Immigration & Diversity news headlines – June 5, 2012


New report reveals importance of leadership diversity on nonprofit boards (Canada Newswire)
Online press conference on Wednesday, June 6 at 10:30 a.m. EST: Release of the DiverseCity Counts report “Leadership Diversity in the Nonprofit Sector: Baby Steps, Big Strides, and Bold Stances.”

Incendiary debate (Faust Kultur)
Ratna Omidvar, you received the Alfred-Grosser-Gastprofessur für Bürgergesellschaftsforschung (Alfred-Grosser guest lecture on research of civic social engagement) . You came from Toronto to Frankfurt in order to talk about your experiences concerning migration and integration. You know the German society very well; forty years ago you studied literature in Munich. In the meantime you lived in Iran; from there you had to flee to Canada, where you experienced personally, what it is like to be an immigrant. Now you come to Germany as a political advisor and well-respected expert on migration politics. Which attitude towards migration have you observed within the German society?

Mourning the loss of a tradition of transparency (Jennifer Nees, Canadian Lawyer)
In fact, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been making the rounds touting his massive immigration overhaul. Offices around the world are being shuttered to promote greater efficiency, applications are being rejigged in order to be able to be submitted online, and he has announced that major changes are coming with respect to Canadas federal worker system. On paper, it sounds great. At a recent speech at the Empire Club, Kenney spoke about the need to foster an immigration system [that] can fill significant labour shortages across the country and help us meet our economic needs more quickly and efficiently. Who doesnt want that type of system? The minister also addresses an issue I have long felt passionately about: the need to ensure new immigrants are not underemployed or unemployed. I couldnt agree more. Why bring a doctor to Canada to have her work at Wendys?

A taste of home (Chris Shannon, Cape Breton Post)
Most arrive as international students who feel a need to fit in, immerse themselves in North American culture, food and traditions, Amine, 24, said. But after a few months of sampling local cuisine, the craving for familiar food returns, including an atmosphere they find relaxing, he said. Amine, whos originally from Cairo, Egypt, is a graduate of Cape Breton University with a bachelor of business administration degree. With a concentration in marketing, he and two partners are preparing to open a restaurant and lounge on Townsend Street in Sydney. Called the Camel Lounge, it will offer food and drink native to the Middle East. Amine said its meant to be a comfortable atmosphere for Arab students who are new to Cape Breton, but miss parts of their life back home.

Norris’s new ‘immigration’ role (Murray Mandryk, Star Phoenix)
During his tenure as minister of advanced education, employment and immigration, Rob Norris encountered what could only be described as a bizarrely ironic request from a First Nations leader. The leader wondered if there is any way the province could provide an orientation program, similar to what it offers newly arrived immigrants, to First Nations people struggling with urban culture and finding work opportunities. Think about this for a moment. The request came from a representative of people whose ancestors were here thousands of years before European settlers arrived in Saskatchewan. Even more mind-boggling, however, is the fact that this sincere request would come nearly 150 years after the signing of the treaties.

Appeal mechanism needed for biometric visa plan due to imperfect system: report (Jim Bronskill, Winnipeg Free Press)
Saying no biometrics system is perfect, an internal report urges the federal government to create an avenue of appeal for visa applicants who are rejected because of a false fingerprint match. The Conservative government is moving toward using biometrics such as fingerprints, iris scans and other unique identifiers to vet all foreigners entering the country. As a first step, it soon plans to require applicants for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit to submit 10 electronic fingerprints and a photo before they arrive in Canada. The prints will be searched against RCMP databanks.

Minister, officials offer different stories of fake TV citizenship ceremony (Jennifer Ditchburn, Winnipeg Free Press)
Senior government officials insisted the Sun News Network was actively involved in the decision to have bureaucrats take the place of actual new Canadians during a televised citizenship ceremony last fall, newly released documents show. That stands in contrast to statements made by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s staff, who repeatedly said the network “did not know” the participants were merely stand-ins. The network had said its viewers were “deceived” by a bureaucrat. Six bureaucrats, three of them wearing departmental t-shirts, reaffirmed their oath of citizenship alongside three or four bona fide new Canadians during a televised ceremony last October.

Foundation reaches diverse communities (
Canada is becoming more diverse, and philanthropy must change accordingly in order to remain relevant, says the CEO of Community Foundations of Canada. “In Canada, philanthropy is in decline or flat-lining,” said Ian Bird. “But that’s about the changing face of Canada more than it is about the markets.” Bird was the keynote speaker at Community Foundation of Mississauga’s (CFM) annual general meeting held last Wednesday at the Mississauga Convention Centre. CFC oversees 181 community foundations across the country, including CFM. Foundations work with donors to create self-sustaining endowment funds. The income is then given in grants to agencies and organizations in the community. The changing demographics, says Bird, is nowhere more apparent than in Mississauga where over 51 per cent of the population are newcomers. To remain relevant, the Foundation must use grants to connect with them. Bird said he was pleased to see Punjabi Community Health Services on CFM’s grant list for last year.–foundation-reaches-diverse-communities

Canadian Immigration Lawyer Chantal Desloges Awarded Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (Digital Journal)
Canadian immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her service to both Canadian citizens and those looking to immigrate from around the world. Desloges is the Founder of Chantal Desloges Professional Corporation – a leading Canadian Immigration and Refugee Law Firm based in Toronto. “Being an immigration and refugee lawyer has never been just a job for me,” says Desloges in response to the award presented by Senator Don Meredith and Members of Parliament Brad Butt, Stella Ambler and Ted Opitz. “It is really an honor to be recognized for something that I have always been passionate about.”

