Immigration & Diversity news headlines – December 7, 2011


Video: Toronto Road Show: Gute Ideen aus Kanada (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung)
(Google translated) Urban areas are often characterized by multiculturalism. . This diversity needs to be and to offer each individual a chance to self-realization is a social, economic and political challenge for all cities of the world , many cities face this challenge and have developed innovative approaches to inclusion – often regardless of the national policy their country. To make these initiatives popular, the Heinrich Boell Foundation invites with the Maytree Foundation and the Embassy of Canada in a dialogue of the city between Berlin and Toronto one. Under the title “Toronto Road Show – Good Ideas from Canada” to Berlin and Toronto come together to talk, to learn about the urban policies of multiculturalism and inclusion as well as their practical application to exchange and thus to learn from the experiences of each other’s capital. Here are selected representatives / from various political and social fields (politics, administration, labor & Business, Education, Media & Culture, Police) from their work to report on site and present successful projects. As part of the “Toronto Roadshow” the Maytree Foundation, visited with their delegation four cities in Germany: Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne. Participants will include: – Peter M. Boehm (Canadian Ambassador to Germany) – Elizabeth McIsaac (Executive Director, The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council) – Donna Quan (Deputy Director, Education, Toronto District School Board) – Matt Galloway (Host, Metro Morning Show, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) – Peter Sloly (Deputy Police Chief, Toronto Police Service) – Marlene Kölling (Deputy Head of the State Office for Equal Treatment – against discrimination, LADS) – Ute Novakovic (Deputy Director of the Office for Integration and Migration the Berlin Police) – Brigitta Gabrin (Editor in Chief, Radio Multicult 2.0)

Economists: diversity drives down charitable donations in Canada (Erica Alini, Maclean’s)
McMaster Universitys Abigail Payne and David Karp, Wilfrid Laurier Universitys Justin D. Smith, along with James Andreoni from the University of California, San Diego, found that a 10 percentage point increase in a neighbourhoods ethnic diversity leads the average household to give $27 less per year to charity, out of an average donation of about $200. Thats a 14 per cent drop. Increases in a neighborhoods religious diversity also tend to make households stingieralbeit to a lesser degree. A 10 percentage point increase reduces donations by $20, or 10 per cent.

Huffington Post writer praises Toronto for its diversity, tolerance… and snow-free streets (Yonge Street)
The Huffington Post’s Olga Bonfiglio writes about her recent winter trip to Toronto, describing the city as “as both a model and an inspiration for American cities.” Bonfiglio was especially impressed with Toronto’s ethnic diversity, its dedication to public health and its sense of community.

Q&A: Imam takes reader questions on Islam and violence against women (Globe and Mail)
In advance of the Dec. 6 anniversary of the killings at Montreal’s École Polytechnique, a broad coalition of Muslim leaders issued a condemnation of domestic violence, particularly honour killings. One of those leaders, Imam Syed Soharwardy – founder of the Islamic Supreme Council and a long-time anti-violence advocate – took reader questions on the issues raised by the leaders’ statement.

Canadian Imams to condemn honor killings in Friday prayers (Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal)
In response to the high profile case of the Afghan man who is on trial for the murder of his three teenage daughters and first wife, Canadian Imams are due to condemn honor killings in Fridays sermons. Two dozen Canadian Imams are planning to condemn honor killings during Friday prayers, in response to the high profile case of Afghan Mohammad Shafia and his wife and son. All three stand accused of murdering Shafia’s three teenage daughters and his first wife, for allegedly bringing shame on the family.

Hockey in Punjabi is back (Bill Kaufman, Toronto Sun)
Following a second consecutive pre-season elimination, the puck is dropping again for CBC’s Punjabi hockey broadcast. And the hockey fan possibly the happiest with the decision is Calgary CBC reporter Harnarayan Singh, who calls the play-by-play. “It’s been quite a ride but we’re ecstatic to be back on the air,” said Singh, who’s been the heart of the broadcast since 2008.

How to Target Ethnicities on Facebook (Merry Morud, Search Engine Watch)
The Facebook Ads Platform is an amazing tool for targeting, though some marketers may not quite fully understand its potential outside of one-off selections (male/female, or age), or by selecting brand names, or popular products in the interest bucket. Segmenting target markets by ethnicity has been a traditional marketing tactic, one that may seem a bit taboo today. Nevertheless, Ebony magazine still predominantly targets African Americans, while the new Asian market in town may want to get the word out to their demographic first.

