Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 7, 2012


Building the Network of Networks (Dale Sproule, Canadian Newcomer Magazine)
In February, 2012, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) announced an exciting new initiative: the Professional Immigrant Networks Initiative, or PINs. Sponsored by Scotiabank and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, PINs aims to unite the dozens of professional immigrant networks that have been working independently under the radar for many years helping professionals in various ethnic communities throughout the Toronto Region to connect with others in similar situations. PINs has become a network of networks. Racquel Sevilla, TRIEC Manager, Program Development, defines professional immigrant networks as, organizations that are created by immigrants for immigrants. So these are member based, volunteer run associations. Thats what distinguishes them from community agencies which are there to provide services and are not member based. Amongst their many objectives, they have to be helping members connect to employment. Some groups provide professional development opportunities, some shar

CIFAR Scholar Irene Bloemraad explains why Canadians are optimistic about immigration (CIFAR)
Immigration expert and CIFAR Scholar Irene Bloemraad (UC Berkeley) recently authored a report exploring why Canadians are by far the most open to and optimistic about immigration, compared to citizens in other developed and immigrant-receiving nations. The report, commissioned by the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, DC, was published in July 2012 and coincided with Dr. Bloemraads appointment to the Thomas Garden Barnes Chair of Canadian Studies at the University of California. According to the report, the Canadian public has been supportive of immigration for decades. And, as more and more immigrants have come to Canada, this support has increased, even during times of economic uncertainty.

Defending Jason Kenney doesnt end with one counterpunch (Tim Harper, Toronto Star)
In official Ottawa, no political office works more assiduously or aggressively to burnish its ministers image than the staff around Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Much of this works to the mutual advantage of Kenney and those who cover him. The minister is not tethered to the operatives in Prime Minister Stephen Harpers office, Kenney and his officials are more available to journalists in the capital than other government departments and he is an activist minister who makes news and staunchly defends his policies. Were feisty but not hot-headed, says one official in the ministers office. They like to counterpunch when criticized.–tim-harper-defending-jason-kenney-doesn-t-end-with-one-counterpunch

The adjustment bureau (Boaz Joseph, Coverdale Reporter)
Having no knowledge about student loans when she first arrived in Canada in her late teens, Harvinder Sandhu worked four jobs to pay her way through college. Although she spoke English fluently at the time, she might have saved herself years of stress as a newcomer if she had known more about available resources in her new country. Today, Sandhu is the one giving advice. A speaker of Punjabi who gets by in Urdu as well, Sandhu is an integral part in the Settlement and Integration Program offered at the George Mackie Library. Its a service run by Options Community Services for immigrant and refugee newcomers, giving then information about such things as local culture, the labour market and paperwork. Sandhu says newcomers are often given incorrect advice by friends and relatives with a potential waste of time and money or misdirected educational upgrades in pursuit of employment.

Immigrants left to fend for themselves, P.E.I. MPs say (Guardian)
Charlottetown MP?Sean Casey says he has seen a major increase in the number of people looking for help with their immigration and visas in his office over the last three months, following the closure of the Citizenship and Immigration Office in the city earlier this spring. I recently spoke with the other MP offices and they are experiencing the same thing, Casey said Thursday. The city office only has one half-time staff left who only deals with organizations funding agreements, not clients, said Casey. Its unfortunate. We have worked really hard to get immigrants to move to Canada and now we are saying youre on your own. Our offices can help but we are not immigration experts, said Casey.,-P.E.I.-MPs-say/1

Program helping immigrant children enter Saskatoon schools (Global Saskatoon)
As the new school year is quickly approaching, many immigrant and refugee parents feel lost when it comes to picking the best school for their child. Everything is different, all the rules and regulations change here, says recent immigrant Aakash Goyal. Goyal moved to Canada five-years-ago with his family. His oldest son is starting kindergarten this year and theyre turning to Saskatoons Open Door Society for assistance. Im hoping theyll guide us with how the school system is here, how we choose the school, where we should go and which school is better for providing education. Goyal will be using the societys Settlement Support Workers in School Program (SSWIS).

