Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 10, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

Courting the Ethnic Vote Not Their Cause (Denis Sabourin, Cornwall Free News)
The idea of an “ethnic vote” is one most people are pretty familiar with these days. Certainly, the ruling Conservatives made most Canadians aware of the idea when an internal memo from that party was leaked with a list of “very ethnic” ridings for the party to target in the 2011 federal election with the hopes of securing a majority government. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is jokingly referred to as the Minister for “Curry in a Hurry” for his role in reaching out to immigrant populations and making the connections between their values and those of the Conservative party clear and courting votes which traditionally went to the Liberal party.
http://cornwallfreenews.com/2012/07/courting-the-ethnic-vote-not-their-cause-editorial-by-denis-sabourin-july-10-2012/

Even July 18 – Launch: Making Ontario Home 2012 (Settlement AtWork)
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) cordially invites you to join us in the launch of Making Ontario Home 2012. The Making Ontario Home survey is the first province-wide study of its kind in Ontario focused on immigrant and refugee use of settlement and integration services.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_event_/95849

Is Canada’s Multiculturalism Day A Superficial Display? (Carven Li, Schema Magazine)
On June 27, it was the 10th annual Multiculturalism Day in Canada. I was unaware it happened at all. Online, I can only find Jason Kenney, our current Minister of Citizenship, issuing a brief statement and a short video of Charles Sousa, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, both in acknowledgement of the Day. I did not find any news coverage of Prime Minister Stephen Harper doing anything to recognize the Day at all. I wonder what the honorary Kainai Chief Speaker did that day to commemorate what his government had done in 2008 to earn him the Kainai Chieftanship, which was Harper’s delivery of an official apology in June 2008 for Canada’s residential school system, on behalf of Canada. The residential school system is, indeed, “aggressive assimilation,” as said in Harper’s apology, an unforgettable injustice committed to Indigenous communities and is the antithesis of what is now Canadian multiculturalism.
http://www.schemamag.ca/archive2/2012/07/is_canadas_multiculturalism_da.php

Slowing Chinese economy poses real threat to Metro housing market: Conference Board (Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun)
A new commentary by the Conference Board of Canada is reigniting a debate over just how much influence China’s economy has over Metro Vancouver’s housing market. Robin Wiebe, a senior economist with the Centre for Municipal Studies in Ottawa, offers the assessment in a column published by the Conference Board, warning that expectations of a slowing Chinese economy “could be considered as big a drag on the Vancouver housing market going forward as anything else, including the city’s notoriously poor affordability.” Wiebe’s view is that Vancouver’s housing market has historically followed Chinese growth, with the accelerating Chinese economy over the past decade accompanied by surging Vancouver price increases.
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Slowing+Chinese+economy+poses+real+threat+Metro+Vancouver+housing+market+Conference+Board/6907778/story.html

Increasing Diversity in Legal Profession (250 News)
The Law Society of B.C., which regulates the legal profession in British Columbia, has produced a report aimed at encouraging law firms in the province to increase their ethnic diversity. The report “Towards a More Diverse Legal Profession: Better practices, better workplaces, better results” points out that in B.C., Aboriginal peoples represent only 1.5% of the legal profession, yet they represent 4.6% of the total population in the province. The report also details how the proportion of Aboriginal lawyers did not change between 1996 and 2006. There is also disparity between the percentage of the population which is considered a “visible minority”, (particularly in the lower mainland) and the percentage of visible minority lawyers in that region. Statistics Canada data indicates, visible minority lawyers represented 18% of all Vancouver lawyers in 2006, while the overall visible minority population that same year was 42%. By 2031, that overall visible minority population is projected to reach 59%.
http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/24975/3/increasing+diversity+in+legal+profession

