Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 20, 2012


Diversity counts (Mehdi Rizvi, Straight Goods)
Maytree foundation and Civic Action recently released the fifth report in the DiverseCity Counts series. The series features research by Dr Chris Fredette, an Assistant Professor with the Sprott School of Business in the area of management and strategy. He holds a PhD in Organizational Studies from York University’s Schulich School of Business. These researchers used three surveys of board chairs and executive directors to develop detailed analysis of diversity in the boards of non-profit sector organizations. They say that the focus on governance and leadership diversity is both timely and increasingly instrumental to the success, legitimacy, and viability of nonprofit and public organizations.

Video: Ramesh Srinivasan about why diversity in governance matters (DiverseCity Toronto)
Ramesh Srinivasan, DiverseCity onBoard roster member, holds a Masters degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell-Essec, l’Institut de Management Hotelier International in Paris. He now teaches others about this sector, and says that wine is his great passion. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).

Canadian Ethnic Food Industry On The Rise, Says Matrade (Bernama)
The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) says the Canadian ethnic food industry is expanding along with Canada’s growing minority population. It said that these visible minorities — primarily South Asian, Chinese, Africans and Filipinos — now account for 16.2 per cent of Canada’s total population. According to a recent study these mostly urban-based communities also account for some of the highest weekly spend on groceries with the Chinese spending C$136 per week or nine per cent higher than the national average of C$124.70 and South Asians at C$153 or 23 per cent more than average.

Vancouver Foundation study finds Lotusland a lonely, isolated place (Steve Mertl, Yahoo! news)
With its beautiful setting, relatively balmy climate and comfortable ethnic diversity, Vancouver’s often held up as a model of urban livability. But a survey by the Vancouver Foundation reveals that reputation may have fragile underpinnings. The 70-year-old organization interviewed more than 3,841 residents of Metro Vancouver and discovered, among other things, that many people felt isolated among the city’s splendour. “We found that one in four people are finding it difficult to make friends in Vancouver and one in three people are lonely,” Vancouver Foundation chief executive Faye Wightman told CBC News.

Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes (CBC Metro Morning)
In his new book, “Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes,” Toronto author and journalist Kamal Al-Solaylee details his family’s search for a home in the Middle East, and how it affected his own search for identity as a gay man. He shared his story — and some family photographs — with Metro Morning’s Morgan Passi.

Language tests coming to immigration programs soon (Steven Meurrens, Canadian Immigrant)
It is generally recognized that proficiency in either English or French is essential if you wish to be economically successful in Canada. While immigrants who cannot communicate in one of Canadas official languages may find some employers who are willing to hire them, their career mobility is limited relative to those who can. Indeed, numerous recent studies reveal that an immigrants language proficiency is perhaps the most important indicator of economic success. The Government of Canada has taken note of these studies, and has begun implanting language requirements for numerous immigration programs.

Feds to close loophole allowing criminal newcomers to stay in Canada (Kris Sims, Toronto Sun)
The federal government is cracking down on immigrants and refugees who break Canada’s laws. People who are convicted of crimes after being granted landed immigrant status, or sheltered as a refugee, are usually ordered deported back to their countries of origin. However, if the sentences were less than two years, the crooks were allowed to apply to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) and get the deportation reversed. The feds want to put a stop to it and QMI Agency has learned they will introduce legislation on Wednesday.

Gov’t to announce swift deportation of foreign criminals (CTV)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is set to unveil tough new measures to quickly deport foreigners who serve more than six months in jail, CTV News has learned. Kenney will announce that refugees, immigrants and visitors to Canada who are convicted of a crime and serve more than six months behind bars will be deported soon after their release, CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Tuesday night. “They will lose their right to appeal,” Fife said, noting that the new measures will fulfill one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s key campaign pledges.

Removing Incentives for Bogus Refugee Claims (Vic Toews, MySteinbach)
Canada has a proud tradition of being a land of protection for those who have faced persecution, violence, warfare and ethnic conflict. In fact, weve accepted more than one million refugees since the Second World War. But its also true that there are people who seek to abuse our generosity. About two out of every three asylum claims made before the arms length Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) are deemed not in need of protection. Increasingly, theres been a wave of almost entirely unfounded asylum claims coming from the democratic, rights-respecting European Union (EU). We now get more asylum claims from the EU than we do from Africa or Asia.

