Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 21, 2012

Revised Federal Skilled Worker Program Unveiled (CIC)
Proposed regulatory changes announced today to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will allow Canada to better select skilled workers who can “hit the ground running” upon arrival.
New immigration system will award more points for language, fewer for work abroad (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Ottawa is revamping the point grid it has used for the past 10 years to judge skilled-immigrant applications. The proposed revisions, to go into effect next January, will put more emphasis on language skills and professional credentials equivalent to Canada’s — while de-emphasizing work experience abroad. This would be the first major overhaul of the immigration point grid system since 2002, when the Liberal government of the day lowered the passing mark and jiggled minor point allocations. Under amendments to the federal skilled-worker program published Friday, language proficiency — a strong indicator of how well new immigrants do economically — will become the most important factor in whether applicants are approved, worth a maximum of 28 points, up from 24.–new-immigration-system-will-award-more-points-for-language-fewer-for-work-abroad
New immigration system puts greater emphasis on language, age (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
The end of foreign doctors and PHDs driving our taxi cabs could soon be nigh. According to the Toronto Star, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has revamped the immigration point grid it’s used for the past 10 years to judge skilled-immigrant applications. The proposed revisions, to go into effect next January, will put more emphasis on age (ie: younger immigrants), language skills and professional credentials equivalent to Canada’s — while de-emphasizing work experience abroad. Foreign nationals applying for immigration to Canada use a 100-point grid, with a pass mark of 67.
Canada willing to welcome more immigrants-Kenney (Harleen Kaur, Canada Updates)
However, this decision is directly dependent on the economic results for immigrants arriving in Canada. This was affirmed by Canada immigration minister Jason Kenney. Immigrants’ must earn equivalent to Canadians—Foreigners coming to work in Canada must be able to earn income almost equivalent to their Canadian counterparts, said Kenney. Only then can the federal government work towards increasing annual Canada immigration levels, he pointed out.
Tough talk as Canada tightens rules (Eddie Luk, Hong Kong Standard)
Canada has tightened the English language requirement for immigration applicants, putting it on a par with that required for university admission. Immigration consultants say the new requirement will dash the dreams of many skilled Chinese. The move comes after a study shows that Putonghua-speaking immigrants have made no significant progress in their English fluency after spending seven years in the country. Canada made the changes – which take effect in January at the earliest – to the Federal Skilled Worker Program, making language the most important selection factor.
Immigration ingredient for prosperous economies (Blake Doyle, The Guardian)
This week Wade MacLauchlan, president emertis at UPEI, played host to public policy leaders from across the nation at the third annual Palmer Conference. The subject of discussion was “Canada as a Leader in Immigration Policy and Practice” — a subject of some familiarity to the Island and clearly of critical importance to our economy and medium-term sustainability. One speaker suggested, “Immigration was as Canadian as hockey.”It was not lost on conference attendees that all their ancestors had immigrated to the ‘country of hockey’ and helped to forge this nation; the only point of difference between attendees was how recent the migration to Canada.
Bank of Canada whitewashes Asian-looking woman on $100 bill (Craig Takeuchi, Straight)
To include or not to include—that’s the $100 question in Canada apparently. But it’s one that we shouldn’t even need to ask. At issue is the depiction of an Asian-looking scientist that originally appeared on the new Canadian $100 bill. The image, which featured a woman peering into a microscope alongside a strand of DNA and a bottle of insulin, was intended to celebrate Canada’s medical innovations. (Canadian medical scientist Frederick Banting is credited with being one of the main discoverers of insulin. The polymer bill was released on November 14, 2011, which is World Diabetes Day and was also the 120th anniversary of Banting’s birth.)
Bank of Canada slammed over ‘racist’ move to scrap Asian image from $100 bills (Globe and Mail)
The highly touted redesign of Canada’s $100 bill has come under fire amid revelations that currency designers edited out the ethnicity of a woman depicted on an early draft of the banknote, following complaints from focus groups. The changes came after the Bank of Canada showed proposed images of the new $100 bill, which entered circulation in November, to focus groups across the country in 2009. According to documents made public by The Canadian Press, participants in focus groups in Fredericton and Montreal objected to a scene on the back of the bill depicting a woman who appeared Asian peering into a microscope.
