Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 23, 2012

The language challenge from Maytree Canada (
Omidvar used her time well, bringing Alan Broadbent’s Three I’s of Integration (Investment, Intentionality, Instruments) to our attention, the Maytree’s Five Good Ideas project, to name only two. But it was her discussion about the language we use in Canada when discussing immigration that really caught my interest. We talk about multiculturalism, interculturalism, multiversalism, and the dreaded by almost all – tolerance.  Omidvar always has enlightening and thought provoking things to say about immigration and settlement, but I want to focus on a challenge she posed to those of us attending the forum. With regard to language, Omidvar proposed that the word integration is problematic – that is somehow diminishes the newcomer by subsuming her into the Other, new world she is settling in, that the accommodations made are made by the newcomer. Inclusion however is, according to Omidvar, a 2-way street and one that welcomes the participation of the newcomer (which was the point of the event: how to engage newcomer participation).
Proposal for conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses (CCR)
In March 2011, the federal government announced a proposal to introduce a conditional permanent residence period of two years or more for sponsored spouses and partners who have been in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsors. According to the proposal, if the sponsored spouse or partner does not remain in a bona fide relationship with their sponsor during the conditional period, their permanent residence could be revoked. Portal Launches (Broadcaster Magazine)
Today marks the launch of the new Médiasdiversité web portal, designed specifically for people from ethnocultural and Aboriginal communities in Québec, as well as persons with disabilities. This shift to the Web is an extension of the Médiadiversité project (previously Télédiversité), created in 2005 by Astral Media Inc. and Groupe TVA Inc.  The new website offers Quebecers interested in the media industry a wide range of content, including a virtual job fair, a series of interviews and video capsules, as well as articles and stories on the trades and occupations in the industry reported by people passionate about their field. The site also provides tips for creators who want to improve their chances of having their artistic projects supported by broadcasters.
Markham Hosts Inaugural Straight Talk Forum Discussion (Town of Markham)
Moderated by well known radio host John Tory (Newstalk 1010) and involving high profile personalities from a variety of media channels, including: Karen King, President of Karen King Consulting; Lori Abittan, President & CEO of Multimedia Nova Corporation; Lorraine Zander, Editor-in-Chief of Faze Magazine; Ron Waksman, National Director of Editorial Content/Online news for Global News; Tony Wong, Senior Reporter at the Toronto Star; and Vinita Srivastava, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Ryerson University.  The forum, free and open to the public, will encourage an open, transparent and penalty-free dialogue about the complex issue of portraying diversity in the media.!ut/p/c5/rY7NcoIwAISfxRcwCSKBY0xQUELLT4ByYQJaxoaAlkorT187PffW3dnTzuy3oAQP93I6t_LjPPSyAwUorcp82lEaZHZkxCaEvs-ydcgixD0L5KCAZpW83S_-rOb4bY75mFKUBtEndzXkjD9C5yQoeaJQyHHIP943Pp99iEYHZdvIJexW-SZcgD0o226oH9T858cPF8dGIFacsAOBviBr6AXUgNj67eEfIhCE3qBP4AWUuDLtmNBtCKMwc4zHiivoxvP2kUAg_d_351ovPxu9hMsVNpCNbBvCNUYOQiAPhYXZyFv2fM_Z1mLJMe8KZw-bLy4EI23jFpaD82vJ9BFfxTyutZN4ipCpPn1VTDeN4idvw1nNxEQOtz1NX82WFj2POi7t6qmJbFL2Vzx0mYwDNVSyJCrG-phQGTp9pu43q5LucTzUU3q6bJl0osJdNfFt5xn-bmUOC3DRk1KvrJjJYvENQiy8pg!!/dl3/d3/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/?pcid=1d859a804a8610068c9beef69c88f213
Markham Straight Talk Forum – Diversity and the Media: Is the media portraying our diversity? (YouTube)
Markham is presenting a unique media forum on diversity Sunday, March 25, 2012. The forum — “Straight Talk — Diversity and the Media: Is the media portraying our diversity?” — promises to provide a frank, compelling and insightful discussion.
Expect ‘modest’ cuts, no housing-market moves in budget: Flaherty (Bill Curry, Globe and Mail)
Next week’s federal budget will only contain “modest” spending reductions and will be primarily focused on longer-term issues like reforming Canada’s innovation and immigration programs, says Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.  Speaking to reporters Thursday exactly one week before he releases what is expected to be a weighty and wide-ranging federal budget, Mr. Flaherty portrayed the looming spending cuts as a relatively minor part of the March 29 budget.
