Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 24, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

Kenney tells businesses multi-pronged solution needed for our employment, immigration issues (Hamilton Spectator)
More than a million Canadians are officially unemployed today – yet companies in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island have to import workers for their fish processing plants. In Saskatchewan, grain farmers are so pressed for labour they’re paying up to $25 an hour while landscaping companies in Alberta pay $16 an hour plus subsidized housing and claim they still can’t get the workers they need. Employers in Ontario’s Kitchener-Waterloo technology hub are begging for 2,000 information technology workers despite hundreds of layoffs from troubled superstar Research in Motion.
http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/804944–kenney-tells-businesses-multi-pronged-solution-needed-for-our-employment-immigration-issues

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney defends the transformation of Canada’s immigration system (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
‘Jason Kenney has been the most active immigration minister in recent history.’ That’s a statement that even his opposition critics won’t contradict. Since the Conservatives won their majority in May 2011, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has embarked upon a strategic and systematic transformation of Canada’s immigration system.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/immigration-minister-jason-kenney-defends-transformation-canada-immigration-195850453.html

Immigration law needs lighter touch (R. Reis Pagtakhan, Winnipeg Free Press)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has recently stoked national debate about the rescinding of citizenship for thousands of immigrants who only fleetingly lived in this country. Many Canadians could support such a move. But a story out of Regina should give us pause to think about drastic action taken against foreign nationals who run afoul of immigration law by what, comparatively, seems a less offensive infraction. Two foreign students face possible deportation for illegally working in Canada. While it appears that these students did work in Canada illegally, does Canada need to come down so hard on them? Their offence — working two weeks at a big box store without authorization — is hardly the stuff of Bonnie & Clyde. There has got to be a better the solution.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/immigration-law-needs-lighter-touch-170937911.html

Editorial: Smarter immigration (Calgary Herald)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been key, pushing ahead on revamping our immigration and refugee system. Recently, Kenney announced that 3,100 people would soon be stripped of their citizenship — this after being found to have obtained it fraudulently, including using disreputable immigration consultants who pretended, on applicants’ behalf, that such people had resided within Canada for the required time necessary to become citizens, when in fact, many had long lived outside the country. In addition to battling the problems of corruption in the system, it is positive that the minister is also attempting to make it easier for would-be immigrants, of the sort Canada needs, to make it here. Kenney has plans to create a new class of visa that will allow entrepreneurs to come to Canada if a venture fund partners with the entrepreneurial applicant. Initially, 2,750 visas will be available in the new category. The application process will be driven by the venture funds, which will have to recommend the foreign entrepreneur for the visa, this on the grounds that their candidate could be critical to getting new ventures off the ground and hiring many more people over time.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/Editorial+Smarter+immigration/7281804/story.html

Is Manitoba’s immigration ‘success’ worth crowing over? (Patrick Grady, Winnipeg Free Press)
The key question was never asked: Is the Manitoba PNP really as successful as everyone seems to believe? The Manitoba program is one of the earliest PNPs and can be considered something of a prototype for the others that followed. The program was launched, by federal-provincial agreement, in 1999. It is one of the largest programs, accounting for 39 per cent of the 33,722 principal applicant immigrants (PA) admitted through the program from 2005 to 2009. It accounts for 91 per cent of principal applicant immigrants admitted to Manitoba in economic immigration categories, so it has become the main instrument for selecting economic immigrants to Manitoba. Through family ties and networks, the PNP also leads to subsequent family class immigration.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/fyi/is-manitobas-immigration-success-worth-crowing-over-170807246.html

Schools booming with newcomers (Betty Ann Adam, Star Phoenix)
As growing numbers of people from around the world immigrate to Saskatchewan, children who don’t speak English are flooding into Saskatoon classrooms. In six years, the number of Saskatoon school kids learning English as an additional language (EAL) grew by more than 600 per cent. “Our school divisions are growing rapidly with lots of new Canadians. It’s pretty exciting to have all these new cultures in our classrooms,” said John McGettigan, president of the Saskatoon Teachers’ Association. “Every single school is bursting at the seams with new Canadians.
http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/Schools+booming+with+newcomers/7283841/story.html#ixzz27BZjK6w2

