Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 14, 2012


Webinar Recording: Welcoming Cities: Municipal Leadership on Immigrant Integration (Cities of Migration)
Learn about the power of city-led public service campaigns in Barcelona (Spain) and Sheffield (UK) that create safe, welcoming communities by challenging myths and changing misconceptions about immigrants and refugees. These local responses to anti-discrimination help us understand the role and capacity of local government to integrate migrants and provide equal opportunities for all residents.

Jason Kenney publicizes Colombian refugee’s private data over disputed news story (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Johanna Taidee Martinez Jaramillo says she did not hide her shady past from her children, the refugee board or the reporter from La Presse, which ran a story about her imminent deportation. But the failed refugee from Colombia was shocked when she saw her asylum and criminal records made public in an open letter by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on his department website Tuesday. “I was young and led to the path I had, but I didn’t hide or lie about it,” the 37-year-old mother of four said Wednesday from Montreal. “He was trying to attack me and make me look bad. I’m upset and feel betrayed.” Legal and media experts were equally surprised.–jason-kenney-publicizes-colombian-refugee-s-private-data-over-disputed-news-story

Kenney rebukes newspaper, lectures reporters on ‘incomplete’ work (Globe and Mail)
The Conservative government has taken “the unusual step” of publicly challenging a newspaper report and reminding journalists across the country that it’s their job to get both sides of a story before racing to publication. In an open letter, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the ministry wasn’t approached about an article that appeared in Montreal’s La Presse on June 11, about a Colombian woman facing deportation.

Immigration: Jason Kenney locks and loads (Dr Dawg blog)
What do we do with refugees to this country? “Lock and load,” said the Toronto Sun. Almost unnoticed in the foofaraw attending the “What Harper Thinks Is Good For Canada” omnibus Bill C-38, the Conservatives realized another part of their agenda this past Monday—a slow lock and load of their own.

Nanaimo to welcome immigrants with annual receptions (Toby Gorman, Nanaimo Bulletin)
New immigrants who choose Nanaimo as their home will receive a warm welcome from city council. Federal cutbacks are reducing local services to help immigrants and international students with technical paperwork, and citizenship ceremonies have been delayed or cancelled, but council voted unanimously Monday to host a welcome reception for new immigrants living in the community. Coun. Diane Brennan introduced the notice of motion.

Ontario Human Rights Code amended to protect transgendered people (Robert Benzie, Toronto Star)
Susan Gupka knows first-hand what it’s like to be discriminated against. The transgendered Torontonian has had difficulty applying for credit cards, student loans, identification cards, and accessing health care, employment and housing. So Wednesday’s vote by MPPs to enshrine “gender identity” and “gender expression” in the Ontario Human Rights Code was a landmark moment.–ontario-human-rights-code-amended-to-protect-transgendered-people

Considering a multicultural Canada (Dalhousie University)
“What is Canada?” Not a simple question, but Alison Froese-Stoddard’s answer netted her the Halifax Overseas Club Essay Prize — and a cool $4,000. Her winning paper, “The Birth of Canada’s Multicultural Policy: Plotting the Official Acceptance of Diversity,” was originally written for a Canadian Studies class as an assignment asking the “What is Canada?” query above. The essay deals with the origins and politics of Canada’s much-touted multiculturalism. “The multiculturalism thing is a really big part of what I consider to be Canada,” Ms. Froese-Stoddard explains. “It was the first policy of its kind in any country.”

More diversity needed in HRM teachers: board chair (CBC)
he chair of the Halifax Regional School Board is calling for more diversity among teachers in Halifax schools. Irvine Carvery says given the number of cuts in education, now is the time to pay special attention to number of black and Mi’kmaq teachers in the city. Many black and Mi’kmaq students are not seeing themselves reflected in the schools, he says.

Health bond for immigrants mulled (Winnipeg Free Press)
Elderly immigrants cost the government approximately $3 billion annually in health care, while those older than 50 who have worked, have never reported earning more than $15,000 a year, figures suggest. The figures are contained in a memo produced before the government froze the parent and grandparent stream and introduced a 10-year, multiple-entry super-visa that requires visiting relatives to show proof of a year’s worth of health insurance as a stopgap measure while Ottawa deals with a huge backlog in applications. It suggests the government has concerns about the cost of elderly immigrants.

