Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 5, 2012

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY

Ontario Developing ‘First-ever’ Immigration Strategy (Ontario News)
To help build a stronger economy, Ontario will develop its first-ever immigration strategy. A new expert roundtable, led by Julia Deans, will help develop the strategy and examine ways that immigration can best support Ontario’s economic development and help new Ontarians find jobs.
http://m.news.ontario.ca/mci/en/2012/03/ontario-developing-first-ever-immigration-strategy.html

Ontario launches immigration expert panel (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Ontario will develop its “first-ever” immigration strategy to compete for newcomers against provinces in the booming Prairies. On Friday, Immigration Minister Charles Sousa announced a 13-member expert panel whose job is to come up with recommendations that best support Ontario’s economic development and help newcomers find jobs. Although the province remains the number one destination for newcomers to Canada, the number of immigrants settling in the province has declined by 21 per cent from a peak of 148,640 in 2001 to 118,114 in 2010.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1140173–ontario-launches-immigration-expert-panel

Ontario goes it alone on immigration, says Ottawa’s policy hurts province (Joe Friesen, Globe and Mail)
Having seen its dominant share of Canadian immigration shrink over the past decade, Ontario is fighting back. Ontario’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Charles Sousa said Friday that federal immigration policies are hurting Canada’s largest province. In response, Mr. Sousa announced the creation of Ontario’s first-ever immigration strategy, which he says will be crucial to the province’s economic future. He also called on the federal government to negotiate a new agreement on immigration with the province.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ontario-creates-goes-it-alone-on-immigration-says-ottawas-policy-hurts-province/article2357522/

New immigration point system for Canada in 2012 (Canadianimmigrant)
A revised points-based selection grid will be introduced to favour young immigrants with strong language skills, says federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Prospective immigrants in licensed professions will need to be pre-assessed to ensure they are likely to get certification in Canada before their applications are processed, Kenney said in Toronto at the annual gathering of Metropolis, an immigration research network that is about to lose its federal funding.
http://canadianimmigrant.ca/news-and-views/new-immigration-point-system-for-canada-in-2012

Kenney urges employers to help build just-in-time immigration system (Joe Friesen, Globe and Mail)
Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister wants business to be more like the government of Saskatchewan. Jason Kenney is calling on employers to actively seek out and recruit the skilled immigrants they need, as Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is doing in Ireland this week, so that the Immigration Department can fast-track their applications and address Canada’s skills shortages.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/kenney-calls-upon-employers-to-help-build-just-in-time-immigration-system/article2356117

We cannot complaint: Jason Kenney delivers his promise to “australianize” the immigration system (The Zieglers Blog)
The Minister of Immigration talked and the papers are already echoing all the buzz around what seems to be news but is no news: the coming changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program. In a News Release by Immigration Canada dated yesterday, we learned that Jason Kenney talked in Toronto about Changes to the Federal Skilled Worker program.
http://thezieglersblog.com/2012/03/we-cannot-complaint-jason-kenney-delivers-his-promise-to-australianize-the-immigration-system/

Jason Kenney’s Convoluted Contradictions (immigrantchildren.ca)
Kenney’s proposed changes would deny citizenship to babies born on Canadian soil but would confer automatic citizenship rights to children born on foreign soil. Is contradiction now a Canadian value?
http://immigrantchildren.ca/2012/03/03/jason-kenney%E2%80%99s-convoluted-contradictions/

Junior Achievement to Launch New Diversity in Action Program for Canadian Youth (PR Newswire)
Junior Achievement of Canada is pleased to announce that a new program focused on diversity will be launched this coming school year. Starting in September 2012, the national Junior Achievement of Canada Stronger Together: Diversity in Action program will be available in schools across Canada.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/02/4306990/junior-achievement-to-launch-new.html

Why is Canada keeping out China’s rich? (Tim Shufelt, Financial Post)
Masses of wealthy Chinese, their money huddled in less-than-secure foreign assets, are yearning to breathe the free air of Canadian capitalism. But Canada doesn’t seem to want them much. Brimming with the spoils of a historic economic expansion, Chinese millionaires by the tens of thousands wish to make Canada home for their families and their private wealth. The Canadian immigration system has a program in place to grant rich foreigners permanent resident status, provided they first hand over a six-figure sum to the federal government.
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/02/why-is-canada-keeping-out-chinas-rich/

