Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 13, 2012

Voter equality – it matters to diverse, urban Canada (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
Voter equality means that the votes of all Canadians are equal. In practice, electoral districts should all have about the same number of voters. However, this is not the reality in Canada’s larger cities. Many larger city ridings have more people per riding than smaller centres. Many Canadians are under-represented in the House of Commons. Rapidly growing suburban communities, often with high rates of immigration, fare the worst.
Isabel Cisterna Gives Immigrants A Voice Through The Arts: Mighty Micro (Huffington Post)
Isabel Cisterna can still remember a time in her past when despair was what she knew best; growing up in Copiapó, Chile, in the centre of the driest desert in the world, she knew she needed to find opportunity elsewhere. “The situation at home was difficult,” she tells Huffpost Canada Impact. “Things were bad politically and financially. I came to Canada by myself when I was 18, 21 years ago. I was a little bit scared, but I had this feeling I had nothing to lose.” While Cisterna was hopeful Canada would be the place where she could exercise her skills and talents, her hopes were quickly dashed. “Once I came to Canada, I found it hard to make a living. The barrier was emotional. I felt so alone and I felt invisible.” Working in a factory, she experienced a sense of isolation and depersonalization. “It was the most difficult time in my life,” she states. “[I was] a person behind a machine.”
Willing to share your immigration story? (Canadian Immigrant)
Call from CBC: I work in radio and we’re doing a show on Canadian identity. I’d love to hear from people about their immigration experiences–happy, sad, funny, difficult. Whatever the case may be. The focus is about who we are as Canadians and I’d love to have the perspective of someone who went through the process of becoming a Canadian citizen.
Lawyers challenge Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s role in letting Conrad Black into Canada (Toronto Star)
In a public display of the growing tension between the legal community and Ottawa, a group of lawyers is daring Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to take them to the Law Society for voicing dissent. On Wednesday, 80 immigration lawyers sent an open letter to Kenney and collectively questioned his role in granting a permit to Conrad Black to allow the convicted media magnate to return to Canada in May after serving a 42-month sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice in Florida.–lawyers-challenge-immigration-minister-jason-kenney-s-role-in-letting-conrad-black-into-canada
City of Toronto to launch welcome booths for international students at Pearson International Airport (City of Toronto)
The program, which will run until September 10, features welcome booths located in the International Arrivals areas of Terminals 1 and 3. International students can visit the booths to receive welcome kits containing information about transportation, accommodation and details about how to connect with their academic institutions. Students also have an opportunity to call home for free, courtesy of Rogers Communications.
Is Canada ‘a country of immigrants?’ (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The saying that Canada is a “country of immigrants” is as commonplace as they come. It ranks up there with hockey, the Mounties and niceness as part of the perceived national identity. But does it stand up to scrutiny? A former Canadian diplomat and specialist on immigration believes it is a somewhat misleading phrase. He makes an interesting case that the first waves of newcomers to Canada were settlers, not immigrants. And to him there’s a significant difference.
How do I go to Canada if the FSW Program is on hold? Don’t worry. There are plenty more fish in the sea! (The Zieglers Blog)
A few weeks ago we told you in this post about Citizenship and Immigration Canada decision to put on hold the Federal Skilled Worker and the Investors program. Also in that same post, I promised a video with Yves Martineau, our Immigration Advisor from Montreal , talking about this and about what other options you may have now.
Frustrated Chinese citizens demand refunds after immigration rejected (Toronto Star)
Chinese citizens who gave money to Prince Edward Island’s troubled immigration nominee program say they’re angry they haven’t been refunded, two years after Ottawa rejected their visa applications. Qiu Chuanbo, 47, said in an interview that he is owed close to $91,000 after giving money to the program, which was intended to attract immigrants who would invest in companies in the province. He said the delay in getting his money back is a severe financial blow, making it difficult for him to fund his children’s university education in China.–frustrated-chinese-citizens-demand-refunds-after-immigration-rejected/Rejected-immigrants-await-refunds
Christopher Palmer’s 2012 Overture celebrates ships and the immigrants they carried (Peter Robb, Ottawa Citizen)
He has prepared some longer works including a piece called the Pier 21 Overture, which was written with the famous entry point for immigrants to Canada in mind. It was performed at the NAC in 2003. But without doubt his biggest commission so far has been Ships and Flags — A 2012 Overture that he composed for the Halifax Tall Ships festival this summer. It was performed on July 21. Interestingly, his piece was a bookend to one of the most famous of all overtures, the 1812 by Tchaikovsky. Palmer received his commission from the CBC and set to work. The theme that runs through the 12-minute piece is the ship that drifts and manoeuvres its way surrounded by the folk melodies of the many peoples who have landed or lived on Canadian shores, from the MicMac through the English, French, Irish, and Scots to later waves of immigration that included Italians, Jews, Ukrainains, Lebanese and Greeks. “I’ve tried to portray them in historic order,” he said. A lot of the folk tunes he actually wrote himself in the style of those kinds of songs.
