Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 5, 2012


Honouring Milton Wong | I Have an Idea for a Magazine (Alden E. Habacon, Schema Magazine)
All the major English and Chinese media outlets in Canada have highlighted the loss of Milton as a great business leader and philanthropist. They applauded his enormous impact on the world: his championing of multiculturalism, social justice, sustainability, the arts and compassion for people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. They mentioned his success as an entrepreneur and angel investor. They all failed, however, to mention Milton’s immeasurable impact on the world of ideas, his impact on British Columbia’s biggest thinkers.

Weight of immigration: Canadian dream and reality (Bala S. Sinnathamby, Canadian Immigrant)
I volunteered for the first time in Canada at the job fair. My first Canadian experience! At least, the certificate that I carry in the folder says I have Canadian work experience, and that $5 gift certificate is in one way my first form of earnings in Canada — after all, it has its own monetary value and purchasing power. But what did that opportunity cost me? My entire lifetime savings that I expatriated to Canada have virtually been depleted. And, after seven months and three weeks, I have drawn a blank … nothing but a blank. My dreams and expectations are now haunting me. It’s reality — nothing but harsh reality that has made my heart heavy. I wonder how long this feeling will last?

Canadians are leaders in cultural intelligence (Marian Scott, The Gazette)
First there was IQ – intelligence quotient. Then there was EQ – emotional intelligence (the ability to monitor and be guided by one’s own and others’ emotions). Now there’s a new kind of intelligence that is increasingly indispensable in today’s global village. CQ – cultural intelligence – is a must-have skill, not just for foreign diplomats but also for businesspeople, publicsector workers, military personnel and just about everyone in multicultural societies. And Canadians score more highly in it than people in the United States, United Kingdom and France, according to a recent study.

Mom says Saudis blocking return of kids to Canada (Katherine Wilton, The Gazette)
Nathalie Morin has been trying for six years to persuade her husband to let her leave Saudi Arabia and return to Quebec with her three children. Her husband, Said Al Bishi, finally agreed in November to allow Morin and the children to return to Canada after the Canadian government issued him a temporary visa so he could accompany them, Morin claims. But the 27-year-old Quebec woman now says she has run up against another obstacle that is preventing her from returning home. She claims the Saudi government has refused to issue passports to the three children, age 3, 5 and 9.

Is Canada moving to the right? (Al Jazeera)
Since taking power in 2006, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been slowly moving the country to the political right. What was once known as a liberal-leaning country is now changing its policies on issues like immigration, gun laws, foreign policy, abortion and the environment. In this episode of The Stream, we talk to Peter Van Praagh, President of the Halifax International Security Forum; Scott Stinson, a journalist with Canada’s National Post; and Haroon Siddiqui, a columnist for the Toronto Star.

Terror suspect’s son declared ‘dangerous to public of Canada,’ ordered deported (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
The son of Egyptian terror suspect Mahmoud Jaballah has been declared a “danger to the public of Canada” after his gangster lifestyle drew 16 criminal convictions here, including armed robbery, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of heroin. The man’s father has been fighting for a decade to remain free after being arrested on a rare national security certificate but the son has not had such success — Al-Muzir Es-Sayyid was ordered deported to Egypt “as soon as it is realistically feasible” after acrimonious court battles, although he has filed two fresh appeals and remains in detention in Toronto.

Customs stamps on iPad passport claim (Sydney Morning Herald)
US customs now deny letting a Canadian man through on the strength of a scanned passport image on his iPad – but the traveller is sticking to his guns and says they did. An Australian travel expert says border security needs to get with the times and take advantage of new technology to make travelling more seamless.

Options abound for next Sask. lieutenant-governor (Joe Couture, The Starphoenix)
“They tend to be high-profile people,” said Joe Garcea, head of the political science department at the University of Saskatchewan. “They’ve devoted a considerable part of their life to public service of some sort.” Even with political backgrounds, lieutenant-governors tend to be respected across partisan lines, Garcea continued. In recent decades, appointments of women and visible minorities to ensure representation in lieutenant-governor offices across Canada have been notable, he said.