Editorial: Prayer issue handled well (Edmonton Journal)
The Sturgeon school board has taken some necessary steps to deal with a controversy over the use of the Lord’s Prayer in its classrooms. The new policies won’t thrill everyone, especially those who want no religion of any kind in schools. Still, the Sturgeon board is dealing with parents on both sides of this issue and it’s trying to move forward without getting Christian parents in an uproar. That’s progress.

Religious freedoms panel drawn largely from western religions (Louise Elliott, CBC)
Sharma noted the speakers’ panel was heavily weighted towards Judeo-Christian religions, but left out Islam. And he said there were no representatives on the panel from the major Eastern religions, all of which have suffered religious persecution, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Buddhism, and others. “There’s no representation of religions from Indian and Chinese origin so this is very one-sided,” he said. “They are cloning the American institution and completely ignoring the Canadian reality of multiculturalism. America is not self-consciously multicultural.”

Religious groups oppose required gay-straight alliances in schools (Lee Greenberg, Ottawa Citizen)
The religious right in Ontario is taking exception to an Ontario law that will force schools to al-low gay-straight student alliances. Several representatives from Catholic, Evangelical Christian and Orthodox Jewish communities said they cannot accept legislated sexual tolerance laid out in the province’s new anti-bullying law.

An Iranian-born engineer’s passion for producing a sharper image of cancer (Edward Keenan, Yonge Street)
“It’s Canada’s fault that I started this companyCanada made me a businessman,” says Dr. Hamid Tizhoosh, founder and CEO of Toronto medical startup Segasist. “My colleagues and friendseven my family back home in Iranthey don’t believe it. I still cannot believe it. It’s a Canadian metamorphosis. By nature I’m an academic guy, but now I’m running a business. They say: ‘What happened to you?’

New initiative intended to increase immigration (Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce)
The federal government is launching a new initiative to increase the number of construction workers emigrating to Canada, while reducing the backlog for those obtaining permanent residency under the federal skilled worker program. The federal government is planning to run a pilot program with the provinces, in order to clear the existing backlog of more than 300,000 people, who are trying to enter Canada as skilled workers, said Tom Sigurdson, the executive director of the British Columbia and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council.–new-initiative-intended-to-increase-immigration

Government Recognizes Value of More Thorough Language Assessments for Newcomers (Heather Williams, LEAP)
Immigrants will need more proof of language proficiency in one of Canadas official languages under the new immigration system, as reported by The Windsor Star today. Minister Jason Kenny has acknowledged that there are too many immigrants on our soil that do not know English or French.

Equity: The Tarnish on the Golden Rule (Bruce Beairsto, Canadian Education Association)
The worlds major religions all include some version of the Golden Rule treat others the way you would like to be treated and it has become a conventional wisdom that this is the standard for fairness. The problem is that its not a very good one! When we treat people the way we want to be treated we are assuming they want what we want, which means we are assuming they are the same as us. What if they arent? Would it not be better to ask people how they want to be treated and then treat them that way, whether or not it would be our preference?

Powerful Islamist Minority in Canada (David Horowitz Freedom Center)
A recent survey by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute shows a frightening amount of extremism within the Canadian-Muslim community. A significant minority support terrorist groups and establishing a global caliphate. The results substantiate the notion that the Canadian-Muslim community is relatively moderate, but plenty of extremism resides in Americas northern neighbor to provide a base for Islamists.


Where will the next generation live? (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
You would think someone who had worked 30 years in housing would know better. But it was really not until my children were almost grown that I began to ask the question I now believe is central to Torontos success. Where will the next generation live? Its a question that can easily pit the interests of parents against those of their children.

