Immigration & Diversity news headlines – September 4, 2012


Cities of Migration Newsletter, No. 30, August 2012 (Cities of Migration)
In this issue:
Coming Soon! Good Ideas from Successful Cities
From Philly to Hogtown: Steven Wray
From Hope to Fraternity: Marseille Espérance
We Are New York Project
Bremens “You are the keyfor your future and your city” Campaign
On the Trail of Good Ideas: Kerpen to Boston
Two New Reports from Open Society Foundations – London and Paris
What Cities Said: Tenerife and Toronto on Civic Participation
Good Ideas in the News

Why highly educated immigrant parents choose Canada (Globe and Mail)
They post stronger scores on standardized math and science tests and are more likely to go on to postsecondary education. The same does not hold true for immigrants to other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Thats often why highly educated families like Aayushmaans his parents are university professors choose Canada. Many arrive having studied the Fraser Institutes rankings of Canadian schools, and enrolling their children is the priority, before finding a job, a car, or even health care. Education is the most important thing for most of these parents, its why they come here, said Sharaline Joseph, the settlement worker who helped the Ranas at one of three We Welcome The World Centres within the Peel District School Board.

Banks look to immigrant market for growth (Globe and Mail)
Major banks are duking it out to attract Canadian immigrants, a key market in a retail banking sector that is grappling with an aging population and a tighter lending environment. Some of Canadas largest financial institutions are offering unsecured credit cards, multilingual banking services, periods of no-fee banking and help sending money to relatives overseas. Banks are looking to the immigrant market in a bid to broaden their retail divisions; as the growth of the Canadian-born population slows, these newcomers represent a key category for banks and the economy as a whole.

Living apart causes regret for immigrant families (CERIS)
Separated immigrant families in Canada often regret their decision to live apart, this according to a new study from CERIS The Ontario Metropolis Centre, led by researchers from York Universitys LaMarsh Centre for Child & Youth Research and the York Institute of Health Research.

Digging up hatred (Czarek Sokolowski, Ottawa Citizen)
Canada, the peaceable kingdom, is not immune. A couple years ago, two Carleton University students walking across the Chaudière Bridge to Ottawa were taunted as f**king Jews and threatened by three men, one of whom wielded a machete. In early May, according to news reports, an Islamic school in Toronto apologized after police received a complaint that some of the schools texts compared Jews to Nazis and described them as treacherous. Bnai Brith Canada, in its latest annual audit, reports a near threefold increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the last decade. Earlier this year, Statistics Canada reported that more than half of the 204 hate crimes prompted by religion were against Jews. Anti-Semitic incidents might be downplayed when regarded in isolation, but considered cumulatively, and correlated to world events, and, well, its beginning to feel like Germany circa 1933 the year the first concentration camp in Dachau was built in some parts of the

First World War internment camps a difficult scar for Canadian Ukrainians (Hamilton Spectator)
The Canadian government identified about 80,000 people as enemy aliens during the First World War and those who were living close to urban centres were required to report to the North West Mounted Police. Nearly 8,600 were deemed to be a threat to Canada and sent to 24 internment camps across the country, four of which were in the Canadian Rockies. The majority of the prisoners were of Ukrainian descent. While most people are aware of the internment of Japanese Canadians in the Second World War, the First World War camps are an often overlooked part of Canadian history.–first-world-war-internment-camps-a-difficult-scar-for-canadian-ukrainians

Brazilian Students Arriving at Algoma University (
Luize Ramin is the first of fifteen university students from Brazil to arrive on campus at Algoma University, as part of the Science Without Borders scholarship program run by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE). The remainder of the students will arrive in the coming weeks, and will be at the University for a full year of study. “Students will begin with a four-month intensive ESL curriculum,” said Joanne Elvy, Director of International Student Recruitment. “From there they will move on to full-time degree studies, and spend the Spring/Summer semester next year in internships at the University research labs, the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, as well as-off campus at the Great Lakes Forestry Research Centre and the Ontario Forestry Research Institute.”

Fourth Muslim-Jewish Dialogue to Take Place in Toronto, Canada (The algemeiner)
On the initiative of Weekly Press Pakistan news service, a fourth Muslim Jewish dialogue meeting will take place in Toronto, Canada on September 9th. The dialogue is comprised of sessions of group discussions between Jews and non-Arab Muslims, geared towards the boost of people-to-people dialogue. The meeting is for adults as well as for teenagers, who will meet in separate groups. The meetings are designed to provide an opportunity to meet new friends and remove stereotypes. The demand from potential registrants for the coming session is reportedly high, including six requests from Pakistan-based Muslim journalists who want to attend.