Immigrants Expected to Play an Important Role in Determining the Future of Canada Housing Market (Equities.com)
CIBC, one of the leading banks in Canada, has recently stated in its report that a rise in immigration level is likely to save the housing market in Canada. One of the senior economists from CIBC pointed out a significant increase in age group 25 to 34. Mr. Marcus Arkan, renowned mortgage and housing expert also agrees with CIBC expert, adding that the aforementioned age group comprises of a huge percentage of homebuyers. Previously, tighter mortgage policies were largely feared to create a huge dent in housing demand. However, Mr. Arkan is of the opinion that the current immigration policy, which has lifted the immigration levels to a historic high, will play an important role in keeping the situation under control. He said, “The last housing downturn in Canada was largely due to a significant drop in housing demand. With a high number of immigrants and a relatively faster pace of population increase, housing demand is not expected to go as low as previously predicted.”
http://www.equities.com/news/news-headline-story?dt=2012-09-22&val=510944&d=1&cat=headline

Toronto study finds ‘satellite babies’ common across immigrant communities (Toronto Star)
The phenomenon of “satellite babies” — children separated from parents and in care of relatives abroad — is more common across immigrant communities than once thought, says a Toronto study. The custom of temporarily boarding young children with overseas relatives — a strategy that helps newcomers cope with the stress of migration — is not limited to the Chinese, but is also common among South Asian, African and Caribbean immigrants. However, according to the York University study, the patterns of parent-child separation including timing and length of separation are distinct among those communities.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1261112–toronto-study-finds-satellite-babies-common-across-immigrant-communities

Study Parent-Infant Separation in Transnational Families: Risk, Resilience and the Needs of Young Immigrant Parents (PDF): http://www.ceris.metropolis.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Parent-infant-separation.pdf (Yvonne Bohr, Michaela Hynie, Natasha Whitfield, Cynthia Shih and Sadia Zafar, CERIS)

Report: Mental health needs not being met for immigrants and refugees (PDF) (Michaela Hynie, Navindra Baldeo, & Marc Settino, CERIS)
This project explored mental health needs over several sectors. It looked at the availability of mental health services for immigrants and refugees in the area served by the CW-LHIN to better understand the specific challenges that diversity can create for mental health services.
http://www.ceris.metropolis.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/UnmetMentalHealthNeeds1.pdf

Anti-Islam film: Network of hate-mongers behind video that touched off protests (Olivia Ward, Toronto Star)
It’s the ultimate dystopian fantasy: a shadowy convergence of Muslim and Christian extremists bent on unleashing their catastrophic visions on the world. But investigations of the sleazily made anti-Islam video clip that prompted protests and killings throughout the Islamic world have indicated that the film and its explosive outcome were not just the work of one hate-filled instigator, but the coming together of forces operating in both the West and a newly freer but less stable Middle East.
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1261006–anti-islam-film-network-of-hate-mongers-behind-video-that-touched-off-protests

Muslim Multiculturalism and Western Post-Nationalism (Canada Free Press)
Responding to the Sydney Mohammed riots featuring bloodied police officers and Muslim children holding beheading signs, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said, “What we saw in Sydney on the weekend wasn’t multiculturalism but extremism.” Muslim extremism is multicultural. It is the essence of their approach to multiculturalism. Only through, what Gillard calls extremism, do an Egyptian, a Pakistani and a Malay have anything at all in common with one another.
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/49738

T.O. Muslims speak as one (Canoe)
Muslim-Canadians made their displeasure and anger clear as they protested as one on the courtyard of the University Ave. courthouse, opposite the U.S. Consulate on Saturday. “You can always be free to say whatever you want without disrespecting others,” protester Assil T. said. Some had a more extreme message for the maker of the film Innocence of Muslims which has been roundly condemned in the Muslim world for the past week. “We’re very angry,” protester Syed Ali said. “We want to kill this guy, hang him in front of everybody.” Hundreds of Muslim men, women, and children gathered from around 2 p.m. onwards to protest against the amateur film mocking the prophet Muhammed.
http://m.en.canoe.ca/news/CNEWS/Canada/2012/09/22/20223126.html

