Immigration & Diversity news headlines – May 7, 2012

Globe and Mail Immigration Series

Rethinking immigration: The case for the 400,000 solution
Canada is facing a demographic crunch and labour shortage that will hinder our future prosperity. The solution: More economic immigrants who are selected for their skills. Go to tgam.ca/immigrant-answer on your desktop or tablet to scroll through the interactive below to delve into the challenges of immigration and possible fixes. Hear from immigrants and innovators. Share your own immigration story and see what immigration looks like in your community according to the latest available census data.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/rethinking-immigration-the-case-for-the-400000-solution/article2421322/

Why Canada needs a flood of immigrants
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/why-canada-needs-a-flood-of-immigrants/article2423585/

Tell us: Nominate a change-maker in immigrant integration
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/tell-us-nominate-a-change-maker-in-immigrant-integration/article2418910/

Where Does Your Community Fit In?
Canadians’ perspectives on immigration often depend on where they live. In the biggest cities Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver immigration is a long-standing and pervasive element of urban life. In other places, the proportions are often smaller and the arrivals much more recent. Use this interactive tool to find out where the most dramatic changes are happening, and how your own area compares.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/rethinking-immigration-the-case-for-the-400000-solution/article2421322/?section=8&

Vote: What is your attitude toward immigration in Canada?
TAKE THE POLL

Just how important is immigration to the future of Canada? Chart your perspective, and compare your opinion to others who reside in regions that are predominantly populated by immigrants, or regions where most residents are Canadian-born. Each dot on this graph represents one person’s response colour coded by age, location or gender.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/vote-what-is-your-attitude-toward-immigration-in-canada/article2416057/

Does temporary foreign workers program create second class of labourers?
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/does-temporary-foreign-workers-program-create-second-class-of-labourers/article2424451/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2424451

How a simple translation tool is helping doctors and immigrants communicate
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/how-a-simple-translation-tool-is-helping-doctors-and-immigrants-communicate/article2423502/

How networking helped prevent an immigrant brain drain in Nova Scotia (features ALLIES partner Fred Morley of Greater Halifax Partnership)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/how-networking-helped-prevent-an-immigrant-brain-drain-in-nova-scotia/article2423494/

Essential resources for immigrating to Canada
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/essential-resources-for-immigrating-to-canada/article2421283/

Canada must actively recruit the best and brightest immigrants
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/canada-must-actively-recruit-the-best-and-brightest-immigrants/article2423327/

Our Time to Lead video preview: Michaëlle Jean thanks Canadians for her success
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/our-time-to-lead-video-preview-michalle-jean-thanks-canadians-for-her-success/article2421222/?service=mobile

IMMIGRATION / SETTLEMENT / DIVERSITY

Q&A: Ratna Omidvar (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
In the past several weeks and months, the Conservative government has announced a flurry of changes to immigration policy, including plans to expand the temporary foreign worker program, introduce stricter language requirements for skilled workers and eliminate federal health-care benefits for recognized refugees. Ratna Omidvar, president of the private Maytree Foundation, a Toronto organization that funds programs and research on equity, integration and leadership, believes the hurly-burly of the latest policy announcements mask profound changes in the way Canada handles immigration. Louisa Taylor spoke to Omidvar in Ottawa this week at a forum on immigration sponsored by the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Here are some excerpts from their conversation.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Ratna+Omidvar/6567482/story.html

Immigration applications to Canada drop in Asian countries (Richard Lautens, Toronto Star)
Immigration applications from key Asian countries have dropped by more than half since 2006, when the Conservative government began transforming its migrant selection. Critics say the disproportionate declines from China, India, the Philippines and Pakistan could be an indication of how Ottawas policy changes favour some immigrant countries over others, and would have an impact on the immigrant mix. Without being part of a public consultation, weve drastically changed not only the way we do immigration, but the immigrants who come in, said Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree Foundation, which has a mandate to build strong civic communities. Immigration selection is not simply about headhunting, but about nation-building. Immigration policy is too important to be made in a piecemeal manner.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1174020–immigration-applications-to-canada-drop-in-asian-countries

A new national policy for immigration (Margret Kopala, Ottawa Citizen)
Jason Kenney is arguably the most activist immigration minister since Clifford Sifton, the 19th-century minister of the interior whose policies were instrumental in building this nation. While many of Kenneys policies are welcome correctives to a dysfunctional system, the question is whether they will be as beneficial as Siftons to the country as a whole. Siftons policies were rooted in John A. Macdonalds 1878 National Policy which included the creation of a national railway system and the imposition of external tariffs to protect Eastern Canadian manufacturing, but it wasnt until 1897 with Siftons appointment to Wilfrid Lauriers cabinet that its third objective, opening Western Canada, became a reality. Between 1897 and 1913, three million hand-picked immigrants, mostly from Eastern and Central Europe, accepted the offer of free transportation, 160 acres of land, and the chance of a new life.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/national+policy+immigration/6575884/story.html

