Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 14, 2012


Publications: Good Ideas from Successful Cities: Municipal Leadership in Immigrant Integration (Cities of Migration)
Cities are uniquely positioned to learn from one another and to adapt and replicate good practice. Whatever the legal and jurisdictional framework, or differences in municipal responsibilities, cities around the world are accountable to their constituents and have a wide range of levers to introduce change – through policy instruments (equality, inclusion, nondiscrimination), as service providers (settlement, education, housing, police, etc.), as employers and diversity managers, and as the drivers of the local economy – from infrastructure and procurement to support for investment, entrepreneurship and small business incubation.

September Newsletter (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
• New Publication! Good Ideas from Successful Cities: Municipal Leadership in Immigrant Integration
• Good Ideas from Successful Cities: Country Reports
• Webinar: Investing in Urban Prosperity: Municipal Leadership in Immigrant Integration

News Release — Canadian Experience Class: Creating Jobs across Canada (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today that Canada has welcomed its 20,000th permanent resident through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream, reflecting the success of the government’s efforts to attract as well as retain the world’s best and brightest skilled workers. The Minister was joined at the announcement by Gaurav Gore, originally from India, who was recognized as the 20,000th permanent resident admitted under the CEC. Mr. Gore earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Toronto. He is applying his education as well as his experience as a business consultant with a major bank in Toronto.

Kenney to announce upgrades to program aimed at attracting world’s talent (Steven Chase, Globe and Mail)
Canada has just welcomed its 20,000th permanent resident under a four-year-old immigration program that’s on track to become this country’s premier method for recruiting newcomers. The Canadian Experience Class, launched only a few years ago, represents the future of Canada’s immigration system – one where the Harper government puts a hard-nosed emphasis on attracting the best and brightest skilled workers. The program targets temporary foreign workers already in Canada and non-Canadians who have graduated from universities and colleges here – people who have proven they can integrate into society and meet labour market needs.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada proposes significant amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Henry J. Chang, First Reference Talks)
On August 18, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) published proposed regulatory amendments (the “Proposed Regulations”) in the Canada Gazette, which will significantly alter the Federal Skilled Worker Class (“FSWC”), create a new Federal Skilled Trades Class (“FSTC”), and liberalize the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”). A detailed summary of these proposed changes is provided below.

As violent protests spread in Middle East, Canadian Hindu group screening anti-Islam film to make a point about tolerance (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
Saying it is a necessary part of furthering religious tolerance in Canada, a Canadian Hindu organization is organizing a public screening of the film that enflamed deadly protests and growing anger abroad over its mockery of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. “It promotes tolerance of different ideas and different viewpoints within Canada,” Ron Banerjee, director of the Canadian Hindu Advocacy, said Thursday. “It shows the value of tolerance to Muslims and the Islamic community and teaches them, in Canada, we do have tolerance and diversity and they are simply going to have to tolerate diverse viewpoints and opinions without rioting and without going berserk.”

Turmoil over anti-Muslim video: North American Muslims dream beyond extremism and Islamophobia (Massoud Hayoun, Vancouver Observer)
US and Canadian Muslims find themselves between an all-too-familiar rock and a hard place in catastrophes like the murder of a US ambassador an ambassador and three other American diplomats in Libya Tuesday and the ongoing attacks on US embassies around the Muslim World. The rock: An act of Islamophobia, in this instance a YouTube trailer for a US film mocking their religion and its prophet. The hard space: A violent reaction to the video by extremists in the Muslim World that, like the video itself, perpetuates hatred of Muslims hoping to live and thrive in the West.

Advice to media & Muslims: Don’t feed the trolls (Jeff Jarvis,
Zeynep Tufecki, a brilliant observer of matters media, digital, and social, cautioned on Twitter that we must understand a key difference in attitudes toward speech here and elsewhere in the world: “Forget Middle East, in most of Europe you could not convince most people that *all* speech should be protected. That is uniquely American,” she tweeted yesterday. “In most places, including Europe, ‘hate-speech’ –however defined — is regulated, prosecuted. Hence, folks assume not prosecuted=promoted…. US free speech absolutism already hard to comprehend for many. Add citizen media to mix, it gets messy. Then, killers exploit this vagueness.” Excellent points and important perspective for the current situation. But the internet is built to American specifications of speech: anyone can speak and it is difficult unto impossible to stop them as bits and the messages they carry are designed to go around blocks and detours. The internet *is* the First Amendment. We can argue about whether that is the right architecture — as an American free-speech absolutist, I think it is — but that wouldn’t change the fact that we are going to hear more and more speech, including brilliance and including bile. There’s no stopping it. Indeed, I want to protect it.