Asian-looking woman scientist image rejected for $100 bills (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
The Bank of Canada purged the image of an Asian-looking woman from its new $100 banknotes after focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity. The original image intended for the reverse of the plastic polymer banknotes, which began circulating last November, showed an Asian-looking woman scientist peering into a microscope. The image, alongside a bottle of insulin, was meant to celebrate Canada’s medical innovations. But eight focus groups consulted about the proposed images for the new $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 banknote series were especially critical of the choice of an Asian for the largest denomination.
The $100 (Bill) Question: Is Canada’s Multiculturalism a Farce? (Rachel Décoste, Huffington Post)
Canada is a country that likes to pride itself on the inclusion of many races and ethnicities, to lean on the pillar of multiculturalism, and to fete cultural communities in numerous festivals around the country. This week’s events have resurfaced the roots of Canadian prejudice which started right after Confederation with the Chinese Exclusion Act (1885), the “Natal Act” which excluded Japanese immigrants (1900), and the blatant barring of certain immigrants based on race — East Indian (1906) and Africans (1911) , or religion — namely Jewish (1939).
In Canada, ‘non-ethnic’ is still the norm (Globe and Mail)
It has been nearly two years since I wrote a guest column in this paper, expressing my concerns over a Maclean’s article that controversially addressed the growing Asian population at Canadian universities. The piece predicted a dark future for postsecondary education based on racist portrayals of Asian students. I thought that particular maelstrom had passed. I was wrong. Now the Bank of Canada is insisting that a female image on our $100 bill might once again be “too Asian” for Canadian society.
There is no such thing as ethnically neutral (Edward Keenan, The Grid TO)
An ethnic Asian woman, standing at a microscope, does not represent diversity. She does not represent multiculturalism. She does not represent, even, equality of the sexes. She is a Canadian, doing her job, which is science. She represents Canadians doing their jobs. Or she should. I can understand and empathize with the desire to avoid making a political statement with the depiction of an imaginary ordinary Canadian citizen on the money. But you see, you cannot avoid making a political statement. Because the definition of what constitutes “standard Canadian” or “average Canadian” is inherently political. Any choice you make when you set out to depict an “ordinary Canadian,” especially when you, as the BoC spokeperson says, use images that are ”‘composites’ rather than depicting any specific individual,” includes judgements of what constitutes ordinary. And that’s a political judgement.
Is it pushing it to have visible minorities printed on money? (Island Mix)
Asian-looking woman scientist image rejected for $100 bills Focus groups evaluating new banknotes critical of woman’s apparent ethnicity Martine Warren, an advisor for the Bank of Canada, has a close look at the bank’s new $100 bill, Canada’s first polymer bank note, in Toronto last November. The original image of the woman scientist on the banknote was altered after focus groups weighed in. Martine Warren, an advisor for the Bank of Canada, has a close look at the bank’s new $100 bill, Canada’s first polymer bank note, in Toronto last November. The original image of the woman scientist on the banknote was altered after focus groups weighed in. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)
Redesign of $100 bill was a mistake (Martin Van, Richmond Review)
The Bank of Canada’s decision to remove the South Asian features of a woman depicted working behind a microscope in the new $100 Canadian bill is akin to erasing the contributions South Asians have made to Canadian history. “How can they wilfully erase any people of colour,” said Chinese-Canadian community activist Bill Chu, founder of Canadians for Reconciliation, a group that demanded government “officially acknowledge” the histories and contributions of Chinese and First Nations in B.C. “I think it rings the death knell for multiculturalism,” Chu said. “I suppose it’s a reminder for all good Canadians to reflect on where we are as a country and where are we going with this.”
Bank of Canada governor apologizes for ‘Asian’ banknote controversy (Dean Beeby, Ottawa Citizen)
Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney apologized Monday for the way the image of an “Asian-looking” woman was removed from the initial design for new $100 banknotes. The bank handled the issue poorly, Carney said in a statement. “I apologize to those who were offended — the Bank’s handling of the issue did not meet the standards Canadians justifiably expect of us,” the statement said. “Our banknotes belong to all Canadians, and the work we do at the bank is for all Canadians.”
