Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 11, 2012

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY

Citizenship and Immigration Canada Announces its Intention to Create a New Skilled Trades Program (CIC)
To fill Canadas growing labour shortages in construction, natural resources and similar industries, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced plans today to make it easier for skilled tradespersons to immigrate to Canada. The announcement is the latest in a series Minister Kenney has made about transforming Canada’s immigration system into a fast and flexible system focused on jobs, growth and prosperity.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-04-10.asp

Feds create new program to draw tradespeople, labour prefers training for unemployed Canadians (Lauren Krugel, Waterloo Record)
Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, said the new program is an improvement from the tendency to use temporary foreign workers to backstop labour shortages. But he said he remains deeply troubled that there are some 1.5 million unemployed workers within Canada that could fill the gap if they had the right training. Theres a gap that needs to be bridged between the demand for workers in areas like the oilsands and the supply of workers in places like Ontario and Quebec, said McGowan. Instead of abandoning those unemployed workers, we feel very strongly that our government should look first at new and creative ways to train unemployed Canadians to fill the job vacancies as opposed to reverting to what I would describe as a short-sighted Band-Aid solution like the one theyve announced today.
http://www.therecord.com/news/canada/article/702735–feds-create-new-program-to-draw-tradespeople-labour-prefers-training-for-unemployed-canadians

Feds hope new program fills skilled trades void from abroad (Hamilton Spectator)
Ottawa has announced a new immigration program that it says will make it easier for Canadian business to hire the workers most urgently needed skilled tradespeople. The new stream for workers in fields such as construction and manufacturing should be set up later this year, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Tuesday in Calgary, the financial heart of Canadas oil and gas industry and a city all too familiar with skilled labour shortages.
http://www.thespec.com/news/canada/article/702536–feds-create-new-immigration-program-to-attract-skilled-trades-people

Canada looks to speed entry of skilled foreign workers (MiningWeekly.com)
The Canadian government said on Tuesday it will ease immigration rules for skilled workers as it looks to alleviate labor shortages in the oil, mining and construction industries. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the government will modify its Federal Skilled Worker Program, which has been skewed towards professionals, to try to attract trades people and other skilled workers that are in short supply in Canada during the current commodities boom.
http://www.miningweekly.com/article/canada-looks-to-speed-entry-of-skilled-foreign-workers-2012-04-11

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney elaborates on the transformational changes to Canadas immigration model (Globe and Mail)
We are embarking on a program of transformational change to move from a slow, rigid and passive, really a supply-driven immigration system, to a fast, flexible and pro-active, demand-driven immigration system. One of the most important reforms is the massive expansion of the provincial nominee programs which has resulted in a better geographic distribution of immigrants across Canada.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/immigration-minister-jason-kenney-elaborates-on-the-transformational-changes-to-canadas-immigration-model/article2397489/

Video: Canada’s immigration system update (CTV)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney discusses the immigration system update and and the new seperate, streamlined process for skilled workers.
http://watch.ctv.ca/news/power-play/april-10/#clip655442

Kenney’s Wal-Martization of Immigration (Rachel Décoste, Huffington Post)
Some things are just too important to leave to the whim of corporations or private enterprise. That is why Canadians overwhelmingly favour the government to manage healthcare services. One need only refer to the U.S. as an example of a profit-driven healthcare paradigm which leaves the most vulnerable Americans outside the coverage umbrella. Prime Minister Harper himself has boasted of having the world’s soundest bank system at the recent G8 Summit and at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Canadians are relieved the then Liberal government prevented a U.S.-style subprime mortgage crisis by intervening when Canadian banks moved to issue the practice. Our banks were more worried about their short-term profits than the long-term state of the Canadian economy.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/rachel-decoste/kenney-immigration_b_1411909.html

Councillor seeks to monitor immigrant children for abuse (Royson James, Toronto Star)
A Toronto city councillor wants to monitor newly arrived children and set up an early-warning system to detect and act on immigrant child abuse. Councillor Michael Thompson will introduce a motion at city council Wednesday in the wake of arrests made in the 1994 suitcase murder. The name of the 17-year-old victim, whose body was found in a burning suitcase, was only discovered after police received a tip last November. She had never been reported missing, and schools or government agencies did not know of her disappearance.
http://www.thestar.com/news/cityhallpolitics/article/1159418–councillor-seeks-to-monitor-immigrant-children-for-abuse?bn=1

End suffering in isolation among abused immigrant youth: Toronto councillor (Natalie Alcoba, National Post)
A Toronto councillor wants the city to look at establishing an early-warning system to detect and act on the abuse of immigrant children, floating the idea of a registry of youngsters who have just arrived in the city. Councillor Michael Thompson says the case of Melonie Biddersingh, a Jamaican teenager whose remains were identified 18 years after being discovered in a burning suitcase north of Toronto, has convinced him that the municipality must do more to protect young newcomers in vulnerable situations.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/11/end-suffering-in-isolation-among-abused-immigrant-youth-toronto-councillor/

