Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 3, 2012


Diversity and Inclusion: Going Beyond the ‘To Do’ List (Piragal Thiru (2011 DiverseCity Fellow), TamilCanadian)
One of the greatest pleasures of living in Toronto is the global character that comes with it. One can experience the world right here in Toronto and its surrounding municipalities without paying the expensive air fares. While the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is the most ethnically and racially diverse Region in Canada where visible minorities make up 40% of the population, such statistics are not reflected in the work and labour force. The underutilization of skills and expertise of new and visible minorities coming to Canada has and will continue to result in lost opportunities for this region and nation wide. A recent study put forth by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute found that visible minorities continue to be under represented in leadership roles in almost all sectors including public, corporate, and educational. Moreover, boards, commissions and political offices continue to be under represented across the GTA, though the current constituents are representing a very diverse community.

Quebec Man Sues Police Over Absurd Arrest (OnIslam)
A Canadian Muslim has filed a lawsuit against Quebec provincial police for arresting and humiliating him as a suspected terrorist over a casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to “blow away” the competition at a trade show, the Canadian Press reported on Thursday, February 2.

Muslim man: My workplace quip made me a terror suspect (Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press)
A casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to “blow away” the competition at a trade show has allegedly plunged a Muslim man into a terrorism probe. Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami says the innocent message, aimed at pumping up his staff, has had devastating consequences on his life.

Canada Is Letting White Supremacists Get Away With Murder (Shayna Zamkanei, Huffington Post)
Can hacking ever be justified for the good of society? Tentatively, yes. But only when the government fails to protect its citizens. Recently, European hackers leaked the names and personal information of scores of alleged white supremacists living in Canada. In an interview with CBC, University of Winnipeg sociology professor Helmut-Harry Loewen lauded the results, claiming, “We can now begin to piece together a more accurate picture in terms of the distribution of these types of racist groups across Canada.” The exposure of these individuals and groups, he argues, represents a severe blow to how these groups organize and where they are located.

Wikileaks-style exposure of neo-Nazis includes dozens of alleged Canadian white supremacists (Steve Mertl, Yahoo! News)
A controversial effort to expose neo-Nazis in Europe has spilled over into Canada, revealing the names of dozens of alleged Canadian white supremacists. The CBC reported the names were revealed on the web site, which has since been taken offline but apparently still shows up on mirror sites.

B.C. racist hate groups ‘destabilized’ by Anonymous: human rights activist (David P. Ball, Vancouver Observer)
Racist groups in B.C. are part of an international network exposed by recent anti-Nazi document leaks linking prominent hate groups’ online activities with the suspects of a string of violent attacks on people of colour in Vancouver. The hacking attacks come amid rumours that white supremacists are planning to rally in Vancouver on March 21. “B.C. has always been a hot-bed for hate groups, from the early KKK to the modern racist rock bands and now mixed martial arts devotees,” said Canadian Anti-Racism and Education Society (CAERS) representative Alan Dutton.

Kenney ‘regrets’ citizenship ceremony impostors (Jennifer Ditchburn, Chronicle Herald)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and the Sun News Network are laying the blame for a misleading televised citizenship ceremony squarely on the shoulders of federal civil servants. The Canadian Press reported Thursday that six federal bureaucrats were drafted to pose as new Canadians for a reaffirmation ceremony broadcast on the TV channel last October. Kenney’s office had asked the department to organize the event on short notice, adding it to the 60 events bureaucrats had planned for Canada’s Citizenship Week.

Sun TV’s fake citizenship ceremony discredits it and Harper government (Toronto Star editorial)
A fake citizenship ceremony. Federal bureaucrats pretending to be new Canadians. And all in a country of immigrants where new Canadians are, well, everywhere. Cue the laugh track. If only it weren’t true – and carried out on a national “news” network. It turns out that the Sun News network – a self-professed defender of the public purse – essentially ordered up a government ceremony to be delivered to its studios. Perhaps their camera crews were too busy staking out the CBC looking for waste to actually go to one of the 13 real ceremonies during citizenship week last October.–sun-tv-s-fake-citizenship-ceremony-discredits-it-and-harper-government

