Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 8, 2012


Kenney outlines ways to wipe out immigration backlog (Kristen Shane, Embassy)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney put some meat on the bones of his government’s planned changes to the immigration system, in a speech an opposition member criticized for a lack of attention paid to family-class immigrants and refugees. Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada on March 7, he said it’s all about giving employers more say, and making a fast, flexible, and responsive system to meet economic demands.

‘Transformational change’ coming to immigration system, says Kenney (Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News)
Canada will consider legislating away its massive backlog of immigration applications and allowing provinces to cherry-pick from one big pool of would-be newcomers in a bid to transform Canada’s immigration system into one that’s driven by the economy, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday. In a speech to business leaders at an Economic Club of Canada luncheon, Kenney promised “transformational change” to immigration that emphasizes the need for skilled newcomers who can fill gaps in the country’s labour market.

Speaking notes for the Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration at the Economic Club of Canada Event (CIC)
Canada is that beacon thanks to our tradition of ordered liberty, and because our market economy offers opportunities for those who want to work hard. Because so many people from around the world want to come to Canada, it is critical that our immigration system functions fairly, effectively, and in the best interests of Canada. Canadians are understandably concerned about how the uncertain global economy will affect not only our country’s future, but also their family finances, their jobs, their investments, and their businesses. At the same time, there are some indications that Canadians are feeling cautiously optimistic about the future. In fact, an Ipsos Reid poll of Canadians released at the very beginning of this year found that 88 per cent of respondents anticipated 2012 would be a good year for them.

Tories seek immigration caps to tackle nearly one million-strong backlog (Tobi Cohen, National Post)
Though divided along party lines, a House of Commons committee ultimately wants the federal government to consider more caps on applications for immigration in order to tackle a backlog that’s now reached nearly one million, according to a report tabled Tuesday. The result of a months-long review, the Tory majority on the committee also wants the government to make skilled workers the priority, particularly the 300,000-strong backlog in applications received prior to 2008.

Immigration backlog could be erased, Kenney suggests (Laura Payton, CBC News)
The government is considering all options for clearing a backlog of hundreds of thousands of applications from people who want to immigrate to Canada, Jason Kenney said Wednesday. Kenney, the minister of citizenship and immigration, wouldn’t rule out an option used in New Zealand, where the government legislated away the backlog — clearing it by eliminating the files. Asked how seriously he’s looking at that option, Kenney said the department is looking at all options for dealing with the backlog.

Diversity Day helps shed negative stereotyping (Justin Skinner, InsideToronto)
Living in the Regent Park community, youngsters are exposed to any number of different cultures.
On Friday, March 2, Grade 6 students at Regent Park/Duke of York Public School got an immersive education in diversity as part of the TDSB’s Diversity Day programming.–diversity-day-helps-shed-negative-stereotyping

Social Responsibility and Diversity (Diversity Journal)
We found that across a period of ten years, companies with more women board directors and more women corporate officers donated significantly more charitable funds than their less-diverse peers. Each additional woman board director translated to an added $2.3 million in annual philanthropic giving. And for every percent increase in woman corporate officers, companies gave an additional $5.7 million. These findings can’t be explained away by factors other than gender-diverse leadership. Women leaders still had a significant positive effect after controlling for financial performance, company size, and industry. While this could be a case of the chicken versus the egg, other research suggests that diverse leaders are employed before increases in CSR are observed.

New Research Report Shows Women Underrepresented among GTA leaders (Canada Newswire)
While women account for 51.3 per cent of residents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), they still are underrepresented and account for only 28 per cent of leadership roles in seven key industry sectors according to new research released today by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute. For visible minority women, the number is even lower. The report analyzed and collected 2011 data on 5081 senior leadership roles (for example senior executives and board members) in elected office, as well as senior executives and board of directors in the largest organizations in the GTA’s public, corporate, voluntary, education, and legal sectors.

Toronto’s Largest Muslim School Tournament (Muneeb Nasir, OnIslam)
Excitement is building among high-schoolers across Canada’s largest city of Toronto for an annual Muslim interscholastic tournament. “This weekend prepares to get Mistified!” Farah Khan, spokesperson for MIST Toronto, told The Annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST Toronto) is set to open on Saturday, March 10 on the York University campus.

Hotel linked to ‘passport babies’ (Byron Chu, Qmi Agency)
Three townhouses in Richmond, B.C., are being used to house foreign nationals pregnant with “passport babies,” and are among numerous local housing destinations for birth tourists, a QMI Agency investigation has uncovered. Advertised online in Chinese as the Pan Pan Pregnancy Centre, the Cook Road residences offer a haven to women from the one-child policy country. But they may be birth tourists in the eyes of the federal government, which has vowed to crack down on those exploiting a long-known loophole to citizenship that gives a passport to anyone born in our borders.

Canada looking to close anchor-baby loopholes (David Trifunov, globalpost)
The Canadian government is contemplating restrictions on birth tourism after a Chinese newspaper reported women there are using Canada to flaunt their country’s one-child policy and exploit Canadian immigration laws. Because Canada gives anyone born in the country a passport, foreign parents can also use their “anchor baby” to bypass immigration laws.