Kotsiomitis took to heart parents’ motto to ‘give back’ (Kelly Pedro, London Free Press)
Gus Kotsiomitis knows all about hard-working immigrants with big dreams, determination and a strong work ethic. His parents were two of them, arriving in Canada as part of a wave of newcomers that settled here after the Second World War. “I was brought up in an environment about respecting and helping others and doing all you can for your community,” said Kotsiomitis. Growing up in Toronto’s Greek town, Kotsiomitis spent most of his life living and working a few subway stops from the hospital where he was born. His parents’ motto when he was a child? Work hard and give back. You could say Kotsiomitis has more than fulfilled those expectations.
Christian flag raises ire (Jonathan Sher, Gillian Wheatley, London Free Press)
London city hall plans to raise the flag for a Christian-led event whose organizer has called for Muslims to leave Canada. Promo material for the Prayer Fest and March for Jesus this coming weekend speak of family, faith and fun with photos of balloons, a carnival ride and a praying child. But organizer G.J. Rancourt, who until recently headed the Christian Heritage Party in London, has had less cheerful things to say about Muslims, posting on his Facebook page an interview with Omni TV last year in which he said, “(Muslims) should be allowed the freedom to practise fully — but not in Canada . . . Perhaps a one-way ticket home would be a good idea.” The Christian Heritage Party, of which Rancourt is a member, has called for a moratorium on immigrants from Islamic countries that practise Sharia law. It was the city clerk’s office that approved the flying of a Christian flag behind city hall for the event, but it did so not knowing of Rancourt’s statements about Muslims.
Immigration suspects fraud in marriage of 60-year-old Alberta man and 22-year-old wife (Matt McClure, Calgary Herald)
Federal immigration officials are fighting a court battle to keep an Alberta man from bringing his Filipino wife to the country because they suspect their marriage is a fraud. But Carwin Miltimore insists the young woman he met online four years ago married him out of love, not a desire to come to Canada. A visa officer rejected the 60-year-old truck driver’s sponsorship application of his 22-year-old spouse because they felt their age difference made it improbable the relationship was genuine. But last fall an immigration appeal tribunal ruled in the Ryley man’s favour.
Is religion in Canada on the way out? (John Longhurst, Mennonite World)
Fifty years ago, 60 percent of Canadians went to weekly worship. Today? Fewer than 20 percent say they attend worship services on a weekly basis. At the same time, the major Protestant mainline denominations are dramatically declining, while the number of Canadians who say they have no religion has grown from one percent to 25 percent since 1965. There seems to be only one conclusion: Religion in Canada is on the way out. Or is it?
Editorial: The lost issue: Quebec’s critical need for migrants (Montreal Gazette)
Amid the sturm und drang around Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois’s proposed charter of secularism last week, it is a curious fact that the issue of immigration and its critical importance for the province’s future got lost. There was lots of talk about whether immigrants should have the right to wear religious symbols on the job if they work in the provincial public sector, but nothing about Quebec’s pressing need for educated, skilled young newcomers to replenish the shrinking labour pool of the native-born. Of the two, the need for newcomers far, far outweighs the issue of religious symbols such as turbans, kippahs or head scarves.
Quebec committing slow-motion suicide (Globe and Mail)
Whatever her intention, Pauline Marois’s proposed secular charter is bound to worsen the immigration crisis in Quebec. The province is committing slow-motion demographic suicide. Year after year it fails to bring in enough newcomers to replenish the diminishing ranks of the native-born. The Parti Québécois Leader’s proposed law banning the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols, such as turbans, skullcaps or other head coverings, by provincial employees – while permitting a discrete crucifix on a necklace – will only make the problem worse. The PQ is not alone. Jean Charest’s Liberals introduced a bill banning face coverings whenever Quebec citizens interact with the provincial government. It died, possibly of embarrassment, on the order paper.
Pauline Marois struggling with “hijab” backlash (Kevin Dougherty, Sue Montgomery, Ottawa Citizen)
Blatant xenophobia or a fevered defence of old-stock Quebec values? On radio talk shows, Twitter and Facebook and campaign buses, the battle over secular values, reasonable accommodation and who belongs raged Wednesday, overshadowing talk of the economy and the day’s election goodies. Indeed, no sooner had Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois demanded an apology from Saguenay Mayor Jean Tremblay for his comments about PQ candidate Djemila Benhabib, than Trois Rivières Mayor Yves Lévesque jumped into the fray, saying Tremblay was just saying what people are quietly thinking: that many minorities are forcing them to give up their traditions. Lévesque said he and other PQ supporters were disappointed that Benhabib had been parachuted into their riding.
