Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 1, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

Canadas future success closely linked to a successful immigration program – PDF (Ratna Omidvar and Sandra Lopes, IRPP)
Immigration is transforming Canadas labour market, economy, health care, education, arts, sports and culture. Clearly, we cannot continue to view immigration in a policy silo. rather, by 2020, immigration must be fully integrated into all aspects of Canadian public policy. in fact, future policymakers will want to look to immigration to find many of the answers to the nations most pressing challenges, including an aging population, increasing costs of health care, and the pressure to have a creative and productive economy. immigration is, and will continue to be, an important contributor to Canadas economic and social success.
http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/aug12/omidvar.pdf

2013 Immigration Levels Planning: Public and Stakeholder Consultation (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is seeking input from stakeholders and the public on immigration levels planning through online and in-person consultations. The online consultation will be open from July 31 to August 31, and Parliamentary Secretaries Chungsen Leung and Rick Dykstra will be meeting with stakeholders in July and August 2012. The purpose of the consultations is to seek feedback on immigration to Canada, specifically on the total number of new permanent residents Canada should welcome and how this overall total should be distributed among immigration categories. Complete the online questionnaire [Open from July
31 to August 31, 2012]
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/consultations/immigration-levels-planning-2013/index.asp

The Government of Canada launches online consultations on immigrant investment (CIC)
Delivering on the Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada today launched online consultations to engage the public on ways to improve the federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP). We can no longer be a passive player in the global competition for talent and investment. That is why we need to review our immigration programs to create dynamic opportunities that enable immigrants investments to directly benefit the Canadian economy, said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney… The online consultations are open for input until September 4, 2012. Interested participants can find more information here. CIC is also consulting with provinces and territories on changes to federal immigrant investor programming.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-07-31a.asp

One month to have your say in consultations on Citizenship and Immigration Canada (Times of India)
Have something to say on the state of immigration policy in Canada? You have one month to try to be heard. Citizenship and Immigration Canada ( CIC)’s parliamentary secretaries Chungsen Leung and Rick Dykstra have launched a series of cross-country consultations on immigration issues, beginning today, July 31, in Toronto, at least until Aug. 31. The two parliamentary secretaries will be meeting with stakeholders and the public to discuss the appropriate level and mix of immigration for Canada in the coming years. Following the Toronto session today hosted by Parliamentary Secretary Leung, meetings with stakeholders will take place in Windsor, Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa. Currently, online consultations are also open to the public and stakeholders for input.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/moving-to-canada/One-month-to-have-your-say-in-consultations-on-Citizenship-and-Immigration-Canada/articleshow/15310389.cms

National Call For Proposals 2012: Settlement and Resettlement Programs (CIC)
Settlement and Resettlement projects that are local, regional, national and international in scope can now be submitted online under the Call for Proposals (CFP) 2012. Applications under the CFP 2012 will be accepted until September 7, 2012. This CFP does not cover Inter-Action (Multiculturalism) funding.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/grants-contributions-funding/settlement-resettlement.asp

Daniel Salée, Concordia University – Assoc. for Cdn Studies Multi & Inter-culturalism Conference (Youtube)

South-Asian Muslims exist, but only for fellow South Asians. Why? (Sandhu Bhamra)
If one were to award a medal for cutting path to reach Visible Minorities, it has to be hands down, the business world. It has been speaking Punjabi, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin and other languages in their print, radio and television commercials for some time now. These are brilliantly done commercials where the sound over is Punjabi or Hindi film music while the video remains the same as in the English language commercials.
http://sandhubhamra.com/2012/07/27/south-asian-muslims-exist-but-only-for-fellow-south-asians-why/

Representing Linguistic Minority(s) in Canada and India: Protection of Diversity Versus Rights (Papia Sen Gupta, Kirori Mal College)
Representation is the very essence of modern democracies. Any form of democracy, be it procedural or deliberative must be widely representative. Majorities as well as minorities need to be represented to voice their grievances, concerns and demands. Though representation is fundamental for both the majority and the minorities within a democratic state, care should be taken to make the minorities feel secured so that they trust the government and do not attempt any violent rebellion in the state disturbing the democratic set up. Greater representation of minority communities, help in fostering harmonious relationship among the majority and the minority and hence may lead to an effective discursive discourse within the democratic framework. Keeping this as the background the paper compares the institutions of Office of the Commissioner for Official Languages and the Office of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in Canada and India respectively. Canada follows a policy of official bilingualism whereas India recognizes 22 languages as national languages and follows a policy of multilingualism. The Canadian office is an ombudsman but the Indian counterpart is merely an investigative agency. The paper attempts to answer the critical question that whether following a policy of bilingualism and providing facilities for instructions in other languages without state support as in Canada is a better policy for protecting minority language(s) than a policy of multilingualism where the institution for linguistic minority safeguards is essentially toothless.
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2116247

