Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 18, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

What is the one thing you would do for diversity? (DiverseCity Toronto)
We’ve joined the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), its partner UNESCO and many other corporations and nonprofit organizations in a global campaign to “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion.” Through this campaign we want to engage as many people as possible around the world to Do One Thing to support cultural diversity and inclusion. Update! This video is our contribution, made up of Maytree staff answering the question: Why do diversity and inclusion matter to you? We hope you like it.
http://diversecitytoronto.ca/blog/what-is-the-one-thing-you-would-do-for-diversity/

Visible minorities increasing in Canada (Les Whittington, Toronto Star)
By 2031, nearly 40 per cent of children under the age of one in Canada will belong to a visible minority group, Statistics Canada projects. This is an increase from 22 per cent only six years ago — a trend that is similar to an increase in foreign-born and visible minorities in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday spotlighted a landmark demographic shift, reporting that for the first time more than half of children being born in the United States belonged to ethnic or racial minorities.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1180164–visible-minorities-increasing-in-canada

Health care cost for older immigrants pegged at nearly $3 billion (Tobi Cohen, Montreal Gazette)
Elderly immigrants cost the government approximately $3 billion annually in health care, while those over 50 who have worked have never reported earning more than $15,000 a year, figures obtained by Postmedia News suggest. The figures are contained in a memo produced just three months before the government froze the parent and grandparent stream and introduced a 10-year, multiple entry supervisa that requires visiting relatives to show proof of a year’s worth of health insurance as a stopgap measure while Ottawa deals with a huge backlog in applications.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada/Health+care+cost+older+immigrants+pegged+nearly+billion/6639957/story.html

What would a Canada of 100 million feel like? More comfortable, better served, better defended (Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail)
If you were in London 110 years ago to watch the coronation of King Edward VII, it would have looked a lot like the scene of this month’s royal jubilee, with one notable exception: In 1902, the route of the royal coach, visited by millions of people, had been transformed into a giant advertisement for immigration to Canada. The largest public-sector ad campaign in the country’s history had led Ottawa to erect giant sheaves of wheat over The Strand in London, to establish recruitment bureaus from Reykjavik to Moscow promising “homes for millions.”
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/what-would-a-canada-of-100-million-feel-like-more-comfortable-better-served-better-defended/article2436609/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Toronto&utm_content=2436609

The changing faces of Comox Valley immigration (Philip Round, Canada.com)
Traditional patterns of immigration to the Comox Valley are changing, according to Rachel Blaney, the executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Centre in Courtenay. She told Comox Valley Regional District’s committee of the whole on Tuesday that people from Vietnam, China and the Philippines now topped the league of people they were helping. The pattern was way more diversified than it once was, and in the last six months alone assistance had been offered by the local centre to people from 18 different countries. She noted Vancouver Island as a whole still attracted immigrants principally from the U.K. and U.S., two traditional sources of settlers.
http://www.canada.com/changing+faces+Comox+Valley+immigration/6641873/story.html

Citizenship ceremonies to continue (Dan Maclennan, Canada.com)
The last citizenship ceremony has yet to be held in Campbell River, says MP John Duncan’s communications director. Concerns were voiced at a citizenship ceremony in the Maritime Heritage Centre last week that the federal government’s closing of regional Citizenship and Immigration offices all over the country could spell an end to citizenship ceremonies in smaller communities. But Jason MacDonald said Wednesday that’s not the case.
http://www.canada.com/Citizenship+ceremonies+continue/6642022/story.html

Minority birth rate tops whites for first time in the U.S. (Toronto Star)
For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing. New 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the nation’s racial makeup and the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is now resulting in fewer Hispanics entering the U.S. “This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1179654–minority-birth-rate-tops-whites-for-first-time-in-the-u-s

Getting the picture about prejudice (Michelle Richardson, Montreal Gazette)
I wasn’t worried about the language barrier (we are both learning enough to get by), but rather because we are an interracial couple: my husband is black and I am white. In multicultural Montreal, we are hardly remarkable and not that unusual, but we still raise the occasional eyebrow. While travelling across Vancouver Island several years ago, I was reminded that not everyone is accepting of our differences when a child yelled a racial slur at my husband as we walked by. Although it was an isolated incident, the experience left a mark on our trip. I hadn’t expected to encounter such attitudes in Canada and have been curious about what we should expect travelling through Europe together. Finding out has not been easy.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/Getting+picture+about+prejudice/6638363/story.html

