Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 16, 2012


UPEI hosts national forum on immigration policy (The Guardian)
Public and private sector leaders from across the country are gathering at UPEI today and Thursday for a discussion about policy and practice with regards to immigration in Canada for the third annual Palmer Conference on public sector leadership. The Palmer Conference is named in honour of public policy advocate James S. Palmer, a prominent Calgary-based lawyer of the firm Burnet, Duckworth, and Palmer, and native Prince Edward Islander.

ACTRA Toronto to Host Casting Call for Diverse Performers With the Casting Directors Society of Canada and eOne (Marketwire)
ACTRA Torontos newest initiative is to shine a spotlight on its ethnically diverse performers to talent representatives from the Casting Directors Society of Canada, eOne and other Canadian producers. This call for non-specific roles is designed to showcase ACTRA Torontos deep reservoir of diverse professional performers and to expand the talent pools for film, television and new media. It is important that our performers union helps to create work opportunities that reflect the full diversity of our membership, said ACTRA Toronto President Heather Allin. We are delighted that casting director Jenny Lewis and Mackenzie Lush from eOne have partnered with us to make this happen.

The Representation of Asians and LGBT in North American Youth Television (Huffington Post)
The casting process is an experience all actors must go through. It’s what they all strive to achieve. Actors are always seeking opportunities like these to audition for great roles, whether they are for the lead or a supporting role. For minority actors, finding prominent roles in North American television is more difficult in comparison to the caucasian majority. Asians and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) are two minority groups that struggle to find representation in North American television. Specifically in shows for young people, minorities struggle with stereotyped characters and shortage of great roles.

New Canadians in Windsor see rise in diabetes (CBC)
Windsor’s immigrant population is witnessing an alarming rise in the rate of diabetes, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Maha Dabavneh moved from Jordan one year ago and said she was surprised and overwhelmed by how much unhealthy prepared food Canadians consume. “They eat at restaurants, especially fast food and I think this is hazardous. You can’t have it all the time, I don’t believe in it,” said Dabavneh. “You are exposed to a big, big supermarket. I see here that Canada has big supermarkets.” Back in her country, she said, everything was freshly prepared every day.

Intolerance is intolerance, even in Quebec (Chris Selley, National Post)
If Paula, Frank and John were vying for the Premiers office in Edmonton, or Victoria, or Halifax, progressive Canadians would be vociferously and justifiably aghast. If reports made the international press, they would only remove their heads from between their knees to Tweet their all-consuming mortification at this intolerant, small-minded, un-Canadian behaviour. But because Pauline Marois of the Parti Québécois, François Legault of the Coalition Avenier Québec and Jean Charest of the Liberals are vying for the Premiers office in Quebec City, its well, different.

Crucifix at centre of debate over religion, immigration in Quebec (Brian Daly, Sun News Network)
Religion, secularism and Quebec identity are proving a volatile mix in a battle of words on the provincial election trail. Parti Quebecois candidate Djemila Benhabib drew a vitriolic response from a local mayor Wednesday for saying the crucifix should be taken down from the Quebec legislature chamber. Jean Tremblay, mayor of Saguenay, QC, and a professed Catholic, told a popular Montreal radio program that voters should be wary of her because she “comes from Algeria.”

The legacy of Aqsa Parvez, and the many poisonous definitions of honour (Jonathan Kay, National Post)
Five years ago, Waqas Parvez strangled his 16-year-old sister Aqsa to death in their Mississauga home after she refused to wear the hijab. Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Durno spoke for many of us when he declared himself profoundly disturb[ed]that a 16-year-old could be murdered by a father and brother for the purpose of saving family pride, for saving them from what they perceived as family embarrassment. More than any other single crime, the murder of Aqsa Parvez by her Pakistani-Canadian Muslim family woke Canadians up to the phenomenon of honour killings. In denouncing this particularly abhorrent motivation for murder, the judge gave voice to our understanding of honour killings as a pathology quite distinct from ordinary domestic violence.

