Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 30, 2012


Immigrant Entrepreneurs creating wealth for Canadian communities (Maytree)
On May 3, Maytrees president Ratna Omidvar addressed young immigrant entrepreneurs at a commencement event hosted by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Toronto. Ratna began by telling her own familys story of immigration and entrepreneurship and the difficulties they encountered: Why do I tell this story to enthusiastic and energetic would be entrepreneurs? Not to discourage you, but to encourage you. We were entrepreneurs by default, you are entrepreneurs by design and by purpose. Your trajectory will be very different from ours. Watch the video of her presentation below, and read a short summary of her remarks.

Media Advisory – London 2012 Diversity Board Director John Amaechi Speaks at Canadian Club in support of TO2015’s Diversity Initiatives (Canada Newswire)
The Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) and CIBC, TO2015’s Lead Partner, will welcome former NBA basketball player John Amaechi in Toronto this week as he speaks about how major international multi-sport events can drive social change and economic development. The event, hosted by the Canadian Club of Toronto, launches TO2015’s Leadership, Inclusion, Diversity and Accessibility (LIDA) series. The first NBA player to come out as a gay man, Amaechi serves as a member of the London 2012 Olympic Games Diversity Board. He works with his colleagues to ensure that everyone in the communityregardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or socio-economic statusis engaged in the London 2012 Games.

Muslim women in a marriage bind (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Like tens of thousands of Canadian Muslims, Amina Ali is tormented by her religions marriage rules. Islam, now the second largest religion in Canada, teaches that it is sinful for Muslim women, but not Muslim men, to marry outside the faith. The 36-year-old Indonesian-born Ali loves her Canadian-born husband but they argue about religion all the time. And in her more fiery moments, Ali admits, she has told her husband she never would have married him if she knew he wasnt going to seriously try to practise Islam. Ali and another Muslim woman, Tannis (a pseudonym), agreed to talk about the Muslim marriage double-bind in a Victoria apartment, while their children played in the background.

Census shows that Harper’s reforms are right on the money (Michael Den Tandt, Vancouver Sun)
Perhaps you’re among those annoyed by pending reforms to immigration policy. In brief, the Tories are tweaking the sys-tem so that more new immigrants to Canada – arriving at a rate of 250,000 per year, more or less – must speak either French or English, and can therefore more quickly find a job. Additionally, more immigrants with skills are to be matched up with industries in need of their skills. How can this be deemed any-thing other than necessary, with the country facing a protracted labour shortage? If anything, Census 2011 suggests the Conservatives should boost the rate of skilled-immigrant entry, dramatically, from countries that have either English or French as a lingua franca. India seems like an obvious tar-get, as do the French-speaking nations of Africa. Never mind 250,000. Try 400,000.

Mennonites, Sikhs work together on garden project (
As gardens go, it’s not that big. But some Mennonites and Sikhs in North Kildonan hope it will blossom into something much larger. The garden, located on the Northeast Pioneers Greenway near the corner of McLeod and Gateway, is the work of two neighbours — River East Mennonite Brethren Church and the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara. Created through the City of Winnipeg’s Adopt-a-Park program, one goal of the garden is to help beautify the Greenway, a popular pathway for area residents who walk, jog and cycle along the trail. When finished, it will feature an array of native Manitoba flowers, grasses and shrubs.

June 19: Identity, Migration and Policies: Journeys of LGBTQ+ Newcomers (OCASI)
A FREE panel discussion on
· Trans Migration: Stories of Trans Newcomers
· Impact of Bill C31 on LGBTQ+ Refugees
· Journeys to Canada: Effects of Migration on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Newcomers

June 20: Life As A Refugee (London Cross Cultural Learner Centre)
The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre is holding its 4th annual community event entitled Life as a Refugee, as a celebration of World Refugee Day. This event will be held at the Central Library on June 20, 2012. This event is an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to the London community in general and to the service providers in particular about newcomers refugee issues.

Virtual Library (CERIS)
CERIS affiliates are invited to take advantage of the CERIS Virtual Library to host their papers online through the CERIS website. Adding your publication to the library allows you to have an online link to forward to colleagues and provides more exposure of your work within the CERIS network and beyond.

CIC transfers Metropolis to Carleton University: Carleton Becomes Hub of Immigration Research with Addition of Metropolis (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Carleton University have signed an agreement to transfer the Metropolis Secretariat to Carleton where it will continue its work in the field of international migration and population diversity. I am pleased to see Metropolis find a new home at Carleton University, said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. It was always intended to have Metropolis establish itself as an independent think-tank. Metropolis should be proud of what it has accomplished over the last 16 years and I hope it will continue to flourish at Carleton University.