B.C. legal profession far behind other fields on diversity (Glenn Kauth, Canadian Lawyer)
British Columbia’s legal profession falls behind doctors, engineers, and other high-level career fields when it comes to diversity, a new report from the Law Society of British Columbia shows. In fact, about 14 per cent of the province’s lawyers were from visible minority groups in 2006, a number that falls far short of doctors at 26.1 per cent, engineers at 30.2 per cent, and high-level managers at 20.2 per cent. For university professors, 17.2 per cent were from visible minority groups. The numbers for lawyers compare to the overall representation of visible minorities in B.C.’s population at 25.3 per cent. For aboriginals, the gap is even starker. The report pegs their numbers at 1.5 per cent of lawyers versus their overall representation in B.C.’s population at 4.6 per cent. “We believe that we can do better and we need to do better,” said law society president Bruce LaRose in announcing the report. “A more diverse legal profession is better for clients, better for firms, and better for lawyers.”
http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/947/B.C.-legal-profession-far-behind-other-fields-on-diversity.html

Isabel Cisterna among top 25 Canadian immigrants (The Record)
Growing up in the small city of Copiapo, Chile, in the centre of the driest desert in the world, Isabel Cisterna thought that was it for her. However, her feet found fertile ground in Ontario as a young woman in 1991, working a collection of odd jobs in Toronto before settling in Waterloo Region where she found her voice in the arts. She has brought up two children and founded the vibrant community arts and culture organization, Neruda Productions in 2001.
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/757676–isabel-cisterna-among-top-25-canadian-immigrants

Petition to Support Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act (Jason Kenney)
Convicted foreign criminals and fraudsters should not be able to rely on endless appeals as a loophole in order to delay their deportation from Canada, during which time they continue to endanger Canadian families. And Parliament has a commitment to the safety and security of Canadians, as well as a commitment to upholding the security and integrity of our immigration system. I agree that Parliament should pass Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, as quickly as possible to make it easier for the Government to deport foreign criminals from our country. I think the Government should put the rights of victims ahead of the rights of foreign criminals.
http://www.jasonkenney.ca/news/petition-to-support-faster-removal-of-foreign-criminals-act/

Check Out ‘births, Deaths, Arrivals’ In The Star, Section Gt7 & Gt8 (Arrivals.ca))
The first Arrivals notices have been printed in the Toronto Star.
http://arrivals.ca/2012/07/10/check-out-births-deaths-arrivals-in-the-star-section-gt7-gt8/

Toronto Somali community looks for answers to end violence (Kim Mackrael, Globe and Mail)
Members of Toronto’s Somali community are holding a series of meetings this month to discuss the challenges their youth are facing in the city and how best to keep their young men safe. The meetings come as the community grapples with the shooting deaths of three young Somali-Canadian men in less than five weeks.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-somali-community-looks-for-answers-to-end-violence/article4401859/?cmpid=rss1

REFUGEE HEALTH CUTS

Cuts will hinder refugee sponsorship, church warns (Marites N. Sison, Anglican Journal)
Federal cuts to refugee healthcare will deter church groups from sponsoring refugees, most of whom have significant medical needs, Anglican Church of Canada officials have warned. “Clearly, it would cut down on the number of refugees that we are able to accept because church groups these days just don’t have the resources to pay [for medical
care],” said Rupert’s Land bishop Don Phillips, whose diocese has been among the leading sponsor of refugees. [See related story ] Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Adele Finney, executive director of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), have sent a letter to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Minister Jason Kenney expressing “deep concern” about the cuts to the Interim Federal Health program (IFHP). The letter, dated May 30, noted that the “added financial burden” of medical costs that private sponsors will have to shoulder under the new rules comes at a time when the CIC is reducing its government-sponsored refugees target by 1,000 and shifting them to private sponsors under the new visa-office referred (VOR) cases.
http://www.anglicanjournal.com/nc/other/news-items/c/sliders/article/cuts-will-hinder-refugee-sponsorship-church-warns-10947//abp/141.html

