Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 10, 2012


Ride the bus to see where governments work (Alejandra Bravo, DiverseCity Toronto)
On September 6, Markham residents are getting on the bus for a guided tour of “important government sites.” This innovative tour has grown out of civic literacy training that the Centre for Information and Community Services (CICS) has delivered in the community. Driven by the energy and commitment of local leader Pushpmit Bhatia, residents will visit Markham Civic Centre, Toronto City Hall, Queen’s Park and more. For most this will be the first time they will see those hot spots of political power.

The next frontier in diversity work (Sandra Lopes, DiverseCity Toronto)
To what extent has diversity in procurement taken hold in the GTA – the most diverse region in Canada? And how does it compare to a similar American city? The next DiverseCity Counts report explores these questions. We’ll look at the supply chain policies and practices of large public, private and voluntary organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. Led by University of Manitoba Professor Paul Larson, the research will explore whether, why and how organizations have embraced diversity in their purchasing and supply chain strategies, policies and practices. Similar to previous DiverseCity Counts research, diversity will primarily refer to visible minorities and immigrants.

Report Back: 1st PFN and Maytree Building Blocks workshop at PARC (The Parkdale People’s Economy Project)
On July 23, in partnership with Maytree Foundation’s Building Blocks, Parkdale Food Network and PARC hosted an event on civic engagement and food security. This event brought together community members largely from PARC and representatives from all three levels of government representative offices for Parkdale-HighPark (City Councilor Gord Perks, MPP Cheri DiNovo, and MP Peggy Nash). The event provided opportunities for people to learn fundamentals of governments and policy issues related to food (in)security while identifying opportunities for neighbourhood improvement. Terence Williams from PARC, who is trained as Maytree’s community leader, shared the key information and knowledge about how governments make decisions – civic literacy – with community members. For most of community members, complicated processes of policy making are sometimes a barrier to their participation. Unpacking this complexity was a central purpose of Terence’s presentation. His presentation covered the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government, the policy development process, and the key tactics for influencing policy making processes.

Guide: Best Practices for Obtaining Authentic International Educational Credentials (PDF) (Settlement AtWork)
“World Education Services” in collaboration with Ontario Professional Licensing Bodies has developed this guide outlining processes for obtaining authentic international academic documents, suggesting alternatives to unavailable documentation and harmonizing evaluation terminology. The purpose is to support an environment where consistent document authentication processes are used among organizations and institutions evaluating international credentials – creating more portable evaluations and documents and helping to eliminate multiple requests for the same documents.

“Entrepreneurship is unexplored in South Asian community”- Mohammad Taimur (South Asian Generation Next)
Taimur talks about entrepreneurship as the new bright idea that is left unexplored yet he himself is pursuing his job at Deloitte this fall. I ask him about the contradictory behavior, he is a bit taken aback, slightly offended by my acquisition as well, “I am excited about working with clients and meeting other people. I do wanna pursue my MBA one day especially with entrepreneurship in my mind. I first wanna build my skills in technological field and see what problems people are having and see what I can do with that. I have talked to different entrepreneurs who start as consultants and see the problems and then find solutions to it. I am open to things that come across like an entrepreneur.”

Accused Guatemalan war criminal denied extradition appeal (CBC)
The Alberta Court of Appeal has denied accused Guatemalan war criminal Jorge Sosa a chance to fight a court decision that cleared the way for his extradition to the United States. Sosa is wanted in the United States for allegedly making false immigration statements by not admitting his military past in his home country of Guatemala. He has both Canadian and American citizenship.

Minister Kenney applauds Alberta court ruling on accused war criminal Jorge Sosa (Gov of Canada News)
The Government of Canada welcomes yesterday’s ruling by the Alberta Court of Appeal upholding an extradition order against accused Guatemalan war criminal Jorge Sosa. The Court’s decision clears the way for Mr. Sosa to be extradited to face perjury charges in the United States concerning his past military activities in Guatemala.

Blaney represents the Island on the Conference Board of Canada (Campbell River Mirror)
Rachel Blaney, executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Centre, has accepted an invitation to join the Conference Board of Canada’s Leadership Roundtable on Immigration. “We are very pleased with Rachel’s accepted invitation of this amazing opportunity,” Diane Bojsza, board chair of the Immigrant Welcome Centre, says. “It is a compliment to the communities we serve and an acknowledgement of the local leadership and expertise concerning immigration in our rural communities.”