A bottom-up immigration strategy (Tim Rees, Toronto Star)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is to be congratulated for the urgency with which he is moving to transform the chaotic and dysfunctional nature of Canadas current immigration system. However, abdicating the immigrant selection process to the private sector is not the solution nor is it the remedy to overcoming a sclerotic immigration bureaucracy. Reforming the whole continuum of Canadas immigration and integration process needs to be undertaken and must involve many more partners. The following are some preliminary steps to strengthen a bottom-up, community-driven and owned process to create a more coherent, joined up and effective immigration system.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1173507–a-bottom-up-immigration-strategy

Ideas on the Move: Peel Childrens Aid and Diversity onBoard (Cities of Migration)
When we highlight the characteristics of good practice in a new Good Idea profile, we like to identify whether the practice has been replicated or adpated elsewhere. Has it travelled to a new city? Why? And how does this actually happen? For Torontos DiverseCity onBoard (DoB), the process of replication is under way, particularly after its work was recognized by the UN Alliance of Civilization-BMW Groups Intercultural Innovation Awards in December 2011. Over the next year, DiverseCity onBoard will be developing a community of practice with the goal of replicating its ready to go board development program in other organizations, in other cities and countries.
http://citiesofmigration.ca/ezine_stories/ideas-on-the-move-peel-childrens-aid-and-diversity-onboard/

Plan fraught with potential pitfalls (Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen)
The issue of racial profiling by police forces is a minefield. To their credit or folly, the Ottawa force is tap-dancing right into it. Be not surprised if something blows up. In a settlement with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the police have agreed to make note of the race and ethnicity of anyone pulled over in a traffic stop. The data will be collected over a two-year period. The impetus for the statistical recording is the well-founded suspicion that some visible minorities, blacks in particular, are pulled over with disproportionate frequency.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Plan+fraught+with+potential+pitfalls/6573706/story.html

100,000 Trinis living in Canada (Sean Douglas Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday)
CANADIAN Governor General, David Johnston, illustrated the close ties between his nation and TT by noting that some 100,000 TT nationals now live in Canada. His comment came at a State Dinner hosted by President George Maxwell Richards at Knowsley, Queens Park Savannah, last Monday night, also attended by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Cabinet and Acting Chief Justice Wendell Kangaloo. Today, some 100,000 people whose origins lie in Trinidad and Tobago call Canada home, and an estimated 6,000 Canadians live here (in TT), Johnston said.
http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,159671.html

B.C. celebrates Asian Heritage Month (John Yap, Vernon Morning Star)
May is Asian Heritage Month, and Im pleased to celebrate the contributions of Asian-Canadians to shaping our province and making it what it is today. This recognition acknowledges the long and rich history of Asian Canadians and gives all British Columbians a chance to learn and experience the many unique aspects of Asian culture. From working in factories to leading major business and academic establishments, Asian-Canadians have helped build our province socially, politically, economically and culturally. The Asian-Canadian community represents many languages, ethnicities and religious traditions. Each makes its distinctive contribution to B.C.s rich multicultural and diverse tapestry.
http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/lifestyles/150251495.html

New immigration rules: Canada wants more skilled tradespersons than managers with big degrees (Ishani Duttagupta, Economic Times of India)
There have been growing concerns among the Indian Canadian community over new immigrants ending up with jobs that they are over-qualified for or remaining unemployed for large periods after they land in Canada. The proposed changes are largely being seen as a step to tackle such issues.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/nri/visa-and-immigration/new-immigration-rules-canada-wants-more-skilled-tradespersons-than-managers-with-big-degrees/articleshow/13012380.cms

Address to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations (CIC)
I am here at the end of a national tour on a theme that is so important to the future of our countrythe fundamental reform of our immigration system. Here in Quebec, because of the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration, the power to select economic immigrants and certain resettled refugees falls under the jurisdiction of the province, the Government of Quebec. I have a very good relationship with Quebec minister Kathleen Weil, who is taking very good steps to promote Quebecs economic growth, which is required as a result of an ageing population.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/speeches/2012/2012-04-20.asp

Minister Jason Kenney Announces changes to the Immigration System to Promote Canadian Labour Market (Stringer LLP)
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada has made several announcements over the past couple weeks regarding proposed changes to our immigration system focused on Canadian labour market needs. In a recent statement, Minister Jason Kenney provided, As the Prime Minister has stated, the Government of Canada is committed to making economic and labour force needs the central focus of our immigration efforts. We have already begun the groundwork and will be building on this foundation in the months ahead to ensure our long-term economic success. As noted above, the federal governments immigration initiatives are geared toward prioritizing entrance of skilled workers which will be beneficial to employers who seek talent from abroad on a long-term basis. The changes are focused on a few key programs, including the Foreign Skilled Worker Program and the Canadian Experience Class.
http://www.stringerllp.com/hr-blog/minister-jason-kenney-announces-changes-to-the-immigration-system-to-promote-canadian-labour-market

