Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 23, 2012


Changes would take away automatic citizenship (Mark Dunn, Toronto Sun)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says the government is considering citizenship law changes to prevent so-called anchor babies from automatically becoming citizens. Kenney says his department is not sure how widespread the problem is of foreign women duping the system by coming to Canada on tourist and visitor visas for the sole purpose of having a child.

Five Good Reads from the week of Feb 13 (Maytree)
Last week, one of the main themes was around how we treat our most vulnerable.

Immigrant owners of ballet school to be honoured for achievements (Carrie Swiggum, Globe and Mail)
It was difficult for him to build a reputation in Canada after being a successful dancer in China and England. “The suffering time that I had, that is the story of my soul,” says Mr. Goh, who had studied with the London Royal Ballet Academy and danced professionally in China before moving to Canada. “Nobody knew what I was capable of.”

N.S. offers to cut immigrant backlog (David Jackson, Chronicle Herald)
he province has offered to help Ottawa ease the backlog in immigration applications in hopes that some of those people will settle here. Elizabeth Mills, executive director in the provincial Office of Immigration, said Nova Scotia had fared well in attracting people through the federal skilled worker program, but she added Wednesday that the numbers have declined in the last couple of years. That is a result of limits Ottawa put on the number of immigrants into the country.

Greeks line up to start new lives in Canada (Sheila Dabu Nonato and And Darah Hansen, Postmedia News; Vancouver Sun)
Austerity measures and grim prospects at home force many in Greece to look overseas… “[Canada] is a better environment with better chances for people who would like to do something in their life, to have a family, to have their job and to get paid for that and to look straight to the future,” he explained. Members of Greek-Canadian communities say Varvarigos’s story is becoming familiar as an increasing number of Greek residents inquire about job opportunities in Canada. They are hoping to start a new life because of the financial uncertainty in their homeland, which is on the brink of bankruptcy.

A humble declaration of Jamaican Patty Day (Royson James)
The City of Toronto officially declares special days for scores of events and causes each year. But, announcing Feb. 23 as Jamaican Patty Day may be asking too much. To wit, here’s an unofficial proclamation.–james-a-humble-declaration-of-jamaican-patty-day

Alberta readies to impose ‘diversity’ education on homeschoolers (Patrick B. Craine,
Homeschooling groups are sounding the alarm this week as the Alberta government prepares to pass a bill that they say threatens to mandate “diversity” education in the home. The province’s new Education Act, re-tabled Feb. 14th by Alison Redford’s majority Progressive Conservative government to replace the existing Schools Act, stipulates in section 16 that all instructional materials in schools “must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.”

Community Diversity Leadership, Halton Food for Thought Named Finalists for 2012 Great Grants (Canada Newswire)
The Ontario Trillium Foundation today announced that Community Diversity Leadership, and Halton Food for Thought are finalists for the prestigious 2012 Great Grants Awards. The awards recognize Ontario organizations that have demonstrated exceptional results, innovation and a lasting impact on the communities they serve. Community Diversity Leadership, and Halton Food for Thought have both been selected as finalists in the human and social services category. A total of eight 2012 Great Grants Awards recipients will be recognized in the presence of Hon. Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at a ceremony in Toronto on March 23.


Ottawa’s bogus refugee bill (Audrey Macklin and Lorne Waldman, Toronto Star)
Jason Kenney, the minister of Citizenship and Immigration, knows who the real refugees are. Or at least he knows which ones are “bogus”: refugee claimants from Mexico or Sri Lanka or Hungary are bogus. Bogus refugees include those who use smugglers to overcome the barriers to lawfully reaching countries like Canada which, by signing the refugee convention, have promised not to send back persons fleeing persecution. Kenney’s system-abusing bogus refugees include those fleeing discrimination, oppression and hardship not quite horrific enough to satisfy the standards required by the jurisprudence defining and applying the refugee definition. Kenney does not mention that close to 40 per cent of the claimants were recognized as genuine refugees last year. Like falling crime statistics, that is an inconvenient truth for this government. Kenney manages to convert the fact that the system does not confer refugee protection on all who seek it into evidence of system failure.–ottawa-s-bogus-refugee-bill

U of W Researchers Seek Refugee Interview Tapes (
Researchers at the University of Winnipeg are working on a four-year study on the history of refugees in Manitoba. To help with their research, they’re seeking out taped interviews with refugees in the province dating back to 1945. “We are searching for collections of oral history interviews with refugees who arrived in Manitoba after the Second World War and during the Cold War,” said Dr. Alexander Freund, chair in German-Canadian Studies and project leader. “We suspect that many privately taped interviews are stored in people’s basements and attics that might have been conducted by families or for community projects and we are looking to retrieve them.”


UN slams Canada for First Nations treatment (Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News)
Canada’s international reputation came under fire in Geneva on Wednesday as a UN expert panel delivered scathing criticisms over the government’s treatment of First Nations and recent changes to the country’s immigration system. Members on the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, all of them human-rights experts from around the world, questioned why headway has not been made in resolving the disparities between First Nations communities and the rest of the country.


