Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 17, 2012


Eritrean Community Centre (CBC Metro Morning)
Metro Morning’s Mary Wiens looks at how proposed cuts to the city budget this coming week could affect the Eritrean Canadian Community Centre, located above the Tim Horton’s at St. Clair and Vaughan.

“How Long? Not Long” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about “Martin Luther King Day” with Chris Spence. He is Director of Education for the Toronto District School Board.

RFP: Developing webinar training for the Organizational Standards Initiative Project (Settlement AtWork)
OCASI invites qualified individuals/organizations to submit proposals to develop and deliver one or more facilitated style webinar trainings for the Organizational Standards Initiative Project on the topics of: Risk Management; Evaluation and Measurement of Programs; Volunteer Management for Settlement Sector; and Anti-Oppression Issues and Policies.

Does Islamic finance have a place in Canada? (Erica Alini, Maclean’s)
Canada, with its 1.3 million Muslims, has lagged behind countries like the U.K. and the U.S. in embracing sharia-compliant financial products. None of the countrys big banks currently offer sharia-compliant services, though some smaller players do. Toronto-based UM Financial Inc., which issued home mortgages conforming to Islamic law, filed for bankruptcy last year, leaving 170 Muslim borrowers in limbo, and opening a legal can of worms. Is the firms failure evidence that Canada should steer clear of Islamic finance; or proof that the country needs more of iti.e. that the banks and policymakers need to bring the practice into the mainstream, with tighter rules and better oversight? We asked the experts to chime in.

Sex selection migrates to Canada (Lauren Vogel, CMAJ)
Easy access to abortion and advances in prenatal sex determination have combined to make Canada a haven for parents who would terminate female fetuses in favour of having sons, despite overwhelming censure of the practice, economists and bioethics experts say. Arguing that Canadian lawmakers’ silence on the issue is undermining the status of women, theyre calling for federal legislation to uphold societal and professional values opposing sex-selective abortion, either through a direct ban or restrictions on the disclosure of fetal gender. They also contend that sex selective abortion is forcing physicians to compromise between their ethical obligations to discourage sex selection and legal obligations to respect their patients’ autonomy.

Its a girl! could be a death sentence (Rajendra Kale, CMAJ)
When Asians migrated to Western countries they brought welcome recipes for curries and dim sum. Sadly, a few of them also imported their preference for having sons and aborting daughters. Female feticide happens in India and China by the millions, but it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male to female ratio in some ethnic groups. Should female feticide in Canada be ignored because it is a small problem localized to minority ethnic groups? No. Small numbers cannot be ignored when the issue is about discrimination against women in its most extreme form. This evil devalues women. How can it be curbed? The solution is to postpone the disclosure of medically irrelevant information to women until after about 30 weeks of pregnancy

Bid to curb female feticide pushes hot buttons of abortion and culture (Joe Friesen and Carly Weeks, Globe and Mail)
Abortion and multiculturalism, two of the most contentious areas of Canadian public policy, were placed on a collision course Monday by the countrys leading medical journal. Rajendra Kale, interim editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, called for a ban on disclosing the sex of a fetus until 30 weeks, a point at which abortions are difficult to obtain. His editorial cited research that suggests some Asian immigrants are aborting unwanted females.

Canadian doctors suggestion to delay revealing babys sex ignites controversy over feticide (Megan Ogilvie and Raveena Aulakh, Toronto Star)
Health-care workers should not reveal the sex of a fetus to parents until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to combat female feticide the intentional abortion of female fetuses because of a preference for sons, the editor of the countrys top medical journal says. Dr. Rajendra Kale says the problem of female feticide in Canada is relatively small compared to countries such as India and China where the practice happens by the millions. But, he adds, research has shown female feticide is undoubtedly happening in Canada and therefore rules should be put in place to stop the evil practice.–canadian-doctor-s-suggestion-to-delay-revealing-baby-s-sex-ignites-controversy-over-feticide

Early disclosure of fetal sex leads to aborted girls: MD (Bethany Lindsay, CTV)
The editor of one of Canada’s most influential medical journals is calling on doctors to stop revealing fetal sex early on in pregnancy to prevent the “evil” abortion of females among immigrant families. In an editorial published Monday, Dr. Rajendra Kale, the interim editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, claims that female feticide is a small but very real problem amongst Asian immigrants.