Indo-Canadians celebrate India Day (Times of India)
Over 20,000 Indo-Canadians gathered in the heart of Toronto to celebrate India Day and display the country’s rich heritage and cultural diversity through a traditional parade, days ahead of the Independence Day. Despite bad weather, the day began with hoisting of the national flag by Indian High Commissioner S M Gavai on Se. Also present on the occasion were Preeti Saran, Consul General of India; Ajit Khanna, Chair Panorama India; Harinder Takhar, Ontario Minister for Government Services; Senator Asha Seth, representatives of Federal and Provincial government and other dignitaries. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford sent messages of greetings to mark the occasion.
Canada Muslims Balance Ramadan Work (Islam Online)
Fasting for long hours, Canadian Muslims are trying to adapt their work in the blistering summer heat without food and water during the holy month of Ramadan. “The most challenging part of Ramadan is that I can’t taste my food,” Rafi Raphael Taherie, a chef at Free Times Café, told The Globe And Mail. “Normally I’m not the type of chef to have a spoon in my pocket every minute to taste, but still it’s pretty tough to not taste food and still be good. “Part of Ramadan is to sacrifice, so being around food and not eating is actually a good challenge,” the Toronto Muslim resident said. Canada’s Muslims started Ramadan fasting on July 20.
Wisconsin shooting: Tragic extension of everyday hate experienced by Sikhs in North America (Kamal Arora, rabble)
The Wisconsin shooting which took place on Sunday for many marks a ‘turning-point’ in the lives of American and Canadian Sikhs and race relations. For me, however, as a Sikh woman born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., I see the Wisconsin shooting as a tragic, extreme and horrible extension of the rising tide of racism that originated before 9/11 and proliferated afterwards. Growing up in the 1980s in a suburb of Vancouver as the daughter and sister of turbaned Sikh men, I have been all too privy to lived experiences of racism in Canada and the United States
‘Sikhs are not Muslims’ sends a sinister message (Scott C. Alexander, LA Times)
Almost from the beginning of their coverage of the horrific and deadly shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, CNN and other news media went out of their way to send a message to the American public: “Sikhs are not Muslims.” But what were we to make of that message? If the temple’s members had been Muslims, would the attack have then been justified? We say we don’t endorse prejudice against one group or another, but for some reason we also want to make sure people know who the “we” and the “they” really are. CNN would probably say it was simply trying to clear up a common misunderstanding that, in this case, may have been shared by the gunman himself. Fair enough. The assertion that Sikhs are not Muslims is certainly true. Jains are not Hindus, and Mormons are not Methodists either.,0,6114417.story
Canada reverses decision against Portuguese immigrant (The Portual News)
José Pereira, a Portuguese businessman who has lived and worked in Canada for 32 years, has this week had his residency permit re-issued following an administrative blunder that led the authorities to revoke his permanent residence status and order him out of the country.
Video: Cracking down on foreign criminals (Sun News Network)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney on bill C-43, which attempts to remove foreign criminals from Canada.
Lethbridge homes sprayed with racist and homophobic grafitti (CCLA)
The Lethbridge Herald is reporting that a Lethbridge neighbourhood was marked with racist and homophobic graffiti on Saturday evening. The graffiti included slogans like “White Power”. Local Lethbridge radio station Country 95.5 is reporting that the graffiti was found on “homes, fences, cars, and vehicles”.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Seeks Stakeholder Input into its New, Proposed Rules (IRB)
The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act and the Balanced Refugee Reform Act have introduced several significant changes to the refugee determination process in Canada. To implement these changes and to meet the expectations and time limits set out in the legislation and accompanying regulations, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has drafted new, proposed rules for both the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD). The IRB has benefited greatly from stakeholder views and perspectives over the years, and believes that stakeholder input is particularly critical in the development of fair and effective rules of practice. You are therefore encouraged to review and comment on the proposed rules and accompanying regulatory impact analysis statement, which have been published on the website of the Canada Gazette.
