Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 20, 2012

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY

Bottom line immigration? (Maytree)
If you work in or follow Canada’s immigration sector, your head might be reeling a bit from the recent number of substantive announcements, press releases and comments coming from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. TVO’s The Agenda recently produced two segments on the proposed changes to Canada’s immigration system and they are well worth your time to watch.
http://maytree.com/blog/2012/04/bottom-line-immigration/

Canada Immigration: Jason Kenney’s Reforms Will See Employers Selecting Newcomers (Huffington Post)
If Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has his way, employers will soon play a much more active role in selecting newcomers, and those chosen will be put on a fast-track to admission to Canada. But Kenney disputes the notion that the reforms will cede too much control to private interests. “The reforms are not about completely handing over to employers the power of selection, but rather about increasing their role,” he told The Huffington Post Canada this week. “There will continue to be a certain criteria that people have to meet.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/20/canada-immigration-employers-pick-newcomers_n_1439992.html

Proposed immigration reform sparks worry (Selena Ross, Chronicle Herald)
International students will be ushered into citizenship, a new category of skilled tradespeople will be invited to submit their resumes, and the process is supposed to get much, much speedier. Under the Harper government’s proposed changes to the federal immigration system, unveiled in the budget, a series of subtle moves is likely to combine into a significant shift for Nova Scotia. Not all local employers are sure that a transformed system looks rosy. At a Halifax Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday, where federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney spoke, some came away uncertain whether the process will be a little too streamlined, feeding more newcomers into Alberta’s booming economy while Nova Scotia continues to struggle with labour shortages.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/novascotia/88403-proposed-immigration-reform-sparks-worry

Immediate labour-force needs are just part of the immigration equation (Globe and Mail)
In the wake of the federal budget and as Immigration Minister Jason Kenney prepares to make sweeping changes, the government should take a balanced approach to reforming the economic-class immigration stream. Addressing both short- and long-term labour-market goals and focusing on highly skilled immigrants seems judicious. Recent policy changes – notably greater use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Provincial Nominee Program and the new ministerial instructions – have shifted the focus toward the short term, responding especially to pressures to fill occupational and skills shortages. While short-run needs obviously have a place in immigration policy, the long run also matters. European guest-worker programs were set up to fill short-run requirements, but the long-run result has been less than favourable, with the children of those migrants having considerable difficulty successfully integrating into that labour market.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/immediate-labour-force-needs-are-just-part-of-the-immigration-equation/article2406634/

Ending the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement – Why Change a Winning Formula? (Press release)
BC’s immigrant service providers are dismayed about Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s 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 BC’s government and service providers by complete surprise, will claw back federal control of BC immigrant service.
http://chly.ca/press-release-ending-the-canada-bc-immigration-agreement-why-change-a-winning-formula/

Immigration spat heats up (Bruce Owen, Larry Kusch, Winnipeg Free Press)
The gloves came off Thursday in the Selinger government’s fight against Ottawa and its plan to “rip apart” an immigration agreement the province says is responsible for bringing thousands of people to Manitoba. Four Manitoba Tory MPs took the unprecedented step of denouncing the NDP inside the legislative building’s rotunda — they say Manitobans have been misled about the federal changes — in what was an orchestrated afternoon of political theatre. The event was witnessed by 400 immigrants and immigration workers invited to the legislature to hear debate on an NDP motion to get the Harper government to reverse its decision to end the 1998 Canada-Manitoba Immigration Agreement.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/immigration-spat-heats-up-148224265.html

Manitoba politicians spar over immigration changes (Evan Solomon, CBC)
A war of words took place at the Manitoba legislature this afternoon between the NDP government, which is fighting to keep the provincial nominee program, and the Tories. Immigration Minister Christine Melnick stood in the legislature following question period and demanded that the federal government reverse its decision to cancel its shared settlement services agreement with the province. Without funding from that agreement, Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program is dead, according to the province. The program is a national strategy meant to help skilled workers and entrepreneurs from other countries gain permanent resident status in Canada more quickly.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/04/19/mb-immigration-showdown-legislature-manitoba.html

