Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 1, 2012


May Newsletter (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
• Going for Gold: London Olympics Diversity Charter
• Stephen Frost: On Procurement and Supplier Diversity at the London Games
• Bringing Maori Culture to Newcomers: The Wellington Regional Settlement Strategy
• Mayor Jürgen Roters: Listening to Local Leadership in Cologne
• Learning Exchange: Building Citizenship through Participation
• Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
• Orkan Kösemen: Learning from Each Other
• What Is a Welcoming Community?
• Good Ideas in the News

Pragmatic skills, not just language, vital to immigrant integration (Tracey Derwing and Erin Waugh, IRPP)
Skills in an official language (English or French) significantly affect the economic integration of Canada’s immigrants, including their employment levels and incomes. Official-language skills also have an impact on how well immigrants integrate socially in their workplaces and communities. In this study, Tracey Derwing and Erin Waugh examine the relationship between officiallanguage knowledge and the social integration of adult immigrants to Canada. The authors review a range of research findings, including those from a recent Citizenship and Immigration Canada study of the English-language proficiency levels of 3,827 immigrants, whose speaking and listening skills were assessed at the time of their citizenship test (the average time spent in Canada at the time of testing was six years). One notable finding was the low scores of Mandarin and Cantonese speakers, the majority of whom had entered the country through the independent immigration class.

Immigrants need help learning Canada’s ‘secret rules’, researchers say (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Immigrants need help learning not just Canada’s two official languages, but also the “secret rules” of Canadian life in order to fit into their new home, according to the authors of a report released Thursday. The ability to speak and read English or French is viewed as key to the economic success of newcomers, and the federal government is implementing mandatory language testing for immigrants in their country of origin and increasing the level of proficiency required. But in their report for the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Tracey Derwing and Erin Waugh looked at the role of language and cultural practices in how immigrants develop friendships, join social organizations and build networks within the mainstream.

Diversity 2.0 (Canadian Club of Toronto)
As the most multicultural city in Canada, diversity in Toronto is a given. The world lives here – you can see that on our subways, hear it in our music, taste it in our food. How well are we doing in seizing on that diversity, and using all the varied talents and perspectives at our fingertips? June 5, Metro Morning host Matt Galloway moderates Diversity 2.0, a discussion with business, arts and civic leaders on inclusion and why, for Toronto to remain a leader, we need to look, sound and think as broadly as the city we are today. The panel will include:
Zabeen Hirji – Chief HR Officer, RBC
Cameron Bailey – Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival
Peter Sloly – Deputy Chief, Toronto Police Service
Fiona MacFarlane – Chief Inclusiveness Officer, Ernst & Young

Immigration crucial to economic well-being (
Nanaimo may be a unique part of Canada for its weather, geography and culture, but we share one thing with the rest of the country – the need for more skilled immigrants. Long before this week’s census data showed a shrinking workforce due to increasing retirements, it was known that Canada must turn to immigration as a key solution to maintaining a pool of workers that will keep us competitive within the global economy. So far, the federal government has introduced tepid policies that do not go far enough to bring in more new Canadians.

Brown Canada
Brown Canada is a community-led project documenting, creating, and sharing diverse South Asian histories in Canada. Our collective entry point is through the Komagata Maru story of 1914, when 376 Indians were denied entry to Canada.

Preserving culture, Carassauga way! (Pradip Rodrigues,
When I was a one-year-old immigrant in Canada, I recall visiting Kelso Conservation area for a picnic one long weekend. The place was filled with picnickers and the air laden with the fragrance from dozens of barbecue styles from around the world going on simultaneously. At one point, I took a walk around and counted at least 27 distinctly homogenous groups of picnickers — Canadians of Jamaican, Iranian, Indian, Pakistani, Korean, Chinese, Africans, Eastern Europeans… this was proof that Canada was indeed a country made of distinct multicultural groups living like they picnicked — in harmony. Each picnic group was distinctly homogenous in racial make-up and the only truly multicultural group was to be found in the children’s playground where children of all ethnicities ran around looking like the rainbow. I thought about that picnic when I recently visited Carrassauga last week at the Hershey Centre. I know, I know everyone especially politicians speak about Carrassauga with deep reverence, as if it were a religion beyond criticism. Mainstream Canada is happy to let the ethnic minorities bask in the sun while they remain mostly conspicuous by their absence, either in their backyard swilling beer or in the cottage slumped in a hammock. Don’t get me wrong, Carrassauga is a brilliant idea that doesn’t really work the way it was intended. It offers ethnic minorities a platform to express themselves through their culture, music, dance, cuisine and reflect on a life they knew in a country they once called home. I visited the Philipino, Indian, South American, Italian and Jamaican pavillions and perhaps it was a coincidence, but 98 percent of those sampling the culture, cuisine and trinklets were of Philopino descent, same was the case at all the other pavillions.