Immigration Changes Leave Chinese Woman’s Dreams Dashed (Christian Cotroneo, Huffington Post)
Sun says time is running out — she’s 40, and now her application to come to Canada is about to be thrown out, and her fee refunded. Under the budget implementation bill, Canada has created the legal ability for the government to delete the applications of some 280,000 people who asked to come here as federal skilled workers before 2008. The government has promised to return application fees and applicants can re-apply under the new rules. But their files will not be fast-tracked, no matter how long they have already waited.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/17/canada-immigration-changes_n_1526034.html

Promoting peace in Hanover (Amy Richardson, The Post)
Hanoverites had people praying for them and they didn’t even know it. Four Muslim men from Brampton came to Hanover to spread the message of peace for the Islam religion. “We are here delivering a message of peace from the misconception (about) Ahmadiyyat and Islam,” said Mohammad Pasha, outreach co-ordinator and giving Mesa of peace. To clarify the message, “we are speaking to communities around Canada.
http://www.thepost.on.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3564107

Jobs, easy PRs make Indian students head for Saskatchewan (Gurinder Gill, Hindustan Times)
Saskatchewan province in Canada is emerging as a favourite destination for Indian students due to its simple permanent residency rules and more job opportunities, after their alleged exploitation at the hands of some unscrupulous Indo-Canadian employers elsewhere. In a bid to cash in on the trend, the Saskatchewan provincial government too has initiated changes that could give students some time to stay put after completion of their studies, as they try to find jobs, so as to become eligible for PRs.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab/PunjabAbroadCanada/Jobs-easy-PRs-make-Indian-students-head-for-Saskatchewan/SP-Article1-857092.aspx

REFUGEES

Refugee Update (FCJ Refugee Centre)
A joint project of the FCJ Refugee Centre and the Canadian Council for Refugees Refugee Update is a journal published by the FCJ Refugee Centre which is linked to the Canadian Council for Refugees. The journal aims to reflect the life, experiences and issues facing refugees in Canada and other countries, assist Canadian refugee rights workers with information to support their advocacy activities, as well as to provide critiques on Canadian refugee policy and practices. With a circulation of 250 individuals and institutions, Refugee Update is published three times per year.
http://www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/?page_id=12

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Belonging a 21st Century Challenge (Al Etmanski)
… I call Belonging a 21ST CHALLENGE for two reasons. One, it is a new, complex and unexpected situation – one that has taken many of us by surprise. We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible. The challenge of Belonging, and connectivity or its absence is unprecedented. It crosses boundaries, across sectors, groups, and disciplines. It affects all of us directly or indirectly. Our traditional safety nets are not set up to respond. It is not easily pigeon holed or categorized. It is ambiguous. We are not even sure how to define it (we feel it as much as anything) let alone, solve it.
http://www.aletmanski.com/al-etmanski/2012/05/belonging-a-21st-century-challenge.html

Canadian anger at UN food report (BBC)
Canadian officials have hit back against a UN report that says the country’s most vulnerable residents are going hungry. Olivier De Schutter, the UN right-to-food envoy, has urged the government to do more to prevent malnutrition. But Canada’s immigration minister said the UN was wasting its resources, while another minister said Mr De Schutter was being “patronising”. The UN envoy has not retreated from his recommendations.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18111982

The economic benefits of equality (Globe and Mail)
Are equal rights good for the economy? Campaigns against discrimination, like the battles for women’s rights and civil rights in the 1960s and the fight for gay marriage equality today, are usually framed as struggles for justice. We think of these issues as entirely separate from economic concerns and sometimes as even running counter to them. Equal pay legislation and rules against discrimination have often been opposed by business on the grounds they would raise costs. But there is actually a powerful economic argument for equal rights. If you believe that talent isn’t determined by gender, race or sexual orientation, but is instead a roll of the genetic dice, then the most productive society will be the perfectly fair one. A society that is blind to gender, race and sexual orientation will choose the best person for the job – not just the best white, straight man.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/commentary/chrystia-freeland/the-economic-benefits-of-equality/article2436173/

What does poverty really look like? (Cambridge Times)
Poverty in this community remains, in many ways, hidden. Struggles go unnoticed by acquaintances. The hidden impacts of poverty often go unaddressed. People experiencing it find less opportunity in their daily lives. We know the costs of poverty are high, not only for the individuals and families. Lost potential for our community also comes at a price. We know that kids experiencing poverty do not learn as well and have poorer health outcomes. Consider the unemployed worker who needs to upgrade their skills for a new job. They are living lives that could be improved through small changes, but these changes are unlikely.
http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/opinion/columns/article/1356803–over-half