Immigrants speak out (Winnipeg Free Press)
Paz Bowman immigrated from Chile with her family in 1976. She attended the debate at the legislature Thursday because she is concerned a federal takeover of settlement services will make it more difficult for immigrants to come to Manitoba. “We’re going to lose a lot of good resources, a lot of good workers, a lot of people who are making Manitoba their home,” she said while watching federal and provincial politicians scrum with the media in the legislature rotunda. Bowman said she’s concerned about the future of family reunification services under the federal plan. She worries Ottawa is fixated on bringing immigrants to Canada to fill specific job needs.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/immigrants-speak-out-148224535.html

MP says Tories wiping out rural services (Alex Atamanenko, MP, Castlegar Source)
Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko says he was dismayed to hear the news that the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office in Kelowna is slated for closure earlier today. “The Conservatives are dismantling Canada piece by piece,” he said. “This will result in a critical reduction in services related to citizenship and immigration matters for the people in my riding.” Although CIC is expanding the use of online processes, which is helpful in some circumstances, Atamanenko says his office receives calls from many people who don’t have computer access or who don’t know how to use them.
http://castlegarsource.com/news/mp-says-tories-wiping-out-rural-services-18595

Mayor Nenshi critical of Danielle Smith’s response to Wildrose candidates’ comments (Colleen De Neve, Calbary Herald)
Mayor Naheed Nenshi went further Thursday in criticizing Danielle Smith’s refusal to condemn firebrand comments by Wildrose candidates, saying she’d likely put her foot down if a party member spoke so harshly about the oilsands. The party’s leader phoned Nenshi later in the day, saying she’ll likely address the weeklong controversy in a speech Friday morning. The mayor, who’s assiduously maintained he won’t make an election endorsement, has had harsh words for his northeast riding’s Wildrose candidate Ron Leech for saying recently that Caucasians can better speak for all constituents than members of religious minorities. Leech had apologized for saying it, and Smith defended him, arguing he misspoke.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/touch/business/story.html?id=6487284

Not Even the Charter Excites These Liberals (Huffington Post)
The Canada we knew a decade ago is no longer the Canada we know today. What has defined us then is no longer what is defining us these days. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom of 1982 is a classic example as it celebrates its 30th year this month. While the conservatives refused to give the celebration prominence in Ottawa, the Liberals celebrated it in downtown Toronto like an exile opposition. A decade ago, when this document celebrated its 20th birthday, Jean Chretien was Prime Minister with a healthy Liberal majority in the House and the Senate. At the time, according to the Environics Research Group, 82 per cent of Canadians believed the Charter has had a positive contribution in pursuit of equality and freedoms of all Canadians.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/samuel-getachew/charter-anniversary_b_1438696.html

Video: Birth numbers suggest female-fetus abortions more common in Asian-Canadian communities: study (Derek Abma, The Province)
A study showing that South Korean- and Indian-born women in Canada have an unusually high proportion of boys born as second babies is shining a spotlight on the issue of sex selection through abortion. The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at all non-multiple births in Ontario between the years 2002 and 2007, which totalled 766,688. It found the ratio of boys to girls was generally about 1.05 to one for mothers of all ethnic backgrounds on their first births. This ratio stayed fairly consistent in subsequent births for mothers of most origins. However, significant variations were found among mothers born in India and South Korea on their second children.
http://www.theprovince.com/Birth+numbers+suggest+female+fetus+abortions+more+common+Asian+Canadian/6466436/story.html

Disappearing Daughters – An expert responds (CBC)
Professor Jha is the founding director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Here is his response to the recent Sex Ratio study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal: “For accurate public reporting, it is important not to overstate the problem. IF (and that remains a big IF) selective abortion is happening in Ontario, then the numbers from the Joel Ray study would suggest it’s less than 35 a year or less than 1% of all births among Indian-born mothers. The reaction of some hospitals to ban information on ultrasound results might well do more harm than good, and might well be an overreaction.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/04/19/disappearing-daughters—an-expert-responds/