Lawyer says Kenneys office tried to intimidate him over Conrad Black comments (Globe and Mail)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenneys office pursued a formal complaint against a Toronto lawyer who suggested publicly that the Conservative politician played a role in the decision to let former media baron Conrad Black return to Canada. This spring, a staffer in Mr. Kenneys office filed a grievance against Guidy Mamann with the Law Society of Upper Canada, proposing he be investigated for violating its code of conduct. In an interview this week, Mr. Mamann said he felt Mr. Kenneys office was trying to shut him up by complaining to the law society.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/lawyer-says-kenneys-office-tried-to-intimidate-him-over-conrad-black-comments/article4451188/

Immigrants saddened by destruction of community garden (CTV)
Police in the Halifax area are investigating after a community garden, used primarily by new immigrants, was almost completely uprooted overnight Sunday. Police say staff arrived at work Monday morning and discovered the Glen Garden, located on Glenforest Drive in Halifax, had been destroyed. I plant some vegetables, it was going very well, I feel so happy, but somebody did like that and then I feel so sad, says gardener Madhu Adhikari. Much to the dismay of community gardeners like Adhikari, most of the garden in the Clayton Park neighborhood has been destroyed by vandals.
http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/immigrants-saddened-by-destruction-of-community-garden-1.899173

Immigrants vegetable garden in Halifax vandalized; organizers replant (Cape Breton Post)
The idea was to build a community garden that would allow immigrants to meet and socialize with people in the community. However, about 70 per cent of the mostly vegetable crop was destroyed by vandals. Peter LaPierre of Home Harvest Kitchen Gardens says local companies are pitching in with seeds and transplants, and he has been out looking for donations to replace the crop. Mills says replanting is to start today, with plants that can still produce before the end of the season.
http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2012-07-31/article-3042915/Immigrants-vegetable-garden-in-Halifax-vandalized-organizers-replant/1

Court to rule on publication of marriage fraud memoir (Chloe Fedio, Ottawa Citizen)
An Ottawa woman who has branded herself the poster girl for marriage fraud agreed in court Tuesday not to publish printed copies of a memoir about the high-profile deportation of her ex-husband until a decision is reached over disputed facts presented in the book. Lainie Towell self-published How to Catch An African Chicken: A Canadian Womans Outrageous But True Story of Marriage Fraud online in April, and continues to sell it for $9.99 via e-retailers including Amazon, Kobo and iTunes. Québec Superior Court Justice Dominique Goulet is expected to rule on the sale and promotion of the e-book Wednesday afternoon. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Court+rule+publication+marriage+fraud+memoir/7020150/story.html

Advocacy in-house (Vawn Himmelsbach, Canadian Lawyer)
Its no secret thats a concern for the legal profession in general, she says. In Sodexo, theres a very strong focus on diversity and inclusion its part of our growth strategy. This isnt exactly rocket science, she added. The world is figuring out that diversity of thought is key to driving all sorts of things including business results. Sodexo, which provides outsourced facilities management, offers food programs and other services to clients, including healthcare facilities, university campuses, or remote sites in Northern Canada. Since the company provides quality-of-life solutions to diverse clients across diverse markets, its essential to have a deeply embedded understanding of diversity, says Durand.
http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/4244/advocacy-in-house.html

Ottawa tackles fraudulent use of Canadian student visas (Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun)
The federal government plans a crack-down on the fraudulent use of student visas to gain entry to Canada. A proposal published in the Canada Gazette last month targets those who obtain student visas but never go to school or attend shady institutions that ultimately damage Canadas reputation, says a Postmedia News story. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney suggested criminal gangs might also be involved, helping young people obtain visas so they can put them to work in the sex trade, the story says.
http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/07/31/ottawa-tackles-fraudulent-use-of-canadian-student-visas/

‘Unspoken rules’ rule integration (Joe Greenholtz, Richmond News)
It was inspirational to read the “What’s it mean to be Canadian?” edition of the Richmond News. Many of the contributors spoke positively about our multicultural population and how cultural diversity forms a big part of what they like about Canada and being Canadian.
http://m.richmond-news.com/svc/wlws.svc/getHtml#article/?sectionId=687&feedId=1071&articleId=5337491