Alice Carriman honoured with Agnes Macphail Award (Danielle Milley, InsideToronto)
Alice Carriman isn’t in it for the accolades.  When she was starting an after-school program at Thorncliffe Park Public School, planting gardens to teach the students in the community and doing the legwork for what would become the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office she was just quietly doing what she could to help young people and her community.  Carriman’s time for recognition has finally come.–alice-carriman-honoured-with-agnes-macphail-award
WATCHDOG: Agnes Macphail Award celebrates putting ideas into action (Joe Cooper, InsideToronto)
This year’s award recipient is Alice Carriman, who grew up on the small island of Carriacou, off Grenada.  After training as a nurse, she immigrated to Canada and made Thorncliffe Park her home. Embracing her community, Carriman established many programs that have become permanent institutions throughout East York, such as the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, an after school program and the East York Spelling Bee. Carriman was raised believing that one’s life involved being good and teaching others through example, and her life is certainly an example of those ideals in practice.–watchdog-agnes-macphail-award-celebrates-putting-ideas-into-action
Windsor police service stresses diversity (Beatrice Fantoni, Windsor Star)
As part of its three-year project to eliminate discrimination and racism, Windsor police will spend 2012 promoting police jobs to younger and more culturally diverse students as well as adding services for people with disabilities. Since early 2011, Windsor police have been working with the Ontario Human Rights Commission to identify where the force needs to change so that racism and other human rights abuses are eliminated both internally and externally.
Event celebrates cultural diversity in Grande Prairie (VIDEO) (Adam Jackson, Herald-Tribune)
For a city such as Grande Prairie that attracts people from across Canada and around the globe, being welcoming and inclusive to all cultures is important.  The City of Grande Prairie showed that Wednesday evening with its celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at Ovations! Dinner Theatre.
Toronto film festival to showcase Bollywood diversity (Saibal Chatterjee, BBC)
Film-makers from Mumbai, home to India’s thriving Bollywood, will be showcased at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff).  The festival’s famed City to City section will showcase the emerging trends of Mumbai cinema, the festival artistic director Cameron Bailey says.  Mr Bailey says the idea is “to introduce the new generation of independent Mumbai film-makers to audiences and buyers in Toronto and help create a platform for their films in North America”.
Help youth explore their lives in theatre (Theresa McManus, The Record)
The NuYu Popular Theatre Project will be presenting an interactive youth theatre event in New Westminster.  Participants of the NuYu Youth Empowerment program will perform at the New Westminster Secondary School library on Friday, March 30 from 3: 30 to 5 p.m. The NuYu Popular Theatre Project is a multicultural immigrant and refugee youth group that uses popular theatre as a tool for participants to connect with each other, be creative and explore their lives.  Mosaic’s NuYu Popular Theatre Project and the specialized immigrant youth initiative of New Westminster School District are presenting the event. The community is welcome to attend the free event, which includes refreshments.
UBC to grant honorary degrees to interned Japanese Canadians, create Asian Canadian Studies program (Craig Takeuchi,
They have worked their way into key industries, due to lower living and labour standards. They multiply rapidly. Even though they are in Canada, they speak only their native tongue.  These were just some of the points that The Ubyssey ‘s news editor Jack Ferry made in a column entitled “More Than One Man’s Opinion”, published on January 12, 1942.  He was referring to the “Japs”. Or the “Japanese Problem”. This was shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941, when the loyalty of Japanese Canadians was being questioned. We may scoff at such sentiments now as outdated. Unfortunately, variations of these points continue to be expressed about various ethnic groups and immigrants in Vancouver and Canada to this day, on the internet.  It’s all the more reason why lessons from the past cannot be forgotten.
Past wrongs can’t always be undone (Tom Flanagan, Globe and Mail)
The list is long and may get longer as descendants of other groups ponder their ancient wrongs – African slaves brought to Canada against their will, Acadians deported from Nova Scotia, potato-famine Irish who died in the fever sheds of Quebec City … Canada must be a cruel country to have committed so many crimes. I would regret immigrating here, if I could think of a better place to live.  Those seeking redress of historical grievances typically want some combination of three things: an apology for past wrongs, public recognition of their suffering and (often but not always) financial compensation. How to react to such claims? Those seeking elected office will inevitably treat them as political issues, ideal for mobilizing new support groups, but is there a more philosophical approach?
Writing Competition for ESL Instructors (Settlement AtWork)
The aim of ESL week is to raise awareness of the importance of English language learning opportunities for newcomers to Canada. All individuals involved with learning, teaching and organizing ESL in Ontario are invited to participate in our ESL week contests. Language Instructors from all publicly funded language training programs, school boards, colleges, universities and private language schools are welcome to participate. The deadline for contest submissions is July 15, 2012.
#CdnImm event: Knowledge-Sharing on Canadian Immigration (Settlement AtWork)
This event will host some presentations from collaborators in the sector, followed by a discussion and further information sharing from attendees. Taking place regularly, these events seek to broaden the important discussions happening in the sector as well as increasing and strengthening the bonds between collaborators to improve our understanding of the sector and to improve services. Event topic:  Canadian Immigration: Theory & Practice: Connecting academics on immigration with practitioners in settlement. Sharing information to understand the sector and collaborating to improve services of integration.
