Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 13, 2012


In politics how much does money matter? (Hema Vyas, DiverseCity Toronto)
Is it possible that the old ways of winning an election are being turned on their heads? Are we entering a new era where who you know and how much you have are starting to matter less? New candidates with little money and no political connections who bring fresh, informed perspectives and passion to burn may find this is their moment.

The Wimpy Numbers Behind Kenney’s “Great Immigration Crackdown?” (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
On Monday, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney announced that the federal government had started the process of revoking the citizenship of 3,100 people suspected of lying to immigration officials in a highly publicized press conference. An “important announcement about our government’s efforts to protect the value of Canadian citizenship” were the words he used to open his alleging avowal. The conservative PR machine must have forgotten the blasting trumpet to match the hype about never-convicted Canadian citizens.

Website opens cross-country dialogue on what it means to be Canadian (Suzanne Ma, Metro News)
When the Bank of Canada removed the image of a woman scientist billed as Asian-looking from its new $100 banknotes, Rachel Décoste took to the Internet hoping to start a cross-country dialogue that would tackle some burning questions: Is there a such thing as a Canadian? Can a person be an Asian, African, Somali, Indian and Canadian at the same time? What does it mean when someone identifies him or herself as Canadian?

Neutrally Ethnic project aims to discuss race in Canada, move beyond $100 banknote (Karen Chen, Ottawa Citizen)
News that the Bank of Canada had chosen to change the design of the $100 bill that depicted a woman who appeared Asian to a woman who was “ethnically neutral” made Rachel Décoste’s blood pressure rise. But beyond her anger, there was hurt. What aspect of someone who did not appear “neutrally-ethnic” made them appear less Canadian? Décoste, an Ottawa-based motivational speaker, wrote about the bank’s decision on the Huffington Post and was soon contacted by several people who had read her blog. The consensus on the Internet and the comments, Décoste said, seemed that “neutrally-ethnic” was a euphemism for Caucasian.

Nigerian students asking for ‘mercy’ over work permit error (CBC)
Two University of Regina students from Nigeria are asking immigration officials to allow them to stay in Canada because they did not know working at a Walmart store was not allowed under their student visas. The pair have taken sanctuary in a church, hoping to avoid deportation. Victoria Ordu and Ihuoma Amadi have been studying at the U of R for three years and their student visas do allow them to work, but only on campus.

Language diversity enriches us (Regina Leader Post)
Mingle with the crowds in any public place in Regina these days and there’s a good chance you’ll hear conversations conducted in Hindi, Punjabi, Filipino, Mandarin and even Russian. The influx of immigrants from all over the world in recent years has brought the languages of dozens of countries to this city and province. Together with a welcome revival of First Nations languages like Cree and Dene, it’s like a linguistic breath of fresh air.

Canada’s New Startup Visa Is Progressive By U.S. Standards, But For Them It Could Be A Step Backwards (Mike Masnick, TechDirt)
For years now, I’ve talked about the importance of some sort of startup visa for immigrants starting companies in the US. Lots of people in the government agree with this idea, but they haven’t passed it because it’s about “immigration.” And no politician wants to take on immigration as a whole, because then it turns into nationalism about how those crazy foreigners are taking our jobs — even when that’s empirically not true. Canada, however, has now put in place a new startup visa that is somewhat similar to the various proposals floated down here in the US: entrepreneurs can get a visa if they have funding from a venture capitalist.

Immigration Canada: the do’s and don’ts for newcomers (Asen Asenov, Study in BC)
I first landed in Vancouver, BC as a permanent resident in the summer of 2009. It was both a scary and exciting time for me. I spent the first few days just taking in the sheer beauty of the city and its surroundings. Host of the 2010 Olympic Games and often ranked as one of the top most livable cities in the world, Vancouver is a vibrant, international city, with breathtaking views all around. Having obtained a double Bachelor’s degree in Economics & International Relations from the United States and a Masters in International Conflict Analysis from the United Kingdom, with more than ten years of solid professional experience in international affairs, I was ready to take on the world in my new home. That is, until I discovered that neither my education, nor my experience held the same value in Canada as they did elsewhere.

Vancouverites adapt to new cultural etiquette (Phoebe Yu, TheLaSource)
As intercultural communication becomes the norm, there is a growing need for the public to understand proper rules of engagement in a heterogeneous society, especially as workplaces become more diverse. Learning the basics of etiquette is a stepping stone to understanding people on a deeper level.

Conservative immigration policies attacked at Indo Canadian Workers’ Association forum (Gurpreet Singh, Straight)
Speakers at a forum organized by the Indo Canadian Workers’ Association have overwhelmingly rejected the Conservative government’s immigration policies. The September 9 event at a Sikh temple hall in Surrey was dedicated to Bhai Bhaag Singh, a South Asian community leader and publisher shot dead in Vancouver by British immigration agent Bela Singh on September 5, 1914. This occurred less than two months after the Komagata Maru was forced to leave Vancouver’s harbour carrying more than 350 South Asians who were prevented from setting foot on Canadian soil.