Disappearing Daughters – Advertising gender planning (CBC Metro Morning)
The CMAJ study raises questions about whether couples are actually taking steps to ensure the birth of boys. An ad published in the February edition of Ajit – a Mississauga-based weekly newspaper published in Punjabi – seems to suggest they do. A reproductive clinic in Michigan is advertising gender planning and gender detection after pregnancy. These tests target South Asian communities living in and around the GTA. The clinic is located just outside of Detroit, a four-hour drive from Toronto.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/04/19/disappearing-daughters—advertising-gender-planning/

Female feticide maybe a reality in Ontario suggests new study (South Asian Generation Next)
A newly-released study, still inconclusive, sheds light on whether women from certain ethnic communities are undergoing abortions upon finding out the sex of their fetus. Conducted by St. Michael’s Hospital, the study analyzed 766,688 births in Ontario and found mothers born in South Korea and India was “significantly” more likely to have boys for their second child. In the case of a third child, the male-to-female ratio was even more unbalanced for Indian-born mothers, who had 136 boys for every 100 girls. In contrast, the ratio for Canadian-born mothers was 105 boys for every 100 girls — regardless of whether it was their first, second or third-born. The study also says “in the absence of another plausible explanation, male selection remains the most likely reason for the higher male-female ratios.” Interestingly, however, male-to-female ratios for second and third remained largely the same for mothers from Pakistan — India’s neighbor. According to the study, this could be because abortion is religiously prohibited in Pakistan, a Muslim country for the most part.
http://www.sagennext.com/2012/04/19/female-feticide-maybe-a-reality-in-ontario-suggests-new-study/

Not an exchange student (Mehdi Rizvi, South Asian Generation Next)
A recent study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) found that many recent immigrant adult students face barriers to academic success, including limited language proficiency, financial fears, insufficient knowledge of the Canadian post-secondary education system, as well as Canada’s non-recognition of foreign credentials. The report also found that colleges and universities were not addressing many of these barriers, and the few programs that did exist to provide assistance were not being fully utilized by immigrant students. Post-secondary education (PSE) institutions play a vital role in helping recent immigrant adult students integrate into Canadian society and job market. However, most colleges and universities are not identifying, or responding to, the specific needs of this unique group of learners, the report said.
http://www.sagennext.com/2012/04/19/not-an-exchange-student/

Return To Canada (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the possibility of Omar Khadr being returned to Canada, with Michelle Shephard. She is the national security reporter for The Toronto Star, and the author of “Guantanamo’s Child: The Untold Story of Omar Khadr.” and “Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism’s Grey Zone”.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/04/19/return-to-canada/

Convicted terrorist Khadr coming home: Toews (Sun News Network)
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Thursday the government won’t block the transfer of Khadr from a cell in the Caribbean to a Canadian prison. Toews squelched speculation the government was considering using a clause in the International Transfer of Offenders Act to keep the 25-year-old, Toronto-born Khadr out of Canada on national security grounds. “Under the International Transfer of Offenders Act, he is a Canadian citizen. He is also a Canadian citizen under the Charter which entitles him to come back to Canada, eventually,” Toews told QMI Agency.
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2012/04/20120419-163708.html

South Korean delegation visits CERIS to learn about immigration research and ties to the community (CERIS)
19 government officials from the Multi-cultural Families Division of South Korea’s Gyeonggi Province visited the administrative hub of CERIS at York University as part of a tour across the United States and Canada to learn more about immigration issues. The delegation consisted of directors, researchers, and staff members of local divisions of departments related to migration, social welfare, women, and families. Representatives from CERIS and York University discussed topics about knowledge mobilisation, research partnerships, issues specific to the Korean community, and working with communities in research activities.
http://www.ceris.metropolis.net/?p=4086