Inheriting money from abroad? Understand the rules (Globe and Mail)
As Canadas population becomes ever more global, with immigrants bringing wealth from all over the world, a new kind of problem has emerged for estate planners and financial advisers. When estates are bequeathed inside Canada, the laws are often straightforward on what needs to be done, with a proper will and an executor being at the top of the list. But when one or more other countries come into play as is so often the case with immigrants to Canada the rules of the game become increasingly muddled. Its a scenario that financial advisers are seeing more of as the population expands and diversifies.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/financial-road-map/inheriting-money-from-abroad-understand-the-rules/article4451568/

UNESCO Report on best practices highlights Thunder Bay Diversity in Policing Project (Settlement AtWork)
The Thunder Bay Police Service Diversity in Policing Project has been cited in UNESCO 2012 report Fighting Racism and Discrimination Identifying and Sharing Good Practices in the International Coalition of Cities. UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95980

Sask. immigrants say rule changes impacting families could lead to exodus (Global Saskatoon)
Some members of Saskatchewan’s immigrant community are predicting another exodus due to the changes in the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program. The program was created back in 2009 as a means to speed up the immigration process for several categories of people, including skilled workers and family members of immigrants. Those seeking to bring over family members had to have resided in Saskatchewan for at least a year. Then in May the province agreed to make some changes to SINP at the behest of the federal government, tightening some restrictions in order to prevent abuse of the program. Part of the problem was that families were moving to Saskatchewan, bringing over any number of family members, and then immediately leaving the province for larger cities elsewhere in Canada. NDP immigration critic Cam Broten says some immigrants who were at various stages of the program feel betrayed by the change.
http://www.globalsaskatoon.com/sask+immigrants+say+rule+changes+impacting+families+could+lead+to+exodus/6442689227/story.html

The Case Against the Federal Skilled Worker Backlog Reduction (And What You Can Do!) (Canadian Immigration Newsletter)
Recent changes to Canadas immigration legislation have called for the closure of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) files submitted before February 28, 2008. Many who applied before this date have been confused and upset by this decision, and want to know what they can do to fight it. This articles intent is to explain, generally, why the decision was made and what recourse applicants have to protect their rights and seek justice for their cases… The legality of this decision is questionable, to say nothing of its moral and ethical implications. Because of this, a group of immigration lawyers, including Attorney David Cohen, is bringing a case against the Canadian government. They hope to stop the legislation from taking effect and to bring justice to those individuals whose applications are scheduled to be terminated.
http://www.cicnews.com/2012/07/case-federal-skilled-worker-backlog-reduction-071663.html

In Ontarios Grey County, the Lords Prayer is headed to court (Nadine Bells, Yahoo! News)
Grey County has a long-standing tradition of opening its city council meetings with a recital of the Lord’s Prayer. Peter Ferguson is trying to change that. The Kimberley, ON, man has filed legal papers in a bid to end what he calls an “illegal” practice.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/ontario-grey-county-lord-prayer-headed-court-174133323.html

New project – KWiSupport (KW Multicultural Centre and KW Counselling Services)
KW Immigrant Support is committed to providing culturally sensitive counselling services, where the primary consideration will be given to the worldviews of culturally diverse individuals and families.
http://www.kwisupport.com/

OCASI Offers E-Learning Module on Violence Against Immigrant & Refugee Women (Neighbours, Friends and Families (NFF), Immigrant and Refugee Communities)
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) is pleased to introduce and to offer its Member Agencies an Eight-week On-Line Facilitated Training on: Understanding and Responding to Violence against Immigrant & Refugee Women.
http://www.immigrantandrefugeenff.ca/ocasi-offers-e-learning-module-violence-against-immigrant-refugee-women

CERIS Funded RFP (CERIS)
A list of 2012 Graduate Student Awards & Reports.
http://www.ceris.metropolis.net/?p=4886

Smartphone apps connect Hamilton Muslims with Islam (CBC)
Affaf Ahtisham receives an alert on his iPhone. It is not a text message. Rather, it is one of five daily reminders for the 23-year-old to pray. Ahtisham uses iPray an iPhone app that is among a host of smartphone offerings that aid Muslims in the observance of Islamic rituals. We can be connected and are able to look up something, such as text from the Quran, at a moments notice, and anywhere, says Ahtisham, the co-chair of the youth committee at the Muslim Association of Hamilton and a recent McMaster University graduate.
http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/07/31/hamilton-muslims-ramadan-app.html

