Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 24, 2012


Jason Kenney: smart, competent and hard to trust (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
How can the minister responsible for the fate of 12,500 refugees discard a piece of legislation he extolled 20 months ago? How can he dump a solution the government never tested? The practical answer is easy: Kenney belongs to a majority government now. He does not have to accommodate the views of the opposition parties or anyone else. But his behaviour raises bigger questions.–jason-kenney-smart-competent-and-hard-to-trust

Giving voice to the importance of diverse leadership: youth advocate Danny Anckle (DiverseCity Toronto)
Danny Anckles energy electrifies a room. Its no wonder hes a highly regarded consultant, facilitator and public speaker. Hes also a DiverseCity onBoard roster member who believes in the power of diversity on boards to inspire the next generation.

More Greek residents willing to say ‘yassou’ to Canada due to economic crisis (Sheila Dabu Nonato, Postmedia News)
Former restaurateur George Varvarigos has started a new career in auto sales after immigrating from Greece seven months ago. Varvarigos, 37, sold his share of a restaurant and came to Canada with hopes for a better future. “Everybody works hard for every daily expense . . . and the bills they have to pay,” he said. “Nobody is lazy . . . So they’re fighters.” “(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.

NO MEAN CITY: The best of Migrating Landscapes (Alex Bozikovic, Spacing Toronto)
Before it closes Friday, I highly recommend you check out Migrating Landscapes at Brookfield Place. It’s a show of proposals by young Ontario architects and designers on the theme of home, migration, and dwelling shaped by our cultural memories. See my piece in the Globe and Mail here. These are gestures and experiments that’ll help drive creative architecture in the region.

14th National Metropolis Conference takes place in Toronto Feb. 29th to March 3rd (Samara Canada)
From February 29th to March 3rd, the Metropolis Project will host its 14th annual national conference at Torontos Westin Harbour Castle. This years forum brings together researchers, policy makers, community representatives and settlement organizations to exchange ideas and explore issues related to the conferences theme Future Immigration Policies: Challenges and Opportunities for Canada.

WSO develops training module on Sikh faith for Toronto Police (South Asian Focus)
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) has worked with the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police College to develop a training module on the Sikh faith for the officers of Canadas largest municipal police force. The Greater Toronto Area has one of the largest Sikh populations in Canada.

Immigration minister powwows with Langley’s Karen community (Troy Landreville, Langley Advance)
Canada’s Minister of Immigration had a meet-and-greet with Langley’s Karen community Wednesday afternoon. Jason Kenney stopped by Douglas Park Community school to speak to the group of Karen people.

Do one thing for diversity (Jane Allen, Deloitte Canada)
The United Nations has launched a Facebook campaign to encourage people to Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion, building on the belief that respecting different cultures is one of the best ways of assuring international peace and security. The UN acknowledges the role the private sector can play in enhancing cultural diversity and how globalization can help bring people from different backgrounds together. Most businesses are aware of the advantages of having a diverse and inclusive working environment: it helps attract and retain top talent and provides better service to clients by bringing diverse viewpoints and global experience. All of which adds up to more successful and responsible businesses.

Videos: Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), Testimonial Series (CIIP)
A series of interviews with CIIP graduates, about how the program helped them settle more smoothly in Canada.

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers report of Canada (UNHCR)
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today considered the combined nineteenth to twentieth periodic reports of Canada on how that country is implementing the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Introducing the report, Catrina Tapley, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic and Program Policy Sector, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, said that Canada was a multicultural society with more than 200 ethnic origins. In the 2006 census, over 1.1 million people had self-identified as aboriginal while over 5 million people had identified themselves as members of a racial minority group. Canada had one of the highest per capita rates of permanent immigration, and was proud that approximately 85 per cent of immigrants eventually would become Canadian citizens. The long standing presence of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, their cultures, traditions and values were fundamental to Canadas history. The Government had established a results-driven framework for action on aboriginal issues covering economic development, education, empowerment and protection of the vulnerable, resolution of land claims and reconciliation, governance and self-government. The State had allocated more than Canadian Dollars 10 million annually for programmes across 34 ministries and federal bodies to support aboriginal peoples. The Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act ensured that eligible grand-children of women who lost their Indian status as a result of marrying non-Indian men, could now receive Indian status.

Video: Baby, Not Mine (Shasha Nakhai)
The first documentary I worked on. We researched, shot and edited this film in 2 weeks as our final year project for Ryerson Journalism school in 2009. Focus on Filipino Live-in Caregivers in Canada.

Race-based hiring must be stopped (Brian Lilley, London Free Press)
Do you believe in equality? Do you believe that we should all receive equal treatment from our federal government? Most people would say that equality is a Canadian value. I’d like to say it is, but experience has taught me otherwise. Sure, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is supposed to guarantee equality in our interactions with the federal government. In Section 15 it even says, “Every individual is equal before and under the law.” If only that’s where it stopped, instead it goes on.


Bill C-31 – Rolling Back Refugee Protection: At what cost? (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees is seriously concerned that the bill would create a two-tier system of refugee protection in Canada. It makes refugee protection in Canada dangerously vulnerable to political whims, rather than ensuring a fair and independent decision about who is a refugee. It also includes costly measures to detain refugee claimants and to revoke the status of refugees who are now permanent residents.

