Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 31, 2012


Five things you should read from the week of January 23rd (Maytree)
A round up of interesting reads from the previous week on immigration, diversity, refugees, nonprofits and employment-related news.

Immigration and retirement (The Chronicle Journal)
The Harper government has concluded that the initial and ongoing costs of an immigration system that is tied closer to humanitarian goals than economic ones are too high. Instead, it wants to target skilled immigrants who can speak English or French and whose credentials are acceptable to Canadian professional and labour organizations. The idea is to pay the way of existing retirees and ensure the growing rate of retirement is self-sufficient. The balance between welcome and necessity will be difficult, but is attainable.

Canadian values in spotlight after Afghan immigrant “honor killings” (Reuters)
The “honor killing” of three teenaged Canadian girls by members of their own family has prompted soul-searching in pro-immigration Canada, as it protects minority religious freedoms and upholds its liberal laws.

Turning Point (CBC Toronto)
Our townhall at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on March 29, 2010 aimed to create mutual understanding and awareness of family violence issues in the G.T.A’s South Asian communities and break down cultural stereotypes perpetuated by recent high-profile murders of South Asian women in our community. Find out more about the Turning Point townhall and tell us your story.

The Dual Citizen: Loyal or Treacherous? (Natalie Brender, The Mark)
The truest sense of citizenship lies in service to the country, not an absence of formal ties to other nations.

Canada’s unwanted list (Lorne Waldman, The Lawyer’s Weekly)
The publication of a list of persons convicted in Canada and who are being sought for removal has not produced the same criticism. After all, these people have been given due process in Canada, were found guilty of serious offences and have failed to comply with their obligations under the immigration laws. However, the recent addition of persons who have been convicted or committed offences outside of Canada does raise some concerns. Not all countries provide for the same due process as Canada, so that a conviction in some countries is not necessarily an indication of guilt. Moreover, by including on the list persons who have been found inadmissible for having committed crimes, the government is again confounding a finding of inadmissibility with its low burden of proof with a finding of guilt in a criminal proceeding.

Shafia trial revealed some nasty realities about multiculturalism (Luisa D’Amato, The Record)
In Canada, we pride ourselves on the warm welcome we give immigrants. We have a deeply idealistic view of a multicultural society in which everyone gets along, respectful of everyone else’s traditions. We encourage immigrants to keep the customs of their home countries. We’ve even spent public money on “heritage” language classes for children whose parents want them to learn the German, Urdu or Korean that they grew up speaking. Canadians have never demanded of their immigrants, as the United States has, that they leave their former country completely behind. We’re not that harsh, we say. But now look at the time bomb we have made.–shafia-trial-revealed-some-nasty-realities-about-multiculturalism

Muslim community grapples with Shafia verdict (CBC)
Leaders in Canada’s Islamic community are saying the Shafia quadruple-murder trial was fundamentally about domestic violence rather than so-called honour killings, a day after a Kingston, Ont., jury convicted all three of the accused in the case. “The jurors and the court have done their job. Our job as community leaders and members of society is that we have to be very clear about our position on domestic violence and such crimes,” said Imam Sikander Hashmi, with the Islamic Society of Kingston. “We need to speak very strongly, and we need to take concrete action.”

Shafia Trial Archive (CBC Metro Morning)
The first-degree murder trial of Hamed Shafia, Tooba Yahya and Mohammad Shafia started in Kingston, Ont. in October. They were convicted Sunday, January 29th, of first-degree murder in the deaths of Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti Shafia, 13, along with Rona Mohammad Amir, 50. The four dead women were found in the family’s Nissan, submerged in a lock on the Rideau Canal on June 30, 2009. has produced an timeline of news stories, an archive of evidence, and a profile of key players in addition to the most recent news coverage.

A view to the future from Pier 2 (Rocco Rossi, Globe and Mail)
He was dressed in his best slacks and blazer with a crisp, white shirt and tie. In his pocket were his passport and immigration papers. The sun was shining, and Gaetano Rossi was arriving at Halifax’s Pier 21. The date was July 28, 2001, and my uncle was in Halifax for the first time since he arrived at Pier 21 on July 28, 1951, aboard the Saturnia. We had planned this trip for several months, but he had thought about it for years. With him were his brother (my father), who had followed him from Italy in 1958, and his son, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, grandson and nephew (me) who were all born in his adopted country. We were there to celebrate his 50-year anniversary in Canada.

New rules to open border to skilled trades (Robert Hiltz, Postmedia News)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says changes are coming to Canada’s immigration system to make it more flexible in an effort to combat labour shortages. Kenney told CTV’s Question Period that the government is planning to change the points system for selecting immigrants to recognize the skilled trades. This policy change would alter the focus of the traditional immigration preference away from university-educated migrants including engineers and doctors.