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Unions, NGOs say new migrant worker program unfair: Employers can pay migrant workers less (Canadian Labour Congress)
A group of unions and non-government organizations say that recently announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) permitting employers to pay migrant workers up to 15% less and fast tracking employer applications for these workers is unfair and misguided. “Allowing employers faster access to migrant workers and paying them less for their labour sends a message that this government believes migrant workers are not equal,” says Hassan Yussuff, Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress. He was speaking at an Ottawa news conference attended by unions and NGOs.
http://www.canadianlabour.ca/national/news/unions-ngos-say-new-migrant-worker-program-unfair-employers-can-pay-migrant-workers-le

Gov’t changes victimizing migrant workers (Ken Georgetti, Star Phoenix)
The following is the viewpoint of the writer, president of the 3.3-million-member Canadian Labour Congress. The federal government’s new rules regarding migrant workers are yet another example of Ottawa’s meddling in the labour market to favour employers and drive down wages. The primary victims are migrant workers who lack access to many of the rights and protections accorded to Canadians and can be paid less. Beyond that, all workers and their communities are threatened by the government’s low-wage strategy.
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/changes+victimizing+migrant+workers/6641684/story.html

CRFA supports EI changes that promote employment (Digital Journal)
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) applauds government’s efforts to address two pressing concerns for the restaurant industry – the shortage of skilled and unskilled workers in many parts of the country, and employment insurance (EI) premium increases that act as a tax on hiring.
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/715607

Changes to EI overdue (Chris Vander Doelen, Windsor Star)
In the House of Commons on Wednesday the opposition parties ramped up their war of words against the changes, accusing Stephen Harper’s Conservatives of creating a “Trojan Horse” to “gut” Canada’s social safety net. That’s probably less true than the former Liberal government using EI as a Trojan Horse to sneak new forms of welfare entitlement past voters. The Tories are not saying exactly how they intend to change the rules of EI. But it appears they intend to remove exemptions which allow some recipients of benefits to decline work if they don’t like the terms. The opposition are emitting their customary howl at the proposed changes, reportedly claiming that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty wants to force people to take jobs that pay less than EI.
http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Vander+Doelen+Time+change/6635094/story.html

Federal study suggests relocating EI recipients (CTV Calgary)
A new study from the Human Resources Department suggests Ottawa is looking at ways to get people receiving employment insurance to move to other regions with more jobs. Such measures would go beyond the Harper government’s new policy that appears to require that some EI recipients take unfilled jobs but only in their own region. A focus group study, completed in January, asked 75 people on EI in Quebec and Atlantic Canada what would it take to get them to move to regions where there are more jobs available.
http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120517/federal-study-looks-at-relocating-ei-recipients-120517/20120517/?hub=CalgaryHome

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Toronto’s Most Remarkable, Unremarkable Day (Hamutal Dotan, Torontoist)
Rob Ford, defying all expectations, attended today’s PFLAG flag-raising. And immediately the question became: do we applaud him for showing up or lament that our bar has been lowered so far?
http://torontoist.com/2012/05/torontos-most-remarkable-unremarkable-day/

The High Cost of Going Underground(?) (Steve Munro)
Urban consultant and former city Councillor Richard Gilbert has an article on the Globe & Mail’s blog titled “How Toronto’s transit plan takes taxpayers for a ride”. The article decries the high cost of the Eglinton LRT and in particular the high effective subsidy per rider of the capital cost of burying much of the line. The basic premise, the questions behind the article are sound, but the methodology is not. This leads to a substantial overstatement of the per passenger subsidy for the capital construction.
http://stevemunro.ca/?p=6256

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

A Home for Social Finance in Social Housing (Hadley Nelles, SocialFinance.ca)
The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) held its annual Congress in St. John’s last week, where colleagues from a sector with some of the highest potential in terms of uptake and success of social finance in Canada, connected and shared their experiences. Pre-Congress sessions included Finding the Money, Renewing the Mission: Social Finance, Social Enterprise & Affordable Housing, kicking off a week of workshops in the lovely, foggy capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. As participants at this Congress, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide an overview of the sector and its predisposition to social finance, and share what we learned last week.
http://socialfinance.ca/blog/post/a-home-for-social-finance-in-social-housing

YWCA Toronto honours women for efforts in sport, business, education, health & social justice (Yonge Street)
This week the YWCA Toronto honours seven Toronto women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls both within and beyond the GTA. The Women of Distinction Awards Dinner, now in its 32nd year, is presented by Sun Life Financial and is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As the main YWCA Toronto fundraising event, the May 16 gala is used to fund the nonprofits ongoing initiatives. “The funds go towards all of our programs,” says Sarah Blackstock, director of advocacy and communication for YWCA Toronto, “so that includes Canada’s only fulltime girls centre, which we run in Scarborough, that includes our shelters, employment programs, housing, community support programs and even advocacy work.”
http://www.yongestreetmedia.ca/civicimpact/ywca-womenofdistinction0516.aspx

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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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