Walk-in Islamic Centre not a registered charity (Terry Davidson, Toronto Sun)
A controversial downtown Islamic centre, once linked to a radical speaker known for pro-terrorist rants, has been wrongly passing itself off as a registered Canadian charity. The Walk-in Islamic InfoCentre (WIIC), a not-for-profit organization that accepts donations and gives out Qurans and other forms of Islamic literature in the Yonge and Dundas Sts. area, had until recently been described on its website as a registered Canadian non-profit charitable organization. Research by the Toronto Sun has revealed it is not listed as such with the Canada Revenue Agency.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/04/islamic-centre-not-a-registered-charity

Atheists laud ban reversal of ‘offensive’ Christian T-shirt by Nova Scotia school board (Sheila Dabu Nonato, The Province)
A national atheist organization is lauding Friday’s reversal of a Nova Scotia school board ban on a Christian T-shirt worn by a Grade 12 student that was deemed offensive by some students and teachers at his school. The Centre for Inquiry spokesman Justin Trottier told Postmedia News that he’s “pleased” with the board’s decision to allow Grade 12 student William Swinimer to wear a shirt with the words “Life is wasted without Jesus” when he returns to class on Monday after a five-day suspension. Swinimer, a student at Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, west of Halifax, was suspended last week after the South Shore Regional School Board said he “defied” his principal’s instructions not to wear it to school again.
http://www.theprovince.com/touch/news/story.html?id=6569450

Michael Coren interview: Why he believes Christianity is the most abused faith on Earth (Charles Lewis, National Post)
Michael Coren is growing increasingly impatient. He sees the world around him becoming dangerously intolerant of Christianity. In the just-released Heresy: The Lies They Spread About Christianity, his 14th book, he writes that Christianity has become the most abused faith on Earth. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that Christianity is the main, central, most common, and most thoroughly and purposefully marginalized, obscured, and publicly and privately mis-represented belief system in the final decades of the twentieth century and the opening years of the twenty-first century. He rails that the same intellectual class that so quickly condemns anything Christian will do cartwheels to explain away Islamic terrorism. National Post religion reporter Charles Lewis spoke to Mr. Coren in his Toronto home this week about his latest book the second in a year in which the broadcaster does battle with Christianitys enemies and the place of Christians in what he sees as a hostile world.
http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/05/04/michael-coren-interview-why-he-believes-christianity-is-the-most-abused-faith-on-earth/

Multicultural Society looks for new members (Canada.com)
Comox Valley Multicultural & Immigrant Support Society (CVMISS) is seeking new members. Were you born in a different country? Were your ancestors born in a different country? Were your ancestors born in Canada? Would you like to meet someone born in another country? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are invited to join CVMISS and attend our monthly social events. You do not need to be born in another country to be a member of CVMISS. People from all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to join CVMISS including Canadians who were born in Canada.
http://www.canada.com/Multicultural+Society+looks+members/6564305/story.html

Summer program fosters cross-cultural relationships (Winnipeg Free Press)
A summer program in Winnipeg offers families a chance to make new friends and learn about another culture. The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) is looking for Canadian families to help newcomer families get off to a good start this summer. The family-to-family program pairs newcomer families with Canadian families to get together three or four times throughout the summer for activities such as a barbecue or picnic, going to The Forks, the beach or a summer event. The program includes a two-hour training session on cross-cultural communication the evening of May 29 and a get-to-know-you event for the host and newcomer families June 2.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/summer-program-fosters-cross-cultural-relationships-150274595.html

It’s right that Black is back (Vancouver Sun)
In allowing Conrad Black to return to Canada after he leaves a Florida prison, the federal government is doing nothing out of the ordinary and is not according Black special treatment. Shame on NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, for not only making it seem otherwise, but for pathetically playing the race card when he compared Black’s case to that of a black man, Gary Free-man, who has been refused re-entry to Canada because he pleaded guilty to shooting a police officer in the arm in 1969. “It’s a clear case of a double standard, one for an American black man from Chicago, another for a British white man coming out of federal penitentiary,” Mulcair said. Race has nothing to do with it, and it is appalling that Mulcair would stoop so low as to claim it does.
http://www.vancouversun.com/right+that+Black+back/6572147/story.html

Black doesnt deserve to get into Canada (Toronto Star)
Readers respond.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters/article/1172708–black-doesn-t-deserve-to-get-into-canada

Moving B.C.s Immigrant And Settlement Services Out Of Province Is Not A Good Move (Mable Elmore, The Link)
British Columbia is a vibrant multicultural society, welcoming immigrants from across the globe. Our diverse communities provide rich cultural, artistic, spiritual and culinary experiences. When making the life-changing decision to immigrate, many chose our province for its wide array of opportunities in education, employment and quality of life. We are fortunate that these opportunities attract educated and skilled workers to our province to help contribute to our economy. In fact, it is expected immigrants will be needed to fill about one-third of the one million jobs expected to open up in B.C. by the end of the decade, to meet labour market needs and continue to fuel economic growth. However, we need to be able to provide the supports for these immigrants to help them settle and become full members of their new home. Thats why the changes the federal government is making to B.C.s immigrant settlement services are so astonishing.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=16209

