Immigration & Diversity news headlines – December 6, 2011


Canadians more tolerant of immigration levels as doors open wider: study (Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press)
A new study suggests Canadians have grown more tolerant of the country’s immigration levels — even as the number of newcomers has increased over the years. A poll of 2,020 people, taken for the Institute For Research on Public Policy, found that 58 per cent of Canadians surveyed last year supported the country’s level of immigration. The findings also suggest that Canadians have had positive views of immigration levels for more than a decade.

How political correctness harms immigrants (Nick Noorani)
Seems like yesterday, but it was 2006 when Judge Cohen from Ontario decreed that the Christmas tree must be removed from the courthouse because it represented a religion. I always thought that the tree was not just a symbol of faith, but a coming together of families to spend much deserved time together after a year of hard work. It represented to me good spirit, joy and giving. As a Muslim, these are not alien thoughts to my religion and are not certainly the prerogative of one faith! Many people believe that the origins of the decorated tree likely dates to pre-Christian pagan cultures in Europe. Cut to 2011 and the announcement from Service Canada in Quebec that decorations should not be displayed in places that the public would see or have access to. So I guess fireworks on Canada Day and Flags are next?

What’s your reaction to Gatineau’s list of Dos and Dont’s for newcomers? (Lisa LaFlamme, CTV)
No bribing officials. No honour killings. Avoid smelly foods. And … welcome to Gatineau.

Que. city to immigrants: Don’t bribe, avoid smelly foods (Josh Visser,
A major Quebec city has released a “statement of values” aimed at immigrants, giving them advice ranging from the illegality of honour killings and bribing public officials to cooking smelly foods. The Gatineau city document may remind some of the infamous 2007 code of conduct from Herouxville, Que, a town of 1,300 with few immigrants that thought it necessary to mention it explicitly banned stonings. But Gatineau is a city of 250,000 with a fast-grow immigrant population. The city says it released the guide to help newcomers learn “how to interact.”

Critics slam Quebec city’s guide for new immigrants (Chloe Fedio, Postmedia News)
The 16-point “statement of values” published by the municipal government is billed as a welcome guide to help immigrants integrate into their new community — but critics call it infantilizing and paternalistic.

Old habits hard to kick in new land (Dinah Chong Watkins, China Daily)
There’s a push-pull when one moves to a new place or country. How much of the old do you hang onto and how much of the new do you adopt? Even when you try to adapt, there are forces around that keep you from the mainstream, especially if you are a visible minority. Growing up in Canada, it didn’t matter that my family landed in the country in the late 1800s. It was a regular occurrence for store clerks or new acquaintances to remark how well I spoke English.

Orthodox group wants say on public board policy (Richard Leitner, Hamilton Spectator)
The head of a local coalition of orthodox churches says meetings with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board officials have left him hopeful his group “will make some inroads” on concerns about a draft religious accommodation policy. But Father Geoffrey Korz, general secretary of the Pan-Orthodox Association of Greater Hamilton, said he’s less reassured the board will change a bullying policy to specifically address students who are picked on for their Christian beliefs.–orthodox-group-wants-say-on-public-board-policy

Canada bankruptcy may hurt Islamic finance in North America (Shaheen Pasha and Cameron French | Reuters)
The insolvency of an Islamic mortgage lender in Canada may hinder the growth of sharia-compliant finance in North America, where the industry has struggled to gain traction in the absence of a supportive regulatory framework.

Article: Visible minority term loses usefulness, by Mansoor Ladha (Ismaili Mail)
According to the recent report released by the Association of Canadian Studies, the term “visible minority” may have outlived its usefulness in Canada. So am I “an invisible minority” now? As a member of the visible minority, one has to get used to whatever label that the majority of society gives you. When I lived Africa, we were branded as Asians. Whether you were born in Africa of third generation parents, or visiting Africa from India or Pakistan, anyone with brown pigmentation was branded as an Asian.

Cause and effect (Cause and effect, Financial Post Magazine)
Apparently, 96% of Canadian CEOs oppose the idea of a quota on the number of women on boards of directors, reports a recent poll. Ha! What a bunch of old fools. Does anybody think the views of power-clenching white males are enough to stop the movement to stack corporate boards with women and non-white males? Women certainly don’t think so. Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles found that 41% of female directors surveyed in 26 countries support the idea of quotas, compared to 13% of men.

Government of Canada engages with Traditional Chinese Medicine community (Canada News Centre)
Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary on Health, held roundtable discussions today with members of the Traditional Chinese Medicine community to hear their perspectives on the regulation of Traditional Chinese Medicines in Canada.