Unveiling a Discriminatory Policy (Farah Mawani, The Mark)
There is a lot more to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s policy prohibiting Muslim women from covering their faces during citizenship ceremonies than meets the eye. Since Dec. 12, 2011, when Kenney publicly announced the new policy, a heated debate has emerged in Canada focusing on a variety of pertinent questions: Does the policy violate the right to religious freedom enshrined in Canadas Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Does it promote or deny womens rights more generally? Does it further marginalize Muslims? Is the policy even necessary? And, finally, does it actually achieve what it aims to? Though all of these questions are important, several key criticisms of the veil policy deserve further attention.

Re-examining Canadian religion and law (Joan Sullivan, The Varsity)
Panelists and guests gathered last week at the U of T Multi-Faith Centre for a two-day policy consultation on religion, law, and human rights in the Canadian context. Hosted by U of Ts Religion in the Public Sphere Initiative and the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the panel aimed to negotiate the contentious roles that religion and law play in public life.

Haggis wontons? Robbie Burns Night meets Chinese New Year (Sarah Hampson, Globe and Mail)
At this very moment, I bet youre not thinking about deep-fried haggis wonton for dinner. But then, youre not Toddish McWong. Thats the famous persona of Todd Wong, a 51-year-old Chinese-Canadian who works as a library assistant in Vancouver. His annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner marks its 15th year next Sunday. An amalgam of traditions for Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Night, the dinner is a celebration of Canadian multiculturalism that has grown in popularity every year. (Theres a spin-off Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner in Seattle and ambitions to roll them out across Canada.)

Conservatives Appoint Another Indo-Canadian To The Senate (R. Paul Dhillon, The Link)
In appointing another Indo-Canadian senator by naming Toronto Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Asha Seth to the Senate on Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in his patronage gravy train to Tory supporters, again missed an opportunity to appoint the first Sikh to a Canadian senate. Seth is the second Indo-Canadian appointed to the senate by Conservatives after earlier naming Toronto businessman Vim Kochhar to the Canadian Senate on January 29, 2010


Rwandan facing deportation to remain in custody (Les Perreaux, Globe and Mail)
A philosopher accused of inciting mass murder in Rwanda will remain in detention until a hearing Friday that may put an end to his 19 years in Canada or may keep him here for months. The order Monday by the Immigration and Refugee Board keeping Léon Mugesera in custody cleared up a long weekend of confusion about the next steps in the long-running case.

Most Roma asylum-seekers being denied legal aid, refugee lawyer says (Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen)
An Ottawa refugee lawyer says Legal Aid Ontario has started to deny funding to most Roma asylum-seekers, but wont explain why. Russell Kaplan, who has represented hundreds of Roma refugee claimants over the past dozen years, said legal aid used to regularly approve funding so Roma claimants could hire lawyers to argue their cases at the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Wesley grows into new role of receiving refugees (Danielle Wong, Hamilton Spectator)
A year ago, government-sponsored refugees coming to Hamilton were being redirected to other communities. Today, the city receives as many of these newcomers as it did prior to the closure of the Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO). Wesley Urban Ministries only took on the role of orienting government-sponsored refugees in June, but will have received about 300 newcomers through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) by the end of March. The agency expects to see 321 refugees next year.–wesley-grows-into-new-role-of-receiving-refugees

Mexican journalist launches last-ditch bid to fight deportation (Stephanie Law, Globe and Mail)
Mexican journalist Karla Berenice García Ramírez, her husband and her two young Canadian-born daughters, are fighting deportation from Canada and, as they see it, for their lives. She and her husband fled to Canada from Mexico in 2008 after she and her family received death threats that had escalated from less threatening intimidation starting in 2003, the apparent result of her efforts to uncover corruption at a government ministry. She was working at the ministry at the time, but had previously been employed as a journalist.