Minister Kenney introduces sponsorship restriction to address marriage fraud (CIC)
The Government of Canada has put in place a bar on sponsorship in an ongoing effort to deter people from using a marriage of convenience to come to Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-03-02.asp

Migration through marriage just got harder (Kevin Connor, Toronto Sun)
Ottawa has tightened the strings on foreigners who try to use a fraudulent marriage to gain Canadian citizenship. The new law will force sponsored spouses to wait five years from when they are granted Canadian residence status before they can sponsor a new spouse. There have been problems where sponsors sponsor a person believing there is a love connection only to have their spouse skip town with Canadian status. The spouse could then sponsor another foreign spouse for money even though their sponsor would still be on the hook financially for them for three years.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/02/migration-through-marriage-just-got-harder

Immigrant rule targets marriages of convenience (Tobi Cohen, Winnipeg Free Press)
A five-year sponsorship bar to crack down on bogus marriages of convenience falls short of addressing the real problem, critics said Friday, shortly after Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced the regulatory change. Starting immediately, Kenney said spouses will have to wait five years from the day they are granted permanent residence status before they can sponsor a new partner. The move is meant to prevent people from fraudulently marrying Canadians for the purposes of immigration only to leave them and then sponsor a new partner while their Canadian spouse is still financially responsible for them for three years.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/immigrant-rule-targets-marriages-of-convenience-141282713.html

Canada’s Got — multicultural — Talent (Brad Oswald, Winnipeg Free Press)
If the show’s judges and producers are to be believed, Canada’s Got Talent won’t be just an entertainment program — it’ll also be an eye-opening examination of this country’s ever-changing multicultural mix. “I think Canada will notice that the demographics of this country have changed,” said opera star Measha Brueggergosman, who is partnered with showbiz icon Martin Short and musician/composer/producer Stephan Moccio on Canada’s Got Talent’s celebrity judging panel. “The things we expected to see in specific cities weren’t necessarily what we saw. We experienced a tremendous amount of multiculturalism expressed through art forms that I’d never seen before. I learned a lot about what it means to be Canadian.”
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/canadas-got—-multicultural—-talent-141282313.html

‘Birth tourism’ may change citizenship rules (Prithi Yelaja, CBC)
The Harper government is considering changes to the citizenship rules to target so-called birth tourism — where a foreign national comes to Canada to give birth so the baby can get Canadian citizenship. But critics say closing the loophole will deter bona fide immigrants and harm the economy in the long run.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/02/birth-immigration-citizenship.html

Filipinos transform Manitoba (Dan Lett, Winnipeg Free Press)
Fuelled by the extraordinary success of the provincial nominee immigration program, Manitoba’s Filipino community has exploded to nearly 60,000 people, a 50 per cent increase in the last five years alone. Although data from the 2011 census will not be available until early next year, the most recent provincial statistics show an additional 19,108 immigrants from the Philippines arrived in Manitoba over the past five years. That’s a 50 per cent increase to the province’s existing Filipino community, which was pegged at just over 38,000 by the 2006 census.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/filipinos-transform-manitoba-141282363.html

Winnipeg is home, closely knit home for nearly 60,000-strong Filipino community (Dan Lett, Winnipeg Free Press)
Starting in the late 1950s and continuing today, Filipinos have flocked to Winnipeg for reasons that are not entirely clear. Certainly, iterations of favourable immigration policy have helped. Offers of jobs and, sometimes, citizenship are widely circulated around the Philippines. And it appears the critical mass of expat Filipinos, which has built to nearly 60,000 today, is the biggest draw. Cantiveros said he and Linda were not initially committed to staying in Winnipeg; they both thought a two- or three-month trial period in Canada would likely end with a return to Manila. But with so many Filipinos to support them, that trial period turned into a lifetime as a Canadian.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/home-closely-knit-home-141281503.html