Immigration ministry blames bureaucrat for Sun News citizenship ceremony slip-up (Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star)
Flags, fakes and in the end, finger-pointing. That sums up a phony citizenship ceremony staged for Sun News Network last October that featured immigration department officials posing as new Canadians at an event organized at the behest of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office. Red-faced immigration officials were blaming a Toronto bureaucrat for the debacle but opposition politicians insist Kenney’s staff must have been in on the ruse to “placate” the network.–bureaucrat-in-jason-kenney-s-ministry-blamed-for-citizenship-ceremony-slip-up

Truth, Tories and the Sun Network: ‘Let’s do it. We can fake the Oath!’ (David Climenhaga, rabble)
More than one story emanating from Ottawa yesterday revealed the casual relationship between the Harper Conservatives and the truth, not to mention the special role Sun News Network plays in helping the party manufacture “facts” for public consumption. It’s tempting to dismiss both as unintentionally hilarious — as indeed, in their way, they are — but the issues underlying, as it were, are serious.

Fake Sun TV segment has mocked our democracy (Heather Mallick, Toronto Star)
When Stephen Harper’s government wants a happy clap-clap Canadian moment on Sun News, it goes the Full North Korean. Yes, six of the “new Canadians” attending a “reaffirmation” ceremony for Citizenship Week in the Sun studios last fall turn out not to have been recently minted citizens after all. As The Canadian Press’ Jennifer Ditchburn has reported, they were actually federal bureaucrats told to smile and wave the damn flag like they meant it. The thing looked like a school play with grown-ups. Sad frightened grown-ups.–mallick-fake-sun-tv-segment-has-mocked-our-democracy

Age groups split on immigration (Amanda Richardson, Fort McMurray Today)
Younger Canadians are more likely to support immigration and the idea of a cultural mosaic over older Canadians who favour the melting pot philosophy. A poll, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, questioned more than 1,000 Canadians between Jan. 26 and 27, ultimately finding that the lines are drawn on Canada’s immigration stance with 39% feeling it has a positive effect on the nation and 39% feeling the impact has a negative effect.

City not immune to discrimination (Dave Mabell, Lethbridge Herald)
As a child growing up in Lethbridge, Mayor Rajko Dodic remembers being taunted as a “bohunk.”
And he says it wasn’t until 1967 – 100 years after Canada was born – that Lethbridge city council considered allowing women to be appointed to civic committees. Changes in attitudes over recent years have helped create a more accepting, inclusive community, he told a conference here Thursday. But there’s still plenty of work to do. Dodic – who came to Lethbridge when his family immigrated from eastern Europe – spoke at the opening of a two-day conference focusing on diversity

ARRIVAL CITY Goes to China (Doug Saunders)
As you may know, my book Arrival City is very much concerned with China’s rapid urbanization. It contains field studies I conducted in a huge squatter city in Chongqing, an “urbanizing” village in Sichuan, and among a group of frustrated dormitory workers in Shenzhen. (See my audio slideshow, below, chronicling the extraordinary settlement in Chongqing). Now Chinese readers will have a chance to read it. Hangzhou MatrixBook, a very good publisher associated with Shanghai University, is publishing an attractive Chinese edition this month. And I will be visiting China later this spring to give a series of talks and to meet with scholars, officials and citizens interested in this book and its topics. Contact me if you’d like more information

Critics assail government over creation of religious office (Dale Smith, Xtra!)
Developing such an office in isolation of other policy areas gives an impression that Canada places religious freedom above other rights, says Andrew Lui, assistant professor at McMaster University and author of the forthcoming book Why Canada Cares: Human Rights and Foreign Policy in Theory and Practice. “What this does is it elevates religious freedom over and above other rights in a way that it would not have been before,” Lui says. “It would give them a much more prominent voice above, say, gender and human rights, which is one division, or peace building and human security, which is another, and fast-track that particular issue over and above these regional concerns.” There are also concerns about the usefulness of the office, which will have an annual $5 million budget within the department.

Language Translation in the Internet Age ‘My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels’ (Nancy K. Herther, InfoToday)
The internet has become a major communications system engulfing all aspects of commerce, government, education, information, healthcare, and other arenas. However, webpages are developed not only to convey information, but to market items. Webpages are designed to attract users and to keep them coming back. Along with poor design and typos, issues of unclear messages plague many websites today. The first part of this article series covered transcription and voice-command searching over the internet (“Voice Recognition Arrives!,” Vol. 19, No. 9, November 2011, pp. 20–29, 46). Another key area for which technology is hoping to assist searchers is in the area of language translation.

