Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 12, 2012


Paying it forward: one newcomers lessons of employment success (Peter Paul, Maytree)
Recently, Peter Paul, project leaders of ALLIES, spoke to the George Brown College Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) Graduating class of 2012. First and foremost, congratulations to all you who are here today. Becoming proficient in the language of your occupation is critical to your future success. By graduating today, you have taken an important step forward. Your ability to communicate effectively with your colleagues in the workplace is central to your growth and development as a professional in Canada.

Canada could face lawsuits if it legislates away immigration backlog (Kristen Shane, Embassy)
It’s no wonder Mr. Kenney is echoing her words; he’s interested in mirroring her government’s actions too. Since his Economic Club speech, Mr. Kenney has talked to national media, setting the table for a year’s worth of immigration reforms while constantly citing elements of the immigration systems in New Zealand and Australia as models for Canada. Commentators on both sides of the Pacific note the successes those countries have had in tailoring their systems to ensure immigrants get jobs. But some also warn against adopting some parts, such as retroactively changing application criteria to wipe clean a backlog, without learning from the costly lessons these countries have already faced.

News Release Minister Kenney strengthens economic value of provincial immigration programs (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today announced changes to strengthen provincial immigration programs. Starting July 1, 2012, most Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants for semi- and low-skilled professions will have to undergo mandatory language testing of their listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities and meet a minimum standard across all four of these categories.

Feds unveil new language rules for low-skill provincial immigrants (Tobi Cohen,
Thousands of newcomers destined for low-skilled jobs Canadians dont want in far-flung parts of the country will now be subject to mandatory language testing, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Wednesday during a stop in Saskatoon. Starting July 1, Kenney said Provincial Nominee Program applicants in semi and low skilled professions will be tested and will be required to meet a minimum standard when it comes to listening, speaking, reading and writing in Canadas official languages English and French.

Speaking notes for The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P. Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism (CIC)
At an event to announce plans to make it easier for skilled tradespersons to immigrate to Canada.

Feds to centralize immigrant settlement services (Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News)
The federal government is moving to centralize the delivery of immigrant settlement services, Postmedia News has learned. On Thursday, the government will cancel agreements with British Columbia and Manitoba that allow the provinces to manage their own language training and jobs programs for newcomers using federal funds. “We’re ending it (Thursday) because we think that the integration services are about nation-building and we want to make sure that every region gets its fair share of funding and that immigrants across the country get consistent services regardless of where they live,” a government source said on condition of anonymity.

April 20: No One is Illegal – Toronto Presents: Whose Borders? (Justice for Migrant Workers)
Join us as we continue our film series and highlight issues of indigenous sovereignty, migration, resistance, and together ask Whose Borders? This time, we focus on the realities of exploited migrant labour, and how the latest changes to the immigration system threaten to make these conditions worse, unless we stop them.

Councillor calls for city hall to be more proactive in preventing abuse of immigrant children (680 News)
Thompson said he wants to the city work more closer with agencies like the Children’s Aid Society and Immigration Canada to ensure those kids do not fall through the cracks. The idea of a registry of immigrant children is being considered but many legal, civil and human rights issues come in to play. “We’re going to work through the process. No one is defining where we are on this. It’s the start of a journey. Part of a process to help and protect children and to prevent the murder of any child,” explained Thompson. David Rivard of the Children’s Aid Society told 680News they are exploring all options.–councillor-calls-for-city-hall-to-be-more-proactive-in-preventing-abuse-of-immigrant-children

Child Registry (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Karen Kennedy. She is the Executive Director of BOOST, an organization that provides service to children who have been exposed to abuse and violence.

Melonie isnt the only one (Royson James, Toronto Star)
No child entering Canada as a landed immigrant should be released into the care of a step-parent or a blended family without a clear record of where he or she might attend school. And within six months of landing, government records should verify the enrolment at said school or other recognized educational option, such as home-schooling.–james-melonie-isn-t-the-only-one

Immigration officials could block import of ‘illegal’ cultural norms (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
The Admissibility Branch at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is asking immigration officers posted abroad to update head office about applicants’ actions that might be legal in their home country, but not legal in Canada, QMI Agency has learned. “Domestic violence may not be proscribed in some countries, whereas in Canada it could be assault (or) sexual assault,” the July 2011 request states. Immigration officials also cite polygamy, cultivating and marketing khat – a drug popular in East Africa — and carrying a concealed weapon as priority issues they’d like to hear about.

April 19: The Health of Newcomers in Toronto: Current Evidence and Promising Practices (Settlement AtWork)
The Healthcare Interpretation Network and Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services is hosting an educational forum: The Health of Newcomers in Toronto: Current Evidence and Promising Practices.