Islamophobia continued: a note from Canada (Muslim Village)
In September of 2011, in an interview with CBC on national safety, Canadian prime minister publicly spread Islamophobic messages, parroting the agenda of the internationally oppressive and bully-like regime of the United States. He denotes “Islamism” as being the most active danger “on the security radar in terms of an actual threat.” What is expected of a nation, whose leader is not man enough to stand by the truth and shamelessly orchestrates the political double standard of carrying the banner of a welcoming nation in one hand and spreading hate messages and false facts against religious groups and minorities therein with the other.
http://muslimvillage.com/2012/09/24/29011/islamophobia-continued-a-note-from-canada/

B.C. Muslim Association (Kent Spencer, The Province)
Problems in the Muslim community are the same as in other B.C. communities. They spring from things like anger, arrogance and greed, says Aasim Rashid, director of religion with the B.C. Muslim Association. “There is a certain amount of anger in every human being. It can be very destructive. “Although anger is sometimes necessary to defend yourself, against bullying for example, Islam is about how people channel that anger. Instead of retaliating or retorting, sometimes we have to walk away,” he says. Rashid, 36, is a first-generation Canadian born in Edmonton to Pakistani and Indian parents.
http://www.theprovince.com/life/Muslim+Association/7286151/story.html

Conservatives putting heavy breaks on Live in Caregiver program (South Asia Mail)
The Live in Caregiver program enables foreign nationals to work in Canada as live in caregivers aka live in nannies when Canadian or Permanent Residents are not available to take such jobs. One would assume that this is a growing and essential program with the rapidly aging population and to ease childcare challenges by Canadian families. Needed improvements were implemented by Minister Jason Kenney in 2010 to better protect live in caregiver but stories of caregiver abuse are still rampant. And overseas caregivers are still paying large amount of ” service fees” to agencies in the Philippines.
http://www.southasiamail.com/news.php?id=106870

Muslim Girl’s Death Breaks Canadian Hearts (OnIslam)
Hundreds of Canadian Muslims have paid farewell to a young Muslim girl, who was allegedly beaten and starved to death by her parents, an incident that has hit hard the sizable minority. “It’s very sad. It’s very sad to see a child go through this and the parents go through this,” Khama Assaf, who attended the funeral service, told CBC News on Saturday, September 22. “It’s very, very sad for the whole community.
http://ww2.onislam.net/english/news/americas/459163-toddlers-death-shock-canadian-muslims.html

Canada Muslim Students Want to Pray (OnIslam)
Forced to move from class to another for daily and weekly prayers, Muslim students in Ottawa are demanding permanent rooms to accommodate their religious needs during school time. “That’s highly problematic because (students) don’t have any security knowing whether they’re getting the rooms or not,” Washim Ahmed, the director of Carleton University’s Muslim Students’ Association, told Toronto Sun. “If there’s a room available, they’ll get it, otherwise they don’t.”
http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/459156-no-prayer-room-for-canada-muslim-students.html

Father feels Canada abandoned son who was born abroad (CBC)
Paul Compton is at his wits’ end. The Ontario native has spent nearly three years trying to obtain Canadian citizenship for his younger son with little success and now feels abandoned by his country. After multiple appeals to politicians and much wrangling with public servants, the 42-year-old is now applying for British citizenship in an attempt to establish a sense of security for his child. But he feels like he’s giving up a part of his Canadian identity in the process. “I don’t know what else to do at this point, I’ve hit a wall,” he told The Canadian Press.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/09/23/toronto-ontario-man-citizenship-son.html