These people know how to picnic (Terence Moore, Winnipeg Free Press)
In the little Anglican church at Hodgson, two hours’ drive north of Winnipeg, the day we attended the service there a couple of years ago, the hymns were accompanied on the piano by a young woman of Asian appearance. She and my wife fell into conversation on the church steps afterwards and quickly found out they were both born in the Philippines. A surprise for both, since there aren’t a whole lot of Filipinos in Hodgson. The vast majority of Filipinos in Manitoba are Roman Catholics. So the chances of two Filipinas encountering each other one summer morning at the Anglican church in Hodgson should be about a zillion to one. They laughed together at the delightful surprise.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/these-people-know-how-to-picnic-141281833.html

‘We have a deep faith in God’ (John Longhurst, Winnipeg Free Press)
“Filipino immigration has been an enormous benefit to the archdiocese of Winnipeg,” says Archbishop James Weisgerber. “We have received thousands of families over the last 40 years and more. They are a vital part of the church community.” For Weisgerber, the Catholic Church in Winnipeg “would be very different without our Filipino sisters and brothers. They bring many new and important cultural expressions of the faith. They share them with the rest of the community, and in turn receive different gifts and experiences from the larger community. Both groups are enriched.” St. Peter’s isn’t the only church impacted by immigration from the Philippines; there are Filipinos in almost all the parishes in Winnipeg — in churches like St. Peter’s, St. Patrick’s, St. Edward the Confessor, St. Anthony’s and St. Joseph’s, along with a large group at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/we-have-a-deep-faith-in-god-141281773.html

Ah, the good old days of immigration (Reis R. Pagtakhan, Winnipeg Free Press)
Gone are the days of in-person service from government. The three- to four-page immigration form my father filled out has morphed into application packages of dozens of pages. The $50 per person in assets ($200 for a family of four) has now been replaced by a requirement this same family of four have $16,000 or more before they will be allowed to immigrate. The 12 weeks my father waited for his “telegram visa” is now one to two years or more for a visa in a similar immigration category. The six months it took my grandfather to get his visa is now closer to eight years for today’s comparable immigration category. To top it off, it has been decades since a person could sponsor their siblings. Sure, siblings can still immigrate, but the criteria are more stringent. If a family can raise the money, they still must meet minimum criteria for education, work experience and language.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/ah-the-good-old-days-of-immigration-141282113.html

Filipino? Canadian? Striking a balance (Darlyne Bautista, Winnipeg Free Press)
Our heritage runs deep in Winnipeg. We are the children (both adopted and naturally born) of the Filipino-Canadian community’s early pioneers — the nurses, doctors, and garment industry recruits. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, you couldn’t miss us. We were springing up in the North and West Ends, especially as the first wave of Filipino-Canadian children. We spoke flawless English and, depending on the schools we attended, we also spoke French. We sprinkled our vocabulary with the Filipino languages and dialects we heard at home — Tagalog, Ilocano, Visaya, Kapampangan, Ilongo, or Pangasinan (the list goes on).
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/filipino-canadian-striking-a-balance-141282193.html

Canada continued to welcome a high number of immigrants in 2011 (CIC)
Canada continued to welcome a high number of immigrants in 2011, according to preliminary data released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) today. Canada welcomed 248,660 permanent residents in 2011, well within the Government’s planning range of 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents for the year and consistent with the average of about a quarter of a million immigrants admitted to Canada annually since 2006 – the highest sustained level of immigration in Canadian history.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-03-02a.asp

Canadian Olympic Team embraces Canada’s multiculturalism through sport (South Asia Mail)
Yesterday evening, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), along with Canadian athletes, reached out to multicultural media at an event in Toronto to celebrate the importance of Canada’s cultural diversity as we move closer to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=103686

Fraser Institute Ranks Academic Performance of 2,695 Ontario Elementary Schools (Marketwire)
The report card also includes key information about each school’s make-up, including parents’ average income, the percentage of ESL students, and the percentage of special needs students. Results of the report card are available in an interactive and searchable format or as a free PDF at www.compareschoolrankings.org . According to the rankings, the 20 Ontario elementary schools showing the fastest academic improvement over the past five years include 16 schools where parental incomes are below the provincial average. At one of these schools, ESL students make up 32.7 per cent of the total student enrollment; at another, 36.6 per cent of the students are special needs. The complete list follows.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fraser-institute-ranks-academic-performance-of-2695-ontario-elementary-schools-2012-03-04