Today’s letters: Is a certain religion to blame for the attack on U.S. embassies? (National Post)
Sample: This editorial notes, “Libya’s murderers do not represent Islam.” The problem with this oft-repeated perspective is that if we accept it, we’ll also be disavowing any responsibility on the part of the community for a schoolyard bully who is running amuck. If the renunciation does not come from within the Muslim community, whose responsibility is it? The silence of the Muslim community on matters such as these is quite troubling, and may often be the impetus for this so called minority miscreants. It is time for Muslims to take responsibility for what goes on in their own backyard.”

Jews, Muslims meet to break down stereotypes (Paul Lungen, Canadian Jewish News)
The Jewish-Muslim dialogue in Toronto is gathering steam. Last week, some 65 people gathered at a Toronto library to discuss ways of improving relations between the two groups. At the same time, around 10 Pakistani journalists interviewed three Canadian Jews by phone on a range of topics, including Israel and the purported Jewish control of the media and Hollywood. Organizers of the event termed the meetings a success. “The vibrations were very positive,” said David Nitkin, president of EthicScan, one of the conveners. “It was a chance to break stereotypes and hear people’s stories.”

Children of immigrants only behind in reading at start of school, University of Ottawa researcher finds (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Children of immigrants are as well-prepared for the start of schooling as the children of native-born Canadians in almost all areas except for reading, a new four-country study has found. The researchers behind the study, including a labour economist at the University of Ottawa, say the results are a contrast with the later achievement results of immigrant teenagers, and suggest the need for a closer look at how school systems are meeting the needs of immigrant students.

For Immigrant Kids, Canada and Australia Are The Real Lands Of Opportunity (Matthew Yglesias, Slate)
The story of immigrant success—usually hard work for modest gain on the part of the migrant, rewarded by bountiful opportunity for the migrant’s children—is an ingrained part of the American cultural fabric. But is it really true that “only in America” do these opportunities suggest? Some new research indicates that Canada and Australia, two states that share some important characteristics with the USA, are the real lands of opportunity.

Further Notes on the Case for Canadian and Australian Immigration Policies (Reihan Salam, National Review)
The numbers are, suffice it to say, striking different in the United States and Canada. In the U.S., 45.7% foreign-born parents who speak the official language at home have achieved the highest education level while only 21.1% of foreign-born parents who speak a foreign language at home have done the same. This is a dramatic difference. As for native-born parents, 35.4% have achieved the highest education level. The British numbers are roughly comparable. As Arpit suggests, one possibility is that immigrant children do better in school in Canada and Australia due to the cumulative impact of immigration selection policies than rather than instructional quality.

Last class for newcomers (Theresa Mcmanus, Burnaby Now)
Newcomers are saddened that they’re losing the program that’s helped connect them to Canada. The Newcomer Youth Connection program, a free program offered by the Lower Mainland Purpose Society, has been helping new immigrant youth to adjust to their new surroundings in Canada. The program has helped youth aged 15 to 24 deal with issues such as language barriers, isolation, cultural adjustments and homesickness. Program coordinator Eman Elmasri said the program originally received one year’s funding, but it was extended and lasted almost three years. During that time, it served more than 290 clients from 45 different countries.

Iranian Immigrants being Singled Out For Extra Scrutiny by Canadian Government (CICS)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said this week that Iranians applying for immigration to Canada are being “rigorously” screened by the Canadian government for links to the Iranian political leadership. Kenney cited the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), saying it bars any one linked to “the Iranian Revolutionary Guard … the Basij or senior members of the regime” from immigrating to Canada. This week the Harper government placed Iran and Syria on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and section 34 of the IRPA which Kenney referred to deems members of organizations believed to be engaged in terrorism to be inadmissible to Canada.