New Immigration policy of Canada shatters dreams of several Punjabi families (Naresh Kumar Sharma, Punjab News Online)
Moving to foreign shores to earn fast bucks is a craze among the people of Punjab. Among the foreign shores, Canada has been one of the most favoured countries for immigration for number of years. Every year, the list of people applying to seek visas for migrating to Canada has been swelling. However, the new emigration policy of Canada has shattered the dreams of several families in Punjab and especially in the Doaba region. The new immigration policy of Canada has come as a great setback for the families planning to shift to Canada for work and economic prosperity. There are large number of people who had been in the waiting queue list to seek visa for Canada since 2004.

The West sets example for the East (Winnipeg Free Press editorial)
Manitoba’s story pretty much mirrors that of the West. This tracks with a rapid rise in immigration, which tends to bring in younger people. The West has aggressively moved to welcome newcomers through tailored provincial nominee programs that seek to match job skills with shortages in specific industries. Immigration is a recognized antidote for an aging population, an economic driver that balances the financial pressures on social welfare programs through greater returns to tax coffers. As bigger slices of the baby boom cohort retire, Canada can expect to see increased demand on health services and pension funds as fewer and fewer wage earners are feeding provincial and federal income tax coffers.

A plan for the future (Vancouver Sun)
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. Not everyone will agree with the particular policies the government has proposed or enacted on these files; this editorial board has taken issue with several. A solution can sometimes create more problems than it solves, and none of these changes should hap-pen without full disclosure and discussion of the facts, particularly in Parliament. Still, because the Conservatives have put their ideas on the table, it’s no longer enough for critics to simply point out flaws in their policies. Given the demographic realities, any opposition party must be prepared to counter with its own plans.

Funding Opportunity through a Request for Information (Settlement AtWork)
The Children’s Aid Foundation submits this request for information to learn about organizations that are serving new Canadians and the types of services they provide. With the information, a decision will be made about who to invite to apply for funding.

B.C. Civil Liberties Association celebrates 50th birthday (Carlito Pablo,
Canada was on edge when the B.C. Civil Liberties Association had its defining moment, says author Herschel Hardin. It was October 1970. The Front de libération du Québec kidnapped a British trade commissioner, James Cross, and a provincial cabinet minister, Pierre Laporte. The separatist group later killed Laporte. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act, suspending civil liberties in Quebec. Police arrested and detained hundreds without warrants.

Immigrant women’s experiences of maternity-care services in Canada: a protocol for systematic review using a narrative synthesis (7th space)
We are therefore assessing the experiences ofimmigrant women in Canada accessing maternity-care services. We are focusing on: 1)accessibility and acceptability (as an important dimension of access) to maternity-careservices as perceived and experienced by immigrant women, and 2) the birth and postnataloutcomes of these women… The study aims to provide stakeholders with perspectives onmaternity-care services as experienced by immigrant women. To achieve this, we are usingintegrated knowledge translation, partnering with key stakeholders to ensure topic relevancyand to tailor recommendations for effective translation into future policy andpractice/programming.

Global Quebec: Why “La Belle Province” Continues to Shine as an Immigration Destination (Canada Immigration Newsletter)
The Province of Quebec has long been renowned for its unique culture, which blends elements of North American and European language and society in a way that is found nowhere else in the world. Far from being simply ‘the French part’ of Canada, Quebec today is a vibrant province that continues to attract newcomers from around the world. In this article, the first of a two-part series, CIC News explores what makes this province a favorite destination among immigrants to Canada. To start, we look at the global community of people who live and work in “La Belle Province” – “The Beautiful Province” – and are integral to making Quebec the economic and social destination it has become.

Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants 2012 (Canadian Immigrant)
The results are in! Canadian Immigrant proudly presents 2012’s Top 25 winners.
Click on each picture below to learn about the individuals you, our readers, chose to win.

Becoming Canadian citizen as big as winning the Belmont, says jockey (Monte Stewart, The Canadian Press)
Mario Gutierrez is harbouring a dream that he considers just as big as winning the Belmont Stakes. The 25-year-old jockey from Veracruz, Mexico, who will attempt to steer I’ll Have Another to victory June 9 in the Belmont— the third jewel in horseracing’s coveted Triple Crown — wants to become a Canadian citizen. “I can’t really talk about that because I don’t want to get (in trouble with Canadian) Immigration,” Gutierrez told The Canadian Press late Thursday night following a media availability session with reporters in Surrey, B.C. “I’ll tell you when I get it,” he added with a smile.


Family pleads to remain in Canada (Martin Van, Richmond Review)
A Richmond family has been asked to leave Canada and return to their native Guatemala, even though they were the subject of extortion threats, and while under police protection, one of them was raped. Mario Ramirez, his wife Eloisa, their adult children Laurita and Ever, and two grandchildren, are the subject of a June 16 removal order by Canada Border Services Agency after their pre-removal risk assessment conducted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada was rejected in April. “It has been determined that you would not be subject to risk of persecution, danger of torture, risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if returned to your country of nationality or habitual residence,” wrote senior immigration officer P. Duong, of the Backlog Reduction Office in Vancouver.

