Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 12, 2012


Webinar Feb 8: Living Together: City Strategies for Social Inclusion (Cities of Migration)
Join Cities of Migration for a free 60 minute international webinar to learn about strategic city-led initiatives in Antwerp (Belgium) and Waltham Forest (London borough, UK) that strengthen the capacity of city councils, civil society organisations and ordinary citizens to work together for more inclusive communities and strong democratic institutions. This webinar is supported by Open Society Foundations At Home in Europe Project.

Top Canadian Migration Stories in 2011 (
2011 had many events, policies and debates/discussions on the theme of migration in Canada. These are a selection of what 3 of us* believe to be among the top stories. For each item, there is a brief introduction, some background and links and other resources that may prove useful.

Canada Muslims Fight Domestic Violence (Muneeb Nair, OnIslam)
Stunned by an alleged honour killing, Canadian Muslims are joining an international campaign to fight domestic violence in their country. We are hoping the raise awareness about domestic violence in Canada with the White Ribbon Days, Afaun Mandol, a spokesperson for Muslim Presence Toronto, told

Wanted list of fugitives in Canada successful, expanding: Vic Toews (Stewart Bell, National Post)
The federal government needs to re-examine immigration detention laws, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday after unveiling a wanted list of 30 war criminals and other foreign fugitives believed to be hiding in Canada. At a news conference in Toronto, Mr. Toews announced that a program launched last summer that publicly identifies dangerous foreign criminals wanted for deportation had resulted in the arrests of more than 30% of them and had been expanded.

Federal government adds more names to controversial most-wanted immigration list (Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press)
The federal government is continuing its controversial practice of publicizing the names and faces of most-wanted dangerous immigrants in the hope Canadians will help track them down. The government added another 30 names to its Canada Border Services Agency watch-list Wednesday in the hope of expelling these people from the country.

Government of Canada Enlists Help of Canadians to Enforce Canada’s Immigration Laws (Marketwire)
Today, the federal government added 30 new profiles of individuals to the “Wanted by the CBSA” list and expanded the list to include additional categories for inadmissibility under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

15 illegal immigrants hunted in B.C. (Elaine O’connor, The Province)
Half of Canada’s newest 30 “most wanted” immigration criminals were last seen in B.C. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Wednesday it is adding 30 new names to its list of the federal government’s most-sought immigrants – people who are in the country illegally because they have committed crimes here or in other countries.

Memories haunt quake survivors (Marian Scott, Montreal Gazette)
Quebec has welcomed 2,600 Haitians under a humanitarian program for earthquake victims – with another 3,400 still expected to arrive. But for many, the transition has been hard. Finding jobs and housing and adapting to a new culture and climate have posed unexpected challenges. And even far from their ravaged homeland, many of the traumatized newcomers are haunted by recurring memories.

Two views of China (Michael Crabb, Toronto Star)
With the Jan. 23 start of Chinese New Year just around the corner, world-travelled Shen Yun Performing Arts returns to the Sony Centre tonight with its famously colourful and eye-catching celebration of Chinese culture; but this season its not the only troupe purporting to give mainstream Toronto audiences an authentic taste of 5,000 years of rich cultural heritage. A month from now another show, Chinese New Year Carnival 2012, takes to the same Sony Centre stage with what at first glance might seem a similar mix of song, dance, martial arts and acrobatics, all lavishly produced and dressed to kill. Both groups variously claim to celebrate Chinas regional and ethnic diversity. So why, you might ask, dont they join forces and make the whole affair even more mind-blowingly spectacular? The answer has to do with politics.–two-views-of-china

Vancouver Spring Show embraces wealth of cultures beyond Chinese (Chuck Chiang, Vancouver Sun)
My son grew up in Vancouver, and he would not understand much of the Beijing Spring Show, because he wont feel connected to it, Wang said. But he would like the Vancouver show. Our purpose is to celebrate the multiculturalism in Vancouver, and we want to present what multicultural heritage we have in Greater Vancouver in this show. To that end, the shows list of performers runs the gamut of ethnicities in the Lower Mainland: the two-hour program will incorporate a Korean drum group, an Irish tap-dancing troupe, Thai heritage dancers, ballet, and a first nations flute instrumental.

Becoming Mr. Kim (Glen Sumi, NOW Toronto)
In the Korean-Canadian community, he points out, Mr. Kim would be called an ajusshi. There are bits of my dad in there, my grandfather, my uncles and all these other church men I knew growing up, says Lee. Theres a certain ajusshi uniform: rolled-up dress pants, dress socks, slippers, cellphone clipped to the belt or golf shirt. They have a certain way of acting its usually their way or the highway. Lee, who has been attached to the role in the seven years its been developed, first at a Diaspora Dialogues reading and then at a Fu-GEN Potluck Festival, is excited about what director Weyni Mengesha is bringing to this production.

Multicultural group rebuilding after recent downtown fire (Vince Burke, The Camrose Canadian)
The Foundation for Peace and Multiculturalism is picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild the local group following a Christmas Eve fire, which ravaged their building in downtown Camrose. The group shared the building with a number of other businesses and lost everything from office furniture and computers to cultural artifacts in the blaze that destroyed the Camrose News & Gifts Smoke Shop on Main Street.

Man finally allowed into Canada to attend funeral of slain mother (Kim Mackrael, Globe and Mail)
A 21-year-old man who was twice denied a visa to visit Canada will be allowed to attend his mothers funeral in Toronto. Enbo Cuis mother, Guang Lu, died after an altercation on Dec. 28 at the Chinese restaurant where she worked. Another restaurant employee faces second-degree murder charges in the case.