Closing of visa offices will ultimately cost us (Randall Martin, Times Colonist)
Visa offices at Canadian embassies in Germany, Japan, Iran, Malaysia and Bangladesh were closed this week. Applications to study in Canada now need to be shipped to other countries. For example, applications from Japan will now be processed in Manila; from Kuala Lumpur and Dhaka, in Singapore; from Berlin, in Vienna. There is no information on where applicants from Tehran might apply. The federal government states this is a step toward the streamlining and modernization of Citizenship and Immigration Canada operations in Canada and abroad. These closures will most certainly cost more than we endeavour to save.
http://www.timescolonist.com/Closing+visa+offices+will+ultimately+cost/6572338/story.html

Defend the persecuted (Worldmag.com)
Majed El Shafie grew up a Muslim in Cairo, Egypt. After his conversion to Christianity as a young man, he was arrested and tortured. He will describe his torture in graphic detail, but he cant eat anything after talking about it. He was sentenced to death by hanging and put under house arrest, but he escaped to Israel and then immigrated to Canada as a refugee in 2002. A few years later, El Shafie became one of the key people pushing the Canadian government to launch an international religious freedom office. Now Canadas Conservative government is working on creating such an office in its Foreign Affairs Department for the first timethe hope is to officially open the office in the next few months, though a date hasnt been set. In late April a delegation of a half dozen Canadian members of Parliament traveled to the Washington meet with members of Congress as well as members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to discuss the new office. It was apparently the first such delegation from Canada to Washington on the issue of religious freedom.
http://www.worldmag.com/webextra/19478

Education key to thwarting honour killings, experts say (Kim Zarzour, YorkRegion.com)
Change needed. Noted speaker was in Markham this week during conference on family violence. Mandatory courses teaching what it means to be a Canadian citizen, aimed at students and immigrants, might reduce the risk of femicide or so-called honour killings in this country, a conference on violence against women has heard. New immigrants and school children are captive audiences, offering the best opportunity to provide education about universal human rights, laws and services in Canada, Alia Hogben, executive director of Canadian Council of Muslim Women, said today in Markham. Ms Hogben called for a concerted effort on the part of governments, social institutions and communities to eliminate the patriarchal attitudes that lead to the murder of women.
http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/1349098–education-key-to-thwarting-honour-killings-experts-say

May 13: Film Premiere: Giving Ourselves a Voice (The Tessellate Institute)
Over the course of two weekends in January, twelve young Muslims took part in a workshop conducted by filmmaker Jawad Jafry and a team of professionals to learn about the art of documentary filmmaking. The outcome was two short films presenting the powerful stories of young Muslim women in Canada. Please join us as we release these films and speak with the participants about their experience, and the role of art as a form of political expression. The event will also feature a talk by Dr. Jasmin Zine, and the screening of Neglected Voices, four short films about Muslim youth and Canadian identity.
http://tessellate.eventbrite.com/

War Resisters Support Campaign (resisters.ca)
The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on supporters to send a message to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney to demand that he rescind Operational Bulletin 202 and respect the rights of conscientious objectors to the Iraq war.
http://resisters.ca/uncategorized/mark-international-day-for-conscientious-objection-by-writing-to-minister-of-immigration-jason-kenney/

But Where Are You Really From? Vol. 3 is Here! at Schema : more than ethnic (Sadiya Ansari, Schema Magazine)
When folks try to pin your appearance to a dot on a map, the exchange can range from hilarious to maddening. BWAYRF is an exploration of how culturally complex Canadians navigate the murky waters of the dreaded question: “But where are you really from?” (BWAYRF). Like Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 we have a series of guest posts but we really wanted to use this volume to help you get to know the Schema team.
http://www.schemamag.ca/archive2/2012/05/bwayrf_is_back.php

Hoping to become a good Canadian citizen (Guelph Mercury)
Immigration is a topic thats always simmering under the surface. Whether its thinly disguised as concerns about Guelphs growing population and urban sprawl, or openly acknowledged as in a recent column by Thomas Walkom (discussing Human Resources Minister Diane Finleys announcement that employers can now pay temporary foreign workers less than Canadians), the issue of immigration is never far away. Its an important topic. Its one that has the potential to affect many aspects of Canadian society. But lets be clear. When we are talking about immigration, theres no one-size-fits all definition of immigrant, just as theres no one size fits all formula for what makes a good Canadian.
http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion/columns/article/719063–hoping-to-become-a-good-canadian-citizen

A Call to Action (George Briggs, Dialogueonline.com)
Diversity is who we are. It is quantitative. It is defined by otherness. Most obviously it is determined by race, gender, and culture. On a more subtle level, it includes class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and appearance. As a democratic nation we define ourselves through diversity. We believe in equal opportunity and equal access. Diversity exists in spite of, and sometimes because of, the action we take. This statement is from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the national voice of independent schools and associations in the United States. NAIS has adopted a highly proactive approach to fostering diversity in its member schools. As it reports, research shows that a positive school climate is linked to academic achievement, effective risk-prevention efforts and healthy youth development.
http://www.dialogueonline.ca/call-to-action-private-schools-promote-diversity6331/6331/

