Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 15, 2012


New Survey Research Reveals Canadas Attitudes towards Citizenship (Maytree)
A poll of more than 2,000 people reveals that Canadians think citizenship is more than paying taxes or obeying the law. While these things are important, when asked what makes someone a good citizen, Canadians emphasize being active in their community, volunteering, helping others, and accepting others who are different. The survey also explores issues around citizenship acquisition, rights and responsibilities, civic participation, civic education and multiple identities.

Immigrants the proudest Canadians, poll suggests (Kazi Stastna, CBC)
Most Canadians feel immigrants are just as likely to be good citizens as people who were born here, a recent Environics survey suggests. Canadians also don’t appear to have problems with dual citizenship or with Canadian citizens living abroad. The telephone survey is, according to Environics, the first poll to directly ask Canadians their views on citizenship. Its results suggest Canadians have a broad, inclusive view of the concept and of immigrants in general.

Are you a good Canadian citizen? (CBC)
Waving the Canadian flag is an easy act of patriotism. But beyond that what are hallmarks of being Canadian? The Institute for Canadian Citizenship, a group of five national organizations including the CBC, commissioned a public opinion poll that asked Canadians what they think are characteristics of a good citizen. Take our survey to find out how your views compare to the people surveyed.

Immigration reform: Fast and furious, not cohesive (Mario D. Bellissimo, Embassy)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has expressed a need to prioritize English and French language skills, proactive linking of employers in Canada to prospective immigrants abroad, and to focus on trades people to fill labour shortages. These priorities are laudable in a system in need of change and by a minister and a department who have not shied away from difficult challenges. The approach, however, has been to reduce intake and process recent applications at a higher pace than those remaining in the backlog. Since February 2008, there has been a severe restriction on skilled worker applicants, and in June 2011 the entrepreneur class was suspended, and an annual application cap of 700 was placed on investor class applications. In November 2011, parental sponsorships received a two-year moratorium. Some of these policy decisions may have to be revisited in a wholesome review of the overall vision moving forward. Here is why.

Brandon newcomers struggle with separation from families (CBC)
The western Manitoba city of Brandon is growing at a rapid pace, thanks to an influx of people coming to Canada to work, but the transition has not always been easy for those who must initially live apart from their families back home. Many immigrants who are coming to Brandon are there to work, and they must wait months or longer before they can bring their loved ones to Canada, according to those who work with newcomers.

Immigration is two-way road (Joe Greenholtz, Delta Optimist)
The days when immigration to Canada was an act of generosity in return for which we expected undying gratitude are long gone. Consider this. According to a CBC analysis of just released census numbers, between now and 2020, baby-boomer retirements coupled with declining birth rates are expected to produce labour deficits of approximately 163,000 in construction, 130,000 in oil and gas, 60,000 in nursing, 37,000 in trucking, 22,000 in the hotel industry and 10,000 in the steel trades.

Funding decision political, says cultural centre (Chris Clay,
Officials at Mississauga-based Palestine House claim Ottawa’s decision to stop funding the cultural centre’s newcomer settlement and language instruction services is politically motivated. They say Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s recent move to pull the plug on funding money that’s been coming annually for the past 18 years or so is part of a campaign by the Conservative government to target organizations that support the human rights of Palestinians.–funding-decision-political-says-cultural-centre

Migrating Landscapes brings wood city to Toronto (Roxanne Hathway-Baxter, blogTO)
On closer inspection, you find that placed within the wood-fashioned urban milieu are several small architectural models made by early and mid-carreer Canadian architects and designers to illustrate the concept of home within a global and migratory context. More specifically, the works are abstract creations that aim to represent the artists’ experience(s) with immigration and settling in unfamiliar new settings. In an effective use of contemporary technology, each design bears a QR code that links to a video description of the work along with text notes that accompany each piece.

Immigrant babies often wrongly deemed underweight (CBC)
Some babies born to immigrant parents are incorrectly classified as underweight which could lead to unnecessary tests and stress but new birth weight charts could avoid the problem, Canadian doctors say.

Highrise Digital Citizenship Project (NFB)
This week, we are working with 14 highrise residents as Peer Researchers, who are going door-to-door with our survey in their highrise building, interviewing their neighbours about digital technologies, their use, access and effects. From the results and discussions that arise with the residents, we hope to gain some baseline knowledge about the state of digital citizenship in one building. We hope to build on this data, possibly by doing comparative studies elsewhere in the world, and by going deeper with interviews, focus groups and documentary methods within the building itself. After the first survey session earlier this week, one peer researcher told me shes been working as a community engagement officer in this building (that she live in) for a while now, but the survey was the first time she got to go into peoples homes to really see residents in their own space.