Not all new Canadians embrace camping (CBC)
For many Canadians, long weekends mean heading to the campground or the cottage. But one expert says that tradition is not catching on with the latest wave of immigrants. At a recent Learn-to-Camp workshop in Sudbury, Anil Borugadda and his wife looked puzzled as a tent slowly takes shape. They emigrated from India less than a year ago and, at first, didn’t understand the Canadian obsession with the outdoors. But after visiting Killarney Park, Borugadda said they now want to go camping and maybe, one day, buy a cottage. “We realized why people invest in a second house, because it gives a lot of meaning to life,” he said.

Canadas new immigration policy hit (Manila Standard Today)
FILIPINO applicants for migration in Canada are protesting against the Canadian governments unilateral move to cancel and return without explanation their pending applications and accompanying processing fees, a lawyer said on Sunday. In a statement, lawyer Gerard Algarra, who represents a group of Manila-based applicants, described the Canadian governments move as unconstitutional, illegal, and arbitrary, saying it constituted a retroactive legislation, that could be a subject of a class action suit his group of lawyers was initiating before the Canadian court. Canada is among the favorite destinations for over two decades of cash-strapped Filipino migrants as a result of its liberal immigration policies.

Hope springs for Canadian wannabe (Manila Standard Today)
Filipinos seeking permanent residency in Canada should not lose hope in fulfilling their dream, despite the recent enactment of a law authorizing the Minister of Immigration to terminate the processing of all pending Federal Skilled Workers applications filed before Feb. 27, 2008. Some 280,000 FSW applicants worldwide, with an estimated minimum of 10 percent from the Philippines, are affected by this radical change in Canadas immigration rules, according to a group of lawyers who are out to challenge the legality of the move.

Immigration terms unable to describe Canadian identity (Shaamini Yogaretnam, Edmonton Journal)
If Rashida Musa were gifted with the greatest of athletic abilities, she would choose to represent Canada in the Olympics. The 19-year-old feels Canadian, after moving here from Kumasi, Ghana when she was 10-months-old. Though technically she is an immigrant, Musa doesnt identify with the term. I started everything here. I started to walk here, talk here, grow teeth here, Musa said. Its nice to have roots in other places, but I do feel very Canadian and I dont feel any different than my sister or my brother who were born here.

Ottawa Launches Consultations on Immigration Issues (Omid Ghoreishi, The Epoch Times)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has launched cross-country consultations with Canadians on issues related to immigration. CIC parliamentary secretaries Chungsen Leung and Rick Dykstra are meeting with stakeholders and the public in various cities around the country to gather input on the appropriate level and mix of immigration for Canada. Consultations started in Toronto last week and will continue in Windsor, Vancouver, Halifax, and Ottawa. People can also take part in the consultations via the Internet until Aug. 31.

Despite Cuts And Restrictions Immigration Canada Still Seeking More Consultations On Immigration Levels (The Link)
Despite deportations, cuts and numerous immigration restrictions brought by the Stephen Harper government, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is still seeking consultations on immigration levels. CICs Parliamentary Secretaries Chungsen Leung and Rick Dykstra have launched a series of cross-country consultations on immigration issues, which began this week in Toronto. The two Parliamentary Secretaries will be meeting with stakeholders and the public to discuss the appropriate level and mix of immigration for Canada in the coming years. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has welcomed the highest sustained levels of immigration in Canadian history.

Married by video chat? Come to Canada! (Tom Godfrey, Sun News)
Marriages conducted by telephone or webcam that unite Muslim women in Canada with husbands abroad make up a significant number of the immigration sponsorship cases in Pakistan, says a top official. “Approximately 40% of the caseload involves proxy marriages, some of which were conducted over the phone via internet or webcam,” said Pat O’Brien, an immigration program manager at the High Commission of Canada in Islamabad. The embassy’s territory includes Pakistan and Afghanistan, two of the most dangerous countries in the world, according to an Environmental Overview Template Islamabad report compiled by O’Brien for Ottawa. It was obtained under an Access of Information request by lawyer Richard Kurland. The template said many applicants seeking visas for Canada take part in arranged marriages. In many cases, the brides are in Canada while their husbands reside in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The men are sponsored to Canada by their wives. The cases “involve arranged marriages amongst Muslims, the vast majority of which take place between first cousins,” O’Brien told Ottawa in March 2012.

