Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 24, 2012


New DiverseCity leaders ready to make their mark (Ashante Infantry, Toronto Star)
She and 27 other aspiring city builders have won a 2012 DiverseCity fellowship, making them part of a year-long leadership and networking program, attending workshops and devising city-improving projects. Now in its fourth year, the fellowship is a joint initiative of the Maytree Foundation and Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, formerly the Toronto City Summit Alliance.–new-diversecity-leaders-ready-to-make-their-mark

Five things you should read from the week of January 16th (Maytree)
A round up of interesting reads from the previous week on immigration, diversity, refugees, nonprofits and employment-related news.

Video: Diverse City – The Bazaar (Kingston Cable 13)
The Bazaar, an ethnic market in Kingston, Ontario serving the Pakistani, Indian, and Middle Eastern Communities. Reporter: Ekta Singh. Featuring Farrukh Butt, Store Manager.

Canada looks to Chicago to reduce ‘honour’ crimes (Joe Friesen, Globe and Mail)
At first glance, gang crime in a U.S. city would seem to have little in common with the family conflicts that led to the killing of several women in Canada in recent years. But one Canadian group is taking ideas gleaned from the streets of Chicago to tackle the troubling phenomenon of so-called honour crimes.

UBC adds life experience to undergraduate criteria (CBC)
The university believes examining the full range of an applicants’ accomplishments will help it build a more diverse student body, eventually producing stronger graduates ready for leadership roles. UBC’s Sauder School of Business has been successfully using a broad-based admissions process since 2004.

Working his way from the ground up (Kelly Shiers, Herald News)
The loss of a major source of federal government funding and a still-urgent need in an impover­ished West African nation shad­ow the new executive director of the Nova Scotia-Gambia Associ­ation. But 28-year-old Muhammed Ngallan, a recent im­migrant to Nova Scotia, is undaunted. One month into the job, but with 12 years experience with the associ­ation, he said he wont rest until Nova Scotians, and Canadians, know the life­saving differences their dollars are making in his homeland.

2012 OCASI Professional Development Conference (Settlement AtWork)
OCASI is pleased to announce the 2012 Professional Development Conference that will take place at The Westin Prince Toronto Hotel on June 13-15, 2012. OCASI Member Agencies and other CIC and NSP-funded organizations in Ontario are invited to attend. Online Registration will begin in the middle of April.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2012 (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
Human Rights Watch has released its annual World Report for 2012, which “summarizes human rights conditions in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide in 2011.” The introduction focuses on the Arab Spring and is accompanied by various multimedia resources available online.

Processing delays in the age of increased scrutiny (Jennifer Ness, Canadian Lawyer)
So far its been a quiet 2012 for the immigration bar, except for one area that is heating up: the myriad issues facing the Temporary Foreign Worker program and new temporary foreign worker audits.

Widespread support for burka ban, Jason Kenney says; Muslims salute minister for courageous move (Stewart Bell, National Post)
A month after Canada banned Muslim women from covering their faces during citizenship ceremonies, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the policy has won widespread support. Speaking at a Muslim Canadian Congress event honouring his courageous decision, Mr. Kenney said polling shows that eight out of 10 Canadians agreed with the decision while only 14% were opposed.

TO2015 to host media briefing for ethnic media (Canada Newswire)
The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games will be the largest multi-sport Games ever hosted in Canada. TO2015 invites ethnic media to attend and learn more about the Games. Media will also have an opportunity to meet with TO2015’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Troop, its senior leadership team, Communications team and its newest staff addition, Naki Osutei, Lead, Diversity and Inclusion.