CSIS calls surprise work visits a ‘legitimate investigative strategy’ (Jim Bronskill, Globe and Mail)
Canada’s spy agency considers surprise workplace visits to be a “legitimate investigative strategy” despite persistent public concerns about the practice, a newly disclosed policy memo says. The memo surfaced recently further to a complaint lodged by an Ottawa woman who took exception to being visited by Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers at her office.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/csis-calls-surprise-work-visits-a-legitimate-investigative-strategy/article2358076/

When the state raises your kids, you don’t (John Robson, Toronto Sun)
Canada’s Supreme Court just said parents can’t withdraw kids from Quebec’s religion and ethics class because such conduct “amounts to a rejection of the multicultural reality of Canadian society and ignores the Quebec government’s obligations with regard to public education.” Which trump parental desires. Meanwhile, Alberta’s new Education Act won’t let home-schoolers and religious schools express “disrespect for differences”. A ministry spokesperson burbled: “You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction.” But doesn’t instruction include what you teach at the dinner table? Again, the state overrules parents in classrooms, and if they home-school it follows them home.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/02/when-the-state-raises-your-kids-you-dont

Proclamation: Ethiopian Canadian Heritage Month (City of Toronto)
I, Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as “Ethiopian Canadian Heritage Month” in the City of Toronto.
http://www.toronto.ca/proclamations/2012/ethiopiancanadianheritage2012.htm

March 2012 e-bulletin (CCLA)
In this issue, we’re putting the spotlight on what’s happening in Ottawa at the federal level. Read about CCLA’s work on the cybersurveillance bill (Bill C-30) proposing to extend police powers to obtain the electronic identity of people without a warrant, and the refugee reform bill (Bill C-31) that seeks to imprison claimants for twelve months without judicial oversight. CCLA appeared at Senate in a last ditch effort to propose amendments to the Omnibus crime bill (Bill C-10), and we are also monitoring the breaches of the Elections Act and its impact on the right to vote in the robocalls issue arising out of the last election.
http://ccla.org/2012/03/02/march-2012-e-bulletin/

Dalton McGuinty reappoints Jean Augustine as fairness commissioner (Robert Benzie, Toronto Star)
Premier Dalton McGuinty has quietly reappointed former Liberal MP Jean Augustine to a two-year term as Ontario’s fairness commissioner. Augustine, 74, has held the post since it was created in 2007 to advocate for foreign-trained professionals in Ontario.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1140912–dalton-mcguinty-reappoints-jean-augustine-as-fairness-commissioner

Canada may end entry ban on ANC members (Rebecca Davis, Daily Maverick)
It’s been 18 years since the ANC took power in South Africa, but last week a motion was introduced in the Canadian house of commons to lift a longstanding entry ban on ANC members to that country.
http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-03-04-canada-may-end-entry-ban-on-anc-members

New Democrat MP Don Davies plans to table two private member’s bills to look at issue of rejection of visitor’s visas (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Like his fellow MPs, Don Davies is contacted by constituents on a regular basis complaining that their family and relatives abroad can’t attend their weddings or funerals because Ottawa refuses their visitor’s visa applications. “I have seen, firsthand, cases where legitimate visitors want to come to Canada but were rejected for no reason,” the New Democrat MP (Vancouver-Kingsway) and immigration critic told a Brampton news conference Sunday.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1140855–new-democrat-mp-don-davies-plans-to-table-two-private-member-s-bills-to-look-at-issue-of-rejection-of-visitor-s-visas

REFUGEES

Sun Sea claimant fights to stay in Canada (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
Federal officials are trying to deport a Sri Lankan man who arrived in Canada with hundreds of other refugee claimants on the MV Sun Sea alleging he’s a threat to national security. Santheesan Alakenthiran, 35, who lives in Toronto, was among 492 Sri Lankan men, women and children who arrived off the coast of B.C. on a rickety vessel in Aug. 2010. Most have resettled in Toronto and B.C. as their refugee claims are being heard. More than 15 people from that vessel are alleged to be members of the Liberation of Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), who are deemed a terror group and banned in Canada.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/03/mv-sun-sea-claimant-fights-to-stay-in-canada

