Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 27, 2012


More changes to Canadas immigration program (Sandra Lopes, Maytree)
On August 17, 2012, the federal government announced changes to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. While not a surprise (as changes have been proposed earlier in various forums), their impact will be significant.

News Release A review of the past 12 months and beyond at Citizenship and Immigration Canada Its been a busy time, but we are not done yet, says Minister Jason Kenney (CIC)
With historically high numbers of new immigrants arriving in Canada, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of significant reforms over the past year to strengthen the integrity and economic responsiveness of the immigration system. Our government has a plan for a faster, more flexible, responsive and secure immigration system that will better meet Canadas economic needs while continuing to uphold our humanitarian commitments, stated Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. With our changes, immigrants will see their lives improve, and Canadians will see the economy grow.

The unfounded fear of Muslim immigration (Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail)
Yes, it said, these immigrants are different from earlier groups. They are driven by their religion, not by the laws and social codes of their new homes. They are reproducing at an unusually rapid pace, with fertility rates far higher than those of exhausted Western populations, and are poised to become a majority. And, yes, that is a danger because they are loyal not to their host society but to Islam, which, as these writers and activists see it, is not so much a faith as an ideology of conquest. These claims began with obscure blog posts and work by hardcore anti-Muslim activists, but around 2005 they spread to popular books by authors such as Bruce Bawer, Christopher Caldwell and Thilo Sarrazin. Eventually, they also erupted into national politics in a dozen countries.

Doug Saunders’ The Myth of the Muslim Tide (Edward Keenan, The Grid)
In his new book, The Myth of the Muslim Tide, the Globe and Mails European bureau chief, Doug Saunders, spends considerable time documenting just how recently waves of Catholics and Jews in Canada, Europe, and the United States were seen as a major threat to societydisproportionate fears prompted by all-too-real evidence of terrorist activity by Catholic and Jewish groups around the world. He makes a compelling case that the same pattern of unfounded hysteria is at work today in Western fears about Muslims.

Newcomer entrepreneurs to be recognized by award from city (Bruno Schlumberger, Ottawa Citizen)
Tony Bailetti works with entrepreneurs every day. As the director of a Carleton University program that helps students develop business ideas, he gets to meet many eager would-be entrepreneurs pitching their ideas and building businesses from the ground up. Over the years, Bailetti has noticed something about Ottawas entrepreneurs: Many of them arent from here, including many of those in his current crop of more than 25 student entrepreneurs.

Schools roll out welcome sessions (Brampton Guardian)
Nala Moorthy, Multicultural Settlement and Education Partnership (MSEP) facilitator., helps welcome Peel board high school students new to the country or Peel region through the World of Welcome Orientation Day (WOW) program that enlists settlement workers, teachers and peer student leaders in one-day orientation sessions at various schools.–schools-roll-out-welcome-sessions

Canada has lesson to learn from Australia in foreign student policy (Dian Francis, Financial Post)
Canada is finally moving toward a smart, two-step immigration policy, like Australia and others have, that will recruit talent through a targeting policy of foreign student education. Australias success has been widely disseminated and last week a blue-ribbon federal task force in Canada released a report that would emulate its policy. The number of foreign students allowed entry into Canadian institutions should nearly double in a decade and those who graduate from Canadian institutions should be eligible to remain, rather than having to return home and wait years to get in. Most foreign students in Canada get their degrees and never come back. Most Australians apply to remain and the majority stay.

Federal skilled workers gain ground in court challenge (Kendyl Sebesta, Canadian Lawyer)
A group of federal skilled workers fighting to keep their applications intact have learned some them may see their cases being resolved this week despite sweeping changes to Canadas immigration system that have been looming since June. The group are part of a legal proceeding filed in the Federal Court of Canada by Torontos Bellissimo Law Group, Quebec law firm Campbell Cohen, and other Canadian immigration lawyers, including Toronto lawyer Lorne Waldman. Legal Feeds reported in July that an agreement had been reached between the group and the Department of Justice that Citizenship and Immigration Canada would not return processing fees or federal skilled worker applications for 90 days, starting from June 29, 2012. Now the groups lawyers are expected to ask the Federal Court for certification as a class proceeding lawsuit, following a move toward the successful resolution of a handful of the groups cases this month.