Study: CanadaWorks 2025 (Settlement AtWork)
This study by Deloitte and the Human Resources Professionals Association makes recommendations for a healthy and prosperous Canadian workplace in 2025. The study calls for higher levels of immigration, after addressing issues of accreditation and labour market integration.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95056

Study: Making it in Canada (Settlement AtWork)
Over the past three decades the labour market outcomes of immigrants to Canada have declined. Many recent arrivals have had difficulty finding employment, and earnings have gone down, particularly among men. Research has shown that there is no single explanation for this decline, pointing instead to a number of factors such as a shift in source countries, weak language skills, low economic recognition of foreign work experience and the high-tech bust of the early 2000s. In response, the Canadian government has significantly altered the countrys immigration policy. Although labour market outcomes have improved somewhat since the reform, the overall trend has not been reversed. Garnett Picot and Arthur Sweetman review the existing research, discuss recent changes to immigration policy and programs, and present a number of policy recommendations to address these challenges.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95055

The Charter at 30 (Osgood Law School Dean Sossin’s blog)
As we reflect on three decades of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, do we see the enduring energy and ambition of youth or the pragmatic judgment of maturity? As with many 30 year-olds, the answer is likely a little of both.
http://deansblog.osgoode.yorku.ca/2012/04/the-charter-at-30/

Immigrant Womens Pathways to Health Care Utilization (Wellesley Institute)
Wellesley Institute and York Universty welcome immigrant women from St. James Town to share with us your experience with health care services and supports… The primary purpose of conducting this exploratory qualitative study is to understand the health care needs (physical and emotional) and the pathways immigrant women adopt for accessing formal and informal health care services. To do this, we will be asking immigrant women to respond to open-ended questions about their use of health care services.
http://sjtinitiative.com/project/current_project/immigrant-womens-pathways-to-health-care-utilization-2/

Racial Profiling – CCLA Calls on Police to Prohibit Unwarranted Stops, Questioning (CCLA)
At Thursdays meeting of the Toronto Police Services Board, CCLAs Equality Program Director Noa Mendelsohn Aviv addressed the Board over the documented practice of racial profiling by the police. CCLAs submissions expressed concern not just with carding the recording of names and identities of black male youth but also with unwarranted stops by police of these individuals. Stating that such stops are unacceptable and unconstitutional, CCLA called on the police to deal with this matter urgently and proactively. CCLA supported the recommendation of the Police Services Board Chair to commence an independent investigation into this practice, while also insisting that the police remain responsible to deal with this matter without delay, and must prohibit unwarranted stops and questioning, demanding and recording of identities, intimidation and searches.
http://ccla.org/2012/04/10/racial-profiling-ccla-calls-on-police-to-prohibit-unwarranted-stops-and-questioning/

Picking Canadas immigrant of the year: Your tax dollars at work (Jonathan Kay, National Post)
Canadian Immigrant may be the oddest magazine in Canada. Who are the target readers? Aside from an unpleasant familiarity with our immigration-processing bureaucracy, what do Punjabi Sikhs, Sudanese Bantu, French Jews, Maghrebi Muslims, Fujianese Han, and Haitian Creole-speakers have in common? One might as well title the magazine Canadian Human. The challenge of learning one of Canadas official languages is one commonality, it might be argued. But even the most earnest student of English would be bored to tears by the upbeat puff pieces about immigrants-made-good youll find in this glossy give-away publication. Based on the predominance of public-service announcements and government funding logos Ive seen on the pages (theres a freebie box on Yonge Street, near my health club), Id say that much of the funding comes from you and me. Shockingly, few private-sector advertisers are drawn in by stories like Realtor Manoj Chaman entertains audiences with his music.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/10/picking-canadas-immigrant-of-the-year-your-tax-dollars-at-work/

Ex-restaurateur fined $12K for illegal workers (CBC)
A former Winnipeg restaurant owner has been ordered to pay $12,000 in donations to two local charities for employing immigrants without proper work permits. Jung Won Choi, who operated two sushi restaurants including Kenko Sushi on Corydon Avenue had been convicted in 2010 of illegally employing immigrants from Korea.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/04/10/mb-restaurant-owner-fined-winnipeg.html