Canada gets a little bigger, a little better (Justin Parsons, Banff Crag and Canyon)
For 50 new Canadians, the dream of citizenship came true on the shores of Lake Minnewanka during a ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 9. Immigrants from 23 different countries recited their oaths, sang the national anthem and received their citizenship certificates in the annual ceremony. Today, Canada is bigger and better than it was just one hour ago, said citizenship judge Joseph Woodward. Now when you travel the world and people ask where youre from, you can say Im from Canada. Former Canmore mayo

Popular anti-Muslim myths busted in new book (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star)
It started in the far reaches of the Internet and the mutterings of the political right, then in increasingly mainstream and mass-market venues and has since entered the central corridors of European and American politics. So writes Doug Saunders in The Myth of the Muslim Tide (Alfred Knopf Canada), to be released next week. He is the European bureau chief of the Globe and Mail, and author of the much-acclaimed Arrival City (about the sprawling slums of Mumbai, Rio, London, Paris, Chongqing, Los Angeles, etc. the first stop in the mass migration of millions from rural to urban areas). Saunders was living in the U.S. during the Sept. 11 attacks and in London during the July 7, 2005, subway bombing. He has reported extensively on the war on terror and on Islamophobia in Europe.–popular-anti-muslim-myths-busted-in-new-book

York leaders clash over controversial Muslim rally (
York Region Islamic Society president Zafar Bangash participated in last year’s controversial Muslim rally, known as International Day of Al-Quds. The organization’s Gormley headquarters is one seven bus pick-up locations for those attending Saturday’s rally at Queen’s Park, according to Facebook site ‘Al-Quds Rally Toronto’. A wave of concern is flooding Queens Park following a decision to allow a controversial Muslim rally, known as International Day of Al-Quds, to be held Saturday on legislative grounds. Thornhill Tory MP Peter Kent and Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman are leading the calls of condemnation, accusing the Islamic group of using Ontarios government buildings to propagate hatred.–york-leaders-clash-over-controversial-muslim-rally


Refugee Mental Health: Free Online Course (Settlement AtWork)
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) invites settlement counsellors to enroll in the Refugee Mental Health course.


Abused, Neglected, Arrested: Impact of social profiling of people who are homeless (Wellesley Institute)
Social profiling of homeless people is the use of a persons status by police, security services, members of the public and others to determine their treatment. Stereotypes and perceptions lead to a different treatment of people who are homeless, including youth, compared to those who are housed. Research from the Wellesley Institute and others shows that people who are homeless report a higher level of criminal assaults, including assaults by police, and more negative interactions. An on-line video of a person urinating on an apparently homeless man that was made public in early August shocked many, but it confirmed the violations that people living on or close to the street experience daily.

Wellesley Institute Summer 2012 Research & Policy Updates (Wellesley Institute)
New WI research underlines health, equity and social benefits of scattered site housing
Assessing Services North of the Danforth
Federal Housing Investments are Critical
Stop the cuts to refugee health
Access to rehabilitation as part of a Health Equity Roadmap
Research and Policy Fall Internship
The Wellesley Urban Health Model Exhibit


New Mentorship Program for Internationally Trained Technologists & Technicians (IECBC)
The Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) today announced a joint mentoring program to assist internationally trained professionals find work in engineering and applied science technology. The program builds on IEC-BCs successful provincial mentoring program that brings internationally trained professionals together with established Canadian professionals in occupation-specific fields in one-on-one relationships, giving them local insights and access to professional networks. IEC-BC adapted the mentoring program to meet the requirements of registered engineering technologists and technicians in BC.

Helping Newcomers Reach Their Full Potential (Alberta Health Services)
Moving to a foreign country and finding a job is a big undertaking, especially for skilled immigrants starting a new life in Canada. Just ask Jaslin Kaur Ahuja. Ahuja arrived in Alberta in 2010. Having worked in health administration in India, she wanted to learn more about Albertas health system before starting her job search. I wanted to get a better sense of where my skills would fitplus, I was expecting a baby, so I wasnt focused on getting into the job market right away, she says. She heard about career mentorship programs offered to Canadian newcomers , including one offered by the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) for Canadian newcomers.

Promoting diversity in the office: Tips for bias-free hiring (CharityVillage)
With Canadas increasing diversity, employers are becoming more conscious about their hiring practices and the need to reflect the population served. They are also aware of their obligations under the Human Rights Code to have non-discriminatory hiring practices. However, women, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal peoples, and racial minorities continue to experience disadvantage in the labour market, resulting in higher rates of unemployment and underemployment even when they have comparable levels of education and work experience. So, while many organizations may have the goal of creating diverse workplaces through bias-free hiring, they may not have implemented the many elements needed to achieve this goal.

