Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 16, 2012


Canadian Consensus: Survey Reveals Citizenship is More Than You Think (Canada Newswire)
New national public opinion research reveals Canadians believe citizenship is more than having a passport and obeying the law. While these things are important, when asked what makes someone a good citizen, Canadians also emphasize: treating men and women equally (95%); accepting those who are different (82%); protecting the environment (80%); respecting other religions (65%); and, actively participating in one’s local community (51%). Canadians on Citizenship is the first national survey to ask what it means to be a Canadian citizen, polling 2,376 Canadians from across the county.

Vancouverites say volunteering part of being good citizen (CBC)
Vancouverites seem to place more importance on volunteering as a part of being a good citizen than other Canadians, a recent Environics Institute survey suggests. A group made up of five national organizations — CBC, the Environics Institute, Maytree, The Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the RBC Foundation — commissioned the public opinion poll, which asked over 2,000 Canadians what they think are the characteristics of a good citizen and other questions about citizenship. The survey indicates 22 per cent of respondents in Vancouver ranked volunteering high on a list of things Canadians should do to help newcomers, compared with 13 per cent on average nationally.

Debatable Diversity on Canadian Boards (Melissa J. Anderson, Evolved Employer)
According to the Canadian Board Diversity Council’s second Annual Report Card, Canada’s boards feel conflicted about diversity. The research shows that while the vast majority of board members across Canada’s top 500 companies and top 100 charities said they value diversity personally, board diversity is actually quite low. According to the report, “Canada’s future competitiveness depends on ensuring more boards of directors are comprised of directors who are the most qualified in a greatly-expanded talent pool.”

CBSA Expanding its Pilot Program Aimed at Increasing Voluntary Returns (Marketwire)
The CBSA announced today that it is expanding its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) pilot program to encourage even more failed refugee claimants to voluntarily leave Canada. The program, which will be launched in the summer of 2012 in the Greater Toronto Area, will now be open to those in the current asylum system and to people wishing to return to any country.

IOM: Compendium of Migrant Integration Policies and Practices (MIPEX)
Canada ranked fifth on the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), which measures the migrant integration policies of twenty-five EU Member States and three non-EU countries. This ranking placed Canada amongst the countries whose integration policies were considered overall to be partially favourable. On the individual ranking criteria, Canada placed fifth for labour market access, fourth for family reunification policies, fourth for access to nationality, and third for anti-discrimination law. However, Canada received a critically unfavourable ranking for electoral rights and consultative bodies for political participation…

Event Feb 17: Race, Identity, and Belonging: A Generation Gap? (Ryerson University)
The Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS) will hold a roundtable titled “Race, Identity, and Belonging: A Generation Gap?” with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

Population of the Sault up (Bob Mihell, Sault Ste. Marie This week)
McConnell said, the other factor driving the growth is the Local Immigration Partnership whose goal is to attract new immigrants to the city, particularly since deaths have now surpassed live births in the community. “We know that we’re losing more people each year through deaths than we’ re gaining through births. It’s just the magnitude of that number,” he said. McConnell said the City has requested specific data from the Office of the Ontario Registrar an initiative of the Department General to confirm the number of of Citizenship and Immigration live births among city residents. Canada, and the City of Sault Ste. He said that once they have that Marie became the administrator information they will share the of the program.

Hitman Jason Kenney strikes again (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star)
Now, here’s the government’s latest scandal. It is cutting nearly $1 million in funding to the Mississauga-based Palestine House, an educational and cultural centre established in 1994. The federal money is not for the centre per se. Rather it is for English language training and immigrant settlement services, including skills development and daycare, for about 1,100 newcomers a year. In December, the centre received a letter from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. He accused it of having “a history of taking positions that could be interpreted as extreme or supportive of terrorists and terrorism” (emphasis mine).–hitman-jason-kenney-strikes-again

Married immigrants have to stay together for two years or face expulsion (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Married newcomers to Canada better be in love or be prepared tough it out in the relationship for two years if they don’t want to be kicked out of the country. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is changing Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to make a sponsored spouse stay in the relationship for at least two years once they receive permanent residence status, or they have to leave Canada.

LSUC Releases New Guides for Lawyers (David Bilinsky, slaw)
The first guide deals with preventing harassment, discrimination, and violence in the legal workplace. It includes sample harassment, discrimination, and workplace violence policies and procedures. Unfortunately it is not yet up on the LSUC website but it should be available on the equity and diversity resources section of their website a bit later this month.