Family passes a true citizenship test (Alex Browne – Peace Arch News)
In many ways, they’re a model Canadian family which makes it all the more difficult to believe that just over a decade ago they were on the verge of leaving Canada forever. In July 2001, the family, who first came to the country from their native South Africa in 1996, were the centre of a media storm when it was learned their application for landed immigrant status had been denied by Immigration Canada. The reason? The Down syndrome of Jason, then 14, was cited as raising concerns that in the words of a vice-consul’s letter he could “be expected to cause excessive demands on health or social services in Canada.” The bureaucratic response, based on a narrow set of criteria, was patently ridiculous, given Glenn’s already impressive business background in Canada and demonstrable ability to provide for his family.
http://www.surreyleader.com/community/146717525.html

Alberta Tories play race card in campaign (CBC)
Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives, looking for an edge in a pitched election battle against the Wildrose party, seem to have declared war on old, white guys. Tory strategists, in comments to the media in recent days, have begun pushing the message that anyone worried the right-wing Wildrose will resurrect regressive social policies should focus on sexual characteristics and skin colour.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/albertavotes2012/story/2012/04/10/albertavotes2012-tories-race-card.html

Canada celebrates multiculturalism with photographs from around the world (Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada)
Working both in Canada and abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) strives to end racial discrimination and xenophobia, wherever it is found. As part of the recent observation of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, DFAIT employees submitted photographs chronicling the beauty of cultural diversity that enriches the work they do every day.
http://www.international.gc.ca/eyes-coupdoeil/windows.aspx?view=d

REFUGEES

The Roma of Parkdale: yin and yang (Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star)
Last week, I wrote a series of columns about the tangle of red tape facing Roma refugee claimants in Parkdale. There was, as usual, mail. Many people wrote to offer help, especially to the couple who needed a bed. I steered those offers to the Parkdale Intercultural Association. I also had a lovely note from Toronto Hydro, offering to look into the peculiarly high bills that have been sent to some of the Roma living in the high-rises along Jameson Ave. There was other mail.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1159031–fiorito-the-roma-of-parkdale-yin-and-yang

Online learning inspires refugees (IRIN)
It is these broader goals that inform the thinking behind another project to bring higher education to refugees due to be launched at Dadaab camp in Kenya in the next academic year through a joint initiative between Canadas York University and Kenyas Kenyatta University. Like the JRS programme, it will blend online and face-to-face learning, but will give students the option of earning a four-year bachelors degree, or opting out after two or three years with a teaching diploma.
http://www.irinnews.org/Report/95259/EDUCATION-Online-learning-inspires-refugees

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Community Access Program funding to stop (PovNet)
Industry Canada’s Community Access Program currently provides funding to hundreds of CAP sites in the Lower Mainland and across BC that provide free access to a computer and the Internet to low-income British Columbians. An announcement just prior to the long weekend has withdrawn the Government’s support and funding of this program.
http://www.povnet.org/node/4894

Towards a theory of displacement (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Should Toronto Community Housing tenants in good standing ever be asked to leave their homes? Its a question that elicits strong opinions. On the one hand you have people like the Toronto Suns Sue-Ann Levy commiserating with Regent Park tenants who were duped by duplicitous TCHC officials and shipped off like cattle into penitentiary-like buildings.
http://openingthewindow.com/2012/04/11/towards-a-theory-of-displacement/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Improve integration of migrant farm workers (Jenna Hennebry, Waterloo Record)
Research demonstrates that migrant farm workers face elevated health risks from many factors, including unsafe transportation and/or lack of training and valid permits for vehicle operation. There is no question that unsafe transportation or lack of training and appropriate licensing pose heightened risks for migrant farm workers.
http://www.therecord.com/opinion/columns/article/700022–improve-integration-of-migrant-farm-workers

Workers’ Rights on the Frontline – April 2012 (Workers’ Action Centre)
Contents:
New WAC Factsheet – Working as a security guard
Metcalf Foundation releases report on working poor
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=b32b33961fd1e65272919d8a6&id=757c1923c0&e=0ad6e1e2d3

Is There A Payoff From Top-Team Diversity? (hireimmigrants.ca)
There are many reasons companies with more diverse executive teams should outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a companys strategic perspective, for example. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/resources-tools/news/is-there-a-payoff-from-top-team-diversity/

Toronto Welcomes Technology Accelerator for Minorities (Techvibes)
Torontos first minority-focused tech accelerator launched today. Driven Accelerator Group aims to diversify the technology industry by providing opportunities to digital startups led by women and visible minorities.
(site currently unavailable, cached copy) http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.techvibes.com/blog/toronto-welcomes-technology-accelerator-for-minorities-2012-04-10

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, High Park Zoo and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/04/11/wednesdays-headlines-243/

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

Social Finance Round Up: Launch of Big Society Capital and Community Forward Fund (Sara Lyons, Socialfinance.ca)
SocialFinance.ca produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners.
http://socialfinance.ca/blog/post/social-finance-round-up-launch-of-big-society-capital-in-uk

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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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