Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 27, 2012


Maytree Newsletter – June 2012 (Maytree)
In this issue:
New Parliamentary Anti-Poverty Caucus provides leadership in poverty reduction
Five Good Ideas about how policy can improve the quality of life for all citizens
Ramesh Srinivasan: Diversity is a real strength for our region
Malton: a civic literacy success story in the making
Embrace the choices before you
More diversity equals better governance for nonprofit boards
Innovating together: the White House comes to Tamarack
CIC and corporate partners working together to make a difference for newcomers
News You Can Use

Helping new Canadians with acculturation (Globe and Mail)
Ever heard of a serial community builder? Meet Gillian Hewitt Smith, 38 . For more than 16 years, Ms. Hewitt Smith has volunteered almost 10,000 hours to help marginalized populations. She began her trajectory as a community builder while obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sociology (major), History and French (dual minors) from Queens University, where she mentored low-income students in the public-school system. Upon moving to Toronto, she became a pioneer of the buying local movement with the STOP Community Food Centre and then she helped establish a community of young people dedicated to the exploration of arts in the form of Business for the Arts. After 15 years in the private sector, Ms. Hewitt Smith took the helm of the not-for-profit Institute of Canadian Citizenship (ICC) and became the driving force behind its Cultural Access Pass (CAP) program. Now she targets a very distinct community: the approximately 170,000 people who become new Canadian citizens every year.

Global Learning is Proud to Announce the Launch of Our Latest Mobile App, Diversity Now (Global Learning)
100% free to the public, Diversity Now TM is an automatic and manual aggregation tool which curates high-quality, digital content from thought-leaders dedicated to diversity, human resources, and leadership. The app is currently available on the App Store and Google Play, with a version for BlackBerrys App World scheduled for release in the coming month. With sharing capabilities built directly into the app, Diversity Now TM is a fantastic tool for social media professionals and practitioners constantly on the hunt for “just-in-time” diversity content says Michael Mastroddi, VP Social Media for Global Learning. In less than one year, Global Learning gained over 6,500 natural followers, fans, and friends across our diverse social media accounts. By natural, I mean actual legitimate social media accounts; all spam followers are removed, and we dont stand by the practice of purchasing followers.

New charity offers $250,000 to support pluralism, interfaith collaboration in Canada (Yonge Street)
Diversity is about more than tolerance. Thats the philosophy behind new national granting-agency, the Inspirit Foundation. The new foundation, which put out its first call for grant applications last week, will fund charitable projects dedicated to a more pluralistic Canada. “Tolerance means coexistence but not necessarily interaction,” says Andrea Nemtin, president and CEO of Inspirit Foundation. “We’re about pluralism. And to really to build a pluralistic society, a shared future together, we need to engage with each other. We need to move beyond acceptance… it’s about a deeper understanding of difference and respect for differences and inclusion.”

Countries unite to tackle immigration fraud (CIC)
Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia are united in their efforts to warn prospective visitors and immigrants of the dangers of being misled by unscrupulous immigration agents, government representatives announced at a news conference today. Representatives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the UK Border Agency and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship also sent a clear message to crooked agents that they are working with other countries and with Indian authorities to combat immigration fraud.

Ontario cabinet minister says immigrants are our future (Antonella Artuso, Toronto Sun)
Federal and provincial governments are funding bridging programs to help immigrants land work in their fields. These are the newcomers who are going to fill the gaps in our labour force as our baby boomers retire and our birthrate falls, Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Charles Sousa said Monday. In five years, well be entirely dependent on immigration to meet Ontarios labour market growth. Nada Khairallah, a 2010 graduate of the Ontario Internationally-Education Physical Therapy Bridging Program, said it helped her land full-time work at a Greater Toronto Area hospital.

Somali Killings (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Ahmed Hussen. He is president of the Canadian Somali Congress.