May 3: #CdnImm event: Knowledge-Sharing on Canadian Immigration #2 (Settlement AtWork)
Event topic: Canadian Immigration: Theory & Practice: Connecting academics on immigration with practitioners in settlement. Sharing information to understand the sector and collaborating to improve services of integration.

Judge declares mistrial in case of woman accused of immigration scam (Jennifer Saltman, Postmedia News)
A mistrial has been declared in the case of a former Surrey, B.C., woman accused of marrying two men in order to sponsor them for Canadian residency. Jotika Ashni Reddy, 33, was charged with two counts of knowingly misrepresenting or withholding material facts under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and two counts of bigamy.

Immigrants remaking Canadas religious make-up: report (Canadian Immigrant)
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 average 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.

Kenney makes strong pitch (StarPhoenix)
Whether it’s a car, house or immigration strategy, one’s willingness to buy what’s on offer is greatly enhanced by the enthusiasm of the salesperson. As such, it’s difficult to imagine a better person to convince Canadians of the need for the most massive transformation of the country’s immigration and refugee policies than Jason Kenney, who was in Saskatoon this week to announce some of those changes.

Doing the community and the country proud: Amardeep Singh (South Asian Generation Next)
For the past 7-8 months, Singh has been in a recruiting job and has numerous South Asians approach him. I have spoken to some of them about what the military has to offer. People dont understand that we have over a 100 careers to choose from, its not just operational but also technical, medicalthere are occupations in all those fields, once you realize that there are a number of benefitswe pay you to go to school prior to the training. Once you start seeing the things that are out there, you become very attracted. There is a lot of lack of awareness especially in the South Asian community and I am personally trying to talk to them about my experiences, he says. The military has various outreach programs to attract the youth from various communities. As Singh informs, We approach those communities to try and get them into those events, of course, we have a huge mandate and we have both personal and funding. If we had unlimited amount of personnel, recruiters and funding we would attend all events out there. Recently we attended a South Asian Police Association gala in Toronto as well.

On Wednesday’s podcast (CBC Alberta at Noon)
Diana Gibson, U of A Parkland Inst. on public money and private-for-profit healthcare
Dan Rickard on cancellation of Thunder in the Valley in the Crowsnest Pass
Gurcharn Singh Sangha on Sikh celebrations for Vaisakhi
Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma on new policy to fast-track skilled workers

Leadership Matters We Must Build Capacity (Business2Community)
Glass ceilings, sticky floors: Despite years of effort and discussion, research shows women and visible minorities are still underrepresented in key leadership positions undermining organizational potential.


April 12: What’s BOGUS about the Conservative Immigration System? (blogTO)
A Community Forum and Call to Action by No One Is Illegal Toronto & the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario.

Man arrested in France for smuggling Tamil migrants (Monisha Martins – Maple Ridge News)
A man accused of trying to smuggle Tamil asylum seekers into Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea two years ago has been arrested in France. Thayakaran Markandu faces a charge of organizing entry in Canada contrary to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for allegedly organizing the trip that brought 492 Tamil migrants from Thailand to Victoria in 2010 aboard a rusty 59-metre-long cargo ship.


CUPE, poverty activists take aim at Ontario budget (CBC)
Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and poverty activists are taking aim at the proposed provincial budget. Union members are criss-crossing the province ahead of a rally planned for April 21 at Queen’s Park next week. The union alleges the Liberal government will make poverty worse with its budget

Groups slam provincial budget as moving province ‘backwards’ (Tamara Shephard, InsideToronto)
The recent Ontario and federal austerity budgets attack each government’s deficit on the backs on the most vulnerable, a community forum in Rexdale argued Thursday. Some 60 area residents packed a community room in Rexdale Community Health Centre as speaker after speaker from various community organizations denounced each budget’s slashing of spending on programs and services critical to low-income Ontarians. The Alliance for a Poverty-Free Toronto organized the public forum with leadership from Social Planning Toronto.–groups-slam-provincial-budget-as-moving-province-backwards

Web access at public libraries hit by funding cuts (Kyle Kipp, Postmedia News)
Federal budget cuts will shut down the Community Access Program which was used to help fund Internet access at libraries and community centres across the country, causing “a huge blow to public libraries that relied on the funding,” says the president of the Canadian Libraries Association. “We’re disappointed,” Karen Adams said Tuesday, adding that the move will directly affect seniors, youths and low-income homes. While some libraries will have to limit their spending by not buying hardware and software, smaller libraries will take a bigger hit, with some possibly ending Inter-net access.

Racism expert withdrew report because Missing Women inquiry would not fulfill its mandate (Brian Hutchinson, National Post)
An expert in systemic racism and aboriginal stereotypes withdrew from the troubled Missing Women Commission of Inquiry after deciding the commission would not fulfill its mandate, the National Post has learned. UBC anthropology professor Bruce Miller was contracted by the commission as an expert witness and was expected to testify at public hearings that began last fall. He says he submitted a report in advance of his testimony, but by September had informed the commission that he no longer wished to participate in the process.

