Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 15, 2012


Immigration Policy: The Sound of One Hand Clapping (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
Canadians have seen a flurry of changes to federal immigration policy since a majority government was elected in the spring of 2011. They have affected every aspect of immigration, from the economic class and temporary workers, to the family class, to refugees. The government says they are fine tuning the system to the needs of the economy, while reducing bogus claims and fraud. Critics say they are dramatically changing the welcoming approach of the former system to one that is punitive, not improving its support of the labour market, and making immigrant settlement and inclusion more difficult.

Applications: Newcomer Settlement Program (MCI)
The Ontario government supports delivery of settlement services to newcomers through the Newcomer Settlement Program (NSP). The goal of the program is to support the successful settlement and integration of newcomers to Ontario. The program is delivered by a province-wide network of community-based not-for-profit agencies that assist newcomers in settling and integrating to communities across Ontario. Settlement agencies provide newcomers with information, guidance and support during the settlement process, and connect newcomers to services and resources in the broader community. The deadline to submit applications for the NSP online through Grants Ontario is: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

Thoughts on the recent Calls for Proposals – Message from the ED (OCASI)
This is usually the time of year when the pace of the work of organizations slows down as leadership and practitioners take time to renew their energies and to regroup. It is the time when the reality of life-work balance seems not too out of reach and when dreams of lazy hours on patios, lake beaches or backyards with family and friends often become reality. For many in our sector, this is not happening this year. Both the federal and provincial ministries that fund immigrant and refugee settlement and integration programs have chosen this time of year to issue Calls for Proposals (CFP). One would be forgiven for concluding that theres some sort of conspiracy afoot. But inconvenient though the timing may be, both calls being issued back to back is an opportunity for organizations to review existing services, to determine what works and what doesnt work to meet the complex and diverse needs of immigrants and refugees and their communities . It is an opportunity to discontinue initiatives that have failed and to develop, where necessary, new programs and approaches to the work.

From Egypt to Nova Scotia: A Second Homecoming (
It was midnight and Fady Nashat was exhausted after a trip to the United States. He waited as an immigration officer reviewed his documents at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. “And he just said, ‘Welcome home’ and that really hit me,” Nashat recalls. He is proud to call Nova Scotia home. With help from the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, Nashat became a permanent resident of Canada in 2009. His journey began in 2007 when he left his family and friends in Cairo, Egypt, to spend his final year of undergraduate studies at Cape Breton University. He had completed the first three years of the Bachelor of Technology Information (Information Management) degree in Cairo at the Canadian International College, which partners with Cape Breton University.

Author of Herouxville code shows up at PQ rally (Sue Montgomery, Montreal Gazette)
The author of the now infamous Herouxville code of behaviour for new immigrants showed up at a campaign rally for the Parti Québecois Tuesday with a foreboding if unlikely tale to support the partys goal of wiping all religious symbols, save the crucifix, from the public sphere. Lets say Im Jewish and I go to a government office, André Drouin began, surrounded by a gaggle of journalists. And I see a Muslim across from me… I know hes Muslim because of his sign and I say to myself, my family was strangled in my country because of this religion, and I feel uncomfortable so thats why religions shouldnt be identifiable. During the height of the reasonable accomodation debate in 2007, Drouin drew up pointers for immigrants, explaining that polygamy and stoning were banned in Canada and that at the end of the year, trees are decorated with tinsel and lights.

Legault: Kids here should work harder, like Asians (CTV)
It’s a unique campaign message: A man who aspires to be premier of Quebec has compared the province’s young people, unfavorably, to Asian kids. Francois Legault says he doesn’t regret suggesting this week that young Quebecers are more interested in living “the good life” and could learn a thing or two from their harder-working Asian counterparts. In fact, Legault dug in his heels Tuesday. “I’m sticking to it,” he told reporters. “Right now in Quebec, we don’t value education and effort as much as we should.”

Another call for Canada to court more international students (Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun)
Another report has been issued urging Canada to make a greater effort to attract international students, with this one calling for a doubling of numbers by 2022. The report, released Wednesday, is from a federal task force led by Amit Chakma, president of the University of Western Ontario. It follows a similar report last week by Stephen Toope, president of the University of B.C. International education in all its facets brings tremendous value to every community in Canada, whether urban or rural, eastern or western, francophone or anglophone, says the report, which includes 14 recommendations for an international education strategy.