REFUGEES

Bill C-31: Past wrongs and present-day injustices (Joy Kogawa, Harald Troper and Dr. Joseph Y.K. Wong, Toronto Star)
Canada is a country of contradiction. On the one hand, it has an international reputation as one of the worlds most compassionate and humanitarian countries. On the other, Canada is tainted by historical injustices committed by the Canadian government against specific groups simply because of who they were, not what they did. That contradiction has from time to time manifested itself in this countrys treatment of immigrants, refugees and Canadians of racial minority descent, both past and present. To its credit, the Canadian government has apologized and redressed many of these past wrongs. But has it learned the lessons of history? Apparently not.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1173520–bill-c-31-past-wrongs-and-present-day-injustices

Not Refugees? (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Karl Nerenberg. He is a journalist and documentary-maker, and his documentary about Roma people in Canada, called “Never Come Back”, airs Sunday night at 9 p.m on Omni 1 Television.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/columnists/mary-wiens/2012/05/04/not-refugees/

Roma call crackdown racist, unfair (Tobi Cohen, Canada.com)
The government’s singling out of the Hungarian Roma community as justification for tough new refugee laws proposed in Bill C-31 is overtly racist and completely unfair, according to a community leader who says she’s stepping up to give Canada’s 80,000 European Gypsies a voice. Toronto Roma Community Centre executive director Gina Csanyi-Robah was among the final witnesses to testify before a Commons committee reviewing the bill Thursday.
http://www.canada.com/Roma+call+crackdown+racist+unfair/6565293/story.html

The Roma of Central Europe feel fear (Vera Messing, Toronto Star)
Can Roma (gypsies) from liberal, democratic, EU countries really be refugees, fleeing persecution? If I were a Roma person living in Central Europe I know I would not feel safe. Last year, while we were filming the documentary Never Come Back, Malcolm Hamilton and I visited Roma enclaves in the Czech Republic and Hungary. A first glance, it seemed to us that those communities were not that different from poor and underserviced First Nations communities in Canada. But make no mistake about it: The challenge the Central European Roma face is not merely one of poverty, fuelled by well-documented discrimination in housing to employment and education.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1173524–the-roma-of-central-europe-feel-fear

Fiorito: Roma kids in Parkdale schools (Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star)
Erika Pintyo is a child and youth worker at Parkdale Collegiate. She invited me to the school recently, to attend a Roma Day assembly. I went because Parkdale Collegiate is at the forefront of inner-city multiculturalism: some of the ESL teachers, on their own initiative, are learning Hungarian in order to help the Roma kids. There is also an enrichment program in the school meant specifically for the Roma students, many of whom were discouraged from attending school in Hungary.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1172435–fiorito-roma-kids-in-parkdale-schools

Failed candidates for Canadas refugee judge jobs get third chance (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Canada refugee board employees who failed an earlier exam to become refugee judges in a revamped asylum system are being given a third chance at the job, the Star has learned. According to an internal memo obtained by the Star, the Immigration and Refugee Board has just launched a third competition to fill the 105 positions in its refugee protection division before June 29, when the new laws come into effect.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1174012–failed-candidates-for-canada-s-refugee-judge-jobs-get-third-chance

Q&A: CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed tells her own story (Michelle Shephard, Toronto Star)
CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed has reported for the first time on a story she has never told her own. In her recently released memoir, A Thousand Farewells, the Winnipeg-born reporter writes of her parents decision, when she was only 6, to move their family back to a Palestinian refugee camp, the likes of which her parents had fled years earlier. After a tough upbringing she returned as a teenager to Canada and by her 30s had embarked on a journalism career covering nearly every Middle Eastern conflict from the Iraq war to last years Arab Spring. Ayed speaks with the Toronto Stars national security reporter Michelle Shephard. Below is an edited version of their conversation.
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1172534–q-a-cbc-correspondent-nahlah-ayed-tells-her-own-story

Updated: Detention Review (Stewart Sharma Harsanyi Immigration Blog)
When a foreign national or permanent resident is taken into custody by immigration, a review of that detention is done by the Immigration Division. This happens within 48 hours; 7 days and 30 days (and 30 days thereafter if detention is continued). It’s quite similar to a bail application in the criminal context. The Minister’s delegate has to establish that there exist reasons for continued detention. This could be that the individual is a danger to the public or a flight risk. Attached is the transcript of a relatively complex detention review. It was the initial 48 hours (client was in custody and had completed his criminal sentence and had been transferred to immigration hold). The client had been previously found inadmissible to Canada and had appealed that to the Immigration Appeal Division. While he initially was granted a stay, he had subsequent criminality that resulted in the termination of that stay. Complicating matters further, the conviction for the subsequent criminality was set aside by the Court of Appeal.
http://immlawyer.blogs.com/my_weblog/2012/05/detention-review.html

Immigrant Rights Group Insists On Freedom To Move, Return And Stay During May Day Demonstration (The Link)
Refugee and Immigrant rights group, No One Is Illegal Toronto dropped a 8m x 5m meter banner to start off the May Day demonstration on Queens Street which read Freedom to Move, Freedom to Return and Freedom to Stay. 250 red and black balloons with the same image were also flying in the demonstration, and activists wore shirts with the same image. The night before 2000 posters with the image were put up all over downtown Toronto. See pictures at www.twitter.com/nooneisillegal and attached. Migrant workers are dying while working in Canada, refugees are dying when they are being deported, and Kenney and Harper just cut off basic healthcare for many refugees in Canada essentially forcing many to choose between debt and death, explains Yogi Acharya of No One Is Illegal Toronto. The Canadian immigration system is breeding death while what people demand is freedom to move, stay, and return home.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=16140