Canada Safeway Puts Diversity Into Action on Canadian Multiculturalism Day (Safe Harbour)
As we celebrate Canadian Multiculturalism Day, AMSSA is pleased to acknowledge the 1,000 Safe Harbour-certified locations across B.C. that are taking a stand for diversity in their community. Diversity, in all its forms, contributes to the richness and strength of our social fabric. In Canada, our inclusive society recognizes the diversity of our cultures and our communities as an asset to our collective heritage. Canada Safeway is participating in the program across the province. Roger Junker, Store Manager of a Victoria Safeway said I am very proud to participate and support the Safe Harbour initiative. It is aligned with our, already existing diversity program which further embraces and strengthens diversity and inclusion in the workplace for the communities we serve. It is also gratifying that we are now a certified location for our community and the window decal clearly identifies us as an immediate location of safety for our community. New Infographic Shows Why Canadian Immigration Policies Should Be Taken Seriously (SF Gate)
A new infographic challenges Canadians to learn more about the country’s immigration policies. announced today publication of a new inforgraphic, designed to present some important facts about immigrants settling in Canada, facts that every Canadian should know. The future of Canadian immigration policies has re-entered the public debate and aroused controversy. Thus the new infographic, which uses data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, aims to present a profile of immigrant populations and help Canadians learn about them. Peter Todorov (president of Art Branch, Inc., the parent company of enlisted the help of Tsveta Mirtcheva, the lead web designer at Art Branch Inc.) to design the immigration infographic.

Denise Green resigns to pioneer diversity at Toronto university (Mike Nichols, CM Life)
Denise ONeil Green is about to embark on an opportunity she said comes once in a lifetime. Green, Central Michigan Universitys assistant vice president for institutional diversity since 2007, will be leaving CMU at the end of July for a new position at Ryerson University in Toronto. In an email sent

Canadian Businesses can now bring Temporary foreign workers faster: Transcend Consultants (Digital Journal)
Canadian Businesses are in for a treat, when recruiting Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) to quickly fill their labour market needs, with the introduction of the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion initiative by HRSDC. In most cases, Canadian businesses need a permission before their selected foreign workers can start working in Canada. There are 2 types of permissions required; Labour Market Opinion (LMO) issued by HRSDC for the Canadian business, and a Work Permit issued by the Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) to the foreign worker. The Work permit application, in most cases cannot be made without LMO.

Canadian Multiculturalism Day (Canadian Heritage)
Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and our commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect and to appreciate the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society.

Canada Day (CIC)
To celebrate Canada Day, we organize special citizenship ceremonies in communities across Canada. These ceremonies reflect on our collective heritage and status as both a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. Each year CIC grants Canadian citizenship to nearly 160,000 new citizens at more than 1,900 citizenship ceremonies across the country.

$200,000 announced for anti-violence project targeting immigrant women, female students (Vancouver Sun)
After a spate of violence against women in Metro Vancouvers South Asian community in 2006, Langara College tackled the hot-button issue by hosting a series of forums to address the problem. Organizers knew the topic was rife with misinformation and stereotypes, so they were careful to solicit advice from immigrant woman concerned about the lack of awareness of domestic violence in their communities. Now a new project at the college, announced Tuesday by Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, will revisit the needs of immigrant women and newcomers to Canada and address violence against women on post-secondary campuses.

Funding for Content in Diverse Languages in Canada Growing (NTDTV)
The Canada Media Fund is Canada’s largest funding organization supporting TV and digital media productions. During last week’s Banff World Media Festival, Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of CMF spoke with NTD Canada president, Dr. Joe Wang Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund met with Dr Joe Wang, President of NTD Television Canada last week at the Banff World Media Festival to talk about Canada Media Fund’s support of program diversity in Canada.


Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care to unveil plan to monitor consequences of federal cuts to refugee health services (Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care)
Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, a group of grassroots physicians who have been working with other health care workers opposed to changes to the Interim Federal Health Program will be holding a press conference to make a final plea to the government to protect vital health services for refugees. The physicians will also unveil a national plan to monitor and publicly report on the health consequences of federal cuts to this program. Doctors and other health care workers are deeply concerned that the cuts, set to come into effect June 30, will lead to poorer health outcomes for some of the most vulnerable members of society, increase health care costs and threaten public safety. On June 18th, Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care helped organize demonstrations in 14 cities across the country that were attended by more than 2,000 health providers. More than a dozen national health care associations are also opposed to these changes. This is an unprecedented show of solidarity among the health care community.