Rabbi and wife elevated to Civic Hero statusTurkish Jewish community convenes (Dave Gordon, Jewish Tribune)
The directors of a Jewish Russian community centre in a suburb north of Toronto were given special honours by its mayor and council. Rabbi Chaim Hildeshaim and his wife Chanie were recipients of the City of Vaughans Civic Hero Award last week, recognizing their outstanding achievements in the community. As a city that encourages residents to become involved and engaged, we take pride in knowing that very special citizens are actively working to improve their own community and by extension, improve the quality of life in our city, said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

Classmates cheer for new Canadian (Jenny Ford, Winnipeg Free Press)
WHEN Daryl Boado took his oath of Canadian citizenship on Tuesday, he was cheered on by his Grade 5 class. The three members of the Boado family, originally from the Philippines, took their oath of citizenship along with 40 other new Canadians at the Manitoba Legislative Building at a special ceremony in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As chance would have it, Daryl, 10, had the choir from his school sing at the special ceremony. The grades 4 and 5 choir from Sister MacNamara School cheered for their classmate and his family as they received their citizenship certificates.

Ruling in lawyers claim of racial profiling overturned (Jeff Gray, Globe and Mail)
A well-known Toronto lawyer who alleged that a librarian racially profiled him at a Brampton, Ont., courthouse has seen a ruling in his favour at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario thrown out. Selwyn Pieters, and another lawyer, Brian Noble, were awarded $2,000 each in a 2010 tribunal decision that said they faced discrimination when they were asked for identification in a courthouse lounge reserved for lawyers and law students.

Premier welcomes new Canadians at special citizenship ceremony (
Premier Greg Selinger and Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Christine Melnick today welcomed 40 new Canadians at a special Diamond Jubilee swearing-in ceremony for the nations newest citizens. Few events are more inspiring than a ceremony to welcome new Canadians, said Selinger. Manitoba continues to attract skilled professionals and their families through our Provincial Nominee Program that has become a model for the country. As these new Manitobans put down roots here, they are helping drive our economy and build a prosperous future for all Manitobans.

Changing Negative Attitudes: Part 1 (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Last year, I attended a lecture given by Edward Mortimer, the rapporteur for a report prepared by the Group of Eminent Persons entitled “Living Together: Combining Diversity and Freedom in 21st Century Europe.” The report found that “discrimination and intolerance are widespread in Europe today, particularly against Roma and immigrants…” (including asylum-seekers). It went on to “identify the main actors able to bring about the necessary changes in public attitudes: educators, mass media, employers and trade unions, civil society, churches and religious groups, celebrities and ‘role models’, towns and cities, member states, and European and international institutions.” It concluded with over 50 proposals for action. In the refugee context, UNHCR adopted guidelines in 2009 for countering racism, discrimination and xenophobia. (See “Combating Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance through a Strategic Approach.”) Consistent with the “Living Together report,” the agency acknowledged that “Changing intolerant attitudes is a task too great for one organization to achieve on its own. To successfully combat racism and xenophobia, the guidelines call for the engagement of a broad range of groups such as governments, law officers, UN bodies, non-governmental organizations and the media.

Creating Opportunities Optimizing Possibilities – Immigrant and Refugee Co-operatives in Canada (PDF) (Canadian CED Network)
This paper is a starting point for a discussion about the role the co-operative sector can play in assisting immigrants and refugees in Canada and the role that the immigrant and refugee community can itself play in revitalizing Canadian communities through the co-op model. The emphasis is on mutual learning and the sharing of new ideas and practices. We discuss the strengths that immigrants and refugees bring to Canada as well as the barriers they face in their goal to create new lives for themselves and their families.

Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2010-2011 (CIC)
Both at home and throughout the world, Canada is recognized as a leader in championing the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Throughout our nation, the contributions of Canadians and newcomers of all cultures, ethnicities and religions are what makes this country great. It is within this context that Canadians value diversity and celebrate its many positive impacts on our society. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act provides a legal framework to guide federal responsibilities and activities in regard to multiculturalism in Canada. Enacted in 1988, the Act includes the Multiculturalism Policy of Canada, which reached its 40th anniversary in 2011.