Healthcare cuts hurt many refugees, says NGO (Marites N. Sison, Anglican Journal)
A church-backed NGO that sponsors refugees said that while the federal government has back-pedaled on the issue of healthcare cuts for some refugees, it still doesn’t resolve the issue for many others, including those privately sponsored by parishes and churches. On the eve of the cut’s implementation on June 30, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) amended information on its website so that exemptions would be made for government-sponsored refugees and privately sponsored refugees who receive federal financial assistance. Tom Denton, executive director of the Winnipeg-based Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, said this would only apply to privately sponsored refugees under the new visa-office referred program that CIC announced in April and not ones already in Canada. Even then, Denton said it is unclear how long such healthcare benefits would remain under this program, which provides federal financial assistance for the first six months of a refugee’s arrival, with the sponsors guaranteeing the next six.
http://www.anglicanjournal.com/nc/other/news-items/c/sliders/article/healthcare-cuts-hurt-many-refugees-says-ngo-10940//abp/141.html

Dissenting doctors do Canada proud (Jeremy Klaszus, Calgary Herald)
It would have been easy to just keep quiet. When the federal government announced cuts to refugee health care in April, it seemed like a done deal. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney indicated that starting this month, the government would no longer pay for supplemental health services such as prescription drugs, dentistry and eye care for refugees. This was framed in terms of fairness: most Canadians don’t get government coverage for such things, so why should outsiders? That’s not right! “We do not want to ask Canadians to pay for benefits for protected persons and refugee claimants that are more generous than what they are entitled to themselves,” Kenney said in a news release at the time. This, he suggested, would save money and protect Canadian taxpayers from being exploited. Doctors were having none of it. Kenney’s announcement triggered an incredible flourish of dissent. A coalition of care provider groups – including the Canadian Medical Association, dentists and social workers – protested the cuts in an open letter, warning Kenney that the changes would hurt some of the most vulnerable people in the country. The consequences could be “catastrophic,” they warned. Protests erupted across the country.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Dissenting+doctors+Canada+proud/6903408/story.html

Jason Kenney Petition: Immigration Minister Asks For Thanks On Own Website (Huffington Post)
Jason Kenney wants you to thank Jason Kenney. A petition on the immigration minister’s website asks Canadians to thank Kenney for his work to “streamline benefits afforded to refugee claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by tax-paying Canadians, including new Canadians.” “We don’t think that smuggled migrants and bogus asylum claimants should be getting better health care benefits than Canadian seniors and taxpayers.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mobileweb/2012/07/09/jason-kenney-petition-refugees-immigration_n_1659899.html

Jason Kenney: Thank Me For Cutting Refugee Health Benefits (Obert Madondo, Canadian Progressive World)
Canada’s federal immigration minister is way out of line here. The Calgary South East MP has posted a petition on his website – jasonkenney.ca – asking Canadians to thank him for a job well done. The petition’s exact words: “We, the undersigned, thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by tax-paying Canadians, including new Canadians.”
http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2012/07/09/jason-kenney-thank-me-for-cutting-refugee-health-benefits/

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney asks Canadians to thank him for cuts to refugee health benefits (National Post)
Canadians who wants to sign a petition showing their support for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s decision to reduce medical benefits for refugees can do so online — on Jason Kenney’s own website. “We, the undersigned, thank Jason Kenney for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees [sic] claimants under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) and bring them in line with the benefits received by tax-paying Canadians, including new Canadians,” [external] says the petition posted on www.jasonkenney.ca.
http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/09/immigration-minister-jason-kenney-asks-canadians-to-thank-him-for-cuts-to-refugee-health-benefits

SATIRE: Petition to thank Canadians for thanking Jason Kenney in his petition to thank Jason Kenney
Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney has recently undertaken a brave and long-overdue initiative to petition to thank himself for his efforts to streamline benefits afforded to refugees under the Interim Federal Health Program. As Canadians, it is our duty to ensure that all acts of humble self-recognition are rewarded with new acts of humble self-recognition. As such We, the undersigned, wish to thank We, the undersigned, for thanking Jason Kenney in his petition to thank Jason Kenney.
http://www.petitiononlinecanada.com/petition/petition-to-thank-canadians-for-thanking-jason-kenney-in-his-petition-to-thank-jason-kenney/1029

