Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 10, 2012


Courting the Ethnic Vote: What Liberals Can Learn From Rob Ford (Reva Seth, Huffington Post)
With the Liberal biennial convention starting later this week in Ottawa (Jan 12-15), talk about what it will take to get the party back on track is building (well, at least among remaining Liberals). Inevitably, part of this conversation includes the question: “How can we regain ethnic vote?” The so called “ethnic vote” is a catch-all phrase that includes new immigrants as well as Canadians who are “visible minorities” regardless of whether they are first, second, or even later generations.

New federal immigration rules exploited by fraudsters: documents (Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun)
New federal immigration rules passed in 2008 to make the system more streamlined and “responsive” to Canadian economic needs were exploited by Chinese fraudsters, according to newly released internal documents. The Conservative government quickly confirmed that the documents, obtained by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, reflect an ongoing problem that needs to be tackled. An official acknowledged concerns with bogus applications, particularly those relating to the arranged offer of employment (AEO) program.

Violation of religious freedom? (Jessica Hanna, CCLA)
The legislature in New Brunswick (along with PEI and Nova Scotia), still recites the Lords prayer at the beginning of provincial and municipal council meetings. How does this coincide with the separation of church and state? Also, for religions other than Christian, does religious freedom not include the right to not have to sit through the Lords prayer?

Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Adopts a Restorative Justice Approach to Human Rights Disputes (Michael Darcy , CCLA)
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has changed its procedure for resolving human rights disputes. As of January 1, 2012, the NS HRC has adopted a restorative justice approach that emphasizes the need to reconcile the relationship between complainants and respondents,while reducing the time it takes to resolve a dispute (which the commission notes could have taken up to two years before the recent amendments). A hallmark of the NS HRCs new procedure is that most disputes will now be dealt with throughResolution Conferences.

Immigration fraudsters exploit new rules, report says (Peter O’neil, Edmontonjournal.Com)
New federal immigration rules passed in 2008 to make the system more streamlined and responsive to Canadian economic needs were exploited by Chinese fraudsters,according to newly released internal documents. The Conservative government quickly confirmed that the documents, obtained by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, reflect an ongoing problem that needs to be tackled.

Immigration officials admit failure to stop residency fraud (Daniel Proussalidis, London Free Press)
Canadian immigration officials admit their refusal rate for Canadian residency applications at the embassy in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates “should have been higher.” That’s the conclusion of a 2010 quality assessment report unearthed by an Access to Information request provided to QMI Agency.

Mosque attacks must be treated as hate crimes, group says (Tom Spears and Mike Aubry, The Ottawa Citizen)
Attacks on two West Quebec mosques arent a sign of widespread intolerance, but they still must be treated as hate crimes, the president of a Muslim umbrella group says. In a city of one million people, there is always somebody who doesnt like somebody, said Mohammad Zakaria Khan, President of the Muslim Co-ordinating Council of the National Capital Region. Attacks like this happen from time to time, but arent a regular problem, he said Monday in an interview.

Anti-Muslim slurs aimed at 2nd Gatineau mosque (CBC)
A second Gatineau, Que., mosque was the target of anti-Muslim slurs last week just hours after vandalism at another mosque. Hicham Ouhaid, president of the Mosque of Aylmer, said he received an email early last Monday urging Muslims to get out of Canada.

Faith, secularism, and human rights (Sonya Nigam, Canadian Lawyer)
While it is easy to grasp the need for protection of the right to practise ones faith in order to avoid religious persecution, recent events involving religious extremism and reactions to real and perceived or misperceived extremism have highlighted other tensions and challenges that involve the state. In addition, with the recent announcement of the creation of Canadas new Office for Religious Freedom, it seems like an opportune moment to reflect on the connection between faith, secularism, and human rights.

‘Most wanted’ list could raise torture risk, agency warned (CBC)
The Canada Border Services Agency was warned that publishing a “most wanted” list to track down and deport alleged foreign war criminals could instead trigger an immigration rule barring their removal, government documents show.