Adult kids of immigrant parents mired between cultures (Malwina Gudowska, Calgary Herald)
Third Culture Kids (TCKs) are raised in a neither/nor world. It is neither fully the world of their parents culture (or cultures), nor fully the world of the other culture (or cultures) in which they were raised, write David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken in Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds. TCKs frequently build relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Third Culture Kids are children who have spent a significant part of their developmental years outside their parents culture, and although the label is usually bestowed upon children who grow up in a number of different cultures, many of the same characteristics apply to children from immigrant families who have divided their time between two countries.

2nd National Catholic Conference on Resettlement (Arch Diosese of Toronto)
Through keynote speakers and many sessions, you will have the opportunity to contribute and learn the latest developments in refugee sponsorship.

Young immigrant eager to help newcomers settle (Martin Van, Richmond Review)
A Richmond High teen hopes a new youth mentorship program will help young immigrants adjust to Canadas way of life. Bill Cao, 16, is the vice-president of the Greater Vancouver Society of Students for Accelerated Integration, and the societys youth outreach team won second prize in the Zenith in Action community grants competition at Lansdowne Centre mall earlier this year. Armed with an $800 grant, Cao said the new program will connect newcomers with a same-age buddy who speaks the same language and can show them around town. Born in China, Cao came to Canada in 2000 at the age of five, and had no other siblings or family in the Lower Mainland.

35 Haitian women denied visas to attend art show (CBC)
For the second time this week, organizers of an event in Montreal are scrambling after Citizenship and Immigration Canada blocked participants from traveling to the city. Members of Montreal’s Haitian community were forced to cancel an art exhibit because 35 women from Haiti, who were supposed to participate, couldn’t get temporary visas. Caroline Thélémaque, with Women in Action for Haiti, said she couldn’t believe Immigration Canada withheld temporary visas for all the participants in the exhibit she was organizing. She said her group has been working on the show for nearly a year.

Marois puts “money and the ethnic vote” to shame (Dan Delmar, CJAD)
Former PQ Premier Jacques Parizeau ended his political career in disgrace in 1995 after losing the referendum and blaming the federalists’ win on “money and the ethnic vote.” It was a new low for modern Quebec politicians and highlighted the sad, intolerant attitudes of much of the nationalist elite. Today, PQ leader Pauline Marois put Parizeau’s comments to shame.

Future bills will show diversity: Carney (Windsor Star)
The governor of the Bank of Canada personally apologized for the way the image of an Asian woman was erased from the initial design of new $100 banknotes, saying future designs will capture Canada’s “diversity.” “On behalf of the bank and personally, I apologize for the offence created by that sequence of events,” Carney said Wednesday at a news conference. “That’s not the standard that Canadians expect of the bank and steps have to be taken to ensure that there’s not a repetition.” The bank came under fire from Chinese-Canadian groups and others after The Canadian Press revealed an image of a Caucasian-looking woman was substituted for that of an Asian woman in early draft designs of the new polymer banknote.

The currency of racism in Canada (Rakhi Ruparelia, Toronto Star)
When does a $100 bill resemble a burger? When the Bank of Canada decides to neutralize the image of a woman that seemed to focus group participants to be Asian. Apparently, the new bill, like a Canadian burger, has no recognizable ties to ethnicity. Theyre just regular, neutral, ethnicity-free entities in essence, the default category for everything not found in the lone ethnic food aisle in my grocery store. The original image on the bill, an Asian-looking woman peering through a microscope, was unsettling to many in the focus groups. One participant from Fredericton suggested: The person on it appears to be of Asian descent which doesnt rep(resent) Canada. It is fairly ugly. Others took issue with the depiction of only one ethnicity. A few suggested that the yellow-brown colouring of the banknote racialized the bill and enhanced the perception that the woman was Asian.–the-currency-of-racism-in-canada

The underlying problem in Canadas $100 bill flap isnt racism or political correctness its blandness (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
It is rare day when you see the Governor of the Bank of Canada issue a public apology. Not that he has a great deal to apologize for, but the current incumbent is not notably crippled with self-doubt. So it is noteworthy that Mark Carney should have been so mortified at the furor over the banks airbrushing of the features of an Asian-Canadian scientist in the mockup for the new $100 bill she was made over as a Caucasian as to make a humble statement of contrition. On behalf of the bank and personally, I apologize for the offence created by that sequence of events, he told a news conference Monday.