Cultural Diversity is Power in the New Global Reality (OCRI)
On Thursday 15 November, I had the privilege of assisting in recognizing Canada’s 10 Most Influential Hispanics. I was on the stage with the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Canada’s Minister of State for the America’s and Mauricio Ospina, the founder and a director of the Canadian Hispanic Business Association. Such award ceremonies are often considered boring and self-serving. I would disagree violently. These awards celebrated the diversity that is Canada, the enormous contributions that these individuals have made to Canada and their native country and as Minister Ablonczy stated “the people-to-people linkages to our neighbours in Latin America that are a key element to our prosperity and growth”.

Seeking harmony, respecting diversity 12/02/11 (Bruno Lam)
eeking harmony, respecting diversity. This was the motto of my elementary school. I feel that it in many ways relates to the topics that we’ve been discussing in class recently. The past classes has really affected my way of thinking and my reaction to many of the things that I hear in the hallways. Do we consider the potential consequences that we can inflict upon others emotionally when we tell racist jokes or make fun of stereotypes? To a further extent, when we laugh at these jokes, are we implicitly supporting the fact that racist jokes are tolerable and acceptable?

Keep religious symbols out of civic displays (Montreal Gazette)
Some bad vibes have been going around during what is supposed to be the season of joy, not the silly season. ontroversy over yuletide decorations in public spaces has become recurrent in recent years as Canada’s population has grown more ethnically diverse and fewer of us have cultural roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

About Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs): Building Welcoming and Inclusive Communities through Multi-Level Governance (Settlement AtWork)
Local Immigration Partnerships play an essential role in organizing various groups to develop coordinated strategies and target mainstream institutions, with the ultimate goal of factoring immigrant settlement and integration into the broader community planning process.

Schools & Communities: A Partnership for Equity (4Moms1Dream, Canadian Education Association)
Ensuring an equitable education for all our youth means that we need to change the way schools and the community view education, how it is delivered and who is responsible.

The Link Between Diversity & Inclusion and Organization Development Processes: A Benchmark Study (Conference Board of Canada)
The data for this presentation will be based in part on a recent benchmark study conducted with a number of Fortune 100 companies (including member companies from the Council of Talent Management I and II) as well as the presenter’s experience with others. Following the presentation of results and some case applications there will be a Q&A session.

Minister’s reply to Statement about the Most Wanted List (CCLA)
Minister Vic Toews has sent a letter of reply to a signed statement expressing the concerns of numerous organizations with the government’s publication of a “Most Wanted” list. Unfortunately, Minister Toews’ letter does not substantively address the issues raised, and does not provide adequate assurances with respect to them.

Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 (Financial Post)
The Women’s Executive Network honours 100 women who are 2011’s top achiever’s – and leaders – in Canada’s private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Health care, EI dominate Atlantic premiers conference (QMI Agency)
Atlantic Canada’s premiers are calling on the federal government to increase health transfers, leave employment insurance alone and let more skilled immigrants come to Canada.

Administering Citizenship oath (Gerry Pash, CFB Esquimalt Lookout)
Members of the Order of Military Merit of the rank of Colonel or Navy Captain and above have been added to the list of distinguished Canadians eligible to act as voluntary presiding officers at citizenship ceremonies and administer the Canadian Citizenship Oath. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the announcement last month during citizenship week.

Migrating Landscapes @ Museum of Vancouver (Department of Unusual Certainties)
In the lead up to Venice Sept 2012 the Migrating Landscapes team are organizing a cross Canada competition/exhibition series asking Canadian architects to speak about their experience of migration. The first exhibition opens tonight at the Museum of Vancouver running until Nov. 27. Our contribution to Migrating Landscapes is a series of large scale infographics exploring regional histories related to immigration and its impact on Canadian architecture. We are also developing a series of interactive installations that will serve as collecting pools for exhibition visitors own experience of migration.

Jason Kenney Hates Your Grandparents (No One is Illegal)
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. What Kenney failed to mention was that it was actually under the Conservative government that immigration quotas were drastically dropping in the first place. According to a Toronto Star report, family class immigration has dropped by 10,000 people – which is 15% – under the Conservatives. This past year Jason Kenney made the backlog crisis of over 165,000 people worse by slashing sponsorship visas by 25%, while collecting millions of dollars in profit in sponsorship fees.


Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 6 #8, 5 December 2011 (CCR)
a) Proposal for Conditional permanent residence would increase violence against women
b) Bill C-4, the anti-smuggling, anti-refugee bill – still at second reading in the House
c) Proposed Change to Citizenship Requirements: Proof of language proficiency
d) National Flashmobs for Children and Youth Rights: Reports from the streets
e) CCR Fall Consultation successfully held in Montreal
f) Faces of the CCR: Dugi Bereshi, Lethbridge
g) Resources from the CCR

Canadian government to limit refugee sponsorships (Michael Swan, The Catholic Register)
Just as more churches across Canada have geared up to sponsor more refugees, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is planning to cap the number of new applications it will accept in the private sponsorship program. Private Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) do not yet know what their limits will be as of Jan. 1. The government claims it needs to stop the annual flood of new applications to clear a backlog of 23,200 refugees with sponsors waiting in Canada.

His goal was larger than goalposts (Valerie Fortney, Calgary Herald)
When Jean-Claude Munyezamu looked out on the park near his southwest Calgary home, though, he saw only possibility. “Enough room for a soccer game,” the 38-year-old father of three remembers saying to himself that summer two years ago. “All I need are a couple of goalposts, some soccer balls and a few kids.” Munyezamu, who 11 years earlier had fled his troubled homeland of Rwanda for a new life in Canada, was frustrated by the lack of activities for children in his neighbourhood, a complex of around 50 subsidized townhouses populated mostly by immigrant families.

Focus on Roma (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
A series of documents and reports related to Roma refugees and local situations in Europe.

2012 Centre for Refugee Studies Summer Course (May 6-12) (Refugee Research Network)
The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada is offering the Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues for its 16th consecutive year, from May 6-12, 2012.

Research Summary on Resettled Refugee Integration in Canada (Settlement AtWork)
Commissioned by UNHCR Representation in Canada, this report represents an overview and meta-analysis of existing research on refugee integration in Canada.


Progress Made on Child Poverty: All Parties Must Work Together to Meet the Goal, Advocates Urge (25 in 5)
Ontario must redouble its efforts in order to meet its commitment to reduce child poverty by 25% by 2013, says a new report by the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction. Common Ground: A Strategy for Moving Forward on Poverty Reduction, tracks the government’s progress at the third anniversary of the Province’s poverty reduction promise. The report shows that while some progress has been made, it’s critical that all three parties work together to lift 90,000 Ontario children out of poverty by 2013. The report also identifies ten areas of common ground that emerged across parties during the 2011 election campaign, and urges government to work with the opposition parties to take action on these commitments right away.
Full report PDF –

Open letter calls calls for public hearings on minimum wage (John Chilibeck, Telegraph-Journal)
Eleven anti-poverty and social justice organizations have signed an open letter to the provincial Tory government denouncing its consultation process on a two-tiered minimum wage.

Shacks, slop pails on Wasagamack First Nation (CBC)
People on a remote Manitoba First Nation are living in shacks and using slop pails and outhouses as they cope with poverty, poor housing and a lack of running water. The Wasagamack First Nation, located about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg, faces housing and infrastructure problems similar to the crisis on the Attiwapiskat First Nation in Ontario, which has attracted national attention.

The Invisible Backpack of Able-Bodied Privilege Checklist (B-Tch on Wheels)
There are a couple of these already online, but they are written by able-bodied people, and seem to miss some major points of privilege. I decided to write my own.
Related, classic, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack –

Wealth gap widens to 30-year high (CBC)
The gap between earnings by the rich and the poor is widening in almost all OECD countries — including Canada, where the top 10 per cent of Canadians earns 10 times more than the bottom 10 per cent.

Taking Care – It’s In Our Nature (Al Etmanski)
Natural care is heart work, accompanied by joy, grace, and tenderness. It can also be messy, unyielding and decidedly unglamorous. And it is playing teeter totter with an elephant. Natural care is the topic of a webinar I will be presenting Wednesday December 7th at 9:00 (PST) Noon (EST) GMT (8:00). Free Registration Here. The webinar is part of SIG’s Social Impact Series.

Inequality in Canada rising (PovNet)
Canada’s income inequality is at a record high according to a new report, Divided We Stand Why Inequality Keeps Rising by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD released a report today looking at the rise of inequality in countries around the world. The report looks at widening wage gaps and the increase in household income inequality over the last three decades even when countries were going through periods of sustained economic and economic growth.

Harper Conservatives Should Address the Needs of Attawapiskat Rather Than Spying on Child Welfare Advocate Says Canada’s Largest Private-Sector Union (Canada Newswire)
The reckless actions of the Harper Tories in spying on Dr. Cindy Blackstock, child welfare advocate, the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS), and a UFCW Canada national community partner, is disturbingly reminiscent of Senator Joseph McCarthy who terrorized Americans with the Red Scare during the 1950s, and utilized that fear to create a chilling effect on those who advocated for basic decency and human rights.

