Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 22, 2012


The changing face of poverty in Canada (Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail)
Recent immigrants are faring worse. Low income among this group was just 10 per cent in the late-1970s, with the proportion doubling in the 1980s. All three poverty measures show the low-income rate for recent arrivals swelled between 2007 and 2008 and was stable in 2009.

MULTICULTURALISM: Success, Failure, and the Future – PDF (Will Kymlicka, Migration Policy Institute)
This report challenges four powerful myths about multiculturalism:
First, it disputes the caricature of multiculturalism as the uncritical celebration of diversity at
the expense of addressing grave societal problems such as unemployment and social isolation.
Instead it offers an account of multiculturalism as the pursuit of new relations of democratic
citizenship, inspired and constrained by human-rights ideals.
Second, it contests the idea that multiculturalism has been in wholesale retreat, and offers
instead evidence that multiculturalism policies (MCPs) have persisted, and have even grown
stronger, over the past ten years.
Third, it challenges the idea that multiculturalism has failed, and offers instead evidence that
MCPs have had positive effects.
Fourth, it disputes the idea that the spread of civic integration policies has displaced
multiculturalism or rendered it obsolete. The report instead offers evidence that MCPs are fully
consistent with certain forms of civic integration policies, and that indeed the combination of
multiculturalism with an enabling form of civic integration is both normatively desirable and
empirically effective in at least some cases.

Immigration imperative (Cape Breton Post)
Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley put a damper on the Nova Scotia governments position on the provincial nominee program during a press conference at the Irving shipyard in Halifax on Tuesday. Premier Darrell Dexter and the NDP want the federal government to raise the cap on the number of certificates issued under the immigrant skilled workers program from 500 to 1,500.

White Pride Rally in Edmonton March 24 (CCLA)
The white supremacist website,, announced that there would be a white pride rally in Edmonton on March 24 supported by a group that calls itself Blood & Honour (see the announcement here). The exact location of the rally will be announced the day before.

The persistence of racial inequality in Canada (The First Perspective)
Today in Canada we have legal protection for victims of discrimination and a constitutional guarantee of equality rights for all. Thus some would say that the March 21 commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is redundant since every day is a racism-free day in Canada. Indeed, according to an Angus Reid poll, while a third of Canadians (32 per cent) believe that racism is a significant problem in Canada, 55 per cent are satisfied that we have overcome it. But consider these facts from a recent Toronto Star series on Race and Policing. Black males living in Toronto are three times more likely to be carded by police, no matter where they live; police stop residents more frequently in neighbourhoods that are largely populated by people of colour. Not only are racialized people considered a greater crime threat, they also face greater surveillance.

Shared stories help bridge cultural differences (Terry Pender, The Record)
Suha Abukhousa travelled a long way to be part of a Wednesday commemoration of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. After fleeing war-ravaged Baghdad, Suha found shelter in a refugee camp on the Jordan-Iraq border and later in another refugee camp in Syria. Her father was killed in Baghdad.–shared-stories-help-bridge-cultural-differences

Reginan clears up immigration mix-up (Jonathan Hamelin, Leader-Post)
Her mother applied for a Super Visa, a new option for visitors to Canada announced in November that would allow them to travel in and out of Canada and visit their family over a period of 10 years, with each stay lasting two years. Her mother completed the process but, when she showed up at the border on Feb. 18, border officials granted her only a sixmonth stay. Parekh spent the next month trying to find out what happened, contacting Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. On March 16, after weeks of wondering and going to the media, Parekh received a call from CIC informing her that her mother would now be allowed to stay until Feb. 15, 2014. No reason was given.

Paying for Canadian Immigration Advice Pays Off, Statistics Prove: Transcend Consultants (PR Web)
Transcend Consultants analysed the figures released by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) showing results of the Applications for immigration in Canada, correlated with the use of Paid Representatives. The results show that paying for advice about Canada visa pays off for most Federal economic category applicants, including Immigrant Investors, Federal Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience Class and others. Deepak Kohli of Transcend Consultants shares the implications of this first-time study for the future applicants applying at Canadian consulates globally.