Thousands of ‘Lost Canadians’ struggling to achieve citizenship stuck in legal quagmire (Brian Hutchinson, National Post)
It was a remarkable exchange, caught on tape. Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, was confronted in June by a 67-year-old woman to whom his department had denied citizenship, thanks to circumstances surrounding her birth. Circumstances that were not extraordinary. Jackie Scott was born out of wedlock in England, to a Canadian soldier and his British lover, just before the Second World War had ended. She is a war bride child. Canada has thousands of them.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/22/thousands-of-lost-canadians-struggling-to-achieve-citizenship-stuck-in-legal-quagmire/

Conservative Minister’s Letter to Sikhs filled With Contradiction (Sikh Activist Network)
Minister Baird’s comments could potentially fuel the flames of hate and intolerance towards the Sikh community. By accepting and agreeing in the existence of Sikh militancy in Canada, alleging there are militant events, hate speech and laws broken – Minister Baird has an obligation to identify what qualifies as “militant events” and “hate speech”, and where such events are taking place with the presence of politicians. Despite the lack of any empirical proof substantiating these claims and a real plan to engage the community in cooperative dialogue, Minister Baird adds to the enivroment of hostility, violence, and racism that negatively impacts memembers of the Sikh community daily.
http://www.sikh24.com/2012/09/conservative-ministers-letter-to-sikhs-filled-with-contradiction/

Library as a tool for integration (Pradip Rodrigues, CanIndia)
I was at our Mississauga branch library over the weekend and as I surveyed the readers I realised that most looked South Asian, many of whom were new immigrants perusing books on resume building and writing cover letters. Others were searching and applying for jobs on the internet while others were reading technical material or studying for some exam or the other, and then I overheard a twentysomething South Asian in conversation with the librarian requesting her help in finding books about the history of Ontario with an emphasis on Toronto and Mississauga. I was intrigued, perhaps he was a research scholar, so later when I saw him hunched over a book and I enquired about his reading choice. He’s a landed immigrant who came here a little under a year ago and it was important that he understood the history and geography of his new adopted homeland. He wanted to travel across Canada with his family next year, over the summer he attended many of the free events in and around the GTA. He was on a quest to discover Canada, it’s people and history.
http://canindia.com/2012/09/library-as-a-tool-for-integration/

The Voice of Filipino-Canadians (Joseph Pimentel, Asian Journal)
WHEN Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper made his appointments to the Senate in Canada, no one was more surprised than Filipino Canadian Tobias Enverga Jr. Enverga, a long-time bank executive, was one of the five people chosen by the Prime Minister to be a senator in Canada’s Federal Parliament earlier this month. “My first reaction was a big, big surprise,” Enverga told ABS-CBN. “Actually, it was a pleasant surprise at the same time because I do not expect to be nominated as Senator for Canada, which is really the top position in the whole Canada.” Enverga is the first person of Filipino descent to be appointed as a senator in the country.
http://www.asianjournal.com/galing-pinoy/59-galing-pinoy/17402-the-voice-of-filipino-canadians.html

Dwindling birth rate will hurt economy, expert says (Bill Graveland, Times Colonist)
He said Canada’s move toward trying to fast track more immigrant workers to combat the labour shortage is doomed to fail. “If you add immigrants into the mix and look ahead to 2026 … that already has a quartermillion immigrants. I can raise immigration in Canada to 300,000 or 350,000 but it will not change that picture,” said Foot. “Ten million boomers every year are getting a year older. We bring in a quarter-million immigrants. How many years do you have to bring in a quarter-million immigrants? 40 years.”
http://www.timescolonist.com/life/Dwindling+birth+rate+will+hurt+economy+expert+says/7284782/story.html

Is Canada headed for demographic disaster? (Diane Francis, Financial Post)
Mexico is NAFTA’s youngest partner followed by the relatively young United States, then a rapidly aging Canada — even at immigration levels of 250,000 annually. This means slow growth and a labour crunch loom. By 2026, he said, “Canada will have more old than young people and no amount of immigration can change the figure.” For instance, he said university and college enrolments by Canadians peaked in 2011 and will decline rapidly in future, which is why ratcheting up the number of foreign students, potential immigrants, is now a policy being considered by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/09/21/is-canada-headed-for-demographic-disaster/