Cutting to the chase (Alice Klein, NOW Toronto)
Among its 362 recommendations, everyone can find something in the massive document to confirm their own perspective. That said, there’s plenty here to affirm the idea that our minority government can successfully find a sweeter balance, relying on both innovation and taxation, not austerity, to keep government debt in check and prepare Ontario for a smart and caring future at the same time.


Newcomers can tap into new loans (Scott Larson, The StarPhoenix)
On Wednesday, the federal government announced that Immigrant Access Fund (IAF) of Saskatchewan will receive $1.7 million dollars to fund micro-loans given to internationally trained professionals to help finance the costs of having their credentials recognized in Canada. IAF also received $450,000 through a multi-year agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan and $100,000 from the Morris Foundation.

Government of Canada Taking Action to Support Newcomers (Canada News Centre)
The Government of Canada today announced the launch of a three-year pilot project that will make it easier for internationally trained professionals to have their credentials recognized and find jobs in their fields.

Government of Canada taking action to support newcomers in Southwestern Ontario (Canada News Centre)
The Government of Canada today announced that WIL Employment Connections is one of the first organizations selected under the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot. The announcement was made by Dr. Kellie Leitch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Speaking Points for the Honourable Diane Finley to announce the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot at S.U.C.C.E.S.S. British Columbia (Canada News Centre)
Today, I’m going to talk about a new project to help skilled workers with international training get better jobs and a better standard of living for their families. When I talk about ‘better’ jobs, I mean jobs where they can really use their skills and experience. And that’s not always easy. Too many Canadians with international training are doing jobs that are far below their real abilities. Why? Because they have a hard time getting their credentials recognized. Many of them, for example, have to go through further training, examinations or re-certification. And that comes with a hefty price tag. Our Government’s top priority was and remains job creation and economic growth.

Immigrant faces barriers in career path (Erica Bulman, 24 Hours Vancouver)
Ahmed — who arrived here with his wife Syeda Farzana last October — could become one of 350 immigrants in the Greater Vancouver area to benefit from a new pilot project announced Wednesday offering loans to help internationally trained professionals pursue additional training and licensing exams. Once their training and exams have been completed, the workers will be able to pay back the loans within flexible time periods. According to the 2012 census, Canada’s 5.9% growth rate is largely fueled by immigration. Yet for many internationally trained professionals, the cost of licensing exams, training and skills upgrading creates a sometimes-insurmountable barrier to credential recognition. “A government loan would really help. This is an expensive city,” said Ahmed, who is making minimum wage — $9.50 an hour. Rent for his tiny one-bedroom basement East Vancouver apartment is $750. Ahmed and Farzana can’t afford a car, let alone start the family they want.

Migrant workers face systemic discrimination, Que. rights commission says (Marianne White, Postmedia News)
Migrant workers in Quebec are victims of systemic discrimination, says the Quebec Human Rights Commission in a report calling on the provincial government to promptly change its immigration programs. In a study released Monday, the commission noted migrant workers are discriminated against because of their national origin, their race, their social condition, their language or — in the case of live-in caregivers — their gender.

Racism on display (Chris Halliday,
While it seems to be getting better with time, there’s little question racism is alive in Orangeville. Some overt, some subtle — it doesn’t take much digging to find evidence of its presence. Joshua Blake and his common-law spouse are minding their business, taking a friendly walk with their nine-month-old daughter near Rotary Park.–racism-on-display

Ottawa Recognized Among Canada’s Best Diversity Employers (Epoch Times)
The City of Ottawa has been recognized as being among Canada’s top diversity leaders in an annual competition that evaluates employers based on a range of workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. More than 2,750 employers of all sizes from the public and private sectors across Canada competed in this year’s Canada’s Best Diversity Employers competition.

A voice for our black communities (Evelyn Myrie, Hamilton Spectator)
This month, this Black History Month, we take time to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Canadians and their contributions to their communities. Once upon a time, we looked south to find our inspiration. But with increased cultural diversity in Canada, the black community need not look only to our sisters and brothers in the United States to celebrate achievements and victories. We have plenty to look to here in our local community, our province and country.–a-voice-for-our-black-communities

Remote province seeks Irish workers (Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, Cork Independent)
The difficult-to-pronounce Canadian province of Saskatchewan is seeking Cork people to work in construction, technology and other industries in a major recruitment drive spearheaded by its premier, Brad Wall, who will visit the city next month. On Wednesday 7 March a Canadian recruitment expo will take place at Moran’s Silver Springs Hotel, attended by Premier Brad Wall and the province’s Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris. Saskatchewan has an unemployment rate of just 1.2 per cent and is Canada’s fastest-growing economy, with two major cities, Saskatoon and Regina.

Challenging Racism And Sexism In The Workplace & Labour Movement (Justice for Migrant Workers)
Film Screening of “The Road Taken” & Panel Discussion on Challenging racism and sexism in the workplace & labour movement. Friday, February 24, 2012

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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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