Meet the real housewives of Lorne Park (Raju Mudhar, Toronto Star)
It has all the hallmarks of the hit Real Housewives reality TV franchise: a group of well-to-do women living in a tony area dealing with the drama of their multi-faceted lives. What makes Housewives of Lorne Park different are its Mississauga setting and the South Asian background of most of the women involved. Airing on Rogers Peel Community TV, the six-part half-hour series was the brainchild of Alka Dhir, one of the stars and producers of the show. She pitched Rogers on the idea four years ago, but the station didn’t get in touch with her until this past summer.–meet-the-real-housewives-of-lorne-park


John Stapleton – What Am I Skating Towards? Addressing Public Scarcity and Private Wealth (Al Etmanski)
I want to conduct ‘thought experiments’ concerning where Canada is heading as a nation as we race to create greater inequality through increased public scarcity and private wealth. What does this look like? The area I know best is our income security programs so I start there.

Stephen Harper’s long overdue talk about Canada’s pension crisis (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
At last, the hidden agenda, and not a moment too soon. Vague, indirect and overseas as it was, Stephen Harper’s Davos speech was perilously close to a vision statement, of a kind the prime minister has seldom made until now, and will henceforth have to make often. It would be nice if he had shared with us his concerns about the ageing of the population, and the threat it poses to our long-run social and economic health, sometime before the last election, rather than joining in the all-party consensus that there was nothing wrong with Canada that could not be fixed with more and richer promises to the elderly.

Low Income and the Age of Eligibility for OAS (Andrew Jackson, Behind the Numbers)
To reprise a now topical earlier blog, hiking the age of eligibility for OAS will have the biggest impact by far on future seniors who are in low income. Many if not most of this group are unable to work due to disability or ill health. If the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS is raised, low income seniors on social assistance will see the transition from deep poverty to a bare bones income on GIS postponed accordingly. And those working but in low income will lose a hefty portion of the OAS/GIS benefits that would otherwise have been paid to them. It is all too often forgotten that, notwithstanding rising longevity, many of those in lower income groups still die relatively young.

Webinar Series: Preparing for the Options Paper (Now available online) (Settlement AtWork)
As many of you know, the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) held their first webinar yesterday in preparation for the release of the Social Assistance Review Commission’s upcoming Options Paper. The webinar is now available for viewing online on ISAC’s social assistance review website.

B.C.’s income gap the second worst in Canada, new report says (Ethan Baron, The Province)
British Columbia has the second-worst income inequality in Canada, and the provincial government’s fiscal and tax policies are aggravating the problem, says a new report from BC Stats. The remarkable missive from the provincial data-crunching agency points to the Occupy protests across the country as an indication that Canadians object to the size of the growing income gap.


Looming worker shortage spurs discussion on skilled immigrants (Rachel Stern, Nanaimo News Bulletin)
Attracting immigrants to fill impending labour shortages is an important component to ensure continued economic growth for the province. An estimated one million job openings are forecast over the next decade and about one-third are expected to be filled by immigrants. To ensure the province has systems in place to attract and retain skilled workers, Premier Christy Clark created the B.C. Immigration Task Force to review government programs and gather feedback from communities.


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

“Exceeded Authority” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the Mayor cancelling Transit City, with Toronto city councillor Joe Mihevc.

Council Scorecard: Did council ever vote on Transit City? Yes, at least seven times (For for Toronto)
The sad thing is that a legal opinion really wasn’t needed. Anyone with the ability to read sentences would come to the same conclusion that the lawyers did. The Memorandum of Understanding that set the new direction for transit in Toronto, as signed by the mayor and Metrolinx last March, was explicitly a non-binding agreement designed to “provide a framework for the negotiation of agreements to be approved by [the mayor and Metrolinx’s] governing bodies.” In the mayor’s case, that governing body is council.


Can microcredit work in Canada? (Craig and Marc Kielburger, Globe and Mail)
Your work focuses a lot on helping people in other countries develop their own source of income. But in rich countries like Canada, millions depend on welfare income and still live in poverty. How do we apply those overseas models here?

The Changing Returns to Education in Canada and its Provinces: 1971-2006 (Kevin Stolarick, Martin Prosperity Institute)
The landscape of education, the individual returns to education, and the wage benefits associated with the attainment of improved educational levels has been changing across Canada for the past several decades. While some of these changes have been noted in previous work, a complete picture covering the 35 year period of 1971 to 2006 has not been considered nor have variations across the provincial regions of Canada been considered. This paper also investigates possible variation by occupational and industry groups. It presents a descriptive look at the returns from education across Canada and how they have changed over time. It shows that the returns to education have been changing over time but are complicated by a variety of factors. While the simplicity of “more is better” is appealing, when it comes to educational attainment the results show a much more complex series of

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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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