Company executives’ names used in alleged immigration scam (CBC)
A Winnipeg immigration consultant charged in a scheme to lure foreign workers to Canada allegedly used the names of high-powered corporate executives to make the deals sound legitimate. The Canada Border Services Agency is accusing Bradley Jacobson and Kendall Schmidt of developing false businesses and using false documents to target more than 300 foreign nationals. The fake businesses and documents were used in order to bring would-be immigrants to Canada for a fee, the federal agency said.

CCLA Honours 19 Extraordinary Canadians At Annual Gala (CCLA)
A dynamic and creative society is enriched by the work of extraordinary individuals from all walks of life. Journalists, actors, lawyers, writers, athletes, business leaders, philanthropists and artists all play an important role in enhancing the richness and diversity of our democracy. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association & Education Trust celebrates the freedoms that make all their work possible, honouring individuals for their extraordinary contributions in their field.


Neither sound, nor caring (Winnipeg Free Press Editorial)
It is not difficult to see the penny-wise, pound-foolish repercussions of this new policy. There is small chance a refugee claimant whose application has been denied, and is awaiting appeal, would suffer a life-threatening health crisis. But more likely and worrisome, the refugees who are to become landed immigrants and citizens could see their long-term health or lives imperiled by the decision to withdraw coverage for medications in the year they are under federal sponsorship. The reform will add pressure to provincial health budgets as refugees resort to using emergency health services. Mr. Kenney expects the changes will save Ottawa $100 million over five years, but does not indicate how much will come from reduced claimants from designated countries. The provinces will shoulder the other costs, and while deaths may be rare, they are not implausible.

Restaurant serves up refugees wonderful success story (Karen Chen, Ottawa Citizen)
Samsu Mia finally has a kitchen of his own. After an unhappy posting as a personal chef for the Bangladeshi High Commissioner, a deportation order and years of hard work to make ends meet and bring his family to join him in Canada, the 57-year-old refugee opened his restaurant, Mias Indian Cuisine, last month. Hes a wonderful success story as a refugee and someone who was almost going to be deported, and here he is integrating and contributing to Canadian society, said Patricia Paul-Carson, a member of First Unitarian Congregation in Ottawa, where Mia spent more than a year in sanctuary after leaving the High Commission.

New refugee centre in Metro Vancouver aims to set world standard in care (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The agony and desperate hopes of the worlds refugees will be in the spotlight this week in Metro Vancouver. Today, a B.C. non-profit organization will mark World Refugee Day by unveiling plans for a state-of-the-art centre for people escaping war, famine, ecological devastation and persecution. The Immigration Services Society of B.C. which has been hosting refugees for four decades at its cramped facilities at 530 Drake St. will reveal architectural plans for its much bigger Welcome House Centre at 10th Avenue and Victoria Drive.

Refugee board wrong in ruling claimant had nothing to fear from bride’s parents: judge (Douglas Quan, Montreal Gazette)
A federal judge has ruled that the Immigration and Refugee Board erred in denying the claim of a Pakistani man who sought refuge in Canada on the grounds that his wife’s parents set police on him because they disapproved of their marriage. Citing a corrupt police force and the high number of “honour crimes” committed against couples who marry in defiance of parents’ wishes, the judge said it was unreasonable for the IRB to suggest that the man could “live in hiding” in another part of Pakistan.

New UN app lets you see how to live like a refugee (Niamh Scallan, Toronto Star)
Its a terrifying predicament, one some may think belongs in a Hollywood blockbuster. But a growing number of people worldwide face this type of life-or-death scenario, whether theyre forced out of their homes war or persecution, famine or drought. In fact, according to a United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) report released Monday, more people became refugees last year than at any time since 2000, a spike attributed to major humanitarian crises in Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. To raise awareness, a team of developers partnered with the UNRA to create My Life as a Refugee a free, educational app targeted at Western audiences that forces players to make life-or-death decisions to escape conflict, find refuge and reunite with family.–new-un-app-lets-you-see-how-to-live-like-a-refugee


Social Assistance Recipients in Ontario (John Stapleton)
And following the 1980’s and 1990’s recessions, caseloads had multi-year peaks in March 1983 and March 1994 in Ontario . But few months have shown a retreat like April 2012 in all OW categories of singles, couples, and lone parents along with much slower growth in ODSP. This months special file shows the before and after tax tally on three people ( a single, a lone parent with one child and a lone parent with two children).