Immigration Marriage Fraud (Immigration Lawyer blog)
On July 31, 2012, I appeared on Alberta Primetime to discuss Immigration Marriage Fraud. The other guest was Dr. Noorfarah Merali, a professor at the University of Alberta, has researched immigration policy for the past 10 years. Her research indicates the majority of marriages that involves immigration sponsorship end within 24 months; I am looking forward to reviewing any published articles by Professor Merali to understand her statistics and sources. In my experience, immigration sponsorship is another stressor to marriage. Thus, marriage fraud may not be the causative factor to marriages that fail. Further, when a marriage breaks down and divorce proceedings initiated, the narrative of the relationship histories change.

Its nous vs. minorities for the PQ (Don Macpherson, Montreal Gazette)
Pauline Marois says the PQ lost ground in the 2007 election because her predecessor wouldnt discuss identity issues. In a recent…more Pauline Marois says the PQ lost ground in the 2007 election because her predecessor wouldnt discuss identity issues. In a recent video message, she says: Lets not give in to those who want to impose values on us that arent our own.

Changing Life-styles of Tamil immigrants (Asian Tribune)
Tamils who sought refuge in foreign countries after the ethnic calamities that started in Sri Lanka in 1983 have gone and settled mainly in western climes. The countries they settled in large numbers are Canada, U.K , Australia and to some extent France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland , Denmark, Holland, Italy and Sweden.

Jobs, peace and love among reasons for moving to Canada (Manisha Krishnan, Edmonton Journal)
For Ali Abdi, coming to Canada meant staying alive, but even after 20 years abroad, he still loves and misses his homeland of Somalia. Abdi is one of nearly 100 immigrants who shared their stories as part the Journals heritage project as we celebrate Heritage Days this weekend. Abdi left because of the 1991 civil war, which has lasted more than two decades and led to more than 500,000 deaths. It really was very rough, said Abdi, 47. When the central government collapsed, there was no law and order. Everybody wanted to survive, there were guns flying everywhere, looting everywhere. Civil war, once it happens, its uncontrollable.

Meet the The Journals Heritage Project writing team (Edmonton Journal)
The writers who crafted the Journal Heritage Project reflect Canadas rich cultural mix. All six of this years summer journalist interns were born in Canada. But five of the six have parents who came to Canada from another country. This is what our team members have to say about their own heritage.

Journalist upset about link between Indian Rakhi festival and anti-domestic violence campaign (CBC)
Indo-Canadians are marking the annual Rakhi festival today, but Anupreet Sandhu Bhamra, a blogger and a journalist with South Asian heritage, isn’t happy with the city of Surrey’s campaign linking the festival to raising awareness about domestic violence.

Diálogo: Mental Health and Addictions in Spanish Speaking Communities (CAMH)
September 27, 2012, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Harbourfront Community Centre
627 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario
Featuring Keynote Speaker: Dr. Marlinda Freire
Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
This interactive symposium will bring together service providers, community leaders and stakeholders working with the Spanish speaking community to:
identify mental health and addictions, service and research capacities and needs
build relationships with and among stakeholders and leaders in the community
develop capacity for and build on existing relevant programs and services.

No ideologues remain in the Conservative caucus (Chris Selley, National Post)
The most useful distinction between the Liberals of yore and the modern Conservatives is one of tone, not ideology. Take Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenneys cuts to refugee health care, for example. Thats something the Liberals probably wouldnt have done, even if they thought it was a good idea. They were notoriously skittish on the refugee and immigration files. But when things got dire enough to necessitate action closing the U.S. border to inbound refugee claimants; slapping a tourist visa on a friendly nation they massaged facts and soft-pedalled their language in hopes of not offending immigrants or left-leaning voters. Mr. Kenney also massages facts, then shoots from the hip in hopes of appealing to all potential Conservative voters.


Immigration ruling may be Ugandan woman’s death sentence (Xtra!)
Leatitia Ddamulira Nanziri is not a Convention Refugee or a Person in need of protection. Therefore her claim is rejected. That may be Leatitia Nanziris death sentence. Nanziri is choking back sobs, retelling the story of how she came to Canada. She says she faced abuse, torture and arrest at the hands of the police force in her home country of Uganda. Endured rape at the hands of a police officer who confined her. Lost her job, was disowned by her family and faced a slew of abuse. All because shes a lesbian.

Toronto woman facing deportation to Uganda granted stay (CBC)
A Toronto mother of two who was scheduled to be deported to Uganda on Saturday has been granted a stay of deportation. Leatitia Nanziri says she is a lesbian and was forced to flee Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal, after she was outed. She also claims she was sexually assaulted by a police officer in Uganda. Nanziri came to Canada and claimed refugee status, but was denied. The matter was taken to court for review.

