Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 21, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

Exercise your choices and stay true to who you are, says social activist (YFile)
In 1981 when Ratna Omidvar first came to Canada from Iran as a political refugee, she discovered that she could not work as a teacher because her qualifications were not recognized. As she needed work, Omidvar took a job in retail. The job required her to sell tubes and piping. I was fired because I could not tell the difference between a tube and a pipe, she said, and I still cant. Being terminated from the job changed the direction of her life and provided her with two important opportunities, Omidvar told graduating students during convocation ceremonies last Friday. The first, was I decided to volunteer and someone watching me decided to give me a break. The second, was I took a course in not-for-profit management at York University. The experiences, she said, were life changing. Omidvar, a social activist and the president of the Maytree Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to reducing poverty and inequality in Canada, was given an honorary doctor of laws degree from York University as part of the 2012 Spring Convocation ceremony for graduates of the Faculty of Education.
http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2012/06/20/exercise-your-choices-and-stay-true-to-who-you-are-says-social-activist

Sweeping immigration changes to give new power to minister (Laura Payton, CBC)
Sweeping changes proposed in a new immigration bill would give new powers to the minister of immigration, including the ability to deny entry to visitors for public policy reasons and to override the rules to let otherwise inadmissible people come to Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney tabled legislation in the House Wednesday that would make it easier for the government to deport refugees, permanent residents and visitors for “serious criminality,” crimes where the punishment is six months or more in jail. Kenney is selling the bill based on the changes proposed to allow automatic deportation for any non-Canadian sentenced to more than six months in jail.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/20/pol-new-law-deport-foreigners-crimes.html?cmp=rss

Montreal soccer player files ‘racism’ complaint after dustup with subway worker (Sidhartha Banerjee, Canada.com)
A professional soccer player from Colombia claims ticket-takers at a Montreal metro station refused to let him ride the subway because he spoke to them in English. Miguel Montano, a midfielder with the Montreal Impact, claims he was the victim of a “racist” language-based incident involving transit employees and filed a complaint. The 20-year-old Impact reservist started by calling Montreal a racist city as he described the incident on social media but he later backpedalled, and apologized if he offended people. The incident occurred as Montano and another Impact player, French-born Hassoun Camara, were riding the metro Wednesday morning.
http://www.canada.com/life/Montreal+Impact+player+claiming+racism+hands+city+transit/6812947/story.html

Government of Canada Introduces the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (CIC)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, introduced legislation today to expedite the removal of foreign criminals from Canada and to enhance the safety and security of Canadians. The Harper Government is putting a stop to foreign criminals relying on endless appeals in order to delay their removal from Canada during which time they continue to terrorize innocent Canadians, said Kenney Canadians are generous and welcoming people, but they have no tolerance for criminals and fraudsters abusing our generosity.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-06-20.asp

Backgrounder Summary of Changes to Canadas Refugee System in the Protecting Canadas Immigration System Act (CIC)
DCO claimants, manifestly unfounded claims, claims with no credible basis, claimants who are subject to an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement and claims referred to the IRB before the coming into force of the new system (backlog) would not have access to a RAD appeal. No access to the RAD for those who arrive as part of a designated irregular arrival. In addition, there would be no access to the RAD to appeal a decision on an application to end a persons protected person status (i.e., cessation or vacation of protected person status). 15 working days to file and perfect an appeal to the RAD. Except in cases where a hearing is held, proposed time lines for a RAD decision is 90 days for claimants with access to the RAD.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/backgrounders/2012/2012-02-16f.asp

New rules proposed to handle foreign criminals in Canada (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Permanent residents convicted of a crime and jailed for six months or more in Canada would have their immigrant status revoked with no right to appeal under a proposed legislation announced Wednesday. The restriction of the appeal eligibility from the current two years for all foreigners, including permanent residents, is part of the Conservative partys election platform to expedite the removal of foreign criminals from Canada and enhance public safety, said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The announcement, an add-on to the ministers agenda Wednesday, came two days after protests in 14 cities across Canada against Ottawas planned cuts to refugees health-care coverage that take effect on June 30.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1214694–new-rules-proposed-to-handle-foreign-criminals-in-canada

