Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 16, 2012

Video: The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Jason Kenney: Bottom Line Immigration (TVO The Agenda)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wants to match the needs of immigrants with Canada’s economic needs. He joins Steve Paikin to discuss his plan.
Video: The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Realigning Canadian Immigration (TVO The Agenda)
In an effort to modernize Canada’s immigration process, the Harper Government has introduced several key proposals. The Agenda looks at what the proposals mean for those coming to Canada.
Editorial: Helping foreign workers (Calgary Herald)
Immigration is the federal department most likely to be viewed as the stodgiest and burdened with the most cumbersome processes. This is not necessarily a reflection of how the department operates, but it’s a public perception that comes from hearing of the lengthy wait times, stacks of documents and bottomless quantities of patience required of those who are either trying to sponsor a family member to come to Canada or are immigrating here themselves. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is doing a bang-up job of dispelling that perception and showing just how flexible the federal government can be in meeting the demands of an economy that’s just picking up momentum, coming out of the doldrums of 2008.
Entry to Canada to cost wealthy foreigners more (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
The Harper government is shaking up the federal immigrant investor program to ensure the money that wealthy foreigners bring here as a condition of entry is put to work in Canadian companies instead of languishing in bank accounts. The Conservatives are also expected to at least double the cash that immigrant investors must inject into Canada, to $1.6-million from $800,000. The money is currently given to provincial governments for five years until it’s returned, without interest, to the immigrant.
Immigrant investors must pay more for privilege of Canadian residence: minister (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney wants to make wealthy investors pay more for the privilege of Canadian permanent residence, launching a series of consultations in Vancouver Friday on how to retool the program to better benefit taxpayers. “We think that program has been massively underselling Canada,” Kenney told The Sun’s editorial board on Friday. “There are millions of millionaires around the world who would like to immigrate to Canada and we could do much more in generating economic benefit from those who come in through such a program.” aims at streamlining to maximize benefits for Canada (Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News)
Canada will take the first steps toward revamping its popular but out-of-date Immigrant Investor Program, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday following a roundtable discussion with financiers in Vancouver. Kenney said the government will start by introducing legislation to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to give him more power and flexibility to create, change or cancel specialized programs according to market demand and proven effectiveness. One of those programs, he suggested, could focus on attracting new investors to Canada.
Feds resume management of settlement programs in Manitoba, B.C. (Canadian HR Reporter)
The federal government is moving to strengthen national responsibility for the delivery of settlement services across Canada, according to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. That means the government is resuming the management of federally funded settlement programs in British Columbia and Manitoba, bringing these programs in line with every other province and territory outside Quebec.
It’s reasonable to change how immigration is handled – Point of View (Brian Macleod, Sudbury Star)
The federal government’s decision to close the Canadian Immigration Services office in Sudbury isn’t as arbitrary as Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault might argue. While it is never easy to lose jobs and services — especially for new immigrants settling in a community with a small immigrant population for support — it fits the Conservatives’ plan to rely more heavily on private enterprise to steer immigration. The five-person immigration office will be closed as part of the federal government’s culling of the civil service, in an attempt to reduce its $31-billion deficit. Services will be consolidated in Toronto.
The Hill: What’s Kenney’s beef with lawyers? (Richard Cleroux, Law Times)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney cracked a cornball lawyer joke the other day to make a point about the shortage of skilled trades in Canada. Everybody likes lawyer jokes. It doesn’t mean Kenney hates lawyers, at least not all the time. Kenney was speaking to the heads of national associations of professional regulatory bodies at the Minto Suite Hotel in Ottawa. He told his audience the wrong people are coming to Canada. He wants more skilled tradespeople. He didn’t say they’ll be trying to bring their relatives as well. But that’s what happens. People like to live in families. A lot of immigration lawyers are worked up over his recent changes to the system. They think he’s forgetting about family reunification and closing our doors to refugees.
Platt: Old stereotypes never die (Michael Platt, Calgary Sun)
A recent census also showed Calgary is the third most ethnically diverse city in Canada, behind Toronto and Vancouver, with a quarter of our population belonging to a visible minority. And late last year, a Lethbridge University survey showed people in this province are far from the typecast redneck, showing overwhelming support for same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana and pro-choice clinics. Now, four years after Statistics Canada placed Calgary at the top of the hate crimes list, a new survey on hate is out. If a Stats Can study can really determine Canada’s hate crime capital, Ontario should be plenty worried this year.
