Toronto region office building landlords, tenants earn Race to Reduce Awards for leadership in reducing environmental impact (Digital Journal)
Last night, CivicAction’s Greening Greater Toronto presented the first annual Race to Reduce Awards to office building landlords and tenants who are participating in the Race to Reduce smart energy office challenge and are reducing their buildings’ energy use. Awards were given in the categories of Participation, Performance, and Action & Innovation. Over 200 senior leaders – building owners, managers, tenants and employees – attended the event to recognize Race participants.


Sex trafficking a problem everywhere: Miss Canada (Megan Burke The Recorder And Times)
As part of the school’s social activist group, React, McCordic and other members arranged to bring in Tara Teng, Miss Canada 2011, to talk to the entire student body about human trafficking Thursday morning. Human trafficking hit a personal note for Teng about five years ago when one of her neighbours, four houses down from her, was pulled into the trafficking trade by her boyfriend. The neighbour was 14 years old at the time.

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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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