Tories to toughen rules on newcomers (Stephanie Levitz, Winnipeg Free Press)
New legislation introduced Wednesday by the Conservative government gives greater powers to the immigration and public safety ministers to determine who gets to come and stay in Canada. It’s the latest in a series of changes that have given the immigration minister in particular far more individual say over immigration matters. The new law, called the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, seeks to cut off avenues for convicted criminals to appeal their deportation.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/tories-to-toughen-rules-on-newcomers-159838265.html

Feds to close loophole allowing criminal newcomers to stay in Canada (Kris Sims, London Free Press)
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.
http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2012/06/19/19897371.html

Feds cut off deportation appeal avenues for immigrants convicted of crimes (Winnipeg Free Press)
The Conservative government is moving to force immigrants convicted of crimes out of Canada faster. New legislation tabled today could see even those who have been in Canada for decades kicked out if they are sentenced to more than six months in jail. Currently, anyone who is not a Canadian citizen and is sentenced to less than two years in prison can appeal a deportation order.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/feds-cut-off-deportation-appeal-avenues-for-immigrants-convicted-of-crimes-159766485.html

Sweeping immigration changes target ‘foreign criminals’ (Laura Payton, CBC)
Changes proposed for the immigration system would mean automatic deportation for any non-Canadian sentenced to more than six months in jail. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney tabled legislation in the House Wednesday that would make it easier for the government to deport refugees, permanent residents and visitors for “serious criminality,” a crime whose punishment requires jail time. The proposed law would take away humanitarian and compassionate grounds as factors in whether someone can stay in Canada. And the changes would mean the public safety minister would be able to consider only national security and public safety in deciding whether someone can become Canadian.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/06/20/pol-new-law-deport-foreigners-crimes.html

Some immigrant appeals to be cut (Chronicle Herald)
New legislation introduced Wednesday by the Conservative government gives greater powers to the immigration and public safety ministers to determine who gets to come and stay in Canada. Its the latest in a series of changes that have given the immigration minister in particular far more individual say over immigration matters. The new law, called the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, seeks to cut off avenues for convicted criminals to appeal their deportation.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/109415-some-immigrant-appeals-to-be-cut

Residents feel Metro divided along ethnic lines, survey finds (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
Cora Maming was terrified to answer the phone when she arrived in Vancouver from the Philippines four years ago at age 63 because she was embarrassed at not being able to speak English. At the time, Maming lived with her daughter in the Joyce-Collingwood area, home to a large Filipino population. But when she did brave what she felt was terribly cold weather to go for walks in the neighbourhood, she rarely spoke to people even in her own language because her son had warned her not to talk to strangers. It was a lonely, isolating existence. Maming spent her days watching television and staring out the window.
http://www.vancouversun.com/Residents+feel+Metro+divided+along+ethnic+lines+survey+finds/6817315/story.html

Asian Canadian Culture Online Project (ACCOP) (Chinese Canadian National Council)
The Chinese Canadian National Council is proud to present the Asian Canadian Culture Online Project (ACCOP). This exciting new online initiative aims to showcase emerging talents from Asian Canadian youth. ACCOP brings together a special collection of exceptional work fusing together expressions of cross-cultural experiences, perspectives, thoughts, and ideas. Through this initiative, we hope to connect, listen, and share our stories and to instill pride and cultural understanding about our cultural heritage. The ACCOP encourages the public and our diverse Asian Canadian communities to connect, interact and exchange cultural ideas, and to celebrate our uniqueness and diversity.
http://www.ccnc.ca/accop/