New Hamilton program to link immigrant communities with health professionals (Julia Chapman, CBC)
Habiba Ibrahim got a call at 3 a.m. one morning. The woman on the other line, a fellow Somali, was having nightmares and didn’t know what else to do. “She said before she left [Somalia], a bomb landed in her house and killed her husband,” Ibrahim said. “Her son, who is about 20 now, said to her that day, ‘ how did my father die?’ And she explained and that night she was having nightmare.” Ibrahim brought both mother and son to her house, talked them through the night and slept in the same bed as the mother until she could fall asleep. Stories like this one aren’t rare inside Hamilton’s immigrant communities. New Canadians in the city often turn to community leaders like Ibrahim instead of mental health professionals, said Liliana Figueredo, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion’s community engagement coordinator.

Jehad Aliweiwi – Mentoring (Orgwise)
Jehad Aliweiwi, Executive Director of Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO), shares his experience and perspective on mentorship within the Settlement Sector. As an individual that has mentored and worked with a variety of agencies, he explains that mentoring is an important professional development tool. Common topic areas where agencies often request mentoring include: strategic leadership, developing effective funder relationships, and acquiring a thorough understanding of governance issues. These serve as the integral components of competencies for agencies to provide mentorship opportunities, which are best conceived as processes of learning where individuals can learn about their strengths and opportunities for growth. Not only are mentoring relationships processes of learning and professional development, Jehad explains that mentoring is also “critical [for developing] the next generation of leaders in the sector.”

The Many Faces of ‘Integration’ (Smart City Blog)
The Community Diversity and Integration Symposium looked to answer this question during a community discussion with Halifax residents on May 12, 2012. What does integration mean to Halifax communities? Below are just a few of the many understandings of the term ‘integration’ expressed by over 60 participants who attended the Symposium hosted by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Muslim and Jewish students debate Islamophobia and anti-Semitism (Habeeb Alli,
When I told people that I wanted to organise a speech competition for youth on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, the most common reaction I received was, “That would be hard.” However in late April 2012, 16 students from Muslim and Jewish schools, as well as public schools, in Toronto came together at the North American Muslim Foundation to participate in the 10th occasion of this annual event. Despite some initial discouragement, I felt the connections between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia were important. These two issues are often dealt with separately by Muslim and Jewish communities in Canada, but both groups have a great deal to offer each other as they work to overcome prejudice.

2 Pinoys among Top 25 Immigrants in Canada (Marieton Pacheco,
A former member of parliament and a community activist are the two Filipinos included in Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants list this year. Dr. Rey Pagtakhan of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Narima Dela Cruz of Surrey, British Columbia, felt honored and grateful during the awarding ceremonies held in Vancouver recently. “The three or two is certainly a tribute that there are many more of us out there who are able to contribute and offer themselves for service to the community, for service to country because those are the attributes that I think Canadians, at large, would like to look forward from any citizen and certainly from any immigrant to this country,” said Pagtakhan.

Breakfast with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (IECBC)
The Government of Canada is focused on promoting economic growth and long-term prosperity. As outlined in the Economic Action Plan 2012, transformational change is underway that will make our immigration system targeted, fast and efficient. As we move towards a more economy-focused immigration system, new initiatives will be introduced to make it even more nimble and responsive to labour market needs. Minister Kenney will discuss how we can ensure Canada ‘s immigration system contributes to economic health and our country’s international competitiveness.

How a Japanese immigrant to Calgary was swindled out of $2 million (Clara Ho, Meghan Potkins, Calgary Herald)
When Fusako Kametani uprooted her life in Japan to come to Canada with her daughter three years ago, she never imagined she’d see her life savings evaporate in mere months. The sense of security she had when she arrived is now gone. “People look friendly but (they’re) not. I feel like I can’t trust anybody,” she said. The 55-year-old said she handed over nearly all of her cash and property — worth more than $2 million — to an immigration consultant who convinced the single mother that her assets could be seized, or worse, that she could be deported.