Canadian doctors fight to save refugee health benefits (The Record)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has political power, taxpayer-funded polling and a bagful of emotion-triggering phrases abuse of Canadian taxpayers, bogus refugees, gold-plated benefits on his side. Canadas doctors have passion, medical ethics and a grassroots network of nurses, midwives, therapists, church leaders, social activists and health experts on their side. According to the immigration minister, public sentiment is running 20 to 1 in favour of his decision to cancel health benefits for refugee claimants. According to Dr. Meb Rashid, medical director of the Crossroads Clinic for refugees at Womens College Hospital, Kenney is putting lives at risk.–canadian-doctors-fight-to-save-refugee-health-benefits


Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Three steps for maximizing your Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and minimizing your income tax (Toronto Star) – July 29
2. [Toronto] SPARmonitor : August 1 (2012) issue (Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto)
3. Hennessy’s Index : Crime, Punishment and Politics (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – August 1
4. [BC] Child advocacy organization critiques ‘alleged’ BC poverty strategy (First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition) – August 1
5. July 30 : It’s not too late to register for the14th Congress of the Basic Income Earth Network, taking place on 14 – 16 September 2012 in Munich, Germany.
6. Overdue : The Case for Increasing the Persons with Disabilities Benefit in BC (Disability Without Poverty Network) – July 2012
7. Saskatchewan social housing changes to help more people in need (Government of Saskatchewan) – July 24
8. HousingAgain Bulletin : July 2012 issue (Raising the Roof)
9. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Study : Leave practices of parents after the birth or adoption of young children, July 2012 – July 30
10. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit


Citys summer of violence calls for community-based solutions (Toronto Star)
A group of community organizations have been meeting to discuss the recent violence in Toronto and ways to promote healthy neighbourhoods. This is their joint statement: As Torontonians who share a common vision for our city that is guided by the principles of justice, equality and respect for all people, we believe everyone in our society deserves to live in safe, secure and healthy communities. When violence strikes a community, we all suffer. To end violence, our challenge lies in embracing solutions that strike at its core. A surplus of research shows us there is more than one way to stop violence from infecting a community. The most successful way to avert crime is a concerted effort to get at the root causes of violence. Too many young people, notably black youth and racialized communities, are being scapegoated and misrepresented. This only feeds into the cycle of violence. While effective law enforcement is a place to start, a more balanced response is needed to fix the underlying systemic conditions that contribute to violence in our communities.–city-s-summer-of-violence-calls-for-community-based-solutions


Connecting Canadians (Andrew Clement, Athabasca University Press)
Connecting Canadians represents the work of the Community Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN), the largest national and international research effort to examine the burgeoning field of community informatics, a cross-disciplinary approach to the mobilization of information and communications technologies (ICT) for community change. Funded for four years by the SSHRC’s Initiative for the New Economy, CRACIN systematically studied a wide variety of Canadian community ICT initiatives, bringing perspectives from sociology, computer science, critical theory, women’s studies, library and information sciences, and management studies to bear on networking technologies. A comprehensive thematic account of this in-depth research, Connecting Canadians will be an essential resource for NGOs, governments, the private sector, and multilateral agencies across the globe.

how to assess the impact of your research (Sarah Morton, Research Impact)
Impact has become a significant component of the research cycle but how does one actually do this? Dr. Sarah Morton from the University of Edinburgh offers a one-day workshop with methodologies to assess the impact of your research.

Mapping Social Entrepreneurship: Ontario Trillium Foundation Survey (CSI)
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) needs your help! OTF wants to examine and map out the various groups, individuals, and organizations that are supporting social entrepreneurship in the province of Ontario. Who are the key players and what are the next big ideas? If you are acting in this capacity, we ask that you please (with a cherry on top) take a few minutes to complete this quick survey as part of the Ecosystem Mapping Social Entrepreneurship initiative. BUT that is not all… In just a few weeks, CCEDNet will be sending out a survey targeting all social enterprises in Ontario. This includes farmers markets, thrift stores, nonprofit housing, culture based organizations and others that are earning revenue to support their work or that provide training and employment through their ventures to marginalized populations. This survey is part of a nation wide project to snapshot the entire sector and build capacity for the future. To date, this will be the most comprehensive work on Ontario’s social enterprises. Isn’t it fabulous?

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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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