Immigration scam promised Nepalese high-paying jobs in Albertas oilpatch (Carol Sanders, The Province)
A Canadian man from Nepal says more than 100 people from the Asian country have been financially ruined in a scheme that promised them high-paying jobs in the Alberta oilpatch. Bradley Jacobson and Kendall Schmidt have appeared in a Winnipeg court charged with various offences under the Criminal Code and Refugee Protection Act. Jacobson was a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. Yadu Pandey is a Nepalese-Canadian trying to help people back home look for temporary work in Canada. He says the fraud has ruined 111 people in Nepal who paid $1,300 for jobs in the Alberta oilsands.
http://www.theprovince.com/news/Immigration+scam+promised+Nepalese+high+paying+jobs+Alberta+oilpatch/6812865/story.html

Immigrant influx costly for Regina Catholic schools (CBC)
The growing number of immigrants in Regina means more students, but also extra financial pressures on the Catholic School Board, trustees say. The city’s Catholic school division has about 10,000 students, 1,000 staff, 29 schools and an operating budget of about $65 million. However, this year the board is taking nearly $900,000 out of its bank account to balance its budget. The division is expecting an additional 260 students in the fall many of them new immigrants. “To understand our language, to learn how to read in our language, to understand our culture, it takes some extra work,” board chair Rob Bresciani said.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/06/20/sk-regina-school-1206.html

Debate continues over mandated diversity quotas in Canada (Directorship)
The Canadian Board Diversity Council is urging corporations to voluntarily improve diversity on boards rather than implementing quotas. North of the border, debate continues over whether mandated board diversity quotas make good business sense from a governance perspective, Canadas National Post reports. Sharon Healy, national managing director of people and culture at Toronto-based Grant Thornton, is among those who say quotas are problematic because they erode the basic principles of equality and fairness. Rather than formally endorse quotas, the Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) is urging corporate Canada to voluntarily improve diversity on boards by bringing in more women; minorities; people with disabilities; and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community. CBDC founder Pamela Jeffery points to how the Australia Stock Exchange is handling the issue, noting, Their approach is not quota driven, but one in which the regulator has defined and required disclosure by companies in setting and achieving their own objectives.
http://www.directorship.com/debate-continues-over-mandated-diversity-quotas-in-canada/

A celebration of culture and diversity (Trish Bezborotko, Leader Post)
Thirty years ago, the National Indian Brotherhood (now known as the Assembly of First Nations) called for the recognition of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day on the summer solstice – June 21. Many of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day for many generations. In 1996, the Governor General of Canada made the declaration recognizing Aboriginal Peoples for their rich and diverse cultures, as well as their contributions to the environment, agriculture, business and the arts. National Aboriginal Day has been celebrated every year since the declaration was made. The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal Peoples: Indians (First Nations), Inuit and Métis. Each has their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs, but they also share many similarities.
http://www.leaderpost.com/news/celebration+culture+diversity/6810070/story.html

Ugandan-born Farida Sayani turns one small hotel into a multimillion dollar chain (Margaret Jetelina, Canadian Immigrant)
To look at her, Farida Sayani is the picture of quiet elegance. Wearing a pin-striped pantsuit, sophisticated pearls and a blinding diamond necklace, you wouldnt guess she had been a stay-at-home mom for 14 years. She definitely looks the part of successful businesswoman and hotelier Ugandan-born Sayani is the owner and managing director of Vancouver-based Executive Hotels and Resorts. My husband, Noordin, a land developer, found a nice piece of land in Richmond and asked me if I wanted to become a hotelier, Sayani remembers. My kids were grown and it was my opportunity to get out into the real world. So he built the hotel and I became a hotelier.
http://canadianimmigrant.ca/immigrant-stories/ugandan-born-farida-sayani-turns-one-small-hotel-into-a-multimillion-dollar-chain

REFUGEES

World Refugee Day (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about the controversial Bill C-31, with Audrey Macklin. She is a law professor at the University of Toronto, specializing in immigration and refugee issues.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/06/20/world-refugee-day-1/

The Tuesday Edition (As It Happens)
Pro-Refugee Health. The Director General of Health for Citizenship and Immigration Canada responds to doctors concerns about cuts to health services for refugees.
http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/episode/2012/06/19/the-tuesday-edition-35/

