Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 2, 2012


Consultation season is upon us (Maytree)
Slowing down for summer? Think again. If youve got a stake or interest in Canadas immigration and financial systems, youve got a month to make sure your voice is heard. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has just launched two online consultations. While it appears that CIC will also be consulting directly with some select stakeholders, dont wait to get your input into them.

Wearing our diversity on our jersey: How the Pan Am Games plans to deliver one of its key promises (Yonge Street)
In 2008, Toronto put forth the winning bid for hosting duties of the Pan American/Parapan American Games, which will see more 10,000 athletes from more than 41 countries make temporary residence in the heart of the Don Valley and compete in venues all over the Golden Horseshoe. Toronto won the right to host on the condition of an audacious promise: to deliver the most diverse Games ever to be held in the half-century-old institution’s history. As essential to the preparation process as construction for the village that will house the athletes is the ongoing planning to deliver on the diversity that was such a core of the pitch. The question is, how?

Immigration Road Show in Windsor (Don Lajoie, Windsor Star)
Local business groups and agencies working with recent arrivals to Canada met with the federal governments traveling roadshow on immigration Wednesday to push for better programs for newcomers to address Windsor and Essex Countys workforce needs. Chungsen Leung, parliamentary secretary for the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, met about a dozen local stakeholders on the immigration file and after the meeting said the consultations, held at the CIC offices on Walker Road, had proven useful as the government goes about setting future immigration policy, taking into consideration the differing situations of each region.

Remembering the Komagata Maru (The Epoch Times)
It was 98 years ago that Canadian officials turned away the Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamship carrying 376 East Indian passengers that arrived in Vancouver harbour in 1914. Most of the passengers were not allowed to land because the ship did not make a continuous journey to Canada, as was prescribed by Canadian immigration laws at the time. After almost two months in Vancouver, the ship sailed to India where, in an altercation with British soldiers, approximately 20 passengers and a number of soldiers died.

Sask. gov’t hoping for federal flexibility regarding immigration nominee program (Vanessa Brown, Leader Post)
Saskatchewan Immigration Minister Bill Boyd will ask the federal government to loosen what critics are calling “extreme” new provisions of the provincial immigrant nominee program. The minister’s commitment to negotiate with his federal counterparts follows a Tuesday meeting between Boyd and members of the recently-formed Coalition for a Fair SINP (Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program). During the 90-minute discussion, coalition members outlined possible amendments to the new rules that place restrictions on the number of families immigrants can nominate to join them here, among other things.

Embracing diversity: Canada’s advantage (John Kennair, St. Albert Gazette)
If one wishes to know and understand Canada, this is important to remember, as our transition to becoming a multicultural society took place over a relatively short period of time. It was not until the 1960s with the Quiet Revolution in Quebec that Canada acknowledged its bicultural heritage. In 1972, it took measures to recognize our multicultural heritage, declaring us a multicultural society in 1979. Canada still functions primarily in English, but we have made strides to recognize the ideals of equality. It was not just the English, the Scots, the French or our indigenous peoples who built this country, but the Irish, the Chinese, the Scandinavians, the Russians, the Ukrainians, and Germans who also helped to pioneer this land. And within 20 years the idea of Canada changed. And it will continue to change.

Canadas Multicultural Athletic Edge (Matthew Little, The Epoch Times)
For a country born of immigration, fuelled in part today by the ingenuity and experience of its newcomers, theres a distinct advantage to being the world leader in multicultural sports psychology. Some of Canadas best athletes come from other countries. Robert Schinke is the Canada research chair in Multicultural Sport and Physical Activity and a humanities professor at Laurentian University. His current research focuses on the intersection of multiculturalism and sports psychology, a field in which Canada is second to none.

Jason Kenney faces legal uprising over Conrad Black visa (Globe and Mail)
More than 80 lawyers have signed an open letter to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney challenging his insistence he played no role in granting Conrad Black a permit to live in this country even before the U.K. citizen had finished his jail time in Florida. The lawyers, all immigration specialists, say they believe Mr. Kenney must have had some part in the controversial decision to grant a temporary resident permit to Mr. Black, who renounced his Canadian citizenship in pursuit of a British peerage and had served time in a Florida jail for fraud and obstruction of justice. They are also daring the Harper government minister to haul them before the Law Society of Upper Canada for saying so.

Connecting crime dots (Toronto Sun)
The recent shootings in Toronto have elicited a great deal of discussion about how to deal with gang violence. The elephant in the room is the extent to which such problems may be related to immigration and refugee policies. When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney declared themselves in favour of removing foreign criminals from the country, this was already too much for some of the opposition. They were quickly criticized by federal Liberals for fanning the flames of ignorance and prejudice, according to MP John McKay. Jinny Sims of the NDP was only slightly more moderate when she described one of Kenneys statements as deeply disturbing. No one is suggesting we dont have our share of homegrown criminal gang problems. It has to be asked, however, why we should want to bring in additional problems from abroad that could perhaps be largely avoided with better immigration policies.

Publication of marriage fraud ebook on temporary hold (Chloe Fedio, Ottawa Citizen)
Fodé Mohamed Soumahs first Canadian wife called the highly publicized story of her ex-husbands deportation a matter of public interest worthy of a memoir. The Guinea-natives second Canadian wife called the tale of disputed facts post-divorce bitterness that should remain private. A Superior Court of Québec justice ordered Wednesday that the sale and promotion of the marriage fraud e-book halt for 30 days. Its a temporary victory for Soumah and his current wife, Cassandre Blier.