Rogers races to capture ethnic viewers for Olympics (Globe and Mail)
Adalberto Thomaz sits on the edge of his chair in a downtown Toronto television studio, anxiously waiting for a soccer match to begin thousands of kilometres away so he can provide play-by-play commentary to viewers across Canada. While most English-speaking sports fans would be unfamiliar with his work, anyone who has watched a game in Portuguese would recognize the broad smile and enthusiastic play-calling of Mr. Thomaz, who brings Olympic soccer to viewers in their own language for OMNI, the multicultural broadcaster owned by Rogers Communications Inc. Mr. Thomaz may not be a household name, but he is very much the face of an increasingly crucial challenge for OMNI. While countries fight for the podium in more than 300 events, the station is in its own race against a growing number of language-specific channels that are commanding more and more attention from advertisers looking to market directly to specific communities.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rogers-races-to-capture-ethnic-viewers-for-olympics/article4450676/

NDP seeks compromise for Sask.’s immigrant nominee program (Patrick Book, CJME)
Some members of Saskatchewan’s immigrant community are predicting another exodus due to the changes in the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). The program was created back in 2009 as a means to speed up the immigration process for several categories of people, including skilled workers and family members of immigrants. Those seeking to bring over family members had to have resided in Saskatchewan for at least a year. Then in May the province agreed to make some changes to SINP at the behest of the federal government, tightening some restrictions in order to prevent abuse of the program. Part of the problem was that families were moving to Saskatchewan, bringing over any number of family members, and then immediately leaving the province for larger cities elsewhere in Canada. On Monday NDP immigration critic Cam Broten told reporters that some immigrants who were at various stages of the program feel betrayed by the change.
http://cjme.com/story/ndp-seeks-compromise-saskatchewans-immigrant-nominee-program/67554

Canadian immigrant Daniel Igali inducted to global Hall of Fame at Olympics (Canadian Immigrant)
Its an honour on par with winning his Olympic gold medal at the Sydney Olympics thats how Nigerian-born Daniel Igali feels about his Aug. 3 induction into the International Wrestling Hall of Fame. To me it is as big as becoming an Olympic champion, says Igali, one of seven inductees into the Federation International de Luttes Associees (FILA), the international Olympic governing body for the sport of wrestling. Igali, head coach of the Nigerian wrestling team, is now in Londons Olympic Village in the final leg of preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics. I will always feel pride in winning gold for Canada, he adds. I feel confident, too, that the wrestling talent coming forward amongst all countries competing at these games in London holds much promise for the sport.
http://canadianimmigrant.ca/uncategorized/canadian-immigrant-daniel-igali-inducted-to-global-hall-of-fame-at-olympics

Speaker’s Corner : Forcing judges to judge old law erodes democracy (Louis Century, Law Times)
Last month, Kenney again invoked the courts, this time in a favourable light. As part of the proposed faster removal of foreign criminals act, the government codified a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision. The ministrys backgrounder to the law trumpeted this fact: The legislation would codify the courts decision. But neither the backgrounder nor the minister mentioned that the court decision in question is not final; it is under appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada to be heard in October. Kenney knew this when he announced the legislation in June. The Supreme Court had agreed to hear the appeal on Dec. 8, 2011. The governments proposal to codify a court decision thats currently being challenged, without mentioning the ongoing appeal, disrespects the judicial process. Worse, it undermines the delicate dialogue between the courts and legislatures that Kenney so blatantly mischaracterized.
http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201207309240/Commentary/Speaker-s-Corner-Forcing-judges-to-judge-old-law-erodes-democracy

International Nurses Help Close Health Care Gap in Canada’s Rural Areas (Marketwatch)
Experienced international nurses looking to find work in Canada may have better luck in remote areas. Registered nurse staffing specialists say finding qualified nurses to work in the country’s small towns is an increasing challenge as baby boomers, who currently dominate the nurse workforce, near retirement. “The most open opportunities for immigrant and international nurses are in the most rural parts of Canada,” said Melane Mullings, senior recruitment specialist with pRN Staffing Solutions, a Canadian-based RN recruitment firm. “Internationally-educated nurses who take a course and pass their Canadian Registered Nurse Exam are likely to land a job in their field if they are willing to relocate to remote areas.”
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/international-nurses-help-close-health-care-gap-in-canadas-rural-areas-2012-07-30