Letter: Federal health program ensures fairness for all (Jason Kenney, Winnipeg Free Press)
Re: They aren’t all ‘bogus’ refugees, as portrayed by Kenney (May 17). Tom Denton’s column is inflammatory and entirely misses the point to recent reforms to the interim federal health program (IFHP). The IFHP provides medical benefits to protected persons and refugee claimants. However, the program has gone well beyond its original purpose and costs have ballooned since the program was established in 1957.

Refugee Mental Health Project: Free online tutorials for Settlement Counselors and Health Care Professionals (Settlement AtWork)
The Refugee Mental Health Project, based at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) offers two different online tutorials:
The tutorial designed for settlement counselors provides information on how to recognize and address mental health issues, understand the vulnerabilities of refugee subgroups and navigate mental health services.
The tutorial for health care professionals has been designed to provide information, skills and tools to identify, assess and support refugee clients’ mental health.


Tories urged to apologize for attacks on UN expert (Evan Solomon, CBC)
Earlier this month, several cabinet ministers lashed out at the special rapporteur, Olivier De Schutter, after his trip across Canada led him to express “extremely severe” concerns about the ability of aboriginal people and families on social assistance to afford the food they need to stay healthy. In an open letter issued Wednesday, more than 150 organizations and individuals say Ottawa is undermining the authority of the United Nations by publicly attacking its envoys to Canada. The letter points to personal attacks against De Schutter by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and others, in which the ministers said the UN envoy was “ill-informed” and “patronizing,” and his mission was “completely ridiculous.”

“Has To Be A Cultural Connection” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the difficulties faced by aboriginal children and teenagers who are adopted outside of their communities and culture, with lawyer Katherine Hensel. She is one of the speakers at an event called “The Meeting Place: Truth and Reconciliation Toronto 2012” . It takes place today and tomorrow at the Sheraton Centre Hotel on Queen Street West.


Dad Found A Job (CBC Metro Morning)
Back in the chilly days of February, we introduced you to several immigrant families in a series called “Great Expectations, this morning Matt Galloway spoke with Akm Alamgir, he recently got a job at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

6 Great Blogs for Diversity Recruiters (
Diversity recruiting is much more of a journey than a destination. In order to stay sharp and knowledgeable about industry developments and other relevant issues, it’s important to connect with industry influencers and informed news sources. We do this constantly, in an effort to ensure that our diversity job boards deliver consistent value for both employers and job seekers. In the world of diversity sourcing and recruiting, there are many voices, but we’ve found that there are a few that stand just a bit above the rest. If you are a recruiter with diversity hiring objectives, these are the sources we recommend to keep you informed, engaged, and potentially a step ahead of your competition.


Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transportation, Building Development, Jack Layton, City Hall and Other News.

Former Vancouver mayor hopes forum will spark debate about densification (Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun)
When Harvard urban economist Ed Glaeser looks at Vancouver, he sees an example for the rest of the world of a successful economic powerhouse. With its tall towers, airy space, dramatic views and proximity to wilderness and country, Vancouver is admired for “getting it right,” he says. But when former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan looks at his city, he sees a place that still hasn’t yet met Glaeser’s argument that healthy cities are affordable and not generators of suburban sprawl.


Shipping containers whet entrepreneurs’ appetites (Globe and Mail)
A string of orange and yellow market stalls decorates the southeast corner of Dundas and Bathurst streets, where vendors offer everything from crêpes to T-shirts to bicycle repairs. Metal tables and chairs line the sidewalk, giving passersby a place to stop for lunch, sip a little home-made lemonade or catch some shade under a row of trees. Two years ago, this spot was just a drab stretch of pavement abutting a concrete wall on the edge of the working-class Alexandra Park neighbourhood. But Scadding Court Community Centre has transformed it into a bazaar, assembling disused shipping containers and renting them out to merchants to convert into shops. It’s an innovative model that jazzes up the streetscape and gives entrepreneurs a cheap way to get started. Market 707, named after its address on Dundas, is also helping rectify one of Toronto’s biggest failings: the lack of diverse street food.

Enter your Annual Report in the Voluntary Sectior Reporting Awards (CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance)
Donors, funders and boards are all looking for more transparency and good governance. You can give them that and more by entering your Annual Report in the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards (VSRA). The VSRAs, created by the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and Sponsored by PwC, annually recognize the Ontario’s best non-profit Annual Reports. Your charity could win one of them. Entry is simple and free. Winners in each category will receive a $5,000 prize. Everyone who enters get free information about best practices. Show your donors your commitment and vision by submitting your Annual Report today. VSRA Media Release – May 2012

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

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

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