Victim of multimillion dollar fraud speaks out (CTV Calgary)
The province is investigating a business owned by the same woman accused of defrauding a newcomer out of $2 million. On Wednesday, the victim spoke out for the first time. “I was so stupid because I became panic from bad person from immigration,” says Fusako Kametani. 55-year-old Kametani nearly lost her entire life savings. She says she was told she could be deported for owning property in Canada while on a student visa.

Video: Kathy Shaidle: Toronto’s “diversity czar” Uzma Shakir (Sun News)
Kathy Shaidle joins Michael Coren to discuss Toronto “Diversity Manager” and full-time islamophile Uzma Shakir, an endorser of sharia law and “al quds day.”

Conrad Black got no special treatment over visa (Kathleen Harris, CBC)
Conrad Black’s application for a temporary resident permit was approved in just weeks, but government documents suggest there was no political interference to expedite or influence the outcome of the file. According to records from Citizenship and Immigration Canada on the former media baron’s controversial return to Canada, Black’s lawyer first contacted the department’s case management branch in mid-February to advise that his client intended to submit an application for a temporary resident permit.

Canada’s first full-time paid Muslim chaplain being sought at the University of Toronto (Noor Javed, Toronto Star)
A young woman looks directly into the camera and says in a soft accent: “I was told to go back to my country.” A young man with a light beard follows: “In my profession, relationships are built at the bar. What am I supposed to do about that?” he asks. And then, the more complicated issues: “My parents forced me to take off my hijab,” says another student, referring to the head scarf. The anecdotes, told from the point of view of Muslim students at the University of Toronto, are gripping, complex and, as many youth can attest to, all too real. They are also part of a promotional video intended to show the urgent need behind the Muslim Chaplaincy Program at U of T, the first program of its kind in Canada that would see the community fund a full-time chaplain at a university to support the spiritual needs of Muslim students.–canada-s-first-full-time-paid-muslim-chaplain-being-sought-at-the-university-of-toronto

Public board to fund new teaching, support positions (CBC)
The Edmonton Public School Board trustees passed the 2012-13 budget on Tuesday that includes funding for 54 permanent full-time teaching and 55 support positions. The $940 million balanced budget also includes increased funding for schools and special needs students, as well as targeted funding for English language learners, First Nations, Metis and Inuit students.


Bogus rationale: Analysis of the government’s reason for changing the Canadian Interim Federal Health Program (Daniel Zergaw, Refugee Research Network)
Recent changes introduced to the Canadian Immigration Policy have been a subject of heated debate between the conservative government and various groups that advocate for immigrant and refugee rights. Major areas of debate focus on the government asserting its right to choose who should be allowed to settle in the country on one hand and advocate groups calling for the government to respect and abide by its international obligations on the other. One area of such debate is the change in the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP); a temporary health insurance plan which is funded by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada to provide immigrants and refugees who are unable to pay for health care become eligible for benefits until they become eligible for a provincial/territorial or private health plan coverage.

Stand up for refugees, oppose federal budget (Kathleen Huth,
I am a graduate of Westside Secondary School and I currently work as a pediatric resident at the children’s hospital in Ottawa. I am writing to express my deep concern about the impending changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). The IFHP provides temporary health care coverage to protected persons and refugee claimants who do not yet have a health insurance plan. The federal government recently announced drastic cuts to health services for refugees, effective June 30, which will leave some of Canada’s most vulnerable families without preventative care or key medications. Many refugee families will have experienced persecution and unthinkable physical and psychological trauma, and upon arriving to Canada and will be denied all health services short of what would prevent a public health crisis. The changes are intended to save our money as taxpayers. But is this worth denying refugees basic health care? The proposed cuts mean a youth with poorly-controlled asthma will not be monitored by a physician nor provided with puffers, children will not be given primary health assessments, and pregnant women will not receive any prenatal care.–stand-up-for-refugees-oppose-federal-budget

Sudanese refugee shares his Regina story (Emma Graney, Leaderpost)
David Deng was the perfect man to speak at the Regina Open Door Society’s annual recognition of World Refugee Day. As a Sudanese refugee, he knows the theme of Wednesday’s event only too well — “One family torn apart by war is too many.” When war broke out in 1987 and troops attacked his village, Deng fled South Sudan, ending up in a refugee camp. Living in horrible conditions with an average daytime temperature of 40 degrees, it was, he said, “Still better than living in a war zone.”