Wiesel, Jewish leaders rap changes to Canada’s refugee policy (CJ News)
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel joined a growing list of Jewish leaders who are calling on Canada to reverse changes to legislation that denies health care to refugee claimants. In a letter released last week to the Globe and Mail, Wiesel said he supports the Toronto Board of Rabbis, which has called on Canada’s federal government to abandon the changes, which end most health benefits to certain refugees. “As a former refugee, together with the Toronto Board of Rabbis, I feel morally compelled to remain on the side of other uprooted men and women everywhere,” Wiesel wrote. “Today, as yesterday, a nation is judged by its attitude towards refugees.
http://www.cjnews.com/node/90913

REFUGEES

Refugees suffer mental health problems under new Canadian detention rules (Toronto Star)
Refugee claimants who undergo mandatory detention under a set of controversial new immigration rules are more likely to suffer mental health problems, says a clinical psychology expert. In a commentary published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Monday, Janet Cleveland says refugee claimants are likely to develop new or aggravate existing mental health issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or self-harm the longer they’re in a detention centre. “These are people who have suffered severe trauma, high levels of (post-traumatic stress disorder), high levels of depression and on top of that, you put them in prison,” said Cleveland, a McGill researcher who focuses on the psychological health of asylum seekers and who co-wrote the commentary.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1223572–refugees-suffer-mental-health-problems-under-new-canadian-detention-rules

Detaining refugees can cause harm (Chronicle Herald)
Doctors are sounding more alarms about changes to Canada’s refugee system. An opinion piece in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says a new law could pose a serious danger to the mental health of refugees. Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, includes provisions that allow the immediate detention of refugee claimants designated as part of irregular arrivals. All those over the age of 16 will be held for a minimum of two weeks before their detention is reviewed, while those under 16 can be informally detained with their parents or released to child care authorities.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/115465-detaining-refugees-can-cause-harm

Strict detention policies pose risk to mental health of refugees, doctors say (Stephanie Levitz, Winnipeg Free Press)
Doctors are sounding more alarms about changes to Canada’s refugee system. An opinion piece in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says a new law could pose a serious danger to the mental health of refugees. Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, includes provisions that allow the immediate detention of refugee claimants designated as part of irregular arrivals. All those over the age of 16 will be held for a minimum of two weeks before their detention is reviewed, while those under 16 can be informally detained with their parents or released to child care authorities.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/strict-detention-policies-pose-risk-to-mental-health-of-refugees-doctors-say-161798155.html

Refugees’ mental health at risk from detentions: docs (CTV)
The recent overhaul of Canada’s refugee system, specifically the revamped detention policies, may have “a serious negative impact on the mental health of refugees,” warns a commentary published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Bill C-31, which overhauls Canada’s immigration and refugee system and became law late last month, immediately drew the ire of legal experts and the opposition. The criticism led Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to introduce some amendments, including shorter detention periods for large groups of asylum seekers. In their commentary, released Monday, Drs. Janet Cleveland and Cecile Rousseau decry the detention of designated refugee claimants in high-security facilities until their claim is resolved. They also criticize the five-year waiting period before these refugees can be reunited with their families once they are deemed a bona fide refugee.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/detention-policies-threaten-refugees-health-docs-1.871641

Human smuggling difficult to catch in Canada (Tarish Bhatt, Live Punjab)
Immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, said that we cannot stop people from migrating into Canada. Interestingly, he added that it is unusual for the smugglers to get caught and arrested on Canadian soil. According to an estimate about 40,000 people enter Canada illegally every year and on an average only four convictions happen every year, which is quite low. However, despite the large chunk illegal migrants Canada is doing a good work in managing this problem, which are far better than some of the leading nations of the world. However, Canadian immigration department is putting plenty of efforts in catching the illegal people. Canada Border Services announced that the latest case filed against the human smuggler resulted in a four year sentence to him.
http://www.livepunjab.com/node/20785