Centre’s closing won’t affect ability to respond to threats, minister says (Katie Derosa, Times Colonist)
Toews said Friday that closing the intelligence centre would not weaken Canada’s response to human smugglers. The Conservative government is set to pass Bill C-31 – dubbed Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act – which includes tough anti-human-smuggling laws. However, critics say the proposed changes do little to deter smugglers and instead criminalize refugees. The legislation includes mandatory one-year detention without review for those deemed to be an “irregular arrival” based on border officials’ suspicion of human-smuggling, criminal involvement or terrorism.
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Centre+closing+affect+ability+respond+threats+minister+says/6572315/story.html

Refugee activists to hold vigil in Cawthra Park (Rob Salerno, Xtra!)
Queer refugee activists will be holding a candlelight vigil Sat May 5 in Cawthra Park to denounce the Conservative governments proposed reforms to the refugee process, which they say will harm queers seeking refuge in Canada. Bill C-31, called the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, makes a number of changes to the refugee process, including giving the minister of immigration exclusive power to designate certain countries as safe. If claimants arrive in Canada from those countries, theyll have severely curtailed rights to appeal decisions against them.
http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Refugee_activists_to_hold_vigil_in_Cawthra_Park-11951.aspx

Failed candidates for Canadas refugee judge jobs get third chance (Toronto Star)
Canada refugee board employees who failed an earlier exam to become refugee judges in a revamped asylum system are being given a third chance at the job, the Star has learned. According to an internal memo obtained by the Star, the Immigration and Refugee Board has just launched a third competition to fill the 105 positions in its refugee protection division before June 29, when the new laws come into effect. The board already had two previous selections the first one, in February 2011, open to all federal civil servants and the general public; the second, in November, open only to those currently on the federal payroll. Both processes were open to current refugee board staff.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1174012–failed-candidates-for-canada-s-refugee-judge-jobs-get-third-chance

Danger here trumps danger there, court rules as violent refugee deported to Somalia (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
If Sharmarke Mohamed was from a European country, he would have been booted out of Canada long ago, but because he came here from wartorn Somalia, he has been allowed to linger, causing mayhem through his escalating violence, a Federal Court judge declared before deciding that enough is enough. Despite Mohamed having been granted refugee protection after fleeing to Canada and a plea from the United Nations that he not be sent home to one of the most dangerous places on earth his drug and alcohol-fuelled crimes pose such a danger to Canada he must be sent back regardless, Justice Sean Harrington has ruled. Chief Justice Pierre Blais, of the Federal Court of Appeal, upheld the decision, clearing the way for the controversial deportation of the Vancouver resident
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/07/danger-here-trumps-danger-there-court-rules-as-violent-refugee-deported-to-somalia/

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Commentary by Jim Sayre of the Community Legal Assistance Society in Vancouver on Employment Insurance amendments in BILL C-38, the federal budget implementation act – May 3
2. Economic Inequality Bulletin No.7 – May 2, 2012
3. UN Right to Food Mission Coming to Canada May 6-16, 2012
4. Taxing Times [Hennessy’s Index] (By Trish Hennessy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – May 1
5. Mind the Gap : Chronicling Canada’s Growing Rich-Poor Divide (Special series) :
Huffington Post Canada
6. Federal Cuts to hit Statistics Canada and Parks Canada (Globe and Mail) – May 1
7. openparliament.ca : Keep tabs on Parliament
8. The Big Banks Big Secret : Estimating government support for Canadian banks during the financial crisis (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – April 30
9. Only BC and SK are without a poverty reduction plan now (BC Poverty Reduction Coalition) – April 30
10. Newfoundland and Labrador Budget 2012 – April 24
11. Prince Edward Island Budget 2012 – April 18
12. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2010 – May 4
— Overview of the Census, Census year 2011 – April 30
13. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/personal/news060512.htm

Canada to get blueprint for mental-health strategy (Toronto Star)
Canada is about to get its first-ever national mental health strategy a massive report that may persuade Prime Minister Stephen Harper that his government must return Ottawa to a lead role on health care. On Tuesday, after five years of research, consultations with thousands of people, modelling, forecasting and much agonizing, the Mental Health Commission of Canada will finally deliver the blueprint the Harper government requested. The Canadian Press has learned that the strategy will launch a call to action targeted not just at the federal government, but also at provincial governments, health-care professionals, businesses, philanthropists and volunteers.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1174007–canada-to-get-blueprint-for-mental-health-strategy

