Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 15, 2012


Patrick Lake as a region evolves, so too must an organization (DiverseCity Toronto)
According to Patrick, communities change, shift and adapt to the world in which we live, and new communities continue to come to York Region, creating an ever-changing environment. Diverse communities are not museum pieces. You dont take one look at a community and say Now we understand it. At the same time, the community is rich with knowledge about itself and interested in working with local organizations. Recognizing and taking advantage of that fact, combined with a real commitment to being culturally competent and being open to the changes happening in the Region, means that York Childrens Aid Society better serves its entire community.

Harnessing immigrant mobility means prosperity for all Canadians (Globe and Mail)
The argument was simple, according to Giovanni Bolis, a late-19th-century Italian legal commentator: Passports should be eliminated not merely as a homage to the civility of the times but as a measure of great importance for economic relations, favouring commerce, industry and progress, facilitating the relations among the various countries, and liberating travellers from harassment and hindrances. Such a view would be considered radical by todays standards, but the 19th-century insight that immigration and economic growth go hand-in-hand has returned to conventional thinking in Canada. The evidence is certainly strong. A recent OECD study found that increased immigration is accompanied by increases in total employment and GDP growth. In the United States, studies find that migration increases the rate of invention, and in Canada, first-generation immigrants are 20 per cent more likely to have started a business. The truth is that migrants are, as a population, exceptional people. And it is the qualities of migrants not just their education and skills that benefit our economy and society. Those people who elect to move abroad are, by nature or by choice, often willing to tolerate more risk and ambiguity in their pursuit of opportunity. In their Canadian workplaces, they are divergent thinkers whose different ways of viewing the world can challenge the status quo and stimulate new approaches to problems. Migrants often bring cross-cultural skills and international networks, assets to Canadas economy in an age of global integration.

Foreign caregivers still waiting for open work permits (Tobi Cohen,
The federal government seems to be having a tough time delivering on a promise to live-in caregivers who were told in December that they no longer would have to wait for an open work permit once their contract is up. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced with fanfare that the government had introduced processing changes that would ensure foreign nannies who had completed the requisite two years of work would be able to get their open work permits almost immediately once they’d applied for permanent residency, rather than being forced to wait some 18 months.

U-turn on skilled worker program (Lawyers Weekly)
Over the past few months, there has been a flurry of regulations, policies and initiatives aimed at expediting the recruitment of foreign workers into Canada to meet the needs of businesses and employers. Many of these changes have been announced by way of government press releases, but have contained few details about implementation or timing. The release of the immigration plan in the federal budget announced on March 29 follows the governments recently publicized interest in moving toward an employer- and industry-driven immigration system. Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently stated at the World Economic Forum in Davos that while we respect our humanitarian obligations and family-reunification objectives, we [will] make our economic and labour force needs the central goal of our immigration efforts in the future.

High-profile Canadian Muslim mayor on trust (BBC)
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a popular social media presence and the son of Tanzanian immigrants, is the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city. He tells the BBC’s Katty Kay that trust and dialogue is what makes Calgary so successful.

Saskatchewan newcomers upset about immigration changes (Global Regina)
When Azhar Khan heard the new immigration change announcement he was an emotional wreck. If you pick up the Sunday paper and it says there is something for sale on Sunday, and you go there and they say, Oh, we changed our minds how are you going to feel? said Khan. You are going to feel upset right? He moved to Regina three years ago from Ontario so he could sponsor his family members to join him. But on May 1st, Immigration Minister Rob Norris announced immigrants will only be allowed to sponsor one family member, and that person needs to have a permanent job offer from a skilled work position. This is a huge contrast to the old process which allowed immigrants to sponsor an unlimited amount of family members to join them in Saskatchewan provided they met all the requirements to the Saskatchewan Immigration Nomination Program (SINB). But the part that hurt the most was that there was no notice that this announcement was coming down.