Calgary Police Service pioneers in targeting honour violence (Clara Ho, Calgary Herald)
City police are leading the battle in Canada against the growing problem of so-called honour crimes. Over the past year, city officers have been taking training, attending presentations and meeting with social agencies to learn how to recognize honour-based violence, how to ask the right questions and how to suppress it, as the force deals with a growing number of incidents. The Calgary Police Service is believed to be one of the only forces in Canada to take these steps.

Imported gangs, guns, cited in Toronto shooting (Updated News)
The gunman chose a busy downtown Toronto shopping mall to carry out the 21st murder of the year in Canadas largest city. While the reckless shooting shocked a city that prides itself on its civility, visitors to the Eaton Centre mall on Monday insisted that Saturdays incident was most unCanadian, tied to foreign guns, immigrants and gangs. Its got to have been imported. The guns are imported from the United States and the violence is imported too, Jim Torrens, 82, a retired engineer, said at the Toronto mall, where a gunman killed one person and wounded six on Saturday, Guns are the problem and it is a U.S. problem.

Man facing return to China says he’s a victim of extortion (Betty Ann Adam, Star Phoenix)
Rick Woo was a 20-year-old foreign student the first time he smuggled $120,000 in American bills into Canada from China in a belt around his waist. A friend had assured him many people did the same thing all the time and the promise of a quick $6,000 made the task look easy with a sweet payoff. Once it was accomplished, however, Woo says he found his life hijacked by a never-ending debt to criminals who have held murderous threats over his head for 10 years. “I was a stupid kid. I was so naive,” Woo said in a recent interview. “I did not know it was organized crime.” Woo, 30, is in the Saskatoon jail awaiting removal from Canada for having overstayed his student visa, which expired in 2004.

MTS Allstream Signs Catalyst Accord (
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS Allstream) today joined Catalyst in its call to action for Canadian corporations to increase the overall proportion of board seats held by women. By signing the Catalyst Accord, MTS Allstream confirmed its long-standing practice of supporting and advancing successful women executives.


UN refugee agency launches Ottawa ad campaign (Lee Berthiaume,
Amid Conservative government efforts to change Canadas refugee laws, the UNs refugee agency has launched an advertising campaign in Ottawa to raise awareness about the life-and-death decisions facing potential asylum seekers. Throughout the month of June, buses in the capital will carry the image of a family huddling on the floor of their home while a conflict rages outside. The accompanying message asks commuters what they would do in such a situation: Stay and risk your lives in the conflict? Flee and risk kidnap, rape, torture or worse?

Immigration bills impact cause for concern (Canadian Jewish News)
If the governments proposed new immigration law passes, it might turn away legitimate asylum-seekers fleeing persecution, including Jews, immigration experts and community activists say. Bill C-31 titled Protecting Canadas Immigration System Act is being considered in the House of Commons, and its sponsor, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney, has said he wants the bill passed by June 29, before Parliament adjourns for the summer. Detractors such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Union and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, among others, say that provisions in C-31, including the proposed creation of a list of designated safe countries of origin, give too much power to ministers and dont give refugees enough time to establish their cases before Canadas Immigration Refugee Board (IRB). Janis Roth, executive director of Jewish Immigration Aid Services (JIAS) Toronto, said she has concerns with the proposed safe country designation and changes in the right to appeal process.

Gay refugees likely rejected if new Canadian bill passes (Nathaniel Christopher, Xtra!)
Refugees rights advocates say a law proposed by the Harper government will increase the likelihood that gay asylum seekers will be rejected, deported or imprisoned. C-31 is designed to make Canada quite an unattractive option for people seeking protection. And it certainly will make it very difficult for anyone, whether or not they have good grounds for protection, to have their claim fully and thoroughly assessed, says Lesley Stalker, a former legal officer for the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, who addressed a May 30 forum on the bill in Vancouver. Under the new process, claimants from designated “safe” countries of origin would face accelerated timelines and be denied the right to appeal a decision. Sharalyn Jordan, of the Rainbow Refugee Committee, decries the designated country provision as profoundly unsafe for queer refugee claimants.

Cuts to refugee health care a race to the bottom: Docs and CHCs (Canadian Association of Community Health Centres)
The federal government shouldnt be reducing access to health care for refugees, it should be increasing care for all Canadians, according to doctors and Community Health Centres across Canada. The federal governments vision of health care is a race to the bottom, in which all Canadians should expect less in terms of health care coverage, said Dr. Danielle Martin, chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Jason Kenney has fundamentally misunderstood this issue he should be worried that a quarter of Canadians dont have pharmaceutical coverage, not that a small number of refugees do have it.