Call For Submissions: Brown Canada Komagata Maru Theatre Proposal (CharityVillage)
Brown Canada is a community-led history project to encourage South Asian communities to create and document their histories in Canada creatively, through writing, video, interviews, art, theatre or other means. Our collective entry point for this project is through the Komagata Maru incident of 1914, when a ship of South Asian people was denied entry into Canada due to restrictive immigration policy known as the continuous journey regulation. Through this project, we will be creating an interactive website, offering educational & creative workshops, producing a short video as well as seeking to tour a short theatre piece to raise awareness of the incident and spark community dialogue within Ontario.
http://www.charityvillage.com/cvnet/viewlisting.aspx?id=251911

Woodgreen Community Services celebrates 75 years in the community (InsideToronto)
The organization began during the Depression and was focused on child care and sports programming for youth to start – there was no parks and recreation department back then – and it evolved to include newcomer support, housing, a seniors program, tutoring, adult day programs and many more programs that are accessed by 37,000 people each year. “Woodgreen has changed in many ways, but we’re still looking at the challenges the community is struggling with and trying to address those,” Smith said.
http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1337733–woodgreen-community-services-celebrates-75-years-in-the-community

Quebec Ministry of Immigration will restrict certificate of selection applicants (Henry J. Chang, First Reference)
On March 20, 2012, the Quebec Minister of Finance presented his speech on the 2012–13 budget. He announced that an omnibus Bill containing modifications to Quebec’s immigration program would be proposed shortly. Although it is a proposed Bill, once enacted, the immigration provisions will be retroactive to March 20, 2012. Therefore, these changes should be treated as if they are already in force. The proposed Bill will establish caps on the number of Quebec immigration applicants that may be accepted between March 21, 2012 (19:00 Quebec time), and March 31, 2013 (19:00, Quebec time). Under the proposed Bill, there will be two groups of skilled workers.
http://blog.firstreference.com/2012/04/19/quebec-ministry-of-immigration-and-cultural-communities-will-restrict-certificate-of-selection-applicants/

News Release – Immigration is Key to Economic Growth and Prosperity (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney spoke to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce today and outlined how a transformed immigration system would benefit Nova Scotians and all Canadians. In his speech, the Minister outlined a series of changes to the immigration system that are expected to make it faster, more flexible and more focused on jobs, growth and prosperity. “Canada is looking for workers who can fill our labour market needs now,” Minister Kenney said. “My vision for the immigration system is one that can get immigrants here with a job offer in hand, within months of applying to come to Canada.”
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-04-19.asp

Study: Immigration, Integration and Welcoming Communities: The Role of Ethnic Community (PDF) (Settlement AtWork)
Drawing on two case studies, this article examines the role of Chinese ethnic organizations in responding to changing community needs in Edmonton and Calgary. The study results suggested that ethnic community organizations can be an effective alternative in providing accessible and equitable social services for immigrants because they are more closely connected with and responsive to ethnic community needs.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95172

Celebration and introspection—not mutually exclusive (South Asian Generation Next)
A walk on the streets of Toronto is probably one of the best and most inexpensive ways to travel around the world. People from different countries, speaking different languages and wearing diverse costumes can all be seen crossing the same streets at any given time. This is hardly surprising, given that half of the city’s population was born outside Canada. In this haven for immigrants, where more than a hundred languages and dialects are spoken, almost three-quarters of Torontonians aged 15 or older have direct ties to immigration. And although called “visible minority” the South Asian community is visibly a big part of this immigrant mix.
http://www.sagennext.com/2012/04/19/celebration-and-introspection%e2%80%94not-mutually-exclusive/