CIBC: Immigration will save the housing market (Maclean’s)
Tal writes that there will be fewer Canadians under the age of 25 and between the ages of 45 and 54, but those groups account for a small portion of home buyers. But Tal says the group aged between 25 and 34 the age group that makes up the vast majority of first-time buyers will continue to grow, and he says growth in the housing market could be even stronger due to immigration.

Immigrants, young buyers to buoy home sales, CIBC says (CBC)
A large bubble of people in their prime home-buying years, coupled with an influx of immigrants, is poised to support Canada’s housing market for the next decade, a major bank economist said Thursday. Benjamin Tal of CIBC put out a report on Thursday in which he argued that Canada’s population demographics are working in favour of the country’s housing market.

Canadian markets ripe for new professional sports franchises (Herald Online)
Turning to one other growing sport, Canada is now home to three Major League Soccer teams: Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Montréal Impact. A factor in the rise of soccer’s popularity is population diversity, as immigrants to Canada are coming from countries where soccer is the traditional favourite sport. Calgary is expected to exceed 2 million people in 2035, while Edmonton and Ottawa are forecast to boast populations of 1.7 million apiece. Furthermore, all three cities can expect their populations to become more diverse. As result, these three markets should be able to support NHL, CFL, and MLS franchises.

Yet again, soccer in Canada gets dealt the ‘diversity’ card (Canadian Soccer News)
The Conference Board of Canada released a neat report* yesterday, speculating on what the market for pro sports could look like in Canada come 2035. Hint, if you like pro sports it will look good! Three more NHL teams. The return of Major League Baseball to Montreal and the NBA to Vancouver. A whopping seven more CFL teams from coast to coast. And finally, three more MLS sides, in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. But as usual soccer in Canada gets ghettoized. The authors trot out the diversity card as a premise behind their conclusion. Now, it’s by no means malicious. The economists responsible for this report aren’t journalists scared about something they don’t entirely understand. But they do get caught up in the same tired narrative.

Chinese-Canadians commemorate their history in Windsor-Essex on Sunday (Dalson Chen, Windsor Star)
There was a time when, if you were Chinese, you werent allowed to immigrate to Canada. The Chinese Immigration Act lasted from 1923 -47, forcing separation upon Chinese-Canadian families. But even while this discriminatory legislation was in place, there were Chinese-Canadians willing to serve their adopted country in the Second World War. Now their efforts will be honoured. On Sunday, the Essex County Chinese Canadian Association will hold an event commemorating the 1947 repeal of the Chinese Immigration Act, and the contributions of Chinese-Canadian veterans.

Program helps immigrants adjust (Kelly Pedro, London Free Press)
Michael Adam remembers when he started high school in London, after moving to Canada from Syria last year. “It was really hard for me. The first weeks at school I didn’t speak to anyone because I was really afraid to talk because I did not pronounce the words right,” said the 18-year-old Montcalm secondary school student. Now, Adam is helping to make sure others don’t go through the same thing as peer leader of a program that gives high schoolers new to Canada the 101 on what to expect.

Facing up to a mixed identity (Globe and Mail)
Since I can remember, Ive felt different. An outsider. I didnt belong. Id look around and wonder what it would be like to be born as that person. Would I be the same if my packaging was different? I consider myself 100-per-cent Canadian, but in reality Im a visible minority. Black hair, Asian eyes, Asian body. Back in Grade 2 in Toronto, I was the only Asian girl in class. There was one black boy and I felt for him. We were kindred spirits in this white world. Tortured relentlessly by the other kids, we suffered silently.

We should not commemorate racists (Ottawa Citizen)
As far too many people can attest from their personal experience, racism is not an attitude but has real effects. Racism enacts psychological, physical and political violence on people for no other reason than their ascribed membership in an imaginary, fixed cultural or genetic group. The effects of John A Macdonald’s anti-Chinese racism continue in the world today. Thousands of Canadians endured generations of poverty as their families paid off the head tax he brought in, while they themselves could not vote to change the government. These people are still alive and waiting to be compensated despite the government’s supposed apology.