Florida pastor who burned Qur’an headed to Toronto (Tom Godfrey, Toronto Sun)
A controversial Florida pastor who was fined $277 for burning a Qur’an is bringing his anti-Islam message to Toronto. Confirmation of his visit next month came as protestors against the showing of an anti-Muslim film prepared to take to downtown streets. A peaceful protest is planned against the screening of Innocence of Muslims by the Muslim Congress and Canadians Against Blasphemy for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The site chosen is across from the U.S. Consulate on University Ave.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/21/florida-pastor-who-burned-quran-headed-to-toronto

Former Guatemalan Army commander extradited to Los Angeles (LA Times)
A former Guatemalan Army unit commander, implicated in a notorious mass murder in the 1980s, has been extradited to Los Angeles from Canada to face federal charges that he lied on his application for naturalization as a U.S. citizen four years ago. Jorge Vinicio Sosa arrived in Los Angeles from Canada under guard Friday night, according to officials from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. He was arrested in January by Canadian authorities.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/former-guatemalan-army-commander-extradited-to-los-angeles.html

Attempted immigration fraud leaves man shaken (CTV)
Siddarth Kashyap is from India, but he’s been living in Canada for the past 16 years and has held Canadian citizenship since 2006. He was very surprised when he got an urgent phone call last week. “I answered the phone and the lady came on the line and she said we’re calling from the Supreme Court of Canada and you have a legal fraud case against you,” said Kashyap. He says the woman claimed he hadn’t filled out an FCN, a Foreign Citizenship Number form, and a court date was already scheduled in Ottawa for the following week.
http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/attempted-immigration-fraud-leaves-man-shaken-1.967123

We’ve Been Mapped! Find a Safe Harbour Certified Location Near You (Safe Harbour)
AMSSA is proud to announce that our nearly 1,000 Safe Harbour certified locations in B.C. are now being displayed on Google Maps, thanks to the support of EmbraceBC. Click here or on the button below to find a Safe Harbour certified location near you!
http://safeharbourblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/weve-been-mapped-find-a-safe-harbour-certified-location-near-you/

Reasonable Doubt: Citizenship fraud, “residency evils”, and the fear tactics of Jason Kenney (Carmen Hamilton, Straight)
Before we leap to pat Kenney on the back for a job well done, let’s look at the facts: very few new citizens are obtaining their citizenship by fraudulent means; the laws respecting residency for citizenship purposes are not clear; and immigration consultants, for the most part, are already regulated. Fortunately for Canada, there may not be as many immigration fraudsters as Kenney would like to make it seem. Unfortunately for Canada, we have an immigration minister who uses fear tactics to distract us from the very real issues and concerns at play in the Citizenship and Immigration office.
http://www.straight.com/article-785491/vancouver/reasonable-doubt-citizenship-fraud-residency-evils-and-fear-tactics-jason-kenney

Canada hasn’t left undesirable days behind (Eva Sajoo, Vancouver Sun)
Canada’s policy toward immigrants and refugees has been much in the news lately. A report from CIBC indicates that because of our aging workforce, “just to stabilize the ratio of working to non-working age population would require tripling the annual numbers of new arrivals for decades.” Meanwhile, recent gun violence in Toronto was quickly blamed on “foreign criminals” by Minister Jason Kenney and the vocal Martin Collacott of the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform. Despite evidence that the individuals involved were mainly Canadian-born citizens, Collacott mused that Canada’s immigration and refugee policies were to blame and said “we may well have allowed them to come here when the odds were stacked against the likelihood of their children adapting successfully to Canadian society.” The upshot is that people from certain other countries — the non-white ones — are inherently more likely to commit crimes. According to Collacott, we should restrict their entry because even if the parents are law-abiding citizens, their children may become criminals.
http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/books/Review+Undesirables+Kazimi/7279613/story.html

