Immigration & Diversity news headlines – July 25, 2012


Five tips for reaching newcomers through sports (Louroz Mercader, DiverseCity Toronto)
On June 19, 2012, Mississauga Youth Games (MY Games) was invited to present at the Sport 4 Development annual gathering in Montebello, Quebec. This was an exciting opportunity to share best practices with senior sport and government officials from across the country on how to engage diverse communities through the power of sports. MY Games has successfully used the following five playbook tips to reach newcomers.

Navigating system is tough for newcomers (Hamilton Spectator)
Newcomers to Ontario say their biggest settlement challenges are finding a job and not being proficient in English, according to a new report released this week. The Ontario Council of Agencies Service Immigrants (OCASI)’s Making Ontario Home study revealed the highest concern for survey respondents was employment with about 62 per cent identifying it as a challenge. Barriers because of limited English language skills were the second-highest concern, with about 33 per cent of newcomers indicating it poses a difficulty for integration. The OCASI study, which was released Wednesday, ranked social isolation and housing as the third- and fourth-largest challenges for people new to Ontario–newcomers-most-concerned-about-jobs-english-report

Canadian dream out of reach (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
When Elizabeth Andrea came to Canada as a refugee from South Sudan with her husband and five kids in 1998, she expected a chance at a better life — and worked two jobs to get it. But with little education and no time for English classes, her hard work didn’t pay off. She was stressed out, her children struggled, one of her sons got in trouble, and then she got laid off. The irony wasn’t lost on her. “We came for the future of our children and a better life in Canada.” Andrea took part in a study looking at the potential consequences of success or failure for newcomers from Africa, which was released Tuesday.

Report: Integration and Settlement: The experiences and expectations of African immigrants and refugees – PDF

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.

OECD Economic Surveys CANADA – PDF:

TIFF trumpets diversity (Cassandra Szklarski, Times Colonist)
This year’s Toronto International Film Festival will open with the Bruce Willis time-travelling thriller Looper and showcase projects starring A-listers Ben Affleck, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hanks, Rachel McAdams, Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Redford. Organizers revealed the gala and special presentations at a press conference Tuesday and also touted the world première of Deepa Mehta’s sweeping Salman Rushdie adaptation, Midnight’s Children. The fest’s artistic director Cameron Bailey calls the mix of films “one of the most international and diverse” they’ve ever had.

Komagata Maru remembered (Mike Hager, Vancouver Sun)
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.

New immigration reforms to improve labour shortage problem (Bonnyville Nouvelle)
Federal Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney, hopes labour shortages in the Bonnyville Cold Lake region may start to improve thanks to recent changes to Canada’s immigration system and temporary foreign worker program. The ever-expanding oil and gas industry in the area is growing at a rate where job opportunities are arising faster than employers can fill them.

Muslims! In Toronto! Doing things! The Sun has the exclusive story (John Michael Mcgrath, OpenFile)
A little over a week ago, the Toronto Sun started what’s turned out to be a string of stories worrying about what a Muslim-Canadian somewhere, anywhere might be doing. First was the report that a devout religious conservative wishes women would dress more modestly, and holds some other deeply retrograde views about women’s rights. This was, quite literally, front-page news for the Sun. Next, columnist Sue-Ann Levy has written a two-part series about how limo drivers at Pearson Airport won’t take passengers who want to bring dogs with them. An annoyance to be sure, but the assertion here is it happens because the drivers are Muslim. And today the Sun puts a “Special Report” on its front page: hypothetically, a young person could buy alcohol illegally if they were willing to wear a full-body niqab or burqa!

Chris Selley: The LCBO and burkas getting a message in a bottle (Chris Selley, National Post)
The Canadian Twitterverse spent some of Tuesday morning hooting and sneering at the Toronto Sun for its latest front-page exposé: Under the guidance of Sun News television personality David The Menzoid Menzies, a 14-year-old boy wearing a burka and face veil successfully purchased Sambuca at three LCBO locations Ontarios government-run liquor shops without being asked his age or for ID. Mostly, the Twitter complaints broke down into two camps: One, that it amounted to Muslim-bashing; and two, that the whole thing was silly. I cannot defend it against the latter charge. But I thought it was actually an interesting and worthwhile stunt just not for the same reasons as the Sun. Using the LCBO stunt as a jumping off point, the Suns stable of online commenters had a mighty go at uppity Muslim immigrants who ostensibly want Canadian society to bend to their whims. And that made no sense at all, since no Muslims had anything to do with the story.

