Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 11, 2012


Toronto film critics pick Monsieur Lazhar as best Canadian movie of 2011 (Linda Barnard, Toronto Star)
The Toronto Film Critics Association has named Monsieur Lazhar best Canadian film of 2011. The moving, often bittersweet Quebec film about an Algerian refugee who talks his way into a teaching post at a Montreal school after a teachers tragic death leaves her young pupils bewildered and broken, was also winner of the Best Canadian Feature prize at TIFF. It has been chosen to represent Canada at the next Academy Awards in the race for the Best Foreign-Language Film.–toronto-film-critics-pick-monsieur-lazhar-as-best-canadian-movie-of-2011

Finding your place: Chinese student clubs as cultural identities (Harriet Ho, The UBYSSEY)
China is UBCs largest source of international students and one third of our student population is of Chinese descent. How do student organizations reflect the diversity and divisions within the Chinese-Canadian community?

Philippine Canadian Inquirer Inc. Launched Canadas First Nationwide Filipino Newspaper (PR Web)
Philippine Canadian Inquirer Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of the first and only nationally distributed Filipino Canadian newspaper, named Philippine Canadian Inquirer, in the first quarter of 2012. The Philippine Canadian Inquirer is a free weekly newspaper to be circulated in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Edmonton. Its web portal will feature live feeds and daily updated news on the Philippines and Filipino related news in Canada. The Philippine Canadian Inquirer is published by Philippine Canadian Inquirer Inc. under a publishing agreement with a subsidiary of the Philippine Daily Inquirer the Philippines leading newspaper with the largest circulation and readership.

End of an Era (Ian Gillespie, London Free Press)
Forty-five years after it was founded, the Western Ontario branch of the English Speaking Union (ESU) is calling it quits. What, you may ask, is the ESU? (Frankly, I wondered the same thing.) Well, the ESU is an international organization whose overall aim is to contribute to world peace and global friendship with an emphasis on communication (and communication, to state the obvious, in English).

The new Office of Religious Freedom (Mehdi Rizvi, Straight Goods)
During the last federal election, the Conservative party proposed creating an Office of Religious Freedom, a body within the Canadian Foreign Ministry that would cost an estimated $20 million over four years and seek to protect religious minorities abroad. The move apparently was a reaction to the 2011 murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, a minority Catholic Cabinet Minister, in Pakistan. Other motives might include a desire to offer some deterrence to the element of discrimination seen against minorities and the followers of Judo-Christian religions in eastern countries.

Boost for Abbotsford newcomers (Christina Toth, The Times)
Newcomers to Abbotsford will benefit from an improved immigrant settlement services program that helps them adapt in their new lives and gain employment. The Abbotsford Community Services Society immigrant services program received $896,341 in funding from the province to help make the transition to Canada easier for new residents.

New federal immigration rules exploited by fraudsters: documents (Peter O’neil, Vancouver Sun)
New federal immigration rules passed in 2008 to make the system more streamlined and “responsive” to Canadian economic needs were exploited by Chinese fraudsters, according to newly released internal documents. The Conservative government quickly confirmed that the documents, obtained by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, reflect an ongoing problem that needs to be tackled. An official acknowledged concerns with bogus applications, particularly those relating to the arranged offer of employment (AEO) program.

U-Pass fraudsters deported to China (CBC)
Canadian authorities have deported a Chinese couple who stole identity information from more than 150 Simon Fraser University students, CBC News has learned.

Middle East comedy bridges cultures (Heath McCoy, Calgary Herald)
Having spent his career riffing on his Middle Eastern heritage confronting racial stereotypes but also poking fun at the culture Aron Kader has taken heat from both sides of the political fence. After 9/11, there was resistance and harsh feelings toward the New York Arab American Comedy Festival, in which he took part, and, trekking through the United States as part of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, featuring comedians from the Arab/Muslim community during the war in Iraq, there were some places that flat out refused to book the show. Theres always somebody to say, This is terrible, says Kader, who will be bringing the Arab/Muslim comedy concept to the Laugh Shop tonight for a gig dubbed Arab Night in Canada. Weirdly enough, we also get Muslims saying, You shouldnt be making jokes about your own.