Minister Kenney issues statement congratulating filmmakers (Canada News Centre)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, issued the following statement congratulating the success of the film Breakaway.

Know someone who promotes multiculturalism? (Victoria Rose, OurWindsor)
Do you know a person or organization who has made our community a better place by promoting multiculturalism? The Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County is currently accepting nominations for the Herb Gray Harmony Award, an award that honours those who make an effort to promote the respect of multiple cultures in our society. According to the MCC website: “Windsor has the fourth largest immigrant population in Canada…and is increasingly becoming more diverse as the newcomer population grows. The award recognizes individuals, businesses and/or organizations that go beyond the every-day norm of their business, responsibilities, mission and vision.”

There’s still reason for hope in 2012 (Debora Kelly,
I’m disturbed by the story of Seun Oyinsan and Rita Brown, an interracial couple who planned to flee their Newmarket home after several incidents of racially motivated vandalism. As news of their plight spread, other black residents came forward with similar accounts. It’s a shocking reminder racism not only exists but thrives here, even though it typically hides behind a facade of civility. When expressed publicly, it’s most often through graffiti, done by ignorant cowards in the dark of the night, in all of our communities. In 2010, 106 hate crimes were reported to police — the biggest increase in five years. We can’t allow these incidents to define us — the reality is our communities, while being among the most diverse in Canada, are also the safest and most harmonious. Most of us are caring, tolerant citizens. It is my hope in 2012 we continue to value our differences — of all types, not only race — and recognize the contributions to our society and economy that diversity brings.–there-s-still-reason-for-hope-in-2012

Rana Sarkar helping build strong platform in vibrant Indo-Canada corridor (Sunil Rao, South Asian Focus)
Meet Rana Sarkar, currently President and Executive Director of the influential Canada-India Business Council. In the three years he’s headed up the C-IBC, it has grown four times as large, with branches in Vancover and Montreal. It has also struck up interesting correlationships with similar institutions in India, with tendrils also reaching out to the Middle East. “We’ve created a real platform where Corporate Canada can engage, effectively and profitably, with Corporate India,” he says.

Toronto Police’s media co-ordinator recognized with annual award (Globe and Mail)
In a tip of the hat to the Toronto Police Service’s efforts to communicate with a city that is now almost half non-white, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada has given its annual award to corporate communications media relations co-ordinator George Christopoulos. The award was presented by federal Liberal Party leader Bob Rae at the council’s dinner Dec. 16, attended by dozens of police officers and reporters, and was in recognition of Mr. Christopoulos’s work in building and maintaining bridges between Toronto’s ethnic communities and the police, roughly 20 per cent of whom belong to visible minorities.

A very British Canada (J.L. Granatstein, The Ottawa Citizen)
At the same time, Jason Kenney, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, will be dispatched to Britain to recruit immigrants. The government expects tens of thousands to flee the coming collapse of the U.K. economy, Scottish independence, and the death of the Celtic tiger. These new Canadians will speak English (after a fashion), understand our Constitution at least as well as the native born, and will integrate readily. And it’s not just the hijab: immigrants from other parts of the world will no longer be allowed to cross their fingers behind their backs when swearing allegiance to the Queen.


Tough measures won’t stop refugees, Canada told (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Mandatory detention and delayed family reunification won’t deter refugees from arriving en masse at borders, say Australian advocacy groups opposed to Ottawa’s anti-human smuggling bill. The coalition of Australia’s leading refugee organizations hope Canada will learn from their experience and reconsider Bill C-4, which is based on the Australian model and currently before Parliament. “A policy of mandatory detention will be a financial and humanitarian disaster for Canada,” the coalition said in a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.–tough-measures-won-t-stop-refugees-canada-told?bn=1
Text of letter (PDF) –

A study in firsts (Sean Kolenko, North Shore Outlook)
Liberal Senator and Blueridge resident Mobina Jaffer counts herself amongst the “luckiest refugees in the world.” Not the most common of classifications, she admits, as those forced to flee their native countries are not always considered as such. But as she approaches the 40th anniversary of her family’s exodus from their native Uganda, Jaffer smiles when she thinks about what she’s enjoyed in her years in Canada — not what she’s missed because she had to leave home.

