Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 29 2012


Five good reads from the week of Feb 20 (Maytree)
We look at a combination of vital people and work from the previous week.

Anti-shark fin soup campaigner nominated for GLOBE Foundation award (Tracy Sherlock, Vancouver Sun)
A first generation Chinese-Canadian woman who campaigns against shark fin soup is nominated for a 2012 GLOBE Foundation award. Claudia Li, 25, grew up in a traditional family that ate shark fin soup on many special occasions, as it was seen as both a status symbol and a show of generosity. In 2009, Li founded the Vancouver non-profit organization Shark Truth to stop the hunting of sharks for shark fin soup, and because she wanted to keep the legacy of her heritage alive, she said. “Because our parents were immigrants, we saw how hard they worked for us,” Li said. “Now that we’re adults we have the responsibility to carry on that legacy for our children, so that they have a safe and healthy planet to live on.”

Canadians urging the Irish to come west once more (Richard Warnica, Maclean’s)
Western Canadian firms have started to look across the pond to fill a growing shortage of skilled labour. Two delegations of employers, one from Saskatchewan, the other from B.C. and Alberta, are in Ireland this week trying to lure workers to Canada.

Canadian Province Imposing “Diversity Training” on Homeschools (Home School Legal Defense Association)
A new education act in the Canadian province of Alberta is poised to impose political correctness on families—even those who teach their own children in their own homes. The legislative proposal known as Bill 2 in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta would explicitly require that all instructional materials “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.” The bill further requires not only public schools, but also private schools and homeschools to comply with these requirements (§ 1 “interpretation of school”).

Community reaction to B.C. baby born in hotel (CBC)
The CBC Community had a lot to say about a B.C. couple that wound up having their baby in a hotel room after the mother couldn’t get provincial health-care coverage.

‘We need to promote Ontario jobs more aggressively’ (Nouman Khalil, South Asian Focus)
Western Canada has done a great job by promoting themselves to aspiring and attracting new immigrants settle in those provinces, says a Toronto-based marketing and partnership expert. The PNP (provincial nominee program) also helped them a lot in terms of encouraging newcomers — but on the other hand Ontario also doesn’t lack employment opportunities and award-winning employers, said Munira Ravji, a marketing and partnership specialist at the Maytree Foundation. “We need to promote Ontario more aggressively while our employers must consider the hidden talent that is coming into Canada,” said Ravji.

Anti-Apartheid Heroes Denied Visas to Canada (Matthew Little, Epoch Times)
Acts of defiance that made them heroes in the fight against apartheid now make some of South Africa’s most celebrated figures unwelcome in Canada. It’s a problem Liberal justice and human rights critic Irwin Cotler railed against on Monday after a recent trip to South Africa where he heard firsthand about the “insult and hurt” that comes from an effective visitor visa ban on members of the apartheid-era African National Congress (ANC).

Ottawa axes network of immigration research centres (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Ottawa plans to stop funding a research network whose findings have helped improve Canada’s immigration policies and settlement programs, the Star has learned. The federal government will not renew its $9 million, five-year funding to the five Metropolis research centres in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax when the grant runs out in 2013.–ottawa-axes-network-of-immigration-research-centres

Not worth the wait (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Ontario is one of only three provinces to impose a waiting period before new immigrants can receive public health insurance, and opposition to the restriction has united civic politicians, doctors, nurses and immigration settlement workers. Newly arrived immigrants cannot get OHIP coverage for the first three months they are in Ontario. Refugees are supposed to be covered by a special federal health plan, but it is unpopular with physicians, who say it takes too long and is too bureaucratic. The result, critics say, is that newcomers delay seeking treatment until the waiting period is over, making health problems worse and in some cases, endangering public health.

Don’t delay OHIP (Ottawa Citizen)
Forcing new immigrants to wait three months for public health insurance is a strange way to welcome them to Canada. Stranger still is that the enforced three-month wait for OHIP coverage — which is both costly and potentially dangerous — exists in order to save money.

Immigrant Earnings Growth: Selection Bias or Real Progress? (Garnett Picot and Patrizio Piraino, Statistics Canada)
The gap in earnings between immigrants and comparable native-born workers is perhaps the most studied topic in the economics of immigration. Such research would ideally be based on longitudinal data, tracking the earnings of immigrants after entry as they establish themselves in Canada. However, most existing Canadian research on immigrants’ earnings trajectories is based on Census of Population cross-sectional data, not on longitudinal data. There are two reasons for this: longitudinal data have only recently become available, and they contain relatively few socio-economic covariates. Notably, in most Canadian longitudinal data, one cannot control for educational differences between immigrants and Canadian-born individuals.

The Canadian Oscar winner few have heard of (Guy Dixon, Globe and Mail)
When Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s name was called as an Academy Award winner on Sunday night, few people watching had heard of the Pakistani-born documentary maker. Fewer still in her second home, Canada. Obaid-Chinoy won the documentary-short Oscar for the film Saving Face, with co-director Daniel Junge, and since then her phone has been ringing frantically. Raised in Pakistan but a Toronto resident since 2004 and a Canadian citizen, she is being hailed by the Pakistani press for having won that country’s first Oscar.

Meet tomorrow’s leaders today: Our March 22 panel spotlights some of the city’s brightest new lights (Yonge Street)
Good leadership can be hard to find. Following our successful Density Done Right panel, the March 22 edition of the Yonge Street Speaker Series will introduce us to some of the city’s most dynamic new talent, who will help us explore the importance of Toronto’s emerging leadership in shaping community and making our city a great place in which to live and work. They’ll also talk about what young leaders need from the city to get their work done. We’re very pleased to be back at the ING Direct Café for this event.