Ottawa police officer sets up Somali Hope Academy (John Curry, EMC Stittsville/Richmond)
A new 300 student school in Somalia should be opening this coming August thanks to the efforts of a Somalian-born Ottawa police officer, his colleagues and friends. Mahamud Elmi knows the value of education from his own life experience and that’s why he founded the Somali Hope Academy project. Born in Somalia, Mahamud lived in a refugee camp in Kanya for three years before coming to Canada in 1996, speaking no English. He ended up graduating from Ridgemont High School and then from St. Lawrence College, joining the Ottawa Police Service in 2003. He is currently completing an undergraduate degree in sociology at Carleton University.

Fighting ‘kidnapper’ stigma (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Child and Family Services wanted to reach out to Manitoba’s booming immigrant population, they thought they’d prepare some brochures and hand them out. It didn’t work. The new Canadians wanted nothing to do with “the enemy,” said Azarias Butariho, who came to Canada from Rwanda four years ago. ” ‘They are coming to steal our children,’ ” is the gut reaction when the initials CFS are heard, said Butariho. “They had a bad reputation,” said the New Journey Housing adviser and father of five.

Lethbridge becoming more and more attractive to immigrants (Katie May, Lethbridge Herald)
Lethbridge is becoming a popular destination for immigrants from all over the world, and with them comes change for local community groups. Most of the immigrants who choose to come to Canada still flock to the country’s most heavily populated cities: Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. But Calgary is fast becoming a top fourth choice, and many of those who find their way to the Prairies settle in Lethbridge, a network of community groups and service providers heard at a “Newcomers Network” event Wednesday.

How should parents talk about racism with their kids? Readers share their views (CNN)
Christy Oglesby, quality assurance manager for CNN/U.S. in Atlanta, wrote about the lessons about racism she’s felt compelled to pass on to her 12-year old son, Drew. Against the backdrop of the Trayvon Martin shooting, she says she feels justified in doing so. The hundreds of comments that poured in are evidence that the post affected many people quite deeply, and we felt it would be enlightening to share some of the most fascinating remarks with you.

How the West won their hearts: more new residents put down roots west of Ontario (Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press)
For years, Rosemary Venne saw bright young minds graduate from her university classroom in Saskatoon and leave the province. The new professionals wanted to head for larger cities, bigger companies and better opportunities. Not only was the brain drain demoralizing, but every five years come census time, it also branded Saskatchewan as a place with a stagnant or declining population. This year, however, the figures were dramatically different.

Wider Horizons (Charles Hamilton, Bridges)
Now, a century later, many Europeans are again leaving their home countries, looking for a better life across the ocean. In Ireland, a recent report by the Economic and Social Research Institute estimates that almost 1,000 people are leaving each week, many of them highly skilled workers. In Greece, thousands of immigrants are also fleeing a country with a massive unemployment rate in search of work. By 2030, according to Statistics Canada, more than 80 per cent of Canadas population growth will rely on immigration. And while Asian and African countries will still dominate the pool of newcomers to Canada, this country is now experiencing a massive influx of Europeans. Thousands are coming to Canada and new generations of European immigrants are finding a new home and jobs on the prairies.

Broader Horizons (Ashley Martin And Charles Hamilton)
With four children to support Tasos, now 24, Sofia, 17, Konstantina, 16, and Maria, 10 they heeded the advice of their cousins who had recently moved to Regina. They encouraged us to come here because there was plenty of work here if you want to work; thats true, says Evangelia. You get lots of opportunities, and for the kids it was better. And things have got lots worse (in Greece) since we came here seven months (ago) and lots of people would like to come here if they could. The family arrived on July 25 last year, the three adults on work permits and the girls on study permits.

Prairies see fastest population growth in latest Stats Can survey (Sheila Dabu Nonato, Postmedia News)
Buoyed by immigration, the Prairie provinces logged the fastest population growth among Canadian provinces and territories last year, according to Statistics Canada’s latest population survey, released Wednesday. “Western Canada is growing rapidly,” said Statistics Canada demographer Julien Berard-Chagnon, adding the region’s strong economy is a key factor in the country’s latest demographic picture. The populations of Ontario and Quebec grew in step with the national average while Atlantic Canada experienced slower population growth.

Data: N.S. faces stagnant population (Brett Bundale, Chronicle Herald)
Nova Scotias population appears to have hit a wall, with the number of people calling the province home lower in the first quarter of this year compared with the same time in 2011. The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that Nova Scotias population fell slightly to 945,532 in the first three months of this year, compared with 945,834 in 2011. Although it is not a steep decline, the stagnant numbers are enough to raise concern in a province facing a shortage of skilled workers.