Remark about Algerians in Quebec: premier won’t condemn (Winnipeg Free Press)
The premier of Quebec is refusing to condemn anti-immigrant remarks made against one of his opponents. Liberal Leader Jean Charest, campaigning for re-election, was asked twice at a news conference Thursday about comments made against a Parti Quebecois candidate with Algerian roots. When he skirted the topic the first time, another reporter asked Charest why he had avoided criticizing the remarks from Saguenay mayor Jean Tremblay. In his reply, Charest declined to take sides.
Tremblay reflects local ‘silent majority,’ mayor says (CBC)
Another Quebec mayor has come out blazing with comments about the province’s religious traditions and ethnicity, as inflammatory statements from one of his peers continue to simmer. Trois-Rivières Mayor Yves Lévesque affirmed that he thinks remarks by Saguenay Mayor Jean Tremblay might go too far. Tremblay said this week he’s peeved by having “someone whose name I can’t even pronounce come from Algeria … [and] make the rules.” Tremblay spurred a series of reactions after voicing his opinion, including people ridiculing his comment on YouTube.
Celebrating cultural diversity (Robin Booker, Brandon Sun)
Lynne Mackay is the chair person of the Souris Glenwood Multicultural Association and she said Souris is becoming more of a multicultural community. “There are Columbian, Mexican, Filipino and African people coming here to work and settle with their families,” Mackay said. “This celebration is to help make people aware of what our tradition and culture is and vise versa — so we can learn more about the Canadian culture.” The event’s coordinator and master if ceremonies, Laura Symons, said the highlight of the festival for her is watching people come together and sharing their culture.
Foreign students don’t displace Canadian students, UBC says (Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun)
The University of B.C. has responded to a letter to the editor last week suggesting UBC has become a university for foreigners. In a letter published Wednesday, Pascal Spothelfer, VP of communications and community partnership, writes: The column is incorrect in its assertion that foreign students take up places sought by Canadian students. At the University of British Columbia, we fully enrol all the spaces we receive funding for with Canadian students. Last year, for all undergraduate programs, we enrolled 6,454 new first-year and transfer B.C. students, more than ever before.
Border agency closes PEI immigration probe (Toronto Star)
The Canada Border Service Agency has closed its investigation into fraud and bribery allegations against a Prince Edward Island immigration program. But woes continue with the province’s troubled immigrant investor program, shut down four years ago and then investigated after claims of corruption emerged. Applicants who lost their chance for easy entry to Canada, mostly from Mainland China, planned to protest in Charlottetown on Monday over money they invested that has yet to be refunded by the PEI government and its sanctioned agents.–border-agency-closes-pei-immigration-probe
Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs) (Canadian Newcomer Magazine)
Whether you’re a newcomer, part of a municipal government, a settlement worker, or a resident in a small community, the Local Immigration Partnerships program is good news. LIPs help stimulate local economies, help newcomers find employment and start new businesses, and result in more jobs, more money, and more quality of life to go around. These articles explain why. Take a look and see why LIPs can bring news of prosperity to you and your community.
Mosque threat ‘troublesome,’ says B.C. Muslim Association (CBC)
The president of the B.C. Muslim Association says a Facebook post indicating a new Victoria mosque should be blown up with a rocket launcher is “very concerning.” Victoria police are investigating after someone using the name Dan Speed posted on the “I Love Downtown Victoria” Facebook page that the new Masjid Allman Mosque on Quadra Street should be blasted with a high-powered rifle. Musa Ismail, president of the B.C. Muslim Association, called the comments “very concerning and troublesome.”
Making financial moves simple for newcomers (CanIndia)
It’s not just longer days and high temperatures that peak during the Canadian summer, it’s also when immigration numbers peak. July, August and September are the peak immigration months when permanent residents and foreign students go through the chaotic process of moving everything from home to family to finances to Canada. Scotiabank offers advice on how Canadian newcomers can make the financial part of their move both simpler and successful. “Many newcomers arrive in Canada during the summer to give themselves time to adjust to their new country ahead of the upcoming school year,” said Winnie Leong, Vice President of Multicultural Banking, Scotiabank. “As Canada’s most international bank, we have a unique perspective on the contribution immigrants make to the cultural and economic fabric of Canada. We believe it’s vital to help start them off on a solid financial path – and a key part of that process starts with a clear financial plan.”