Calculating Canada’s ideal immigration rate (Herbert Gruvel, Fraser Institute, Troy Media)
No economic rationale exists for the current target of about a quarter-million immigrants a year which, as a per cent of the population, is the highest of any country in the world. Politicians justify it with vague references to its influence on Canada’s economic growth rate; the need to meet prospective labour and skills shortages; to finance social benefits for an aging population; to create a multicultural society; and to help alleviate poverty abroad. None of these arguments are valid if immigration policies are aimed at maximizing the well-being of Canadians. Thus, immigrants add to aggregate national income, but if their personal incomes are below average, they impose a fiscal burden on taxpayers because of the country’s progressive income taxes and the universality of benefits. Labour shortages can be aggravated since immigrants cause the construction of more housing, infrastructure and the need for more social and medical services. Actuaries have shown that immigrants cannot significantly reduce the unfunded liabilities of social programs since they too age and become entitled to benefits.
http://www.troymedia.com/blog/2012/04/20/calculating-canadas-ideal-immigration-rate/

REFUGEES

Refugee assistance may suffer in cuts (CBC)
Staffing at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office in Charlottetown is going to be cut from three workers to one, CBC News has learned. The provincial manager’s position and a settlement officer’s position working with refugees have been eliminated as of June 1, say department officials. CIC provides services for refugees in their first year, and more than 60 new refugees are expected to arrive on the Island in 2012. Currently, refugees looking for services must call a 1-800 number for an appointment. Walk-ins have not been allowed at the office in years. Interpreter Madan Kumar Giri helps people in the Bhutanese community. He said getting his last clients’ appointment took two weeks. “Even when there were three people,” said Giri.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/04/20/pei-refugee-immigration-cuts-584.html

Guide out for LGBT refugees (Windy City Media Group)
As increasing numbers of LGBT refugees flee to the United States, ORAM (the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration) has released the first ever guide for American LGBT and accepting communities on welcoming people fleeing persecution in their home countries. Rainbow Bridges, a 48-page guide developed in a pilot project to resettle LGBT refugees in San Francisco, offers practical step-by-step guidance on welcoming new refugees, ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing, and helping them find support in their new communities. It includes sample forms, a suggested code of conduct, and outlines the avenues for refugees to receive housing, employment, and federal assistance. Rainbow Bridges is available at: http://oraminternational.com/publications
http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Guide-out-for-LGBT-refugees/37357.html

Roma Refused (Kristyna Balaban, Dominion Paper)
The Roma Community Centre’s one-room office, located on the ground floor of the Crossways Plaza in Toronto, has been operating in this location since October 2011. Founded in 1997 after the arrival of over 3,000 Czech Roma refugees in Canada, the RCC is the only organization for Roma operating in Toronto. Originally based out of the office of Culturelink, an immigrant settlement organization, the new space now hosts a number of different programs including a weekly English as a Second Language class, a women’s support group and immigration counselling. According to Gina Csayni, Executive Director of the RCC, since acquiring the new office space there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people coming to the centre—around 20 per day—mostly Roma from Hungary. Csayni said, “as things become progressively worse in Hungary more and more are fleeing.”
http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/4432

Quebec family will be deported to Guinea (CBC)
Members of a Quebec family who have been fighting a deportation order have been told they will be sent back to their native Guinea tonight. The Keita-Mansare family was ordered out of Canada earlier this year after its refugee claim was denied. The family says it had paid a lawyer to make an application to remain in the country on humanitarian grounds, but immigration officials never received that application.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/04/19/montreal-deporation-family-guinea.html

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Good News for People with Disabilities in the Federal Budget (Jack Styan, Caledon Institute)
In this paper, Jack Styan explains the four significant measures announced in Budget 2012 that will make Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSPs) more accessible and useful for people with disabilities and their families. Since 2008, nearly 55,000 people with disabilities have opened RDSPs and have contributed $220 million. Over the same period, the federal government has contributed nearly $450 million. By the end of 2011, people with disabilities had amassed assets of well over $670 million, thanks to Registered Disability Savings Plans.
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/Detail/?ID=985

The No-Budge Budget (Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson, Caledon Institute)
The Caledon Institute’s analysis of the 2012 Budget argues that a number of its policy announcements are not backed up by solid evidence. Yet evidence – or lack thereof – has not stopped the federal government from taking action in recent years. The ‘No-Budge Budget’ title for Caledon’s paper is clearly appropriate given the social policy centrepiece of this Budget: the hike in the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67. The Budget tries to soft-pedal the proposed change by emphasizing the gradual and lengthy nature of its implementation and assuring Canadians that the measure will not affect today’s seniors or people currently age 54 or older.
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/Detail/?ID=984

