Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 14, 2012

Five Good Reads from the Week of February 6 (Maytree)
Population counts and growth data were released for the latest Census last week. You probably already saw much of that reporting and stories that continue into this week. A big piece of analysis focused on immigration trends across the country, including some economic analysis of those trends. But there were some additional stories that intersected with the Census to provide us with an interesting thread for this week’s roundup – a focus on immigrants and our economic future.


Minister Bloy: We need more immigrants to build Canada (Zamboanga Today Online)
In the next 15 years, Canada will need 650,000 skilled laborers, Minister of State for Multiculturalism Harry Bloy disclosed during a gathering of four state ministers and representatives of the Filipino community at the Inlet Theater on February 6. “Immigration has built this country,” Bloy declared. “We need you (immigrants) to continue to build this country.” He assured the third largest ethnic community in Canada that “we are always prepared to listen and work with all of you to the best that we can.”

Chinese immigrants take $1.6b a year overseas (China Daily)
More than 10 billion yuan ($1.59 billion) is being taken overseas by Chinese immigrant investors every year since 2009, the Beijing-based Legal Evening News reported Tuesday. The paper mapped the immigration routes of Chinese investors based on domestic research and immigration experts, showing that more than 80 percent of immigration wealth has flown into the United States, Canada and Australia.

Federal job cuts won’t harm minorities or aboriginals: Treasury Board official (Jordan Press, Postmedia News)
Federal departments will remain accountable for keeping their ranks diverse with visible minorities and aboriginals even with job cuts looming, a senior Treasury Board official says. The pronouncement to the Senate’s human rights committee came days after a series of reports were made public about employment equity in the federal public service that showed while the rate of visible minorities increased over the past year, it remained below the numbers available in the general workforce. Those reports, about 20 in all, caused concern among senators and one of the largest federal public sector unions.

Rights tribunal to hear UBC prof’s racial discrimination complaint (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has agreed to hear the case of a University of B.C. professor who claims she was passed over for a research chair position because of her race. Jennifer Chan, an associate professor in the faculty of education at UBC, filed a complaint alleging that the university and four administrators discriminated against her with respect to the appointment of the David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education in 2009. UBC denies any such discrimination took place and applied to have the complaint dismissed.

Immigrant women: two stories of survival (Cynthia Bragg, Guelph Mercury)
Every person has a story, but sometimes we don’t suspect it until we ask. I approached two immigrant women I know to ask them what it was like to come to Canada. The names used here are fictitious.–immigrant-women-two-stories-of-survival

Niqab case goes to Canada’s top court (CCLA)
Last december a woman wanted to testify in court while wearing a niqab (face cover that shows only the eyes). She is accusing 2 males relatives of sexual assault, she is the complainant in the case and made the request to wear her niqad in court. The defendants claim that they should her face for purposes of cross examination.

One-Year Retention Rates of Immigrants (
Quantifying the Effects of the Provincial Nominee Program looked at provincial nominee programs to assess their impact on the flow of immigrants to smaller provinces. It found these programs are an effective means of both attracting and retaining immigrants.

Let’s Talk: Video Contest (Racism Free Ontario)
Make your own 5 minute video that discusses your experiences with racism. “Why do you want to talk about racism?” Each video should be from 2-5 minutes long. In the vein of “Shadeism” and the “Stuff White People Say to PoC” videos, these videos should function as tools for racism awareness. We encourage you to create a video discussing your lived racialized experiences. It can be in any format; a rap, a song, a poem, a skit or even just you- one on one with the camera, talking about your experiences with racism.

