Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 17, 2012

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY

News Release Minister Kenney Announces Proposed Plan to Expedite Skilled Workers’ Transition from Temporary to Permanent Residence (CIC)
To meet Canadas labour market needs more quickly, highly-skilled temporary foreign workers could soon transition to permanent residence faster than before, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Thousands of highly-skilled foreign nationals are working successfully in Canada on a temporary basis, said Minister Kenney. Expediting their transition to permanent residence would help Canada retain bright and talented people who already have Canadian work experience and the ability to communicate in English or French. In many cases, they already have a job lined up. Such newcomers are set for success.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-04-16.asp

Immigration ministers clash (Bruce Owen, Winnipeg Free Press)
MANITOBA and Ottawa were locked in a fight Monday over who cares more about immigration based on how much each level spends making it happen. The first salvo in the spat over dollars and cents came from federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who visited Winnipeg as part of his plan to sell Ottawa’s move to take over settlement services. While Ottawa funded those services, Manitoba has delivered the program that includes language classes and job search skills for more than a decade.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/immigration-ministers-clash-147708555.html

Ending the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement Why Change a Winning Formula? (Diversity Reporter)
BCs immigrant service providers are dismayed about Citizenship and Immigration Canadas surprise April 12 announcement that it is unilaterally terminating the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement, which gives BC the ability to develop and deliver immigrant settlement and integration programming based on unique provincial dynamics. CIC Minister Jason Kenney recognizes that BC has developed world-leading programs through the WelcomeBC framework to effectively support immigrant attachment to our communities and labour markets, and to build our collective capacities to be welcoming to new residents from around the globe. The CIC announcement, which took BCs government and service providers by complete surprise, will claw back federal control of BC immigrant service.
http://www.diversityreporter.com/2012/04/16/ending-the-canada-bc-immigration-agreement-why-change-a-winning-formula/

Canadian Immigration officers abroad will be anonymous (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
Canadian visa officers who handle immigration cases abroad wont have their names released on government documents because of threats and fears of possible corruption, officials say. Federal immigration officials said a threat and risk assessment was conducted against officers abroad by the departments corporate security directorate which called for the names of the diplomats to be removed from official documents. Officials said the study was conducted as a result of a number of incidents that have taken place in the international context.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/16/canadian-immigration-officers-abroad-will-be-anonymous

Right-of-centre political party in Quebec wants more powers from Ottawa (Winnipeg Free Press)
A new right-of-centre party in Quebec is asking Ottawa for more powers over the French language and immigration. Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition for Quebec’s Future, said the party would seek a constitutional amendment to prevent Quebecers from skirting language laws. Legault wants the amendment to prohibit parents from transferring their children from English private schools back into the public school system. “It’s not a question of being closed to the rest of the world, but it’s a question of survival,” he said at a news conference Monday. “We have to respect the principles of Bill 101.” The party is also asking for more control over immigration and says it would make new arrivals study more French. “If we want a stronger Quebec, we have to make sure we have a stronger integration of immigrants,” he said.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/right-of-centre-political-party-in-quebec-wants-more-powers-from-ottawa-147640775.html

Tories could tighten immigration rules (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has confirmed that his officials are keeping note of legal practices in other countries that would be considered crimes in Canada to help further screen potential immigrants down the road. “We want to be able to assess whether people applying for immigration into Canada should be inadmissible, but are not,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said in Winnipeg on Monday. He said he doesn’t like that immigrants who beat their wives or carry weapons, for instance, can slip into Canada simply because those actions are legal in their home countries and so they carry no criminal record, which would be easily seen on an application.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/16/tories-could-tighten-immigration-rules

Immigrants will miss local officers’ help, critics say (CBC)
Federal budget cuts will mean immigrants in northern Ontario will have to go south or online for some services. It was announced last week that citizenship and immigration offices in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay will close. Nine jobs will be cut. Those workers helped with employment permits, international student visas and fielded other questions from newcomers. Sudbury Multicultural Association president Rayudu Koka said the local office will be missed.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/story/2012/04/16/sby-immigration-office-closures.html