Q&A with Mark MacKinnon: China, Canada and immigration (Globe and Mail)
“Canada is increasingly considered by many Chinese more as a great place to retire than work,” Mr. MacKinnon wrote in one recent piece and in Monday’s Globe he reported on the return of many expatriates to China from Canada. Beginning at 9am ET Wednesday, Mr. MacKinnon will be online live from China to take your questions about Canada, immigration and the view from Asia. Submit your questions in advance below, or mobile users can click here.

Legacies of the Komagata Maru: Digital Storytelling (Brown Canada)
In these workshops we will explore the marginalized and/or hidden histories of the South Asian diaspora in Canada, what it means to be a racialized youth/immigrant today and how to tell our stories through art-based media. In two workshop sessions, we will create a stop-animation short film that tells a collective story, with individual vignettes, and themes and content led by group participants. In the first session we will begin talking about our complex histories, earning about stop-motion, and brainstorming ideas for the video. The second workshop will be comprised of story-boarding the narrative, recording individual stories and voiceovers, and crafting the actual visuals for the film.

Minister Kenney Issues Statement Marking the Anniversary of the Repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act (Marketwatch)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism rose in the House of Commons today and made the following statement marking the anniversary of the repeal of The Chinese Immigration Act: “Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate an important anniversary in the history of our Parliament and of the pioneer Chinese-Canadian community. “Sixty five years ago today, Parliament repealed the Chinese Immigration Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act. In doing so, it brought an end to generations of discrimination against people of Chinese origin.

Canada marks anniversary of repeal of anti-Chinese immigrant law (News track India)
The Canadian government has marked the 65th anniversary of the repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act, which the Chinese-Canadian community has considered to be a racist legislation. Canada’s Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism hosted a reception commemorating the day. “This was unworthy of our country,” Jason Kenney, who heads the ministry, said of the anti-Chinese law, introduced in 1923 to prevent Chinese immigrants from entering the North American country.

14th National Metropolis Conference in Toronto – Conference proceedings (CERIS)
WORKSHOP SUMMARIES Access summaries written by volunteer reporters and photos from many of the workshops taking place over three days.
VIDEOS, POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS, SPEAKING NOTES Visit the National Metropolis sites conference page to watch videos or download presentations and notes.
METROPOLIS IN THE MEDIA See the wide media coverage sparked from discussions and debates at Metropolis 2012.

CERIS bloggers (CERIS)
CERIS student bloggers attend events and often participate at CERIS through internships, student placements, or volunteer opportunities.

Downsides of the new immigration policies for Canada (Immigration Canada)
Unless youve been living off the grid, you know that we are in the midst of the most dramatic changes to our immigration system that we have seen in many years, perhaps ever. However, there are some concerning changes coming and I wonder if they have all been well thought out, as the consequences may be much different that expected in the years to come.


Why cutting health care for asylum-seekers makes no sense (Andre Picard, Globe and Mail)
It is hard to imagine a gesture more cynical than nickel-and-diming people who have escaped torture, rape, starvation, war and other forms of persecution and sought out Canada as the land of hope and opportunity. Yet, the federal government is doing just that with mean-spirited cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, which covers health costs for asylum-seekers.

Health Care for Refugee Claimants (CBC The Current)
Health Care for Refugee Claimants – Refugee Claimant in 1999
Health Care for Refugee Claimants – The Crossroads Clinic
Health Care for Refugee Claimants – Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Changes go hand-in-hand with reforms (Jason Kenney, letter to Ottawa Citizen)
Doctors serve their patients best when they focus their energy on treating disease based on accurate diagnoses. Unfortunately, Professor Mark Tyndall and some of his colleagues seem to prefer political grandstanding. Contrary to Tyndall’s overheated claims, there is no change in Interim Federal Health coverage for treatments affecting public health and public safety. Treatment, including prescription medications, will continue to be provided to all asylum claimants for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV, and for other medications necessary to protect public health, such as anti-psychotic drugs.

