Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 26, 2012


The Inclusive Nonprofit Boardroom: Leveraging the Transformative Potential of Diversity (Patricia Bradshaw, Phd, And Christopher Fredette, Phd, The Nonprofit Quarterly)
Diversity abounds in our communities and organizations, and our understanding of what constitutes diversity continues to grow as patterns of difference shift, yet in many cases we, and our organizations, struggle to keep pace with societal trends. While diversity has many aspects, including individual differences along dimensions such as education or training, personality or style, this article focuses primarily on diversity based on dimensions such as culture, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, and gender. We are looking at a particular context in which such diversity is a concern for many nonprofits, and that context is the boardroom.

Ottawa moves to tighten provincial immigration program (Anna Mehler Paperny, Globe and Mail)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is setting out more stringent standards for the way provinces pick immigrants, even as he lauds the strategy as a success and economic boon. The Provincial Nominee Program, which allows provinces to select their own quota of immigrants based on local economic needs, has received plaudits for turning Prairie provinces into migrant magnets.

Canadian student visa rules relaxed (Derek Sankey, Calgary Herald)
Recent changes to limited student visas for foreign masters and PhD students now allow them to find work in their respective fields while completing their postgraduate degrees – a change that some companies are using as a recruitment tool – eliminating restrictions on working off campus in their chosen professions. Foreign post-grad students such as PhDs typically receive about three or four years of funding, although it can take longer before they defend their thesis and complete their degrees. Many return home to find work while writing their theses before coming back to Canada to defend them and complete their education.

Milton Wong encouraged British to reaffirm their contribution to Canada (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
French-Canadians do it. Native Indians do it. Sikhs and Chinese do it. Virtually every ethnic minority in Canada tries to strengthen its heritage. And with good reason, says Vancouver businessman Milton Wong, chair of the Vanier Institute, which promotes multiculturalism. You have to know where you come from to go ahead. Identity is very important, he says. Heritage is really important for people who are oppressed, whether youre Chinese or Jewish If youve got a strong heritage, you can survive anything.

Simple measures build bridges between cultures (Dana Wensley, Guelph Mercury)
As difficult as it is for children to move country, the younger this is done the better. A recent study led by Miles Corak at the University of Ottawa warns that after the age of nine, it becomes harder for immigrant children to achieve. Other studies I have read suggest that between three and seven years children learn differences in physical characteristics (such as skin colour), and develop an awareness of racially defined groups. While school boards have risen to the challenge, implementing policies to encourage diversity and eliminate racial bullying, parental attitudes will be a driving factor in childrens views of newcomers. Parents strive at political correctness (how often have I heard it said I never notice a persons colour/ ethnicity) but it can confuse children to blur the line between not discriminating and not noticing.–simple-measures-build-bridges-between-cultures

Saving Canadian Hockey: As Registrations Fall Officials Work To Attract Visible Minorities (Bob Dawson, Boxscore)
Its noteworthy that while the registration for males since 1999-2000 has fluctuated, the number of registered females has steadily increased. This increase among female players has helped offset the decline of males in a number of hockey associations across Canada. More intriguing, while Hockey Canada doesnt keep race-based statistics, many involved with the sport feel the number of non-white players is low and is also dwindling. With the current downward spiral in hockey enrollment, there are concerns among Hockey Canada and local association officials that in the next 10 years there could be 200,000 fewer kids playing the sport in Canada. Such a situation would not bode well for the game’s future.

On hillbillies, busybodies and free speech (Chris Selley, National Post)
Inclusivity mavens have a habit of saying very odd, overreaching things in denouncing words and actions of which they disapprove. Evelyn Myrie, who is executive director of the Centre for Civic Inclusion in Hamilton, Ont., provides us with a classic of the genre in todays Spectator: He has the right to sell his goods but doesnt have the right to trash other foods that are culturally driven. The he in that sentence is one Cameron Bailey, proprietor of Hillbilly Heaven, a local barbecue joint. The issue here is some attempts at institutional humour Mr. Bailey has displayed around his store. On a list of things we DONT HAVE and never will, we find ethnic items such as halal, shawarma, kabob and Mexican, along with ethnic-to-other-people items such as fries, wings, 1/4 chicken and burgers.

U of Ts anti-racism office bans comedy poster (Michael Posner, Globe and Mail)
Designed to build inter-racial bridges and shatter cultural stereotypes, The Black-Jew Dialogues is a comedy show that has successfully toured college campuses in the U. S. and U.K. for six years. To help promote it, American comedians Ron Jones and Larry Jay Tish appear in advertising materials in politically incorrect poses: Mr. Tish, who is white, sports a luxuriant black afro, while Mr. Jones, who is black, wears a white yarmulke, adorned with a menorah. Until they arrived in Toronto this week for performances Tuesday at Ryerson University and Wednesday at the University of Toronto the logo had only once before offended anyones cultural sensitivities.