Report: International Education: A Key Driver of Canadas Future Prosperity –

Canada must attract foreign students to fuel innovation, drive economy: report (Globe and Mail)
Canada should double the number of international students choosing to study here by 2020, a new report commissioned by the federal government says. The task force responsible for the report, headed up by Western University president Amit Chakma, wants Ottawa to boost the number of international students from approximately 239,130 to 450,000 without taking away coveted university seats from its own Canadian students. The 122-page report titled International Education, a Key Driver of Canadas Future Prosperity, released Tuesday, says Canada must invest in attracting students to fuel innovation and drive economic prosperity.

Canada may limit study permits and visas of foreign students (Toronto Star)
In an attempt to weed out disingenuous international students, Ottawa plans to grant student visas and work permits to only those enrolling in government-accredited schools. The proposed regulatory changes would ensure that study permit holders are genuine students by requiring students to enroll in and actively pursue a course or program of study after arrival in Canada, said Citizenship and Immigration spokesperson Nancy Caron. Institutions that are not designated by provinces and territories would no longer be able to host international students.–canada-may-limit-study-permits-and-visas-of-foreign-students

North American Jewish immigrants move to Israel despite tension over Iran (Blake Sobczak, Calgary Herald)
Despite regional tensions, about 350 Jews from North America landed in Israel on Tuesday, planning to make the Jewish state their new home. Their arrival coincides with an escalating internal debate over whether Israel should attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel and the West believe Iran may be aiming to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies that. Either and Israeli attack that could set off a regional conflagration, or an Iran with a nuclear bomb to back up its frequent calls for the destruction of Israel, would seem to be good enough reason to postpone moving to the Jewish state but the newcomers dismissed that.

Marriage fraud ruling keeps Kitchener mans Chinese wife from permanent residency (Douglas Quan,
Neil Macdonald insisted his marriage to a woman he met on a Chinese dating website was genuine and that she was his soul mate. But a federal judge was unmoved, recently upholding immigration officials decision to deny the Kitchener, Ont., mans attempts to sponsor his wife, Zheng Qun Huang, for permanent residence in Canada on the grounds she was interested only in a ticket to this country. The decision comes at a time when the government has introduced measures to crack down on marriage fraud, making it much more difficult, immigration lawyers say, to apply for spousal sponsorship.

Diversity Of Islam Highlighted In New Pew Report (Jahnabi Barooah, Huffington Post)
Nearly all Muslims can agree on the basic beliefs of Islam: There is one God, Muhammad is God’s prophet, Muslims should fast during the holy month of Ramadan and give alms to the poor. Yet beyond these central pillars of the faith, Muslims worldwide vastly differ as religious convictions are shaped by cultural and social contexts, according to a new report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. “The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity” draws on 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 39 countries, and finds that Muslims differ sharply over questions of faith like who counts as a Muslim and what spiritual practices are acceptable. With 1.6 billion adherents, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion, behind Christianity, and accounts for one-quarter of the world’s population.

Dozens of applications from more than 20 countries already received (Intercultural Innovation)
In only one month, dozens of applications have been received for the 2012 edition of the Intercultural Innovation Award. Applicants are encouraged to continue applying early. By doing so, we will have time to notify them of possible mistakes or missing information in their applications. At the same time, the pre-selection committee will review applications in the order in which they are received.

The Cost of Diversity (Grace Austin, Diversity Journal)
Many critics have pointed out major issues due to LOCOGs emphasis on diversity, most notably the rising price of the Games. The predicted cost of the London Olympics has risen by £2.37 billion initially to a predicted £24 billion, largely due to contracts that are essential for the games diversity targets. Stephen Frost, head of inclusion at the 2012 Games, noted at a Toronto supplier diversity conference in March that some of the successful bidders were more expensive than others, but were able to fulfill all of the accessibility issues that arose in making the games disability-friendly. Carmakers that signed contracts have also been asked to make vehicles adaptable for disabled drivers. Besides a literal cost of diversity, another major concern has been the figurative costs, in particular the displacement of people (mainly ethnic minorities and the poor) and improvement of the city in preparation for the games. The formerly working class areas have been transformed through eviction of previous residents, the raising of tenant prices, and gentrification spurred by the Olympics. Many have praised this, including Frost, who cited the East Ends real physical transformation from an urban desert. Londons East End is home to the highest concentrations of non-white residents. Newham, home to the Olympic Village, is the most ethnically diverse district in the country. Many are predicting these areas are becoming, and will become homogenous ethnically and economically, as is characteristic of similar neighborhoods in Olympic history. Many will continue to weigh in on, during and post-Olympics, the benefits (cleaned-up areas, new hospitals and medical centers) versus the perceived or real inju