Kenney takes heat from immigration groups in Winnipeg (Bernice Pontanilla, Metro News)
The federal immigration minister drew criticism from organizations that work with immigrants and refugees during a stop in Winnipeg Monday. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney is on a seven-province, 12-cities-in-14-days tour to explain to Canadians his governments changes to the immigration system. The most contentious change takes away Manitobas role in administering settlement services for those immigrants whove come through the Provincial Nominee Program. This change is expected to come into effect in a year.
http://metronews.ca/news/winnipeg/106491/kenney-takes-heat-from-immigration-groups-in-winnipeg/

19 regional immigration offices closing (Tobi Cohen, Canada.com)
Budget cuts at Citizenship and Immigration are resulting in the closure or consolidation of 19 offices across Canada, Postmedia News has learned. Officials say the services provided by these offices will be relocated or moved online as the department moves towards the electronic application, payment and processing of files.
http://blogs.canada.com/2012/04/16/19-regional-immigration-offices-closing/

Government of Canada to Strengthen Responsibility for Integration of Newcomers Integration Services Are About Nation Building, says Kenney (CIC)
The Government of Canada is moving to strengthen national responsibility for the delivery of settlement services across Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. This change means that the Government of Canada 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.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-04-12.asp

First-gen Canadian women more self-employed than their newcomer moms: StatsCan (Peter Henderson, Ottawa Citizen)
The sons of immigrants to Canada aren’t following in their fathers’ footsteps but their sisters are apparently picking up some of the slack. According to a new study published by Statistics Canada, first-generation male Canadians are less likely to be self-employed than their immigrant fathers. But second-generation women are slightly more likely to be self-employed than their mothers. They’re also more likely to have a university education than their male counterparts.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/First+Canadian+women+more+self+employed+than+their+newcomer+moms/6467089/story.html

Disappearing Daughters (CBC Metro Morning)
Expectant parents are often curious to know the sex of their unborn child. They use the information to plan paint colours for the nursery and to buy clothes for a boy or a girl. But in some households, knowing the gender of the next child holds a different, and some might suggest more sinister, significance. All week, in a special series, we examine the issue of sex selection and why in some cultures, male children are preferred over girls.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episode-update/2012/04/16/disappearing-daughters/

Full document: Sex ratios among Canadian liveborn infants of mothers from different countries: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/336893-2012-04-sex-ratios-among-canadian-liveborn.html#document/p1

Indian immigrants’ 3rd child more likely to be a boy (Annie Burns-pieper, CBC)
A study released today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal confirms previous research showing that the male-to-female ratio for third-born children to women born in India and living in Ontario is higher than the natural rate. The findings are highly unlikely to be due to chance, says Dr. Joel Ray, the lead researcher, who is a clinician scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/04/13/third-child-male-india-mothers.html

Edmonton anti-racism centre loses $500,000 in federal funding (Julianna Cummins, Edmonton Journal)
An Edmonton organization that promotes racial harmony and education is facing a massive budget cut after Citizenship and Immigration Canada notified the group they will no longer receive funding from the federal department. Were still here. Were not going away. Well just have far less capacity, said Charlene Hay, executive director of the Centre for Race and Culture.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Edmonton+anti+racism+centre+loses+federal+funding/6468676/story.html

Hate Crimes Awareness Day 2012 (Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary)
This year, six Alberta communities are proclaiming April 24th Hate Crimes Awareness Day as part of National Victims Awareness Week (April 23-27, 2012). This years theme for the day is Support Victims of Hate Crime. Calgary and five other proactive communities (including Lethbridge, Brooks, Red Deer, Edmonton and Fort McMurray) are participating in this 3rd annual event sponsored by the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (AHCC).
http://www.ecccalgary.com/?p=611