Shining a spotlight on a South Sudanese trailblazer in Canada (Joseph Deng Garang, The New Sudan Vision (NSV))
When Michael Nuul Mayen ran and lost his bid for the city councilor in Brooks, Alberta, in 2010, not only did he make news as the only South Sudanese to ever run for elective office in Canada, but the whole experience has also steeled his resolve to do even more. Now, two years later, with his sights set on an even greater cause, Michael is hoping to bridge the gap most immigrants, war-affected refugees or newcomers face in Canada by building hopes and eliminating illiteracy, one language center at a time. As Founder and Executive Director of Language Center for Newcomers (LCFN), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit literacy organization based in Brooks, Alberta, Canada, Michael and his army of volunteers are providing training and education to diverse groups of adults, youths and children as a way to enhance transition to life in Canada.
http://www.newsudanvision.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2543:shining-the-spotlight-on-a-south-sudanese-trailblazer-in-canada&catid=2:diaspora&Itemid=8

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Canadian Social Research Newsletter, March 4, 2012 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. [Ontario] 25 Is The New 21: The Costs and Benefits of Providing Extended Care and Maintenance to Ontario Youth in Care Until Age 25 (Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth) – March 1
2. Transforming Ontario’s Social Assistance System (The Agenda with Steve Paikin – TVOntario) – February 28
3. [Ontario] Income tax changes eliminate refunds for many Ontario residents (Toronto Star) – March 2
4. [Ontario] POWER Study (Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report) – February 28
5. British Columbia – new reports:
6. Public-Private Partnership to Renovate Single-Room Occupancy Hotels in the Downtown Eastside (Department of Finance Canada) – March 2
7. [Nunavut] The Makimaniq Plan: A Shared Approach to Poverty Reduction (Department of Economic Development & Transportation) – February 27
8. Old Age Insecurity? (Caledon Institute of Social Policy) – February 27
9. Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue (By Lawrence Martin in iPolitics.ca) – February 27
10. 2012 Progressive Economics Forum student essay contest – Deadline: May 7, 2012
11. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada] : no social studies or reports in the past week
12. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/personal/news040312.htm

Ontario’s poor need to make some noise (Simon Black, Toronto Star)
During the last two weeks in Ontario politics, we have seen a tale of two reports. The Drummond report has received a great deal of attention and rightly so: as the Star’s own Martin Regg Cohn put it, “Cutbacks are back and bigger than ever. And this time, they’re here to stay.” Millions of Ontarians, but especially the poor and middle class, stand to be impacted should the government act on Drummond’s recommendations. Yet another report, that of the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance, slipped under the media’s radar and was greeted with little fanfare by the government and general public alike. This report discusses different approaches to improving some of the key areas of the province’s welfare system and is an important step in the broader review process headed by ex-StatsCan chief Munir Sheik and former United Way of Greater Toronto CEO Frances Lankin.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1140339–ontario-s-poor-need-to-make-some-noise

“DRUMMOND” REPORT

McGuinty take your fiscal medicine (Simon Kent, Toronto Sun)
If you’re looking for an indication of just where Ontario’s economy was headed pre-Drummond report, a reading of its course, direction, speed and intended destination, look no further than the province’s runaway medical system. Economist Don Drummond singled it out for specific attention with recommendations for doctor’s pay to be frozen and their say in how the system runs to be diminished. He then made the interesting point that the system should be restructured so doctor compensation comes in the form of salary rather than fee-for-service components.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/03/mcguinty-take-your-fiscal-medicine-kent

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Your skilled immigrant business intelligence – a roundup from hireimmigrants.ca (week of Feb 27) (Maytree)
hireimmigrants.ca, provides businesses with the tools and resources they need to better recruit, retain and promote skilled immigrants. The site also profiles good examples and innovative practices of employers across the country. Each week we bring you a round up of the useful resources posted there.
http://maytree.com/blog/2012/03/your-skilled-immigrant-business-intelligence-%E2%80%93-a-roundup-from-hireimmigrants-ca-week-of-feb-27/

Video:TRIEC (An Employer Resource) – Rodel Imbarlina-Ramos (MBOT)
Rodel explains the many ways that TRIEC can help employers find, recruit and retain skilled immigrant talent.