New Canadians learn about Saskatchewan’s backbone (David Fraser, CJME)
New Canadians were given a lesson in Saskatchewan farming on Saturday. About 100 new immigrants from 12 different cultures were bused out to a farm south of Lumsden. Many of them were farmers in their native lands, and this was a chance for them to see how things are down here.

Muslim chaplaincy ambition in full swing (Aisha Raja, The Varsity)
The Muslim Chaplaincy Organization at the University of Toronto is the first of its kind in a public university in Canada, and was established by the Muslim Students Association at U of T in the spring of May 2011. For nearly a year, community leaders, academics, university administrators, and students were engaged to complete the research and development phase of the project. The project then launched its #70in70 campaign in June 2012, aimed at raising $70,000 in 70 days to launch the Muslim Chaplaincy in September 2012. The objective of the Muslim Chaplaincy is to engage Muslim youth, and provide an inclusive space for them to foster a meaningful Muslim identity, which will be supported by quality education and counselling services.

Iranian-Canadians protest in front of TD Bank (Toronto Star)
It was the first Toronto protest held in response to TD Bank Groups decision to close the accounts of its Iranian customers, but, organizers agree, it likely wont be the last. More than 40 people gathered Saturday afternoon outside the TD Bank building at Yonge St. and Finch Ave., holding signs, circulating a petition, and listening to speeches in Farsi and English. The message was clear: dont treat Iranian-Canadians like second-class citizens.–iranian-canadians-protest-in-front-of-td-bank

Living With the Head Tax Legacy: A Youth Perspective (Devon Wong, Schema Magazine)
Conversations around Canada’s historical head tax typically conjure up contentions around the past, but what can be said for future generations living with the legacy? Forty Chinese youth reflected on their family’s early Canadian roots in an essay anthology assembled by the Chinese Canadian National Council. “Our Stories” includes a multimedia collection on Chinese Canadian experiences with the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act. Their family stories reveal the heartaches of family separation resulting from institutionalized discrimination.

The Perils of Pauline (Bernie Farber, Huffington Post)
It’s the 21st century. How far have we come in respecting the diversity of a modern pluralistic Canada? Many would argue not far at all. Last week, we saw the beginnings of an uproar over the Bank of Canada producing a $100 bill with the image of an Asian woman looking through a microscope. Focus groups heavily criticized the design. Thus when Asian immigration and the incalculable good it has done for this country is at an all-time high, the Bank of Canada seemed to acquiesce to racist attitudes and decided to forgo the design.

Don’t whitewash historical figures (Ottawa Citizen)
After discussing the racist views held by our first prime minister, opinion writer Timothy J. Stanley queried whether the government of Canada ought to be naming public monuments after white supremacists. Canadian attitudes and values have certainly evolved since John A. Macdonald’s anti-Asian speeches and legislation of 1885. It is, however, a fact that famous Canadians frequently held unfortunate beliefs. Tommy Douglas, much lauded as the grandfather of medi-care, wrote his M.A. thesis advocating eugenics. The famous pioneer of women’s rights, Nellie McClung, held racist and eugenical views.

Facts don’t back western fears about Muslim immigration (Greg Lockert, Winnipeg Free Press)
In a western world scarred by memories of 9/11 and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fears of Muslim immigration may seem rational. Will Muslim immigration to North America and Europe create a Muslim-dominated western world, bidding goodbye to its Judeo-Christian heritage? Canadian journalist Doug Saunders says no, and he packs The Myth of the Muslim Tide with statistics to support his point. Using an exhaustive supply of numbers, trends and comparative history in a slim book, Saunders makes a strong case for his arguments, which are meant to challenge those alarmists who think Islam will eventually dominate Europe and North America.

Language and Canadian Experience Will Get More Points in FSWP (South Asian Generation Next)
Proposed regulatory changes in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will allow Canada to better select skilled workers who can hit the ground running upon arrival. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canadas largest economic immigration program, said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. The changes we are making to update the selection criteria are based on a large body of data and evidence weve accumulated over the years showing what skills and qualifications are most likely to lead to success for skilled immigrants.