Tax Planning For Business Immigrants (Lorne Saltman,
When my friend from the private banking division called to refer a new immigration tax client to me and said it was important to make time to see him within 24 hours because he was only here a short time before returning home, I sensed an upcoming formidable challenge.

Touring Muslim youth visit Petrolia (Daniel Punch, The Observer)
A group of young Muslims is out to promote peace, integration and the true nature of their faith.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Canada held an open house at the Petrolia Library Saturday to meet with the public and clear up misconceptions about Islam. The group is visiting cities and towns across the country.

South Surrey student to shed light on immigrants plight (Sarah Massah – Peace Arch News)
A Semiahmoo Secondary student will be venturing to the national capital in order to immerse himself in the world of federal politics, in the hopes of raising awareness about the plight of immigrants. Gary Xie was chosen to attend the Forum for Young Canadians, a youth education program for students between the ages of 15 to 18 years old with a passion for politics.


As deportation nears, Rwandan makes last plea to stay in Canada (Les Perreaux, Globe and Mail)
A man considered one of the architects of the 1994 Rwandan genocide has used up his last appeal 19 years after arriving in Canada. Lawyers for Léon Mugesera and the department of Citizenship and Immigration argued late into the evening Monday over whether the scholar and Quebec City resident faces the risk of persecution, torture and murder upon deportation to Rwanda.

VIU committee works hard for refugee students (Matthew Gauk, Daily News)
Through the hard work of a group of students at Vancouver Island University, the number of refugees brought in to study at the institution has doubled. For the first time this year, the local committee of the World University Services of Canada has been able to sponsor two international students instead of one. The WUSC committee, cochaired by students Celia White and Paula Phelan, has financed the foundations of an education in Nanaimo for Somalia-born Fatuma Hassan Ali and Noor Mohamed Maalim.


Doctor Wants Immigrants to Receive Immediate OHIP Coverage to Treat TB (Josh Pringle, News 580)
An Ottawa Hospital physician wants new immigrants who have tested positive for tuberculosis to receive immediate coverage under OHIP. Landed immigrants to Canada are required to wait three months before the Ontario Health Insurance Plan coverage is issued.

Opinion: Poverty, not inequality, should be the target (Don Cayo, Vancouver Sun)
But this urgent issue is poverty, not inequality per se. In other words, it doesnt matter much how high the top end soars; what public policy ought to concern itself with is how low the bottom drops. This quibble isnt just theoretical. In a report compiled not long before the onset of the recession in 2008, the World Bank noted that income inequalities were worsening in 46 countries worldwide, and improving in only 13. Yet in those dismal-sounding numbers was both quite a lot of good news and a little well-disguised bad news.

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (Nick Falvo, Rabble)
December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession. Its focus was almost exclusively child poverty, and at full implementation (i.e. 2013), it will result in $300 million in new annual spending. This is equivalent to 0.3 per cent of total provincial spending in Ontario, which is roughly $100 billion.


Looking for someone to care for (Michael Purvis, Sault Star)
Batino is in Canada through the federal government’s Live-In Caregiver program, hoping to work the 3,900 hours that would allow him to earn permanent residency, and get his qualifications as a nurse recognized. It’s a program that allows Canadians to hire foreign workers to care for children, seniors and the disabled,while their employer acts as sponsor.

Federal health role is about more than money (Will Falk, Toronto Star)
Health human resources: credentialing and immigration. Health provider credentials have become interprovincial and are internationalizing. Health worker immigration has become critical to Canadian health systems. Immigration is a federal responsibility.–federal-health-role-is-about-more-than-money

Canadian bosses arrive to sign up recruits (Clodagh Sheehy,
A Canadian province is planning a jobs mission to Ireland in two months to encourage Irish workers to join their booming economy. The government of Saskatchewan is finalising the trip after employers expressed an interest in looking for Irish workers. The jobs mission is likely to come to Ireland in March to coincide with several work fairs.


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

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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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