Iranian centre opens in Thornhill (Kim Zarzour,
Ahmad Tabrizi watched his father struggle as a newcomer to Canada from Iran alone, elderly and unable to speak the English language and thought, there must be some way to help. Today, there is, in the form of Canadas first Iranian-Canadian community centre, a project that took him and his supporters 11 years to complete. This weekend, the Parya Trillium Foundation celebrates its grand opening at Le Parc conference centre in Thornhill.–iranian-centre-opens-in-thornhill

First mosque part of the heritage of all Canadians (Daood Hamdani,
This May, as Muslims mark the twentieth anniversary of the induction of Al-Rashid mosque in Fort Edmonton Park, the countrys largest living history museum, the spotlight will be on the leadership role of Muslim women in this historic event.

His Highness the Aga Khan to receive uOttawa honorary doctorate (University of Ottawa)
His Highness the Aga Khan will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa for his service to humanity during a special Convocation ceremony on Friday, January 13, at 11 a.m., in the Desmarais Building.

Films examine illegal immigration with personal stories (Diane Carson, Post Dispatch)
Testament to the world’s universal problems, three films in the Palms Spring International Film Festival have now featured illegal immigrant themes. “Terraferma” screened on Friday, “Monsieur Lazhar” screened Sunday and “Morgen” screened Monday. Both Canada’s “Monsieur Lazhar” and Romania’s “Morgen” revolve around a local family that accidentally connects with and reluctantly harbors a refugee.


Human trafficking case puts spotlight on refugee system (Hamilton Spectator)
An ongoing human trafficking case in Hamilton has sparked sharp criticism of Canadas immigration and refugee system. The case prosecutor, assistant Crown attorney Toni Skarica blames the removal of Hungarian visitors visa requirements for providing the opportunity for the expansion of the … criminal organization into Canada, he wrote in a court document.–human-trafficking-case-puts-spotlight-on-refugee-system

Immigration minister welcomes decision to deport Mugesera (Katherine Wilton, Montreal Gazette)
Saying that the Rwandan people deserve justice, federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has welcomed a Federal Court decision that could pave the way for the deportation of Léon Mugesera. He is guilty of serious war crimes and he has to face justice in his country of origin, Kenney said in Montreal on Wednesday.


Equality. Who needs it? (Michael Tanner, National Post)
In the end one has to ask a more basic question. Why do we care about inequality at all? Poverty, of course, is a bad thing. But is inequality? After all, if we doubled everyone’s income tomorrow, we would eliminate an enormous amount of economic hardship. Yet, inequality would actually increase. As Margaret Thatcher said about those who obsess over inequality, “So long as the [income] gap is smaller, they would rather have the poor poorer.”

Kevin O’Leary: Everything That’s Wrong With the One Per Cent (Julie Devaney, Huffington Post)
I woke up to the following headline yesterday morning: “Cuts to grants reach $66 million… leaves university hospitals ‘in shock’ and fearing further losses.” And I thought about the last twenty years of Canadian corporations demanding (and receiving) more and more tax cuts until social programs are starved and all of society’s wealth is consolidated in the hands of a tiny minority of Canadians. So globally, we’ve created a world where, as Linda McQuaig points out, one hedge fund manager is worth 82,000 nurses. A world that has inspired millions of people globally to throw their support behind the Occupy movement — where the 99 per cent who are increasingly living in poverty and turning to crime are beginning to demand justice from the one per cent who are holding all the wealth.

Thursday’s Town Hall: Fathers without Fathers: Aboriginal Men in Canada (CBC The Current)
Anna Maria Tremonti hosts a special town hall program from Whitehorse on why so many aboriginal children grow up without fathers — and what’s being done about it. Fathers without Fathers: Aboriginal Men in Canada is a candid and revealing discussion about the role of First Nations fathers, many of whom are absent in their children’s lives.


Should Canada be targeting talented, unemployed Europeans? (Matthew Fisher, Calgary Herald)
Canada must not be shy about taking advantage of Europe’s financial distress. The Harper government should target some of the continent’s best and brightest as immigrants and prospective future citizens. Spain is a case in point. According to data from the European Union, it had an unemployment rate of 22.9 per cent last fall, followed by Greece with 18.8 per cent.


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

World Wide Wednesday: Dark and empty places, neighbourhood names and parking lots (Hilary Best, Spacing Toronto)
Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. Well be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.


Pipeline politics: Dont demonize the charitable sector (Alan Broadbent, Globe and Mail Op Ed)
Efforts by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Natural Resources Minister to characterize charitable organizations as dangerous radicals assaulting the national interest is far removed from the truth. Such dubious claims reflect either a willful ignorance of the truth or a willingness to bend it to favour their own interests.

Government’s online information access plan falls short (David McKie, CBC)
If you want to know about the steps the department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada has taken to combat allegedly crooked consultants, you can read summaries on its website of the records it has released through the Access to Information Act. If you want to learn about the steps that Environment Canada has taken or not taken to deal with pollution from the oil sands, you wont find similar summaries on the departments website. Environment Canada has until January 31 to post them.


ManpowerGroup Recognizes Human Trafficking Awareness Day (Digital Journal)
ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, recently helped launch two End Human Trafficking Now! (EHTN!) initiatives, which are designed to educate businesses on preventing against acts of human trafficking from entering their organizations and supply chains.

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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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