Israelis plead not guilty to immigration breaches (Chronicle Herald)
Two Israeli nationals have pleaded not guilty to immigration charges stemming from a sweep of illegal workers in the Halifax area in December. Immigration lawyer Lee Cohen entered the pleas Monday when he appeared in Halifax provincial court on behalf of Iftach Jacob, 23, and Nissan Shitrit, 22. Both men are charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act with working in Canada without authorization.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/87572-israelis-plead-not-guilty-to-immigration-breaches

Bureaucratic nightmare stalls immigration for newlyweds (Rick Eglinton, Toronto Star)
Aaron Amorims midwinter wedding to his fiancée, Sarah, appeared to go off without a hitch. The day, Feb. 4, dawned springlike and beautiful. The bride wore a classic white dress with a long train. Guests at their Scarborough reception ate steak and chicken before the newlyweds caught an early-morning flight to Mexico. But a seemingly insignificant clerical error on their marriage certificate has become a bureaucratic blockade that threatens to separate the newlyweds indefinitely.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1162627–bureaucratic-nightmare-stalls-immigration-for-newlyweds

Toronto transit authorities refuse to take down Muslim ad (Kyle Kipp, Canada.com)
The Toronto Transit Commission is refusing to take down a controversial Muslim ad despite a demand from several religious organizations and more than 80 public complaints as it doesn’t violate any of its policies, the Ontario human rights code or the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The ad, which has been posted in four subway stations since January, states: “There is no god but Allah (and) Muhammad is His messenger.” It was sponsored by the Islamic Infocentre in Toronto, which signed a 12-month contract with the TTC a contract that still stands. “Religious and faith-based advertising is allowed,” said Brad Ross, executive director of corporate communications at the TTC. “If people disagree with the message, they need to take that up with the advertisers themselves.”
http://www.canada.com/life/Toronto+transit+authorities+refuse+take+down+Muslim/6468997/story.html

With eye on new Canadians, Wal-Mart caters to a diverse palate (Globe and Mail)
In a recent presentation, Wal-Mart outlined how it is moving to ramp up its store of the community, which caters to local tastes and needs. Its about 40 per cent along the way in serving Chinese and Southeast Asian Canadians in the food aisles, with offerings such as Chinese eggplant and Shanghai bok choy. Its really important for us to win our share of that market, said Emma Fox, senior vice-president of marketing at Wal-Mart Canada. Actually its really a necessity because all the future market growth in terms of spending is coming from the new population growth. Its coming from our new Canadians. Wal-Mart has been building its local strategy for years, using the buying power of its international teams to help stock products from overseas targeted at new Canadians, particularly those of Asian descent. Now it can tap into that expertise as a way to take on Target, which some analysts say has more of a one-size-fits-all approach to merchandising, although thats changing.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/with-eye-on-new-canadians-wal-mart-caters-to-a-diverse-palate/article2404396/

Charter of Rights turns Canada into a ‘constitutional’ trendsetter (Daniel Schwartz, CBC)
Forget, if you will, the prediction that Canada is fast becoming an energy superpower, able to influence on the world. The question legal scholars are asking themselves these days is whether Canada is a “constitutional superpower,” primarily on the back of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. According to several authorities, the charter, which turns 30 on Tuesday, April 17, has been influencing not just Canadian law but jurisprudence and the drafting of constitutions around the world.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/04/16/f-charter-30-intl.html

City of Toronto to launch CIMA Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament and CIBC trophy (City of Toronto)
Guyan Ferdinands, a student at Blessed Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, will be recognized for having been named best bowler at the International Cricket Association Americas Under 15 Northern Championship. Last year’s pilot tournament winners from Woburn Collegiate Institute and Smithfield Middle School will be presented with the new CIBC Trophy. Highfield Junior School will be honoured with cricket kits donated by CIBC.
http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/it/newsrel.nsf/bydate/6E5DB0B96FAB1CED852579E20066F95D

REFUGEES

Party props up refugee program (Nanaimo Bulletin)
An evening of music, food, dancing and fun goes a long way to support Vancouver Island Universitys student refugee program. Part of the World University Service of Canada project, the program helps former refugees, mainly from Africa and Asia, pursue studies in Canada and become a permanent resident. Many have fled their countries due to persecution, discrimination and violence.
http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/community/147621235.html