Canada’s Political Outsiders (Nick Ruderman, The Mark)
To understand this puzzle in greater depth, Samara, a research organization that studies and encourages citizen engagement with Canadian democracy, has undertaken an unprecedented series of focus groups exploring the reasons Canadians are choosing (in greater and greater numbers) not to become politically involved. One of these groups was composed exclusively of less-educated young people (the average age was 21). This is significant because previous studies have tended to study disengagement among university-educated youth. Samaras focus group was comprised primarily of participants who had completed high school but had not enrolled in college or university. Given that low turnout among young people is still disproportionately concentrated among those without a post-secondary education, such a focus is long overdue, and the results of that study provide some intriguing insights into the reasons for their disengagement from politics.
Full report –


Presentation summary: Hiring, Integrating and Retaining Immigrant Employees A Competitive Advantage (Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC))
On November 1, the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) and the Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) hosted a Corporate Breakfast event for Edmonton Business Leaders at the Heritage Room of City Hall of Edmonton.

How micro loan programs can assist immigrant entrepeneurs (Sarah Wayland, WISE5)
Throughout our interviews, access to low-interest start up funds has been mentioned consistently as a major barrier for immigrant entrepreneurs. Across the five communities in which we have conducted interviews, over 50% of the entrepreneurs identified financing as one of the primary obstacles they faced when starting a business.

The Canada Model: Encouraging diversity in entrepreneurship (Cheryl May, MaRS)
Entrepreneurs and business leaders who have immigrated to Canada tell a story of a country that is on its way to becoming an international leader in diversity and inclusion. And we can be proud that their story has been echoed elsewhere. Not only is Sweden looking to the Canada Model for immigration best practices, but a recent survey conducted by the Association of Canadian Studies indicated that the majority of Canadians say they are satisfied both with the ethnic mix and the levels of immigration.

Live-in caregiver changes prompt problems (Embassy)
Canada’s live-in caregiver program has been successful for decades. However, changes in April 2010 designed to protect foreign caregivers and a decreased quota of permanent residence applications for 2012 have many in the industry concerned about the program’s future. The live-in caregiver program allows Canadian families to hire a caregiver from abroad to look after, for instance, young children, aging parents or disabled people in the home. The Canadian government has carved out a pathway to permanent residency that caregivers may choose to apply for after completing a certain number of hours of work within four years of entering Canada through the live-in caregiver program.

Media Advisory – Diversity and Inclusiveness 2011: The New Competitive Advantage (Canada Newswire)
In a global economy, a diverse workforce can be competitive advantage for organizations. Senior public and private sector leaders discuss how to capitalize on diversity to improve organizational performance at Diversity and Inclusiveness 2011, hosted by The Conference Board of Canada in Toronto.

Report: Visible Minority Network, Public Works and Government Services Canada (Behance Network)
I wrote a report on a one-day conference held by the Visible Minority Network of PWGSC. This is a sample of some of the inside pages.


Landlords, tenants recognized with new energy-savings awards (Yonge Street)
A new annual award for landlord and tenant collaboration in energy reduction gave out its first prizes last week. Race to Reduce, a program established by Greening Greater Toronto, awarded the prizes in the categories of participation, performance and “action and innovation.”

Thirty-Nine (Steve Munro)
Thirty-nine years ago, the TTC made its historic decision to retain streetcars in Toronto. At the time service on streetcar routes was considerably more frequent than today, and Torontonians generally thought kindly of that mode. Over the years, it has been an uphill struggle to maintain this. Service cuts on the TTC led to fleet reductions, and improvements we should have seen go unfilled thanks to the too-small fleet of unreliable cars.

No Rapid Transit (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Gary Webster. He is chief general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission.


MP Joy Smith calls to criminalize the purchase of sex (End Modern-Day Slavery)
A Manitoba Conservative MP is petitioning her government to go after those who buy sex rather than those who sell it. Kildonan-St. Paul MP Joy Smith tabled a petition Tuesday in the House of Commons with more than 2,900 signatures, asking the government to decriminalize the selling of sexual services and criminalize the purchasing of sexual services and provide support to those who desire to leave prostitution.

Tory MP calls for decriminalization of prostitution (Mia Rabson, Winnipeg Free Press)
A Manitoba Conservative MP is petitioning her government to go after those who buy sex rather than those who sell it. Kildonan-St. Paul MP Joy Smith tabled a petition Tuesday in the House of Commons with more than 2,900 signatures, asking the government to “decriminalize the selling of sexual services and criminalize the purchasing of sexual services and provide support to those who desire to leave prostitution.”

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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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