Hill Dispatches: Canada to give its Seal of Approval to human rights abusers? (Karl Nerenberg,
At last someone in Canadas mainstream media has drawn attention to the frightening and growing phenomenon of neo-Nazi groups in Europe. Although in much of Europe Muslims are the main neo-Nazi scapegoats, in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and especially in Hungary the extremists focus their torment and hate mostly on the Roma. The neo-Nazis harass and intimidate the Roma, and worse. There is a long list of violent acts that have continued unabated over the past five or six years. What aroused the Canadian media out of its “dogmatic slumbers” on this issue was the Greek election, where the neo-Nazis got themselves into Parliament for the first time.


Canada in top three in international ranking of colleges and universities (Toronto Star)
Canada has placed third in a new international ranking of colleges and universities. The ranking was prepared by Universitas 21, an international network of 23 leading research-intensive universities in fifteen countries. The ranking looked at various measures of what constitutes a good educational system. Canada placed third globally behind the U.S. and Sweden, and above international competitors for overseas students such as the U.K. and Australia, according to the report. Canadas position may have been higher, but was kept to third place due to lower ratings for the environment, a category that considers government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities.–canada-in-top-three-in-international-ranking-of-colleges-and-universities

Statement from Minister of Children and Youth Services On Youth Leaving Care Report (Ontario Gov News)
Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services, released the following statement in response to the Youth Leaving Care Report: “Earlier today, I was pleased to accept the report from the Youth Leaving Care Team – a courageous and talented group of young people committed to helping youth in care succeed when they leave the child welfare system.

Losing All Support (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Shanna Allen. She is a member of the Youth Leaving Care hearings team, and today the team will be delivering its report on improving the outcomes for the province’s crown wards, to the Ontario Legislature.

Ontarios Youth Leaving Care hearings call for fundamental change to child welfare system (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
Ontarios child welfare system needs fundamental change to address the isolation, vulnerability and abandonment experienced by too many children in foster care and group homes, says a groundbreaking report written by youth about their plight. The report, based on unprecedented legislative hearings last fall by youth from the child welfare system, calls on the province and others to work with them to produce an action plan by November. The goal is to make Ontario a better parent to roughly 8,300 children and youth in its care and make their transition to adulthood more secure.–ontario-s-youth-leaving-care-hearings-call-for-fundamental-change-to-child-welfare-system

Is the ‘Living Wage’ Enough? (Katie Hyslop, The Tyee)
British Columbia’s lowest-paid workers finally got a raise last spring, when Premier Christy Clark announced the first increase to the province’s minimum wage in 11 years. The wage increased by $1.50 to $10.25 an hour, in one year bringing it up from the lowest in the country to tie for second highest with Ontario, just behind Nunavut’s $11 per hour. But even with an increase, full-time minimum wage workers in B.C. aren’t earning enough to meet Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off line (commonly cited as Canada’s poverty line) for families. Raising the minimum wage also does little for people who can’t work full-time, can’t work at all, or who can’t find work. That means the recent rise in the minimum wage, welcome as it is, won’t do much to rescue the one in 10 households now living below the poverty line in this province.


City of Montreals Internships Give Newcomers First Canadian Experience (hireimmigrants)
New immigrants to Canada face a challenging Catch-22 when trying to find jobs commensurate with their skills and experiences: They cant get a job without Canadian experience but they cant get that experience without a Canadian job. The City of Montreal, which is the largest employer in Montreal and the surrounding suburbs with more than 25,000 employees, recognized this barrier was preventing many bright and talented individuals from fully participating in the Quebec labour force.

An employer roadmap to create and manage a diverse workforce (Maytree), 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.