Immigration flow to Victoria may be impacted (Erin McCracken, Gold Stream Gazette)
The closure of the Victoria office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to the public on Friday (June 1) may discourage future immigrants from settling in the Capital Region. Immigrants won’t have the convenience of applying in person for temporary and permanent residency or changing their visa status, for example, said James Fultanum, who manages a program at the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society that helps skilled newcomers gain employment. As well, he said, having fewer immigrants would take an economic toll on the region, employers would have fewer employee choices and there would be less cultural diversity in Greater Victoria.

Canadian Consulate employees get closing notice (Allissa Kline, Buffalo Business First)
Employees of the Consulate General of Canada in Buffalo today received official notice that the office will be shuttered this summer by the Canadian government. A consulate employee who spoke on the condition on anonymity confirmed that 75 to 80 employees who provide immigration assistance and business development support will lose their jobs Aug. 27. However, immigration services will start to be handled internally or shifted to other offices within the month, so the Buffalo office will effectively close by the end of June, the employee said.

Tiger named among top 25 Canadian immigrants (Inside Halton)
The accolades keep coming for Tiger Jeet Singh. Just a few weeks after he and son Tiger Ali Singh received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal, the elder Tiger has been honoured yet again. This time its his fellow Canadians who recognized the retired pro wrestler and philanthropist, through online voting for the fourth annual Top 25 Canadian Immigrants. The awards program which drew 28,000 Canadian voters this time around is a joint venture between Canadian Immigrant magazine and RBC.–tiger-named-among-top-25-canadian-immigrants

Punjabi MPs under fire as motion for Komagata Maru apology defeated (Hindustan Times)
Five Indo-Canadian Conservative Members of Parliament are facing the wrath of Sikh leaders after voting against the NDP motion that sought official apology in the House of Commons for Komagata Maru incident. NDP MP Jasbir Sandhu was behind the motion and launching a national petition campaign to bring justice to one of the darkest events in Canada’s history.


Urgent: Reject Dangerous Cuts to Refugee Health Care (RNAO)
On April 25, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney, announced cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides temporary health care coverage to refugee applicants who do not qualify for territorial or provincial health care plans. The changes, to go into effect on June 30, 2012, and will apply to all current beneficiaries as well as new applicants. The proposed changes will threaten the lives and well-being of people who have already experienced trauma and hardship prior to their arrival in Canada. Toronto Public Health has compiled the evidence; reduced federal health services for individuals results in negative health impacts.

Hill Dispatches: Media and politicians fail to investigate facts about so-called ‘safe countries’ (Karl Nerenberg,
The Canadian government is cuddling up to these Central European countries as it prepares to give them the Gold Star for good behaviour and declare them “safe countries of origin.” Even a cursory examination of all the evidence available would convince any reasonable person that this is exactly the wrong time to give such a stamp of approval to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This is what the U.S. State Department has to say about Hungary in its country report for 2011: “Among the most important human rights problems during the year were societal discrimination and exclusion of the Roma population and violent right-wing extremism. Discrimination against Roma exacerbated their already limited access to education, employment, health care, and social services. Right-wing extremism, including public campaigns by paramilitaries to intimidate and incite hatred against Roma and other minorities, increased. Also the government began implementing a new law that restricts media freedom by increasing government influence over the media in general.” The human rights situation may be marginally better in Slovakia and the Czech Republic and abuses more localized.


Join us for our June 21 panel on affordable housing (Yonge Street)
Is affordable housing a right? Our next Yonge Talks event asks that question of our panel of expertsand attendees. Peter MacLeod, principal of Mass LBP and moderator of our December Feet and Wheels panel, is back. His guests include Neil Hetherington, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Toronto, Noorez Lalani, vice president of MOD Developments Inc, and a third out-of-town speaker who we will be announcing shortly.

Canada can do more to protect its children from poverty, new UNICEF report (UNICEF)
A new report released by UNICEF today comparing child poverty in 35 industrialized countries reveals Canada could be doing more to protect its children. The face of poverty in Canada is a childs face, says UNICEF Canadas Executive Director David Morley. This is unacceptable. It is clearly time for Canada to make children a priority when planning budgets and spending our nations resources, even in tough economic times.

Report Card 10: Measuring Child Poverty:

Poverty in Canada has ‘child’s face,’ UN report says (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
Canadians should be doing much more for children growing up in poverty, according to a new UNICEF report that finds Canada lags many other advanced countries. The report by the United Nations child advocacy agency ranks Canada 18th out of 35 industrialized countries when child-poverty rates are compared with overall poverty rates. In addition, Canada is in the bottom third at 13.3 per cent when it comes to the percentage of kids in poverty a slight improvement over the past five years. “The face of poverty in Canada is a child’s face,” UNICEF Canada’s executive director David Morley said Tuesday. “This is unacceptable.” The report takes its poverty line to be half the median individual income for the relevant country.