Few women in leadership roles in Toronto, study finds (Tavia Grant, Globe and Mail)
Women in leadership roles are underrepresented across Canada’s largest city, from the political arena to corporate boardrooms, while female visible minorities are almost absent from top jobs. Women, who make up roughly half the population of the Greater Toronto Area, comprise only 17 per cent of the city’s senior corporate leaders, according to a study by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute to be released Thursday.

Immigrants’ stories an inspiration to Calgarians (Mario Toneguzzi, For the Calgary Herald)
If you are looking for inspiration these days, look no further than the annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards evening. Each year that I attend this event I am inspired to do some-thing more with my life – both personally and professionally. It may be because the award winners shine a bright light on what it means to be successful and how to overcome challenges and obstacles in life. Each year I can’t help but smile as I observe the huge smile that lights up Din Ladak’s face during the evening.

New Canadian immigrants are bearing the brunt of the recession (Paul Dalby, Toronto Star)
Dreams sometimes get a sharp reality check, and that’s especially true for skilled immigrants hoping to start a new life in Canada. Just ask Ruby Bhasin. She arrived in Canada with her husband and young son in 2010 seeking a more stable future than the life left behind in Dubai, where she was an assistant bank manager. But 10 years’ experience and a master’s degree in commerce did not open any doors with Canadian employers, who routinely demanded “Canadian experience.”–new-canadian-immigrants-are-bearing-the-brunt-of-the-recession


Call for Papers – Canada and Refugee Resettlement: Research and Innovation for the 21st Century – PDF (Integration Net)
Organizers of this national conference (to be held from June 20 to 22, 2012, in Richmond, British Columbia) are calling for papers and panel or workshop proposals. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2012.

RCMP hunt first person charged in Sun Sea case (Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Sun)
The first human smuggling charges have been laid in an incident that brought hundreds of Sri Lankans to the B.C. coast on a cargo ship in the summer of 2010. Thayakaran Markandu, a Sri Lankan national, has been charged with human smuggling in connection with the MV Sun Sea, a vessel that brought 492 illegal immigrants to Canada, RCMP said. A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for Markan-du’s arrest, but since he is not believed to be in Canada, the RCMP say they are working with international law agencies to locate and arrest him.

Letter: No new powers to revoke refugee status (Jason Kenney, Montreal Gazette)
Your editorial wrongly claims that Bill C-31, Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, includes a new power that allows the minister of citizenship and immigration to revoke permanent-resident status from refugees in Canada. This is completely false. As is the case under the current refugee system, only the independent and quasi-judicial Immigration and Refugee Board can decide to revoke refugee status and permanent residency, not the minister. Revocation is decided by the IRB on a case-by-case basis, and mainly in cases in which refugee status was fraudulently obtained or is no longer justified.


Investing in the health of Women (Wellesley Institute)
International Women’s Day (IWD) has three different themes this year: the international theme is “Connecting Girls and Inspiring Futures”; the UN’s is “Empower Rural Women — End Hunger and Poverty” and the European Parliament‘s is: “Equal pay for work of equal value.” Here at Wellesley Institute we think a lot about the issues raised by these themes, and we think a lot about the future. Most importantly, we think about what has the greatest impact on people’s health and futures and the determinants that affect their health. We call these the social determinants of health and they include income, education, adequate housing, poverty, food security: all of which are issues that have a major impact on the lives of women.


Employers have access to more online information to hire workers needed to fill labour shortages (CIC)
Employers can now access more information online about Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) programs to hire permanent and temporary foreign workers, Minister Jason Kenney announced today. In keeping with the government’s focus on the importance of immigration to Canada’s economy and growth, the CIC website has been redesigned to include a new section to guide employers to the most suitable program.

From one Foreign Trained Professional To Another: Language and Soft Skills Make the Difference (LEAP blog)
On Tuesday, March 6th, The fourth annual conference for internationally trained professionals (ITP Conference) took place in Windsor, Ontario. Immigrants who moved to the Windsor area from around the world, with varying professional backgrounds, gathered at the Caboto club in hopes of hearing useful career advice and a chance to network. “I tell most of the ITPs I meet that it’s not so much their qualifications that can be an issue, it’s the so-called soft skills,” Shared the conference guest speaker Rakesh Naidu. “Language skills, business ethics and work culture knowledge are equally important.”

Role of Alberta’s immigrant workforce researched (Carolyn McTighe, The Echo)
Airdrie and nine other communities across southern Alberta are the focus of a research project by Bow Valley College (BVC) that will examine how to improve the conditions and experiences of the province’s immigrant workforce. The Development of the Immigrant Workforce in smaller Communities and Rural Alberta research project will look into the training, education, and career development requirements of immigrant workers in communities around southern Alberta including Banff, Black Diamond, Canmore, Chestermere, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks, Strathmore and Turner Valley.


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

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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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