Immigration consultants meet in Malton (John Stewart,
Hundreds of immigration consultants will gather in Malton on Friday at the first-ever meeting of the Canada Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). The new agency was set up by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and the federal government after hundreds of complaints about what Kenney called “rogue” consultants who take advantage of people trying to gain entry into Canada.–immigration-consultants-meet-in-malton

Head of Diversity and Inclusion for the London Olympic Games to Speak at Upcoming DBN Supplier Diversity Conference (Canada Newswire)
Stephen Frost, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will be the keynote speaker at The Canadian Supplier Diversity Conference 2012. Mr. Frost will talk about the work he has been doing to make the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games diverse and inclusive. The upcoming summer Olympic Games (27 July to 12 August 2012) employs a workforce of 200,000 and its procurement spend amounts to £1.2 billion ($1.9 billion Canadian).

Niqab ban oppresses new Canadian citizens (Sadiah Waziri Ryerson Free Press)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (dis)reputable for his support of deportation policies is in the spotlight once again. This time, its for his recent implementation of the niqab ban at Canadian citizenship ceremonies. Coincidentally, Kenney made this an issue last December, when the Supreme Court of Canada was hearing arguments in the case of a woman who wanted to testify in court while wearing the niqab.

Environment & Diversity Project Webinar Series: Lessons Learned by Six Environmental NGOs (CSI)
In 2011, the Environment and Diversity Project supported six organizations as they embarked on their own initiatives that that would help them better reflect and engage ethno-cultural and/or Aboriginal communities. Join us for a series of one-hour webinars as these organizations impart their findings from their projects, and learn from them as they share their experiences in striving to be more diverse and inclusive. March 5 – May 16.


Hungarian refugee influx perplexes government (Jordana Divon, Yahoo! News)
Canada has long served as a top destination for refugee claimants, and according to new figures obtained by Postmedia News, the number of Hungarians now seeking asylum in the country has doubled in the last year. The numbers show Canada has become the number one destination for Hungarian asylum seekers ­- the majority of whom are believed to be Roma.


Austerity is bad for your health (Sheila Block, Wellesley Institute)
The Ontario government is expected to release the Drummond Commission report shortly. That report that is expected to substantially shape Ontarios fiscal plan going forward. Don Drummond was appointed to provide the Ontario government with a plan to reduce the deficit. He has indicated that drastic cuts to budgets will be needed, and that he will recommend privatization of services to increase value for money and efficiency. The premier, in a speech last week, reiterated his commitment that he will not increase taxes to address the deficit.

Expect Drummond’s health proposals to pinch everyone but savage no one (Andre Picard, Globe and Mail)
Only in Ontario could a report from a one-man committee proposing service cuts, administrative upgrades and tax changes be awaited with such breathless anticipation. On Wednesday, Don Drummond, a former federal government mandarin and bank economist, will present the final report of the Commission on the Reform of Ontarios Public Services.

TCHC house sales: A window opens (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Last Friday Mayor Ford opened the window to a real solution for TCHCs deteriorating buildings. He recognized the importance and complexity of the issues by devoting a special Executive Committee meeting on February 17th entirely to TCHCs proposed house sale, and is said to be receptive to Affordable Housing Committee Chair Ana Bailãos proposal for a comprehensive strategy for TCHCs buildings. This is good news for TCHC tenants, and good news for Toronto.


Top 6 mentoring tips from our mentoring team (TRIEC)
January was mentoring month and if you were following us on Twitter or LinkedIn, you would have received many tips and resources on mentoring. If you missed it, check out these mentoring tips from our mentoring team.

Doing More With Less (
Are you looking for ways to cut costs and still have the right talent in place to outperform your competition? Connecting with highly skilled and talented immigrants who can give you that competitive edge is easier, and less expensive, than you think. In the video below, Lisa Harrison, Vice-President and Delivery Partner at Autodata Solutions in London, Ont., says the company recruits skilled immigrants in four cost-effective ways.


Invitations for Proposals Ontarios Community Builders Program (MCI)
The Ontarios Community Builders (OCB) program provides support to community organizations to recognize the rich diversity of cultures that make up Ontarios population and celebrate their contribution to the social and cultural fabric of this province. The OCB program is currently accepting applications from organizations that acknowledge and promote Ontarios heritage and multiculturalism, and work towards increasing mutual understanding among its many communities, through awareness-building, educational, celebratory and community engagement activities. Applications will be accepted on a continuous intake basis until March 1, 2012 with periodic funding decision points.

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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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