Black History Month: Explore Toronto’s Underground Railroad history (Liz Bruckner, Toronto Star)
Toronto is a mecca for many things, but when it comes to being able to visit historical sites linked to the Underground Railroad perhaps the most dramatic protest action against slavery in history that brought an estimated 40,000 African Americans to freedom in Canada options arent as plentiful as one might suppose. According to Rosemary Sadlier, president of the Ontario Black History Society, its with good reason. During the time that the Underground Railroad was in operation, when people finally made it out of the U.S. and onto Canadian soil, they were safe. Many chose not to leave the areas they settled in once they reached the border, she says.–black-history-month-explore-toronto-s-underground-railroad-history


No influence from minister (Marie Chevrier, Ottawa Citizen)
I was recently made aware of a Citizen article implying that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney influences board members through monitoring of decisions and appointments. The write-up is based on statements made by Peter Showler, former Chair of the Immigration Review Board and research by Professor Sean Rehaag… I can state, without any hesitation, that during my eight years as a member of the IRB, and later as a coordinating member, I have never felt influenced or pressed by the current minister, nor by his predecessor. And before becoming a co-ordinating member, my approval rate was much lower than indicated in this article.

Fuelling the fires of intolerance (Hamilton Spectator)
Anti-immigration sentiment, racism and xenophobia continue to be present in our community and country at disturbing levels. For the most part, anti-immigration rhetoric is based on misinformation, stereotypes and downright ignorance. There is no excuse for it, and we must continue efforts to reduce or even eradicate this harmful societal noise. But that reality makes it even more troubling when a real problem is revealed with our system of screening immigrants and refugee claimants. Not only is there a problem that needs fixing, but its exposure adds fuel to the fires of intolerance that are already burning too brightly. Hamilton assistant Crown attorney Toni Skarica shone a light on just such a problem last week when he made a statement during the court appearance of a woman related to several Hungarian refugees charged with human trafficking.–fuelling-the-fires-of-intolerance

Deported Mugesera now bound for Rwanda (CBC)
Léon Mugesera, the long-time Quebec City resident accused of genocide in Rwanda, is expected to land in Kigali late on Tuesday, according to Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Louise Mushikiwabo. Mugesera lost his final bid to avoid deportation on Monday when the Federal Court dismissed a motion for a stay of deportation, and by late afternoon, he was put on a plane headed for Rwanda’s capital city.

Alleged Rwandan war criminal Jean Leonard Teganya pleads for mercy, asylum (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
A Rwandan man, the eldest son of a convicted war criminal who himself has been deemed complicit in genocide, has won another chance to plead for mercy and remain in Canada after a Federal Court judge questioned his fate if returned to his homeland. Jean Leonard Teganya, an ethnic Hutu, was a medical student interning at Butare University Hospital when Hutu extremist militia killed nearly 200 Tutsi patients, staff and moderate Hutus there during the 1994 genocide.

I fear my homeland: Ocean Lady claimant tells IRB (Stewart Bell, National Post)
More than two years after the smuggling ship MV Ocean Lady arrived off the West Coast carrying 76 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, the first public hearing to determine whether to accept them as refugees took place on Monday. My life is in danger in my country, an ethnic Tamil man told the Immigration and Refugee Board, which ordered that his name could not be published to protect his safety. I fear the army, police and the pro-government Tamil militias in Sri Lanka.

The Canadian undocumented? (Tom Joyce, U.S. Catholic)
January is the month of the refugee. The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that in 2010 more than 30 million people sought asylum in other countries–264,000 in the United States and 165,000 in Canada–because of war or persecution. But that, doesnt mean that they were welcomed to stay. After processing, some are denied and asked to leave. Canada once had a reputation for being most accommodating. Not so anymore. The Conservative government has tightened its process of granting asylum and has reduced the number it accepts. This seems already to have created a new set of illegals or unauthorized immigrants according to the Los Angeles Times.