REFUGEES

Focus: Health (Force Migration Current Awareness)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason
http://fm-cab.blogspot.ca/2012/09/focus-health.html

Focus: Children (Force Migration Current Awareness)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason
http://fm-cab.blogspot.ca/2012/09/focus-health.html

New Issue of IJRL (Force Migration Current Awareness)
The latest issue of the International Journal of Refugee Law (vol. 24, no.3, Oct. 2012) is now available.
http://fm-cab.blogspot.ca/2012/09/new-issue-of-ijrl.html

A look back at the life of Walter W. Igersheimer Add (Globe and Mail)
Walter W. Igersheimer was a survivor of a shameful, little-known episode in Canadian history: the internment of about 2,000 Jewish refugees during the Second World War. That experience shaped the rest of his life. He learned to fight for justice and work within his sphere of influence to help others. Time and again, he overcame adversity and reinvented himself.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/facts-and-arguments/walter-w-igersheimer/article4560213/

Ottawa turns its back to U.S. soldiers (Jack Todd, Montreal Gazette)
U.S.war resister Kimberly Rivera was deported on Thursday. She was arrested when she presented herself at the U.S. border point near Gananoque, Ont., and is reportedly being detained at Fort Drum, near Watertown, N.Y.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/Ottawa+turns+back+soldiers/7284940/story.html

Canada’s tough talk on Tamil migrants backfires (Jonathan Woodward, CTV)
Canada’s Federal Court has upheld a ruling that warns tough talk by the Harper government against Tamil migrants is putting them in more danger back in Sri Lanka – and making it harder to send them back. The ruling says that because the government publicly connected the Tamil migrant ships to the threat of terrorism from the Tamil Tigers, everyone on board was tarred by the same brush. “You were on a boat with Tamil Tigers, says the government of Canada. I therefore find that you face more than the mere possibility of interrogation and thus torture in Sri Lanka,” Immigration and Refugee Board member Michal Mivasair said in the ruling of a migrant who can only be identified as B384.
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/canada-s-tough-talk-on-tamil-migrants-backfires-1.967043

Warriors for gay rights: The Conservatives have become unlikely LGBT supporters (Tristin Hopper, National Post)
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird stood before the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations this month and outlined his aggressive agenda to “stand up to the violent mobs that seek to criminalize homosexuality.” “Draconian punishment and unspeakable violence are inflicted on people simply for whom they love and for who they are,” he said. That same day, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney touted Canada as a haven for gay refugees from Iran. Working with Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, Mr. Kenney’s office had fast-tracked 100 gay Iranians into Canada, saving them from possible execution.
http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/canadian-politics/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/22/warriors-for-gay-rights-the-conservatives-have-become-unlikely-lgbt-supporters

Medical and Health Clinics Schedule 2012 (FCJ Refugee Centre)
If you have clients who need medical primary care and/ or counseling the doctors will be here at the office every Saturday from 10 am to 2:00 pm. You only have to contact us to book appointments. Our phone number is 416- 469 9754 or info.
http://www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/?p=2806

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

$2 million aimed at Code Red neighbourhoods (Hamilton Spectator)
The Code Red Neighbourhood moniker has become a shorthand at Hamilton City Hall and beyond for areas of the city that face high poverty levels. It’s based on a groundbreaking Spectator series that showed the strong connection that exists between health and poverty in Hamilton, broken down to the level of neighbourhoods. But while Derbyshire and his co-workers say the phrase “Code Red Neighbourhoods” is loaded with stigma, the city knows the issues raised in the Code Red series need to be addressed head-on.
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/805204—2-million-aimed-at-code-red-neighbourhoods

Fighting inequality through a decent minimum wage (Dave Coles, CEP)
Since the start of the month, Saskatchewan has Canada’s lowest provincial minimum wage. At $9.50 an hour, someone working 40-hours per week in the province earns $19,700 for an entire year, which is below various poverty measurements. The minimum wage in most provinces is $10-11. Many European countries have a much higher minimum wage. In Australia, the federal minimum wage is $15.51 an hour with the Australian dollar being of similar value to ours. Saskatchewan’s status as the bottom payer is even worse than it appears. It is one of the only three provinces where “any person who is handicapped” can be paid less than the minimum wage.
http://www.cep.ca/en/blogs/davecoles/fighting-inequality-through-decent-minimum-wage