Kenney gives ICCC a pat on the back as Gavai bids Farewell (South Asian Generation Next)
The bilateral relations betweenCanadaandIndiaare on an upward trajectory and will continue to improve rapidly, S. M. Gavai, the high commissioner ofIndiatoCanada, said at a farewell reception given in his honour by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC). Rina Gavai, the high commissioners wife, accompained him to the luncheon

Arti Patel: Trying to Make it Better (South Asian Generation Next)
Arti Patel, a 2011 graduate from RyersonUniversity currently serves as HuffPost Canadas associate lifestyle editor. Generation Next caught up with the 23-year-old as she reflects on her exciting journey with the online paper. She also delves into her involvement in the making of a powerful documentary Identity Denied and finally, gives advice to young aspiring South Asians who may want to emulate such a unique career.

Currency can represent Canadas ethnicities (Hamilton Spectator)
For a country that trumpets multiculturalism and encourages immigrants to retain cultural traditions, the Bank of Canadas move to purge an Asian-looking woman from the new $100 bill is mystifying. Bank governor Mark Carney is becoming an expert at apologizing for the move. The backlash must have been substantial for so much crow to be gobbled up, and rightly so. Focus groups provided mixed reviews of the bills design. Some felt it presented a stereotype of Asians as excelling in technology or science. Others felt it unfair that other ethnicities were not shown. Some felt the yellow-brown colour of the $100 bill reinforced the womans Asian heritage and racialized the bill.–currency-can-represent-canada-s-ethnicities

Christian, Muslim communities come together to promote tolerance, acceptance (London Free Press)
In response to the recent media coverage of an individuals politics of division parading under the banner of religion, we the undersigned want to affirm our support of people of all religious backgrounds and our commitment to celebrating our religious diversity as a source of peace rather than as a cause of division. For the past number of years, many bridges have been built between members of all religious backgrounds in our city. In particular, the Christian and Muslim communities have worked together on a number of important initiatives and projects that have strengthened and enriched our entire city. These include efforts to eradicate poverty, fundraising efforts to support our local hospitals, and the building of forums to exchange ideas and build common understanding.

Canadas Charitable Muslims Go Public (OnIslam)
Supporting needy families quietly for years, Ontarios Windsor Muslim community decided to let people know about charitable giving they have been offering behind closed doors. This is something weve been doing all along, Sousan Khaled, food drive co-ordinator of the Spirit of Ramadan Food Drive at Al Hijra Muslim school on Howard Avenue, told the Windsor Star. But this year we decided to be a little bit louder about it. We want to let people see what the Muslims are doing behind closed doors. Working for years behind the doors, young Muslims suggested making a little noise this year in their charitable drive after Ramadan.

Those People Are So Rude! (Diversity and Inclusion at Work)
Canadians. We are known for our eternal politeness and patience. Our forms of politeness are intrinsically linked to our British roots. From an early age in school we are taught to say thank you, please, sorry and excuse me. We often judge others upbringing by their use of these words. It has become one of the signs of being cultured in our society. While these social conventions (those practices which are considered normal and expected) are expected practices here, that is not necessarily the case in other parts of the world.

Our city, our world – focus on Italians (Winnipeg Free Press)
The latest in its “Our city, our world” special series focused on Italian newcomers.

Douglas Saunders delivers an impressive rebuttal to right-wing fear mongers in The Myth of the Muslim Tide (Charlie Smith, The Straight)
Doug Saunders may be on his way to becoming the most important journalist in the Canadian mainstream media. As the European bureau chief of the Globe and Mail, Saunders has always exhibited a keen interest in the history of immigration and the integration of different cultures in cities.