Immigration office in St. John’s to close (Ashley Fitzpatrick, The Telegram)
In doing its part in the federal government’s cost cutting strategy, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be closing a regional office in St. John’s. The closure of what the department describes as a “small office,” will be affecting a single job in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Vancouver’s Grade 7 student film says ‘Being white is my disguise’ (Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun)
Educational researcher Özlem Sensoy discovered that low-achieving Grade 7 students at one suburban Vancouver school blossomed when given an assignment to use video to express their concepts of racism, sexism, classism and gender discrimination. “What I learned was quite profound,” she said. “Kids who were traditionally identified as low achievers produced work that showed a complex understanding of social diversity.” She cited the video made by a student of Albanian-Muslim heritage who had come to Canada from Germany. The video revealed that people see him as “white” but the student said it was really a disguise.
CBC cuts gut cherished Radio Canada International (Catherine Solyom, The Gazette)
Up till now, RCI also has served to introduce people to Canada during peacetime, whether as potential visitors, trading partners or immigrants, Harvey said. Shutting down its broadcasts is like closing down embassies and trade missions. “It’s waiting for people to come to us, as opposed to knocking on their doors … I don’t think the government realizes how much of the world they are cutting off by doing this.”
Modern Sikhs explain why they dress like traditional warriors during Vaisakhi celebrations (Charlie Smith, Straight)
At yesterday’s Vancouver Vaisakhi parade, I met two young men who were eager to educate me about the origins of the Khalsa. Bupinder Singh and Karamjit Singh were both dressed in the traditional blue garb of the Khalsa, which was created as a military order by Guru Gobind Singh during the Vaisakhi festival in 1699. Bupinder explained that at the time, Mughal invaders were forcing people in Punjab and other parts of the Indian subcontinent to convert to Islam.
Immigrants get priority over ‘white’ Canadians for Ottawa’s public housing, human rights complaint alleges (Gary Dimmock, The Ottawa Citizen)
An Ottawa man who was living in a shelter with his wife and two children took the City of Ottawa to a human rights tribunal last month, alleging that immigrants are given priority over “white Canadians” for public housing. Kirk Munroe and his family lived at the Carling Family Shelter for months last year while waiting for a public housing unit to call their own. Munroe grew frustrated with the wait after immigrant families at the shelter were offered public housing in only a “matter of weeks.”
Muslim Cemetery Courtesy Of Jewish Brother (Kole Shettima, Leadership)
Muslims, Christians and Jews are brothers and sisters. All trace their origins to Abraham (AS) according to the major religious books. Contrary to popular perception, historically, with two major exceptions, Muslims and Jews have lived together in peace until the Palestinian problem. However, major news headlines are usually about inter-religious and intra-religious fights. Hate and hate rhetoric dominate conversation amongst adherents of these major religions. A headline which bucks the trend is when the Muslim community in Toronto, Canada purchased their first cemetery. Funding came from a Jew, Yosi Behar, 68, who arranged for an interest free loan, as Islam requires, for the Toronto Muslim Cemetery Corp., which enabled it to buy a $6.8 million property from Beth Olam Cemetery Corporation, another Jewish organization.
CWC Launches Centre for Strategic Digital Leadership (Broadcaster Magazine)
The newly created CWC Centre for Strategic Digital Leadership is an umbrella under which CWC will focus on the development of key leadership competencies required to fully exploit opportunities and meet challenges in the TMT (Technology, Media, Telecommunications) landscape… Targeted at women, including visible minority, aboriginal and new immigrants, CWC adds that men are also welcome to participate and will likely find the program relevant to their own careers. The report on the gender-based analysis and the curriculum guidelines will be completed by summer of 2012. Pilot sessions using the curriculum guidelines will take place in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in the fall of 2012 and the online learning components will be available in 2013.
The leadership challenge: Erasing stereotypes (Leah Eichler, Globe and Mail)
If both of us, who advocate on behalf of women in the workplace, subconsciously think this way, how can attitudes be changed among the general public? Ms. Caprino believes that quickly getting more women into senior leadership roles will change public perceptions, and alter traditional stereotypes about what makes a good business leader. “Once we start seeing women … leading their company, and hearing interviews about how women have taken their companies to the next level, that’s when we will start thinking of women [as visionaries],” Ms. Caprino said.
2 Windsorites named ‘Caring Canadians’ (CBC)
Two people from Windsor and Leamington will receive “Caring Canadian” awards from the governor general Monday in Ottawa. Daphne Clarke has dedicated more than 30 years to helping immigrant women in the Windsor area. She’s part of Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. (WEST). It was developed in 1984 as a response to high levels of unemployment among women in the area and the difficulties experienced by women attempting to enter the workforce.
Silent killer plagues Chinese immigrants (Erin Ellis, Vancouver Sun)
Wong is like most people who don’t know how or when they were infected with hep B – and it usually doesn’t mat-ter. When someone is acutely ill with the disease, they may have dark urine, jaundice and fatigue, but it’s far from deadly and 90 per cent of people beat the virus on their own. Only 10 per cent become carriers of the hepatitis B virus, meaning they can spread it through sexual contact, exchange of blood or childbirth, and up to one-quarter of those cases will develop cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer later in life. While those numbers sound small, they are magnified in a massive population like China’s where about 50 per cent of its citizens have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus.