Don’t worry people, there is no Muslim Tide (Chris Selley, National Post)
Canadian journalist Doug Saunders’ new book, The Myth of the Muslim Tide (Knopf), promises and delivers an impartial examination of the notion that Muslim immigration urgently threatens Western civilization. Balanced as it is, though, it reads mostly as a thorough, fact-dense and convincing debunking of that notion. For those inclined to be reassured, it does so very efficiently. The theory, which has sold millions of books and is appreciated by at least one admitted mass-murderer, holds that Muslims are fundamentally different than previous immigrants. Their religion is politically evangelical — it demands the installation of Islamic law — and is their primary source of loyalty. It is inexorably linked to extremism. And high Muslim birth rates, along with non-Muslims’ low ones, will soon effectively put them in charge. It is by no means a fringe philosophy, unless you consider people like Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mark Steyn or Geert Wilders irrelevant, which you really shouldn’t.
Calgary Muslims prepare for celebration at end of Ramadan (Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald)
The Calgary Muslim community is preparing to celebrate the end of the one-month Ramadan fast — one of the five Pillars of Islam. “The end of Ramadan comes when the new moon is sighted,” says Atthar Mahmood, vice-president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and president of Muslims Against Terrorism. The Festival of Eid ul Fitr is an official holiday in the entire Muslim world and a very large number of people visit mosques for Eid ul prayers.
The Ranji Singh Foundation Strives for inter/intra cultural Awareness (South Asian Generation Next)
The Ranji Singh Foundation delightfully announces the 2012 Caribbean & South Asian Showcase to be held on Saturday September 8th, noon to 7:00 p.m. at the Newmarket Riverwalk Commons, 200 Doug Duncan Dr., Newmarket, ON, L3Y 6B8. Building upon the success of our previous years’ showcase, an exciting agenda is presented to intermingle the warm, inviting and rich artistry, music, fashion and food of the Caribbean and the South Asian cultures. The Foundation was awarded $20,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).
Slowly, Muslim communities are changing their approach to marriage and divorce (Globe and Mail)
The strains on contemporary marriage are many, given that traditional gender roles are in a dynamic state of flux. Some – like Anne-Marie Slaughter – are convinced that women can’t have it all due to competing demands between family and career. These issues were similarly examined as part of a comprehensive study by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), “Understanding Trends in American Muslim Divorce and Marriage,” authored by ISPU Fellow and University of Windsor law professor Julie Macfarlane. Over a four-year period, information was collected through interviews with Muslim community members, social workers and lawyers. While 25 per cent of the respondents were Canadian, there were no marked differences in trends between American and Canadian couples.
Canadian universities try to attract more diversity to law schools (Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press)
Going to law school was not something Janine Manning ever dreamed of doing. Now, as she’s preparing to write her Law School Admission Test in October, the mere thought of becoming a lawyer still brings tears to her eyes. “When I was growing up, I was just only ever expected to get my high school (diploma). Like getting your high school was the ultimate goal,” said 32-year-old Manning, her voice choking up. “There was no real push to go to university or go beyond high school because it’s not something the generation before me had experience in. Being the first and only person in my immediate family to go to university is quite the accomplishment.” Manning is one of 25 low-income students currently enrolled in a new, free LSAT preparation course at the University of Toronto. Other similarly available courses range from $500 to $1,000. Touted as the first of its kind, the weekly class, which runs from June to October, is taught by a recent law school graduate and covers everything from what to expect during the half-day test to how to apply for financial aid at a bank. It’s just one example of a number of measures Canadians universities have taken over the years to try to increase diversity in its law school programs.
Participation over integration (Sarah Smellie, The Telegram)
Esteban Rivera is all smiles, even as he describes the latest challenge he faces in planning this year’s Summer Culture Festival. “There’s a guy in Vancouver who is cycling across the country to raise awareness about the violence in West Papua,” he says. “His project is called Pedaling for Papua. Somehow, he found us, and he’ll be in St. John’s for the festival. So we are trying to have him participate in a way that doesn’t compromise his message or the festival’s message.”