Give CIC your feedback on immigration issues (New Canadians Centre Peterborough)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is holding consultations via online questionnaire to seek feedback on immigration issues, including the appropriate level of immigration for Canada, and the most suitable mix among economic, family, and refugee and humanitarian classes. The questionnaire is open for public response until August 31, 2012. These consultations are billed to be a part of CICs transition towards a faster and more flexible immigration system, as well as the growing importance of immigration to Canadas economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Aged, South Asians unwelcome in Canada (Bangladesh News 24)
The Canadian government is reorganising its immigration rules allowing privileges for workers aged 18 to 35 and having good language skills to migrate to the country. The Conservative government has finalised the rules with a sweeping overhaul of the points system used over the last 10 years for approving foreign worker applications. Under the new rules, which will take effect next year, workers aged 47 and over will receive no points for age, compared with 12 for those between 18 and 35, reported The Globe and Mail. Applicants above 35 years will lose a point for each year of increasing age. People above 46 years of age will not get any point at all.

Products of Community-Engaged Scholarship Focused on Immigrant & Refugee Health (Refugee Research Network)
In 2010, CES4Health issued a themed call for products of community-engaged scholarship in immigrant and refugee health. Four products were peer-reviewed and published in response to the themed call (marked with an *). Another six products may also be of interest to those concerned with immigrant and refugee health. See below for product titles, corresponding authors and links.


Amid Kenneys worthy reforms, a misstep on refugees health (Globe and Mail)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is to be credited for his efforts to improve the efficiency of the refugee adjudication process by shortening wait times, hastening removals and other reforms. But taking away health-care benefits from people who are waiting for a hearing or an appeal, as he has also done, is not smart public policy. As long as these claimants remain in Canada, the government should pay for their health care both for humanitarian reasons, and in the interest of Canadians.

Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers Conference and AGM (CARL)
Join us Sept 14 for the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers Conference and AGM which will be held in the following cities across Canada connected via video link.

Canada declares bogus Turkish refugee a war criminal (Steffan Ileman,
It’s hard for any refugee claimant, nowadays, to convince Canada’s Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) that he or she is a real refugee since most claims are rejected offhand as lacking credibility. This claimant’s problem isn’t that the Board didn’t believe him. His problem is that the IRB was only too willing to believe everything he said about the story allegedly created by a member of a terrorist organisation, and his claim was rejected for the wrong reasons.

Dismemberment victim lived in fear, refugee documents show (Toronto Star)
Refugee documents belonging to dismemberment victim Guang Hua Liu show she may have fled her home country of China after violating the countrys strict birth control policies and borrowed some of the money to get here from a loan shark. In a refugee claim obtained by the Star, the 41-year-old mother of three asked the Canadian government to help keep her family together in a safe country. But 10 years after her arrival in Canada, that dream is gone. Liu has been identified as the victim of a grisly and mysterious murder.–dismemberment-victim-lived-in-fear-refugee-documents-show

Canadas splendid isolation from the realities of human smuggling (Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star)
Returning to Pearson Airport from vacation, Im always jolted by the sight of our border guards clad, incongruously, in armoured vests. Any threat to Canadas border security from knife-wielding assailants is surely infinitesimal: passengers are pre-screened for weapons before boarding flights. But heres a bigger challenge for our system: soft-spoken foreigners who approach border agents not to inflict violence but to seek protection supposedly from persecution at home. The risk isnt so much from aggression as exploitation not from passengers with concealed guns, but human smugglers who understand the facts on the ground better than most Canadians do.–cohn-canada-s-splendid-isolation-from-the-realities-of-human-smuggling

Libyan diplomats claim refugee status to stay in Canada (Sun News Network)
Three Canadian agents of deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi claimed refugee status here after they were ordered out of Canada last May, QMI Agency has learned.
Two government sources told QMI Agency the three Libyans who begged to stay in Canada were diplomats working for the Gadhafi regime.

Cuban defectors highlight importance of following refugee rules (Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal)
News flash the Cold War is over. Once, the world was divided into to two armed camps. On one side, the Communists. On the other, the self-proclaimed champions of freedom and democracy. Whenever a high-profile person quit one team for the other, it was an international PR coup. The West crowed when celebrity dancers like Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov crossed over to this side. The Soviets made more practical use of elite defectors like British double-agents Kim Philby and Guy Burgess. It was a high stakes game of Red Rover.