Mental-health strategy calls for complete overhaul, $4-billion commitment (Andre Picard, Globe and Mail)
Canadas mental-health system is underfunded and poorly co-ordinated and needs a complete overhaul to meet the needs of patients and their families, the Mental Health Commission says in its long-awaited national strategy. The 152-page document recommends an immediate infusion of $4-billion annually for mental-health care; calls on employers to implement psychological health and safety standards to protect workers; says efforts to divert people with severe mental-health problems out of the justice system and into care need to be accelerated; and embraces a housing first philosophy to get homeless people suffering from mental illness off the streets.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/mental-health-strategy-calls-for-complete-overhaul-4-billion-commitment/article2424337/

Richard Wilkinson In Canada: Income Inequality Guru’s Ideas Gaining Traction In Halls Of Power (Huffington Post)
Raising taxes on the rich is often touted as an effective way to narrow Canadas growing income gap. But according to one of the worlds most preeminent researchers on the subject, a more fundamental shift will require addressing the root of the problem: huge and growing differences in what people are actually being paid. Though a more redistributive taxation policy would help bridge the rich-poor divide, British income gap guru Richard Wilkinson says its not the most significant way to improve social relations — the key factor in understanding why inequality makes us more unhealthy, violent and unhappy.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/05/richard-wilkinson-canada-tax-rich_n_1483853.html

Budget 2012 – Policy Options | Current issue (IRPP)
A conversation with the Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty
Harpers magical message machine (a.k.a., Budget 2012)
Todd Hirsch
Fiscal austerity and economic renewal
Kevin Lynch
The making of a federal budget: Pressures on the finance minister
Bruce Carson
Seniors and the 2012 federal budget
Jack M. Mintz
The budget and the provinces: Toward a national blueprint
Thomas J. Courchene and Tyler Meredith
Economic Action Plan 2012 to find savings, transform how government serves Canadians
Tony Clement
Bold action with an aging tool kit: Toward a true Canadian innovation strategy
Nobina Robinson
Backing into the back-office budget
Scott Reid
Canada does not require fiscal stimulus
Al Chatterjee
The road to power
Robin V. Sears
www.irpp.org/po/index.php

Federal budget hit Canadians spreads sorrow elsewhere! (Baldev Padam, CanIndia.com)
Soon after details of Canadas Tory Budget 2012 became public, some termed that good exercise to narrow down Canadas budgetary deficit, while others felt that it was weird enough to change face of Canada forever. It was a plan meant to slash spending and shrink public services that actually created troubles for Canadians and sent shock waves abroad. For PM Stephan Harper and his Tory party it was like a dream come true. It incorporated some provisions that he had been pleading and pressing for vainly while leading Tory minority government in the past. After having won majority in Commons last year, it was open for him to go ahead with execution of his pro-capitalist plans with more vigor now than before.
http://canindia.com/2012/05/federal-budget-hit-canadians-spreads-sorrow-elsewhere/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Inadequate literacy skills plague Canadian workplaces (Darah Hansen, Vancouver Sun)
Nearly 80 per cent of Canadian business leaders say they have a hard time finding qualified employees, with nearly half attributing the problem to low literacy and essential communication skills levels among workers. Those are some of the key findings in a new survey released today on behalf of Toronto-based ABC Life Literacy Canada. The online survey, conducted by Rogers Connect Market Research Group, measured responses from 69 randomly selected C-suite executives rep-resenting a broad range of large industries and sectors across Canada.
http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/business/story.html?id=6551565

New EI rules could force unemployed into jobs they dont want (Globe and Mail)
Conservative legislation restricting access to EI benefits risks forcing people into jobs they dont want, but a national business group says employers will accept those headaches if it means fewer labour shortages. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is praising measures contained in the federal budget implementation bill that removes long-standing legal reasons for Canadians on Employment Insurance to reject certain jobs.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/new-ei-rules-could-force-unemployed-into-jobs-they-dont-want/article2422102/

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Monday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Ford, Development & Real Estate, Walking & Cycling, Sports, Cumberland Cinema and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/05/07/mondays-headlines-235/

Walking Neighbourhood (CBC Metro Morning)
The CBC’s Tori Allen met with Fatima Husna-Famy. She is just one of the many voices you’ll hear on the Jane’s Walk, “A Second Look at Regent Park” , tomorrow.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/05/04/walking-neighbourhood/

Jane’s Walk aims to improve urban literacy (CBC)
Thousands of people are expected to hit Ontario streets this weekend for Jane’s Walk, a series of neighbourhood tours that aim to improve urban literacy. The free event is named for activist and thinker Jane Jacobs, who was interested in urban planning and decay. Jacobs believed that people should get to know their cities by walking through them. She died in 2006. Each neighbourhood walk is led by someone who knows the neighbourhood and can share its story. Sometimes the walk focuses on history and sometimes it’s more about recent change.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/05/05/ottawa-janes-walk-neighbourhood-tours.html

Street Food Revolution (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Suresh Doss. He runs the website, Spotlight Toronto, and is also one of the organizers behind tomorrow’s Street Food Block Party at the Evergreen Brickworks.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/05/04/street-food-revolution/

TTC Meeting Wrapup: May 1, 2012 (Steve Munro)
The TTC board met on May 1. This was a quiet affair without the political drama of the old Ford-stacked Commission, and I almost missed the bumbling antics of the old crew. The agenda was on the thin side, and everything wrapped up in a few hours.
http://stevemunro.ca/?p=6221

