Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 25, 2012


Sheridan Administrator Wins a DiverseCity Fellowship (Sheridan College)
Joe Henry, Manager of Accessible Learning and Student Development, has been named a 2012 DiverseCity Fellow. He joins a diverse cross-section of rising leaders who will work together to address the challenges facing the Toronto region.

Radical stewardship: remembering Milton Wong (Joanna Wong, Schema Magazine)
The vibrant life of my Uncle Milton Wong, business leader and philanthropist, [was] celebrated Friday January 20th at a memorial in Vancouver. Many will remember Milton for his inspiring legacy of social contributions that touched countless hearts and communities across Canada. I will remember my Uncle for his typically cheeky answer to any new challenge: “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

Chinese Canadian war veterans honoured in new photo exhibit (David P. Ball, Vancouver Observer)
Five years after Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a historic apology to Chinese Canadians, a new photo exhibition opened today in Vancouver honouring the history of World War II veterans of Chinese heritage. Nearly 100 people packed into the exhibit launch of the multi-room archive of photographs, anecdotes and documents – titled Chinese Canadian Veterans: Loyalty to Country – today at the Chinese Cultural Centre. Roughly a quarter were veterans themselves, many of whom guided visitors around the exhibit and shared their stories of both heroism and discrimination.

Harper eroding vision of Canada, Liberal critic says (Mike Youds, Kamloops News)
Canada’s immigrant community is livid over a two-year moratorium on immigration applications from parents and grandparents, the Liberal’s multiculturalism critic said on a visit to Kamloops Tuesday. Jim Karygiannis, an eight-term Toronto MP and an immigrant himself, is out West to encourage ethnic and visible minorities to engage in efforts to rebuild the Liberal Party of Canada. He visited Kamloops Immigrant Services and met with local party supporters.

Salt Spring immigration battle gains important ally (Elizabeth Nolan, Gulf Islands Driftwood)
A lengthy immigration process that began three years ago and then turned into an epic legal battle for a local woman may change at last with a promise of help from MP Elizabeth May. “It’s only since the new year that we’ve received any positive news,” Jennifer Lannan said of her Nigerian husband Johnson Emekoba’s immigration process, which seemingly ended with a rejection last August.

Beyond the Gardens’ Wall (Natalie North, Victoria News)
Like many West Coast kids, David Gray spent his childhood exploring local shorelines and collecting small artefacts of a time before him. But unlike his curious counterparts, Gray would learn the pottery and glass bottles he recovered from Tod Inlet near Brentwood Bay belonged to a now-vanished immigrant community – the inspiration behind years of research and a new documentary for the filmmaker. Gray became fascinated with the history of Chinese and Sikh workers who once lived in the area now within Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, while labouring in a cement mill and limestone quarry where Butchart Gardens is located today.

Two Cuban women’s soccer players may have defected while playing in Vancouver (Mike Hager, Vancouver Sun)
When Cuba’s national women’s team showed up for Monday night’s Olympic qualifying match against Haiti at BC Place, two players were conspicuously absent. Unconfirmed reports say star forward Yesenia Gallardo Martinez, 20, and midfielder Yisel Rodriguez Llanes, 22, have defected from the Caribbean nation while playing Olympic qualifying matches here in Vancouver.

Immigration Forum set for next month (
The Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership is hosting a “Welcoming Diversity” Immigration Forum on February 9, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Comfort Suites and Conference Centre located at 229 Great Northern Road. Funded by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the forum will provide information about cultural diversity initiatives undertaken locally, provincially and nationally as well as immigration trends occurring in Ontario.

Canada Muslims Act on Honor Crimes (OnIslam)
A Canadian Muslim group is developing a flagship program to fight honor crimes in their society. “If you have effective strategies for identifying the risk factors of so-called honor-related violence, you can reduce the possibility of honor killing,” Mohammed Baobaid, executive director of the Muslim Resource Center for Social Support and Integration in London City, Ontario, told The Globe and Mail.

Trail of ‘immigration fixer’ revealed in Ottawa courtroom (Andrew Seymour, The Ottawa Citizen)
When Mahmoud Samih Zbib’s wife’s permanent resident application got stalled, he went looking for a fixer. He seemed to have found one in Issam Dakik, an Ottawa court heard Tuesday. Dakik had connections, Zbib testified. Dakik told him he could act as an intervener between lawyers and Citizenship and Immigration Canada to get the permanent resident application process — which at that point had taken years for Zbib’s wife — completed in as little as a month.

Does the Burka Enable Crime? (Farzana Hassan Huffington Post)
The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC), a grassroots organization of secular and liberal Muslims hosted an event in Toronto on Sunday to thank Minister Kenney for his courageous stand in banning the face veil from Canada’s Citizenship ceremonies. The decision enjoys widespread support among Canadians across the country. While most members of the audience were supportive of the Minister’s decision, a few objections were also raised at the event with respect to the constitutionality of such a ban.
For example, Fatema Dada of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association invoked the religious freedoms argument in the following manner when she stated, “If somebody believes in it [the niqab] then it’s their right to practice it.” According to Dada, it should be up to individual Canadians to determine and express their own unique religiosity.