Kenney’s refugee claims pander to prejudice (Winnipeg Free Press)
One has to give credit to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney for staying on message. In the face of this week’s demonstrations across the country and mounting criticism from health care professionals, church leaders and refugee advocates, he doggedly defends his severe cuts to the interim federal health program for refugees here. One has to wonder at his method for doing this. Despite the obvious — that the cuts affect government-chosen and supported refugees and privately sponsored refugees as well as refugee claimants — he reverts always to his standard answer that points only to refugee claimants and says they should not get more health benefits than Canadians. This dissembling statement that plays loosely with the truth and panders to prejudice.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/kenneys-refugee-claims-pander-to-prejudice-159837685.html

Kenney defends cuts to refugee health benefits (CBC)
In an interview with host Robyn Bresnahan that aired Wednesday on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning, Kenney responded to criticism from doctors and refugee advocates who organized a day of action on Monday to protest cuts to the supplementary health benefits refugees receive when they first arrive in Canada. Kenney disagreed with claims the cuts are unfair to a vulnerable group, pointing out what’s being eliminated is not basic care but services that other modest-income Canadians also have to pay for. “I wonder why these doctors aren’t raising the same questions about [the medical benefits] taxpaying Canadians receive,” Kenney said, suggesting the government acted out of a sense of fairness, “limiting it to what’s generally available to Canadians.” “In the real world there are limited resources,” Kenney explained.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/06/20/pol-ottawa-morning-kenney-bresnahan-refugee-health-cuts.html

New centre aims to set world standard in refugee care (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The agony and desperate hopes of the world’s 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. The group has also organized a major international conference on the plight of the world’s more than 10 million refugees, being held today through Friday in Vancouver and Richmond.
http://www.vancouversun.com/centre+aims+world+standard+refugee+care/6810944/story.html

Vancouver to build refugee center (Global Times)
The Canadian city of Vancouver marked World Refugee Day on Wednesday by unveiling the model of a refugee “welcome house” designed to provide one-stop services for those forced to flee their homeland to seek sanctuary in the city. With a budget of 24 million Canadian dollars (about $23.5 million), the privately-financed, 6,874-square-meter facility is set to break ground in a year’s time and be operational by June 20, 2015. The Metro Vancouver Welcome House Center, to be operated by the non-profit Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia, will be constructed on land leased to the society by the City of Vancouver for a 60-year term at the cost of one dollar.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/716377.shtml

Bill C-31: Senate can still stop Canada from giving succor to racist extremists (Karl Nerenberg, rabble)
Canada is now fully engaged in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), destined to become the largest free trade zone in the world. Elected politicians, even Conservative elected politicians, are, for the most part, being kept away from these crucial discussions. Nigel Wright, the Prime Minister’s unelected Chief of Staff and a Bay Street veteran, is running the TPP talks for Canada, no doubt consulting closely and out-of-public-view with key corporate “stakeholders.” At the same time, Canada continues to castigate Europe’s supposedly bloated and overly-indebted welfare states – even though, as the Ottawa Citizen’s Dan Gardner has pointed out, those accusations are “drivel.” The fact is that the more generous and full-developed welfare states in Northern Europe, such as Sweden, have rather low debt-to-GDP ratios, quite a bit lower than Canada’s.
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2012/06/bill-c-31-senate-can-still-stop-canada-giving-succor-racist-ex

Conservatives’ Refugee Health Cuts Rile Doctors (David P. Ball, The Tyee)
Conservative government cuts to refugee health care have “triggered” opposition from health care workers in an unprecedented fashion, one of Canada’s most prominent doctors says. The president of the influential Canadian Medical Association told The Tyee that Canada is turning its back on some of its most “vulnerable and disenfranchised” residents with upcoming reforms to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). “IFHP deals with the health needs of people who are vulnerable and disenfranchised, who have just landed on our shores,” Dr. John Haggie, a former surgeon, said. “The government has decided to take that away from this rather small and vulnerable group.
http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/06/19/Refugee-Health-Cuts/

