Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 25, 2012


Changing of the Guard: New political leadership emerging in Ontario’s political parties (Alejandra Bravo, DiverseCity)
The political terrain in Ontario looks a little different after the Ontario New Democratic Party Convention held in Hamilton in mid-April. And we’re not talking about Toronto artist K’naan’s address and performance. It was the election of a new party president, Sri Lankan born Neethan Shan, an NDP candidate in the 2011 provincial elections. Neethan’s election shows how political parties are making efforts to be both relevant to and reflective of a growing diverse population, especially in the Greater Toronto Area.

Mennonite New Life Centre kicks off civic literacy training in the Latin American community (Alejandra Bravo, DiverseCity)
With a focus on building civic participation, the Mennonite New Life Centre has made community engagement one of its organizational priorities. One key activity has been convening the Latin American Campaign for Civic Participation, which brings together 16 organizations. Building Blocks leaders Adriana Salazar and Sadia Khan have created an intensive training program to deliver civic literacy training, focused on the Latin American community, at their Keele and Wilson location.

Younger Canadians Believe Multiculturalism Works; Older Canadians, Not So Sure (Mosaic Institute)
New polls commissioned by the Mosaic Institute in partnership with the Association for Canadian Studies suggest that Canadians continue to favour multiculturalism and value the contributions that newcomers make to Canada. This is particularly true of young people (ages 18-24), who voice overwhelming support for the Canadian multicultural model, and are generally positive about the state of intercultural relations in Canada. However, there is a profound generational divide on questions of diversity and the strength of the Canadian social fabric. As age increases, respondents demonstrate increasingly stronger reservations about the functioning of multiculturalism and the social effects of large-scale immigration.

Canadian youths supportive of exporting our multiculturalism (
Multiculturalism remains popular among Canadians – but the older they are, the more they seem to have reservations about Canada’s model of managing diversity, according to a new poll. Eighty-two per cent of poll respondents aged 18 to 24 said they believed multiculturalism should be exported to other countries to help them address their ethnic, religious or linguistic conflicts compared to those aged 65 and older (57%). Other age groups polled lower compared to younger Canadians, although support was still strong: those aged 25 to 34 polled at 68%, 35 to 44 year olds and 45 to 54 year olds both at 60% and 55 to 64 year olds at 64%.

Young Canadians more supportive of exporting multiculturalism: study (Sheila Dabu Nonato,
Multiculturalism remains popular among Canadians, a new study finds. However, the older they are, the more Canadians seem to have reservations about Canada’s model of managing diversity, according to the study involving several polls commissioned by the Mosaic Institute and the Association for Canadian Studies.

Canada Targets Immigrant Entrepreneurs (Mike Godfrey,
The Canadian government has launched consultations on plans for a new “start-up visa” designed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs and bolster the economy. The consultation was opened by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. He said: “Canada cannot afford to lose out in the competition for foreign entrepreneurs among immigrant-receiving countries. We need to proactively target a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians.”

An interview to Minister Jason Kenney on the upcoming changes to the Canadian Immigration System (Zieglers Blog)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is becoming more and more relevant as the day for the budget is approaching. Although Immigration is always a big deal for the Government of Canada, this particular year seems to mark an after and before on the subject. You know we always follow the news very close in this matter and that our idea is to bring you the most important information to help in the immigration process. That’s why i thought it’d be a great idea to share this video with you.

Pursuing Canada immigration for four years 3lakh families left in lurch (Kuldeep Mann,
As many as 3 lakh global families, largely Indians, have lost their dream to migrate to Canada as Canadian government has decided to return all those applications submitted before February 27, 2008 to reduce backlog of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications by returning them to applicants along with fee. Announcing this decision on March 29, 2012 under a plan to reduce the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications by returning all applications and government fees submitted prior to 27 February 2008, Canada government said that this will amount to a total of almost 300,000 returned applications, as well as approximately $130 million in refunded government processing fees.

ANCIE Bulletin: Gender roles (
The latest e-Bulletin from AMSSA‘s (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of BC) ANCIE (AMSSA’s Newcomer Child Information Exchange) explores gender roles. The bulletin discusses sex vs. gender, introduces the concept of gender analysis, and how gender and migration intersect for children and youth and results in inequalities – and offers research on gender inequities in the school system.