Why Does She Wear A Niqab? (Meredith Martin, TVO The Agenda)
It’s this passing reference to women who cover themselves from head-to-toe, usually in black, wearing what’s called a niqab, that hit home for me. Saunders mentions this as a phenomenon and then makes the obvious link to concerns about what the wearing of this covering might say about gender and sexual equality. Later in the piece, Saunders suggests that the issue of gender and sexual equality is sorted out over time. “And while Muslims are currently more conservative on issues such as tolerance of homosexuality and the rights of women, their views are vastly more liberal than in their countries of origin – and tend to align with Western views in the second generation.” This passing of the buck to the next generation is normal, I suppose, but, to me, the issue of sexual equality is too often glossed over. Women make up slightly more than half the world’s population, and, call me impatient, but I feel that we’ve waited long enough for equality, and, in Canada, we’re supposed to already have it. And when it comes to the example Saunders uses, I have a problem with women who wear full facial coverings, like the niqab.

News Release — Canada imposes visas on St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland (CIC)
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. EDT today citizens of St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (St. Vincent), Namibia, Botswana, and Swaziland now require a visa to travel to Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced. For the first 48 hours, or until 11:59 a.m. September 12, citizens of these countries who are in transit to Canada at the time the visa requirement takes effect will be able to receive a Temporary Resident Permit on arrival in Canada, free of charge, if they are not otherwise inadmissible to Canada.

Immigration and Refugee Law (Your Legal Rights)
The following email bulletin provides you with the latest news, legal information resources, common questions and training webinars from Your Legal Rights on Immigration and Refugee Law.

Video: SmartCity Business Show: S02E01: “Diversity for growth and innovation” feat. RBC (Greater Halifax)
Hiring immigrant talent is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Why? One of RBC’s core values is ‘diversity for growth and innovation’.

The Comic world gets a Muslim Superhero (CBC The Current)
It is a case of art imitating life and then moving off in all directions . The American giant DC Comics has just introduced a new superhero and he is Muslim. The fictitious Simon Baz has entered the scene, an Arab-American auto worker from Dearborn Michigan. And he comes just as that provocative film on the life of the prophet Mohammed has sparked protests which have now spread from Libya and Egypt to Yemen and Tunis and Iraq. This morning we are looking at how a bit of popular culture can fight a stereotype.

Immigrant experience inspires new music (Kevin Bazzana, Times Colonist)
In the first chapter, Crossings – to be performed Monday – Oesterle conveys the immigrant’s journey from the perspective of a child uprooted from an idyllic, pastoral home and arriving in a new, distinctly urban world that is unnerving but provokes a sense of wonder. As the child falls asleep on the first night in his adopted country, the piece ends. Oesterle stresses that New World is an emotional landscape exploring the range of an immigrant’s feelings – hope, fear, wonder, regret, anticipation, nostalgia. Tackling a subject so “humbling in its breadth” has inspired him to push the envelope in his music, he says.


Province steps up for refugees (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Manitoba will help refugees access health benefits the federal government recently took away. “We don’t agree with the federal government’s cut because it’s hurting families and will lead to longer-term and more expensive problems,” Health Minister Theresa Oswald said Wednesday in a prepared statement.


Let’s stop fetishizing “The Market” (solchrom)
Two marvellous contributions to the conversation recently from Alex Himelfarb and Trish Hennessy; if you’re not reading their stuff, then start now. Where some people go for the easy snark and descend into rudeness, their stuff is invariably thoughtful, tempered and beautifully written. Their arguments are persuasive and elegantly constructed. If you want contemporary Canadian policy issues framed in a comprehensive context, it’s hard to think of better places to start.

Human Rights And Mental Health (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke Barbara Hall, she is the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and with Lucy Costa. She is a Systemic Advocate with Empowerment Council at CAMH. The OHRC report will be released later this morning at Ryerson University.


Moving Past Diversity 101: GM’s Ken Barrett (Diversity Executive)
As General Motors’ first chief diversity officer, Ken Barrett is determined to connect diversity and inclusion to business growth for the global automaker. After a career in the Navy, one might expect that Ken Barrett, General Motors’ first chief diversity officer, would need some time to transition. But Barrett said his biggest problem has been figuring out what to wear after wearing a uniform for 28 years. Barrett, who has only been in the role since April, seems to have jumped in with both feet. It likely helps that his last two positions — as diversity director for the Navy and the Department of Defense — were also with large global organizations.


Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Ford,Regent Park and Other News.


PricewaterhouseCoopers accepting submissions for leadership grants (CharityVillage)
The PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation has launched an eight-week call for submissions for its Leadership Grants Program; a program that provides up to $200,000 in grants to leaders at small to medium-sized registered charitable organizations in Canada looking to fund professional development opportunities. Submissions for 2012 will be accepted from September 17, 2012 until October 26, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.

Local Forces for Good (Leslie R. Crutchfield, SSIR)
Of the more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, the vast majority are local groups striving to achieve maximum results while operating on budgets well under $1 million. Most aim to deepen their impact within the local community, rather than increase their reach by scaling up nationally. So how do the six practices outlined in our book Forces for Good apply to smaller groups, when we originally studied only large national and global nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, and the Environmental Defense Fund? Phrased differently, can the six practices of high-impact nonprofits be applied by local and smaller nonprofits as well?

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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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