Minister MacKay’s Statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Marketwire)
The Defence Team is committed to upholding these principles and takes proactive measures to be inclusive of men and women of all cultures, races, ethnic groups and religions. The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces have taken a hands-on approach to raising awareness and reminding personnel about the importance of diversity and employment equity through internal workshops, research, and community outreach. We take pride in highlighting employee success stories and in participating in commemorative and cultural events. Most importantly, we continue the two-way dialogue between members and leaders with the view to informing, learning and acting.

Free Gideon Bible handouts face another public school ban despite pressure (Colin Perkel, Toronto Star)
An expected ban on the free distribution of Gideon Bibles at public schools in a southern Ontario school district has angered those who see the decision as an atheist attack on religious values and children. Despite vocal support in favour of continuing the decades-old practice, the Bluewater District School Board is set to end the free handouts after its policy committee voted this week.–free-gideon-bible-handouts-face-another-public-school-ban-despite-pressure

First four recipients receive diversity awards (Michael Purvis, The Sault Star)
Finkler was one of four recipients Tuesday as the Sault Community Career Centre and Professions North handed out their first ever Diversity Awards. The SCCC also handed out awards to Essar Steel Algoma, the city-led Sault Ste. Marie Immigration Partnership, and HSBC. The awards are meant to recognize companies, groups and individuals who have gone out of their way to help new immigrants get jobs.

A reading series tries to heal the aftermath of war with words (Aparita Bhandari, Globe and Mail)
Looking for a Sri Lankan benefit reading series he was spearheading, Kumaran Nadesan remembered a phrase from Tamil-language news reports about the 25-year-long civil war that ravaged the island nation: Samadhana pechchu vaarthaigal, or peace talks. He wanted a word found in both Sinhalese and Tamil, the languages spoken by the two ethnic communities in conflict in Sri Lanka, and Samadhana seemed an innocuous choice.

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Immigration Fraud, Warn Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Competition Bureau (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Competition Bureau are joining together during Fraud Prevention Month to warn potential immigrants to be wary of websites claiming to be, or to be affiliated with, official Government of Canada websites. These websites, which sometimes use the Canada wordmark or CIC logo without permission to target individuals wishing to live in Canada, purport to offer special immigration deals or guaranteed high-paying jobs for a fee. Unfortunately, these claims are fraudulent and the victim loses his or her money with no tangible results


Myths and Facts – Protecting Refugees from Bill C-31 (CCR)
On February 16, 2012, the government introduced Bill C-31, an Act to Protect Canadas Refugee Determination System. Fierce rhetoric accompanied the launch of a bill that protects systems, not refugees. Here is what you need to know.

Refugee policies should be evidence-based (Susan McGrath,
Canadian policy-making on refugee issues is ignoring the evidence of leading researchers in the field. Empirical research that would improve refugee legislation and the practices of our refugee determination system is being overlooked to the detriment of refugees and the Canadian public. A key example is the immigration detention process.

In Thailand, Harper must reconcile smuggling crackdown with concern for refugees (Campbell Clark, Globe and Mail)
Canada started a new era of police co-operation with the Thais since the MV Sun Sea hit British Columbia in 2010 carrying 492 Sri Lankan Tamils from Thailand, and Mr. Harper will formalize this arrangement with Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra. But Thailand hasnt signed the international convention on protecting refugees. A Sri Lankan who shows up in Thailand seeking refugee status is considered an illegal immigrant. Asylum-seekers can be, and often are, arrested and deported.

Church congregation still waiting to bring a family over from Syria (Walter Cordery, The Daily News)
Members of the St. Philip’s By The Sea Anglican Church congregation wonder what derailed their plans to bring a family from Syria to the Nanaimo area. Rev. Susan Hayward-Brown said St. Philip’s outreach services decided to work with the Oceanside Plus Refugee Sponsorship group to bring a family from the El Hol refugee camp in Syria to the Nanaimo area

Upcoming event highlights dangers facing Mexican journalists (Belinda Alzner, J-Source)
A new study on the psychological health of Mexican journalists underscores the realities of day-to-day reporting in a country beset by a deadly drug war. The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, in association with the International News Safety Institute, will present The War Within: The Plight of Mexican Journalists on Friday evening, March 30th at 6:30 pm in the Upper Library at Massey College in Toronto.