On Wearing the Hijab and Being “In-Between” (Nour Awad, Halifax Media Coop)
As I whiz down Agricola St. on my bike, going to work at a screen-printing collective, I find a certain comfort in knowing that my hijab is safely tucked in under my blue helmet as those few minutes on my bike give me a certain amount of anonymity that walking doesnt. My hijab has become like a flare, signaling judgment from people left and right creating unnecessary attention. (This is about to get real personal, so if you start getting uncomfortable, think about how I feel.) I decided to wear the hijab in 2004. I know it is hard to believe, taking into account public perception of Muslims nowadays, but I did choose to wear it. No, my parents did not force me to wear it, it was MY choice. In fact, my mum, who decided to wear the hijab at the age of 37, tried to make me wait a while longer before I made that decision, as it is such a big commitment but I protested. And now, looking back, I wish I had waited.
http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/blog/nour-awad/11857

REFUGEES

Stats confirm ‘bogus’ refugee claimants from ‘safe’ countries abusing Canadian health care: Kenney (Tobi Cohen, Montreal Gazette)
Mexican, Hungarian, Columbian and American refugee claimants used Canadian health care services more than any other asylum claimants, according to new figures obtained by Postmedia News which the government argues supports its claim that so-called “bogus refugees” are abusing the system. Between Jan. 17 and Dec. 31, 2011, 8,819 Mexicans racked up nearly $7 million in health care costs under the Interim Federal Health Program. Some 6,749 Hungarians charged more than $4.4 million, while 4,583 Columbians racked up more than $2.6 million in costs. Meanwhile, 3,790 Americans received more than $1.4 million in free health care. Jamaican claimants round out the top five with 809 health care users receiving more than $808,000 worth of health services. Given the high rejection, abandonment and withdrawal rates for refugee claimants from some of these countries, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney argued this is proof the government was right to crack down on the breadth of health services that are available to refugee claimants.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/national/Stats+confirm+bogus+refugee+claimants+from+safe/7019922/story.html

Kenney trying to ‘demonize’ refugees, Liberals say (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney should support a study of the federal government’s refugee health program cuts and put an end to his disparaging talk about refugees, Liberals said today. Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux, the party’s citizenship and immigration critic, blasted Kenney and his government’s recent changes to the interim federal health program (IFHP), that cut access to medication and other expenses for certain refugees. Regular refugee claimants whose applications are pending now only have access to doctors and hospital services if it is an urgent or emergency situation. Medications now are only covered if they are needed to prevent or treat a disease that is a public health risk.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/07/31/pol-refugee-health-liberals.html

Liberals call on Conservatives to reverse cuts to refugee health care (Vancouver Sun)
The federal Liberals are calling on the Conservative government to reverse cuts to refugee health care. The party’s citizenship and immigration critic, Kevin Lamoureux, said Tuesday he’ll put forward a motion this fall to study the cuts at a parliamentary committee. Lamoureux also called on Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to make public all studies done by his department about the cuts.
http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Liberals+call+Conservatives+reverse+cuts+refugee+health+care/7017559/story.html

Refugee changes will make lives more difficult, warns Garneau (Colin Horgan, ipolitics.ca)
Liberal House leader (and potential Liberal leadership candidate) Marc Garneau took to his blog Monday to lambaste the government over changes its made to how Canada will handle refugees in the future, calling them draconian. Garneau highlighted four areas where he feels the government has gone awry: By setting unrealistic and unfair deadlines on refugee claimants; by granting the immigration minister the power to deem whether a country goes on the Designated Countries of Origin (DCO) or safe list; by also granting the immigration minister the discretion to designate which refugees are part of an irregular arrival; and by making very severe cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP). Changes to the IFHP have been some of the most contentious so far. Over the past month, doctors protesting the changes to the health care provisions have interrupted government ministers speaking at public events.
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/07/30/refugee-changes-will-make-lives-more-difficult-warns-garneau/

Message to Jason Kenney: ‘You are what I feared Canada would become’ (Bashir Mohamed, rabble)
On Saturday, July 14, 17-year-old Bashir Mohamed interrupted a speech given by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in Edmonton, highlighting the growing opposition to the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) imposed by the Conservative government as of June 30. As Mohamed describes in an interview for rabble.ca, he was forcibly removed from the event, preventing him from fully delivering his message to Minister Kenney. Here, then, is the full statement that Bashir Mohamed intended to deliver to Jason Kenney.
http://rabble.ca/news/2012/07/message-jason-kenney-you-are-what-i-feared-canada-would-become