Quinte United Immigrant Services and TV Cogeco present Breaking Barriers (Settlement AtWork)
A six part television series will air on TV COGECO on January 27 at 7h00 PM. The first part relates to Quinte United Immigrant Services work with immigrants in the Quinte region. This project is a result of a partnership between QUIS and TV COGECO, taking six months of filming and development.

Dressing, driving and dining in style: Canadas luxury sector is buzzing along (Suzanne Wintrob, National Post)
David Andrews, director of investment management and research at Richardson GMP, attributes Canadas luxury uptake to two things: immigration and the economy. Many people particularly from Southeast Asia and Europe are arriving on Canadas doorstep looking for new opportunities and have the financial means to buy what they want. And with Canadas economy weathering the downturn far better than the United States, Europe and Japan, retailers have become the big winners. From a luxury-goods perspective, American and European retailers who wouldnt usually take a second look at Canada because historically it was always viewed as a small, fragmented, multilingual market are now looking twice at it because consumers in Canada are actually spending and doing well and feeling more confident about the domestic economy, Mr. Andrews says.

Highlighting diversity of black dancers is the goal of Toronto event (Paula Citron, Globe and Mail)
As members of the International Association of Blacks in Dance would tell you, blacks in dance and black dance are two very different concepts. What is white dance? No one has ever been asked to define that term, says Patrick Parson, artistic director of Torontos Ballet Creole and an IABD member. There is no black dance per se. Rather, there are blacks in dance working in many different styles and genres. For only the second time in the organizations history, the annual IABD conference and festival is being held outside the United States in Toronto. The city hosted the event in 2007, and is the host city again, under the auspices of Dance Immersion, the blacks in dance advocacy group founded by Vivine Scarlett in 1995.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Widget (CIC)
CIC provides multiple ways to access its content: the website, e-mail subscription, RSS feeds, and a mobile site. Our newest medium is the downloadable Whats New at CIC widget which offers easy access to tools and popular information, along with the news feed. A Widget is an application that displays featured content directly on your web page. You can embed the widget on your own Website, a blog, or a social media page. Once you’ve added the Widget, live content from the Department will be sent to the Widget automatically. With a Widget you will have the latest Citizenship and Immigration Canada information automatically delivered right to your page!

Canada extradites phoney rabbi accused in massive immigration fraud mill (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
A former New York lawyer who was posing as an orthodox rabbi in Toronto has been extradited to the United States, where he is accused of perpetrating a massive immigration fraud, raking in millions of dollars by processing up to 25,000 falsified immigration applications. Earl Seth David, also known as Rabbi Avraham David, is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, and fled to Canada when authorities uncovered what prosecutors called a massive immigration fraud mill.

Op-Ed: Canada, wake up on immigration issue! (Michael Werbowski, Digital Journal)
Immigration is not just a social, economic issue. It has becomes in the post 9-11 world fixated with the “war on terror” also an issue of domestic security. Who gets into Canada, and on what basis is not only a concern for immigration officials, and law enforcement authorities and diplomats who screen them abroad; it should also be a matter of the utmost importance to the government as well. But regretfully, the politicians much too obsessed with currying and cow- towing to the “immigration vote” in their constituency, don’t ever dream of even broaching the issue. It’s too politically incorrect. But the longer the issue is swept conveniently under the rug, the more dysfunctional the immigration system and judicial will become, and the more you’ll hear about crooks, fraudsters, fugitives from justice in their country of origin, and other undesirables coming to Canada to take advantage of “our generosity”, in your local media.


Inteview: Philippe Falardeau (Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Toronto)
The film focuses on the relationship between Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian refugee with a tragic past, and his classroom full of traumatized kids whose previous teacher committed suicide. It sidesteps the typical clichés that dog such projects. Yes, there are unavoidably cute kids, but Falardeau, whos already proven he can work well with children, cast the best actors possible instead of the ones who make an audience go, Awww. He also sought a unique tone that distinguishes his project from other influential classroom films like The Class, Half Nelson or Au Revoir Les Enfants. As much as Monsieur Lazhar is about the school system, its also about how we deal with immigrants.

Senate informed: Three trade exhibitors sought asylum in Canada in 2009 (The Tribune)
Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim informed the Senate on Wednesday that three members of a trade delegation did in fact apply to the Canadian government for refugee status in 2009. No complaint was received regarding any such incident during the past two years, however, in 2009 three representatives of two exhibitor companies of a single country exhibition held in Canada (July 8-12, 2009), organised by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), applied to the Canadian government for refugee status, Fahim said in a written reply.

Writing Opportunities (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
UNHCR’s Policy Development and Evaluation Service (PDES) is now accepting contributions to its working paper series, “New Issues in Refugee Research.” In addition, several journals have issued calls for papers.


