Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 24, 2012

Toronto Arts Council: State of the Art Diversity (Tina Edan, DiverseCity Toronto)
“We don’t need to worry about applying a diversity lens; it is easy to maintain standards of excellence when the people making decisions reflect the cultural producers and audience.” Claire Hopkinson. Art has an obligation to truth. By extension, arts organizations have an obligation to reality. The Toronto Arts Council (TAC) understands this well. When it began its diversity journey, the organization had not kept pace with the city’s reality as an increasingly diverse creative metropolis. Today, however, when it comes to demonstrating the value and impact of diversity in leadership, TAC is recognized across Canada as a frontrunner.
Does immigration reduce crime? (Aaron Wherry, Maclean’s)
Rachel Giese considers a possible connection between increased immigration and decreased crime.
When Multiculturalism Becomes a Threat (Sheryl Saperia, Huffington Post)
Canadians remain divided on whether multiculturalism is salutary or injurious to our country. Perhaps the answer can only be reached on a case-by-case basis, as we work through the constant tension between respecting the cultural distinctiveness of all members of society while demanding loyalty to the state and at least some degree of national unity and shared values. Five recent stories in the news may help to pinpoint the appropriate boundaries of multiculturalism, enabling us to signal to policy makers where we stand on the issue.
Deportation not the solution for Canada’s social ills (Jennifer Nees, Canadian Lawyer)
Introduced in June, bill C-43 is being touted as an effort to expedite the removal of foreign criminals from Canada. We all like the sound of that. It’s sound-bitey and plays well on television. Who’s going to say that they want foreign criminals to be in Canada? “Foreigners” who are in Canada and commit “dangerous” crimes should not be allowed to stay, right?
Unfortunately, the bill goes well beyond that. It classifies as a foreigner anyone who is not a Canadian citizen. It classifies a criminal as anyone who is convicted of a crime that has a sentence of at least six months. (Currently, these sort of deportation rules only apply to those convicted of sentences of at least two years.) Put these two rules together and there is room for considerably uneven results.
Report : Visa ban leads Canadian strip clubs to recruit at schools (Andrew Moran, Digital Journal)
Digital Journal reported earlier this month that Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley announced that businesses in the sex trade industry, such as strip clubs, escort agencies or massage parlours, will be prohibited from hiring foreign workers. In an interview at the time, head of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada (AEAC) Tim Lambrinos said the government was hurting an industry, providing a labour shortage and even forcing women to get into even further dangerous situations. A new report from QMI Agency suggests that strip clubs are now adapting to the ban and are initiating their six-point plan. Instead of recruiting workers from a foreign land, they are heading to local high schools, colleges and universities to attract young women to avoid a shortage of workers.
No One is Ilegal-TO: Toronto shootings, Migrant Deaths, CSIS in the dock (Justice for Migrant Workers)
Last week Toronto was shaken up by the shootings in Scarborough and the deaths of Shyanne Charles and Joshua Yasay. In the immediate aftermath and as the families were still in shock, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford took it upon himself to blame immigrants for the deaths, calling for the shooters to be deported. Though many commentators were quick to criticize Rob Ford, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney came out in support insisting that the shootings must be linked to immigration and calling for passing of Bill C-43, which among other provisions allows the immigration minister to take away any immigrants’ temporary status for an undefined “public policy” considerations.
Komagata Maru passengers remembered with Vancouver monument (Global TV)
Almost a full century after its 376 South Asian passengers were escorted out of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour, the Komagata Maru freighter — and its would-be immigrants — have been honoured with a monument acknowledging Canada’s past discrimination. Municipal, provincial and federal politicians attended the unveiling ceremony Monday afternoon, as well as members from the Khalsa Diwan Society, which runs Vancouver’s Ross Street Sikh temple and designed the federally funded monument in consultation with the park board.
Refugee health cuts exposed as a sham (Howard Elliott, Hamilton Spectator)