Nathalie Des Rosiers: Lets not abandon Multiculturalism (CIJA)
Multiculturalism is the celebration of different cultures as part of a national identity. In my view, multiculturalism is fundamentally democratic in nature and is a morally sound aspiration, grounded in liberty, equality and the dignity of human beings. It does not lead to coward relativism or moral ambiguity, but rather to a rich and innovative society that constantly evolves and engages in self-reflection. No less should be asked of a truly democratic society. I disagree with Prof. Mansurs claims that multiculturalism should be discarded because it is incompatible with a liberal political theory which, according to him, should only protect individuals and not groups. Prof. Mansur also suggests that multiculturalism falsely asserts that all cultures are equal and that because of the War on Terror, it is particularly urgent that Canadian multicultural should be dismantled because it unwittingly fosters support for cultural groups bent on undermining liberal democracy.

Why Indian boardrooms have no diversity (BBC)
Do India’s corporate boardrooms lack diversity? New research by D Ajit, Han Donker and Ravi Saxena of the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, is offering some engaging clues. They have profiled board members of the top 1,000 Indian firms – private and state-owned – that account for four-fifths of the market capitalisation of companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in 2010.

Images can offend in cross-culture communication (Mich Walkden, Mich Communication)
Finding good images or side footage to spice up your content is tough enough without adding culture sensitivities on top. Failing to consider the subtext of your choice however can have a big impact on your audience and therefore your brand. Ive personally been guilty of not giving enough thought to my image selection on more than one occasion.


Multicultural Canada? There’s a banking job for that (Globe and Mail)
As change has become a mantra in the business world, executive responsibilities and job titles are evolving quickly. Our Emerging Roles series will ask Canadians about how their jobs are changing. New title: Vice-president, multicultural banking Who: Winnie Leong, VP of multicultural banking at Scotiabank since February, 2012 (the role was created in 2007)

Hiring without hassles: recruiting and retaining the best employees while avoiding legal pitfalls and human rights issues (Marcia Scheffler, First Reference Talks)
Im the manager, I can hire anyone I want, is a phrase that Human Resources professionals have heard many times. Employers do have every right to choose the employees that they want, but Human Resources professionals and legal counsel can help guide you through some of the legal and human rights issues regarding your obligations to applicants and throughout the recruitment process. Obligations and compliance for people who dont even work for my company? Yup, thats right. Not only do employers have to treat employees according to Employment Standards Act and other relevant legislations, but they also owe some similar considerations to the people who may want to work for them! For example, many employers are not aware that the Ontario Human Rights Code places duties and obligations on them during the hiring process.

Report: (TIEDI) Filling the Data Gap: A Conversation on Coordinating and Using Program Data (PDF) (Settlement AtWork)
TIEDIs Roundtable Discussion Paper #2, Filling the Data Gap: A Conversation on Coordinating and Using Program Data is now available on their website. The purpose of TIEDIs Roundtable session 2 was to explore possible partnerships between government agencies, community organizations and academics in the collection and sharing of data pertaining to immigrants in the labour market. This report is one of a series providing highlights from the discussions in TIEDIs roundtable sessions (

Report: TIEDI: July 2012 Labour Force Update (PDF) (Settlement AtWork)
The July 2012 Labour Force Update from TIEDI is available on-line. Based on data from July 2012 Labour Force Survey, this report covers employment by industry, participation rate, proportion of full-time employment, and unemployment rate of Canadian-born and immigrants in the Toronto CMA and Canada.

Saskatoon makes strides on employment equity (CBC)
Saskatoon has doubled the percentage of visible minorities on the city payroll. The City of Saskatoon is making progress towards achieving a more representative workforce. An annual report of employment equity shows the city is employing more aboriginal people, visible minorities, women and people with disabilities than it was a few years ago. Employment manager Mubarka Butt said the higher numbers can be attributed in part to pre-employment training and work placement programs.

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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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