Sun News (Canada) really is Fox News North (Democratic Underground)
This is idiotic stunt “journalism” at its finest: Three liquor stores recently sold booze to a 14-year-old boy whose identity was hidden because he was wearing a full-length burka and face veil at the time, a Sun News Network exclusive has found. (snip) The stunt was co-ordinated and video recorded by Sun News Network host David Menzies, who has made a career out of lambasting Canada’s politically correct institutions. (snip) Menzies, long a critic of the LCBO’s “monopoly” over liquor sales in the province, attempted to meet with liquor board officials early Monday morning to ask why they were not enforcing their own policy but was sent an e-mail from Layton stating that stores “comply with the requirements of the Liquor License Act,” and that they were not interested in discussing the matter on camera.
The article goes on the say that Oregon and Alabama have legal penalties for selling alcohol to minors, therefore privatize the LCBO.

Ban public burkas: former Muslim Canadian leader (Victoria Ptashnick, Winnipeg Sun)
A former Muslim Canadian Congress president is angry a 14-year-old clad in a burka was filmed buying booze in three LCBO stores without being asked to provide identification or show their face. This is evidence that the burka is crime-enabling garb. Its being used to break the law, Farzana Hassan said Tuesday. Hassan said Muslim women, particularly, have politicized the issue and says she knows of circumstances where women have refused to show their face on principle. Now criminal aspects in society are taking advantage of this, she said.

Khadr confident of Canada’s religious freedom in interview Toews wants to see (Colin Perkel, Times Colonist)
Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr said he foresaw no problem living as a devout Muslim in Canada even though most Canadians hold different religious views, according to parts of an interview the government is now demanding to access in its entirety. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has requested that the U.S. turn over the sealed eight-hour video of the interview with Dr. Michael Welner, whose damning testimony helped prompt a military commission jury to sentence Khadr to 40 years. However, partial transcripts offer some insight into the forensic psychiatrist’s approach and into how Khadr, now 25, envisaged life on his return to Canada. “What do you think it would be like for you, as a devout Muslim, living in Canada?” Welner asks in the interview that took place over two days in June 2010. “I’d practise my religion, and everybody can practise his own religion,” Khadr answers.

Pakistan adoption in limbo for Ottawa family (CBC)
An Ottawa woman waiting for her husband and her adopted son to be able to leave Pakistan and come to Canada says she is frustrated by a lack of communication from immigration officials. Lisa Paterick and her husband Malik Shafi adopted a baby, whom they named Adam, from Pakistan after he was born in early February.


MDs, nurses compelled to protest (Hamilton Spectator)
For several months, health care workers across Canada have been protesting recent cuts made by the Canadian government to the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program. As a group of physicians, nurses and students involved in these protests, we attended a recent funding announcement at our own institution, McMaster University, to question the federal minister of health about her stance on these cuts. (Doctors crash event to protest refugee cuts, July 20) The details of the IFH cuts have been well publicized but in many cases poorly understood. The IFH program has been in place since 1957 and was designed to provide refugees in Canada with temporary health care coverage while awaiting adjudication of their claim, at which point successful applicants would qualify for provincial health care coverage.–mds-nurses-compelled-to-protest

Canada a refuge for Egyptian Christians: Officials (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
Christians in Egypt will increasingly see Canada as their chance to escape from a country whose president belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, immigration officials warn. “The (permanent resident application) volume continues to trend upwards and the number of applications submitted may accelerate, given the election of a new, Islamic government in Egypt,” a Canadian immigration program officer said in documents obtained by immigration lawyer Richard Kurland through Access to Information requests. Other Egyptians will seek a shorter stint in Canada through a temporary resident visa (TRV).