Hamilton doctor likes call for review of refugee care (Samantha Craggs, CBC)
A local doctor says he’s heartened by a federal critic’s call to examine cuts made to refugee health care. Christian Kraeker, a McMaster University physician who has protested changes to refugee health care, says Kevin Lamoureux’s announcement today is certainly welcome. Lamoureux, the Liberal citizenship and immigration critic, held a news conference Tuesday morning calling on the government to reverse cuts to refugee health care.

Egyptian refugee a terror suspect or innocent? (Michele Mandel, Calgary Sun)
It’s hard to clear your name when you’re forced to box with shadows. For 12 long years, Egyptian refugee Mohammad Mahjoub has been considered a threat to public safety and destined for deportation based on secret CSIS intelligence presented to a Federal Court judge. No charges have ever been laid against him, no evidence ever publicly produced. Yet he remains caged by a controversial security certificate, accused by CSIS of belonging to an Egyptian Islamic extremist group with ties to al-Qaida. He spent more than seven years behind bars — some of them at Guantanamo North — and four more under strict house arrest. His bail conditions have been loosened now, but he still must wear a GPS tracking anklet, can’t use the subway and needs federal permission to leave Toronto. During this long saga, his wife has left him and he hasn’t been able to see his two children.


Immigrant Employment Councils (IECs) A Made-in-Canada Career Solution (ERIEC)
Immigrants Employment Councils (IECs) have been formed right across Canada to bring together local stakeholders to address the many challenges of integrating skilled immigrants into the labour market. IECs are organizations that typically complement rather than compete with existing immigrant programs and services and most often are employer-led councils. In some cities, IECs convene multi-stakeholder working groups including employers, community organizations, post-secondary institutions, assessment service providers, labour, immigrant professional associations, and all three levels of government to address immigrant employment issues.

Feds to help skilled immigrants find work in Alberta (Jenna McMurray, Calgary Sun)
More than $3.3 million of federal cash is being invested in Alberta for licencing internationally trained professionals to work. Human resources and skills development Minister Diane Finley made the announcement Wednesday, saying under the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot, funding will be given to the Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta (IAF Alberta). We recognize that internationally trained workers help fill skills shortages in key occupations, said Finley.

Government of Canada helps internationally trained professionals in Alberta get good jobs (
More than 300 internationally trained professionals in Alberta will receive financial assistance to help them have their education and experience recognized, thanks to the Government of Canadas Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today. Our Government’s top priorities are job creation and economic growth and we recognize that internationally trained workers help fill skills shortages in key occupations, said Minister Finley. By partnering with organizations like the Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta to help internationally trained professionals find meaningful work, we are working together for Canadas long-term prosperity.

Speaking points for the Honourable Diane Finley to announce Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot funding to Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta (Gov of Canada News)
By 2031, its estimated that immigrants will account for more than 80% of Canadas overall population growth. And they are moving to cities in the west, like Calgary, for good reasons. Theyre going where the jobs are. Our Governments top priorities are job creation and economic growth and we recognize that internationally trained professionals help fill skills shortages in key occupations. We have to tap into their potential, especially here in the west where there are labour shortages in many industries. By partnering with organizations like the Immigrant Access Fund Society of Alberta to help internationally trained professionals find meaningful work, we are working together for Canadas long-term prosperity. The reality is that too many Canadians with international training are doing jobs that are far below their real abilities.

Premiers should fight back against Ottawas low-wage schemes (Chronicle Herald)
Foreign Workers: The TFWP is not immigration. Its exploitation. These workers, many of whom are desperately seeking a better life, are being used to create an underclass to drive down the wages and working conditions of Canadians. Its not fair or just to them, or to their Canadian co-workers. The recent decision by the Harper Conservatives to allow employers to pay temporary foreign workers 15 per cent less than their Canadian co-workers is a blatant example of their low-wage strategy. With 1.3 million unemployed, and several hundred thousand more discouraged or underemployed Canadians, our focus should be on providing opportunities for Canadas unemployed and underemployed.

Is Alberta losing a global war for talent? (Jeff Lewis, Alberta Oil Magazine)
The latest figures compiled by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada suggest the countrys oil and gas sector could be short 3,400 workers in the next four years. Less acknowledged, however, is the impact a labor-sapping global commodity boom is having on Albertas already thin supply of skilled workers. Losing just one per cent of the sectors workforce to other industries or competing jurisdictions will create an additional 980 job vacancies between 2012 and 2015, the council reports. In an interview, Mitchelmore casts the challenge as a great opportunity for aboriginals and Canadians across provinces, but she chafes at the suggestion that Canada, Alberta and the oil sands are on the losing side of what the McKinsey Global Institute calls a global war for talent. Yes, Canada can compete globally, of course, she says.


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Gun Crime, West Nile, Corner Store Beer and Other News.

IMFG e-news August 2012 (IMFG)
Includes: past events, IMFG papers, IMFG in the news and News.


SiG in Atlantic Canada (JW McConnell Family Foundation)
Social Innovation Generation (SiG) members recently participated in two events in Atlantic Canadathe Social Innovation in Nova Scotia Forum and the ALIA (Authentic Leadership in Action) Summer Institute. The Social Innovation in Nova Scotia Forum took place June 15 and involved leaders from all sectors of society. It included discussions on cross-sector collaboration, social finance, new approaches to solving complex challenges, the community and social innovation, and the role of solutions labs. The forum served as a springboard for a leadership team to increase provincial investment in social innovation; implement engagement strategies to ensure diverse participation; and build spaces for developing, prototyping, and launching innovations.

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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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