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Canada needs temporary unemployment assistance: think tank (Barrie Mckenna, Globe and Mail)
Young workers, women, immigrants and urban dwellers are chronic losers in Canadas Employment Insurance regime. Theyre less likely to get EI when theyre out of work, and those that do, must work much harder to earn it. A new report being released Tuesday by the University of Torontos Mowat Centre public policy think tank says the solution is a new system of temporary unemployment assistance, or TUA.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/canada-needs-temporary-unemployment-assistance-think-tank/article2404272/

Report: Workers Left Outside the EI Umbrella: Explanations and a Simple Solution – http://mowatcentre.ca/research-topic-mowat.php?mowatResearchID=61

OAS rollback means hardship for low-income seniors: report (Misty Harris, Vancouver Sun)
Many Canadians will spend their golden years in poverty, if a government decision to change the eligibility age for retirement benefits isn’t reversed, according to a report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The report notes rolling back Old Age Security (OAS) eligibility to 67, from 65, not only will create hardship for seniors unable to delay retirement those who are sick or in physically demanding positions, for instance but also for low-income Canadians who desperately need that benefit to get by.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/rollback+means+hardship+income+seniors+report/6467952/story.html

Province balancing books on backs of the poor: Local activists (Peterborough Examiner)
Local poverty activists are accusing the province of balancing its books on the backs of the poor. John Martin, Martha Macfie and Joanne Bazak-Brokking, with the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network, told The Examiner proposed cuts within the provincial budget will have harsh consequences for a vulnerable sector of society. We have real concerns about the budget, Martin said.
http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3535187

Charter of Rights fails to protect poor Canadians (Laura Tack, Vancouver Sun)
Today, our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms turns 30. Like all 30th birthdays, its an opportunity to celebrate the Charters many successes, and to reflect on the challenges yet to be overcome. Theres no denying it at 30 years old, the Charter is a grown-up, and must be assessed according to adult expectations. Have the values underlying the Charter respect for human dignity and personal autonomy, commitment to social justice and equality been adequately reflected?
http://www.vancouversun.com/Charter+Rights+fails+protect+poor+Canadians/6468518/story.html

New TCHC task force gets organized! (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
The new task force on the future of Toronto Community Housing Company held its organizational meeting Monday and adopted an ambitious agenda for the next four months. The Wellesley Institute backs the working group and has set out seven key priorities to protect and preserve the TCHC portfolio ranging from effective engagement of TCHC tenants, re-engaging the federal and provincial governments, and innovative financing options.
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/news/new-tchc-task-force-gets-organized/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Your skilled immigrant business intelligence a roundup from hireimmigrants.ca (weeks of April 2 & 9) (Maytree)
hireimmigrants.ca, provides businesses with the tools and resources they need to better recruit, retain and promote skilled immigrants. The site also profiles good examples and innovative practices of employers across the country. Each week we bring you a round up of the useful resources posted there.
http://maytree.com/blog/2012/04/your-skilled-immigrant-business-intelligence-a-roundup-from-hireimmigrants-ca-weeks-of-april-2-9

Migrant Agricultural Workers Human Rights and Health Conference (Justice for Migrant Workers)
The Industrial Accident Victims group of Ontario (IAVGO), Asian Community AIDS Services ( ACAS ) and Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) invite you to participate in the Migrant Agricultural Workers Human Rights and Health Conference taking place May 17th and 18th in Toronto . Participants will have an opportunity examine various areas of law as well as healthcare issues relevant to migrant workers. The conference aims to provide a platform to exchange ideas and updates on law reform work as well as formulate strategies that will increase the capacity of workers to improve their rights and protections.
http://j4mw.tumblr.com/post/21257670365