Payroll Tax Increases: Less And More Than Meet The Eye (Ken Battle, Caledon Institute)
Federal payroll taxes are increasing this year. Maximum Employment Insurance premiums rise from $787 in 2011 to $840 in 2012, while maximum Canada Pension Plan contributions go from $2,218 in 2011 to $2,307 in 2012. But Canadas income tax system, with its federal and provincial/territorial regimes, provides non-refundable tax credits that lessen the burden of federal payroll taxes by a significant degree ranging from one-fifth (19 percent in Nunavut) to one-quarter (26 percent in Saskatchewan).

Renting vs Owning: Is the Counterintuitive argument right? (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Michael Mendelsons comments on Joys The Givers and the Takers entry raised an interesting question about the role of home ownership in building wealth in Canada. He said: [the] assumption that your parents did very well in their housing investment may be incorrect. You have to ask how they would have done with an alternative investment and renting. Given the huge increase in the value of equities, your parents might today be much wealthier had they instead rented equivalent accommodation and invested well in the market. Is the conventional wisdom wrong?


Webinar Feb 22: Professional Immigrant Networks: Connecting with Immigrant Talent (Sign Up) (
Skilled immigrants are an excellent source of talent for employers looking to create a diverse and innovative workforce. But knowing where and how to find this talent can be a challenge for some employers. This webinar will examine Professional Immigrant Networks as a source of immigrant talent that can help employers meet business and organizational needs. Participants will learn about these networks, where to find them and how to work with them in a mutually beneficial way.

IN CONVERSATION: Lionel Laroche (Eric Heino, insideToronto)
Already recognized as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is an attractive destination for professionally trained immigrants. However, navigating the world of business without understanding the subtleties of Canadian culture can result in even the most skilled and highly educated newcomer missing out on promising employment opportunities. This is where Lionel Laroche comes into the picture. Born and raised in France, educated in the United States and now residing in the Toronto area since 1991, Laroche is the founder of MultiCultural Business Solutions.–in-conversation-lionel-laroche

The Cuts Behind the Curtain (Davide Macdonald, Behind the Numbers)
Today, the CCPA released a study I authored titled: The Cuts Behind the Curtain: How federal cutbacks will slash services and increase unemployment. The report examines all three waves of federal government cutbacks starting with the 2007-2010 strategic reviews, but also projecting the effects from the 2010 personnel budget freeze and the 2011 Strategic and Operating Review.


Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage including City Hall, Transit and Other News.

Stintz Supports LRT, Maybe (Update 3) (Steve Munro)
Adrian Morrow reports in todays Globe that TTC Chair Karen Stintz feels an all-underground Eglinton line should just be what it is, a subway, but that it belongs on the surface as LRT for its outer suburban section.


Canada should look to its think tanks (Joseph K. Ingram, Embassy)
In this period of uncertainty, public policy needs solid research that looks ahead decades, takes into account emerging economies and low-income countries, and includes multinational approaches. Collaborative research by think tanks is the surest route.

Paul Born – What Am I Skating Towards? (Al Etmanski)
I used to think these troubles have always been with us and for sure we will get through them. I still believe we will get through them though I am convinced this is not trouble as normal. Things are going to get worse before they get better and no amount of innovation or brilliance will save us from the pain worse is going to cause. So what are the things this optimist feeling pessimistic is going to skate toward in the next year to get ready to absorb the pain?

How Citizen Mapmakers are Changing the Story of our Cities (Christine McLaren, this big city)
We see them every day, popping up on our Twitter feeds, filtered through blogs, or even scattered throughout the New York Times: maps portraying not the usual locations or destinations, but data. From peoples kisses in Toronto, to the concentration of pizza joints in New York, to the number of women who ride bikes, to the likelihood of being killed by a car in any given American city, the list of lenses through which we can now view our cities and neighborhoods goes on, thanks to data-mapping geeks.

Innoweave Support Fund (Innoweave)
INNOWEAVE is offering a support fund for selected community organizations to implement ICT strategies. Eligible organizations may apply for up to $7,500 and networks for up to $25,000. In order to be considered for this fund organizations must be ready document their experience online and share it during Platformation webinar and workshops.

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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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