The Doctor Who Risked His Reputation to Oppose Bill C-31 (Bernie Farber, Huffington Post)
On Monday I was thunderstruck. A friend sent me a link to a YouTube video showing a federal funding announcement to Toronto General Hospital by Cabinet Minister Joe Oliver. Well attended, nicely laid out, the press conference started out like any such event. However, within minutes of Minister Oliver taking the podium, something truly exceptional occurred; emergency room doctor Chris Keefer walked boldly up to the front of the room, and with a sense of purpose and determination stated: “Mr. Minister, doctors in this country will not remain silent in light of the Conservative government’s cuts to the refugee health program.” He continued, “I am not alone; the Ontario Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association all oppose these cuts.”

Doctors can’t imagine refusing care to refugees (Jim Creskey, Embassy)
It might be a good idea for Conservative MPs to stay away from their family doctors this summer unless they want to get an earful about the effect government health-care cuts are having on refugees. On June 30 an order-in-council takes effect that abolishes a previous order-in-council that for more than half a century has provided refugee claimants with health care until they are accepted or until they are deported from Canada because their claim for asylum has been rejected. The new rule, axing medical care for certain designated categories of refugees, will be followed by a sweeping new refugee law, making Canada a generally harsher place.

Feds face court action over refugee health benefit trim (Jessica Murphy, Edmonton Sun)
Two Winnipeg-based refugee sponsor groups are going to court in a bid to short-circuit the federal government’s plans to trim refugee health benefits. The Anglican diocese of Rupert’s Land and Hospitality House Refugee Ministry are accusing the feds of breaching an agreement to cover the supplemental health coverage of the refugees they privately sponsor. Private sponsors sign contracts with Ottawa agreeing to fund housing, clothing and food for refugees – but until now, taxpayers ate the costs of the extra health benefits through a special federal plan that included coverage like eye and dental care and discretionary medication. But now the costs that go above basic health care will be downloaded onto the private sponsors.

Fifth suspected human smuggler charged (Ian Robertson, London Free Press)
The fifth of six people accused in the human smuggling of almost 500 Tamil refugee claimants aboard a ship impounded 22 months ago in British Columbia is facing charges. Nadarajah Mahendran was arrested Monday on a plane at Pearson Airport that arrived from Sri Lanka, the RCMP said. The 492 men, women and children who arrived Aug. 13, 2010, aboard the MV Sun Sea after paying tens of thousands of dollars for passage were taken to CFB Esquimault in Victoria, then faced detention review hearings in the Vancouver area. Federal officials said some were terrorists or human smugglers.

Extreme hostility between lawyer-judge mars refugee hearing (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
A refugee claimant was handed a reprieve on his removal from Canada because of an angry blow-up between his lawyer and the immigration judge, a feud betraying such animosity the Federal Court ruled the bewildered client could not have expected an unbiased hearing. The decision raises the spectre of the automatic disqualification of judges to hear immigration cases, where the small pool of immigration lawyers repeatedly runs up against an even smaller pool of immigration and refugee board adjudicators. The Haitian mans bid for asylum in Canada got off to a bad start when his Montreal lawyer, Chantal Ianniciello, realized she was appearing before Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator Youssoupha Diop.

Immigrant and refugee activists to protest Kenney in Vancouver (Canadian Immigrant)
Immigrant and refugee rights activists with No One Is Illegal and the Latin American Coalition for the Rights of Migrants are protesting Minister Jason Kenney at his breakfast event with the Surrey Board of Trade. This protest is in response to the Ministers recent changes in immigration and refugee policy.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s event marred by protests, cries of “shame” (Vancouver Observer)
Piercing screams of “Shame! Shame!” drowned out applause as Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney took the stage at a speaking event in Surrey. “That didn’t take long,” Kenney murmured as security began escorting No One is Illegal activist Tracey Mann out of the room. Mann, undeterred, continued screaming before being taken out the door: “You are creating a temporary foreign worker program that pays them 15 per cent less than Canadians! The Interim Federal Health Program is killing refugees!”