Health and safety training tool kit for immigrants (Adam Gorley, First Reference Talks)
A few years ago, the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) decided to look for health and safety resources for recent immigrants. When it didnt have much luck, the institute took the initiative to develop its own comprehensive tool kit. While the package is designed for immigrant settlement agencies to use in their orientation programs, organizations that employ immigrants should find it contains much valuable information that they can use in their own training efforts. Moreover, while the package is based on employment law in Ontario, the concepts apply across the country. Researching the health and safety of immigrant workers in Canada, the IWH discovered that recent immigrants (mainly men) are far more likely than other workers to experience injuries. I wrote about the results when the institute presented its research to Statistics Canadas Socio-economic Conference in 2008 (subscription to HRinfodesk.com required). That study and another concluded in 2011 describe these labour market conditions that immigrants face:
http://blog.firstreference.com/2012/04/17/health-and-safety-training-tool-kit-for-immigrants

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Transit, Health, Celebrities in Town and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/04/17/tuesdays-headlines-246/

Diaspora Dialogues: Toronto the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Maytree)
This month Diaspora Dialogues and the Toronto Public Library present Toronto the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. These free readings and performances reveal the different sides of our dynamic city. On Friday the 13th, the series kicked off with stories about Toronto the Good. Writers shared stories and poetry that highlight the great things this vibrant city has to offer.
http://maytree.com/blog/2012/04/diaspora-dialogues-toronto-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

Foundation wants philanthropists to donate a little love to city (Marcus Gee, Globe and Mail)
On Tuesday night, a group of about 100 select Torontonians will gather in a spacious apartment at Bloor St. and Avenue Rd. to hear a simple plea: give your city a little love. The financial goal is to raise $100 million in three to five years. The broader goal is to spark a new burst of generosity and community spirit in a city that too often gets wrapped up in aimless debates and pointless quarrels. The Toronto Community Foundation is asking people of means to demonstrate their affection for their town by making a donation through its new Bond for Toronto campaign. A contribution creates a fund in the name of the donors or their families. The TCF will manage the fund and help the donor connect with community groups and projects that help make the city a better, more humane place forge a bond between citizens and the city.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/foundation-wants-philanthropists-to-donate-a-little-love-to-city/article2404642/

Rob Fords Woman Problem Not His Alone (Bronwyn Kienapple, Torontoist)
Does Rob Ford have a woman problem? asked the Globe and Mail recently. A bold question, but the problem of female representation in politics reaches far beyond the mayor. In Toronto, 15 of the 44 councillorsor 34 per centare women, and while that sounds bad, its a heck of a lot better than the paltry 24.8 per cent elected to federal parliament. Thankfully, a mentorship program may help correct the current sausage-fest that is Toronto politics.
http://torontoist.com/2012/04/rob-fords-woman-problem-not-his-alone/

SOUNDBITES e-Bulletin April 4, 2012 (Social Planning Toronto)
This issue:
Register to attend The 2012 Frances Lankin Community Service Award Reception – April 11th
Register to attend Social Planning Toronto’s 2012 Annual General Meeting – May 8th
Register for SPT’s Research and Policy Forum – The Precarious Journey: Housing and Employment Challenges for People with Lived Experience of Mental Health Issues – April 5th
Register for SPT’s Research and Policy Forum – Corporate Partnerships with Schools around the World: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – April 16th
Take Action on Ontario Budget 2012
Provincial and Federal Budgets Deliver Austerity to Struggling Communities
Social Planning Toronto Membership Sign up today!
Worth Repeating: Economic Inequality, Women, and Minority Women
http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=a8f54eab94acd8c455bb09550&id=d8624c816e&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SocialPlanningToronto+%28Social+Planning+Toronto%29

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

International criminals slipping into Canada (Michael Csoke, Hamilton Spectator)
As a retired supervisor of the Hamilton Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit, I was a part of the initial investigation that lead into the Hungarian Roma human trafficking ring in this city. During this investigation, I was surprised to learn of the lax immigration laws that permitted the likes of the Domotors and Kolompars, and a bevy of other international criminals to enter this country.
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/letters/article/706215–international-criminals-slipping-into-canada

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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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