Quebec Votes 2012: The most dangerous election in decades (Martin Patriquin, Maclean’s)
Quebec will welcome as many as 53,800 new immigrants in 2012a crucial part of the provinces demographic reality and, as its population ages, its future. Yet in the midst of the run-up to the Sept. 4 election in which the sovereignist Parti Québécois is leading the polls, just how these new arrivals fit into the French fact of Quebec has become a flashpoint of the campaign. The PQ has promised to introduce a raft of laws ostensibly designed to shore up what Péquiste candidate Jean-François Lisée termed the very grave decline of Québécois de soucheliterally, old-stock Quebecerson the island of Montreal.These include a Quebec citizen test that would prevent any new arrival from running for elected office without an appropriate knowledge of French. A PQ government would introduce a secularism charter enshrining both the equality between men and women and the supremacy of French in Quebec.

Why Immigrating to Quebec Might Become Tres Difficile (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
Jean-François Lisée, star candidate of the Parti Québécois, embraced the same doctrine as his leader, Pauline Marois, this week when he divulged the PQ’s vision on the radio (minute 7:15). The party, which proclaims to want to carve Québec out of Canada has set the objective of “maintaining a majority of native French-speaking citizens on Island of Montreal.” In 1970, 60 per cent of Montrealers were French-Canadian and spoke French at home. Lisée says Francophones may lose their majority within 20 years. What he failed to mention is that only 24 per cent of Montrealers speak the language of Shakespeare at home and the percentage of allophones who speak French at home rose 10 per cent between 1996 and 2006, rising above the 50 per cent mark.

Rwanda: Ease Immigration Restrictions for the Sake of Sport (All Africa)
Five African volleyball national teams missed out on the ongoing Swatch Junior World Beach Volleyball Championship in Halifax, Canada, after they were denied Visas by the host nation. Burundi, Guinea Conakry Morocco, Nigeria and Rwanda all qualified for the international competition, prepared themselves for the games and applied for Visas in time but their requests were turned down. For the case of Rwanda, Canadian High Commission officials said they could not grant Visas to the pair of Denise Mutatsimpundu and Charlotte Nzayisenga – the reigning African champions – because they did not have enough money on them, despite the fact that the government had given the team $20,000 for the six days they were supposed to stay in North American nation. Their accommodation costs were catered for by the organizers of the tournament. The other teams were also denied visas on the basis that their financial statuses were deemed not good enough.

Windsor Police try to add minorities to reflect city (CBC)
Seventy years after the Windsor Police hired its first black officer, few in uniform today look like those they police. Windsor is one of Canadas most diverse cities. It is the fourth-most multicultural city in the country, according to Immigration Windsor-Essex. However, one black officer, Sr. Const. Mike Akpata, told CBC Windsors Tony Doucette on the Early Shift, the faces on the force dont look much like those they meet on the street. Were trying to reach out, to ensure were representative of the community. The police department is doing its best to have people look like the people theyre policing. It will only make us better.

Executive director of Windsors Rose City Islamic Centre awarded Diamond Jubilee medal (Kristie Pearce, Windsor Star)
The executive director of Windsors Rose City Islamic Centre joined 60,000 citizens across Canada Friday in receiving a Diamond Jubilee Medal. Remy Boulbol was honoured for her contribution to Windsor, the Muslim community, and children, MPP Dwight Duncan (L Windsor-Tecumseh) said in a statement. Duncan presented Boulbol with the medal Friday afternoon at the Islamic centre.

Ministers Kenney and Toews issue statement on charges laid against marriage fraud ring participants (Canada News)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement today after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that 78 charges have been laid against 39 individuals involved in a marriage fraud ring.

MP urges reopening of citizenship centre (CBC)
The Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River is calling on the federal government to reverse its decision to close the local Citizenship and Immigration office. New Democrat John Rafferty said many more people are contacting him for help with immigration issues such as the one that is stalling Dhamender Dhankhar’s plans to go to India for his sister’s wedding.


Province needs info on refugee statuses sooner: Spokeswoman (Antonella Artuso, St Catharines Standard)
Ontario needs more timely information from the federal government on the status of a refugees status in order to halt unnecessary welfare payments, a provincial ministry spokesperson says. They are the only holders of this information and they control the process by which decisions on a claimants status are made, Charlotte Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, said Friday. Current work has demonstrated that CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) does not always provide information to provinces when a refugee claimants status has changed. We need the federal government to keep us informed of the status of a refugee claim in order to take appropriate action. As QMI Agency parliamentary reporter Daniel Proussalidis revealed, taxpayers spend hundreds of millions of dollars on failed or abandoned refugee claims from Hungarian Roma.