Immigration fees doubled in Bachand budget (CTV)
After asking Quebec citizens to “pay their fair share,” the Charest government is now increasing the burden on new immigrants.  In Quebec’s new budget, tabled by Finance Minister Raymond Bachand yesterday, the fee for new immigrants asking for a qualified worker certificate will increase by 85 per cent, from $406 to $750.  Slipped discretely into the budget, the $750 fee will now be subject to annual increases based on the rate of inflation. The fee will be charged on top of the existing $550 fee assessed by the federal government.
New survey for immigrants (The Fountain Pen)
The Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership, City of Guelph, and the University of Guelph are surveying local immigrants to identify gaps and opportunities in employment, English language training, community programs and services, and community integration and inclusion.  “Immigrants are important members of our community, and it is essential to know how we can build a city that is economically and socially inclusive,” said Alex Goss, project manager for the Guelph-Wellington Local Immigration Partnership.
Canada immigration extends Super Visa for visiting mother (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Immigration officials have extended the length of authorized stay of a visiting parent from India following a Star story last week about her family’s frustration with a six-month restriction under Ottawa’s new Super Visa.  The 10-year visa was launched in December to facilitate the visits of parents and grandparents to their Canadian family by allowing them a 24-month stay in each visit — a measure to address the immigration backlog in family reunification.–canada-immigration-extends-super-visa-for-visiting-mother
Report: Seniors returning to Canada (Statistics Canada)
While emigration has traditionally been regarded as a ‘brain drain’ through which Canada permanently loses human capital, recent studies suggest that the nature of international migration is changing. Specifically, it is viewed as more circulatory than in the past, with many individuals leaving their home country with the intention of returning at some point in the future (Aydemir and Robinson 2006; Michalowski and Tran 2008; Zhang 2009a).1  The characteristics of emigrants who return to Canada, and particularly the age at which they do so, may have social and economic implications. The return of younger emigrants is typically viewed as a reversal of the ‘brain drain,’ with many young emigrants “drawn from sectors thought to be important to Canada’s economy and society” (Zhao et al. 2000, p. 42). Research underscores the extent to which international networks and experience improve the labour market outcomes of younger emigrants upon their return to their home countries (Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada 2011; Finnie 2007; Fangmeng and Zhongdong 2006; Cervantes and Guellec 2002). Overall, younger returnees provide Canada with an inflow of individuals in their prime working years, many of whom have valued skills and experience.
Unfair Policy Fails Refugees and Canadians: Parliament Hill press conference and demonstration on Bill C-31 (CCR)
Media are invited to hear arguments on why Bill C-31 should be withdrawn or defeated at second reading.  Human rights and refugee groups are calling for a fair, independent and affordable refugee system. They will speak to their serious concerns about this bill, which is unconstitutional, undermines Canada’s humanitarian traditions, and violates Canada’s international obligations. Bill C-31 is bad policy and creates a manifestly unfair system that will fail to protect refugees in Canada.
The Luck of the Draw? Judicial Review of Refugee Determinations in the Federal Court of Canada (2005-2010) (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers)
This working paper offers an empirical examination of judicial review in Canada’s Federal Court in the refugee law context. Drawing on a dataset of over 23,000 applications for judicial review of refugee determinations from 2005 to 2010, the paper examines whether outcomes in these life-and-death applications turn on their merits, or whether, instead, they hinge on which judge is assigned to decide the application. The paper reveals that outcomes over the past five years frequently came down to the luck of the draw, with, for example, one judge more than 50 times as likely to grant applications than another judge. Based on these findings, the author offers several recommendations for reform to enhance fairness and consistency in this important area of law.
Refugee claim success depends on luck of the draw, report finds (Don Butler, The Ottawa Citizen)
Luck of the draw often determines whether refugee applicants succeed or fail at the Federal Court of Canada, according to a major new study that concludes reform is urgently needed.  Sean Rehaag, an assistant professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, reviewed more than 23,000 applications for judicial review of refugee determinations filed between 2005 and 2010. Almost all were filed by people whose claims for protection had been denied by the Immigration and Refugee Board.
Bill C-31: The Minister says one thing; his Bill says another (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers)
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Jason Kenney, has released a document to Canada’s ethnic communities entitled “Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (C-31): Myth vs Reality”.  The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) has corrected the misinformation contained in the Minister’s document, using a precise reading of Bill C-31, the Minister’s own bill.
