Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 6, 2012


Canadians on Citizenship – 1st national survey on what it means to be a citizen in Canada (Maytree)
Full report now available. A poll of more than 2,000 people reveals that Canadians think citizenship is more than paying taxes or obeying the law. While these things are important, when asked what makes someone a good citizen, Canadians emphasize being active in their community, volunteering, helping others, and accepting others who are different.

Editorial: Aborting birth tourism (Calgary Herald)
If some type of time limit were placed on granting Canadian citizenship, then when the mother lists her place of birth on an application for her child’s birth certificate, and she is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, her name could be cross-checked with Immigration Canada to verify her status in this country. Canada shouldn’t implement a law that’s so draconian it punishes women who give birth during the process of legitimately being sponsored by their Canadian partners, but certainly some legal barriers must be put in place to stop birth tourism, following the lead of other countries that have successfully done it.

‘Birth Tourism’ May Change Citizenship Rules (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. We dont want to encourage birth tourism or passport babies, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told the CBCs Power and Politics in an interview. “This is, in many cases, being used to exploit Canadas generosity. The vast majority of legal immigrants are going to say this is taking Canada for granted.

Tory crackdown on birth tourists will eliminate Canadian passport babies (Joseph Brean, National Post)
The law that anyone born in Canada is automatically Canadian is an outdated relic from a time when immigrants arrived on a one-way boat ticket, and it leaves Canadas modern welfare state open to exploitation by birth tourists, according to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Known in legal circles by the Latin name jus soli, or right of soil, as opposed to jus sanguinis, or right of blood, the citizenship policy is unique, among developed nations, to Canada and the United States. All other countries that take in immigrants base their citizenship on blood, and require at least one parent to be a citizen, or to have lived there for a certain time, in order to confer citizenship on the child.

Soccer group agrees to test hijabs for female players (Omar Sacirbey, Washington Post)
In Canada, Quebecs Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association barred a referee from a game in 2011 because she wore a headscarf, citing prohibitions against religious symbols on uniforms. During a 2007 youth tournament in Quebec, a Muslim player was ejected from a game for wearing a headscarf. While banned in international soccer, headscarves have been permitted and worn without incident in other competitive sports. Several women competed with headscarves in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including Bahrains Roqaya Al-Gassra, who reached the semifinals of the 200-meter sprint in Beijing.

It’s Immigration, Stupid (Diane Francis, Huffington Post)
It’s the immigration mess that Ottawa has perpetuated since 1986. More than six million people (50 per cent to Ontario and Quebec) and their dependents have arrived here irrespective of job conditions in the country. They still come in at the rate of 250,000 or more, not including “temporary” unskilled workers and their dependents. The burden of providing healthcare, education, and other social services for them has added more costs to their budgets than interest on their debts, the Detroit bailout, and all-day junior kindergarten in Ontario or $7-a-day daycare in Quebec combined. Arguments that they are a net benefit, in taxes collected, fall short of the mark but, true to form, the Ontario and Quebec Premiers have never commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of these massive immigration flows. Neither has Ottawa of course.

Skills shortage highlights faulty thinking on immigration (David Olive, Toronto Star)
Given the Ontario Liberal governments near-panic over its current 30-year-low in share of new immigrants to Canada, and the task force it called into action last Friday to deal with the crisis, one could too easily conclude that the Liberals are traditionally pro-immigration and the Tories less so. Yet the first, relentless appeal to potential immigrants was made by John A. Macdonald. Real Tories are pro-immigration. Purported converts from the nativist Reform Party, not so much. And it shows.–olive-skills-shortage-highlights-faulty-thinking-on-immigration

Letter to the Editor from Minister Kenney to the Toronto Star (Jason Kenney)
David Olives column on immigration (Skills shortage highlights faulty thinking on immigration, March 5, 2012) includes several major factual errors.

CTT, Mayors Promote Diverse Economy (Exchange)
Join Canadas Technology Triangle Inc. (CTT), and the Mayors of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo for an inside look at how Team Waterloo Region is working on specific global business initiatives to build and sustain a strong and diverse Regional economy.

Book, projects recount injustice of internment of Italian-Canadians (Evan Duggan, Vancouver Sun)
In the summer of 1940 Vancouver was a long way from Europe’s bloodshed, but distance did little to prevent divisions among the local Italian-Canadian community, forced to choose sides in a war a world away. Of the 4,500 Italians living in Vancouver at the time, nearly 2,000 were deemed “enemy aliens” by the Canadian government. Some were Italian nationals or naturalized immigrants, and others were active members of a fascist club known as the Cir-colo Giulio Giordani.