Systemic Discrimination in Law Firms: Perception or Reality? My Point of View (Yosie Saint-Cyr, Slaw)
“Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” Of course, and unfortunately, this is not always the case in practice. Many people continue to deny others equal treatment, intentionally and not. Law Times offers a recent example of alleged systemic discrimination; the case Law Society of Upper Canada v. Selwyn Milan McSween raises the question of whether racism hinders black lawyers’ participation in big law firms in Ontario. I am sure this problem is not exclusive to big law firms or Ontario.

Newcomer Champion Awards Nominations (Settlement AtWork)
Nominations for the Newcomer Champion Awards are now being accepted. Nominations can be made in the following categories:
ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassador
Community Leader
Newcomer Champion

Register Today For “welcoming Diversity” Forum: Deadline Friday, Feb. 3 (Sault This Week)
The Sault Ste. Marie Local Immigration Partnership is hosting a “Welcoming Diversity” Immigration Forum on February 9, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Comfort Suites and Conference Centre located at 229 Great Northern Road. Funded by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the forum will provide information about cultural diversity initiatives undertaken locally, provincially and nationally as well as immigration trends occurring in Ontario.

Multicultural challenges (Nicole Pope, Today’s Zaman)
Rather than putting multiculturalism itself in the dock, Canada should take concrete steps to examine how polices are implemented, perhaps learning from European countries that have tread this path in the past decade or so to offer better protection to potential victims. The horrendous homicides that hit the headlines are only the tip of the iceberg: A recent survey by the women’s rights organization Ikwro found that some 2,800 honor-related incidents, including forced marriages, intimidation and domestic abuse, were reported to the police in the UK in 2010. Until very recently, Western countries allowed culture to be used as a mitigating factor in court cases, a fact that critics of multiculturalism attribute to excessive political correctness and cultural relativism. It could also be seen as evidence of patriarchal biases, which allowed the male interpretation of culture to become the defining version, at the expense of the victims who shared the same cultural background but found it easier to combine multiple identities. In this particular case, Canada failed to protect Shafia’s daughters, who asked for help on several occasions only to backtrack when they were interviewed in front of their domineering father. The case promises to be a turning point that will lead to a policy review.

Visible Minority Groups (15), Age Groups (10) and Sex (3) for the Population of Census Metropolitan Areas, Tracted Census Agglomerations and Census Tracts, 2006 Census – 20% Sample Data (Statistics Canada)
This table is part of the topic ‘Ethnic origin and visible minorities’, which presents data on ethnic groups in Canada: their size, geographic location, and demographic characteristics. Similar information is available for Canada’s visible minority population.

International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations (Common Ground Publishing)
Welcome to the website of the Twelfth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations. In 2012, the conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada from 11-13 June 2012. This Conference will address a range of critically important themes in the study of diversity today. Plenary speakers will include some of the world’s leading thinkers in the field, as well as numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Video – Coming to Canada: Immigration Stories (TVO Parents)
Students at the Toronto District School Board’s Joyce Public School shared their family’s respective immigration story in digital comics or graphic novels. The project was part of a collaboration between Joyce PS and the Emergent Multiliteracies Project led by Heather Lotherington in York University’s Faculty of Education. Joyce PS is an inner city school in a highly diverse neighbourhood. The children’s families are originally from India, Eritrea, Greece and the former Yugoslavia. They use technology in the classroom like document cameras, MacBook laptops, Front Row systems and SMART Boards. One of the teachers at Joyce PS for this project was Andrew Schmitt, who a Premier’s Award for Teaching in 2007-08.

Canada’s Flourishing Halal Butchers (OnIslam)
Halal meat outlets are growing at a rapid pace in Canada’s Nova Scotia province, where they compete to cater to a large, diverse Muslim community and therefore earn a niche market, even among non-Muslims. “We became frustrated with the quality of halal meat available here,” Khalil Alshanti, co-owner of Taiba Halal Grocery, told The Chronicle Herald on Thursday, February 2.