National News: Bill C-31 Changes Face of Canada: Legislation Slams Door in the Face of the World’s Most Vulnerable (Green Party of Canada, Northumberland View)
The passage in the House of Commons last night of Bill C-31, the so-called Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act. moves Canada farther away from the values of a majority of Canadians, said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands. “When these desperate people arrive in Canada, we must ensure that their refugee claims are investigated while protecting their Charter rights,” said May, “but this bill violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our international human rights obligations, including the Geneva Conventions. The detention of children from 16-18 also violates the International Rights of the Child.”

Rainbow Bridges: A community Guide to Rebuilding the Lives of LGBTI Refugees and Asylees (Refugee Research Net)
A recent publication produced by the US based Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration (ORAM). This is a 48-page guide developed in a pilot project to resettle LGBTI refugees in San Francisco and it offers practical step-by-step guidance on welcoming new refugees, ensuring their mental and physical well-being, and helping them find support in their new communities. It includes sample forms, s suggested code of conduct, and outlines the avenues for refugees to receive housing, employment and federal assistance.

Focus on Resettlement (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
Event and publications related to resettlement of refugees.

Students live life of Darfur refugee (York
Richmond Green students Connor Marois (left) and Ilona Hurren created this outfit from garbage as part of their Darfur project. Every year, students in Grade 12 economics at Richmond Green Secondary School are assigned a culminating project known as the 15-Day Challenge. When students Ilona Hurren, Connor Marois, Kemi Makinde and Melissa Ciardulli began their assignment, they had no idea the result would be worthy of Project Runway. Some students took on issues such as global warming and homelessness, but the four decided to highlight the issue of the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. For 15 days the four students lived as if they were refugees in a United Nations aid camp in Sudan. This included sleeping on the floor, carrying around a small plant, five-minute showers and a diet consisting of mainly rice and water.–students-live-life-of-darfur-refugee


Don’t wait for facts and evidence! Ontario hits reverse and okays quick sell-off of scarce affordable homes (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford appears to have succeeded in snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Rather than wait less than three months for the facts and evidence about the best use of the city’s scarce affordable homes, the Mayor is determined to press ahead with an immediate sell-off – which will foreclose the possibility that any of the homes could be put on a sustainable footing. Stories in both The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail report that Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Kathleen Wynne has been forced to reverse her decision to defer plans for the quick sell-off of 65 mostly vacant affordable homes, as theWellesley Institute reported in our blog yesterday.

“Trojan Horse” Delivers The Goods (Chris Vander Doelen, Windsor Star)
Depending on who you listen to, the Harper government has either committed its worst-ever attacks on Canadian democracy this week, or it has had some really productive days at the office. It’s the latter, obviously. Thanks to omnibus bills and the scheduling of debate up in Ottawa, 72 important new laws and changes to government policy will soon have been passed within a span of about 10 days, some of them fixes for issues that have been festering for years. Bill C-304, Bill C-31, and Bill C-38 will change Canada – for the better.

Seniors Living in Poverty Quickly Getting Help Through New Website (Business Review Canada)
More than a dozen seniors living in poverty had their needs fulfilled in a matter of hours, thanks to a new website and on line registry online registry at A website & registry that links impoverished seniors with caring Canadians who want to help. It is the only charitable endeavour of its kind to focus solely on seniors in need across Canada. The site launched earlier this month has fulfilled almost 90% of requests submitted by non-profit and community organizations.

Op-ed: Premier’s pledge to eliminate child poverty holds promise (Openfile Calgary)
On April 11—just 12 days before Albertans would go to the polls—Alison Redford made an announcement that surprised many. Faced with an apparently surging Wildrose Party, Redford promised, if re-elected, her government would eliminate child poverty in Alberta in five years and reduce overall poverty within 10 years. Social welfare advocates, both in Alberta and across Canada, took notice, welcoming Redford’s campaign promise as a leap forward in the public discussion of poverty. For far too long in Alberta, the ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ province, only the most progressive politicians identified poverty as an issue that might be responsive to government intervention.