Tabaj family relishes return to Canada (Cynthia Reason, Inside Toronto)
Back in 2000, Arjan alleges he was the victim of an assassination attempt in Tirana, Albania that killed his best friend and brother-in-law, and cost him his left leg (he now wears a prosthetic limb) and the use of his left arm. Those responsible for the automatic weapon attack on the pro-democracy van he was riding in that day, he said, are still at large and therefore still a threat, which is why he and the family fled to Canada. But the Tabaj’s immigration case is a complicated one because the family abandoned a previous refugee claim filed in 1998 – the first time they fled to Canada. After only two years here and feeling it was safe to do so, the family returned to Albania in 2000 with Albanian-born Maria, only to have Arjan’s life threatened by the assassins. When they came back to Canada shortly thereafter using fake passports, they were told they couldn’t stay – a ruling they fought against for nine years, right up until their deportation on June 8, 2009.–tabaj-family-relishes-return-to-canada

A taste of tolerance (Cory Ruf, United Church Observer)
An array of Roma social groups are sprouting up in Hamilton, reflecting the community’s ongoing integration into Canadian society. The Czechs hold an annual Miss Roma beauty pageant at a local banquet hall. Lukacs coaches the FC Bohemians, a soccer team that started out as an all-Roma outfit and has expanded to include non-Roma players. And members of the Hamilton Gypsy Church plan to minister to people outside the Czech Roma community. For many Canadians, these developments may seem unremarkable. For the Roma, they represent a taste of freedom that’s nothing short of revelatory. Marcela Kohutova, a Czech Roma woman who attends the Hamilton Gypsy Church, extols life in Canada: “You can go out, you can talk to people, we can go to the restaurant, sit there, eat.” Mitac echoes this opinion: “It’s like normal here. People like people. Everybody’s the same. Nobody is saying, ‘You’re black, you’re white, you’re yellow.’ It’s feeling like home.”

Refugee mother can stay in Canada, for now (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
A failed refugee claimant from Colombia caught in a custody fight with her baby’s Canadian father has been granted a reprieve to remain in Canada — for now.–refugee-mother-can-stay-in-canada-for-now

2012 Graduate Student Essay Contest, Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS), York University, Toronto (Refugee Research Network)
The Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (CARFMS) seeks tofoster an independent community of scholars dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of Canadian refugee and forced migration research. The Association aims to engage graduate students as active members of the Canadian refugee research community, and invites graduate students to participate in the third annual CARFMS Graduate Student Essay Contest.The CARFMS Graduate Student Essay Contest will recognize the most outstanding research produced by graduate students in the field of refugee and forced migration studies. The authors of the shortlisted papers will be invited to present their work at the 5th Annual CARFMS Conference, which will take place from May 16th to 18th, 2012 at York University in Toronto, Ontario.Papers submitted to the Graduate Student Essay Contest may address any issue relevant to refugee and forced migration studies, in Canada or elsewhere.The selection committee will shortlist three authors, and will award a prize of $250 for the best essay. In cooperation with the Refugee Research Network, CARFMS will provide funding to contribute to the costs of shortlisted authors’ travel to the 2012 Annual CARFMS Conference in Toronto. Subject to peer review, high quality short-listed papers will be considered for publication as working papers on the CARFMS website.

UNHCR Statistical Yearbook (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Figures for UNHCR’s populations of concern during 2010 are now available in the latest Statistical Yearbook: Trends in Displacement, Protection and Solutions. This 10th edition presents 10 years of statistics.

Centre for Refugee Studies 2012 Summer Course (Centre for Refugee Studies)
The Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues is an internationally acclaimed seven-day (May 6-12, 2012) non-credit course for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration. It serves as a hub for researchers, students, practitioners, service providers and policy makers to share information and ideas. The Summer Course is housed within the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University.