Canadian Social Research Newsletter : September 23, 2012 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Who’s Hungry: Faces of Hunger — 2012 Profile of Hunger in the Greater Toronto Area (Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto) – September 19
2. Supporting Albertans To Save : An Asset Building Approach to Poverty Reduction Concept Paper (Momentum) – June 29, 2012
3. Making an Impact: Public Legal Education in Canada (Three-day conference, Toronto) (Community Legal Education Ontario ) – October 24 – 26, 2012
4. British Columbia : Projections of Rental Housing Demand and Core Housing Need to 2036 (BC Non-Profit Housing Association) – for release on September 21
5. Straight Goods
6. The Path to Better Child Care in Ontario (Martha Friendly and Trish Hennessy, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – September 17
7. Old Age Security: We Are All Affected (video) (Public Service Alliance of Canada – National Capital Region) – September 2012
8. The National Council of Welfare is closing its doors and shutting down its website forever on September 28, 2012.
9. National Council of Welfare – latest reports:
— A Descriptive Study of the Working Income Tax Benefit – April 2012
— A Snapshot of Racialized Poverty in Canada – January 2012
10. How affordable is a university education in your province? (David Macdonald and Erika Shaker, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – September 11
11. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Consumer Price Index, August 2012 – September 21
— Purchasing power parities, 2011 – September 21
— The underground economy in Canada, 1992 to 2009 – September 21
— Employment Insurance, July 2012 – September 20
— Health Reports, September 2012 – September 20
— Canadian Health Measures Survey: Household and physical measures data, 2009 to 2011 – September 20
— 2011 Census of Population: Families, households, marital status, structural type of dwelling, collectives – September 19
— Job vacancies, three-month period ending in June 2012 – September 18
12. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/personal/news230912.htm

Drummond report falls off Liberal radar, Liberals still looking to ‘short-term fixes’ (Globe and Mail)
For those who worshipped last winter at the temple of Don Drummond, the news is bleak. Seven months after the release of the former bank economist’s much-hyped report on how to fix Ontario’s finances, Premier Dalton McGuinty – who commissioned the report and once acted as though it would provide all the answers to the province’s woes – has clearly lost the faith. Mr. McGuinty’s Liberals never fully bought into some of the more controversial of the report’s 362 recommendations, such as scrapping full-day kindergarten, and fair enough; it wasn’t a checklist. But this week, as they announced a cap on the salaries of public-sector executives and a lengthy freeze of their pay-for-performance – aimed mostly at making it easier to freeze the salaries of unionized workers – it was obvious that the Liberals have rejected one of Mr. Drummond’s central premises.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/drummond-report-falls-off-liberal-radar-liberals-still-looking-to-short-term-fixes/article4560993/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Mexican consulate issues warning over housing conditions of temporary workers in B.C. (Globe and Mail)
Mexican officials have warned some B.C. farmers that they could lose hiring privileges under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program as a result of substandard housing provided for employees. Ten employers have had workers transferred away from their sites to other B.C. operations, mostly as a result of alleged unsatisfactory accommodation, while another 42 employers have been put on “probation” over issues that include not implementing a recent minimum-wage increase, Edgar Hurtado, vice-consul with the Mexican consulate in Vancouver, said in an interview this past week. The consulate’s biggest concerns include overcrowding and the lack of smoke alarms.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/mexican-consulate-issues-warning-over-housing-conditions-of-temporary-workers-in-bc/article4562460/

Program connects B.C. construction firms with skilled foreign workers (Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce)
The Foreign Skilled Workers B.C. program (FSWBC) was created in March to recruit foreign journeypersons with unique skills, in response to the growing need for skilled and experienced tradespeople. Currently, the BCCA has more than 1,000 curriculum vitae (CVs) from skilled Irish tradespeople, who want to work in BC.
http://www.journalofcommerce.com/article/id51967/–program-connects-bc-construction-firms-with-skilled-foreign-workers