Skilled Immigrants to Receive Financial Assistance in Alberta (SooperArticles)
Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans will issue a fund of more than $3 million to Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta (IAF Alberta) for supporting the international professionals who fill up the major vacancies in Alberta. This initiative would allow Alberta to provide more than 300 loans over the period of next two years. The skilled immigrants coming from all over the world would be able to educated themselves and gain work experience with the help of this initiative.

Vulnerable Workers Interim Report – August 2012 (Law Commission of Ontario)
The nature of employment is evolving and the standard employment relationship based on full-time, continuous employment, where the worker has access to good wages and benefits, is no longer the predominant form of employment, to the extent it ever was. Today more work is precarious, with less job security, few if any benefits and minimal control over working conditions. Precarious work may be contract, part-time, self-employment or temporary work. While this change has affected all groups of workers, women and recent immigrants are more likely to be vulnerable workers engaged in precarious work. In particular, certain workers under foreign worker programs undertake precarious work. The LCOs Vulnerable Workers/Precarious Work Project assesses the protections available to these workers in Ontario and coverage of this type of work under provincial legislation designed to protect workers, such as the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Precarious work, health and income inequality (Sheila Block, Wellesley Institute)
This morning, the Law Commission of Ontario released draft recommendations on how to reform the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, in its interim report on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work. The report provides a valuable overview of precarious work in Ontario, including that 22 percent, or more than 1 in 5 Ontario workers, are precariously employed. It identified food services and accommodation as the sector with the highest share of precarious employment, and noted that racialized and immigrant women are overrepresented in this sector.

Report Card on the Protection of Migrant Workers to be presented to Premier of Ontario at Annual Patio Party (Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW))
Organizers with Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) will be presenting Premier Dalton McGuinty with a report card rating the effectiveness of the Provincial Liberals in enshrining the rights of migrant workers in Ontario. The report card, measuring access to labour regimes, enforcement of migrant workers rights, and their access to adequate housing, healthcare and services such as Coroners Inquests, will be presented to the Premier at the Annual Fundraising Patio party (260 Richmond St. West) at 6pm.

Crack down on wage theft needed (Workers’ Action Centre)
Expand protection for workers and crack down on wage theft this is the message WAC representatives shared with MPP Laura Albanese today. In her role as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Laura Albanese met with WAC to discuss the recommendations of the Dean Report, an Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health & Safety report and recommendations to the Minister of Labour.

Employment termination and maintenance of lawful status in Canada (Henry J. Chang, First Reference Talks)
Foreign nationals who hold work permits in Canada sometimes wonder what will happen to their immigration status if they quit their jobs or are terminated by their Canadian employers. The answer is not as simple as it appears and it may be surprising to some. A discussion of the relevant issues appears below.


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Ford, Chicago & Toronto, Topless Rallies and Other News.

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary in The Economists top 10 list of most-livable cities (Toronto Star)
Not unlike the Olympics, Canadas top city has won bronze in The Economists 2012 rankings of livable cities. Vancouver, for nearly a decade the unassailable first-place city in the economics magazine, slid to third place in 2011 and stayed there this year in the semi-annual report.–vancouver-toronto-and-calgary-in-the-economist-s-top-10-list-of-most-livable-cities

Q&A: What Do You Love and Hate About T-dot? (Snow Mei, The Epoch Times)
He appreciates the security of Toronto compared to Texas, where he lived before moving here. This is a safer environment than where I came from. Also, what I really like is the diversityI like to see a whole bunch of different kinds of people. Its really new to me. Theres nothing Aguirre particularly dislikes about Toronto. The only thing is, when I tell people Im American, theyre like Oh youre from America, and they give me American change back. Im like Is this supposed to be some kind of joke? But it doesnt really bother me, its just for laughs and stuff.


Five Good Ideas: Public Service, Trust and Value (Maytree)
The first Five Good Ideas session of the new season will feature Peter Sloly, Deputy Chief, Toronto Police Service. September 19.

Webinar series – Collaborations, Partnerships and Mergers (Settlement AtWork)
OCASI Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is pleased to invite you to a (6) six-part live webinar series entitled: Income Diversification, Sustainability and Social Enterprise. The Income Diversification, Sustainability and Social Enterprise webinar series is part of OCASIs OrgWise Organizational Standards Initiative Project. This innovative project is aimed at building organizational capacity and developing organizational infrastructure within the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. The four key areas are Operations, Governance and Leadership, Human Resources, and Community-based Approach.

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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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