From Hong Kong to Canada: inside a human smuggling plot (Globe and Mail)
In the last four years, 117 Chinese travellers claimed refugee status after landing at Vancouver International Airport, while another 228 Chinese travellers did the same at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Furthermore, the Canada Border Service Agency says that during that same period, another 1,452 Chinese citizens were denied entry at various border points and voluntarily returned to their original destinations. Hong Kong officials acknowledge that the territory’s status as a transport hub makes it an attractive springboard for human smugglers.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/from-hong-kong-to-canada-inside-a-human-smuggling-plot/article4399137/

Certificate in Refugee and Forced Migration Issues (York U)
This non-degree certificate program will consist of three 38-hour courses for a total of 114 hours. The overall goal of the program is to improve the settlement experiences of refugees by strengthening the programs and services that assist them. Participants will build on their own professional experiences. They will better understand: national and international legal and immigration policies and their rationale, the experiences of refugees from diverse backgrounds, and be able to recognize and address the psychosocial needs of their clients. Pedagogy: The Program will be offered online via Moodle. It will consist of a combination of readings, power point presentations with synched media-site live video presentation of the instructor. In order to ensure/encourage interaction, on-line discussions will be used to enhance feedback between instructor and students.
http://dce.yorku.ca/SubCgyPgmCrs.aspx?CgyID=3&SubCgyID=12

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Poverty-reduction plan boasts 79 points (Vancouver Sun)
For Larry Leslie, a book of bus tickets is a big chunk out of the $155 he has left to live on once he’s paid rent for his bachelor apartment in a Surrey supportive housing facility. “It’s hard for me, the $20 I have to pay every time I buy a book of bus tickets,” said the 52-year-old former addict who spent nine years on the street before moving in to the Timber Grove apartments in March. And he said discounted fares for social assistance recipients — one of 79 recommendation in a poverty-reduction plan announced by Surrey officials Monday — would be a big help.
http://www.vancouversun.com/Poverty+reduction+plan+boasts+points/6908140/story.html

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Thousands of jobs available to new immigrants in Canada (Cecile Docto, ABS-CBNNews)
Unemployment numbers may be the same, but employment counselors believe there are a lot of jobs available for new immigrants. About 214,000 new jobs were created in the past year, mostly in the manufacturing and construction industries. Statistics Canada reported more than half of this number was generated just in March and April this year. The demands are high in the trades, information technology, healthcare and retail sectors. Employment counselor Mary Tecson of the Immigration Services Society of BC said construction is booming in British Columbia while the oil is a big industry in Alberta. But not many Filipinos are interested.
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/07/10/12/thousands-jobs-available-new-immigrants-canada

Brochure: Valuing Newcomers: A Guide to Licensure for International Engineering Graduates (PDF) (Settlement AtWork)
New brochure from Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) for newcomers seeking licensure as a professional engineer in Ontario.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95857

Overqualified recent immigrants three times as likely to be injured at work (Eureka Alert)
Men who are recent immigrants and over qualified for their jobs are more than three times as likely to sustain an injury at work as their appropriately qualified peers who have been in the country for some time, suggests Canadian research published online in Injury Prevention. In Canada, in 2008, one in four employees between the ages of 25 and 54 was overqualified for the job they were doing, figures indicate. The researchers drew on almost 63,500 responses to the representative household Canadian Community Health Surveys of 2003 and 2005 to look at the relationship between being overqualified for a job and the risk of sustaining an injury at work.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-07/bmj-ori070612.php

June 2012 Labour Force Update (TIEDI)
This monthly report provides up-to-date labour market data on immigrants, relying on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The report includes labour market data for the Toronto CMA and Canada as a whole.
http://www.yorku.ca/tiedi/labourforce.html

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, OneCity, TTC, Street Art and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/07/10/tuesdays-headlines-259/

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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.

One Response to “Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 10, 2012”

  1. G HUBBARD says:

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