Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 10, 2012

‘Welcoming Diversity’ topic for Unitarian service (Comox Valley Echo)
Bruce Curtis will address the regular service of the Comox Valley Unitarians On Sunday April 15th at 4 p.m., on the subject of “Welcoming Diversity – What Does It Mean?” Bruce takes the view that our human interactions are shaped by our cognitive, emotional, and physical perceptions of the “other”. To be welcoming of diversity involves monitoring our perceptions, projections of stereotypes, and feelings about the “other” in as sympathetic a manner as possible as we grow into a deeper understanding of other cultures, religions, and philosophies.
A serving of selflessness for top immigrant (Mario Bartel – New Westminster News Leader)
When Kehar Singh Aujla retired, his work really began. After toiling in India’s coal mines for 40 years, then as a farm labourer and a security guard in a bank following his immigration to Canada in 1996, Aujla had earned a retirement of languid leisure. But sloth isn’t in his nature. Aujla, 78, volunteers for nine community organizations in New Westminster and Burnaby. That’s earned him recognition by Canadian Immigrant magazine as a finalist to name the country’s top 25 immigrants. As one of the 75 to reach the final online ballot, he’s in some pretty heady company, including architect Bing Thom, photojournalist Boris Spremo, Olympic wrestler Daniel Igali, musician K’naan, and Olivia Chow, the widow of the late leader of the New Democratic Party Jack Layton and an accomplished politician herself.
Britain copies Canada in bid to win ethnic vote (Randy Boswell, Ottawa Citizen)
Britain’s Conservative Party, now heading that country’s minority coalition government but envious of Canada’s federal Tory majority, is preparing an ambitious outreach effort among Britain’s ethnic minorities – longtime backers of the Labour Party – in a strategy that’s directly modelled on the Jason Kenney-led campaign credited in recent elections with convincing key Asian-Canadian communities to abandon their traditional allegiance to the Liberals. British news reports have quoted officials from Prime Minister David Cameron’s governing Conservatives saying the party’s bid to achieve a parliamentary majority will only succeed if – like Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Cameron can broaden the Tories’ appeal among immigrants from India, Pakistan and elsewhere.
Immigrants remaking Canada’s religious face in surprising ways (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Canada is welcoming more than the global average of immigrants who are Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and non-religious. The country, however, is taking in less than the global aver-age of immigrants who are Muslim, Hindu and Jewish. Those are some of the surprising findings of a sweeping global survey on immigration and religion conducted by the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The report, titled Faith on the Move, provides an enormous amount of data on the religious loyalties of the world’s 214-mil-lion immigrants, a group larger than the population of Brazi
Speaking in Tongues: The Linguistic Diversity of Toronto Catholic Masses (Mark Brosens, The Agenda)
On an average weekend, about 532 Catholic masses are said in the City of Toronto, of which 172.5, or 32.4 per cent, are said in languages other than English (the half a mass accounts for churches that offer a service in another language once a month or every other week). Toronto’s Catholic priests conduct mass in 40 languages, spanning from English to Latin to Tagalog to sign language. Seventy-seven of Toronto’s 124 churches (62.1 per cent) offer at least one mass in a language other than English. Thirteen of Toronto’s 124 churches, or 10.5 per cent, only offer masses in languages other than English. Unsurprisingly, the prevalence of non-English masses varies across the regions of Toronto. For instance, in the old city of Toronto, 38.2 per cent of masses are spoken in languages other than English, while 20.5 per cent of the masses in Scarborough are said in a language other than English.
Report: Faith on the Move:
Learning the lingo (Elizabeth Bower, Peterborough Examiner)
Welcome to one of the NCC’s conversational English class — an informal and friendly weekly meeting where anyone needing to brush up on their English can come and talk about simple topics such as what they like best about Canada, what it’s like to find housing in Peterborough or share any holiday traditions from their homeland. From 1989 to 2011, the NCC has served 4,364 new clients from a wide range of countries including Vietnam, Poland, the U.S. A ., Iran, Cuba and the Philippines. In Peterborough, the top three countries where people immigrate from are China, South Korea and the U.S. (tied for second) and Colombia and India (tied for third). The number of new clients at the NCC has generally risen over the years with 213 new clients in 1989/90 to 357 new clients in 2010/11, although there have been a few dips such as 125 new clients in 2000/01. This group of 10, practising their English, offers a snapshot of Peterborough’s immigration — offering some human faces and voices behind the statistics.