What Are You Skating Towards (Tamarack Institute)
In this short podcast of a conversation between Paul Born and Al Etmanski about Al’s new blog, Al shares his vision to ask 50 of his friends to blog their answer to the question, “What are you skating towards?” Listen to him talk about the hope that people across canada have for the future and their passion for community innovation.
http://seekingcommunity.ca/content/what-are-you-skating-towards

OAS rollback will hurt low-income seniors: report (Misty Harris, Montreal Gazette)
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. “It means suffering for people in their old age,” says Angella MacEwen, a CCPA research associate. “Choosing to work longer is one thing. But forcing Canadians without workplace pensions or large savings to work full-time past 65 is unfair, especially given the high probability that the jobs many are able to find will be part-time and low paid.”
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada/rollback+will+hurt+income+seniors+report/6467867/story.html

Future Parkdale politicians visit Queen’s Park (InsideToronto)
They once had dreams of a career as a pediatrician, veterinarian or lawyer, but after exploring the world of politics through Girls Government three Parkdale students think they just might end up on the floor of Queen’s Park or the House of Commons one day. The girls, aged 13 and 14, are members of Girls Government, a program initiated by Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo to introduce young girls to the political environment, get politically active and consider politics as a career option.
http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1339416–future-parkdale-politicians-visit-queen-s-park

Video gives life to poverty’s faces (Chronicle Journal)
The Lakehead Social Planning Council is hoping a new video will raise awareness about poverty in Thunder Bay. My Neighbour — Our Community was officially released Wednesday. The DVD includes profiles of five city residents — Maggie Sofea, Bill Ferguson, Ian Cherneske, Kirsti Ovaska and Patty Jordan — who are struggling with poverty and associated social challenges. For example, Sofea is a young aboriginal woman living with a physical disability who speaks about the challenges she faced when relocating from her remote community to Thunder Bay. Cherneske speaks about his homelessness and conflicts with the law, exploring poverty and how it contributes to a lack of opportunities. It’s difficult, for example, to list Shelter House as an address when applying for work, he said.
http://www.chroniclejournal.com/content/news/local/2012/04/19/video-gives-life-poverty%E2%80%99s-faces

First Nations child advocate applauds landmark decision on discrimination (Jennifer Clibbon, CBC)
Cindy Blackstock, a long-time advocate for aboriginal children in Canada, won a major victory on April 18 when the Federal Court ruled that further scrutiny is needed to determine whether Ottawa is discriminating against First Nations children on reserves by underfunding child welfare services. The court ordered the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which dismissed the original discrimination complaint in 2011, to hold a new hearing on the case before a newly constituted panel of adjudicators.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/04/19/f-aboriginal-cindy-blackstock.html

Video – Armine Yalnizyan speaks at Social Planning Toronto’s 2012 Research Roundtable: “Responding to Occupy” (Social Planning Toronto)
Armine Yalnizyan (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) called on forum participants to become agents of change in the “culture war” that is income inequality. She emphasized that community-based, collective action is imperative in beating income inequality. Don
http://vimeo.com/40680018

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Ottawa looks to unemployed Canadians to fill labour shortages (Globe and Mail)
Ottawa is preparing to tackle one of the country’s most sensitive labour questions: Why won’t healthy, unemployed Canadians get their hands dirty? The Conservative government is preparing legislative and policy changes that, for the first time, will link the federal Employment Insurance program to the Temporary Foreign Worker program. A spokesperson for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley would not give details of the changes, saying the minister will announce them over the coming weeks and months… Ratna Omidvar, who was a lead adviser for a recent policy report by the Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force, said the minister is right to tackle the question. The answer, she said, might be to pay Canadians more.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-looks-to-unemployed-canadians-to-fill-labour-shortages/article2408394/