New group gets immigrants talking (Janet Gibson, Meadow Lake Progress)
A woman who came to Meadow Lake from the Philippines 18 years ago is now helping other immigrants feel at home in Canada. Flora Krause, manager of A&W, Kastner got the idea to start the group after seeing many newcomers including people from Africa, China, Vietnam and Korea. “There’s more and more people coming to Meadow Lake,” she said. “It’s nice to unite them all.”


Mugesera charged in Rwanda (CBC)
Suspected war criminal Leon Mugesera has reportedly been charged in Rwanda. The long-time Quebec City resident, accused of inciting genocide in Rwanda, lost his final bid to avoid deportation on Jan. 23 when the Federal Court dismissed a motion for a stay of deportation. Radio-Canada reported Mugesera made an appearance Thursday morning in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.

Designated Representative’s Guide: Information for designated representatives January 2012 (IRB)
This guide is for persons who have been or are about to be appointed as designated representatives by a division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). It provides important information about the role and responsibilities of designated representatives.


Good rhetoric. Bad policy. (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
As someone who has worked off and on in communications, I know the value of the guerrilla statistic – that wham-o number that galvanizes action. But last week’s meeting of Toronto City Council’s Executive Committee reminded me that catchy communications can sometimes lead us down the wrong policy p

Crosscheck: Should B.C. care about income inequality? (Robert Matas, Globe and Mail)
“In Cuba, they don’t have any income inequality because they are all poor. We want to have an economy that is giving the people the opportunity to advance,” B.C. Finance Minister Kevin Falcon says in a comment on the growing disparity between rich and poor in the province. BC Stats has reported that British Columbia was second only to Alberta in terms of income inequality among the provinces in 2009.

Canada Income Inequality: Study Shows Government Policies Growing Less Effective At Narrowing Gap (Rachel Mendleson)
As debate about income inequality mounts, a new study underscores how important public investment in social programs like education and health care is in narrowing the rich-poor divide. At a time when Ottawa prepares to beat back the deficit with public spending cuts, the findings also show that the effect of Canada’s social safety net on narrowing the income gap waned in the early 2000s. “There seems to be a decline in the role of transfers on inequality in Canada,” says Andrew Sharpe, director of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards in Ottawa, and co-author of the study by the New York-based Levy Institute of Bard College.

Is The OAS/GIS Program Unaffordable? (Andrew Jackson, Behind the Numbers)
No. Of course not. Even if the government waves around scary large increases in nominal dollar terms. As has been widely reported, the most recent OAS actuarial report shows that total program expenditures will rise from $38.8 billion in 2011 to $107.9 billion in 2030. However, the dollar figure reflects, not just an increase in the number of OAS beneficiaries (from 4.9 million to 9.3 million), but also inflation. And the economy will grow over the same period.


Businesses to meet in Kelowna to discuss immigrant employment and labour shortage (IECBC)
On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, employers representing businesses in the Thompson-Okanagan region will meet inKelownafor an employer consultation, one of 15 sessions being held across the province to obtain feedback and advice from BC employers on attracting, hiring and retaining skilled immigrants. Lead by the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC), with funding from the Province of BC, the purpose of the consultation is to better understand the labour market needs of the Thompson-Okanagan region as part of an overall effort to develop more effective solutions that address the hiring challenges of businesses in BC.

Newcomers to fill one-third of B.C. job openings by 2020 (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
A substantial labour shortage is likely to hinder economic growth in B.C., unless the province can attract a lot more workers in the next 10 years, provincial data show. By 2020, there will be 61,500 more jobs in the province than people to fill them, according to B.C.’s most recent Labour Market Outlook, and that has the province relying on newcomers to B.C. to fill a third of all job openings within a decade.


Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage including City Hall, Transit and Other News.

Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage including City Hall, Transit, Ontario Place and Other News.


Social Finance for Nonprofits: Why You Should Care (Bree Gardner,
In an article written for The Philanthropist, Nora Sobolov, President and CEO of the Community Forward Fund, provides insight into alternative financing options for nonprofits. In Why you should care: how charities, nonprofits, and foundations can benefit from social finance, she discusses a number of ways to secure flexible funding that can help bridge the gaps between grant funding and project-based funding. In addition to highlighting various avenues for support, the article encourages nonprofits to rethink how they view loans, revenue-generation, assets, and entrepreneurship.

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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 1, 2012 #inclusion #cdnimm Thanks to all who submitted ideas...