Mothercraft’s “Caring for Canada’s Children” online training project (
Caring for Canada’s Children was an online training event offered by Mothercraft 2009-2010, and can be found archived on the Mothercraft website. Funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Mothercraft offered Caring for Canada’s Children training course for settlement workers and other professionals working with newcomer families and children from birth to age six.
Federal government mulls detaining Roma refugee claimants (CBC)
The federal government is prepared to consider detaining Roma refugee claimants unless recent amendments to the refugee system are successful in reducing the number who apply for asylum, newly obtained documents suggest. A tougher approach may be necessary if a plan to speed up the screening process and block illegitimate claims isn’t “aggressive enough” in reducing the number of Roma applicants from Europe, an internal Canada Border Services Agency report says.
Refugee mental health at risk with cuts, experts warn (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
The federal government’s recent changes to the refugee health program are putting refugees at greater risk of suicide and mental health issues, frontline workers warn. The new categories of coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program will further stigmatize people with mental health problems and that confusion over the cuts is creating added stress for a population that already has unique mental health challenges, they say. “I really feel it has aggravated people’s mental health issues and there is a high burden of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety in this population to start with,” said Dr. Meb Rashid, medical director of the Crossroads Clinic at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.
Call for national child refugee policy (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
The Canadian Council for Refugees is concerned about the detention of some child refugees and want a national policy on how they should be treated on arrival here. The most recent Canadian study into child claimants was prepared by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) examining data from 1999 to 2002. It shows there were 100,000 separated children in Western Europe and as many as 20,000 of them file asylum claims yearly in Europe and North America.
Canada gets 3,000 child refugees a year (Tom Godfrey, London Free Press)
Child refugee Aziza was being forced into marriage and genital circumcision in her native Chad when the then 11 year old managed to escape to Canada. Aziza, now 15, is one of hundreds of unaccompanied child refugees — those under the age of 18 — who show up yearly at Canadian borders seeking protection from alleged human traffickers and other abusers. Canadian immigration officials do not track child claimants and workers estimate as many as 3,000 of them, either unaccompanied or with a guardian, show up each year at Canadian airports and land border crossings.
The Rising Tide of Environmental Refugees (Andrew Lam, The Tyee)
A background paper titled Climate Change and Forced Migration: Canada’s Role was prepared for Canada’s Parliament in 2010 by its Industry, Infrastructure and Resources Division. Excerpts: “It is impossible to predict with any degree of certainty how many additional people each year will need resettlement due to the effects of climate change. However, it seems certain that climate change will be the source of additional pressures on Canada’s humanitarian immigration program to expand, perhaps substantially, in the coming decades.
Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (Refugee Research Network)
The Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) Project aims to make educational programs available where refugees need them.This video explores the context for the BHER Project’s plans for providing education in the camps of Dadaab, Kenya. In the Dadaab camps, for those who do get to attend school, class sizes are immense and materials are scarce and teachers often lack suffiencent training. The BHER Project will provide gender equitable teacher training programs to working, untrained teachers who can then contribute back to the community, increasing and improving education in the camps overall. These same teachers can continue beyond teacher training certificates and diplomas, applying their “portable” earned credit towards full degree programs. In doing so, BHER students can increase their opportunities for employment in the camps, local areas and upon resettlement or repatriation to their home country.
Closing doors on Canada’s history (Valerie Knowles, ipolitics)
An example of a unique document destined for oblivion is cited by Michael Molloy, President of the Canadian Immigration Historical Society. This University of Ottawa Senior Fellow is researching the development of Canada’s refugee policy in the critical period between 1969, when Canada signed the UN Refugee Convention, and 1978, when a revised Immigration Act was implemented. According to Molloy, developments in refugee policy at the Cabinet level can be tracked online, but the critical decisions made by the Cabinet were communicated to immigration officials in an “Operations Memorandum” inserted in an immigration officer’s instructions manual. “These instructions,” reports Molloy, “governed how Canada resettled refugees from Chile, Uganda, Eastern Europe and the early phase of the Indochinese refugee movement and had a profound impact on Canadian refugee procedures down to this day. So far as we know, only one copy of the Ops Memorandum still exists: in the Immigration department’s library, which will close in September.” At this writing, it is unclear what is to become of historical material of this sort when this — and other libraries — close.
