Immigration & Diversity news headlines – August 9, 2012


Lawyers challenge Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s role in letting Conrad Black into Canada (Toronto Star)
In a public display of the growing tension between the legal community and Ottawa, a group of lawyers is daring Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to take them to the Law Society for voicing dissent. On Wednesday, 80 immigration lawyers sent an open letter to Kenney and collectively questioned his role in granting a permit to Conrad Black to allow the convicted media magnate to return to Canada in May after serving a 42-month sentence for fraud and obstruction of justice in Florida. The letter was to show support to Toronto immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann, the subject of a complaint of misconduct to the Law Society of Upper Canada by a Kenney assistant for criticizing the Black decision and suggesting political interference to the media.–lawyers-challenge-immigration-minister-jason-kenney-s-role-in-letting-conrad-black-into-canada

Jason Kenney: About 128 years too late this time (Chris Moore)
Jason Kenney’s nasty attempt to intimidate a lawyer who criticized him by registering a complaint with the law society seems to be backfiring. Scores of other lawyers are repeating the criticism of him, and daring Kenney to report them too. Actually this tactic of Kenney’s is one with some history. In 1884 Conservative activists in Toronto brought rather analogous complaints against the Liberal Blake brothers (Edward Blake then being leader of the opposition in Ottawa). In those days the Law Society of Upper Canada’s discipline committee was a relatively open forum. Simply by lodging the complaint, the Tories got several days during which the Blakes seemed to be facing serious ethical charges — even though the complaint was found to be groundless once a hearing was held.

Mexican Mobility and Canada: Hardening Boundaries and Growing Resistance (NACLA)
In June 2009, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, a woman’s body was found, “with blows to her body and a bullet in the forehead, a classic revenge from drug trafficking,” according to a local newspaper. Further medical investigation determined that the 24-year-old woman with the first name Grise had had a Caesarean just a month earlier, although the whereabouts of the baby was unknown. In January 2012, in the city of Hermosillo in the Mexican state of Sonora, a woman named Veronica Castro was “robbed and beaten,” dying three days afterwards. “When Castro died at 41,” reported CBC News in reference to her efforts to escape a long history of domestic violence, “she had spent almost half her life looking for a safe home without painful memories for herself and her son.” In addition to a violent end, these two women shared something else in common. They both had sought political asylum in Canada, a status that the Canadian government had denied them. Both also met their untimely deaths soon after Ottawa deported them to Mexico.

El Salvador man detained on warrant (Kerry Benjoe, Leader Post)
An El Salvador national living in the Esterhazy area has been arrested on a Canada wide immigration warrant. On Tuesday, the Esterhazy RCMP was notified by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that Manuel Jesus Ramos Delgado, 33, who was wanted on an immigration warrant, may be residing in the Esterhazy district. It was believed that Delgado was working in construction somewhere in the area. He was wanted for removal from Canada.

Alberta court says accused Guatemalan war criminal’s appeal is ‘hopeless’ (Bill Graveland, Winnipeg Free Press)
The Alberta Court of Appeal has rejected an accused Guatemalan war criminal’s fight to avoid extradition to the United States on immigration charges. Jorge Vinicio Orantes Sosa was arrested in Lethbridge, Alta., in January, 2011. He is accused of lying to immigration officials about his military past when he applied for U.S. citizenship. Sosa, who has Canadian citizenship as well, is also wanted by Guatemalan authorities for the alleged massacre of civilians in the village of Dos Erres during that country’s civil war. In a written decision, Justice Brian O’Ferrall said Sosa’s request to appeal the extradition order is denied. He said whether Sosa committed any crimes in Guatemala has no influence on whether he is returned to the United States.–165446606.html

Canada encourages Immigrant Investors (Canada Updates)
Investors Program in Canada enables and immigrants to invest money and become a part of Canada’s growth. This approach not only makes the investor an entrepreneur but it also gives an opportunity to the investor to become an entrepreneur.

Toronto Mela 2012 (CASSA)
Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), with support from City of Toronto, presents Toronto Mela 2012: A South Asian Summer Fest at Albert Campbell Square of Scarborough on August 25, 2012 from 12.00 noon to 9.00 pm. Thousands of residents of the Greater Toronto Area are expected to gather together on August 25th to celebrate and share the richness and uniqueness of the enormous social, cultural, economic, artistic and political contributions of South Asians in Canada.

Ontario policy on competing human rights (Andrew Lawson, First Reference)
The Ontario Human Rights Commission has published a very useful document titled, “Policy on competing human rights.” I recommend that you take a few minutes and review the policy and include it in your workplace human rights policies and training curricula. Managers attending my training workshops tell me they frequently struggle with the concept of competing human rights. This challenging phenomenon occurs when showing respect for the human rights of one party results in the violation of the legal rights of another party.

Changes to refugee and immigration services (Legal Aid Ontario)
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is taking steps to modernize how it delivers refugee and immigration services. These measures, which take effect September 6, 2012, will help LAO balance increasing client demand with LAO’s own financial obligations to operate within its means. The changes will help mitigate a surge in the number of refugee certificates issued, which has increased by nine per cent over the past two years – from 12,453 in 2010/11 to 13,612 in 2011/12.

The Taste of Danforth is the Toast of Toronto (Areti Kotseli, Greek Reporter)
To celebrate its rich cultural diversity with a variety of food events on an annual basis in this Canadian city, food festivals are being held, including the Taste of the Danforth which takes place from August 10 to 12 next week in a downtown area with a big Greek-Canadian community. It it the 19th Festival so far, and Greek-Canadians are always prominent, whipping up Greek favorite dishes.