Confronting Jason Kenney and the cuts to refugee health care: An interview with Bashir Mohamed (Samir Shaheen-Hussain, rabble)
Bashir Mohamed is, to many people, “just” a university student. However, inside him brews the power and spirit of politics and social change. His previous actions involve starting and contributing to numerous charitable projects, including an initiative to send 1500 water filters to Haiti earlier this year. He hopes in the future to become a Member of Parliament with the hope of instituting true and effective change. On Saturday, July 14, 17-year-old Bashir Mohamed interrupted a speech given by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to highlight the growing opposition to the cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) imposed by the Conservative government as of June 30. The disruption — which took place at a BBQ in Edmonton that was open to the public, but required pre-registration — was inspired by similar actions taken by physicians and other healthcare providers (HCPs) across the country to force CIC to reverse the cuts to the IFHP.
http://rabble.ca/news/2012/07/confronting-jason-kenney-cuts-refugee-healthcare-interview-bashir-mohamed

Refugee health-care protest barely noticed by Tories (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
The Conservative government has barely noticed the “59 Cents Campaign” to oppose changes to refugee claimants’ taxpayer funded health-care coverage. Students taking a political activism course at the Canadian School of Peacebuilding in Winnipeg launched the campaign in mid-June, encouraging people to send the prime minister a protest letter and 59 cents – the estimated cost per Canadian to cover prescription drugs, eye care, and dental care for asylum seekers that was cut off last month. However, a source within the Conservative government tells QMI Agency the feds have seen only about 500 letters and little spare change.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/31/refugee-health-care-protest-barely-noticed-by-tories

Report: Envisioning LGBT Refugee Rights in Canada: Exploring Asylum Issues (Settlement AtWork)
This report is based on a Round Table Dialogue with members of 14 organizations who work with LGBTI asylum seekers in the Toronto region, as well as two conference presentations. It provides a preliminary overview of the issues for LGBT asylum seekers, including: their experiences and obstacles; ways that service providers are trying to meet their needs; service gaps; and the impact of changes to immigration and refugee laws, especially Bill C-31. As a participatory action research project, Envisioning convened the Round Table to seek input from service providers in shaping research which will continue over the next two years.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/95981

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

How To Fix Income Inequality (Trish Hennessy, Behind the Numbers)
Several polls released this spring reveal the extent of concern among Canadians about worsening income inequality. Most Canadians say that deep income inequality undermines Canadian values. The majority of Canadians tell pollsters they would support political leadership to reverse the trend. But what, some ask, can be done about income inequality?
http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2012/06/06/how-to-fix-income-inequality/

Wanted: Canadians Ideas for the 2013 Budget (Jane Hilderman, Samara Canada)
Its the middle of summer, but dont mistake the dog days as a political hiatus. Though Parliament is adjourned, most MPs are back in their constituencies – frequenting local BBQs and picnics to chat with constituents – and taking the temperature of public opinion. This local, more art-than-science practice of representative democracy has been at work for over one hundred years in Canada and much longer if you turn to Britains Westminster. Less old but just as engrained, national polls continue to monitor what issues Canadians care about and how they feel. This effort at collective monitoring has legitimacy without it, it is hard to ask MPs or governments to be responsive to citizens. However, these practices tend not to work as well for Canadians who have ideas tangible changes they want to see happen, whether its creating a new tax credit, expanding a health research fund, or amending regulations around social enterprise. This creative list goes on and on for individuals or organizations who have identified a need, done their homework, and devised a plan.
http://www.samaracanada.com/samarablog/samara-main-blog/2012/07/31/wanted-canadians-ideas-for-the-2013-budget

Policy Options | Policy Challenges for 2020 (IRPP)
Published 10 times per year, Policy Options is Canada’s premier public policy magazine. Its goal is to encourage an informed debate on the important public policy issues of today and tomorrow.
http://www.irpp.org/po/index.php

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

ALLIES Newsletter July 2012 (ALLIES)
In this issue:
A pause on skilled worker applications does not pause our work: Ratna Omidvar
Connecting SMEs to skilled immigrant talent in Northeastern Ontario
CIC among corporate partners working together to make a difference for newcomers
Councils @ Work
Policy Update
Resources
http://www.industrymailout.com/Industry/View.aspx?id=381974&p=4188

Work Placement Program a Win-Win for Skilled Immigrants and Assiniboine Credit Union (hireimmigrants)
When the opportunity to participate in a work experience program for new immigrants presented itself in 2004, Asssiniboine Credit Union (ACU) in Winnipeg, MB jumped at the chance. We are very much a company that is all about diversity and inclusion. We wanted to ensure we mirrored the community we work in, says Cherie Gebhardt, Employment Specialist at the credit union. The Immigrant Integration Program (IIP) has run every year since with ACU taking in about four participants for a 12-week work placement each year. Over the past eight years, the credit union has hired 39 participants from the program. Of those, 31 still work at ACU and there have been 12 promotions, says Ms. Gebhardt.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/success-stories/work-placement-program-a-win-win-for-skilled-immigrants-and-assiniboine-credit-union/