Survey will help you get to know your municipal politicians (Chronicle Herald)
Nova Scotia’s political landscape should become less murky as The Chronicle Herald launches a demographic study into the background of our municipal representatives. Online surveys go live today for the 400 municipal politicians across the province in order to get a better picture of their makeup. Some questions mirror those asked by Statistics Canada — looking at gender, education level, age and cultural diversity — but others hone in on the ability of the representatives to do the jobs for which they were elected, including whether they have any education related to municipal policy, what other jobs they’ve held, and what languages they speak.


Canada’s tradition of helping refugees is under threat *David Berger, The Gazette)
The recent Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ministerial meeting was the largest conference on refugees and stateless people in its history. The UNHCR sought to recommit and re-engage the support of member states for key legal treaties, including the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. A major additional question was whether industrialized countries would address a deep imbalance in international support for the world’s forcibly displaced. At the conference, Jason Kenney, Canada’s minister of citizenship and immigration, announced that Canada would resettle slightly more refugees in the future. While this news is welcome, the numbers involved are far too small to meaningfully address the fundamental imbalance in the distribution of refugees between rich and poor countries. Nor can opening the door a crack wider for refugee resettlement make up for policies that would violate the rights of refugees in Canada to whom we have legal obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Feds to amend laws to ensure Canada’s not a ‘dumping ground’ for Mugeseras (Tobi Cohen,
The Conservative government indicated Tuesday that it’s set to make good on an election promise to introduce legislative amendments that would make it easier to deport foreign criminals like Leon Mugesera. “17 years is too long to deport a foreign criminal,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney tweeted. “That’s why the govt will propose amendments to streamline the deportation process.” The plan is outlined in the party’s election platform.

Canada pressured into deporting Rwandan genocide accused Mugesera: lawyer (Marianne White and Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News)
The former lawyer of Rwandan Leon Mugesera, deported this week to face charges of inciting genocide in his home country, lashed out at the Canadian government for its “political” and “immoral” decision to have him removed. But the federal government hinted Tuesday that it’s set to make good on an election promise to introduce amendments that would make it easier to deport suspected foreign criminals.

Statement by Ministers Toews and Kenney on Removal of Leon Mugesera (Marketwire)
The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, made the following statement regarding the removal from Canada of Leon Mugesera, a Rwandan national living in Canada. Mr. Mugesera had been fighting deportation to his homeland to face charges of inciting the murder of Tutsi and moderate Hutu citizens in 1994.

Focus on Children, Education (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Publications and websites related to the practice of return of minors and treatment of child refugees in education settings.


New Approach? (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the future of houses owned by the city with Toronto city councillor Josh Matlow.

Government needs to get smart about anti-poverty spending, forum told (Frances Barrick, The Record)
It would have cost $12 billion to give 3.5 million Canadians living in poverty enough money to live above the poverty line in 2007. Instead, Canadians spent twice that amount of money dealing with the consequences of poverty that year, Sheila Regehr, executive director of the National Council of Welfare told about 110 people attending a poverty forum at the Victoria Park Pavilion. That’s a key finding of a council report released last year called “The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty.”–government-needs-to-get-smart-about-anti-poverty-spending-forum-told

Halton poverty group has plans for Trillium grant funds (Tim Kelly, Hamilton Spectator)
The Halton Poverty Roundtable has received a $225,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to hire a manager of community development to “really drive the poverty roundtable’s initiatives,” according to HPRT co-chair June Cockwell.–halton-poverty-group-has-plans-for-trillium-grant-funds


Foreign-Trained Immigrants Less Likely to Work in Regulated Occupations (
Foreign-educated immigrants with fields of study that typically lead to regulated professions were less likely to work in these professions in 2006 compared to the Canadian-born, according to the 2010 Statistics Canada study “Immigrants working in regulated occupations.”


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

Toronto Street Food Consumer Survey Results (Suresh Doss, Spotlight Toronto)
During one Food Truck Eats and the Tasty Thursday events last year, The Street Food Vendors Association conducted a survey where they asked consumers to offer their thoughts on street food in Toronto. Street food has been a hot topic in Toronto for the last eight months. Because of the city’s bureacracy and an archaic set of rules (a moratorium placed by council in November of 2002), new street food vendors (trucks or carts) are not allowed to operate in public spaces within Toronto’s downtown core (Wards 20, 27, and 28). So, all the existing food trucks (currently about a dozen active trucks) operate with the assistance of BIAs, owners of private spaces, and event organizations. The Food Truck Eats events that I have organised are designed to create awareness and to showcase the desire for more street food options in Toronto.


Video – Five Good Ideas: Campaigning for Social Change (Maytree)
Nonprofit organizations facilitate social change through education, outreach, advocacy and mobilizing. How do we engage more people in this process? How do we create effective messages that help shift public opinion and policy? What obstacles lie in our way? And what role does our aging democratic structure play? This session addressed these and other questions as Dave Meslin shared his views and ideas about successful campaigning.

Relief for far-flung and busy non-profit boards (Adam Gorley, First Reference Talks)
Under the recently enacted Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, directors and board members can pass resolutions without holding actual meetings. Many organizations will likely find this measure convenient, particularly where members are often unavailable for meetings due to time and distance.

Social Finance Round Up: Looking for Leaders in Impact Investing (Trish Nixon,
The weekly round up is back! produces a round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the weeks of January 16 and January 24 (since was down last Monday, this Round Up includes news items from last week).

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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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