Vimy Ridge Anniversary: soldiers who died for Canada were not Canadian, according to Harper government (Don Chapman, Vancouver Observer)
In January, Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) officials sent a letter denying citizenship to Jackie Scott — daughter of a Canadian war veteran soldier and a British war bride — arguing that her Toronto-born father was not in fact a Canadian, despite having fought for his country. Instead, the letter stated, Scott’s father was a “British subject” because Canadian citizenship didn’t exist prior to 1947. By this argument, none of the 112,000 Canadian soldiers who fought and died while serving in Canadian uniforms during the World War I and World War II were Canadian at all — including those 3,598 Vimy Ridge casualties. Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement today saying that the government “is proud to pay tribute to those who fought in this historical battle”, seemingly in contradiction with the repeated denial of Canadian citizenship to children of war veterans. How can this be? This nonsense claim stems from some very old, discriminatory legislation which continues to be used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to deny legitimate Canadians their citizenship.
Immigrants may have higher risk of preeclampsia in pregnancy (CBC)
Women from Hispanic, Sub-Saharan African or Caribbean countries are three times more likely than women from industrialized nations to develop a pregnancy complication called serious preeclampsia, a new study has found. Serious preeclampsia, one of the leading causes of maternal death worldwide, is marked by very high blood pressure, protein in the urine and sometimes seizures. It usually arises in the late second trimester or the third trimester and is only cured by delivering the baby — often weeks or months early, which carries the additional risks associated with premature birth, including higher risk of mortality for the baby.
Newcomers services expanding (CBC)
The P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada is expanding its services outside of the province’s two cities and across the Island. Until 2010 services from the association were only available in Charlottetown. That’s when rapid growth in immigration prompted the opening of a part-time office in Summerside, a pilot project called the Internationally Educated Health Professional program, with funding from Health Canada. The office started working with 25 people and is now serving more than 200. “I believe that there are still more that are out there and that our job is to reach out and to help them,” said Belinda Woods, IEHP counselor in Summerside.
Loss of the family doctor (Keely Dakin, Prince Albert Daily Herald)
Keeping enough physicians in Canada and Saskatchewan especially has been a problem for decades. For that reason, foreign-trained professionals are brought into the country every year. Dr. Stan Oleksinski at West Hill Medical Clinic says it’s a provincial reality. “Saskatchewan has unfortunately relied on international grads,” he continues, “We shouldn’t have to.” Saskatchewan has the largest number of foreign-trained doctors in Canada at more than 50 per cent, Oleksinski says. “We currently have 1,942 practicing physicians in Saskatchewan,” says Nicole Quintal, who is the communications advisor with the Saskatchewan Medical Association. Quintal says, 1,030 or 53 per cent of those are international medical graduates who received their first medical degree outside of Canada. The other 912, or 47 per cent, are Canadian graduates. While it has been a great help temporarily to have capable physicians working, relieving the burden of our overworked and understaffed doctors, seeing many of those doctors leave town two or four years later has been a problem, Oleksinski says.
Quebec family’s deportation halted temporarily (CBC)
A Laval, Que., family facing deportation after an application to stay on humanitarian grounds was apparently lost will remain in Canada for at least a few more days. Kankou Keita and her five children, originally from Guinea, were due to be deported Sunday night after living in Canada for nearly five years. Keita says she paid a lawyer to make the application for her family to stay on humanitarian grounds, but it was never received.
Congo family hopes to reunite in Newfoundland and Labrador (Andrew Robinson, The Telegram)
Pascal and Angelique are employed full-time and part-time respectively, and Angelique’s eldest daughter Micheline Ngakunzi is working part-time while completing her last year of high school, but their combined income does not meet the required target. The only other option for reuniting the Mukuyes with their mother is for five sponsors to come forward and agree to help Salima Madeleine settle in Canada. Rowe, who has experience helping refugees come to Newfoundland and Labrador, has already agreed to serve as a sponsor. “I?can’t do it individually. We need a bigger support system than just one.”
New film tells about the Roma or ‘gypsies’ Canada wants to keep out (Karl Nerenberg,
They call them “gypsies,” “gitanes,” “tziganes,” “ciganes,” “nomadi” — and sometimes such nasty epithets as thieves, pickpockets, vagrants and “inadaptables” (a favourite term in the Czech Republic). They are the Roma, Europe’s perennially unwelcome minority.