Migration Profiles (IOM)
The new guidance tool Migration Profiles: Making the Most of the Process explains in detail what a Migration Profile can entail and how governments and implementing partners can develop and conduct a Migration Profile exercise. This tool had been developed by IOM in 2011 – based on its experience in implementing Migration Profiles processes.

Video: Indian Dancing (Diverse City Kingston)
TVCOGECO’s Diverse City reporter Ekta Singh learns a few Indian Dance moves from Kingston’s Bhangra group.

Serbian barred from Canada over alleged Soviet-era espionage (Sarah Boesveld, National Post)
A Serbian man has been barred from entering Canada on suspicion that he belongs to a secret police service in the former Yugoslavia that spied on Western governments and institutions during the Communist era. In a case that casts an unusually wide net, setting a precedent to keep anyone with even remote links to suspicious groups from entering the country, the Federal Court of Canada denied permanent residency to Zoran Vukic who worked as a communications attaché for the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia and Montenegro) in Ottawa between 1998 and 2002.


Immigration committee set to work overtime on new bill (Kristen Shane, Embassy)
Witnesses are drafting briefs, and MPs are preparing for a whirlwind of long days of hearings, as the wide-ranging immigration bill, C-31, hits the House immigration committee this week. The bill, which combines anti-human smuggling, refugee system reform, and biometrics measures, passed second reading in the House on April 23 after nearly 23 hours over five days of parliamentary debate, according to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The government had won a motion to limit the debate’s length. Mr. Kenney is in crunch time to get the bill passed by June 29, with a break week in May and no telling for certain when the House will rise for a summer break. June 29 is the day another piece of legislation that has already been passed, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, takes effect, but Bill C-31 is proposing to change it.

Vigil will protest refugee policy changes (Leigh Anne Williams, Anglican Journal)
The bill just passed second reading in parliament this week. The Anglican Church of Canada’s newly appointed special advisor for government relations, the Rev. Laurette Gauthier Glasgow, will make a 10-minute presentation on concerns about the bill to the standing committee reviewing it. “How, in God’s name, can a country like Canada consider putting people who have been tortured and raped in jail for a year?” asks Mitchell Goldberg, a lawyer and member of the Canadian Refugee Lawyers Association, who will be speaking at the vigil. A coalition of four groups–the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, the Canadian Council of Refugees, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International–has been formed in response to the proposed changes to Bill C-31 and it has now been joined by 80 other groups, notes Goldberg.

Refugee health care benefits go under the knife (Daniel Proussalidis, St. Catharines Standard)
Refugee claimants’ access to what critics call gold-plated health care coverage will disappear by summer. QMI Agency has learned Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will announce Wednesday that by late June, claimants will get federal coverage for emergency care and conditions that are a risk to public health. Kenney’s tough medicine for refugee claimants means they will no longer have eye, dental, or prescription drug expenses covered by taxpayers – benefits most Canadian citizens and permanent residents don’t receive. The changes follow a review Kenney launched in September, 2010 when QMI Agency questioned him about the level of benefits offered.

New Canadian Clinic a lifeline for refugees (Wanda Chow, Burnaby News Leader)
At the New Canadian Clinic in Burnaby, health care workers don’t just diagnose ailments and write prescriptions, they’re charged with keeping in mind the bigger picture of their patients’ lives. That’s because these are not ordinary patients at the clinic. They’re all government-assisted refugees who come with a whole raft of needs not normally served at mainstream medical offices. The Burnaby clinic (there’s a sister clinic in Surrey) at 7315 Edmonds St. serves just over 500 patients who hail mostly from Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq, and from African countries, such as Somalia, said the clinic’s nurse practitioner, Ranjit Lehal. Many simply don’t understand how the health care system works.

Egyptian refugee Mohammad Mahjoub seeks an end to proceedings against him (John Bonnar, rabble)
Listen to a press briefing outside the federal court in Toronto on Tuesday afternoon with remarks from Syed Hussan from the Justice for Mahjoub Network, lawyer Paul Slansky and Mohammad Mahjoub.

Government to reassess whether danger awaits deported family in Guinea (Robert Hiltz,
A family spared from immediate deportation may only have a few days or weeks before being removed from Canada while immigration officials try to determine whether it is safe to send them back to their native Guinea, according to a social worker assisting the family. Anne-Marie Bellemare said Keita Mansare and her five children were extremely relieved when they learned that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney took the rare step to grant them a second pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA).