Three weeks left to nominate a human rights champion (City of Toronto)
There are just three weeks left to nominate a fellow Toronto resident or program for a City of Toronto access, equity and human rights award. The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, May 7 by 4:30 p.m.
At 30, the Charter of Rights has reshaped our society, for the better (Toronto Star)
Think of it as a shield against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adopted 30 years ago this week, protects us all. Time and again, Canadians have invoked it to challenge overbearing government power, to expand freedoms including that of free speech and of the press, to right wrongs and to remedy inequality. It is one of our great treasures. Indeed Canadians put it on a par with such icons as Confederation itself, and universal health care. And for good reason. We look to the Charter for guidance on the political, legal, social and ethical issues that define our lives.–at-30-the-charter-of-rights-has-reshaped-our-society-for-the-better
Why this year could prove to be the Charter’s most controversial (Kirk Makin, Globe and Mail)
Created 30 years ago amid immense political controversy, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms could easily have become an empty shell. Instead, its guarantees of liberty, equality and fairness have permeated political life and Canadian cultural consciousness. Yet, for all the contentious issues it has settled, the Charter is poised to become more relevant than ever. A federal government with an ambitious agenda of reform is running headlong toward the one institution that has the power to send it back to the drafting board – the judiciary.
How the Charter helped define Canada (Louise Arbour, Globe and Mail)
The most significant political event of post-Second World War Canada may be the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It has transformed a country obsessed with the federal-provincial division of powers and enabled it to address its diversity in a substantive, principled way. This was not inevitable. Credit is due in large part to the quality of the judicial branch of governance and, obviously, to the legal profession.
Canada Is the World’s Constitutional Superpower (Omar Ha-Redeye, Slaw)
We may not be the most wealthy nation in the world, or have the most powerful military. But when it comes to the legal influence of our constitution on other countries, it seems that Canada tops the list.
Video: Justice reporter Kirk Makin on the Charter’s legacy (Globe and Mail)
The Globe and Mail marks the 30-year anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Mural project helps young refugees express themselves (Liz Monteiro, Waterloo Record)
When you’ve heard bombs dropped on your city or soldiers walking the streets of your town, you learn not to draw attention to yourself. Some of the youth who arrive at Reception House Waterloo Region — a temporary home for government assisted refugees — may appear shy, aloof and withdrawn, but give them a paintbrush and you might see them come alive. A youth mural project was a way to connect the youth with their community and “to produce something they can see,” said Santiago Grande, project co-ordinator at Mosaic Counselling and Family Services.–mural-project-helps-young-refugees-express-themselves
Bill C-31: Reforming Canada’s Refugee System or Destroying It? (Edward C. Corrigan, Dissident Voice)
On February 16, 2012 Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney introduced Legislation “to protect the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.” The Stephen Harper government minister “proposed measures include further reforms to the asylum system to make it faster and fairer, measures to address human smuggling, and the authority to make it mandatory to provide biometric data with a temporary resident visa application.” Minister Kenney said in the prepared Press Release that “Canadians take great pride in the generosity and compassion of our immigration and refugee programs. But they have no tolerance for those who abuse our generosity and seek to take unfair advantage of our country.”
Grassroots charity: Helping with furniture (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Maione, 50, started Helping With Furniture in 2005 with her friend, Buffy Cassidy, after seeing the need while helping a friend. It has grown to become her passion, a second job, albeit one that is unpaid. Every Wednesday evening, after running a day care in her home since early morning, then feeding those of her own six children still living at home, Maione leads her helpers on an almost seven-hour odyssey across the city, picking up, sorting and delivering. Last year, HWF picked up from 277 donors and delivered to 111 families during its once-weekly runs. This is the story of one such evening.
Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. I’ll be six feet under when I get OAS (video)
2. A Descriptive Study of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) (National Council of Welfare) – April 13
3. Speaking of the National Council of Welfare:
— Harper throws National Council of Welfare on the scrap heap (Carol Goar in the Toronto Star) – April 12
— Scrapping national welfare council is a cheap shot by a government that doesn’t care about the poor (Steve Kerstetter in the Toronto Star) – April 8
4. Communities across Canada fight against Community Access Program closures ( – April 11
5. Canadians willing to pay higher taxes for equality: poll (CTV News / Broadbent Institute) – April 10
6. 2012 Call for Nominations for 3M Health Leadership Award (Health Nexus) – March 21
7. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Police-reported data on street gang crime and cyber crime, 2010 – April 13
— Police-reported hate crimes, 2010 – April 12
8. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
We want taxes? It’s all in the wording (John Robson, Parliamentary Bureau)
According to the fledgling Broadbent Institute, Canadians are so worried about inequality they want to pay higher taxes. Good luck campaigning on that. Still, I think these Institute guys are on to something. Besides push polling, I mean. As too often, the results of this survey clearly depend in part on careful choices about what questions to ask, in what order, with what wording.