Rookie candidate Raj Sharma brings immigrants to the centre of public life (Luisa D’amato, Guelph Mercury)
Some people think the Ontario Liberals might be running out of gas after being in government nine years. But not in the Kitchener-Waterloo riding, where more than 1,000 people packed a huge room to decide between three candidates for the party’s nomination on Thursday. The room was electric with their energy. They roared with approval for their favourite candidate. They cheerfully waited an hour in line to vote. Then they waited for the results while eating takeout pizza from the back of their vans in the parking lot. And all the while, more people kept coming. It was marvellous to see.–rookie-candidate-raj-sharma-brings-immigrants-to-the-centre-of-public-life

Rate of Self-Employment Decreases for Sons of Immigrants, Increases for Daughters -Study (CICS)
A study on intergenerational changes in self-employment rates among immigrant parents and their children finds that the Canadian-born sons of immigrant parents are less likely to be self-employed than their fathers, and are likely to choose self-employment for different reasons, while the Canadian-born daughters of immigrant parents are more likely to be self-employed than their mothers. According to the Statistics Canada study, 12 percent of Canadian-born sons of immigrant parents aged 25 to 44 were self-employed in 2006, while 14 percent of immigrant fathers were self-employed at the same age in 1981. For Canadian-born daughters of immigrant parents, the self-employment rate increased to 7 percent, from 6 percent for their immigrant mothers in 1981.

Joining Hands: Rexdale Women’s Centre Reaches Out to Community (NFF, Immigrant and refugee communities)
Recognizing the importance of community and social accountability, RWC, through the financial support of the Ontario Women’s Directorate, in April 2011, launched a “Neighbours, Friends and Families” (NFF) campaign which intends to mobilize community organizing around the issue of violence against women. The NFF Campaign is part of a province-wide initiative developed in partnership with the Ontario government, the Ontario Women’s Directorate, and the expert panel on NFF, through the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women (VAW) and children. Locally, the campaign is coordinated by RWC under the “Joining Hands: Reaching Out to our Community” Project.


Survey: Community Responses to Changes in Canada’s Refugee System (Refugee Project)
Given the significant changes in Canada’s refugee system contained in Bill C-31 and their many associated access to justice issues, we expect that a number of organizations and individuals across the country are undertaking initiatives in response to this new law. In order to enable information-sharing and coordination within the refugee support community, the Refugee Project at the University of Ottawa, led by Profs. Peter Showler, Jennifer Bond, Adam Dodek and David Wiseman, is seeking to map these responses. Your input will help us to compile and disseminate a report detailing the ways in which organizations and individuals in the refugee support community across the country are responding to the changes in Bill C-31, and to identify areas of potential synergy and critical service gaps.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) Seeks Stakeholder Input into its New, Proposed Rules (CCR)
Please see attached invites for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Information Sessions on its new, proposed rules. You are welcome to attend one of the information sessions, and are requested to specify Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto.

Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 7 #4, 9 August 2012 (CCR)
Bill C-31 becomes law, the CCR calls for an earned regularization program
CIC seeks comments on 2013 immigration levels
Conditional Permanent Residence to go ahead despite opposition
Impacts of cuts to refugee health coverage
Get involved! Participate in the CCR’s Summer Working Group meetings, 7-8 September 2012, Montreal
Faces of the CCR: Juliana Cortes Lugo, Youth Action Gathering participant

UPDATED 2011 Refugee Claim Data and IRB Member Recognition Rates (CCR)
This note updates data on 2011 refugee claims and Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) grant rates previously reported at A letter from the IRB, dated 5 July 2012, indicates that data provided earlier by the IRB in response to an Access to Information request (which was reported at the above website) contained a “computer error”. The IRB provided updated data to correct this error. The new data, like the earlier data, reveals vast disparities in refugee claim recognition rates across IRB Members in 2011.

Refugee’s long journey ends in Canada (Southwestern Ontario)
After about 17 years living in a refugee camp along the Thailand/Burma border, Tenny Paen is ready to carve out a new life for himself in Canada, and he has Stratford-based Friends of DARE Network to thank. Five members of the local non-profit group, along with two residents of Price Edward County, have sponsored Paen for one year to come to Canada. He arrived two months ago and is living in Stratford with local veterinarians Leesa Gillies and her husband Steven Wolfgram.

Refugee Deu Raj Puri, shot and killed by two Lethbridge Police officers (CCLA)
The Lethbridge Herald and Calgary Herald are reporting that the recent killing of Deu Raj Puri by Lethbridge Police has left the Bhutanese community shocked and asking for an explanation. Before arriving in Lethbridge less than a year ago, Deu Raj Puri grew up in refugee camps. In Lethbridge he worked on a canola farm and attended English as a second language courses. Abi Adhikari, a fellow Bhutanese immigrant who knew him said that Puri had developed depression and alcoholism as a result of his traumatic life experiences.