Anyone attending a recent health announcement news conference featuring federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq was treated to an unusual sight: Hamilton doctors crashed the event to protest cuts to refugee health care that began last month. It was a polite protest, to be sure, but it was a protest, nonetheless. Notwithstanding their current battle with the provincial government over compensation, physicians are not typically a rebellious lot. What is so important about this issue that they would protest across the country? And not only doctors. Eight national health professional associations representing all disciplines are condemning the change, as are all provincial health ministers and an array of health experts of all political stripes. Why are they so focused on refugee health-care cuts? Perhaps because the changes introduced by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney are, for the most part, based on untruths and mean-spirited ideology.–refugee-health-cuts-exposed-as-a-sham
Refugee unsure how he’ll pay for life-saving surgery (CBC)
A Colombian man with a serious stomach illness is scheduled for surgery to save his life on Tuesday. But he has no idea who’s going to pay for it. Alejandro Giron is one of thousands of refugee claimants whose health care benefits were cut off by Ottawa on Canada Day Giron thinks about his family as he sits in his hospital bed at Toronto General Hospital. He hasn’t seen his children since he fled Colombia more than five years ago. Doctors have him on morphine to dull a wincing pain in his midsection. They aren’t sure what’s making him so sick but without surgery his future is bleak.
Refugee Healthcare Cuts: Why Mobilization Matters and What You Can Do to Join in (Ritika Goel, Care2)
Since the cuts were announced, umpteen letters have been written to Kenney including two jointly signed by the major health professional organizations in Canada representing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, social workers and optometrists. On May 11, ninety doctors occupied an MP’s office in Toronto. Health providers across the country have been involved in public protests and disruptions of Conservative ministers‘ speeches. A former refugee too engaged in such a disruption and got arrested. A monitoring tool has been developed to keep track of the inevitable negative health impacts resulting from this policy. The Anglican Diocese in Manitoba are suing the federal government over costs borne to private sponsors of refugees. A campaign called the ‘We Refuse to Cooperate Campaign‘ has been launched for people to post up their photos showing their own reasons for denouncing the refugee health cuts. Another campaign has people sending in 59 cents to Stephen Harper to replace the supposed savings from these cuts. Countless interviews and media stunts have been done, articles written and op-eds published. It would appear that everyone agrees — these cuts are bad idea, yet Kenney has responded to this mobilization only by continually misleading people. He says that he is only cutting ‘gold-plated’ healthcare for ‘bogus refugees and illegal immigrants’. He has even put a petition on his own website thanking himself for these cuts leading to some embarrassing news coverage.
Order Respecting the Interim Federal Health Program, 2012 (CIC)
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration, hereby
repeals Order in Council P.C. 157-11/848 of June 20, 1957; and
makes the annexed Order Respecting the Interim Federal Health Program, 2012.
Pearson catering to limo drivers at travellers expense, ‘second-class’ drivers say (Sue-Ann Levy, Toronto Sun)
In fact, Gail Beck-Souter, general manager of Beck Taxi, confirmed this is happening throughout Toronto and that some of her drivers “feel unclean” taking dogs. This revelation so concerns Councillor Cesar Palacio he’s planning to investigate this as part of the review currently underway of Toronto’s taxi industry. The two limo drivers, both of whom take dogs, say it’s no wonder clients with dogs are being turned away — they too feel they are being treated like second-class citizens by the airport authority. “The GTAA caters to its licensed cars at the airport,” one told me over coffee, asking that I not use his name. “The majority of them are Middle Eastern.” The driver, who’s been in the business for 30-odd years, calls the GTAA policy that if drivers take a dog they have to conduct a “full cleaning” of their vehicles, a “bunch of baloney. “When I started driving I was told I could not refuse a fare unless I felt threatened,” he said. “They have clout … strength in numbers.”
Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. New from British Columbia:
— The case for exempting child support from welfare (BC Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – July 20
— Lose Weight at the BC Welfare Rate (BC Raise the Rates Coalition) – July 18
— A tale of two provinces [BC & NL] : a case for action against poverty (Citizens for Public Justice) – July 18
2. [Ontario] CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) website redesigned!
3. Latest Media and Policy News: 17 July 2012 (Income Security Advocacy Centre – Toronto)
4. Economic Bulletin No. 9 – July 15
5. Rich-poor gap is making Canadians sick (Toronto Star) – July 15
6. Canada’s Mean Test: Myths behind neo-con madness (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – June 29
7. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Consumer Price Index, June 2012 – July 20
— Employment Insurance, May 2012 – July 19
— Health Reports, July 2012 – July 18
——- Informal caregiving for seniors
——- Area-based methods to calculate hospitalization rates for the foreign-born population in Canada, 2005/2006
——- Mortality rates among children and teenagers living in Inuit Nunangat, 1994 to 2008
— General Social Survey on Families, 2011 – July 18
— Residential care facilities, 2010/2011 – July 17
8. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Poverty and inequality the triggers to more gunplay (Warren Kinsella, Toronto Sun)
Whenever a lot of people get murdered by people carrying guns – as they have, recently, in Toronto and Denver – other people ask: “How did this happen? Why do these things keep happening?” With the greatest of respect, those are unintelligent questions. One does not need to be a police officer, or a scientist, to know that (a) crazy and/or stupid people exist and (b) if you make it easier for crazy and/or stupid people to get guns, they will use them on innocent people. There are other factors at work, of course. But those are the big ones. If you don’t get that, you need more help that a newspaper opinion column can provide.
Immigrants face steep climb to success (Kagan Mcleod, Financial Post)
Textbook economics suggests immigration should lift productivity. After all, new immigrants open up trade opportunities; they diversify the engines of economic growth; they offer new and different perspectives on business; and they inherently take risks in hope of greater gains — a key ingredient of innovation. Yet the results have been quite different. A recent study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found immigration has no impact on overall productivity. In Canada, it appears immigration is, in fact, working to reduce productivity given the chronic underemployment of immigrants in the country. According to some estimates, 20% of the increase in the U.S.-Canada productivity gap over the past decade can be attributed to immigration.
Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Gun Violence and Other News.
Cities of tomorrow should look more like provinces of today (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
Alan Broadbent, Maytree’s Chair, recently presented at the Vancouver Urban Forum. Video and a text summary of his presentation are available below. “Cities have been left with constitutional arrangements, with insufficient powers, with little fiscal resilience, and with weak governance structures… They rely on the kindness of strangers. But very often these strangers, which very often are the other two levels of government, the provinces and the federal government, have different agendas and they have different priorities and they have different pressures. And this really leaves cities in the state that they have no real control over their destinies… The new deal for cities has to not be about handouts, but about taking some control of our destiny and some responsibility for it… If not, Canada will continue to pay a high price for having governmental arrangements that are so comprehensively out of step with our future challenges.”
3 Things for Calgary (Mayor’s Civic Engagement Committee)
3 Things for Calgary asks all Calgarians to:
Think about 3 Things you can do to make Calgary better. These things could be for your street, your neighbourhood or for the entire city.
Do those 3 Things.
Encourage 3 more people to do the same.
The Innovation City – A RIC Centre Experience (Mobolade Ekujumi, RIC Centre)
“We are living through the greatest wave of urbanization in history. Our cities – as epicenters for human and financial capital – are key to defining the century ahead. The decisions and partnerships we make today – to build advanced infrastructure, digital networks, research universities, livable neighbourhoods and cultural institutions – are critical to shaping this urban century.” These were the opening remarks from CEO of MaRS Discovery District, Dr Ilse Treurnicht at The Innovation City; a 2 day gathering of business and government in Toronto on July 18th and 19th 2012. The Innovation City is an event designed and created by CityAge Media organized in partnership with the MaRS Discovery District. The purpose is to create a platform for dialogue, designed to amplify new ideas in business, government and society, and to develop the partnerships between businesses, decision makers and thought leaders who are building our 21st-Century’s urban future.
Social Finance Round Up: In Vaughan, A Social Economy Program Launches 14 New Businesses (Mathu Jeyaloganathan, produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the week of July 23, 2012.
The following two tabs change content below.


Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Leave a Reply

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

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

RT @eGlobalLearning: Why Nonexperts Are Better at Disruptive #Innovation #Diversity #Inclusion #HR #Leadership MT @beachedmiami: Interesting story: cyclists use...