Doctors urged to consider ethnicity before deeming newborns underweight (Carly Weeks, Globe and Mail)
How much a baby weighs at birth can tell a lot about his or her health. And common wisdom suggests the bigger the baby, the better. It turns out this often is not the case for immigrant families. Yet many of them are still told their babies are significantly underweight and may be at risk for developmental problems as a result. It can be a major source of stress for new parents.

Speaking in tongues (The Economist)
DESPITE the idea that English is spoken in America, Chinese in China, and Russian in Russia, most of the world is far more diverse than the presence of big national languages suggests. In fact, monolingual countries are hard to find. The chart below measures language diversity in two very different ways: the number of languages spoken in the country and Greenberg’s diversity index, which scores countries on the probability that two citizens will share a mother tongue. America, Russia, Brazil, China and Mexico have over 100 languages each, but score relatively low on the diversity index, because English, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese and Spanish have grown to the point where they threaten to destroy the many tiny native languages. By contrast, linguistic rivalry and relative poverty have kept a single language from dominating countries like India and Nigeria, which score high on the diversity index. Geography is an additional factor. The many islands of Indonesia and the Philippines shelter small languages despite those countries’ middle-income status. Both poverty and geography combine to make Congo and Papua New Guinea the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.

For a healthy economy, Quebec needs able immigrants (Kathleen Weil, Montreal Gazette)
As The Gazette pointed out in a recent editorial (“In the census data, some warnings for Quebec,” Feb. 9), the aging of the baby boomers and their ongoing withdrawal from the workforce present significant challenges for Quebec, as they do for jurisdictions across North America. In the short term, faced with a projected record number of retirements, we are increasingly turning to immigrants to fill the employment gap. According to Emploi-Québec, 730,000 positions will have to be filled by 2015, and the prediction is that 16 per cent of those jobs will be filled by immigrants. That number jumps to 1.4 million jobs in 2020, with 17 per cent of these jobs to be filled by immigrants.

Children of immigrants challenged at school, home (John Rieti, CBC News)
At Winnipeg’s Churchill High School, Ronia Arab just looks like a typical student. But at home, she’s been fighting with her parents over the “Canadian” way she dresses and carries herself. “My parents don’t like the way I dress,” said the 16-year-old. “They want me to be like them, but I don’t know anything about their culture.” While her Iraqi family wears traditional Muslim garb – her mother wears the hijab in public and her father wears suits – the Edmonton-born teen is more likely to dress in leggings, boots, T-shirts and cardigans. After numerous fights with her father, Arab left home and has been living in a group home for about a year.


Tories restore controversial provisions to refugee bill (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
The federal Conservatives will table a new bill Thursday removing the right of appeal for failed refugee claimants from so-called “safe countries,” the Star has learned. Asylum seekers whose claims are rejected, withdrawn or abandoned will also be banned from applying for permanent residency on humanitarian grounds within a year of the refugee board’s decision, a government source confirmed with the Star.–conservative-government-to-table-new-refugee-reform-bill

Tories move to curb ‘bogus’ refugees (Louise Elliott, CBC)
A source familiar with the bill says the government is scrapping that idea because it was very unpopular. Instead, the system will continue to require a personal information form be filled out as a point of first contact with the refugee system. Showler says the intake interview being scrapped because it is too expensive in a time of budgetary restraint. Still, he said, it’s the right decision because claimants are usually uninformed and vulnerable when they arrive and need time and the support of a lawyer to prepare their legal case.

Refugee Settlement: The First Year in Canada (ABC Diversity)
The first year for a refugee in Canada is a challenging adventure. There are many hardships, but also many rewards. Canada is one of many countries that provide a new home for people who cannot return to their own. Sometimes people are forced out of their home country due to persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they were a member of a particular social class or group. These people are called refugees. Let’s take a look at what generally happens in the first year when a refugee comes to Canada.

Letter to Min. Kenney: Current and future directions of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (CCR)
We fear that the private sponsorship door is increasingly being closed on these forgotten
refugees. Private sponsors are facing more and more constraints on their ability to bring forward the
cases of refugees who don’t meet current government priorities. Strict limits are being imposed on
applications by visa office, without taking into consideration the needs identified by the private
sponsors. As a result, refugees in the area served by certain visa offices are denied the possibility of
sponsorship, even though there are private sponsors ready and willing to sponsor them


Public Services for Ontarians: A Path to Sustainability and Excellence (Ontario Ministry of Finance)
Ontarians want excellent public services from their government. The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services understands and supports this desire. We see no reason why Ontario cannot have the best public services in the world — with the proviso that they must come at a cost Ontarians can afford. With such a goal, we face three overarching tasks. First, we must understand Ontario’s economic challenges and address them directly. Second, we must firmly establish a balanced fiscal position that can be sustained over the long term. And third, we must sharpen the efficiency of literally everything the government does so Ontarians get the greatest value for money from the taxes they pay. This report addresses these issues and offers a road map to a day when Ontarians can count on public services that are both excellent and affordable — the public services Ontarians want and deserve.