Experiences of an immigrant to Canada (Devanshu, Times of India)
After spending the last thirty months in Canada as an immigrant, I can add with fair conviction that the policy makers of the Canadian immigration department leave no stone unturned to make new immigrants start afresh from zero when they arrive here. Disagree? Let us examine the immigration process from the eyes of an applicant.


ANALYSIS: Unpacking the latest refugee reform bill (Dale Smith, Xtra!)
Kenney has recently repeated a few consistent messages that don’t necessarily reflect the reality of the refugee situation, both in Canada and abroad.

Refugee bill widens safe-country net (Kristen Shane, Embassy)
A proposed refugee law introduced earlier this month widens the net further than previous legislation so more countries could be designated as “safe”—meaning more asylum claims to Canada could be fast-tracked, with no access to appeals. While some analysts say they have no problems with the proposed new thresholds, others argue they are too broad and would capture countries such as Mexico, that shouldn’t even be up for review, as potentially “safe.”

Manotick churches screen local film for Karen refugees (Emma Jackson,
Manotick United Church will screen an Ottawa film company’s new documentary, How Can A Boy, on March 2 as part of a collaboration to support of the hundreds of Karen refugees arriving in Ottawa to escape decades of civil war.–manotick-churches-screen-local-film-for-karen-refugees


There ain’t no rental housing if there ain’t no rent (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Toronto Community Housing is rental housing. Over half TCHC’s revenue – the money needed to heat, insure, clean and fix its buildings – comes from rents. When tenants don’t pay their rent, or fail to fulfill any of their other obligations under their lease, they hurt their buildings and their neighbours. Should tenants living in poverty be expected to pay rent? That’s what subsidies are for. Over 90% of TCHC tenants have rents set at 30% of their income. When incomes go down, so does the rent

Canada’s Prosperity Hindered by Income Inequality, Report Finds (Omid Ghoreishi, Epoch Times)
Canada needs to address income inequality if it is to take advantage of its human capital and succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy, says a new report published by Action Canada. “If success in the knowledge-based economy depends on human capital, and if inequality and poverty negatively affect the components of human capital, then Canada’s rising inequality and persistently high levels of poverty could be jeopardizing its capacity to prosper,” reads the report, titled “Prospering Together.”

Supporting the System (TVO The Agenda)
The Agenda explores what is needed to bring transformational change to Ontario’s social assistance system.

“Nothing For A Rainy Day” 2 (CBC Metro Morning)
This morning Mary Wiens brings us the tale of two people from two very different industries, and a growing age bias across all sectors.


‘Drummond’s Roadmap to Austerity: A Watershed Moment in Ontario Politics’ (Andrew Perez, Public Policy and Governance Review)
As it becomes readily apparent when sifting through the report, Mr. Drummond cloaks many of his findings in ‘reimagining how public services are delivered’ lingo. To be sure, this axiom has almost become engraved in the minds of senior public servants and influential political aids; to that end, the ‘reimagining ethos’ is the common thread interwoven throughout the document. In it, Mr. Drummond examines a multitude of policy silos and government programs, charting 362 recommendations in total. It’s anticipated the government will cherry-pick from these recommendations, executing only those deemed politically palatable.


Migrant farm workers need better integration, study says (CBC)
Migrant farm workers across the country are becoming a permanent part of many rural areas but they remain isolated and unable to integrate into Canadian society, according to a new study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Full report: Permanently Temporary? Agricultural Migrant Workers and Their Integration in Canada –

Video: Pitney Bowes discusses their experience with TRIEC (Mississauga Board of Trade)
ITSinMississauga (International Trained and Skilled in Mississauga) is an employer focused program delivered by Mississauga Board of Trade, geared at assisting Mississauga businesses with the employment integration of foreign-trained professionals. Through an employer awareness campaign, the program increases awareness amongst employers on the benefits of hiring foreign trade professionals and the resources, tools and services available to support the hiring, integration, training and retention of skilled immigrants.

Employers can show the way (hireimmigrants)
Successful businesses get the most from new hires by investing in them. For skilled immigrant hires, this may mean supporting them in language training and network building… Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at TD Economics, talks about how TD unlocks employee potential by helping them develop their “soft” skills.

Network of networks for newcomers (South Asian Focus)
At an event at the Toronto Board of Trade recently, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (Triec), the Government of Canada and Scotiabank introduced a vital new website as part of the Professional Immigrant Networks initiative (PINs) to forge connections between immigrants, employers and community agencies — all with the goal of advancing immigrant employment.

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine Offers Program Delivery for International Medical Graduates (Digital Journal)
Today, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) is initiating registration for a new bridge delivery of its naturopathic medical program, developed specifically for international medical graduates (IMGs).


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

The Atlantic explores what Toronto’s Spacing magazine is doing right (Yonge Street)
The Atlantic interviews Matthew Blackett, the co-founder, publisher and creative director of Toronto city-focused publication, Spacing. Devoted to “understudying the urban landscape,” Spacing has been growing steadily—both in circulation and in influence—for over 10 year.


Babies help pupils learn empathy (Carys Mills, Globe and Mail)
A class of Grade 4 students at George Webster Elementary watch eight-month-old Patrick, who sits on a green blanket in the middle of their circle. His tiny white shirt says “teacher” and it’s no joke. Patrick is a teacher with Roots of Empathy, which began in Toronto in 1996, and pairs volunteer parents and their young children with classrooms. It’s more than a preventive bullying program, according to founder Mary Gordon. Through learning about a baby, elementary school students become more empathetic, reducing bullying and aggression, she says.

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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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