Operational Bulletin 440-E – August 15, 2012 – Processing Existing Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) Applications and Subsequent PRRAs that Are Subject to, or Exempted From, the 12-Month Bar (CIC)
Effective August 15, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will begin to retroactively close existing Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) applications for which the 12-month bar applies.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Annual Report of Activities 2011 (IOM)
The Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration 2011 Annual Report outlines IOMs work carried out during 2011 in the areas of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) and `Post-Arrival and Reintegration Assistance` (PARA) exclusively implemented in countries of origin to assist both migrants returning voluntarily with IOM and migrants returned by host country governments.


Pharmacare must be next step in health care (Hamilton Spectator)
When Prime Minister 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 partially right. As a country, we provide universal access to medically necessary hospital care, diagnostic tests, and physician services based solely on need. Its a point of national pride. But Canadian medicare ends as soon as a patient is given a prescription to fill.–pharmacare-must-be-next-step-in-health-care

Dead Money (Behind the Numbers)
Kudos to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney for raising the profile of the over $500 billion Canadian corporations are holding in excess cash surpluses and not investing in the economy, which garnered front page coverage (and kudos to the CAW for inviting him to speak). Its not the first time hes raised this concern. Last year at the Empire Club he told assembled business leaders that their companies were in rude health, have the means to actand the incentives, urging them to invest their surpluses. After cutting corporate tax rates, Finance Ministers and Duncan have also demonstrated frustration with Canadian businesses for not investing enough in the economy and urged them to invest more.

Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Pooled Registered Pension Plans: Pension Savior or a New Tax on the Poor? – August 23
2. Are Albertans really paying for Quebecs social programs? (Canada West Foundation) – April 20 (2012)
3. [Manitoba] 2012 Acceptable Living Level (ALL) Report (Winnipeg Harvest and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg) – February 16, 2012
4. Harpers Methodical Campaign to Silence Democracy : Tom Flanagan (Toronto Star) – August 18
5. Senator Art Eggleton tries a new tack in his fight against poverty (Toronto Star) – August 16
6. 12th Annual National Report Card on Health Care (Canadian Medical Association) – August 2012
7. Canada Social Transfer Project : Accountability Matters (Canadian Association of Social Workers) – March 2012
8. Les élections générales au Québec auront lieu le 4 septembre 2012. The 2012 Québec election takes place on September 4 (2012).
9. Latest Media and Policy News (Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre) – 24 August 2012
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Employment Insurance, June 2012 – August 23
— Study: How the older unemployed look for work, 2006 to 2010 – August 22
— Job vacancies, three-month average ending in May 2012 – August 20
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Lower-income Canadians also need financial planning (Ross Marowits, Calgary Herald)
Many Canadians live frugally for years in the hope of leaving large legacies to their children, but without proper estate planning those legacies can be fraught with complications. Taxes, real estate passed down and now shared by siblings and questions about how to best manage a sizable inheritance can leave people facing issues they’ve never encountered and are ill-prepared to handle. It’s an issue that’s attracting increased attention as Canada’s population ages and an estimated $1-trillion is passed along in inheritances.

The wait in Ontario for social housing can run to 10 years (Toronto Star)
Activists call it a quiet crisis, with good reason. For the fifth year in a row more Ontario households joined the waiting list for social housing than got off it. Queues across the province have swollen by a shocking 26 per cent since 2007 with some people waiting a decade for affordable housing. For all too many, that amounts to a 10-year sentence of being trapped in poverty as rents they can barely afford gobble up their money, leaving precious little on which to live. In a country as rich as Canada, this is a disgrace.–the-wait-in-ontario-for-social-housing-can-run-to-10-years


Promoting diversity in the office: Tips for bias-free hiring (Charity Village)
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.

Pilots slam use of foreign seasonal workers in wake of Air Transat layoffs (Tobi Cohen, Montreal Gazette)
With winter just around the corner and news this week that 50 Air Transat pilots are facing layoffs, aviators are again raising concerns about charters that hire foreign workers to swoop in for the busy sun destination season at the expense of unemployed Canadian pilots. While Citizenship and Immigration Canada quietly altered the guidelines for officers vetting visa requests in June, pilots say the changes fall short of addressing all the issues. The guidelines are meant to help visa officers assess whether foreign worker exchanges are being done fairly. Pilots are also concerned about the proliferation of wet leasing, whereby Canadian companies lease foreign aircraft, crew and all. Traditionally used as a backstop when a companys own planes are temporarily grounded for repairs, pilots say companies are now doing it to boost their fleets, all the while circumventing visa requirements and pilot exchange provisions.