National Aboriginal Day (CBC Metro Morning)
Guest host Jane Hawtin spoke with our pop culture critic Jesse Wente. He is the Head of Film Programmes at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and curated the series “First Peoples’ Cinema, 15-Hundred Nations, One Tradition”, it opens on Thursday night.

‘Glacial progress’ in child poverty (Frank Luba, The Province)
Children and youth advocate Adrienne Montani wasn’t impressed Tuesday by a Statistics Canada report that child poverty rates are improving in B.C. “We’re not the worst, we’re the second worst,” said Montani, provincial co-ordinator for First Call: B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition. “It’s just such glacial progress.” StatsCan reported a drop in B.C. from 11.8 per cent of the population – or 98,000 kids – living in poverty in 2009 to 10.5 per cent or 87,000 in 2010. The improvement means B.C., which had the worst rate in Canada for the previous eight years, is second worst in the country behind Manitoba at 11.1 per cent.

Breakfast programs urged for every Toronto school (Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto Star)
Nutritious breakfast programs should be offered in every Toronto school so all students can benefit from improved health, learning and behaviour, says the citys medical officer of health. There is a growing body of research, including Canadian findings, which solidifies the positive relationship between eating breakfast and health, learning and behavioural outcomes among students, says Dr. David McKeown in a comprehensive review released Tuesday. Studies also confirm that student participation in school meal programs increases if the programs are available to all students who would benefit from the program, provided they are not identified or centred out, he says is Nourishing Young Minds, to be discussed by the citys board of health Monday.–breakfast-programs-urged-for-every-toronto-school

Poverty no worse for crisis (William Watson, Financial Post)
OK, so were four years into the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s. The Occupy movement has persuaded virtually the entire media that inequality is the number one policy issue of the day. Quebec students have now decided its not just tuition fees they dont like but also capitalism, neo-liberalism, Formula One racing and their provinces corporate-toady political class. Europe is stressing out in ways not seen since the 1940s. At times it seems our whole way of life is under siege. With everything unravelling fast, poverty must be skyrocketing. Right? Wrong! On Monday Statistics Canada published the latest edition of its annual publication Income of Canadians, which looks at income data for 2010. Hold on to your paper/tablet/smartphone: In 2010 the percentage of Canadians who earned less than Statistics Canadas low-income cut-off and therefore by universal practice are defined as poor actually fell.


Canada Banks Shed Locker-Room Mentality, RBCs Nixon Says (Doug Alexander, Sean B. Pasternak, Business Week)
Canadian banks still struggle to keep women in capital markets even as the industry has moved beyond the locker room attitudes that have discouraged them in the past, said Gordon Nixon, chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Canada. If you look at the capital-markets business historically, if you look at the trading business as an example, it used to be accused of a locker-room mentality, Nixon, 55, said yesterday in an interview. Thats not the case today, its come a long way, but its been a progression. Nixon, who is being recognized this year by research firm Catalyst for championing women in business, said banks must do more to recruit and retain women in capital-markets roles.


New charter aims to help big cities solve problems (Gordon Kent, Edmonton Journal)
Edmonton, Calgary and the province signed an agreement Monday to negotiate a big-city charter they hope will find better ways to provide services in Alberta’s largest centres. The work will initially focus on how to divide responsibilities between municipalities and the provincial government, particularly in areas they share such as policing and helping new immigrants, Mayor Stephen Mandel said. “This is a bellwether day for the two major cities in the province of Alberta. The province is working with us to find solutions to some of the problems we face. This kind of relationship is quite unique in Canada.”


Why website accessibility matters (Suzanne Cohen Share, First Reference Talks)
On May 30, 2012, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld a legally blind womans 2010 legal victory over the federal government, ordering the government to make its websites accessible to blind persons. It may not be a case under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), but it does show us how website accessibility matters and has an impact on promoting accessibility for persons with disabilities. The Federal Court of Appeal ruling reaffirmed that the inaccessible federal government websites violated Donna Jodhans constitutional equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. More specifically, with its inaccessible websites, the federal government denied Jodhan equal access to, and benefit from, government information and services provided online to the public on the Internet, and this constituted discrimination against her on the basis of her blindness. Therefore, she has not received the equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on her physical disability and that constitutes a violation of subsection 15(1) of the Charter.

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.

Read previous post:
Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 19, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY Video: 2011 winner of the Intercultural Innovation Award, DiverseCity onBoard, the Maytree Foundation (UNAOC) DiverseCity onBoard was...