March 21: Racism Free Ontario Forum (Racism Free Ontario)
CASSA invites you to mark International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination through a Forum: Racism Free Ontario Forum
Theme: Addressing Racial Inequities Faced by Our Children and Youth

Canadian Immigrant and RBC Royal Bank Launch Popular Vote to Uncover Canada’s Most Inspiring Immigrants (Marketwire)
Canadian Immigrant magazine and RBC Royal Bank have kicked off the voting for the fourth annual Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards. Canadians are encouraged to visit until April 13, 2012 to cast their vote for the most inspiring finalists who represent diverse ethnic communities and cultures across Canada

Many Canadians to honour during Black History Month (Tony Muma, Standard Freeholder)
From Willie O’Ree, the NHL’s first black player to Viola Desmond — Canada’s answer to Rosa Parks — Canadians have many trailblazers to commemorate during Black History Month. This year’s commemorations have been overshadowed by the deaths of two iconic fixtures of the entertainment community — Don Cornelius, host of the popular 1970s Soul Train TV show and popular singer Whitney Houston. As a “kid from the 1980s,” Cornwall city Coun. Bernadette Clement admitted Black History Month was off to a rough start on the national level.


Canada and Anglican Church give 50 refugee families new hope (CIC)
The Government of Canada and the Anglican Church today celebrated a joint agreement under which approximately 50 refugee families have been brought to this country from countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Iran. “Canada has a long and proud tradition of providing a safe haven to those around the world most in need of protection,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.


Affordable Housing Alternative (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Ana Bailao. She is a Toronto city councillor and Chair of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Committee.

Job Not Enough (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about getting out of poverty with John Stapleton. He is the co-author of a new Metcalf Foundation study on the “Working Poor” in the Toronto region

How to destroy a good poverty line (Michael Goldberg, Steve Kerstetter And Seth Klein, Vancouver Sun)
More than a decade ago, the federal and provincial governments started work on a new poverty line, the Market Basket Measure (MBM). After decades of distracting and divisive debates about poverty lines, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada crafted a methodology for the MBM that passed the test of common sense. These days, the federal government appears more intent on throwing all that work into the garbage heap. Two years ago, the bean-counters in Ottawa changed the methodology. In particular, they started calculating housing costs in a way that produced figures that were patently absurd. Suddenly, the much-lauded MBM no longer passed the test of common sense.


Jobs for Newcomers (CBC Here and Now)
You’ve heard the stories…A professional from another country, moves to Canada only to discover they can’t get the same type of job here. What are their options? Listen to tools and tips from TRIEC’s Rose De Veyra on helping newcomers find employment.

Immigrant workers need protection (Waterloo Record)
This year, Ontario will open its borders and welcome more than 18,000 agricultural workers from other countries. These men and women will toil in our fields and orchards, in our greenhouses and barns. They will endure scorching suns, freezing winds, driving rains, mud, dirt, dust and bad odours. They will pick our fruit, vegetables and tobacco; they will care for our chickens and hogs. They will feed us. They will enrich our economy. And they will achieve this by working for pay and under conditions the vast majority of Ontarians would disdainfully reject. These labourers and temporary residents in Canada will do much for those of us lucky enough to call this place home. In return, beyond seeing they are properly recompensed before we send them home, we have a responsibility to ensure they are safe and protected when they are in this country.

Farmers defend program following tragic accident (Jason Miller, Kingston Whig Standard)
Canada’s immigration minister says he’s not considering any immediate overhauls of the seasonal agricultural workers program in the wake of a crash last week that claimed the lives of 10 migrant workers in southwestern Ontario. “I don’t think we should draw any conclusions about the (program) from that sad incident,” Jason Kenney said. Several Prince Edward County farmers and vineyard owners have expressed mixed views on the mandated standards governing the migrant worker system — a network they deem critical to the financial stability of their businesses. Upward of 250,000 people from 80 countries come to Canada as temporary foreign workers yearly. More than 25,000 are farm workers who tackle jobs the minister says “Canadians are not applying for.” County farmers like Jim Hughes depend heavily on seasonal workers.

No More Deaths: Justice & Status for Migrant Workers! (Justice for Migrant Workers)
In another tragic incident, 10 migrant workers died in a car crash in Ontario this month. It is not the first time. In September 2010, Ralston White and Paul Roach died while working at a farm in Southern Ontario. In December 2009, Alexander Bondorev, Aleksey Blumberg, Fayzullo Fazilov, Vladimir Korostin, migrant workers without full status, fell to their deaths when the scaffolding they were working on collapsed in half. Year after year, migrants without full status die in Ontario and neither the government nor their employers have taken any serious remedial action. These deaths represent only the surface of a phenomenon