Protesters in Surrey target Immigration Ministers speech (Globe and Mail)
Protesters clashed with police outside a Surrey, B.C., golf course where Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was speaking to a business group Tuesday. The 20 demonstrators were angry over federal cuts to health care benefits for refugees, with one protester managing to make it inside the breakfast meeting of the Surrey Board of Trade, where she shouted at Mr. Kenney before agreeing to leave.

Video: Pimento Report #51: Protect Refugees — Stop C-31!
Healthcare Demonstration in Montreal on June 18th 2012 to restore Federal Interim Health Program and Stop Bill C-31.


Dentist For Seniors (CBC Metro Morning)
Metro Morning contributor Mieke Anderson dropped by the Swansea Town Hall community centre clinic recently, to meet some of the seniors who rely on its services.

Brison has inequality motion passed (Enfield Weekly Press)
Kings/Hants Liberal MP Scott Brison has recently passed a motion through the House of Commons on a key issue for most Canadian citizens; income inequality. Motion M-315, calls for a study of the growing disparity between the rich and the poor members of our society. The motion requests that the House of Commons finance committee study the issue of income inequality, and make recommendations back to the House of Commons. The motion had support from 23 back-bench Conservative members, and all of the NDP despite opposition from the Conservative government. It had passed 161-138, which Brison describes as exceptional given that the majority government had opposed the motion.

Changing the world, one hungry belly at a time (Hamilton Spectator)
There are plenty of extra reasons for participants in a local nutrition program to be thankful today about 25,000, to be exact. Food4Kids, a Hamilton-based initiative operating as a pilot project out of three schools in the city, was named the winner of the Change Challenge a contest sponsored by The Spectators childrens charity, SpecKids Unlimited. The organization which seeks to provide children living in poverty between the ages of 5 and 14 with enough healthy food to last them through the weekend will receive a grant of $25,000 to put toward expanding its program into more schools.–changing-the-world-one-hungry-belly-at-a-time

Round #2: Join our July 19 talkback session on affordable housing (Yonge Street)
More than 80 people attended our June 21 panel on whether affordable housing is a right. While panelists Neil Hetherington, CEO for Habitat for Humanity Toronto, and Noorez Lalani, vice president of MOD Developments Inc, provided tremendous insight, we could tell there were lots more ideas in the room. And lots of passion about an important issue for the GTA. Our next Yonge Talks event, on July 19 at ING Café, will put attendees at the centre of the process. We’re looking for ideas insights and discussion that can take the issue to the next level. We’re hoping to dig deeper, build momentum and perhaps come up with some proposals that can be taken up by leaders in the government, non-profit and for-profit sectors. Attendees are invited to bring proposals, experiences and plans for actionor just listen.


Immigrant IT pros face tough slog in job market (Brian Bloom, IT World Canada)
Thousands of highly-skilled IT professionals come to Canada every year, hoping to land a top job in their field. But unfortunately, some begin their Canadian careers at Tim Hortons instead. Technical skills are, generally speaking, universal. But a common problem newcomers encounter when searching for their first job is their lack of Canadian experience. Oleg Dolghii, a 32-year-old immigrant from Moldova, worked as an IT manager for a large financial company back home. He had high hopes for his new professional life in Canada. As far as he was concerned, his qualifications spoke for themselves. But he was in for a rough ride. I didnt know before coming here that Canadian experience is a really important factor here, he says.

The Gateway: York Regions Internationally Educated Professionals Conference, October 23, 2012 (York Region Immigration Portal)
York Region is the fastest growing community in Ontario and the majority of this growth is from newcomers moving to our community. The Gateway, York Regions first conference for internationally educated professionals (IEPs), provides an opportunity for IEPs, newcomer entrepreneurs, employers, professional associations and government representatives to make new contacts, exchange ideas and learn from each other.


One City To Serve Them All (Steve Munro)
TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Vice-Chair Glen De Baeremaeker will formally announce a new plan called One City on June 27 at 10:30. The plan already has coverage on the Star and Globe websites.

Website –

Malton: A Civic Literacy Success Story in the Making (Alejandra Bravo, DiverseCity Toronto)
In one of our regions most diverse communities, with a visible minority population that exceeds 70%, Malton is a civic literacy success story in the making for the community and for the Building Blocks program. Building Blocks is training residents in highly diverse, low income communities to get engaged and active where they live, while understanding how governments make decisions. In Malton, we sought one partner, but found an umbrella of civic minded organizations working together. An initial target of training 60 residents has long been surpassed with 250 residents participating in civic literacy sessions.