TD Unlocks Employee Potential by Helping Them Develop “Soft” Skills (hireimmigrants)
Profitable businesses will be those that effectively integrate newcomers into the workplace and help them succeed, says Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at TD Economics.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/resources-tools/videos/td-unlocks-employee-potential-by-helping-them-develop-soft-skills/

Tap into immigrants to meet labour needs, Bow Valley College advises Calgary area employers (Jen Gerson, Calgary Herald)
New research from Bow Valley College hopes to link qualified immigrants with employers in Calgary’s booming bedroom communities. New Canadians have long settled in the fringes of major cities — which offer low living costs and access to jobs. Anna Kae Todd, the college’s vice-president of learning, said up to a fifth of some of the city’s neighbouring municipalities are populated by immigrants. As communities such as Airdrie, Banff and Black Diamond continue to grow in population, employers are worried about an acute labour shortage, she said. Research has suggested businesses could better tap into the new Canadians in their neighbourhoods to meet those needs.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/into+immigrants+meet+labour+needs+Valley+College+advises+Calgary+area+employers/6243374/story.html

Migrant workers win-win for employers (Will Chabun, Leader-Post)
So as a Saskatchewan delegation went to Ireland this week to search for workers, “we’re the mirror image of that in a way,” said Van Winkle, a manager in the immigration section of the Canadian embassy in Paris. “We’re telling employers how they can post their jobs and recruit at a distance.” Tunisian workers, for example. The small North African country between Libya and Algeria was much in the news one year ago because of the political revolution that started there, then spread to other Arab countries.
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Migrant+workers+employers/6244700/story.html

Ottawa torn on Alberta’s labour woes (Gary Lamphier, Edmonton Journal)
Jason Kenney says he has heard the alarm bells ringing, loud and clear. He knows Alberta’s oilsands-powered economy is on the cusp of another serious labour crunch, with a projected shortage of 114,000 workers over the next decade. A coalition of 19 Alberta business groups hammered that message home yet again this week, calling for more action from the feds to avert what they see as a looming crisis and a serious threat to the province’s prosperity. As Canada’s citizenship and immigration minister, Kenney says he’s working hard to address the gap, in part by tweaking the immigration points system so more skilled workers can get into the country.
http://www.canada.com/business/Lamphier+Ottawa+torn+Alberta+labour+woes/6243743/story.html

Exploitation sparks legislation (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
They worked at low-paying service jobs Canadian-born folks didn’t want. And over time, workers from the Philippines raised the bar for labour standards in Manitoba. Elena Salvador’s experience is a good example. She worked more than 10 hours a day, seven days a week for US$200 a month. Not in some sweatshop in a developing country, but in the home of a Winnipeg doctor in 1990. “They didn’t allow me to go out,” recalled the Filipina live-in caregiver, who came to Canada with her employer from Saudi Arabia. She went to work in the Middle East as a nanny from the Philippines when she was 40 and didn’t know about labour standards in Manitoba.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/exploitation-sparks-legislation-141281133.html

Worker support groups demand justice for migrant farm worker deaths (John Bonnar, rabble)
Made to endure 12-hour days, low wages, poor working conditions and the constant fear of being deported, fighting for the same rights and protections afforded other workers is almost impossible. As dozens of supporters mourned the deaths of 11 migrant workers who were killed last week when their van went through a stop sign and collided with a truck near Hampstead, Ontario, the group renewed its call for better protections for migrant farm workers as well as an inquest into the deaths of Paul Roach, 44, and Ralston White, 36, who died in the fall of 2010 after being overcome by fumes from a vinegar vat at a farm near Ayton, Ontario. “We must make changes to ensure proper and safe transportation of migrant workers,” says Gabriella, a member of the Workers’ Action Centre.
http://rabble.ca/node/90431