Adopt an Immigrant Mindset to Advance Your Career (Glenn Llopis, Harvard Business Review)
If you want to remain relevant and advance your career in today’s global marketplace, you need to serve as an enabler of business growth and innovation. One of the best ways to do this is to adopt an “immigrant mindset.” The immigrant mentality has proven time and again to accelerate careers and build enterprise. A study in 1996 from the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) used the issuance of new patents to measure immigrants’ inventiveness and spirit of enterprise. Examining 250 recently-issued U.S. patents chosen at random, AdTI found that over 19% of them were issued to immigrants alone, or to immigrants collaborating with U.S.-born co-inventors. These patents generated more than 1,600 jobs. A 2011 study by Partnership for a New American Economy found that 76% of patents awarded to the top 10 patent-producing U.S. universities that year had at least one foreign-born inventor.

Ontario neglecting its most vulnerable workers (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Ontario hasnt caught up to reality in todays job market. Roughly 1.7 million workers in the province 1 out of 5 have little or no protection from bosses who pay them less than the minimum wage, compel them to work on statutory holidays without overtime and dont allow them time off for illness, a family emergency or the death of a loved one. Some of these inhumane practices happen within the bounds of Ontarios gap-ridden Employment Standards Act. Some happen illegally because the rules are so poorly enforced.–ontario-neglecting-its-most-vulnerable-workers

Immigrant Women and the Workplace (Skills for Change)
This years conference, on November 19, hosted by KPMG, will bust the negative myths around immigrant women and the Canadian workplace. We will explore the significant and unique contributions immigrant women are making on the Canadian economy and the shift in gender balance and its resulting changing dynamics in boardrooms and in the workplace. We will also examine the challenges that immigrant women face in entering decision-making roles in todays business environment.


Monday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall and Other News.

Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Development, City Hall, Toronto Police and Other News.

A Better Budget for A Better City: What Ford can learn from Nenshi (Wellesley Institute)
The whole city has cause to reflect after last years budget process. From the Core Service Review to the all-night-meetings and subsequent cuts and ill-thought out fees for sports fields, last years city budget process fell short of whats needed for better city building. Weve released a new report that looks to Calgary, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia for models of better budget processes. We think that can work in a city like Toronto, in turn creating a better, more engaged and livable city for us all.


Innovation Is Not the Holy Grail (Christian Seelos, SSI Review)
Every year, hundreds of new innovation books are published with well-meaning and intriguing recommendations for managers and organizations. They tout such innovation success factors as a risk-taking culture, inspired leadership, and openness to outside ideas. An increasingly impatient social sector sees innovation as the holy grail of progress. This impatience stems in part from the perception that decades of traditional global development efforts are lost years, with billions of dollars spent and too little to show for them. The scale of poverty-related challenges and the growing levels of global inequality drive a sense of urgency and a frustration with old development recipes. These challengesthis crisis, if you willhave legitimized a collective quest for new solutionsinnovations!

Speaking Up for the Soul of Civic Life – Cardus (Al Etmanski)
I’ve been wanting to write about them for some time. I’ve been a guest and co-sponsor at some of their forums and focus groups. I’m impressed with their intellectual curiosity and their willingness to tackle some of our toughest challenges with both discipline and an open mind. While they are inspired and informed by the essence of Christian values they seek to understand and apply them to issues faced by the charitable sector, our education system, cities, employment and the economy. Their opinions are frank and clearly articulated. They don’t shy away from contrary opinions including publishing vigorous criticisms of each other. And contrary to what some might assume about an organization that declares its Christian values, they have not hesitated to be among the first to criticize our federal government.

National Summit report (Imagine Canada)
This report documents five key outcomes of the National Summit for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector held in Ottawa, November 28-30, 2011. It also charts the path forward for each of the four Priorities for Action that were considered and advanced by more than 500 leaders through in-person and online engagement during the Summit.

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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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RT @cathmckenna: Another good piece by @dougsaunders in today's Globe: "The unfounded fear of Muslim immigration" M ... Lessons...