Son of Chinatown stabbing victim granted special permit to attend moms funeral in Toronto (Anita Li, Toronto Star)
The only child of a Chinatown stabbing victim, who was twice denied a visa to attend his mother’s funeral in Toronto, has been given a special permit by Canadian authorities to travel to Canada. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney instructed his department Tuesday night to issue the permit, according to Candice Malcolm, Kenney’s press secretary. The minister was very concerned when he heard about this case, she told the Star.–son-of-chinatown-stabbing-victim-denied-visa-to-attend-his-mother-s-funeral-in-toronto

Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce wins diaspora honour (Renu Mehta, Globa and Mail)
A Canadian organization has received the greatest overseas tribute granted by the Indian government. The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) was presented to the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) by Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, the President of Republic of India, at Birla House in Jaipur. This award is the ultimate recognition that an overseas Indian organization aspires to get. I am gratified that the Government of India has acknowledged the sterling contributions of our Chamber during the last 35 years, said Satish Thakkar, president of the ICCC, on Monday as he accepted the award.


E-Chronicle Vol. 6 #9, 9 January 2012 (CCR)
CCRs Year in Review 2011
New report: Refugee claimants speak about the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
Australian refugee advocates speak out against Bill C-4
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights publishes decision against Canada
Youth Network Updates: Defending non-citizen childrens rights
Upcoming Events: Save these dates in 2012
Faces of the CCR: Alfredo Barahona, KAIROS Canada and CCR Migrant workers sub-committee

New opportunities for youth at FCJ beginning in 2012! (FCJ Refugee Centre)
Immigrant and Refugee Youth Mentoring Initiative!!
If you are in your teens or twenties. Get involved! Gain experience! Have fun!

FCJ Refugee Centre provides ESL classes for people who dont have access to other forms of ESL (FCJ Refugee Centre)
The classes will be run by trained teachers twice a week at FCJ Refugee Centre.
Please pass this on to anyone you think would be interested

Mohammadi was paranoid about authority, lawyer says (Max Harrold, The Gazette)
All refugees are fleeing some threat of danger, but the safe haven Canada offered Farshad Mohammadi ultimately did not shelter him from the demons of his native Iran, his lawyer says. Before the homeless Mohammadi, 34, was shot and killed by police last Friday in the Bonaventure métro after he attacked an officer with an X-acto knife, he had survived turmoil in the Kurdish region of Iran that marked him for life. What that was exactly, his immigration lawyer, Arash Banakar, does not know. But Mohammadi was paranoid about authority figures, he said.

Man Jailed After Crossing into Canada Illegally on Foot (
A failed refugee claimant from Hungary has been sentenced to six months in jail after crossing the Canadian border on foot.
Attila Tamas Juhasz, 35, pled guilty on January 5 in Winnipeg court for the incident, which happened near the port of South Junction.

A safe haven in the Valley (Lise Broadley, Comox Valley Echo)
After spending six years in United Nations refugee camps in Syria, Ali Abo-Nofal describes his new home in Courtenay as “heaven.” Along with his wife Layla and three daughters Reem, 16, Miriam, 10, and Rana, 7, Ali arrived in Canada on Dec. 12. The Palestinian Iraqi family escaped Iraq in 2006 and until recently have been living in a “no man’s land” tent camp between Syria and Iraq, living on food rations and bartering their supplies and meager savings for cooking fuel.


Inequality on the rise (Geoffrey Stevens, Straight Goods)
Many years ago, when young Ed Schreyer was the NDP premier of Manitoba, he had a brave idea to narrow the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Canada. He proposed that the salaries of corporate presidents be capped at 2½ times the compensation of their lowest-paid employees. In other words, if a worker on the assembly line earned $12,000 a year, the company boss could not make more than $30,000 (with any excess being taxed away). The theory was to encourage (or coerce) executives to raise workers’ wages or, failing that, to restrain their own. A good idea?

On Inequality: Is Government the Answer? (Reilly Yeo, The Mark)
The complex forces of globalization and technological change have not eliminated the ability of citizens to use the state as a means to fight inequality.