Many low-income Calgary families worry about where their next meal will come from: report (Calgary Herald)
For families worried about where they’ll find food for their family, thinking about the future beyond suppertime can be difficult. A study published Tuesday by the United Way shows many Calgary families are in that very position. The United Way is aiming to change that with From Getting by to Getting Ahead, a report on getting low-income families beyond that precarious situation. “We can change the cycle of intergenerational poverty, and there is a path out of poverty for all families,” said Loreen Gilmour, who presented the findings Tuesday.

Aboriginal exchange at elementary (Ben Proulx, Sherwood Park News)
Students from Wye Elementary School were paired up with students from an Edmonton school for a multicultural program.


Onboarding & Retaining Immigrant Talent (IECBC)
Once you’ve successfully tapped into the immigrant talent market, how do you welcome new employees to your organization, effectively onboard them and ultimately retain them? This interactive workshop is intended to provide you with access to resources and skill building that will support your organization to overcome the common challenges related to successfully onboarding and retaining immigrant talent. Real world examples and case studies from the BC market will support you to understand how to overcome common challenges and find the strategies that will work for your organization. Participants will leave with a new set of tools and list of helpful resources. This program is a collaboration between the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) and BC HRMA. If you’re interested in this topic, you may also want to attend Sourcing and Recruiting Immigrant Talent.

Foreign workers in Newfoundland fishery (Clayton Hunt, The Coaster)
The Quinlan Brothers crab/shrimp processing plant in Bay de Verde has been the subject of much discussion lately as 20 of the 450 workers there are from Thailand. The company said it was forced to hire the workers after still needing to fill positions… In 2007 Bill Barry, a well-known figure in the Newfoundland fishery, said that foreign workers would be a part of the Newfoundland seafood processing industry in five years time. Well, it’s five years time and Barry’s ominous prediction has come true.

Leading businesses open their doors to new Canadians (Canadian Immigrant)
Many newcomers arrive in Canada expecting to attain jobs in their field of expertise. However, immigrants are facing increased challenges when seeking employment despite their education and experience. Networking is necessary to gain an advantage in today’s job market, especially for those who are new to the country. On May 29nd, 100 professionals in finance, sales and marketing, human resources, information technology, engineering and supply chain management offered mentorship for newcomers who were seeking employment in those sectors.

I am over the “business case” conversation (Joe Gerstandt)
The business case for investing in diversity and inclusion is big and broad and robust. There is today a more compelling business case for diversity and inclusion efforts than there is for a great deal of what actually gets done inside of our organizations. I am just tired of proving it. I am really not interested in trying to convince people that diversity and inclusion are real strategic opportunities. Some of the reasons why paying attention to diversity and inclusion is valuable at work, or in any kind of social space, are simply too obvious and too fundamental. An elementary appreciation for human nature, social dynamics, collaboration and group process clearly illuminates this fact: When people interact, difference matters — in a noisy number of ways.


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit, TCHC, Guns and Ammo Ban, Schools and Other News.

So You Want To Be A Transit Commissioner (Steve Munro)
The City of Toronto has announced the process to apply for membership to the Toronto Transit Commission’s Board. Although the TTC has been made up of only Council members for many years, earlier this year Council decided to add four “citizens” (non-Councillors) to the board in October 2012. One of these members will be selected as the Vice-Chair. An overview of the process and the role of the Commissioners was presented at the Civic Appointments Committee’s May meeting.


Social Return on Investment: A Primer Presentation (Karin Kronstal, Community Data)
The Canadian Community Economic Development Network Ontario conference featured a presentation on Social Return on Investment (SRoI) from SiMPACT Strategy Group, a Calgary-baed company that has worked with the City of Calgary and as well as a number of non-profits. The purpose of SRoI is to provide a framework for understanding the econmic impact of policies and programs with a social benefit. They have kindly provided a copy of the presentation which can be viewed here. There is more information on the SROI Canada website Thanks to Stephanie Robertson of SiMPACT for providing the presentation.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

One Response to “Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 14, 2012”

  1. Krunal A. Vagehla says:

    Business Immigration Visa assists businessmen and investors (High Net-worth Individuals/HNIs), residing in any part of  the world, willing to make an investment in a foreign country and at the same time wanting to obtain residency/permanent  immigration of that country.

    visit for details

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

RT @JasonShim: Looking for an easy reference for #mcc12 tweets? Check out this Google doc - feel free to reuse!...