Health Worker Migration in Canada: Histories, Geographies, and Ethics – PDF (Geertje Boschma, Mark Lawrence Santiago (UBC), Catherine Choy (UCal, Berkeley) and Charlene Ronquillo (Fraser Health, Surrey, BC), Metropolis BC)
This working paper explores issues of health worker migration through examining the history, geography, and ethics of international recruitment and migration of health workers to Canada, focusing on the experiences of registered nurses from the Philippines. During the past few decades the migration of Filipino nurses to Canada has considerably expanded, with nurses from the Philippines making up the largest group of all immigrant nurses in the Canadian workforce. Derived from presentations, discussions, and insights from an interdisciplinary workshop on health worker migration attended by academics, professionals, policymakers and health workers, we underscore the importance of further debate on the issues confronting recent migrant nurses from the Philippines to Canada. The aim of this working paper is to bring the complexity of the experiences of migrating nurses in health care explored during the workshop through various lenses of transnational historical research and biographical reflection, contextual and local geographical studies, evolving ethical norms and policies guidelines around recruitment, national and internationally, to a wider audience. We call for more in-depth academic research engaging the perspectives of policymakers and health professionals and of migrant nurses affected by their decisions. Furthermore, we bring forward recommendations and insights raised during the workshop.

Why we’re seeing the ugly new face of capitalism (Armine Yalnizyan, Globe and Mail)
These are blatant ways to redistribute income, but there are others, as well. Some companies are “insourcing” low-wage workers, through temporary permits for foreign low- and higher-skilled jobs. Others are creating two- and three-tier work forces, the better to divide workers’ interests. The use of temporary foreign workers has exploded since the onset of the recession, and two-tiering has become a routine management demand in collective bargaining.


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

Video: Steal This Idea! (Toronto Public Library)
Steal This Idea! A panel discussion of three bold ideas for civic change borrowed from other cities that could work here in Toronto. Each one is a ‘world class” idea worth stealing related to social justice sustainability. Toronto Star’s Royson James moderates panel which includes prominent Torontonians Sook-Yin Lee, Rick Smith, Olivia Chow and Sheldon Levy as the respondent. *presented by Diaspora Dialogues and the Literary Review of Canada in partnership with the Toronto Public Library.
Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –

Building Community: Life in a Rexdale Highrise (CBC Metro Morning)
On Wednesday, February 15, Metro Morning will broadcast LIVE from Rexdale. The program will focus on residents who live in one of the aging concrete towers along the “Kipling strip”, north of Finch in Etobicoke. The 23-story highrise is typical of the more than 1,000 towers erected in Toronto’s “inner suburbs” in the early 1950s and ’60s. Once seen as decent places, with pools and tennis courts, they are now deteriorating dull buildings, with dark hallways, unreliable elevators, and no place for kids to play. They are also home to tens of thousands of newcomers to Canada who can’t afford to live anywhere else.


Paying your NGO staff enough? (Suzanne Hawkes)
Canada’s charitable sector has long been expected to undergo a massive turnover in Executive Directors and other senior staff over the next 5-10 years. In order for not-for-profits to successfully recruit and retain outstanding staff, it helps to know what the ‘going rates’ are in the sector. Charity Village recently published its first comprehensive survey of staff compensation in not-for-profits across Canada. At $97, it represents the first comprehensive Canadian survey of its kind that I’m aware of for several years, and could be gold to NGOs planning their long-term sustainability in terms of passionate, skilled staff. Click here to order the report.


Forum: Human Trafficking and Migration: Building Community Response April 24th. (FCJ Refugee Centre)
Focus: internationally trafficked persons and barriers to services and protection for these populations, including migrant victims who might be in Canada with some form of precarious immigration status such as seasonal workers, international students, and sponsored persons.

Canada’s shameful modern slave-trade (Glen Stone, Winnipeg Sun)
While the human auctions, whipping houses and slave-catchers have disappeared from the U.S., slavery is still alive and well there and around the world. You will even find it here in our own backyard. Just last month, an Ontario man was convicted of human trafficking. He had forced a young woman into prostitution against her will, taking every penny she earned at gunpoint.

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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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