Stop the Blacklisting of Migrant Workers (UFCW)
UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance are calling on all activists to support an international campaign to stop the Mexican government from reaching across Canada’s border to violate our labour laws, our Charter, and the human rights of Mexican migrant workers in Canada. Here are the facts. There are serious allegations that migrant farm workers in British Columbia are being blacklisted for voicing their support for the union and trying to exercise their basic Human Right to organize and bargain collectively.
http://www.ufcw.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2564%3Astop-the-blacklisting-of-migrant-workers&catid=6%3Adirections-newsletter&Itemid=342&lang=en

Business leaders cite skilled-labour shortage as priority (Richard Blackwell, Globe and Mail)
With a federal budget coming this month, the executives say they want Ottawa to temper spending cuts with some new investments in skills training, and to open up immigration laws to allow more foreign workers to fill empty jobs. The problem extends far beyond the oil patch. Executive from the Maritimes to Ontario’s high-tech heartland to Western Canada share similar difficulties in matching employee skills to job openings.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/c-suite-surveys/business-leaders-cite-skilled-labour-shortage-as-priority/article2358388/

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Monday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Transit and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/03/05/mondays-headlines-226/

Canada-Europe trade deal prohibits provinces, municipalities from favouring local bidders on contracts (Linda Diebel, Toronto Star)
An impending trade deal with Europe is ringing alarm bells across the country. Under the deal, Canada has agreed to European demands to prohibit municipalities and provinces from offering incentives or otherwise favouring local bidders on procurement contracts. The effects on Toronto could be serious:
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1136423–canada-europe-trade-deal-prohibits-provinces-municipalities-from-favouring-local-bidders-on-contracts#.T1PtCdeHhvA.twitter

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

Need plan to fight human trafficking (Laura Terry, Legal Assistance Of Windsor)
Is it possible that, by 2012, the political will to end human trafficking in Canada has faded? It has been four years since the House of Commons unanimously passed M-153, a private member’s motion put forth by Conservative MP Joy Smith, condemning the international trafficking of women and children for purposes of exploitation. Human trafficking is a worldwide enterprise, preying on vulnerable men, women and children. Canada has been recognized as a source, transit and destination country for trafficking. Victims are both international and domestic.
http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Need+plan+fight+human+trafficking/6238865/story.html

Human trafficking in Hamilton (CCLA)
A human trafficking case went to trial in Hamilton. Men were kept in Attila Kolompar’s basement in Hamilton and treated as slaves. The victims were lured by being told that they would receive well-paying jobs, but the reality was that they would be forced to work in a deplorable situation where they were basically slave-workers. They faced long work days and were not adequately clothed or fed. The victims’ documents were taken from them.
http://www.ccla.org/rightswatch/2012/03/03/human-trafficking-in-hamilton/

Human-traffickers treated men on construction site ‘like slaves’ (Adrian Morrow, Globe and Mail)
In mid-2008, Janos Farkas was offered a construction job in Canada, working for a man named Attila Kolompar, an acquaintance from his home village in western Hungary. The work, he was told, would provide enough money to send back $100 every month to his son. He accepted. But the reality of his new life was harsh, a court heard. Made to live with two other men in a cramped basement room of Mr. Kolompar’s house in a quiet residential area in Hamilton, he worked 14-hour days plastering stucco in a Burlington subdivision. In the evenings, he and his co-workers scrubbed floors, cleaned toilets and washed dishes for his boss. They subsisted off scraps from the table. When he became weak and had trouble working, he said Mr. Kolompar hit him several times.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/human-traffickers-treated-men-on-ontario-construction-site-like-slaves/article2356170

Human trafficking kingpin to be deported (Rob Lamberti, Toronto Sun)
Attila Kolompar sat in the prisoner’s box and never looked at the two young men he was convicted of keeping virtual slaves working at his contracting firm. And Assistant Crown Attorney Anthony Skarica spared nothing when he described Kolompar — clad in prison orange overalls and a black leather jacket — as a member of a crime group that spearheaded an “invasion of evil” that breached Canada’s borders and threatens its financial stability.
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2012/03/01/19449651.html

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marco

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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RT @sixtysevenca: Reports from #Metropolis2012 ~ http://t.co/qZZOTylA Thanks to Raymond Hyma for sharing! RT @farrah_khan: Canadian angle of the hijab...

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