For Some, Arrogance is Bliss (Erika Shaker, Behind the Numbers)
Margaret’s finger-wagging about the Occupiers is not only misdirected: it’s a bit… well…rich. However, her “blame the victim” approach (and I don’t have to extrapolate with comments like: “author of her own misfortunate”, “of their own making,” and “if she’d only applied a bit more critical thinking to herself, she might be able to pay the rent”) is vintage Wente. You know: the “maybe you should have picked wealthier parents, now stop telling me I’m privileged” kind of vintage. Perhaps she’s convinced that her biases about younger, politically progressive people are profound. But she’s not exactly cutting-edge in her disdain for those under 40 who have the gall to expect governments to act in the public—rather than the corporate—interest. In her scorn for young people who challenge neo-conservativism and capitalism—”entitlement-addicts” (although to be fair she doesn’t actually refer to them as entitled in this article—merely as the recipients of a “benefit-heavy entitlement system”)—she has lots of company.

OECD report finds income inequality rising in Canada (CTV)
A new report finds that the gap between the rich and the poor just keeps getting wider in Canada. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report on Monday looking at the rise of inequality in countries around the world. Particularly since the mid-1990s in Canada, the report states, the disparity between the rich and the poor has been growing.


Government of Canada helps internationally trained engineers get jobs – Canada’s Economic Action Plan is helping new Canadians find work (Canada News Centre)
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced a Government of Canada investment to help foreign-trained engineers get jobs inCanada faster. EngineersCanada received over $785,000 to improve the application process for engineers educated in other countries

CA,CMA & CGA Merge – What Does it all Mean to Newcomer Accountants? (Heather Williams, LEAP)
The discussion revolving around the CA, CMA and CGA merger into Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is in full swing now that the entire accounting industry is paying attention. Arguments and rebuttals are multiplying on industry forums and explanations keep popping up on the CPA Canada website. There is a lot of information to sift through, but one valid question is – What about the newcomers to Canada seeking a Canadian accounting designation?

Corporate Canada Needs to Use Skilled Immigrants – Tory (Heather Williams, LEAP)
On Friday, December 2, academics, business and community leaders met to discuss the barriers that skilled immigrants face while seeking employment in Canada – and the barriers that employers face when trying to hire them. released an article today in their Morning Post featuring the gathering referred to as the “Canadian Experience” forum where John Tory was quoted supporting the fact that Canada needs to make use of skilled immigrants.

Payroll taxes bite lower-income workers the hardest (Don Cayo, Vancouver Sun)
Canada’s payroll taxes — the “premiums” workers are required to pay for unemployment insurance coverage and Canada Pension savings — take a bigger proportional bite from smallish paycheques than from big ones. A new analysis by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy shows that you only need to make about $5,000 a year for the percentage of earnings that goes pay these two taxes to surpass 2.5 per cent — the level you pay if you earn $100,000 a year. At all income levels in between, the rate is higher, peaking at well over five per cent for those in the $20,000-$50,000 range.

Government of Canada Helps Internationally Trained Engineers Get Jobs (Marketwire)
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced a Government of Canada investment to help foreign-trained engineers get jobs in Canada faster. Engineers Canada received over $785,000 to improve the application process for engineers educated in other countries.


Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round-up of mainstream media Toronto headlines related to City Hall, Civic Employment, Development and Other News.

December 5 – Budget Committee Dispenses with Staff Presentations, Whips through Budget Reviews (Social Planning Toronto)
Today, the Budget Committee reviewed 11 divisional budgets, 6 agency budgets, including the Toronto Public Health and Toronto Public Library budgets, and the community grants budget in the space of less than eight hours. As a result of this process, budgets did not receive the more in-depth examination that was possible in the past.

Toronto, Growing Up (The Ethnic Aisle)
Launching at the Gladstone this Tuesday, December 6, is One Millionth Tower, the latest installment of Highrise, the NFB’s webstravaganza (wait, I hate made-up words. Sorry). If you haven’t seen the site yet, you know nothing about Toronto, since the Emmy-award winning project is the best bit of storytelling yet produced about the 1,000 highrise towers in Toronto’s outer suburbs, and the ten of thousands of people who live there.

City budget a reality check ( Arnold A. Auguste, Share)
It comes down to this: Transit users will have to either pay a little more or find other, maybe more expensive, means of getting around. Thanks to Ford’s obsessive focus, the city budget will be trimmed. But that also means this city is going to get a lot more expensive while some of the services we have grown accustomed to, will no longer be available.


Online event December 7, 2011 – Forum: Future of the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy (Urban Institute)
This last 15th Anniversary Event of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy will focus on the future—the challenges and opportunities for the nonprofit sector and philanthropy in the face of evolving economic and political realities and changing sector dynamics.
To watch the live video webcast or a recording, go to (No registration necessary.)

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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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