The rifts Canadians cannot ignore (Raymond B. Blake, Leader Post)
Canada is one of the most diverse and regionalized countries in the world. For the past generation, we have been able to manage our diversity and regional discontent fairly well. The animosity against immigration and diversity has been muted across the country, except for some isolated outbursts against immigrants and newcomers, especially in Quebec. Canadians remain outwardly proud of the country’s diversity even if they secretly admit to pollsters that they believe that newcomers have to change and become more Canadian, whatever that might mean. There have also been moments of anger and dissension that pitted provincial premiers against the national government, as in the case of Saskatchewan and Newfoundland’s quarrel with Ottawa over equalization payments. They argued for more money, yet the only risk to the country during those spats was then-premier Danny Williams refusing to fly the Canadian flag in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Ontarians Love TVO (TVO)
According to this infographic, 3 in 4 immigrants tune into TVO weekly.

It’s not fair to compare natives with recent Canadian immigrants (Dani Francis, The Province)
It’s a slippery slope to claim that we are all immigrants in Canada, including First Peoples. It blurs the special recognition they deserve and the unique problems they face as a result of colonization and institutional racism endured over hundreds of years. There needs to be acknowledgment of First Peoples’ 14,300-plus years of history. Perhaps they should be consulted as what to do with the immigrant “scammers,” as they certainly were not consulted for the last 400 years of immigration.

Canadian Parliament hopeful of more South Asian MPs after addition of new seats (South Asian Generation Next)
With announcement of additional seats in the House of Commons for Ontario (15), British Columbia (6) and Alberta (6), the South Asian population is hopeful of sending some more Member Parliaments in the Canadian Parliament in the next elections as many of these new seats would fall in South Asian dominated areas. The government aims to move every province towards representation by population in the House of Commons. Ontario’s population grew from 11.41 million in the 2001 census to 12.85 million in the 2011 census.

Filipino senator (South Asia Mail)
The reason why the Conservatives appointed a Filipino Senator is because they know they are loosing major support in the very large Filipino community across Canada. Jason Kenney duped the entire community by making ” improvements” to the important Live in Caregiver program in April 2010.

CERIS in the news (CERIS)
List of media mentions.

Situation still unresolved for U of R students facing deportation (Emma Graney,
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) says Immigration Minster Jason Kenney does not hold the power to pardon two young University of Regina students who are seeking sanctuary in a church to avoid deportation. A story in Wednesday’s Leader-Post told of Victoria Ordu and Ihuoma Amadi, who were supposed to be sent home to Nigeria after unwittingly working at Walmart for two weeks in contravention of their student visas. CIC did not initially get back to the Leader-Post on Tuesday, but in an emailed statement late Wednesday afternoon, a spokeswoman said Kenney “does not have the authority to stay removal orders under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.”

Immigration consultant pleads not guilty to defrauding Japanese newcomer (Meghan Potkins, Calgary Herald)
The family of a Calgary immigration adviser accused of defrauding a Japanese woman of more than $2 million in cash and properties say they are confident that she will be exonerated. Melissa Holman pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of fraud and theft in connection the case. Her husband, Marcus Holman, said they are preparing a strong defence. “We have a HEAVY Defense and are Pleading NOT GUILTY!(sic),” he said in an e-mail.

Parents seek veto on sexuality teaching in Ontario schools (Ron Csillag, Washington Post)
A group of conservative Christian and Muslim parents in Ontario want schools to notify them before their children are taught about sexuality, birth control, “environmental worship” and occult practices. Just days after Ontario passed an anti-bullying law that promotes acceptance of diversity, the parents began distributing a four-page form letter to their children’s elementary schools in and around Toronto. Titled “Choosing to Remain in the Public System,” the downloadable form asks that parents be advised prior to their children’s exposure to sex education and discussions about homosexuality, transgender issues and abortion; “environmental worship — placing environmental issues/concerns above the value of Judeo-Christian principles and human life”; and teachings about occult practices, including witchcraft, Satanism and “wizardry.”