Finding and Keeping Top Talent Big Concern for Employers (hireimmigrants.ca)
Even in the face of tougher economic times and belt-tightening, one of the biggest concerns for most Canadian organizations is finding and keeping the right talent. One-third of employers say a shortage of talent at all levels is their most pressing HR challenge for 2012, according to a survey by Right Management, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup. Another 23 per cent of the 182 senior executives and HR professionals surveyed say a lack of high-potential leaders is their top concern, while 20 per cent say their biggest challenges is the loss of top talent to other organizations.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/2012/04/18/finding-and-keeping-top-talent-big-concern-for-employers/

Cultural Competency Training Makes College an Award-Winning Employer (hireimmigrants.ca)
The college’s programs include mentoring and advisory services designed to meet the specific needs of skilled immigrant employees. But the initiative Denyse Diakun, Director of Workforce and Personal Development at the college, is most proud of is the cultural competency training that more than 350 employees undertook last year. In the video below, Ms. Diakun talks about the training and the effect it has had on employees.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/resources-tools/videos/cultural-competency-training-makes-college-an-award-winning-employer/

3 Ways to Prepare Skilled Immigrants for Promotion (hireimmigrants.ca)
Do you expect employees to speak up when they want a promotion? If you take this approach, you may be overlooking many talented employees who come from a culture where it’s customary to wait for an invitation for promotion. There are three ways managers can be proactive and encourage all employees, including skilled immigrants, to apply for suitable positions.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/etips/3-ways-to-prepare-skilled-immigrants-for-promotion/

Immigration minister won’t confirm plan to have unemployed take jobs now done by foreign labourers (Selena Ross, Chronicle Herald)
If you’re on employment insurance, start paying attention to temporary foreign labourers in your community. You might be asked to take over their jobs in the not-too-distant future. In his visit to Halifax on Thursday, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stopped short of making what’s sure to be a controversial announcement. On Wednesday, he had told the National Post’s editorial board that Canada’s EI program will be tied to its immigration program. Unemployed Canadians will be “required” to take local jobs that employers are now filling with foreign labour, the newspaper said. In Halifax, Kenney did not confirm that workers will be forced to work those jobs or lose their benefits, despite repeated questions from reporters wondering if laid-off professionals will be driven to work as fruit pickers or in low-paying service jobs.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/88405-immigration-minister-won-t-confirm-plan-to-have-unemployed-take-jobs-now-done-by-foreig

Ottawa tells EI recipients to take jobs being filled by foreign workers—or lose benefits (Alex Ballingall, Maclean’s)
The Conservative government is looking to address the seeming paradox of high unemployment in areas suffering shortages of labour. And they’re doing so by warning recipients of Employment Insurance that they may lose their benefits if they don’t pursue jobs that are being filled by temporary foreign workers. “What we will be doing is making people aware there’s hiring going on and reminding them that they have an obligation to apply for available work and to take it if they’re going to qualify for EI,” Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told the National Post. According to the newspaper, Kenney pointed to areas in Nova Scotia that, despite having unemployment rates of around 10 per cent, are bringing in people from Mexico to work at Christmas tree operations.
http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/04/19/ottawa-tells-ei-recipients-to-take-jobs-being-filled-by-foreign-workers-or-lose-benefits/

Temporary Foreign Workers Canada Blacklist: Jason Kenney Wants Permanent Ban On Employers Who Abuse Migrant Workers (HuffingtonPost)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Canadian employers who violate the rights of migrant labourers should be permanently blacklisted from hiring them. Under regulations introduced last year, employers can be banned from participating in the foreign temporary worker program for up to two years if they don’t provide the wages, working conditions or type of employment promised in the job offer.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/20/temporary-foreign-workers-jason-kenney_n_1439333.html