Hungary says ready to take back Roma from Canada (AFP)
The Hungarian government said Wednesday it was making preparations for the return of up to around 5,200 Roma whose applications for asylum in Canada look set to be rejected under new rules. “The emigrants won’t come back tomorrow,” said Zoltan Balog, minister for human resources and social affairs. “We will have time to prepare and solve the problem.” Under incoming new Canadian regulations aimed at tightening up the country’s immigration system, European Union member state Hungary is classified a democratic country and that therefore its citizens cannot claim asylum. According to the Canadian embassy in Hungary, around 5,200 people will be affected, with 4,500 Hungarians having applied for asylum in Canada in 2011 and 700 this year, almost all of them from the Roma minority.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEjO9Jxgs2b7p4PHyM-tMDeGYkzZA&url=http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h6PPf0QzlX9i1cGrbnbkKdQLB2Sg?docId%3DCNG.780c4bf9e65b341af8332455cba1b2e0.01

The refugee map of the world (Simon Rogers, Guardian)
There were 800,000 new refugees in the world in 2011, according to the latest data out this week from the UNHCR. 2011 is a record year for forced displacement, with more people becoming refugees than at any time since 2000.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/datablog/interactive/2012/jun/20/refugees-map-unhcr-asylum-2012

Protest Not Pride on World Refugee Day in Canada (Natascia L, Halifax Media Coop)
On this World Refugee Day, Canada is no place for celebration. Two recent refugee policy changes have made Canada less inviting to those looking to make this country their new, safe home. Effective June 30, the Interim Federal Health Program, which provides temporary healthcare coverage to people who are ineligible for provincial or territorial healthcare insurance plans, will be cut, stripping refugees of access to supplementary services such as pharmaceutical, dental, vision and mobility care.
http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/protest-not-pride-world-refugee-day-canada/11443

World Refugee Day: Refugees have no choice. You do. Stand up against injustice and intolerance (NUPGE)
The theme of the United Nations World Refugee Day 2012 is Refugees have no choice. You do. Refugees flee their country not for economic gain but to escape persecution, the threat of imprisonment and even threats to their lives. They need a safe haven where they can recover from mental and physical trauma and rebuild their hopes for a better future. The intolerance that is often at the root of internal displacement and refugee flows is also present in some of the countries that refugees flee to. Instead of finding empathy and understanding, they are often met with mistrust or scorn.
http://www.nupge.ca/content/5093/june-20-marks-world-refugee-day-refugees-have-no-choice-you-do

World Refugee Day Coverage (Forced Migration Awareness blog)
June 20 is World Refugee Day. Organizations that provide assistance and protection to refugees and other displaced persons are commemorating this day in many ways; here’s a sampling of just a few.
http://fm-cab.blogspot.com/2012/06/world-refugee-day-coverage.html

On World Refugee Day, try something new to eat (The Record)
Wednesday is World Refugee Day, established in 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly. That year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention on Refugees, also a UN initiative, that has since been the standard against which nations around the world are measured regarding their policy toward refugees. On Wednesday, I encourage you to think about and celebrate refugees in Waterloo Region, and Canada generally, by eating food that is different from your own cultural tradition whether you try one of the many ethnic restaurants in the area, whether you do a food exchange with a newcomer, or whether you broaden your own cooking repertoire.
http://www.therecord.com/opinion/columns/article/746686–on-world-refugee-day-try-something-new-to-eat

Canada: Protecting the Right to Health of Refugees Amnesty Internationals Concerns with respect to Cuts to the Federal Interim Health Program (Amnesty Canada)
Amnesty International is deeply concerned that changes to the Federal Interim Health Program are discriminatory and will result in violations of the right to health of refugees in Canada, in contravention of Canadas international human rights obligations. Amnesty International is calling on the federal government to withdraw the changes and to ensure that any changes to the program are consistent with international human rights standards with respect to access to health care, non-discrimination and refugee protection. Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, enshrined in international human rights treaties binding on Canada.
http://www.amnesty.ca/media2010.php?DocID=1617