Video: Howard / Holland Family Reunion 2012 (Spencer Wynn)
The summer of 2012, in Hamilton Ontario, the internationally extended Howard / Holland family gathered for their bi-annual family reunion. The members of the family can trace their roots back to black American slaves who escaped to Canada through the Underground Railway. This is a sampling of video, audio and images from this year’s festivities.

Mapping the World’s Friendships (Facebook Stories)
Immigration is one of the strongest links that seems to bind these Facebook neighbors, as thousands of people pour over borders or over seas, seeking jobs or fleeing violence, and making new connections and maintaining old friendships along the way. Economic links, through trade or investment, also seem to be strong predictors of country connectedness. And finally, one of the most overwhelming trends we found as we explored this graphic is the strong tie that remains between nations and their former colonizers, whose continued linguistic, cultural, and economic ties still echo today.

Deported once, fraud artist just returned to strike again (The Record)
Even deportation didn’t deter Bradley Ehimwenma from a life of crime in Canada. He just got on a plane in his native Nigeria, came back under a slightly different name and gave fraud another try. That was how Ehimwenma, 43, landed in a Cambridge bank last year with one forged cheque in his hand and three others outside in his car with a stash of fake identification. “The facts certainly are disturbing,” Justice Gary Hearn said Wednesday after taking guilty pleas to a string of charges.–deported-once-fraud-artist-just-returned-to-strike-again

Toronto asked to beef up discrimination policy (Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf, Canadian Jewish News)
The City of Toronto’s executive committee has asked the city manager to strengthen its anti-discrimination policy in the wake of anti-Israel messaging at this summer’s Pride parade. At its Sept. 10 meeting, the committee heard from various citizens and Jewish groups who want to beef up the policy in order to hold parade organizers more accountable for the groups they allow to take part each year. The move came in response to the participation of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) in the 2012 parade. The controversial group sat out the 2011 event after threats by the city to revoke nearly $124,000 in funding to Pride if it marched.

Maple leaf ragged: what ails Canada? (Guardian UK)
Country’s increasingly hardline stances on immigration, tar sands, indigenous people and Quebec separatism spark soul-searching.


Faster refugee processing system puts more pressure on legal aid support (Peter Showler, Director, the Refugee Forum)
A report on legal aid for refugees (PDF), just released by the Refugee Forum, highlights the challenges facing refugee claimants under Canada’s new refugee regime introduced by Bill C-31. The bill was passed last June and is due to be implemented by the end of the year or early January. The Refugee Forum report charts the limited legal aid support now available to refugee claimants and underlines the tremendous challenges facing legal aid administrations under the new refugee claim system when the process will be much faster and the need for legal representation greater. Legal aid is provided by the provinces with some federal contribution to legal aid funds.

Manitoba makes ‘gutsy move’ on refugee health payments (CBC)
The head of Manitoba’s largest private sponsor for refugees says all eyes will be on the province as it fights back against Ottawa. At the end of June, the federal government stopped covering some health benefits for some privately-sponsored refugees. But Manitoba’s Health Minister Theresa Oswald said on Wednesday the province will provide the coverage and bill the feds. Tom Denton at Hospitality House Refugee Ministry says it’s a gutsy move.


Preventing and Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls in High-risk Neighbourhoods (Settlement AtWork)
Status of Women Canada is launching a Call for Proposals, “Working Together: Engaging communities to end violence against women and girls” to invite groups to submit funding applications for projects that promote equality for women and girls, and reduce gender-based violence in Canada. The purpose of this call for proposals is to invite funding applications for projects that promote equality for women and girls, and reduce gender-based violence in Canada. These projects consist of a number of predetermined elements. Eligible organizations must include these elements in their proposals. The projects under this call for proposals fall into four thematic areas.