Premiers must remember poverty affects all Canadians (Laurel Rothman, Stella Lord, Chronicle Herald)
When the premiers annual meeting convenes today in Halifax, there are three compelling reasons why they should deal seriously with the poverty and inequality which increasingly touch the lives of all Canadians. Across Canada, 4.3 million people, including 979,000 children and their families, live in poverty (Statistics Canada, 2010 Incomes in Canada, LIMAT). Thats about one in eight (13 per cent) people who are living in dire straits in our wealthy land.

Roof over our heads: Our follow-up forum on housing zooms in on government money & coordination (Peter Macleod, Yonge Street)
You can’t walk a block in downtown Toronto without coming across a new condo development. And the price of houses in Toronto continues to rise. It seems that every day there’s a news story about another outrageous bidding war for a property. The housing bubble that stubbornly refuses to burst is obviously making some people very happy. But when it comes to affordable housing, it’s a very different story. According to the Vital Signs report released last year by the Toronto Community Foundation, the Toronto region is one of the most unaffordable markets in the world, ranking as the 75th least affordable among 325 markets surveyed across the globe. Following our June 21 speakers series event on affordable housing, Yonge Street partnered with the Toronto Community Foundation to host an intensive follow-up for citizens and leaders who wanted to go deeper. , who moderated the first panel, guided the discussion last week. Attendees included include everybody from those working in the field of affordable housing to city and provincial employees to university students to interested members of the general public. A good starting point: What qualifies as affordable housing and what is the scope of the problem?

Strength comes from within (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
Can Danzig Street take care of itself? I think it has no choice. No police force, no agency and no landlord not even a social housing landlord can substitute for the dense network of moms and dads, aunties and grand-dads, brothers and sisters, friends, teachers, librarians, pastors and shop owners that keep a neighbourhood safe. But I do believe there are things Toronto Community Housing can do and has done to help residents help themselves. Heres a sampling: Jobs for youth. If the best social program is a job then TCHC deserves a gold star.


Diversity at Work HR Toolkit (HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector)
Most organizations aspire to be inclusive workplaces that embrace diversity, value difference and support the full participation of all employees. While many organizations realize the importance and value of diversity at work, some are unsure as to how to turn their good intentions into the policies, plans and practices needed to build and sustain a dynamic and inclusive workplace.

Changes to Employment Insurance (EI) will disproportionately affect young, urban and immigrant workers, according to Mowat policy brief (Bonnie Mah, Maytree)
Much of the discussion around the recent and proposed changes Employment Insurance (EI) has centred on the effects it will have on seasonal workers in the Atlantic provinces. However, the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation argues that the changes will most impact on young, urban and immigrant workers and businesses in Ontario and the western provinces. The Mowat Centre recently released a policy brief that outlines the changes and analyzes their projected impact.

Making it work? The Mowat Centre explains what the new Employment Insurance (EI) rules mean for workers, businesses, and Ontario (Bonnie Mah, Maytree)
On June 20, the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation hosted a panel discussion on recent and proposed changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program. Panelists Arthur Sweetman (McMaster University), Catherine Swift (Canadian Federation of Independent Business), and Armine Yalnizyan (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) discussed the next steps for EI reform. The panel discussion was moderated by the Mowat Centres Matthew Mendelsohn.


Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Crime, TTC, Condos and Other News.


Benefits and Promises : Blog : Social Finance (Christian Novak,
Benjamin Franklins adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is a reverberating theme within Social Impact Bonds (“SIBs”). Recently, SIBs have been gaining great interest as a new system for addressing social change by breaking down silos that impede investments in preventative and early intervention measures. Specifically by establishing a partnership amongst governments, non-profit organizations, private investors, and intermediaries, SIBs aim toward scaling social projects with high probability of success. SIBs complement traditional philanthropy and represent an alternative to traditional investments because funds are invested in projects that are expected to yield both social and economic results, with the economic benefits being shared with the private investors.

Arthur Wood – A Clauswitzian Interpretation Of Impact Investing (Al Etmanski)
Arthur Wood is the Einstein of social finance. You may not immediately understand everything he says, writes or does but you know he is worth paying attention to. For example, several years ago on a whiteboard in Vancouver he sketched out the basic concept of what would become Social Impact Bonds. None of us realized the significance of the conceptual leap he was making.

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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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