BCCPD Multilingual Resources (PovNet)
The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities now have some of their most requested publications on self-help, CPP, disability benefits, and health available in Traditional Chinese and Punjabi.


Stop the $6 million cut to Employment Standards enforcement. Stop wage theft. (Workers’ Action Centre)
Despite the fact that workplace violations are at a crisis, the government wants to cut $6 million out of Employment Standards enforcement.

Oaxacas government and UFCW Canada sign agreement to protect Mexican migrant workers in Canada (UFCW)
Migrant workers from the Mexican state of Oaxaca traveling to Canada will receive better protection this 2012 season after the signing of an agreement between the Instituto Oaxaqueno de Atencion a Migrantes (IOAM) and UFCW Canada. On January 16, Wayne Hanley, National President of UFCW Canada, and Rufino Dominguez, Director of the IOAM signed a co-operation agreement to protect and assist Oaxacan migrants working temporarily in Canada. The agreement addresses issues of human rights, labor rights and social security, proposing a framework for transnational cooperation.

New ways to connect with immigrant talent (
Looking for new sources of highly skilled, job-ready talent with global experience? What if we told you how to quickly and easily connect with immigrant engineers, lawyers, architects, IT professionals, doctors, accountants and others? In Ontario alone, there are over 70 networks representing these highly skilled professionals. Scotiabank is gaining a competitive edge by working with these networks. In this video, Deanna Matzanke, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Scotiabank, offers three ways to connect with, and benefit from, this untapped talent pool.

Multicultural Leadership Starts from Within (Jevan Soo, Harvard Business Review)
The world is getting smaller. As new technologies in social media, transportation, and telecommunications bring us closer together, it’s more critical than ever for organizations to recruit, develop, and retain multicultural leaders who can skillfully navigate both the opportunities and challenges of a more connected world. Multicultural leadership involves deep immersion within different cultures to understand their values and specific context. This immersion unlocks insight into how to best reach customers, inspire employees, and drive organizational performance in geographies outside one’s “home base.” Only through knowing other cultures deeply can a manager effectively connect the dots between them and highlight meaningful differences between cultures that impact business strategy.


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

At the heart of great cities are ideas that matter (Mary Ambrose, Globe and Mail)
Toronto and New York have similar problems and if Canadian Mary Rowe has her way, one day they will be sharing solutions. In her new role as vice-president of strategy and partnerships for the Municipal Art Society in New York, when Ms. Rowe is in meetings discussing the citys challenges she often feels she easily could be in a Toronto boardroom.

Ideas to make Toronto better? Lets steal some (Leslie Ferenc, Toronto Star)
Drive-free zones that make cities more pedestrian- and cycling-friendly. Tax-free income for artists, to help nurture art and culture. A national, universal, affordable, quality childcare program. Theyre tried and tested ideas that work in other countries and theyll be part of the brain-storming at Steal This Idea, a public forum looking at innovative policies and programs that have been successful in other cities and could make Toronto the Good, better. Thursdays sold-out event, organized by Diaspora Dialogues and Literary Review of Canada and held at the Toronto Reference Library, aims to create a buzz about whats working in Toronto and whats not, said Helen Walsh, president of the Dialogues and publisher of the Review.


Federal non-profit resources (Adam Gorley, First Reference Talks)
With the passing of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (and all that entails), law firm Drache Aptowitzer has introduced a website dedicated to the Act. At, you will find information that will help you review your options and decide the appropriate course of action for your organization. Look under Firm Articles for recent discussions such as New Beginnings. The Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act and Top Ten Things You Should Know About the New Federal Law.

Awards recognize social enterprises (InsideToronto)
A recent awards ceremony recognized the people and organizations in Toronto that are changing the way people think about solving the mental health inequity problem. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Social Enterpreneurism in Mental Health (SEMH) working group, in collaboration with MaRS Social Innovation Generation and Ashoka Canada hosted a celebration and awards ceremony for Toronto social enterprises that are making inroads in mental health equity.–awards-recognize-social-enterprises

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. Section 127 of the Act says that a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization can conduct any of the following business, with the signatures of all directors on a resolution.


Upcoming play brings attention to sex trafficking (Kristy Wallace, Your Ottawa Region)
When Natalie Fraser-Purdy first read the script for The Walk, a production about global sex trafficking, it brought out strong emotions in her. I was mad. That was my first impulse, said Fraser-Purdy, whos the shows director. Within the first five minutes I was crying, and feeling sick to my stomach. I could barely look at the material.–upcoming-play-brings-attention-to-sex-trafficking

Man charged with pimping underage girls, human trafficking (The Province)
A man is facing 18 criminal charges related to allegedly living off the avails of four underage prostitutes. Reza Moazami appeared by video in B.C. Provincial Court in Vancouver Wednesday. It is alleged that between February 2009 and October 2011 Moazami committed a variety of offences involving the four people under the age of 18.

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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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