A whole new life through education (Wendy Elliott, The Register/Advertiser)
Now on the other side of the continent, Lidu believes, education can change the world into a global village. His ambition is to study accounting and finance to someday support refugees as he has been supported. Responding to a question, Mohamed said female students are most vulnerable because they must work at home, while males have more freedom.


Perspectives of Parenting on a Low Income in Toronto (City of Toronto)
Toronto Public Health conducted a research study to explore what it is like for parents to raise young children in Toronto while living on a low income. The views of low income parents and Toronto Public Health staff that do home visits with low income families were captured through individual interviews. Some parents also took photos to show what life was like for their family. Parents and staff described the impact of living on a low income on children, parents, and communities. They also provided many suggestions for improving the situation for low income families. The study included a survey of Toronto residents examining their support for the suggestions made by parents and staff. The survey also assessed residents’ knowledge and attitudes toward child poverty. The study’s findings are being used to support program, advocacy, and policy initiatives focused on supporting parents with young children.

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Equity (Steve Barnes, Wellesley Institute)
Chronic disease prevention and management is a key health priority for the Ontario government, as evidenced by a chronic disease framework and disease-specific strategies. And as the government looks to reign in health spending, we can expect an even greater focus on health promotion initiatives that reduce health care costs.

11th North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress (Basic Income Canada Network)
While Canada, the United States, and many other OECD countries have grown increasingly unequal in recent years, equality has not been on the political agenda. Yet evidence shows that income inequality is accompanied by a range of significant negative consequences. Putting Equality Back on the Agenda will examine this growing trend of inequality and consider the option of a basic income to reduce economic disparity.

New Canadians facing various health challenges (Christina Marchant and Émilie Sartoretto, Centretown CHC)
When newcomers arrive in our communities, they are generally in better health than the Canadian-born population. But, over time, this health advantage, the healthy immigrant effect, tends to wear away and newcomers health status decreases, becoming more in line with the average Canadians. While some health issues are age-related, the stress of settlement and integration accounts for other health problems. Newcomers often face a lack of suitable employment, increased poverty, adverse mental health effects and an inability to pay for health coverage not available through the public health system.


Connecting in Communities Across Canada (SmartCity blog)
Today, the Colchester Regional Development Association launched a new initiative modeled after Greater Halifax Partnerships successful Halifax Connector Program. A version of this innovative approach to connecting immigrants to both communities and jobs is now found in nine communities across Canada. Started just over two years ago, Connector is a formalized networking initiative that began as a way to help new immigrants establish their network of professional contacts. In a short period of time it has attracted significant praise and attention, and Truros recent decision to replicate it is another testament to its success.

Ignite Your ERGs (Rosalyn Taylor ONeale, Profiles in Diversity Journal)
When Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) began in the late 70s they were often clandestine gatherings where individuals shared challenges and success strategies. ERGs provided a safe haven for women and African-American pioneers to connect and gather enough strength to return to disinterested and often hostile workplaces where their words and work were overlooked or invisible. One leader, David Kearns, then CEO at Xerox, recognized the power of this informal network and invited them to help Xerox become an employer of choice. Fast forward to 2012 and employee resource groupsalso known as affinity groups or employee networkshave evolved from safe haven social clubs into collaborative business partnerships engaged in everything from recruiting and retention efforts to marketing products and services to connecting companies to consumers.


The Sheppard LRT Report (Part II) (Steve Munro)
In the previous article, I reviewed the three main options under study for Sheppard East as well as the comments of the City Planning and Finance departments on various related issues. In this article, I turn to the Expert Panels evaluation of the options, their scoring system, and the question of bias in the process.


Why Charities Should Participate in Public Consultation (Dianne Saxe, Slaw)
With the launch of Conservative Senator Nicole Eatons inquiry into the Involvement of Foreign Foundations in Canadas Domestic Affairs, increased scrutiny is being focused on the activities of Canadas charitable environmental groups. In particular, is participating in public consultations, or encouraging others to do so, a political activity forbidden to charities?

Great Grants Award Recipients Chosen (Canada Newswire)
The Ontario Trillium Foundation today named the eight recipients of the prestigious 2012 Great Grants Awards. The awards recognize charitable and not-for-profit organizations that have had an exceptional impact in their communities. These organizations exemplify excellence, innovation and leadership in building healthy, vibrant communities. The 2012 Ontario Trillium Foundation Great Grants Awards will be handed out in the presence of Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Chan at a ceremony in Toronto March 23.

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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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