Immigrants face extra challenges (Derek Sankey, Star Phoenix)
Steven Goldman hears a lot of horror stories about the world of franchising. As one of Canada’s prominent franchise lawyers, he sees a lot of immigrants who come to Canada to “buy a job” by purchasing a franchised business. One such client recently got into a fast-food business with the expectation of earning $1 million in revenue and $200,000 in profit in his first year. But there was a $25,000 upfront franchise fee, plus a 6% royalty, a 2% national advertising fee and a 2% local advertising fee. Ten per cent right off the top killed any chance of turning a profit. “Immigrants – are led to believe these [franchise agreements] are standardform agreements or that it’s non-negotiable,” says Mr. Goldman, of Goldman Hine LLP, adding that’s not always the case.
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/Immigrants+face+extra+challenges/7015077/story.html

Immigrant job program posts 80 per cent hire rate (Wanda Chow, Burnaby Newsleader)
Help in figuring out the intricacies of a Canadian job search came in the form of the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program, a three-year-old initiative funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments. The program provides up to one year of support to newcomers. To be eligible, participants must be permanent residents of Canada, having arrived within the last five years, unemployed or underemployed and proficient in English. Eileen Wang, program manager at the Burnaby location, said the majority of participants find work, if theyre actively looking, within five to seven months of starting the program. Much of what the program assists with is helping clients understand Canadian cultural differences, and the expectations of employers here.
http://www.burnabynewsleader.com/community/164462566.html

Job programs for skilled immigrants get government boost (The Record)
Three local programs helping skilled immigrants find work in their field got a $1.68-million provincial funding boost, two focused on getting health care professionals practising here. Conestoga College received $200,000 for its bridge to practical nursing program for internationally trained health professionals and the University of Waterloos international optometric bridging program got $942,000. Another $540,000 goes to the Immigration Partnerships new Canadian employment connections program, in total assisting more than 500 newcomers. Reducing the barriers for internationally trained immigrants doesnt just help them find employment, said Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy at the Tuesday announcement held on Conestogas Doon campus.
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/771579–job-programs-for-skilled-immigrants-get-government-boost

Immigrants looking to buy a job through franchise face serious challenges (Financial Post)
Steven Goldman hears a lot of horror stories about the world of franchising. As one of Canadas prominent franchise lawyers, he sees a lot of immigrants who come to Canada to buy a job by purchasing a franchised business. One such client recently got into a fast-food business with the expectation of earning $1-million in revenue and $200,000 in profit in his first year. But there was a $25,000 upfront franchise fee, plus a 6% royalty, a 2% national advertising fee and a 2% local advertising fee. Ten per cent right off the top killed any chance of turning a profit. Immigrants are led to believe these [franchise agreements] are standard-form agreements or that its non-negotiable, says Mr. Goldman, of Goldman Hine LLP, adding thats not always the case.
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/07/30/immigrants-looking-to-buy-a-job-through-franchise-face-serious-challenges/

Quebec: A Destination for Professionals (Canadavisa.com)
The Province of Quebec is well known for its society, language, and unique cultural charm. However, the province is also an established leader for business, both in North America and worldwide. It is this leadership that has resulted in Quebecs increasing appeal for top international organizations, workers, and entrepreneurs. To help ensure that its economic success continues to rise, Quebec has pursued proactive immigration programs to bring in skilled foreign workers on both temporary and permanent bases. These programs have become increasingly popular in recent months, as Quebec immigration remains open and continues to accept applications despite the temporary freezing of some Federal immigration programs.
http://www.canadavisa.com/quebec-a-destination-for-professionals.html

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Wednesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Toronto’s New Chief Planner, Taxi Drivers and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/08/01/wednesdays-headlines-259/

Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Development, Casino, City Council, Rob Ford and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/07/31/tuesdays-headlines-262/

Toronto votes: Ranked ballots for 2018? Toronto city council may vote on changing its election system (Toronto Star)
Torontos council might vote in the fall on whether to use a different election system in 2018 and beyond. At the request of Mayor Rob Fords executive committee and councils government management committee, city elections officials are now studying a proposal to switch to a ranked ballot system. Councillor Paul Ainslie, the government management chair and a Ford ally, said he plans to bring the proposal to the council floor in November. The group that has spearheaded the push for ranked ballots, the Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto (RaBIT), says 18 of the 45 members of council have endorsed the idea, including four members of Fords executive committee. While an endorsement-in-principle does not necessarily mean a committed vote, and while the Star could not independently confirm all of the endorsements, a 23-vote majority appears within reach.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1233865–toronto-votes-ranked-ballots-for-2018-toronto-city-council-may-vote-on-changing-its-election-system