Public Services Foundation of Canada says Income inequality is main obstacle to building better public services (James Clancy, National Union of Public and General Employees)
Reducing income inequality is the key step to maintaining quality public services in Ontario, according to an interim report released today by the Public Services Foundation of Canada (PSFC). Overwhelmingly, we heard that income inequality is a major cause of the current recession and why the recovery (in Ontario) is so weak, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, chair of the Foundation, told news conferences in Toronto and Sudbury. Wasylycia-Leis, a former federal Member of Parliament, conducted public hearings across the province in January and February, where she heard evidence on the health of public services in Ontario and on how they can be sustained through progressive tax reform.


A Diverse Workforce is Essential for TDs Success (
The insights and skills of a diverse workforce arent just nice-to-haves for TD Bank, theyre essential for the organizations success, says Ed Clark, Group President and CEO at TD Bank Group. In the video below, Mr. Clark explains why diversity will continue to be a priority for the bank after his retirement in 2013. Read more about TDs commitment to diversity and corporate social responsibility.

Feds Create New Program To Draw Tradespeople (
The new stream for workers in fields such as construction and manufacturing should be set up later this year, says Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

Minister Kenney Meets With Employers in Saskatoon (Marketwire)
The Government of Canada is strengthening its partnership with employers to ensure the economic immigration program better meets the needs of Canada’s economy, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today at a roundtable discussion with Saskatoon employers.

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.–feds-create-new-immigration-program-to-attract-skilled-trades-people

What is your stance toward difference? (Joe Gerstandt)
Our individual and collective stances toward difference are incredibly important because they inform how we interact with difference when it actually shows up. An example Silicon Valley is still the global capital for innovation, and they want to maintain that role. Toward that end they pay close attention to the ingredients that feed their capacity to innovate. One of the indicators that they monitor and report in their annual Index of Silicon Valley is the number of languages spoken in their community. They see that as a positive thing, something that contributes to the potential of the community.

Construction skills crisis forces Canada to relax immigration rules (New Civil Engineer)
Canadas citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney has announced plans to make it easier for skilled tradesmen to immigrate to Canada in a bid to tackle escalating labour shortages.’s-News-Headlines&contentID=681

Council defies Ford on contracting-out cleaners (David Rider, Toronto Star)
Urging her colleagues to protect city cleaners targeted for outsourcing, Councillor Ana Bailão choked back tears Wednesday, recalling life as a new immigrant scrubbing Toronto offices with her mother. My mom had to have two jobs. At age 15, I was cleaning offices downtown for two years, Bailão told council Wednesday, her voice breaking. I know this industry, and these are new immigrants coming to this country . . . These are the most vulnerable people in this city.–council-defies-ford-on-contracting-out-cleaners?bn=1


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, High Park Zoo and Other News.

Moving Our Region: Transportation for the Future Session 1 (IMFG)
IMFG is continuing its series from last year on Moving Our Region with three new lectures. These talks will focus on the importance of transportation infrastructure to the economy of the city-region, the private sectors role in transportation, and revenue tools for funding transit. The series brings together noted transportation policy-makers, practitioners, and academics to discuss critical issues that will profoundly influence the future growth and prosperity of the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA).
Video recording:


Budget 2012: A $500m Opportunity for Impact Investing? (Adam Spence,
Whether its in a classic movie, a great TV show, or a 450+ page government budget paper, I love a good one liner. If you are a public policy wonk interested in impact investing, you would have loved this tantalizing line from the federal budget, referring to a major investment in venture capital: In the coming months, the government will consider how to structure its support…

Family Foundations (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Sue Griggs, she is co-founder of the Griggs Family Foundation, and with Rahul Bhardwaj. He is President and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation.

Governance in the 21st Century (Lucy Bernholz, Philanthropy 2173)
The kind of organizing that led Komen to change its decision and that is now calling for change from Gates to change is easier than ever. It can be turned on in an instant and reach unprecedented scale at unprecedented pace. Boards of directors of nonprofits and foundations need to know this, they need to expect it, and they need to engage with both critics and supporters. They need, in other words, to govern in a new landscape in which each and every decision they make may be the one that transforms supporters into critics (see Komen) or turns educational policy grants into part of national outrage about gun laws and racial justice (see ALEC). Is this about a social media policy? I don’t think so. Is it about governance, engagement, conversation, accountability, structural consistency, clarity of mission, and a willingness to remain civil while participating in difficult areas of work riven with disagreement? Yes. Nonprofits are part of civil society which thrives only when it is filled with multiple points of view and diverse approaches to problem solving. The “public” will not agree with every decision a foundation or nonprofit makes and they have a right to express that disagreement. Foundations and nonprofits have a right (and a responsibility) to make their decisions and expect a public response to them.

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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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