Video: When You Don’t Exist (Amnesty International)
When you don’t exist is Amnesty International’s campaign for the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe and at its borders. People move to Europe for different reasons. Some flee persecution or war. Others leave because of chronic poverty. They hope to find a safer, better future in Europe. But too often they find a different reality. Europe is failing migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. Negative attitudes to asylum-seekers and migrants are widespread. European countries are stepping up measures to control migration. This can cause serious human rights violations. People on the move have their rights violated, often out of the public eye. They are effectively made invisible.

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Poverty law as threatened as the poor by Ontario austerity measures (Your Legal Rights)
Legal clinics, the seemingly silent side of Legal Aid Ontario, may be home to many idealistic, justice seeking lawyers, but they are still part of the government funded, and very official, legal system, subject to the same bean counting instincts of administrators everywhere. Like so many other public services, they have grown bit-by-bit, region-by-region, until every geographic corner of Ontario has been covered, each clinic a unique entity. Perhaps grown complacent after years of steady funding, the clinics seem somewhat shocked that bean counters at head office are less impressed with their noble attributes than in the past and looking for radical change in how they conduct their business now.
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/news/84830

Legal expert backs parliamentary budget officer in fight for data on cuts (Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen)
Canadas budget watchdog says he will wait until fall at the latest for 64 senior bureaucrats to comply with the law before deciding whether to go to court to force them to release details of the Conservative governments $5.2 billion in spending cuts to their departments. Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released a legal opinion Monday by a prominent constitutional lawyer that concluded Canadas top bureaucrat and the deputy ministers of 64 departments are breaching the Parliament of Canada Act by refusing to release information on the spending cuts, including their impact on jobs and service levels to Canadians. Although buoyed by the opinion, Page said he is content for now to let his battle for information play out in the court of public opinion in the hopes that the government will reconsider its refusal in the face of political pressure rather than risk a lengthy legal battle.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Legal+expert+backs+parliamentary+budget+officer+fight+data/6799433/story.html

Youth Agents of Change 2012 – Meet this year’s winners! (CSI)
With the support of ING Direct, we’ve launched the second annual Youth Agents of Change competition this spring and found 21 outstanding youth who are making a difference in their communities, across the city and the world. We are thrilled to welcome these talented innovators into the CSI community! The Youth Agents of Change competition is an annual contest that awards winners with free workspace and exclusive programming opportunities. On this page you can meet this year’s winners and find updates as the program gets underway.
http://socialinnovation.ca/innovation/aoc2012

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Bridging programs not doing much for job seekers in Alberta (Sunita Kaul, Canadian Immigrant)
Despite Albertas red hot economy and despite undertaking bridging programs, highly educated professionals are not getting jobs. Scepticism is growing about the ability of immigrant settlement institutes in bridging the gap between the market place and the work force available within the country. These institutes meanwhile are finding scapegoats in either an unfit immigration policy or in the attitudinal inability of immigrants to meet soft skill requirements. Albertas projected labor shortage of more than 100,000 workers is giving rise to calls for slashing red tape to allow more foreign workers into the province. However, highly educated immigrants, 63 per cent with university degrees or diplomas from their home countries but unable to get jobs matching their skill sets, worry this will marginalize them further into minimum wage jobs.
http://canadianimmigrant.ca/news-and-views/ci-exclusive-bridging-programs-not-doing-much-for-job-seekers-in-alberta

Professional Immigrants Networks (PINs) & CAMP featured on Introducing Toronto (Settlement AtWork)
The Professional Immigrants Networks initiative (PINs) was featured on a recent episode of Rogers TV Torontos Introducing Toronto. Introducing Toronto presents the settlement and employment resources available to newcomers to Toronto to help them better integrate into Canadian society and its workforce. This clip features the PINs initiative and profiles the immigrant network, CAMP (Communications, Advertising & Marketing Professionals).
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95758