Taxing the rich akin to ‘ethnic cleansing’ – seriously? (Barrie McKenna, Globe and Mail)
Not surprisingly, the Bay Street crowd isn’t amused by the New Democrats’ tax-the-rich gambit. Money manager Jim Doak of Megantic Asset Management, a former chairman of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts, has likened Ms. Horwath’s proposal to “ethnic cleansing.” “It’s nasty,” Mr. Doak complained to CTV News last week. “She’s defined a group, not by culture or by language, but by how much money it makes, and she wants to get rid of them.” The vast majority of Canadians agree with Ms. Horwath. More that 80 per cent approve the idea of a tax on the wealthy and two-thirds are ready to take a personal tax hit, according to a new poll of 2,000 people by Environics for the Broadbent Institute, a left-leaning think tank. Seventy-seven per cent worry that the growing income gap is “a big problem” for society.
Banning the right to wear a cross at work (Yosie Saint-Cyr, First Reference Talks)
Does Christianity demand that its adherents wear a cross? Does Islam demand women cover their heads? Several would say both faiths do not, and others would disagree. I don’t think anybody can really answer anymore what counts as a core Christian or Islamic observance (among others). I think what bothers people more is not the symbol itself but what it represents, what they connect it too? i.e., conversion, evangelism, oppression, submission etc. Maybe what we fear is how these symbols can influence us and others. But the better question would be, should religious symbols take precedence over a workplace dress/uniform policy? Should employees not be allowed to wear anything at work, or decorate their workspace with symbols that shows what religion they belong to?
Why Diversity is Essential in an Economic Downturn (Andrea Greene and Laura Evans, Irell & Manella LLP)
In times of economic distress it is essential for law firms to give attorneys with diverse backgrounds opportunities to thrive. Diversity allows us to be representative of our clients and community, which is essential for many clients. Diversity also brings a variety of perspectives to the workplace and promotes the creativity and exceptional problem solving for which our firm is known. Rather than view diversity as a luxury, we’ve chosen to view it as a core tenet in our firm’s business strategy. Despite the economic downturn, our firm is still competing for the best and brightest attorneys; our focus on diversity helps us to recruit and retain talented attorneys.
Webinar: How to Recruit, Hire and Integrate Skilled Immigrants (Newmarket Chamber of Commerce)
April 25. Finding workers with the right skills is a big challenge for small and medium sized businesses. Employers are finding it increasingly hard to find Canadian-born skilled workers. The reality is that immigrants are becoming the source of all new net growth in Canada’s labour force. The question is how to find and recruit them. In this free webinar, you will learn where to turn when looking to hire foreign workers, and which organizations are available to assist employers.
Monday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall and Other News.
Video: Diaspora Dialogues: Friday the 13th Version (YouTube)
Sarah Feldbloom reads poetry on Friday the 13th at the Toronto Reference Library for Diaspora Dialogues, the 2012 edition.
Funding cuts could unshackle Canadian civil society (Howard Ramos and James Ron, Toronto Star)
The 2012 federal budget has put Canada’s social justice groups on notice: the era of government-supported good deeds is over. Over the short term, many state-funded groups will shrink or disappear, while those that survive will lose their autonomy. If you care about critical thinking and social justice, this is bad news. Over the long term, however, the Conservatives may have done Canada a favour. Deprived of federal funding, independently-minded activists will have to learn new ways of ethically raising money from individuals, communities, and businesses.–funding-cuts-could-unshackle-canadian-civil-society
Message from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on the Occasion of National Volunteer Week (Governor General of Canada)
National Volunteer Week in Canada is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our volunteers, to honour their efforts and to reflect on what it means to give. Canada is a caring country; Canadians give generously of their time and resources to improve the lives of those around them.
Sex-work ruling sparks trafficking concerns (Jenny Yuen, QMI Agency)
With the Court of the Appeal of Ontario sweeping aside some of the country’s anti-prostitution laws last month, activists are concerned the changes will breed more victims of human trafficking. “Prostitution fuels human trafficking,” said Shae Invidiata, who led a group of a dozen protesters outside of Ontario’s legislature on Saturday. “Legalizing prostitution and living off the avails, you’re giving pimps the legal authority to exploit women and children in Canada.”
The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

RT @j4mw: Labour groups welcome changes to immigration rules for skilled workers - The Globe and Mail RT @shawnmicallef:...