Webinar March 1 – Bill C-31 Rolls Back Refugee Protection: What you can do (CCR)
This webinar will look at how you can make a difference in your community. Join the CCR in calling for amendments to Bill C-31. Help to raise awareness of these costly government proposals: for refugees and for Canadian taxpayers.

Remembering Rabbi Gunther Plaut (Maytree)
Rabbi W. Gunther Plaut died on February 8, 2012. He was 99 years old. He leaves a lasting legacy for all of us working for social justice, fighting for the vulnerable and marginalized in Canada and across the globe. In the 1980s, Rabbi Plaut was appointed by the federal government to revise Canadas refugee legislation.

For the federal government refugee is a slur (Pat Watson, Share)
If all that a person ever knew about refugees in Canada came from federal government pronouncements, one would have to wonder why we even have policies and programs in place to allow such characters to enter the country in the first place. The leading voice informing the Canadian public of the scammers who try to pass themselves off as refugees is federal immigration minister, Jason Kenney. With some regularity, Kenney brings us new policy adjustments that continue to narrow the doorway through which people fleeing in desperation from other countries can find a safe haven in Canada.


High levels of inequality jeopardize Canadas ability to succeed (Anouk Dey and Michael Marin, Toronto Star)
What do the Occupy Movement and Canadian software giant OpenText have in common? Most people, including the campers and coders themselves, would probably say very little. But, while the message coming out of Robson Square and St. James Park last fall was about economic justice, it is highly relevant to economic growth as well. Canadas high levels of inequality and poverty dont just erode social cohesion, but also jeopardize our ability to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.–high-levels-of-inequality-jeopardize-canada-s-ability-to-succeed


No Cuts, but Reforms can be Expected (South Asian Generation Next)
While Ontario Liberals are applauding economist Don Drummond for his really good work in making recommendations to balance Ontarios books, critics are certain that a very few of his recommendations will be adopted by the Ontario government.

The Drummond report (Deloitte Canada)
Although the mandate precluded the Commission from recommending any increases in taxes, the Drummond Report provided a number of tax-related recommendations aimed at creating stronger, more productive organizations and improving the integrity of the tax system through better administration and enforcement.


A conversation with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (The Zieglers Blog)
The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) is a multi-stakeholder council that creates solutions to better integrate skilled immigrants in the Toronto Region labour market. What makes this place unique is that they deal directly with the employers: they educate them. TRIEC has a few interesting plans to help you achieve your goal of finding the best job for you. To know more about them, I had the chance to talk to Charles Achampong. He is Manager, Corporate & Stakeholder Relations for TRIEC and he is based in Toronto.

Micro loans to help newcomers receive accreditation (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


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

Headspace: Katerina Cizek discusses Tower Renewal (Luca De Franco, Spacing Toronto)
Last week, Spacing interviewed Sharon Switzer of Onestop media. As a follow up to Sharons interview, we decided to sit down with Katerina Cizek to discuss her documentary One Millionth Tower. A documentary about high-rise living, One Millionth Tower is the first installment of the High Rise series to be showcased on Onestops network of subway station screens. In this interview, Katerina discusses the interactive nature of her film as well as its very important subject matter Tower Renewal.

2012 Urban Leadership Awards (Canadian Urban Institute)
The Urban Leadership Awards (ULA) program is an annual initiative of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) designed to recognize those who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Canadas cities and urban regions… The remainder of the awards program are selected from a pool of nominations and reviewed by a jury of distinguished Canadians from across the country, and feature recipients in the following 8 categories – to submit a nomination, please download the form and return the completed package to urbanleadershipawards by March 2nd, 2012.

The Toronto Residents Reference Panel on Household Income – PDF (MASS LBP)
The report is based on the deliberations of forty-four randomly selected Toronto residents who, like Dickens, were neither political nor radical but were concerned about the fractures appearing in their city’s society. The members of the Toronto Residents Reference Panel spent several Saturdays this winter learning and thinking about how to overcome the growing economic divides that separate our city.


Investing in not-for-profit leadership excellence (Toronto Community Foundation)
The Vital People grant program recognizes valued leaders who are making outstanding contributions working at not-for-profit organizations by supporting their continued training and professional development. The Toronto Community Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of our 2011/2012 Vital People grants, funded through our Vital Toronto Fund. Vital People grants are awarded to support the formal training or other informal development opportunities that best enable not-for-profit leaders to build their skills or knowledge, or apply their experience in different ways to enhance their leadership contributions. (includes Farrah Khan, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and Tamara Balan, Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance)

New organizations selected for second year of McMillan-Maytree pro bono certificate program (Tina Edan, Maytree)
While most nonprofit organizations understand the benefit of professional legal advice, many simply cannot afford it. Enter the internationally recognized legal team at McMillan. Now in its second year, McMillan is offering a unique pro bono certificate program tailored to the individual legal needs of nonprofit organizations in the Maytree Network.

Tim Draimin – What Are You Skating Towards? Solutions Alignment (Al Etmanski)
I AM SKATING IN 2012 towards solutions alignment accelerating how we bring our resources within and among organizations and sectors into alignment on solving societys intractable problems. 2012 is a significant milestone. For example, it marks half a century since Rachel Carsons watershed book – Silent Spring launched a global ecology movement by warning humankind about modern industrys environmental impact.

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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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