Death by a Thousand Cuts (Michael Orsini, Martin Papillon, The Mark)
On the slow demise of Aboriginal civil society by government design. Hardly a week passes without the news of yet another Aboriginal organization losing its federal funding, and being forced to shut down as a result. The hit list thus far includes the First Nations Statistical Institute, the National Aboriginal Health Organization and the National Centre for First Nations Governance. The health promotion programming and research capacity of some key organizations, such as the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Native Women’s Association of Canada, have also been scaled back following federal cuts, the exact details of which have not been made public. Which group might be next is anyone’s guess.

Court Ruling Called “Victory” for Children (SOS Childrens’ Villages)
A ruling by ’s Federal Court yesterday has resulted in a win for children from the country’s First Nations communities. Advocates for aboriginals living on reserves were protesting discrimination against their children, who receive much less support for their welfare than do off-reserve kids. The case was previously rejected by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in favour of the federal government’s argument that federal funding could not be compared to provincial funding.

Opportunities (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Gabrielle Scrimshaw. She is co-founder and president of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada .

Your Welfare Rights revised and reprinted (PovNet)
Your Welfare Rights: A Guide to BC Employment and Assistance has been revised and reprinted and is now available to order. This popular booklet is for people in British Columbia who need welfare. It explains who is eligible for welfare, how to apply for welfare, what your rights and responsibilities are while you’re on welfare, and what benefits are available. The booklet also has a comprehensive resources section with information on how to find an advocate and how to get legal information and help.

Latest Media and Policy News (Income Security Advocacy Centre)
With news about: Ontario Budget 2012, Other Budget Implications for Social Assistance, Other Ontario Issues, Around the Province, Federal Issues.


RBC Royal Bank to help skilled immigrants navigate the BC job market (IEC-BC)
On Tuesday April 24th, the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) will launch a mentoring program with RBC Royal Bank (RBC). Eight management-level RBC employees will dedicate 24 hours, over the next four-months, to help skilled immigrants find jobs in BC, commensurate with their skills and education. RBC has partnered with IEC-BC and three local immigrant serving agencies to offer RBC staff a unique professional development opportunity that benefits their organization while helping skilled immigrants integrate into BC’s labour market.

Diversity helps business grow, conference told (Rahul Gupta, Inside Toronto)
At a diversity conference in Toronto March 23, a panel of procurement experts urged Canadian companies to explore more business opportunities with diverse enterprises. Part of the second annual Canadian Supplier Diversity Conference, the panel, made up of business, government and academic leaders, touted research showing companies with a diverse procurement process grow faster on average than their non-integrated counterparts.–diversity-helps-business-grow-conference-told


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Transit, Speed Limits, Cycling and Other News.

CivicAction wants to lead the brainstorming on how to finance transit solutions (Yonge Street)
In September 2008, the Metrolinx board of directors voted to adopt a $50-billion transportation plan for the Toronto and Hamilton region. In June 2013, they’re going to tell the province how to pay for it. In the meantime, Toronto’s civic leaders are already mobilizing to become part of the conversation. In anticipation of the release of Metrolinx’s 2013 Metrolinx Investment Strategy, Toronto’s CivicAction Alliance—a multi-sectoral coalition of thousands of Toronto civic leaders—has launched the Regional Transportation Initiative.

Affordable housing working group has first meeting to figure out repair strategy (Yonge Street)
The committee tasked with figuring out what to do about the enormous backlog of repairs to Toronto’s subsidized housing met for the first time last week, beginning a process that it hopes will resolve the $751-million problem. Their deadline, tight for such committees, is to submit a final report by September 10.

Enough with the Rob Ford gravy slogans, it’s time to really fix Toronto’s fiscal foundation (Matt Elliott, Metro Toronto)
Reports say that the mayor and several councillors are holding a series of meetings this week in an attempt to figure out what should be next on the agenda at City Hall. Here’s an idea: let’s admit that Mayor Rob Ford’s gravy hunt was a failure and move on to the business of finding a sustainable budget that can help Toronto grow into the city residents want. It’s time for an adult conversation about our city’s finances.


Citizen Compass (PWC)
More and more people want the convenience of accessing their government services online, and governments want to do a better job of providing these to you. But before they do that, we want to ask you a simple question: What does the future of government services look like? Share your ideas with us, and we’ll work with governments to help make them happen.

Social Finance Round Up: Global Financial Inclusion Database Launched (Nabeel Ahmed, Social Finance) produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the week of April 23, 2012.

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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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