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

Nonprofit Newswire (Imagine Canada)
Keep up to date on current Canadian news about the Nonprofit Sector. Subscribe to daily updates of articles that were specially selected by the library staff at Imagine Canada. Use RSS to subscribe in your email, feed, Facebook page, etc. News items are listed for 30 days. Subscribe to the Newswire and receive a weekly update!
http://library.imaginecanada.ca/nonprofit_newswire

Charity’s open letter hits back at Enviro Minister’s “money laundering” accusations (Jenny Uechi, Vancouver Observer)
Amid controversy over Evironment Minister Peter Kent accusing environmental charities of money laundering, Imagine Canada president Marcel Lauzière sent an open letter to Kent and Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking goverment to stop intimidating charities for doing legitimate activities.
http://www.vancouverobserver.com/politics/2012/05/04/charitys-open-letter-hits-back-enviro-ministers-money-laundering-accusations

Ottawa should cease and desist its smear campaign of environmental groups opposing Northern Gateway pipeline (Globe and Mail)
Environment Minister Peter Kents unsupported accusations of money laundering involving foreign and Canadian environmental charities are part of an apparent campaign of the Conservative government to smear and intimidate groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline. Mr. Kents accusation in Parliament and media interviews, and the pattern they are a part of, suggest the government is improperly taking sides between the environment and business trying to discredit those who raise environmental concerns in a public-hearing process mandated under federal law.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/ottawa-should-cease-and-desist-its-smear-campaign-of-environmental-groups-opposing-northern-gateway-pipeline/article2423344/

Black Out Speak Out
Speak out on June 4, 2012 in defence of two core Canadian values: nature and democracy. Join a committed group of organizations representing millions of Canadians as we darken our websites in protest against efforts to silence your voice.
http://blackoutspeakout.ca/

Charities caught in crossfire on path to pipelines (Jack Knox, Times Colonist)
Peter Kent is to the environment portfolio what Tiger Woods is to marriage counselling Just to save the Non-Profit Police some time, I’d like to volunteer that I spent a couple of hours flogging burgers at McHappy Day this week. Also, I spent one evening sloshing wine and eating appies at a Canadian Cancer Society benefit (Jack Knox lives to give) and another playing poker at a B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraising tournament hosted by Baby Molly’s dad. I’d like to join the Hike For Hospice on Sunday morning, too. Book me, Peter, I’m obviously guilty as hell.
http://www.timescolonist.com/touch/story.html?id=6572308

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

Counter Human Trafficking Capacity Building Project in the Region of Peel (Canada Newswire)
With human trafficking now known to be the third largest criminal industry in the world after arms and drug dealing, the Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel invites you to share the highlight of the “Counter Human Trafficking Capacity Building Project in the Region of Peel” and the next steps in countering Human Trafficking in the Region of Peel at 11a.m. on Monday 7th May, 2012 at the Sexual Assault Rape Crisis Centre, Peel in Mississauga. At the Press Conference the interactive Train the Trainer Counter Human Trafficking Manual will be made available to all agencies interested in training their own personnel in Human Trafficking. Also, the network on Counter Human Trafficking in the Region of Peel will be announced with its goal of developing a coordinated service model in the Region for the benefit of trafficked victims, especially sexually exploited diverse women and children.
http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/967613/counter-human-trafficking-capacity-building-project-in-the-region-of-peel

Taking steps to counter human trafficking (Mississauga.com)
The Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel is taking steps to fight human trafficking in Peel. Officials at the centre, which provides counselling support to survivors of historic, adult and recent sexual violence, will be highlighting the Counter Human Trafficking Capacity Building Project at a press conference on Monday. With support from community partners that include human services representatives, the Ministry of the Attorney General and Peel Regional Police, the one-year project aims to build capacity among stakeholders in the human services sector in Peel who are likely to interact with victims.
http://www.mississauga.com/news/article/1349149–taking-steps-to-counter-human-trafficking

Truckers keeping eye out for human traffickers (Kathryn Burnham, Standard Freeholder)
The lone trucker out on the road travels far and wide, crossing paths with many people, which makes them perfect for helping to spot human traffickers, said Duncan Baird, who is co-ordinating the Truck STOP program. The campaign is the newest out of the Ottawa group Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in Humans. The view is that truckers and frequent travelers, just by the virtue that they are in motion, they are moving around, they are possibly intersecting the routes and activities of traffickers, both on the road and at their destination points, Baird said.
http://www.standard-freeholder.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3552037

Professor Perrin Appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister (UBC)
UBC Law Professor Benjamin Perrin has recently been appointed as Special Advisor, Legal Affairs & Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa. The position involves providing in-house legal counsel, as well as policy advice related to Justice, Public Safety, and Citizenship & Immigration. In 2010, Professor Perrin published his first book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin Canada, 2010). The book, an expose on the issue of human trafficking in Canada, was named one of the top books of the year by The Globe and Mail.
http://www.law.ubc.ca/news/2012/may/05_01_12_perrin.html

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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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