Do Corporate Tax Cuts Really Pay For Themselves? (iPolitics)
A new paper by Jack Mintz ( with Duanjie Chen) argues that “corporate tax reductions of more than 30% since 2000 have, contrary to the critics’ cries, failed to make an appreciable dent in tax revenues thanks to multinationals habit of shifting profits to Canada to take advantage of lower rates.” This is the subject of a report in , contrasting the argument of Mintz and Chen report to last year’s “Corporate Tax Freedom Day” report by the Canadian Labour Congress

Busload from Hamilton studies Buffalo’s lesson on renewal (Flannery Dean, CBC)
A casino downtown, ongoing waterfront development, urban sprawl, poverty, and an industrial past that looms large over the city’s continued economic development. The city of Buffalo has much in common with the city of Hamilton. “Buffalo is ahead of the renewal curve [happening in Hamilton] . . . They’ve done a lot of things we’re talking about,” said Martinus Geleynse, editor and publisher of Urbanicity, a monthly broadsheet about the city of Hamilton.


Survey: Evaluation of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) (CIC)
This survey will help Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to better understand the key challenges faced by internationally trained individuals in having their foreign credentials or qualifications recognized in Canada, and in the use of resources and tools available to assist them. The 15-minute survey is intended for people who have immigrated to Canada, or are planning to, and have trained or studied at the post-secondary level outside of Canada or work in a profession or trade that requires a license or certificate.

Foreign-trained professionals move on to new careers (CBC Ontario Today)
An Ottawa agency is helping foreign-trained doctors find jobs in the medical field after cuts to a government-run program that used to help the new immigrants transfer their skills to Canada’s health-care system Thousands of foreign trained professionals can’t get certified in Canada. How did you move on after you left a career in another country behind? Our guest, Bonita Varga, helps professionals make the transition. She works with a group called Career Transitions for International Medical Doctors.

Study: NFL draws best grade for diversity hiring (Kyle Hightower, Yahoo! Sports)
The NFL received its highest grade for diversity hiring practices but still has work to do. The annual report by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport on Thursday gave the league its third consecutive A grade on racial hiring and its first C-plus for gender hiring – it drew C’s the past three years. The combined B score of 82.3 percent is tops for the NFL. Richard Lapchick, the main author, attributes the improvement to what he sees as a push from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his key managers.–nfl.html

New Research on Gender Diversity in the Boardroom (Kimberly Gladman, Business Insider)
The recent Credit Suisse report about women on boards (Gender diversity and corporate performance, August 2012) takes the discussion of gender and company performance to a new level. For years, there have been reports claiming to link gender diversity to improved operational or stock price performance, but many of them have been criticized for methodological flaws such as not controlling for industry or size, or having samples that are regionally limited or cover short time frames. The Credit Suisse report carefully controls for both market-cap and sector, and examines a broad sample of companies—the MSCI ACWI—over a six-year period (December 2005-December 2011). The rigor of this approach should help to build confidence in the report’s conclusions, which are striking: among large-cap companies (those with market cap over $10 billion), those with women on the board outperformed those with all-male boards by 26% on average over that time period, and the comparable figure for small-to-mid-cap stocks was 17%. Strikingly, almost all the outperformance came from the post-financial-crisis period. This suggests that the gender diversity may look irrelevant in good times, but proves invaluable when the going gets tough.


The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card (FCM)
The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card provides a clear assessment of the condition of municipal infrastructure and the state of infrastructure management in Canada.


Design thinking and social innovation (Sylvia Cheuy, Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement)
The discipline of design has traditionally focused on the form and function of products (think iPod). However, design firms like IDEO are using the principles of design to create an innovative approach for addressing more complex problems. This approach is called design thinking. As traditional programs and policies within our social systems are proving less effective, a growing number of non-profit organizations are embracing design thinking to generate new solutions.

Social Enterprise Feasibility (Settlement AtWork)
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants is pleased to invite you to the fifth webinar in a (6) six-part live webinar series entitled: Income Diversification, Sustainability and Social Enterprise. The Income Diversification, Sustainability and Social Enterprise webinar series is part of OCASI’s OrgWise – Organizational Standards Initiative Project. This innovative project is aimed at building organizational capacity and developing organizational infrastructure within the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. The four key areas are Operations, Governance and Leadership, Human Resources, and Community-based Approach.

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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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Your morning #Immigration & #Diversity news headlines – September 12, 2012 #cdnimm #inclusion #cdnrfg #refugees RT @JustineatOTF: In this...