How do we pay for the regional transportation network we so urgently need? (John Tory and Mitzie Hunter, Toronto Star)
In recent days and weeks, its clear that transportation and getting there is becoming an increasingly intolerable daily hassle for people and organizations across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Through the latest polls, at hearings at Queens Park, in municipal forums and motions, or in a rant at home or around the water cooler, were saying that were reaching the end of our patience. Weve had enough of accommodating a system that is primitive and a major barrier to achieving the potential of this great and potentially global star of a city region.–how-do-we-pay-for-the-regional-transportation-network-we-so-urgently-need

Vital Toronto event brings Toronto city-builders together (Yonge Street)
For more than 30 years, the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) has been highlighting Toronto’s social and economic challenges, and supporting the organizations and people working to address them. They also throw a hell of a party. Last Wednesday morning, more than 350 people converged at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio to celebrate the TFC’s annual Vital Toronto Celebration. Hosted by Matt Galloway of CBC’s Metro Morning, the event interwove speeches, award presentations, a drumming performance by Lawrence Heights Middle School students and a conversation with Shawn Micallef, journalist, author and former Yonge Street editor, on Toronto: The Loveable City.

United Way’s $800K tower project sets sights on Rexdale & Orton Park (Yonge Street)
The suburban slabs are about to get prettier, and possibly happier. Last year, the United Way issued a report called Poverty by Postal Code 2: Veritcal Poverty, in which they asserted that poverty is especially intransigent in the citys outer areas, and most particularly in the high-rise apartments there.


Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World (Jo Reynolds,
Co-operatives have been part of the Canadian fabric for over 150 years. Today, there are 9,000 co-operatives and credit unions that provide products and services to over 18 million members with over $330 billion in assets, owned by their members and the communities they serve. Co-operatives exist within diverse sectors of the economy, including finance, insurance, agri-food and supply, wholesale and retail, housing, heath and the service sector. This year, I joined my first co-operative board, TREC Renewable Energy Cooperative. TREC is involved in developing community owned renewable power. One of TRECs initiatives is SolarShare that is offering a bond for Ontario residents to support the development of new community owned solar projects across Ontario.

Picking a fight with churches is dumb (Montreal Gazette)
In fairness to Senator Nicole Eaton, she seemed to regret the words even as they left her mouth. Speaking on the June 5th edition of CBC Radios As it Happens, Eaton said this, unprompted: Ill raise something and Im sure Ill get thousands of letters now you know, why is the United Church, you know, their boycott against Israel, well, is that helping the poor, educating the poor or giving people a hand up? Or is that political work? A few moments later, she answered her own question, I think its political work. Asked by interviewer Carol Off whether the United Church should be audited, Eaton continued: Its none of my business. But I just think thats its pretty strange, wouldnt you say, that a church is taking (the) political action of boycotting a country?

School for social entrepreneurs opens in Regent Park (Toronto Star)
Stephan Briones has kicked heroin addiction and a life of crime and now he wants to help others. When it comes to experience, I have 10,000 hours of addiction and unlawful activities, says the 39-year-old high school drop-out who came to Canada from the Philippines as a baby. I have a non-profit in me, but I dont have the tools to create it. The School for Social Entrepreneurs may be the tool box Birones is looking for.–school-for-social-entrepreneurs-opens-in-regent-park

Occupiers and Legislators (Samara)
Samara, a charitable organization that works to improve political and civic engagement in Canada, prepared this study to assess the validity of common criticisms of the media and especially to answer these three questions:
Is the tone of political news coverage overtly or routinely negative?
Does the news media fail to provide the public with enough information about issues that affect their daily lives?
Do stories overly focus on political games or government processes at the expense of issues?

DIY Economics (TVO The Agenda)
If there’s a silver-lining to tough economic times, it’s the inventiveness brought on by necessity. From new and renewed ways to make things people want and need, to how to make such ventures economically viable, The Agenda examines emerging trends forged today for tomorrow’s economy.

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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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