Council: Building trades face challenge (Chronicle Herald)
“All of Atlantic Canada is facing the aging bubble ….. and it’s not coming — we’re feeling it now,” Collins said. “The message across all of Canada, too, is that we need to fill these positions. We need to look to our aboriginal population, get more women in the industry and look at attracting more immigrants, and I’m not talking about temporary foreign workers, but people keen on becoming permanent residents.” The annual report, titled Construction Looking Forward, 2012-2020 Key Highlights, shows residential and non-residential construction in Nova Scotia will post modest growth over the next decade, behind the western provinces but in line with New Brunswick and Quebec.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/88389-council-building-trades-face-challenge

Join WAC at Ontario Day of Action Against Cuts : this Saturday (Workers’ Action Centre)
Time: 3:00 pm Location: Queen’s Park, University Ave. and College St. Join WAC at this day of action against cuts in the provincial budget. WAC members are meeting at the north-east corner of University and College outside the Queen’s Park subway entrance at 3pm
http://us2.campaign-archive.com/?u=b32b33961fd1e65272919d8a6&id=dcc050a3a5

Foreign Trained Doctors (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dr. Eugene Ng. He is Director of the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/04/19/foreign-trained-doctors/

Number Two Language Remains Relevant in Business (Diversity Journal)
It is well-known that English is no longer the most-spoken language in the world, beat out only by Mandarin Chinese. English, though, continues to be relevant in the global market. TalktoCanada is reporting that English continues to be the number one language for international business and succeeding abroad. TalktoCanada was established in 2006 to provide English training courses online. The company has trained students from over 80 countries, including Fortune 500 companies such as Ernst & Young, Novartis and Fidelity Investments. According to a study by Language Monthly, there are 115 countries that use English as a main language. This number far outperforms French, which ranks second with 35 countries. The combined population of countries using the English language is nearly 5 billion.
http://www.diversityjournal.com/7999-number-two-language-remains-relevant-in-business/

Taking Responsibility to be The Better Bank: TD Bank Releases its 2011 U.S. Corporate Responsibility Highlights Report (Marketwatch)
“Taking an active role in supporting the communities where we do business is at the core of the TD Bank philosophy,” said Elizabeth K. Warn, President of the TD Charitable Foundation and Senior Vice President of Community Development at TD Bank. “We are proud of our role as leaders in environmental stewardship and workplace diversity as we continue our commitment to supporting affordable housing initiatives, financial literacy, education and the environment.” The 2011 Corporate Responsibility Highlights report showcases TD Bank’s dedication to being a transparent and accountable organization. The report is available online at www.tdbank.com/exc/pdf/2011_corporate_responsibility_snapshot.pdf .
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/taking-responsibility-to-be-the-better-bank-td-bank-releases-its-2011-us-corporate-responsibility-highlights-report-2012-04-19

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

CivicAction Spearheads Regional Transportation Initiative (PR Newswire)
The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance today launched a new leadership initiative to champion a regional transportation system and the need for new sustainable ways to pay for it. “Making it easier to move people, goods and services across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is critical to our region’s economic, social and environmental prosperity,” said John Tory, Chair, CivicAction. “Metrolinx has an approved plan to build the system we need, but we have nowhere near the funds to pay for it. We have to be open to new ways to raise money that are dedicated to getting this done.”
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/19/4426997/civicaction-spearheads-regional.html

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

Collaboration can be hard to define (James Mullan, FUMSI)
What does collaboration mean to you? Does it mean sharing documents with colleagues and collaborating on them? If so you might want to rethink your definition of collaboration after reviewing the blog post “Sharing files isn’t collaboration” by Jack Vinson. In his post Jack argues that exchanging files and data is not collaboration. In his words ” It’s simply exchanging files and data”. So what does collaboration look like in a typical organisation? Jack argues that collaboration should be about people working together to develop a common approach to situations and devising tactics and strategies that help them move forward. Beyond collaboration is the idea of creating a social business. A social business is one in which people (employees) are at the heart of everything the business does and the tools provided by the business allow employees to get more done. For a more detailed discussion about what social business is and why, for now, it’s potentially failing to deliver on its promise, I recommend reading the first resource listed below.
http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/share/68587

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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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