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa soars to new heights (Canada News Centre)
More than one thousand Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applications have been approved in less than three months since the Super Visa program took flight, for an overall approval rate of 77 percent, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. I’m pleased that the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is working as intended and giving large numbers of eligible parents and grandparents an opportunity to spend extended periods of time with their families in Canada, said Minister Kenney.

Community reaction to proposed citizenship changes (CBC)
The conservative government’s plan to modernize the Citizenship Act so that babies born in Canada to foreigners are not automatically Canadian got enthusiastic approval from most of the CBC Community. Of the more than 700 comments on the story, the most highly rated ones supported Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s plan to close the loophole that allows for “birth tourism.”

Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism (CIC)
The Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism commemorates the late Senator Yuzyks pioneering legacy in establishing multiculturalism as one of the fundamental characteristics of Canadian heritage and identity. Please note that the deadline for nominations submission has been extended to March 9, 2012.

Ontario establishes roundtable on immigration (Canadian HR Reporter)
To help build a stronger economy, Ontario will develop its first-ever immigration strategy, according to the government. A new expert roundtable will help develop the strategy and examine ways immigration can best support Ontario’s economic development and help new Ontarians find jobs. The roundtable will provide its recommendations to the government in summer 2012.

Our City, Our World (Winnipeg Free Press)
An excellent series about the Filipino community in Manitoba.

Immigrants share stories of violence (Beverly Akerman, Concordia)
We Are Here, the final exhibition of the project Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide, and Other Human Rights Violations, opens March 8, 2012. The project, based at Concordias Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, is presented in collaboration with the Centre dhistoire de Montréal, which is hosting the display.

‘Eyes and ears’ can help bridge cultural gap for job-seeking immigrants (Rahul Gupta, InsideToronto)
Learn the culture and customs of your adopted country was the message from a panel to an audience of job seekers from different countries looking to gain entry into the Canadian market. Immigrant business professionals Gautham Nath, Vinod Bonthala and Samuel Vuillaume were on hand at the 2012 IEP conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Feb. 10 to share their stories about settling and eventually succeeding in their new countries.–eyes-and-ears-can-help-bridge-cultural-gap-for-job-seeking-immigrants

Ban Overturned (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the headscarfs ban in soccer, with Farrah Khan, She is an advocate with the group #right2wear.


NOII Alert: Axe the Refugee Exclusion Act! (rabble)
Joint statement by No One Is Illegal Halifax, No One Is Illegal Toronto, No One Is Illegal Vancouver Unceded Coast Salish Territories. Last week Minister of Censorship and Deportation Jason Kenney tabled Bill C31, an omnibus Refugee Exclusion Act This Act is racist. It creates a two-tier system of refugee protection, increases incarceration, denies and revokes legal status, and violently targets and expels refugees and migrants from Canada.

Focus on Children (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
Reports and documents related to children and asylum/refugees.

Editorial: Canadas position on mans refugee status incongruent (Glenn Kauth, Law Times)
In many ways, Muhsen Ahmed Ramadan Agrairas application for ministerial relief from the inadmissibility provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is a poor case for testing the law.


Social assistance reform: Improving the system and using the appeals process to protect rights (CLEO)
As part of its Poverty Reduction Strategy, the provincial government set up the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario. Last month, the Commission released its second Discussion Paper, Approaches to Reform, which looks at “different approaches to improving some of the key areas of the social assistance system.” The Commission has asked for input by March 16 to help them decide on the recommendations they will make to the government in June.


TEDxCAPU- Linda Manning-The way we work doesn’t work anymore. (TED)
Dr. Linda Manning, is the creator of blended learning solutions for managers to tap into the skills and talents of Canadian immigrant employees. Linda earned her Ph.D in Econonics at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She developed an interest in development economicsperhaps because she grew up as a military brat and lived abroad until the age of 10. After immigrating to Canada in 1999, she realized her skills can be applied to Canadian economic developmentthrough expanded organizational capacity in Canadian small and medium sized employers (SME). With funding from HRSDC, she has developed blended learning solutions for managers to tap into the skills and talents of Canadian immigrant employeesespecially to fill skills and management gaps left by retirements. Linda has over 20 years of experience in teaching and developing on-line teaching tools.