Opinion: Time to fight for universal Pharmacare (Steve Morgan, Vancouver Sun)
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with the health and immigration ministers, tried to justify cutting refugee health coverage in Canada they argued it was about fairness. Providing prescription drug coverage to refugees was unfair, they claimed, because other Canadians do not have such coverage. They were at least partly right. As a country, we provide universal access to medically necessary hospital care, diagnostic tests and physician services based solely on need. It’s a point of national pride. But Canadian “medicare” — as it is affectionately known — ends as soon as a patient is given a prescription to fill.
Relying On Each Other- the Abundance of Community (Al Etmanski)
Many of us believe we should not rely on the institutions of government, business and non profits to solve our toughest societal challenges on their own. Who then can we count on? The answer, if you follow work, is to rely on each other particularly when we come together in voluntary associations, networks and neighbourhoods.
Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Québec Votes 2012 : September 4 (leaders’ debates this coming week)
2. Alberta makes strides against homelessness (Toronto Star) – August 14
3. Latest Media and Policy News: 15 August 2012 (Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
4. SPARmonitor : August 15, 2012 (Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto)
5. The Harper Patronage List, 2006 to date (Sixth Estate) – July 2012
6. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Consumer Price Index, July 2012 – August 17
— Health Reports, August 2012 (August 15):
—– Cause-specific mortality by education in Canada: A 16-year follow-up study
—– Unintentional injury hospitalizations among children and youth in areas with a high percentage of Aboriginal identity residents: 2001/2002 to 2005/2006
— Elementary and secondary education expenditures, 2009/2010 – August 14
— Employment, Earnings and Hours, May 2012 – August 13
— Labour Force Survey, July 2012 – August 10
7. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Video of youth urinating on sleeping man is more than an outrage (Toronto Star)
Last week’s singularly offensive video of a laughing youth urinating on an impoverished man sleeping outside the Eaton Centre’s H&M provoked strong emotions: Shock. Outrage. Anger. But were we embarrassed? What does it say about our city when there are still many people whose bed is the street? When a group of young people feel no compunction in degrading themselves by humiliating another human being? In a way, the repulsive video reflects a deeper collective attitude toward poverty and people living in poverty. Why, for instance, do we have a provincial poverty reduction strategy that seeks to reduce poverty for children, but not adults? What makes people more deserving to live in dignity when they are children but not when they grow to adulthood? And why, during the recent provincial budget negotiations, was the NDP willing to fight for an increase to Ontario Disability Support Program benefits but not Ontario Works (OW) benefits?–video-of-youth-urinating-on-sleeping-man-is-more-than-an-outrage
Canada’s Economic Problem is NOT High Wages (Andrew Jackson, Behind the Numbers)
Bill Curry reports in today’s Globe that, at last year’s economic policy retreat, business leaders urged Finance Minister Flaherty to reduce the pay of “overpriced” Canadian workers, including through anti union right to work legislation. Coincidentally, or not, the subsequent 2012 federal Budget introduced new rules which will require most EI claimants to accept jobs at much lower wages, and will allow employers of temporary foreign workers to pay less than the prevailing Canadian wage. So, are Canadian wages really “too high.”?
The Right Response To “No Job Is A Bad Job” (Armine Yalnizyan, Behind the Numbers)
Last May federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no such thing as a bad job. The Law Commission of Ontario may disagree. This week it put out a report about the rise in vulnerable workers and precarious jobs. Now that he’s heard from executives who think Canadians are paid too much, Mr. Flaherty should consider the other side of the story, and the suggested fix. Most of us rely on our jobs as our main form of economic security, but gradually the market has been shifting away from jobs offering reliable incomes and benefits.
Public Policy Institute (Rainbow Health Ontario)
LGBTQ communities have long tried to change unjust and discriminatory public policy as a means to increase our civil rights and freedoms. While many positive changes have been made in the last four decades, the expertise of engaging with public institutions still rests with a few individuals and our communities continue to experience systemic discrimination and inequality. The Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) Public Policy Institute is an innovative training program designed for individuals with an interest in engaging in public policy. The program is specifically aimed at participants who are involved in LGBTQ communities across Ontario and can identify an issue where policy change could have significant progressive impact on the well being of LGBTQ communities. Over the course of eight months participants in the Institute will learn from seasoned policy experts on how to take an issue of injustice and engage creatively and skillfully with those in positions of power and authority to create positive changes.