Canadian firm seeking construction workers (Irish Examiner)
A thousand jobs in construction are going on offer from today, in Canada. Recruitment firm Diamond Global Canada is setting up its European headquarters in Dublin, and wants to fill the vacancies within a year. The jobs are in construction, food services and skilled trades in firms across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/canadian-firm-seeking-construction-workers-568029.html

Third of Canada’s work force will retire in next five years (Hamilton Spectator)
A third of Canada’s work force will retire over the next five years, leaving businesses scrambling to fill vacant jobs. To do that, members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce were told Saturday, employers are going to have to start tapping previously under-used pools of workers and change some ideas about the employment relationship. Perrin Beatty, president of the national business lobby group, said in an interview at the group’s annual meeting in Hamilton that while many job openings today are filled by immigration, that alone won’t be enough to solve the problem in the future.
http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/804769–third-of-canada-s-work-force-will-retire-in-next-five-years

Job No. 1: More citizens to fill our aging shoes (Hamilton Spectator)
A third of Canada’s workforce will retire over the next five years, leaving businesses scrambling to fill vacant jobs and Canada scrambling to admit more immigrants. Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told a business audience in Hamilton Sunday massive immigration — more than 1 million people a year — will be needed in coming years just to maintain Canada’s current average age. Many more will be needed to fill thousands of jobs across the country.
http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/805215–job-no-1-more-citizens-to-fill-our-aging-shoes

Media Advisory – A Canada that works: Canadian Chamber of Commerce 2012 AGM (Sacbee.com)
This is a must-attend event that lets members of the chamber network plug into the latest developments, trends and issues that are important to the Canadian business community and set the Canadian Chamber’s policy agenda for the upcoming year. This year’s discussion will focus on Canada’s skills crisis which has been identified as the most important barrier to competitiveness by Canada businesses. A number of events, including a keynote address by the Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and a keynote address by the Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development are open to press. As part of its Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness initiative, the Canadian Chamber of commerce will also launch a report entitled: Canada’s skills crisis: What we heard.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/21/4841628/media-advisory-a-canada-that-works.html

Government of Canada Helps Internationally Trained Architects Build a Better Future (Marketwatch)
The Government of Canada is making it easier for internationally trained architects to find jobs in their fields through support for a newly launched program. Speaking at the International Interior Design (IIDEX) Canada Expo and Conference today, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, helped to launch the federally funded Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects (BEFA) Program and underscored the importance of helping skilled newcomers succeed in the Canadian job market.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/government-of-canada-helps-internationally-trained-architects-build-a-better-future-2012-09-21

CTHRC Launches New Driver-Hiring Tools (Today’s Trucking)
The Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council has launched a new series of tools targeting fleets wanting to hire immigrant drivers. The CTHRC says its new offerings will help trucking companies attract, hire and integrate Canada’s newcomers, adding that these workers will play an increasing role in meeting the industry’s labor needs. “The trucking industry faces a deepening labour shortage,” said CTHRC executive director Angela Splinter in announcing the new fact sheets, guides and training programs. “More than 500,000 people already enjoy careers in Canada’s trucking industry… but the existing workforce is aging and must be renewed by a new generation of employees.”
http://www.todaystrucking.com/cthrc-launches-new-driver-hiring-tools

Immigrant Transitions from Underemployment to Skills-commensurate Employment – PDF (TIEDI)
Participants in this roundtable will discuss the barriers and challenges facing underemployed immigrants in transitioning into employment commensurate with their skills and education. We will explore both the barriers and the potential policy and practice solutions from the perspectives of service providers, program funders, policy makers, and employers.
http://www.yorku.ca/tiedi/doc/Roundtable4d.pdf

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Monday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Ford in TTC, Ford and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/09/24/mondays-headlines-250/

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marco

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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