Activist Communiqué: No One Is Illegal – Toronto blitzes MP offices demanding that the Refugee Exclusion Act be axed (Krystalline Kraus,
Members of No One Is Illegal Toronto and allies in St. Catherines hand delivered letters to seven of the twelve members of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) today in a coordinated blitz demanding that the Refugee Exclusion Act (Bill C-31) be thrown in to the dustbin of history. Bill C-31 is an omnibus immigration bill that would jail asylum seekers, entrench a two-tier refugee system that would discriminate against many, and give the Immigration Minister the ability to take away people’s permanent residency after they have been granted refugee status. Not only that, it advocates intrusive biometrics data collection on all migrants in the country, and gives increased powers of arrest and detention to border guards that will affect tourists, permanent residents, students and refugees alike.
New Face Of Poverty (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with our business commentator Michael Hlinka.
Prosperity, Innovation, and Inequality (Martin Prosperity Institute)
From the Occupy movement to debates at City Hall, there has been increasing media and academic attention surrounding the startling –and growing – levels of poverty and inequality in our Canadian cities. In many publications, Canadian cities were displayed in relation to the change over time, while others explained the social costs of the rising rates of inequality in cities such as Toronto. Recently, the Action Canada Task Force released a working paper entitled Prospering Together: Addressing Inequality and Poverty to Succeed in the Knowledge-Based Economy. This working paper describes levels of inequality both across the country as a whole and compared to other similar peer countries. The authors argue that the growing income inequality in Canada, especially compared to its peer countries is more than a social issue, but that it is negatively impacting the Canadian economy and innovation. The Martin Prosperity Institute is releasing this Insight to facilitate the continual discussion regarding inequality and poverty, and as a summary of a paper released by Action Canada.
URGENT ACTION: Countdown to the budget – Send a tweet to stop the $6 million cut to employment standards enforcement (Workers’ Action Centre)
The provincial budget will be announced next Tuesday.   Wage theft is at a crisis, yet the government is planning to cut $6 million from employment standards enforcement.  This is our last chance to urge politicians not to break their promise to workers.
Building New ERGs- Steps and Tips (Profiles in Diversity Journal)
It is critical to gain support from company executives to ensure the success of your ERG. Reach out to top level management people like the COO, CEO or CFO and ask for support for your group.
Canada now competing with Australia in “brain drain” of Irish workforce (Irish Central)
Canada is still on its search to bring skilled workers over from Ireland with the promise of work. Boasting several different markets in need of skilled and talented workers, Canada is diligently looking towards Ireland to fill vacancies.  The Offaly Express reports that VisaFirst, a leading migration agent, is set to embark on a recruiting trip to entice skilled workers to come to Canada. Canada specifically has their eyes set on Irish farmers to come over for work, and are promising permanent residency to certain workers.
Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Transit and Other News.
Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Transit.
Toronto Council Approves Sheppard East LRT (Steve Munro)
Toronto Council, after over a day and a half’s debate, has approved the construction of a Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills to Morningside by a vote of 24-19.  This completes the rout of Mayor Ford’s subway plan and returns transit plans more or less to their position when he was elected.  The Mayor vows to fight on, but now sees this as a future campaign issue.  Today’s debate was, for the most part, more civil and organized than what we heard yesterday, except for an outburst from the Mayor and a speech showing his passionate hatred for streetcars.
Update: Forum Human Trafficking and Migration: Building Community Response April 24th. (FCJ Refugee Centre)
Focus: internationally trafficked persons and barriers to services and protection for these populations, including migrant victims who might be in Canada with some form of precarious immigration status such as seasonal workers, international students, and sponsored persons.
One Voice One Hope event to bring attention to human trafficking (Mallory Clarkson, London Community
Holman will be one of the people speaking at the One Voice One Hope human trafficking seminar later this month. Hosted by the London Anti-Human Trafficking Committee (LAHT), the two-day seminar is being held at the Salvation Army London Citadel (555 Springbank Dr.) where the hidden criminal activity will be discussed. Human trafficking is currently the fastest growing criminal activity in the world. It can involve both the illegal labour and sex trade industries, both of which will be touched on during the event. Stan Burditt, a member of both the LAHT and the Men Against Sexual Trafficking, said there are more cases of the latter category in Canada.
Increasing number of Canadians arrested for sex tourism (End Modern-Day Slavery)
At least 73 Canadians have been arrested outside the country for abusing or molesting children or possessing child pornography in the last three years.  That number – 73 – only hints at how many Canadians may actually travel abroad to have sex with children.  Provided by Foreign Affairs in response to an Access to Information request, it accounts only for those who asked for consular assistance after they were detained.  It does not include any who were detained on those charges but didn’t ask for help. It doesn’t include Canadians detained in countries such as Cambodia where Canada does not have an embassy.  Still, it marks a steep increase.
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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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Fala @RLui70! Faz um tempao meu irmao! :-) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, comments from UNESCO