Have your voice heard on immigration policy (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters)
As part of Citizen and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) consultations on future immigration needs, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is seeking valuable member input on the importance of immigration and skilled labour to industry. Given the significance of people and skills issues for Canadian companies and increasing reliance on immigration and other foreign workers to fill labour gaps, this is a prime opportunity to provide feedback to the government. The department’s consultations will be held both regionally and online, focusing on the appropriate level of immigration for Canada, and the most suitable mix among economic, family, and refugee and humanitarian classes.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is Seeking Public Input on Immigration Levels Planning (Ontario Chamber of Commerce)
The online consultation will be available until August 31, 2012. A report on the consultations, including a summary of responses to the online consultation questionnaire, will be available on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce website in fall 2012 or winter 2013. We encourage you to share your views and submissions with the OCC as well as the Department of Citizenship and Immigration so that we can ensure our advocacy strategy is inclusive of your concerns.
Calling All White Men (to Diversity Training) (HR Executive)
A new study finds that training efforts directed at white males in the workplace can produce a measurable shift in their attitudes and behavior around the topic of “white-male privilege”. Want to know what you should do to truly make a dent in diversity and workplace-culture improvements? According to a recent study from New York-based Catalyst, you should rev up your diversity training among your organization’s white males.
Deadly year for Ont. migrant workers (Scott Taylor, 24 Hours Vancouver)
“It’s just been a horrible year,” said Stan Raper, national co-ordinator of the Agricultural Workers Alliance. He said the year got off to a brutal start for offshore labourers, with the crash in Hampstead, Ont., involving a van loaded with the Peruvian workers returning home after a long day’s work on a chicken farm. Then came the blistering summer drought that ruined crops and left many workers jobless. It’s also been a rough year for migrant workers – Canada relies on a small army of them – in other parts of the country, in part because late frost destroyed some of the fruit crops the offshore labourer traditionally work. “It’s probably the highest (injury and death) count since the health and safety legislation came in to effect in 2006,” Raper said Thursday.
A lack of boardroom diversity is risky business (Samantha F. Ravich, Giga Om)
In the mid-1950s, economist Harry M. Markowitz first described how investors could reduce their overall risk by filling their portfolio with securities that do not usually move in the same direction. As with all significant economic research, Markowitz (who was later awarded a Nobel prize in economics for his work in portfolio theory) proved mathematically what every good grandmother has known for centuries — don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Or, if you prefer to listen to your Sunday school teacher, take a look at what King Solomon, one of the richest men of his time, wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.” Now what does this have to do with your boardroom? Plenty, if you read the new report by the Credit Suisse Research Institute. The study analyzed 2,360 companies and found that firms with at least one woman on the board outperformed stocks with no women on the board by 26 percent. In the aftermath of the market crash of 2008, companies with women on their boards did even better comparatively. According to the study, these companies delivered, “higher average ROEs through the cycle, exhibit[ed] less volatility in earnings and typically [had] lower gearing ratios [measurement of financial leverage].”
Tuesday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Development, TTC, Transit and Other News.
Monday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Lake Ontario Crossing, City Hall, On the Streets, Transit and Other News.
The social innovator’s journey (Al Etmankski)
Something’s not right. Injustice burns bright. An idea catches your eye. Your imagination takes hold. You push through prevailing wisdom and “the way it’s supposed to be.” With few resources, and no one listening you persist. You answer “yes!” to the disinterested, the doubters, and disbelievers. You innovate. You create a solution to a challenge faced by a friend, family member, or neighbour. You invent a successful response to a community problem. You improve how we work together. You see a way for your province, your country and your world to be a better place. You are, in today’s parlance, a social innovator.
Social Innovation Fund (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Improving the lives of Canadians—and contributing to a more resilient society—requires breakthrough ideas and approaches, game changing strategies and collaborations, and continuous innovation. To support this work, and to commemorate its 75th Anniversary, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is pleased to launch the McConnell Social Innovation Fund. The Fund has three components – one for early stage innovations; a second for scaling up successful social innovations and for mature organizations diversifying program and business models; and a third for multi-sector collaborations, including ‘change labs’.
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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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