Crime concerns among bogus refugee claimants: CBSA (Daniel Proussalidis, The Whig)
The Canada Border Services Agency admits it’s worried about “significant criminal activity” among Hungarian Roma – sometimes called Gypsies – who’ve made dubious refugee claims. “The information provided to the criminal investigations division indicates that individuals believed to be from the Roma community, and involved in criminal activity, most commonly engage in skimming fraud and cheque fraud,” said a recent CBSA report seen by QMI Agency. Skimming typically involves attaching special devices to bank machines or debit card terminals to collect data that can be used to produce fake credit and debit cards.

Refugee claimant says Mexican justice crusader harassed her (Toronto Star)
To the world, Maria Isabel Miranda de Wallace is a strong-willed mother and social activist who fought hard to bring justice to her kidnapped son in Mexico. Her famous crusade to track down his abductors and to shame Mexican police for their shoddy investigation earned her a profile in the New York Times in 2006. But to Braulia Guadalupe Rangel Gomez, de Wallace, who ran unsuccessfully for Mexico City mayor in July, is a bully who uses her popularity and influence to purge her critics and opponents. Rangel, a mother of two, claims it is de Wallace she is fleeing from as she seeks refuge here in Canada.–refugee-claimant-says-mexican-justice-crusader-harassed-her

Iraq War resister speaks out after deportation order (Toronto Star)
Long before U.S. war resister Kimberly Rivera and her family fled to Canada in 2007, she stopped carrying her rifle while on duty as a soldier in Iraq. When she got in trouble for that, she secretly stopped carrying ammunition. On Friday, the quiet Texan spoke out for the first time after learning this week from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that she had been given a negative pre-removal risk assessment and must leave the country by Sept. 20. Im just a bit overwhelmed. I dont want to face reality. I respect Canadas law. Im going to take it one step at a time so I dont have a meltdown, said Rivera, who was surrounded by supporters and peace activists. But its is very difficult.–iraq-war-resister-speaks-out-after-deportation-order

Focus: Americas (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
Resources focused on refugees and asylum-seekers in the Americas.

Focus: Europe (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
Resources focused on refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe.

New Issue of RSQ (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
The latest issue of the Refugee Survey Quarterly (vol. 31, no. 3, Sept. 2012) is now available.


Health status of poor deteriorating, poll shows (Globe and Mail)
One in four Canadians earning less than $30,000 annually have delayed or stopped taking prescription drugs because they did not have money to pay for the treatment, a new poll shows. By contrast, fewer than one in 30 citizens earning more than $60,000 a year has had trouble paying for necessary medication, according to the survey commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association. That is just one striking example of the growing inequality in access to health care, John Haggie, president of the CMA, said in an interview.

Ontarios embarrassing social decline (Joe Barkovich, Welland Tribune)
This is a good news, bad news story. First the good news: kNOw Poverty, a lobby group for anti-poverty activists in Welland, is being re-started. Now the bad news: Ontario, once the richest province, leads in poverty increases and is last in social program funding, says a report released this week. The good news about kNOw Poverty was shared recently by Paul Turner, one of the local communitys most respected voices on poverty issues.

Without Government Help, Poverty in Ontario is Only Gaining Steam (Huffington Post)
A report released today by the Ontario Common Front, a coalition of over 90 groups and organizations, states that Ontario is dead last in terms of growing poverty rates, rising inequality and spending on public services. While Ontario established a poverty action plan in 2009, there has been little change in the numbers, and therefore little change in improving the well-being of Ontarians. Without funding and action, this is likely to stay the same or even become worse.


Labour Day reminder: Harper’s EI changes hit immigrants hardest (rabble)
Racialized and immigrant communities will be hardest hit by recent changes to Canada’s Employment Insurance program. Buried in the last budget, the federal government announced a series of changes relating to eligibility requirements on who can collect employment insurance benefits.

BC Farm Work Hell Drove Us Home, Say Guatemalans (Tom Sandborn, The Tyee)
Under the harsh light that floods a fast food restaurant at Vancouver International Airport, two small, wiry, dark skinned men in work clothes looked tired, worried and out of place among the other travelers eating around them. Because they fear retribution at home, the two Guatemalan farm workers asked The Tyee not to use their real names in telling their story. So, call them Pablo and Jose. Nor did they think it was safe to reveal the name of their employer, believing that could lead to their identities becoming known. Speaking haltingly through an interpreter, they said their jobs in an Okanagan orchard, arranged though Canada’s Temporary Workers Program, had become such a nightmare they were now returning home early. Within hours they would be back in their country amidst the rural poverty that had motivated them to come north in the first place.

The inner workings exposed (Gail J. Cohen, Canadian Lawyer)
I am writing this on the plane as I return from the annual Canadian Legal Conference in Vancouver, at which the Canadian Bar Association launched a new online guide to measure diversity in law firms. The guide was created in response to requests from law firms looking for ways to assess their diversity performance. It offers two options to track progress: a self-identification survey (I am X) and a diversity climate survey (I think the firm is Y). The legal profession is definitely behind the rest of the corporate world in its focus on diversity so having a guide such as this to help firms frame the questions and survey their lawyers and staff is an important first step. For now, its simply a way for firms to establish whats going internally.