Drummond: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Erin Weir, Behind the Numbers)
The Drummond Commission reported today. A summary of some of the good and bad.

Provincial News: Responses To The Drummond Report (
Responses from ETFO, OPSEU, OMA, ONA, OHA, OAND, and more.

Misdiagnosis: Drummond’s Health Care Prescription Misses Equity (Wellesley Institute)
The Drummond Report’s emphasis on reform and innovation in the way health care is organized and delivered is vital. The objectives of long-term planning, a shift to home and community care, prevention, and integration of health services are right on the mark. But a huge element is missing: equity. Equitable access to services, equitable outcomes and improved population health must also be fundamental goals of reform.

Video: The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Don Drummond: The Report (The Agenda)
Economist Don Drummond joins The Agenda to discuss the recommendations in his long-awaited report for the Ontario government.


TRIEC’s February 2012 e-lert is out, features Professional Immigrant Networks (TRIEC)
Read about the new Professional Immigrant Network (PINs) website, how these networks lead to success for immigrants and employers and the latest reports on immigrant employment. Also, check the e-Lert for the top news stories in immigrant integration and updates on TRIEC programs.

Waterloo Region Migrant Workers Interest Group (WRMWIG) (Justice for Migrant Workers)
In the wake of a tragic accident on February 6, 2012, which claimed the lives of 9 migrant agricultural workers from Peru, an immigrant worker from Nicaragua (all of whom resided in the Kitchener area) as well as a Canadian truck driver, various community groups and individuals in the Waterloo Region have expressed interest in forming a network to provide support for migrant workers living and/or working in and around the Waterloo Region. Founding groups include The Working Centre, the International Migration Research Centre and Justicia for Migrant Workers, as well as many members of the local Latino community, but this group invites participation from all interested parties.

Why I don’t recognize your foreign educational credentials (Worthwhile Canadian Initiative)
The Canadian immigration literature seems to regard employers with a hint of disapproval. For example, a recent survey talks about “the failure to recognize foreign credentials” as if employers and others are, for some unaccountable reason, not able to recognize a credential when it’s staring them in the face. I’ve just spent the last couple of hours trying to recognize foreign educational credentials, and it’s hard. Really hard.


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Transit and Other News.

SOUNDBITES e-Bulletin February 14, 2012 (Social Planning Toronto)
This issue:
Frances Lankin Award – Call for Nominations
Save the date: The 2012 Francis Lankin Award Event to be held on April 11
Save the date: Social Planning Toronto’s Annual General Meeting to be held on May 8th
TDSB’s Human Resource Committee Chooses Equity over “Equality”
Budget Watch 2012 Update: What was saved, what was lost
Mourning two friends of the Council – Jim Lemon and Rabbi Gunther Plaut
Worth Repeating: The Mysterious Case of Austerity Amnesia
Worth Repeating: Fresh 2011 numbers rekindling Canada’s love affair with census


Frances Lankin Award – Call for Nominations (Social Planning Toronto)
The Frances Lankin Award was established in 2011 by Social Planning Toronto on the occasion of Frances Lankin’s retirement from United Way Toronto. It is to be awarded annually to an individual who has made a significant, sustained contribution to the non-profit community sector in the City of Toronto.

Imagine Canada Releases Fifth Sector Monitor Report (PDF) (Settlement AtWork)
Imagine Canada released their fifth Sector Monitor Report last week, based on survey findings from late last year.

Charityfocus (Imagine Canada)
CharityFocus is the premier tool for finding information about the 85,000 registered charities in Canada. You can search by specific organization or find charities in your community or area of interest.


Hidden sex ads still on Craigslist (Stephanie Ip, 24 Hours Vancouver)
Happy Girl, Happy Time Massage. Full-body massage with a hot busty blond. These are just a couple of tawdry listings under the section titled ‘therapeutic massage’ on Craigslist. Two years after the popular buy-and-sell website bowed under pressure and removed its escort section, some wonder whether those selling sex have simply migrated to another spot on the site. “You’re always going to have the potential for individuals to continue to violate the rules that Craigslist has set for this,” said UBC law professor Benjamin Perrin, an expert on human trafficking. “It doesn’t mean people aren’t being sold for sex exploitation; they still are.”

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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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Your morning #Immigration & #Diversity news headlines – February 14, 2012 #inclusion #cdnimm RT @msurman: Do your kids want...