Evaluation and Summary Report: Forum Human Trafficking and Migration (FCJ Refugee Centre)
The Forum on Human Trafficking and Migration: Building Community Response was organized by the FCJ Refugee Centre. The event was made possible with the financial support of the Department of Justice Canada and took part during the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 2012: Moving Forward. The forum was focused on internationally trafficked persons and barriers to services and protection for these populations. Approximately 150 participants mostly from Toronto and the GTA took part in the event.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Talking to seniors about Working Poverty (John Stapleton, Open Policy) – June 1
2. Austeritys Discontents (Trish Hennessy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – June 1
3. Black Out Speak Out June 4 : Silence is NOT an option
4. [Ontario] Advocacy Centre for the Elderly
5. Prince Edward Island : Social Action Plan to Reduce Poverty (Government of PEI) May 30
6. Tax Fairness Newsletter May 2012 (Canadians for Tax Fairness)
7. Dangling Participial Phrases : A Gratuitous Grammar Lesson
8. New Brunswick committee to study proposed Employment Insurance changes (iPolitics) – May 29
9. New federal All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus + Health Indicators 2012 (Canada Without Poverty) – May 29
10. Seven reasons why you should support a move to low tuition fees for higher education (BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – May 29
11. Income inequality, by the numbers (Huffington Post Canada) – May 28
12. Revised Ontario Budget 2012 Impact Analysis (Income Security Advocacy Centre) + NGO Commentary from Ottawa – May 2012
13. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Payroll employment, earnings and hours, March 2012 – May 31
— Public sector employment, first quarter 2012 – May 30
— 2011 Census: Age and sex – May 29
— Adult criminal court statistics, 2010/2011 – May 28
— Youth court statistics, 2010/2011 – May 28
— Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs, longitudinal data, 2005/2006 to 2010/2011 – May 28
— Food availability, 2011 – May 28
14. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Richest and poorest people in Toronto hospitalized for different reasons, researchers find (St. Michael’s Hospital)
Researchers who examined the income levels of patients at central Toronto hospitals found that people in the highest and lowest income brackets are being hospitalized for different reasons and that different hospitals serve different income groups. More wealthy patients received same-day surgeries than low-income patients. In contrast, more low-income patients were hospitalized for mental health issues, visited emergency departments for non-urgent issues and remained in acute care hospital beds while waiting to be transferred to more appropriate levels of care in the community such as nursing homes.

Action on Poverty in Victoria (Vibrant Canada)
May 31 saw the launch of a new Community Action Plan on Poverty in BC’s Capital Region. After many years of work with Vibrant Communities through the “Quality of Life Challenge”, the Community Social Planning Council has launched an Action Plan inclusive of all sectors in Greater Victoria, inclusive of 13 urban and rural municpalities, 11 First Nations, 3 school boards, over 250 community non profit organizations, thousands of locally owned businesses, social enterprises, and cooperatives, and 350,000 residents. The Action Plan took one year of intensive engagement to produce and has 10 key areas for action. People and organizations are being asked to endorse and pledge action in their own settings. A steering group, entitled “Doing It Better Together”, works on prioritized collaborative action, and an annual assembly reviews progress and sets priorities for the future. A key focus of current year priorities are community investment, support for youth social enterpreneurship, and building more people and community centered economic opportunities.


Thai workers flown in to staff Newfoundland fish plant (CBC)
In what is believed to be a first in Newfoundland and Labrador, foreign workers have been brought in to work at a fish plant in the province because of a shortage of available labour. About 20 Thai workers are now on the job at the Quinlan Brothers crab and shrimp processing facility in Bay de Verde. Gabe Gregory, a spokesman for Quinlans, says the hiring of temporary foreign workers followed a long and involved process. The fact is that the company has demand for labour, and wasnt able to fulfil it this past winter locally, and really is left with no other choice but to take these kind of avenues, Gregory told CBC News.

EI reforms could leave some companies without needed workers (Stephen Ewart, Calgary Herald)
The Harper governments proposed changes to Employment Insurance that compel people who have drawn EI three times in five years to take a job immediately available with as much as a 30 per cent pay cut, came up in a conversation I had with my brother on the weekend. This group makes up 17 per cent of EI claimants mainly in Atlantic Canada. The policy change prompted predictable debate from the right and the left.

Pythian One of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for Third Consecutive Year (Marketwatch)
The PROFIT 200 announcement complements Pythian’s ranking on the 2012 Branham300, the definitive listing of Canada’s multinational information and communications technology companies. Pythian also received the 2012 Employer Excellence Award for Retention and Engagement by Hire Immigrants Ottawa for its accomplishments in workplace diversity.


Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit, City Hall and Other News.

Moving People In A City (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Shawn Micallef. He is Senior Editor at SpacingToronto, and will be giving the opening talk at an exhibition looking at the lessons Toronto can learn from Berlin about liveable cities. It is called “Berlin on the Go”, and is presented by the Goethe Institute and Urbanspace Gallery, at 401 Richmond Street West.


Video: Charities and CRA, make the connection (Canada Revenue Agency)
Find out more about registered charities in Canada.

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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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