Bottom Third (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about child poverty with Lisa Wolff. She is UNICEF Canada’s Director of Domestic Advocacy and Education.

Video: Canada falling behind in keeping children out of poverty (Globe and Mail)
David Morley, CEO of Unicef Canada, explains why Canada’s ranking so low in preventing child poverty and discusses how small steps can make a real difference

What the UNICEF report on poverty doesnt tell us (Miles Corak, Globe and Mail)
David Morely, UNICEF Canada’s executive director, has just issued a bold challenge. “It is clearly time for Canada to prioritize children when planning budgets and spending our nations resources, even in tough economic times, he said in a press release announcing the publication of a report on child poverty. In fact, the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card released Tuesday is the 10th in a regular series on child poverty in rich countries, each report hitting the headlines every second year or so. UNICEF documents that, at 13.3 per cent, Canada’s child poverty rate is almost two percentage points higher than the overall national rate, and that Canada ranks 24th, in the bottom third of the 35 countries studied. You think that’s bad, check out the US figures: at 23.1 per cent, and 34th out of 35.

Pity the children (Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun)
Canada is having a baby boomlet, which is good news for doting baby-boomer grandparents since it may help them retain their gold-plated pensions. But pity the poor kids, because indications are that they may never match their grandparents’ or parents’ life-styles or life expectancy. Children aged 14 and under now outnumber seniors by about 600,000 across the country, according to census data released Tuesday.

Video: An overview of age and sex data, 2011 Census (Statistics Canada)
Laurent Martel, Demography Expert, presents an overview of age and sex data, 2011 Census, at the national level.

The Canadian Population in 2011: Age and Sex (Statistics Canada)
The 2011 Census counted 4,945,060 people aged 65 and older in Canada, an increase of more than 609,810, or 14.1%, between 2006 and 2011. This rate of growth was more than double the 5.9% increase for the Canadian population as a whole. In comparison, the number of children aged 14 and under increased by 27,505, or 0.5%, to 5,607,345. As a result, the number of seniors aged 65 and over has continued to catch up with the number of children during the period from 2006 to 2011.

What the future holds for Canada as boomers age (Bill Curry, Globe and Mail)
The 2011 census drives home a central concern of federal and provincial governments. The large baby boom generation is starting to leave the work force and there arent enough taxpayers coming on line to replace them. Persistently low birth rates will mean future taxpayers will have to carry a heavier load. One option would be to increase immigration dramatically. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently told The Globe and Mail that moving too sharply in this area risks an anti-immigration backlash. Only 10 to 15 per cent of Canadians are in favour of raising immigration levels, he said.

Census 2011: Baby Boomers push back against ageism they helped create (Toronto Star)
The generation that embraced the mantra, Never trust anyone over 30 is about to get a rude awakening if they havent already. Baby boomers, who railed against the entrenched social discrimination of previous generations from sexism to racism are barrelling headlong into an ism they themselves may have done much to perpetuate: ageism. And they dont like it one bit.–census-2011-baby-boomers-push-back-against-ageism-they-helped-create

Census: Canada’s aging population putting new demands on government, business (Mark Kennedy, The Province)
Look to your left and look to your right, Canada. Get used to what you see. More grey hair, and more Canadians living in retirement. Canada is slowly but surely becoming a nation of older people. The demographic trends were confirmed Tuesday, as Statistics Canada released the latest batch of data from its 2011 census. Back in 1971, eight per cent of us were 65 and older.

VIDEO: Nova Scotia’s old, but Halifax is hip, new census data show (Chronicle Herald)
Nova Scotia is the oldest province in the country. New census data revealed today show the province has more of its population over the age of 65 a total of 16.6 per cent than anywhere else in the country. New Brunswick comes in second at 16.5 per cent. Every province in the country is getting older with the exception of Saskatchewan, which has relatively huge immigration levels. In total, 14.8 per cent of Canadians are over the age of 65 and that number is projected to keep growing as the baby boomer generation keeps moving into retirement. Nova Scotias working-age population dropped slightly to 68.4 per cent. Thats just about the Canadian average.

Latest Media and Policy News: 2 May 2012 (ISAC)
Includes news: top Ontario issues, upcoming events, around the province, across the country, Federal Issues Poverty, Federal Issues – Employment Insurance, Other Federal Issues, Economy and International.