The Givers and the Takers (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
This week, I once again heard the now-familiar tale of The Givers and the Takers. The Givers, the story goes, are the hard-working people of Toronto. Through their own efforts they have made successes of their lives, bought their own homes and become contributing members of society. It is the taxes on their hard-earned money that sustains this city. The Takers, on the other hand, neither work nor pay taxes. Yet they have spacious homes and all manner of nice things, courtesy of the Givers. These people live in Toronto Community Housing. It would be easy to dismiss this rather uncharitable story on moral grounds, and I am itching to do so. But rather than turn to ancient wisdom or a religious text, let me instead turn to a more prosaic modern text: Toronto Community Housings Draft 2010 Consolidated Financial Statements.


Immigrants struggle to land quality jobs in Canadian cities (Tamara Cunningham, Daily News)
Ping Hui was an established environmental engineer with more than 25 years experience when she came to Canada from her home in China. She expected a smooth transition into a career in Nanaimo, where her daughter studies criminology, but Hui has been at a loss to find even an entry-level job. She teaches calligraphy at the Nanaimo Chinese Language and Arts Centre and picks up the occasional seasonal work folding clothes at department stores, but can’t seem to find a permanent job. She’s been looking for two years.

Rally focuses on rights of farmworkers and seniors in B.C. (Stephen Thomson,
A rally was held in Surrey to highlight the hardship faced by farmworkers, seniors, and others grappling with poverty. Progressive Intercultural Community Services, a non-profit group that provides support to immigrants in Metro Vancouver, organized the event today (January 10). Charan Gill, CEO of the organization, said the goal was to raise awareness about poverty issues in B.C.

America’s losing out to Canada, Australia on luring ambitious Irish people (Irish Central)
The government of Saskatchewan is planning a mission to Ireland to recruit workers to come work in the central Canadian province. Saskatchewan isn’t the only Canadian province interested in recruiting Irish workers either. Nova Scotia and a few others are also keen. Western Australia and other Australian states are of similar minds. Canada and Australia are both actively seeking Irish workers.Given the high unemployment and dismal projections of years of economic stagnation, Irish people are responding. They’re heading to both places in their tens of thousands. Definitely, Ireland’s loss is Canada and Australia’s gain.

Gamble with Diversity (Difference at Work)
This last time I was playing, the notion hit me: roulette makes an incredible business case for diversity and inclusion. It represents an ideal that I encourage you to embrace for 2012: Embracing the power of possibilities. The changing times and adjusting populations are a clear example of similarities to the wheel of fortune. We cant control life and its beautiful randomness, but we can strategically increase our possibilities, which by nature increase our potential for success.


Wednesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage including City Hall, Budget Cuts and Other News.

Mapping the Cuts Part II (Social Planning Toronto)
In December, Social Planning Toronto mapped 75 location-specific cuts proposed in the staff-recommended budget, not including libraries. At that time, we also found that 56% of location-specific cuts were located in low income neighbourhoods. The Budget Committees recommendations have taken some cuts off the table but the pattern of impact on low income neighbourhoods remains.


Enough Talk. Wheres the Action? (Sherri Torjman,
The Caledon Institute recommended this approach to the City of Hamilton as one option in pursuing its goal of social inclusion. The City was interested in this objective in respect of its role as co-host of the PanAm Games in 2015. So what to do? Here are the recommendations on social purchase that we made to the City. They pertain to the Games specifically but clearly have broader application… But how to actually take these actions? Municipalities that have had experience with social procurement advise: do first things first. Develop a set of guiding principles.

Marcel Lauzière – What Am I Skating Towards? Talking to Canadians (Al Etmanski)
Coming out of the National Summit for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector in December, a number of key priorities will be worked on in the coming year. Of all of these, I am most passionate about the need for a new narrative for our sector. I say that, because I doubt that we will make much headway on any of the other fronts until we have rethought the way we talk to Canadians about what we are all about. The rest will follow.ère-what-am-i-skating-towards-talking-to-canadians.html

The Academy of the Impossible (CBC Metro Morning)
Metro Morning contributor Lily Ames tells us about a new academy where young people can learn from and network with professionals from a variety of fields.


Focus on Human Trafficking (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Books and recent resources about human trafficking.

Landmark child trafficking case catches advocates eyes (End Modern-Day Slavery)
Anti-human trafficking advocates say theyre keeping a close watch on the case of a Vancouver man charged with pimping out four young girls.

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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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Your morning #Immigration & #Diversity news headlines – January 9, 2012 #inclusion #cdimm Diverse Voices in the media –...