Refugees may look south (Kim Murphy, Vancouver Sun)
For years, Canada has had one of the most generous immigration policies in the world, welcoming tens of thousands of asylum applicants who claim to be fleeing persecution in their homelands. But Canada’s Conservative government has begun rolling up the welcome mat, increasing efforts to track down and deport thousands of asylum-seekers whose applications have been denied. The clampdown is likely to be felt not just across Canada, but in the United States


One in 10 Canadians cannot afford prescription meds (Angela Mulholland, CTV)
One in 10 Canadians have problems affording their prescription medication, often because they don’t have insurance to help pay the costs, a new study has found. The study, which appears in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that for Canadians without drug plans through work or private drug insurance, one in four cannot afford their medications.

Is Toronto Community Housing too big? (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Its also big by private sector standards. According to their company websites, CapREIT owns 30,821 units across Canada; Greenwin manages 20,000 (and some of these are at TCHC); Minto manages 14,000. So it is no wonder some people are asking, Is Toronto Community Housings size a good thing, or a bad thing?

Event Feb 7 – Mount Sinai Hospital Health Equity Ground Rounds Achieving Health Equity: Framework and Tools for Quality Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD (Mount Sinai)
Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, conducts research on Social Determinants of Health and Equity in the Epidemiology and Analysis Program Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to draw attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).


Your skilled immigrant business intelligence a roundup from (week of Jan 9th) (Maytree)
A summary of posts, videos and news from the website.

Immigrant entrepreneurs can transform small, even dying, communities (Sarah Wayland, WISE5)
Most of Canadas immigrants settle in large urban centres, but studies of immigrants in rural Canada show that many do prefer to live in smaller communities. Immigrants may enjoy various benefits of living in small communities. Indeed, a 2008 Statistics Canada study found that immigrants fared better in smaller communities in various ways.

Revaluing Immigrant Women’s Labour in Vancouver’s Low-Paid Health Care Sector: A Case Study of the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) – PDF (Jennifer Jihye Chun, Metropolis BC)
This paper explores organizational efforts to challenge the interlocking nexus between social and economic disadvantage. Speci? cally, it focuses on how one union, the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), has attempted to challenge the deterioration of wages, working conditions, and job security for a predominantly immigrant and women of colour workforce. Most labour unions have been slow to organize immigrants, women, and people of colour employed in low-paid and subcontracted work arrangements. For example, it took UNISON, the largest public sector union in England, many years after the sector was contracted out to re-organize cleaning and food service workers, the majority of whom were foreign-born migrants (Holgate and Wills 2007; Wills 2009). Surprisingly, in the case of the HEU, the decision to re-organize privatized workers was immediate and decisive. HEU launched a resource- and time-intensive organizing drive to recruit new union members employed by private sector companies, especially immigrants with limited English language skills and minimal prior experience with unions. The union also expanded its conventional bargaining approach to include a broad-based living wage campaign aimed at publicly shaming pro? table multinational corporations that pay workers poverty-level wages. At stake was not just winning higher wage standards in union contracts; HEUs efforts to improve living and working conditions for the predominantly female and immigrant workforce were also linked to its broader commitment to promoting social and economic justice.


Monday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage including City Hall, Labour Dispute, Development and Other News.

Welcome to the City Builder Book Club! Starting February 1st! (City Building Book Club)
The City Builder Book Club is a joint venture between the Centre for City Ecology and Creative Urban Projects. We are hoping to use this online book club to facilitate a deeper understanding of how cities work by reading and discussing books that have developed and challenged our ideas about urban life. Our first selection will be The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. This past September, we celebrated the release of the 50th Anniversary Edition of this book with an event featuring four former mayors of Toronto who knew Jane well. They spoke about her impact on Toronto and on their leadership of it.

Catching up with our City Builder Camp communities (Centre for City Ecology)
As many of you know, on 17 September 2011, 120 people met at City Builder Camp to hear about existing challenges in St James Town, Mount Dennis, and Yonge & Bloor. Community representatives presented about their neighbourhoods and heard advice and feedback from urban planners, community organizers, architects, and developers who had volunteered their time for the day. CCE has been meeting with these communities again, to hear how City Builder Camp has affected their work and to see their neighbourhoods in person.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Steal these 42 Creative Pinterest Ideas for #Nonprofits Are You Sharing Positive Impact? RT @schema_magazine: RT @metrolens: Chinese-only...