Immigrants continue their struggle to find good jobs (Matthew Gauk,
Statistics Canada data released Tuesday on the inescapable “silver tsunami” of seniors expected on Vancouver Island in the coming years is ample evidence of the need to boost the number of skilled immigrants coming to the region. So says the executive director of the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, Hilde Schlosar, pleased with the results of a B.C. government task force on immigration whose report released last week called for an immediate increase to immigration levels and efficient immigration procedures.

Francophone name gives edge in job hunt, research shows (Marian Scott, Montreal Gazette)
If you think your ethnic-sounding last name is preventing you from finding a job in Quebec, you may be right. Candidates called Tremblay or Morin are 64 per cent more likely to get an interview than someone with the same qualifications whose name is Ben Amin or Traoré, according to a study released Tuesday by the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. A research assistant applied for 581 jobs from December 2010 to May 2011 under false names, half of them foreign-sounding and the other half typically francophone Québécois. Both types of fictional job-seekers had equivalent qualifications and had been educated in Quebec. Nearly 40 per cent of candidates with francophone-sounding names, like Sébastien Bélanger, were offered an interview, compared to only 22.5 per cent of those with ethnic-sounding names, like Mahmoud El Kamal. The study confirms what Quebec minorities have been saying for years: that job-market discrimination is widespread, said Fo Niemi, director of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR).

“Fragile Economy” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Armine Yalnizyan. She is Senior Economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and our business commentator on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

EI Reform: Who Are We Really Subsidizing? (Behind the Numbers)
The Conservative government is making changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) regime. While previous changes to EI have tightened eligibility requirements, making it more difficult for workers to collect EI if they lose their job, the current proposals focus on making it harder for unemployed workers to turn down work that is farther away, significantly lower paying, or in a different field than work that they had done. Andrew Jackson has already nicely described some of the economic implications.

A plan for the future (Ottawa Citizen)
Everyone has known these changes were coming, for a long time now. Everyone has known that these changes must have significant effects on almost every aspect of the economy and the public purse, including our labour force, our social services and our health-care system. But knowing isnt the same as actually doing something about it. To their credit, the Conservatives have started to act. They are making changes to employment insurance and to old-age security. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is trying to position Canada to accept more immigrants and make better use of their skills.


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Air Canada, TTC, City Hall, Getting Around and Other News.

Census 2011: Toronto is populated mostly by working-age adults, while young families are fleeing to the suburbs (Toronto Star)
Torontos skyline says it all. The dozens of glass condo towers sprouting downtown are filled with working-age adults, according to 2011 census data released Tuesday. Meantime, families with children are flooding the areas suburban municipalities of Ajax, Brampton, Milton and Vaughan where backyards and affordable housing are more plentiful. Despite national trends showing an aging population and a slight drop in the percentage of children aged 14 and under, the Toronto area census data tells the story of a larger working-age population downtown and a baby boom in the suburbs.–census-2011-toronto-is-populated-mostly-by-working-age-adults-while-young-families-are-fleeing-to-the-suburbs

City staff currently reviewing latest Census data (City of Toronto)
Statistics Canada issued the latest release of the 2011 Census data on age and sex this morning.
City of Toronto staff are reviewing the data and will be available to speak with media on the latest Census findings from noon on Wednesday, May 30.


New campaign aims to bring university research into local communities (Yonge Street)
“There is a lack of extensive knowledge on the breadth of work taking place [within Ontario’s Universities],” says Bonnie Patterson, president of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). “We need demonstrate to the public what Ontario research is accomplishing.” In an attempt to foster dialogue between universities and the wider community, COU has launched Research Matters. The new outreach campaign, supported by all 21 of Ontario’s publicly funded iniversities, will use a variety of platforms to share university-based innovations with the wider Ontario public.

Regressive, insensitive, insulting ugly tactics re-emerge (Janet Gadeski, Hilborn)
When an alliance of Richmond, BC social service agencies called for the area’s first shelter for abused women and their children in 1975, Minister of Human Resources Bill Vander Zalm accused them of being “anti-family.” As the founding ED of the Richmond Youth Service Agency, Patrick Johnston engaged in that campaign. At the time, he found VanderZalm’s attitude “regressive, insensitive to community priorities and personally insulting.” After decades in the sector, leading a range of organizations that included the former Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, the Canadian Council on Social Development and the National Anti-Poverty Association, he didn’t expect to encounter such vitriol again. But in 2012, when he read the federal government’s budget speech and heard accusations of money laundering thrown at dissenting charities, he thought, “We’re going right back to where I began my career.”


Hotseat: Human trafficking tied to sex trade (Erica Bajer, St. Catharines Standard)
Niagara Regional Police Supt. Cliff Sexton, head of investigations and emergency services, sat down with QMI Agency to discuss the issue of human trafficking.

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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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