Mexican journalist Karla Ramírez wins battle against deportation (David P. Ball, Vancouver Observer)
Surrey resident Karla Berenice García Ramírez – an award-winning Mexican journalist facing deportation after Canada rejected her family’s refugee appeal – has won her years-long battle for asylum here, the Vancouver Observer has learned. The whistleblower on government corruption, who fled Mexico after she and her family received numerous death threats because of her reporting, was granted permanent residence last week on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Scrapping welfare council is a cheap shot by a government that doesn’t care about the poor (Steve Kerstetter)
Ever since its creation by an act of Parliament in 1969, the National Council of Welfare has been the only federal agency with a mandate devoted exclusively to improving the lives of low-income Canadians. The Conservative government’s decision to scrap the council in the budget speech was a cheap shot — in more ways than one — and a shot that will deprive Canadians of one more source of valuable research.–scrapping-welfare-council-is-a-cheap-shot-by-a-government-that-doesn-t-care-about-the-poor
Inclusionary Housing Canada (Wellesley Institute)
Inclusionary housing programs are municipal programs that rely upon the development regulations and approval process to have private developers provide some portion of the housing within their new market projects as affordable housing. The policies represent a fundamentally different way to providing affordable housing from the conventional social housing programs used to date in Canada.
Poll challenges view that Canadians oppose higher taxes (Tonda MacCharles, Toronto Star)
A new poll challenges conventional political wisdom by showing a majority of Canadians — including most Conservative voters and wealthy individuals — would support higher taxes to fight income inequality. Higher taxes are supposedly political dynamite but the poll — the first major survey for the newly founded left-leaning Broadbent Institute — suggests the toxicity of taxation has been exaggerated and is the product of a concerted “ideological” campaign, says Ed Broadbent, the institute’s namesake.–poll-challenges-view-that-canadians-oppose-higher-taxes
Broadbent poll uncovers public desire to close inequality gap (Ed Broadbent)
The gap between the rich and the rest of us has reached 1920 levels. Since the 1990s, the top 1 per cent have obtained about a third of all growth in national income while the 99 per cent fight for a shrinking share. The good news is that, unlike their governments, Canadians, whatever their political stripe, want action. New national public opinion research conducted for the Broadbent Institute by Environics Research and released today makes this clear.–broadbent-poll-uncovers-public-desire-to-close-inequality-gap
Is there a payoff from top-team diversity? (Thomas Barta, Markus Kleiner, and Tilo Neumann, McKinsey Quarterly)
Between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. That’s probably no coincidence.
The widening gap in Canada’s labour market (Tavia Grant And Richard Blackwell, Globe and Mail)
The imbalance has implications for both the health of the labour market and the broader economy. Groups with high jobless rates such as aboriginal people, recent immigrants and those with disabilities are struggling to land good jobs, limiting their ability to climb the economic ladder.
Breaking down the barriers to employment (Steve Barnes, Wellesley Institute)
This morning’s Toronto Star includes a front page story about how Ontario’s employment training programs shut out half of the province’s unemployed. The problem is that strict eligibility criteria mean that Employment Ontario’s job training supports are only available to people who are receiving employment insurance benefits, and this excludes a large number of unemployed people who are on social assistance or who are otherwise not eligible for EI (for example, if they have not worked enough hours to qualify or were recently self-employed).
Looking beyond cuts to solve city budget woes (Wellesley Institute)
Conversations about balancing city budgets often focus only on cutbacks to services or changes in tax rates, but thriving healthy cities need to have more than two solutions. Another solution is to increase intensification. Reading an interesting piece on the positive fiscal impacts of intensification is a nice change. This article by Emily Badger in the Atlantic brings to light revenue streams for cities through rejuvenation of old buildings and intensification. She tells the story of real-estate developer Public Interest Projects and echoes the theory of mixed-use and mixed income that are familiar to us thorugh the profound and influential work of Jane Jacobs.
Five Good Ideas Update April 2012 (Maytree)
Missed a session in 2012? Watch the video presentations of the last 3 sessions.
The demonization of dissent – Canadian style (Patrick Johnston, Alliance)
When a law firm advises its clients to be ‘very careful’ about something, the wise client will pay close attention. So it was for Canadian foundations and charities following introduction of the federal government’s recent budget. In a post-budget analysis, a prominent Canadian law firm concluded by saying: ‘given the political climate and these new rules, foreign charities funding advocacy in Canada and Canadian charities funding or doing advocacy (particularly environmental advocacy) should be very careful.’
Another view: Human trafficking in Canada (Waterloo Record)
If it hasn’t already happened, there ought to be a serious conversation between Canadian diplomats and their Hungarian counterparts about how a group of known criminals came to Canada and conducted a reign of crime that lasted years and victimized dozens. Last week saw the final defendants in the largest human trafficking case in Hamilton history plead guilty. Some of the jail sentences seem woefully inadequate considering the offences involved – luring young workers here then forcing them to live in terrible conditions and work for next to nothing, and forcing them to lie to obtain social benefits. Violence was never far from the centre of the case. An alleged hit man was even recruited for the purpose of killing witnesses, investigators and prosecutors, and the families of witnesses were threatened.–another-view-human-trafficking-in-canada
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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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