A Dubious Strategy to Overprotect Racialized Communities (Desmond Cole, Torontoist)
Sloly noted that in recent days, all 17 police divisions have created and implemented operational plans that deal with gun violence and gang violence. He did not, however, mention any specific plans to address the persistent instances of racial profiling and excessive carding that plague police interactions with racialized people. Margaret Parsons, head of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, appears to recognize this. She noted recently that residents are not against more security that is respectful, that is balanced, thats not just going to stop a 15- or 17-year-old just because hes African Canadian and hes walking home late at night from his part-time job. Such police contact is, as the Toronto Star put it, a troubling rite of passage for far too many racialized individuals and communities in our city. Increased police presence could have positive outcomes, but it could also cause permanent mistrust and fear if profiling persists.
http://torontoist.com/2012/07/a-dubious-strategy-to-over-protect-racialized-communities/

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

Video: Building strong organizations for hard times (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
This Maytree Opinion is an excerpt of a speech given on April 25 at the 2012 Connections conference, Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. Watch video of the full speech.
http://maytree.com/speeches/building-strong-organizations-for-hard-times.html

ONN calls on Government of Ontario to delay proclamation of the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (CharityVillage)
Ontarios nonprofit community is bracing itself for what it describes as a potentially debilitating blow to the everyday functioning of its sector organizations. In a call-out to the sector last week, the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) asked nonprofits in the province there are some 46,000 of them to speak out against what it said were serious concerns about the membership provisions contained in the act. Having passed third reading in the Ontario legislature in late 2010, the Ontario Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will be brought into force on January 1, 2013. Ontarios Ministry of Consumer Services and the Ministry of Government Services will administer the ONCA jointly.
https://charityvillage.com/Content.aspx?topic=ONN_calls_on_Government_of_Ontario_to_delay_proclamation_of_the_Not_For_Profit_Corporations_Act

Announcing the Innoweave Module on Impact and Strategic Clarity! (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
The Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the first group of non-profit and charitable organizations to participate in Innoweaves Impact and Strategic Clarity module. The application deadline is Friday, September 14, 2012 for a program that will run between November 2012 and March 2013 and include 10 to 14 accepted organizations. The Impact and Strategic Clarity module will help organizations examine their current programs in a structured and strategic way. Organizations will clarify what they aim to achieve, how they will accomplish it, and how they will measure and communicate success.
http://www.mcconnellfoundation.ca/blog/news/announcing-the-innoweave-module-on-impact-and-strategic-clarity

TIM Review: Social Innovation (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Foundation President Stephen Huddart is the guest editor for the July issue of Technology Innovation Management (TIM) Review. The issue highlights the promise and potential of technology-enabled social innovation and features contributions from some of Canadas leading social innovators and entrepreneurs.
http://www.mcconnellfoundation.ca/blog/news/tim-review-social-innovation

New CRA Guidelines Released concerning Social Enterprise and Community Economic Development (Eli Malinsky, CSI)
Canada Revenue Agency has released new guidelines regarding Community Economic Development, with specific reference to both social enterprise activities and social finance investments (primarily PRIs). This is the first time “social enterprise” and “social finance” have appeared in any official CRA documentation, and provide some hope for modernization and clarification of revenue-generating activities among Canada’s charities. But don’t take my word for it! As usual, Stacey Corriveau of the BC Centre for Social Enterprise has done a top rate analysis (PDF) of the paper.
http://socialinnovation.ca/blog/new-cra-guidelines-released-concerning-social-enterprise-community-economic-development

CRA Releases New Guidance on Community Economic Development and PRIs (Stacey Corriveau, Socialfinance.ca)
On July 26th, the Canada Revenue Agency released new guidance called Community Economic Development Activities and Charitable Registration (CG-014). It replaces the 1999 guidance entitled Registered Charities: Community Economic Development Programs (RC4143). The new guidance seems to be more logically constructed than the older version, and clearer in its meaning. It also seems to establish more enabling parameters, specifically with respect to two common forms of social enterprise, in addition to program related investing. This is also the first piece of CRA guidance that explicitly uses the terms social enterprise and social finance.
http://socialfinance.ca/blog/post/cra-releases-new-guidance-on-community-economic-development-and-pris

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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.

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Would-be #immigrants poised to hear about application backlog (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star) http://t.co/PzUtGFk9 #cdnimm #cdnpoli RT @maytree_canada: Another excellent Our...

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