CBA Guide – Measuring Diversity in Law Firms (PDF)

Women in the Boardroom: Moving Critical Mass Forward (Melissa J. Anderson, Glass Hammer)
Imagine the impact on gender diversity if the conversation around critical mass were one that appealed to both women and companies? The Thirty Percent Coalition intends to do just that. Where Did Critical Mass Come From? Much of the research on this sense of critical mass is settled on 30% or three out of ten (since ten is roughly the size of most boards of directors in the US). One of the earliest notions of critical mass was described by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, although she didnt use the term critical mass specifically.

Harper’s gift on Labour Day – wage suppression (Gil Mcgowan, Calgary Herald)
This Labour Day, working Albertans have a lot to be thankful for. We have the highest wages, the best job prospects and the highest standard of living in Canada. So, it’s entirely appropriate for Albertans to be smiling as they fire up their barbecues for the last long weekend of the summer: life here in the land of oil is pretty good. But before we get too comfortable, it’s important to recognize that not everyone is pleased with how well ordinary working people are doing. In fact, recently disclosed documents show that some of our country’s most influential CEOs and business lobbyists are asking the federal Conservative government to help them suppress wages.

Depressed wages are a drag on Canadas economy (Sid Ryan, Toronto Star)
Just in time to celebrate Labour Day, the American retail giant Target rolled into Canada, swallowed up 150 Zellers stores from the Hudsons Bay Company, and promptly fired all 15,000 employees. If that isnt the very definition of precarious, I dont know what is. Unfortunately, it is also a sign of the times. Roughly 1.7 million workers in Ontario find themselves in precarious jobs characterized by low wages, few benefits and no job stability. They pour our coffee, serve us in stores, clean our hotel rooms, maintain our offices, run our factories and their very existence challenges the notion that employment is an antidote to poverty. After all, if four out of five jobs added to Canadas labour market since the 2008 recession are temporary or contractual then it is no wonder that 22 per cent of the working population in Ontario cant call themselves gainfully employed.–sid-ryan-depressed-wages-are-a-drag-on-canada-s-economy


“Toronto Juggernauts” (CBC Metro Morning)
This week, we are taking a closer look at four juggernauts of Toronto’s economy. This morning Matt Galloway spoke with the CBC’s Mary Wiens about her series, “Toronto Juggernauts”, the series begins tomorrow.


Elections Canadas extreme makeover: Thirty new seats will likely help Tories, bring more diversity to Parliament (Kathryn Blaze Carlson, National Post)
Canadas electoral map is slated for a makeover so dramatic that when the new boundaries are confirmed, it is likely that nearly every district in the country will be affected redrawn in small ways or big, or renamed such that the new title bears no resemblance to the old creating a markedly different political landscape with ramifications not just for the parties, but also for the voters who elect them.

Platformation Sharing Community (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
In November 2011, the Foundationin collaboration with Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and Frameworkhosted a Platformation learning event through the Innoweave initiative, which explored ways to use cloud computing tools to enhance impact. Following the event, 30 organizations were selected to receive Platformation support and share their experiences and results of implementing ICT strategies with cloud computing tools through an online sharing community. The sharing community profiles a range of cloud computing tools reviewed by a group of IT experts and community sector users, and allows selected organizations to document and track the tools they are using and learn from the results of other organizations.

InnoweaveUpcoming Information Webinar (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Interested in applying for the upcoming Innoweave Impact and Strategic Clarity Module? Join us on September 5 from 2:30-4:00 pm (EDT) for an information webinar on the Impact Module, which aims to help organizations examine their current programs in a structured and strategic way.

Clare McDowall joins CharityVillage as our new content manager (CharityVillage)
Clare moved to Canada from Scotland in early 2011, fulfilling a dream she’s held since her visit to Toronto in 2001. Her nonprofit career has included international development and environmental work, and she’s a self-confessed social media junkie. According to Clare, “social media has allowed me to connect with a huge network of nonprofit professionals worldwide, and my personal passion has slowly merged into a communications career over the last few years.” She’s a volunteer with, the Showcase of Fundraising Inspiration and Innovation, and is also the lead organizer of Be Good Be Social, a social media conference for nonprofits in Toronto.

Innovation & Microcredit (Renée Ouellet, Trillium Foundation)
Excited by the next generation of young social entrepreneurs coming into their own, Renée Ouellet explains how innovation and microloans will support economic development in Ontario.

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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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RT @nicknoorani: Why Immigrating to Quebec Might Become Tres Difficile via @HuffPostCanada RT @TerryHeaton: Give me a cup of...