Sask Chamber of Commerce policies to smooth process for skilled immigrants (Stephanie Froese, CJME)
Its a complex world for Saskatchewans business community when taking into consideration the vast policy resolutions being implemented by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC). Steve McLellan, CEO of the SCC said all of the resolutions voted on at a recent board meeting in Saskatoon carried significant importance. One policy voted in aims to bring Labour Market Opinion (LMO) processing back to Saskatchewan. The LMO is a government document that immigrant skilled workers need in order to obtain a working visa. A recent decision by the federal government saw the LMO offices move to Vancouver in an efficiency effort for western Canada. The Vancouver offices now take LMO application from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and BC. McLellan said that move caught everybody in Saskatchewan by surprise.

EI reform set to redefine suitable work for job seekers (Bill Curry, Globe and Mail)
The Conservative government is giving its clearest signal yet that a hard line is coming on employment insurance, with Finance Minister Jim Flaherty saying to expect tougher rules on the type of work Canadians must consider while job-hunting on EI. Therell be a broader definition and people will have to engage more in the work force, said Mr. Flaherty, who then pointed to his own résumé from his student days at Torontos Osgoode Hall Law School. I was brought up in a certain way. There is no bad job. The only bad job is not having a job. So I drove a taxi. You know, I refereed hockey. You do what you have to do to make a living. The government has yet to release details about its plans for reforming EI, a policy area that federal leaders often shy away from in light of the political sensitivities around its highly regional nature.

Lying Resumes (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about truth in resumes, following the resignation of the CEO of Yahoo, with Ritu Bhasin. She is a workplace consultant and people-strategist in Toronto.

Looming labour crunch costing companies (Toronto Star)
The Alberta Coalition for Action on Labour Shortages is calling for changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program to streamline the application and approval process. The province estimates 114,000 jobs opening up in the next decade, positions that Truscott says could be filled by tapping into underutilized pools of labour. We need to look at older workers, Aboriginal people, and youth, in addition to bringing in more immigrants to match the skills and needs of the economy, he says. The labour squeeze is even tighter in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a 13 per cent unemployment ratethe highest in Canadabeguiles the $43 billion pouring into development projects across the province.–looming-labour-crunch-costing-companies

Eye on the Hill: CGI, CIBC first companies to sign immigrant internship agreement (OBJ)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced a partnership between Citizenship and Immigration Canada and CGI Group Inc., along with CIBC, to hire new immigrants through the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program. These are the first private sector companies to participate in the program, which up until now placed immigrants in federal government organizations.,-CIBC-first-companies-to-sign-immigrant-internship-agreement/1


Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Ford, Transit, Casino, G20 and Other News.

World’s Most Powerful Cities: Toronto Takes 18th Spot In Global Metropolitan Rankings (Huffington Post)
Canada, get ready to resent Toronto even more. The countrys largest city has placed as the 18th most powerful metropolitan area in the world in a wide-ranging survey of surveys. Richard Florida, a well-known urban studies theorist currently working at the University of Torontos Rotman School of Management, analyzed five different surveys ranking world cities economies in an effort to put together an authoritative list on which of the worlds cities are the most important to the worlds economy.

TCHC’s New Boss (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with the current head of the Detroit Housing Commission, Gene Jones. On June 18th, he will join Toronto Community Housing as President and CEO.


Garbage Fees For Charities (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with John Campey. He is the executive director of Social Planning Toronto.

Protecting Privacy (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Ann Cavoukian. She is Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner. Later today, she’ll give the opening speech at a symposium on “protecting our freedoms with virtual tools” at the University of Toronto.


Anil Kapoors film on human trafficking wins gold (Kiran Arora, Oye! Times)
It was reported a while back that Anil Kapoor, who is the ambassador for The Freedom Project, an organisation working to eradicate slavery and human trafficking, was working on a documentary for the same. The documentary which was made to create awareness about human trafficking in India, called Trapped By Tradition, recently won the Gold Prize in the Cultural Issues category at the New York Festival’s International TV and Film Awards 2012. The silver prize winner was the documentary by Hollywood actress Demi Moore, which focused on trafficking in Nepal. Other global ambassadors there included singer Peter Gabriel, Latin superstar Ricky Martin and actor Ashton Kutcher.

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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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