Four foreign workers killed in head-on crash on a busy Alberta highway (Winnipeg Free Press)
Members of Edmonton’s Filipino community are in grief after four temporary foreign workers were killed in a head-on crash by the driver of an SUV who RCMP believe may have been drunk as he wildly drove the wrong way down a divided highway. The dead include two 35-year-old men, a 39-year-old woman and a 52-year-old woman. A fifth occupant of the vehicle a 29-year-old female sustained serious injuries and underwent surgery Monday.

Petition: Review the Live IN Caregiver Program & equally represent/support the interests of Cdn families (Association of Caregiver & Nanny Agencies Canada ( ACNA Canada))
While the government claims that demand has declined, employers are saying that the Government is not supporting Canadian families and that hiring from overseas has become prohibitive, frustrating and unfair to hard working, tax paying employers.

Small Business in Canada: Not Created Equal (Sarah Wayland, WISE5)
The report did identify a certain profile: But certain factors are associated with the success of entrepreneurs in Canada and elsewhere education, specific industry experience, maturity, and the benefit of industry clusters. Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurs who ultimately built todays global leaders tended to be in their 30s or older when they started up their businesses. They had industry experience relevant to their new venture. And they were much more likely than the average business person to have a university degree, particularly a graduate degree. Wise5 identified a similar profile for success among the immigrant entrepreneurs we interviewed, namely, they were educated and experienced. Stay tuned for more details.

Canadian Construction Association supports immigration reform (Daily Commercial News)
The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is pleased with the proposed reforms to Canadas immigration system, as outlined recently by Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Canadas current immigration system does not adequately address the needs of the Canadian construction industry or the projected growth of the Canadian economy, said Michael Atkinson, president of CCA.–canadian-construction-association-supports-immigration-reform


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

2012 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (Economy League of Greater Philadelphia)
Join a select group of leaders in Toronto, July 15-18, 2012. Through a program of knowledgeable and engaging speakers and panelists as well as site visits, we’ll explore the evolution of Toronto as an international center and global hotspot. We’ll meet those working to maximize Toronto’s assets and make sure that as global competition increases, it remains a world class place to live and to visit.
Closing speaker: Rahul Bhardwaj, President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation
Orientation speaker: Derek Burleton, Vice President & Deputy Chief Economist, TD Bank
Immigration and workforce panel: Ratna Omidvar, Maytree Foundation President; Anne Sado, George Brown College President; Julia Deans, Chair, Expert Roundtable on Immigration (Ontario)
Reception with TD Bank and Toronto’s Leaders: TD Bank flagship headquarters
Site visits: MaRS Discovery District and the Harbourfront Centre
Luncheon with Toronto’s Emerging Leaders Network and DiverCity Fellows: Mitzie Hunter, President & CEO, Toronto CivicAction and Tamara Balan, Director of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network and DiverCity Fellows

Citizen Boards (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Alejandra Bravo, she is a former Committee Chair and Board of Health Member, and with Mike Foderick. He is Vice Chair of the Toronto Public Library Board.

44 Mandates Count For More Than 1 (Steve Munro)
In a stunning defeat for Mayor Rob Ford, Council restructured the Toronto Transit Commission by replacing most of Fords loyal followers with a new slate much more representative of the overall views of Council on transit matters. The question was on Councils agenda by way of a proposed Commission reorganization to shift the balance of power from an all-Councillor body to one with a mix of citizen members holding the majority of seats. Recent events (Fords reaction to the pro-LRT transit vote on February 8 as irrelevant, and the sacking of former Chief General Manager Gary Webster by Fords TTC cronies) drove a wedge between the Mayor and Council. What Ford had expected to be a chance to banish his enemies from the TTC turned into a rout of Fords supporters.


Social Purchase for Social Purpose (Sherri Torjman, Caledon Institute)
This series of blogs was prepared for published by MaRS Innovation Centre in Toronto. The commentary argues that governments generally, and municipal governments in particular, can support social enterprises through procurement policy. Governments can include a community benefits clause in all contracts to promote the training and employment of groups typically marginalized from the labour market, and to help foster links between business and the voluntary sector.


What is Human Trafficking? (Hope for the Sold)
Human trafficking has become a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. The concept of slavery in a so-called civilized modern world is so appalling and repulsive that it makes us either stick our heads in the sand in an attempt to ignore it, or arm ourselves to the teeth to declare war upon it. In order to make that decision, we must know what human trafficking actually is, and Id like to provide a summary for a basic reference.

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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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