Protecting refugees and their identities (Kim Covert, Canadian Legal Conference 2012)
The CBA Council also passed a resolution today calling on the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal to adopt rules that would protect the identities of refugee claimant at various stages of the hearing process. The idea is that those fighting their way to safe harbour in Canada shouldn’t later have to worry about retribution back home.
CBA tackles ministerial instructions on immigration (Canadian Legal Conference 2012)
The CBA will urge Parliament to remove the powers of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to implement fundamental changes to immigration programs and existing rights through ministerial instructions, and ensure that such changes are made through legislation or regulation.
New Web Resources (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
New web resources related to refugees and asylum seekers.
Opening Doors: A Global Survey of NGO Attitudes Towards LGBTI Refugees and Asylum Seekers (Refugee Research)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) asylum seekers and refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world. Having fled persecution in their home countries without the support of their families or local communities, they frequently confront even more social exclusion, severe discrimination, and violence in their countries of transit or asylum. Their extreme marginalization deepens the need for informed intervention by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). NGOs — central to international refugee protection efforts — play an especially crucial role on behalf of these most vulnerable of refugees. This report seeks to help NGOs protect LGBTI refugees. Moreover, because these individuals often hide their identity for fear of mistreatment, NGOs must affirmatively create for them an atmosphere of safety, understanding, and support.
‘Real inequalities’ a threat to medicare’s mission, incoming CMA chief says (Globe and Mail)
The fundamental mission of Canadian medicare is to ensure no one is denied essential care, regardless of ability to pay – but it is increasingly failing to achieve that goal. That is the blunt message from the president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association. “There are real inequalities around the country,” Anna Reid said in an interview. The source of that inequality is two-fold, she said: 1) “Our public system is covering just part of what needs to be covered,” and; 2) health services provided increasingly are varying both among and within provinces/territories.
Conference Oct 11-12: A Living Wage in Ontario: Why It Matters (CCPA)
CIC updates Foreign Worker Manual provisions relating to intra-company transferees (International Law Office)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently updated its Foreign Worker Manual, which provides guidance to CIC and Canada Border Services Agency officers who adjudicate work permit applications. The updated version includes revisions to sections that describe the C12 (Section 5.31) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA; appendix G, Sections 4.1 and 4.3) intra-company transferee exemptions from the labour market opinion requirement. Both the C12 and NAFTA intra-company transferee exemptions apply to executives, managers and specialised knowledge workers who are transferring from one entity to another within the same multinational organisation. The two intra-company transferee exemptions are essentially identical. However, the NAFTA exemption applies to citizens of the United States and Mexico only, while the C12 exemption applies to all nationalities.
Group Mentoring (ALLIES)
Group mentoring is a unique form of support, where a group of skilled immigrants looking for work (mentees) can connect with a professional working in their field (mentor). Group mentoring is an efficient model. The mentor can effectively help a group of newcomers at one time. Mentees can learn and share experiences from each other. Furthermore, successful mentors who have many demands on their time can share their invaluable knowledge, expertise and business network with a large pool of mentees. Learn how to develop and successfully manage your own group mentoring program with these practical and strategic toolkits. These toolkits have been developed by JVS Toronto.
Visible Minorities and the Government of Canada (Canadian Government Jobs)
Over the past few years, the Government of Canada has made a conscious effort to improve outcomes for visible minorities wishing to enter into Government of Canada. It is important to note that Aboriginal Persons are not considered visible minorities. They are classified under a separate Employment Equity group which has it’s own recruitment and retention process.
For migrant workers, injury often means a one-way ticket home (Metro News)
After Eloid Drummond was hit by a car in Exeter, Ont., and suffered a dislocated shoulder, he was declared “AWOL” by his employer — and Canada — because he refused to quietly go home to Jamaica. Unable to continue farm work, he was terminated from Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Program, and hence lost his social insurance card and health coverage for his injuries. Being labeled AWOL (absent without leave) also meant he couldn’t be rehired within the program, which each year brings in 25,000 foreign farm workers from Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. On Friday, after fighting repatriation ever since the May 2010 accident, Drummond, 39, will finally get badly needed surgery on his right shoulder at Humber River Regional Hospital.
Monday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Garbage, Development, TCHC, Transit, City Hall and Other News.
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 @broganmedia: Would You Hire This Person? RT @CAwkward: I love, love, love this comment. RT @RobinGood: Staying...