Toronto grandmother, 70, deported to Sri Lanka (CBC)
A 70-year-old Toronto grandmother was deported on Thursday, despite having no family members remaining in her native Sri Lanka. Gunapoosany Kandasamy, a Sri Lankan Tamil, boarded a flight to her old home at about 10 p.m., accompanied by another deportee, a Canadian Border Services Agency officer and a nurse who will accompany her for the flight. Her Canadian daughter and granddaughter say they were given bad advice: rather than sponsoring her, they filed a refugee claim, which was rejected.


Ten Promising Practices on Equity from Sudbury Public Health (Bob Gardner, Wellesley Institute)
Public health is one of the most important policy and service delivery mechanisms for addressing health inequities. The Sudbury and District Health Unit has long played a leadership role in realizing this potential to advance health equity. They undertook innovative research to determine how public health can address systemic health inequities and identified ten promising practices in a comprehensive report.

CCPA Workshop: A Living Wage in Ontario (PovNet)
The Income Security Advocacy Centre is proud to co-sponsor this upcoming workshop, offered by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Ontario office. Reserve your space now!


Diversity at Work HR Toolkit (hireimmigrants)
The HR Toolkit is a comprehensive and free online resource that helps managers, employees and board members better understand, address and manage HR needs and issues in nonprofits.

Opportunity Knocks! How Nonprofit Employers Build a Workforce that includes New Canadians (hireimmigrants)
This document describes the demographic challenges that effect the labour force, reasons nonprofit organizations need to take action, and also provides five areas of focus for employers.

Canada extends temporary jobs to skilled foreigners (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
The Province of Alberta in Canada has extended its Temporary Foreign Worker Pilot (TFWP) project to include welders and six other skilled occupations, according to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. Citing a report by the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, Baldoz said Alberta had expanded its TFWP project effective July 16. The TFWP allows eligible foreign workers to take jobs in Canada for an authorized period.

Employer Award 2012 – Nomination form – MS Word (Kingston Immigration Partnership)
For it’s second year we will recognize a Kingston area employer for its efforts to make new Canadians a part of our local workforce. Any individual can nominate any eligible employer, including employees of the nominated employer. See the KIP Employer Award 2012 – Nomination form for further details. Please take the time to recognize a local employer that has made helped make Kingston a more welcoming and inclusive community for new Canadians.

how to hack your culture : language (Joe Gerstandt)
The second post in my series on hacking your culture.
Ask ten random peers in your organization the following questions:
1.) What is diversity?
2.) How is it valuable for your organization?
3.) What is our organization doing to capture that value?
4.) What is expected of you as an individual?
5.) What is inclusion?
6.) How is it valuable for your organization?
7.) What is your organization doing to capture that value?
8.) What is expected of you as an individual?

From engineering to environment: How a mentor helped an immigrant’s journey to work (Gerard Keledjian, The Immigrant)
When Victor Reyes left the Philippines to pursue his Master of Engineering in Australia, he didn’t think he will end up in Canada. And just when the idea of staying in Australia started to tempt him, he fell in love with a Canadian, got married and moved to Toronto in 2006. Reyes didn’t do any research. When in Toronto, he contacted a credential evaluation service and had his degrees certified.


Friday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Garbage, Bicycles, Port Lands, Rob Ford, Development and Other News.

Announcement: John Tory appointed co-chair of Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (CivicAction)
CivicAction is pleased to announce that our Chair, John Tory, has accepted an appointment to join Mayor Dave Ryan as co-chair of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) effective September 1. John will continue to serve as Chair of CivicAction. CivicAction is committed to bringing leaders together and enhancing regional coordination on issues critical to our shared prosperity. We look forward to supporting John in this new role.


Supporting the Mobile Worker (TechSoupCanada)
Many people now use smartphones and tablets in their personal life, but what about work life? The corporate sector has been moving in this direction for many years, but it’s less common in the nonprofit sector. On Tuesday I attended a NTEN Toronto Tech Club meeting where Doug Bastien from OCASI shared his thoughts about how to support mobile workers (i.e. people doing work on a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone). As many of us in the room had some level of experience with using mobile devices for work or working remotely, there was lots of good discussion about different approaches. My key takeaway from this session is that in order to be a mobile worker, you need the right systems and hardware, and you need a supportive culture.

On the horizon: A sector council for nonprofits in Nova Scotia (Charity Village)
Earlier this year, CharityVillage reported on progress that nonprofits in Nova Scotia are making with the provincial government on the creation of a new sector council. You can read the full article here. In June and July, the advisory committee charged with moving the file forward with the provincial government met for a series of meetings to finalize their plan and give the green light to its main proposal-writer and consultant to submit their plan with the government.

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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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