Visas for Entrepreneurs: How Countries are Seeking Out Immigrant Job Creators (Migration Policy Institute)
Across the advanced industrialized world, even governments that are skeptical about the benefits of immigration tend to open their doors to the so-called “best and the brightest” exceptionally skilled immigrants who bring new knowledge and innovations. For both economic and political reasons, the higher the skill level of prospective immigrants, the fewer restrictions governments tend to impose to entry. Immigrant entrepreneurs are among the most desirable of these highly skilled newcomers especially immigrants behind high-tech and high-growth startups that policymakers find particularly appealing. Most governments want to boost entrepreneurship, but reliable and feasible policies to do so have proved elusive. In recent years, however, policymakers have often turned to immigration as a small but direct channel to facilitate startups by increasing the supply of willing and able entrepreneurs.
http://www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/display.cfm?id=896&feed=rss

Collaborative Opportunities project launched (Settlement AtWork)
The Collaborative Opportunities project aims to improve the efficiency and quality of employment and training services throughout the Province. The project is a collaboration between the Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP), First Work, and the Ontario Literacy Coalition (OLC) with funding from by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Through community town hall meetings and discussions with key stakeholders, the project aims to enhance the cooperation between the three organizations and examine opportunities for streamlining services. The project will produce a strategic roadmap for how the three organizations and their membership can better work together in order to apprise stakeholders of client needs, service gaps and the effectiveness of services in order to better inform policy and programming decisions.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95759

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Toronto Zoo, Transit, City Hall, Bikes, In the City.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/06/20/wednesdays-headlines-252/

Thurday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Parking, Schools, City Hall, Community Gardens, World’s Biggest Bookstore, Extreme Heat and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/06/21/thursdays-headlines-254/

Vital Toronto (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with the founder of “Amadeusz – Look at My Life Project”, Tina Nadia Gopal, later this morning, she will be presented with a “Vital Ideas” award by the Toronto Community Foundation.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/06/20/vital-toronto/

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

United Way, local agencies mend fences on funding process (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Last years annual general meeting of the United Way of Ottawa was a tense evening of motions and counter-motions, with the mood so combative that one participant described the agencys relationship with the organizations it funds as a marriage in need of counselling. Tuesday night, almost exactly a year later, it seems the marriage is intact, the counsellors report is in and while serious differences remain there are signs of hope for a lasting union. Were still married, said Dick Stewart, former head of social services in the city and the speaker who made the marriage comparison at last years meeting. Were not yet speaking the same language, but we have intentions to talk.
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/News/Ottawa/United/6809073/story.html

New charity domain name in the pipeline (Civil Society)
The Public Interest Registry has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers for permission to establish the .ngo domain name for charities and non-profit organisations around the world. The not-for-profit organisation already manages the .org domain and has also applied for .ong, which is the equivalent acronym in other European languages. If approved the new domain names will be available from 2013. Brian Cute, chief executive of PIR, said: The NGO term holds great weight globally and sets these organisations apart from commercial or governmental entities. Almost ten million users have a .org domain name and PIR hopes that by acquiring .ngo and .ong it will be able to expand.
http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/it/news/content/12603/new_charity_domain_name_in_the_pipeline

Organizations need proper, stable funding (Canada.com)
Funding for groups and organizations – usually non-profit – trying to do projects to better the community shouldn’t have to come down to Internet voting. Don’t get us wrong, we applaud corporations making funds available to give back to society. But government cuts in recent years have made this money desperately sought after. Often it can be make it or break it to programs, and even groups as a whole, that serve important functions in our communities, providing real benefits, even lifelines to those needing a variety of services.
http://www.canada.com/Organizations+need+proper+stable+funding/6810461/story.html

The following two tabs change content below.

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.

Leave a Reply

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

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

RT @pomeranian99: Before "hello" became the standard greeting, some answered the phone by saying "What is wanted?" http://t.co/15fqOWOs ... RT...

Close