West Kootenay Friends of Refugees receive generous donation (Rossland Telegraph)
The West Kootenay Friends of Refuges (WKFoR) recently received a donation from the Mechanical Department at AMEC for $1,873.17. Different departments of AMEC get to host a fundraiser BBQ and silent auction every quarter. This quarter the Mechanical Department chose WKFoR to be the beneficiary of their fundraising efforts. The WKFoR are extremely grateful for the generous donation as they are currently raising $20,000 to sponsor two refugee families from Burma to resettle in Canada.

Garden tour grows support for refugees (Jeanette Stewart, Star Phoenix)
Three years later they are outgoing and speak fluent English. Johrcael insists on trying out the photographer’s camera, as Lina explains that this summer they will go to Vancouver to get their passports. The children are part of a number of families sponsored by NEST, a non-denominational Saskatoon group that helps refugee families — particularly mothers and their children — resettle in the city. The group helps with all aspects of settling in the city, from obtaining housing to learning how to bank in Canada.

Video: Thank You Jason Kenney (Just Theatre)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will save each Canadian 59 cents a year by slashing refugee health benefits. Show some gratitude, people! Just Theatre leads the way.


Advocate urges city council to maintain discretionary benefits for social assistance recipients, despite provincial funding cut (Your Legal Rights)
Discretionary benefits are critical for people on social assistance, a poverty reduction advocate told city council Monday night urging the city to maintain those benefits until the end of the year despite the province clawing back funding. Income from Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program is already inadequate, said Martha Macfie, with Peterborough Community Legal Centre.

Upcoming changes to welfare in BC (PovNet)
The Ministry of Social Development announced a number of changes to income assistance policies. The majority of these changes will come into effect Oct 1, 2012. The exceptions are School Start-up changes effective July 3, 2012 and annualized earnings exemption for clients designated as Persons With Disabilities (PWD) and mandatory income tax filing, which take effect in 2013.


Family Heroes — Profiles of the nominators for the 2011 UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Scholarships (UFCW)
“It’s a dream to be here now together”, he says. “When I first arrived it was hard to be away from my wife and children but I am an optimist, and my union gave me great support in building a brighter future for my family.” Walter found out about the Migrant Workers Scholarships program while studying English As An Additional Language at UFCW Canada Local 832’s Education and Training Centre. His wife encouraged him to apply for his 7-year-old niece back home, Katherine Pamela Vallecillo Duron who is an exceptional at school in Honduras, and who was recently selected as one of the 20 recipients of the 2011 Scholarships program. Her father passed away two years ago, making the scholarship all the more valuable to Katherine and her family as they plan for her future education.

Career Mentorship – Five Benefits for Employers (ERIEC)
You might assume that the main benefactor in any career mentorship program would be the mentee, right? Of course it’s the mentee that has a need to learn. Well, if you ask the mentors participating in ERIEC’s Career Mentorship program about who benefits from a mentoring relationship, you might be surprised at the answer. It turns out that not only is participation in a career mentorship program advantageous to both the mentee and mentor, but it pays dividends to the mentor’s employer as well.


Thursday’s Headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Ford, Port Lands and Other News.


The News ‘Us’ (Arti Freeman, Trillium Foundation)
In October 2011 I had the privilege of attending A Grantmakers’ Gathering on Networks which explored how we can increase social impact in a networked world. While networks are not new and people connected together have managed to createchange throughout history, deliberately working with a network mindset broadens ourpotential of possibilities. One of the key messages at this gathering was that the field of grantmaking must move from the traditional mindset of plan and control, strengthening individual efforts, proprietary information and learning, looking to ‘experts’ for insights, and centralized decision making, towards a networked mindset characterized by shared decisionmaking, ongoing emergence, network-wide capacity, open and transparent information, andcollective learning and intelligence. This approach, one that invites others into our thinking,conversations, and actions and openly shares what we are doing, has led to many innovative,efficient, sustainable and accessible services such as BikeShare, Wikipedia, and MozillaFirefox. As I reflected on new ways of working with a network mindset , I was reminded of some of the ways our grantees and partners have begun working ‘wikily’. They are engaged in open and transparent conversations, and have prioritized relationships to find new solutions tocomplex social issues.

Next Up – a leadership program for young people committed to social and environmental justice
2011-2012 marks the fifth year of the Next Up leadership in BC, the second year in Alberta and the first year in Saskatchewan. The organizers come from a wide range of backgrounds in public policy, communications, organizing, and research. We are all involved in social and environmental justice work and we’ve created this program because we believe that another world is not just possible, but an imperative. Applications are now being accepted for all Next Up programs. Each PDF package contains the application information and the application form. Please read over both sections carefully before applying. Note that application deadlines vary by program.

Social Return on Investment-Lessons Learned from the Field (Simon Anderson,
Leaders of not-for-profits, social enterprises, and social purpose businesses often ask “how can we demonstrate the value of our work?” While there is no right answer, one technique, social return on investment (SROI), is gaining traction as a framework for demonstrating results. However, SROI is a relatively new field with few practitioners; hence, it can be challenging to draw from best practices or lessons learned. With that said, I’d like to shed some light on my experience with SROI and offer some “lessons learned” to aspiring and new practitioners.

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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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