“Let Them Eat McDonald’s” | Poverty and the Fast Food Myth (Gayatri Bajpai, Schema Magazine)
According to author Meredith Melnick, research shows there’s a cliff of a bell curve to income vs. fast food consumption. It rises with earnings up to about 60,000 dollars annually, and then drops beyond that level as families are able to dine at ‘slow-food’, sit-down places. Fast food is not, then, the main culprit to blame when it comes to the problem of obesity among poor people. It’s beyond the scope of this article to settle on what exactly is responsible for the (American) epidemic. But it hints that convenience stores could be to blame.

Caledon Institute Provincial Policy Monitor: December 2011 (Vibrant Communities)
The Caledon Institute of Social Policy regularly scans provincial and territorial government websites in order to follow policy developments related to our core work and interests. These include: Disabilities, Education, Health, Housing, Income security, Poverty Reduction, Recreation, Seniors and Youth. Attached is the summary of policy development for December 2011.


How can immigrants get their place in Canadian media (Gerard Keledjian, The Immigrant)
As most Canadian immigrants, internationally trained media professionals and journalists immigrating to Canada don’t find a rosy picture awaiting them in terms of career opportunities here. But unlike most others, they encounter a few additional bumps on the road they have to overcome. One of those is the much closed nature of the industry. This lets the very few jobs created get filled with either internal hires or through personal connections, sometimes even before being advertised. Thus, there is a need to access this “hidden job market” with a long-term strategy, which will open “windows” when all the “doors” are closed.

Province looking to Ireland for workers (Angela Hall, Leader-Post)
The provincial government is gearing up for a potential job mission to Ireland, where that country’s fragile economy has put many people out of work. Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris said planning for the trip was prompted by employers who expressed an interest in seeking Irish workers willing to move to Saskatchewan

DelaIsla: Rethinking the North American work force (Jose de la Isla, Hispanic Link News Service)
Canadians who leave for the United States are more than twice as likely to hold a university degree as are immigrants to Canada, according to a report from Statistics Canada, quoted by Richard Shillington of Straight Talk. However, going south of the border from Canada doesn’t cause a brain drain.


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

Councillor Milczyn Suggests New Slogan for Toronto (Michelle Rosa, Newstalk 100)
There’s also a recommendation for a bold new city slogan. The official motto for Toronto is “Diversity. Our Strength.” This report was commissioned by city councillor Peter Milczyn. He suggests a new slogan along the lines of “the best big city to raise a family.”

World Wide Wednesday: Ghettos, hospitals and green zoning (Hilary Best, Spacing Toronto)
Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues. Which Canadian cities are seeing the fastest ghettoization? Researchers from Queen’s University, University of Toronto and StatsCan released a working paper in December showing increasing segregation by income in virtually all of the country’s major cities.

Toronto to review ‘vitally important’ vision for future (Patrick White, Globe and Mail)
The first year of this council term was widely panned for its fixation on cutting down the budget rather than building up the city, but one member of Rob Ford’s team is poised to change that, earning accolades from across the acrimonious partisan lines that defined City Hall in 2011. A report commissioned by Councillor Peter Milczyn, member of Mr. Ford’s executive committee and an architect by trade, suggests changes to Toronto’s official plan that would refocus the City Hall’s efforts on planning future growth.

Hopes For 2012 (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dave Meslin. He is a local author and community organizer.


Survey on Financing Social Enterprises and Nonprofits (Olaf Weber,
How are social enterprises and non-profits financed? How do impact investors perceive the risks and benefits of financing social enterprises and non-profits? Funded by Export Development Canada, the EDC Chair in Environmental Finance at the University of Waterloo is conducting a survey to answer these two important questions. This survey will compare the risks and the opportunities of financing social enterprises and non-profits compared with for-profit and public sector organisations.

Ethics Issues and Programs: The Role of the Board (Conference Board of Canada)
This report, which is the first released by The Conference Board since 2004 on the subject of director engagement with ethics issues, documents board efforts to deal with the broadening scope of their ethics responsibilities.

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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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