Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 1, 2012
IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Building cities of inclusion: from Toronto to Almeria, Spain (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
Cities evolve and are shaped by the people who inhabit them. Immigration and the resulting diversity of its people are both a source of creativity and hold great potential, as long as urban leadership ensures full integration of the newcomer and long-time resident. According to organizers of the conference Urbanism Planning: An Instrument for Social Integration, as cities become more diverse, policies and practices at the local level must be more inclusive. The process of integration is a shared and negotiated responsibility, it cannot be defined unilaterally.
Its time to re-focus when it comes to integration strategies, immigration official says (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Hindia Mohamoud must be a persistent and persuasive woman. Although her job title is bland and bureaucratic project director, Ottawa Local Immigrant Partnership it should really be chief cat herder, City-wide Effort To Make Immigration More Successful. Mohamoud is the driving force behind the partnership, known as OLIP and funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Its part of an effort to give local jurisdictions a bigger role in the settlement of newcomers by stimulating conversations and collaborations about immigration across the city.
We Need More Immigrant Success Stories (Huffington Post)
Arranged grid-style in the Globe and Mail’s May feature on immigration are the faces of several successful immigrants, among them former Governor General Michaëlle Jean and human rights advocate Nazanin Afshin-Jam. Below these faces, the Globe asks readers to “Share your personal immigration story.” Pier 21, now the Canadian Museum of Immigration, also asks immigrants to submit their stories for an online story collection. Immigrants are being asked to impart their challenges and triumphs on an increasingly regular basis.
Canadian Muslims hurt (Dawn.com)
It has deeply hurt Canadian Muslims to know that there are people who can take such an evil advantage of our most cherished value of freedom of expression and opinion. Equally then we must also acknowledge openly and clearly that the rage and violence being displayed on the streets in Muslim countries by some is not in accordance with our beloved Prophets teachings and practices. The killing of a diplomat is in direct conflict with the principle of giving diplomats a safe passage, honourable audience and compassionate hospitality, as was the norm of Islamic states from time of the Prophet onwards.
BMO Financial Group Diversity Scholarships, Canada, 2013 (Developingcareer.com)
Diversity scholarships for students coming from any country to pursue undergraduate degree at Ryerson University, Canada, 2013.
Abortion, immigration debates test limits of dialogue in House of Commons (Jennifer Ditchburn, Vancouver Sun)
The right for MPs to say and discuss almost anything they want is one of the central privileges of Parliament, but a couple of divisive debates over the past week tested the thresholds of dialogue in the House of Commons. In one case, two spokespeople from the Canadian Immigration Forum were barred from speaking at the Commons immigration committee Wednesday because content on their website was deemed offensive including an interview with Canadian white supremacist Paul Fromm.
A place for Muslim women (Brenda Suderman, Winnipeg Free Press)
Although she grew up in a warm climate, Sawaan Hamood only learned to swim after a midwinter move to Winnipeg. “Back home, no one allowed us to go swimming. It was just men and boys,” explains the Iraqi-born Hamood through an interpreter. “It is a hot country, but we are not allowed to go into the pools.”
Special Section – Our City, Our World – Focus on Latin America (Winnipeg Free Press)
Safety, jobs drew Ecuadorean couple to city Secure in their choice (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Salvadoran immigrant refused welfare, became employer
Bringing the Americas together for business
Filmmaker’s work informed by personal history Cinematic Chile
A tortured soul… a helping hand
Safety, jobs drew Ecuadorean couple to city Secure in their choice
Brightening Manitoba’s mosaic
Hitting, fielding… and dodging bullets
Canadas immigrants arrive from countries torn by religion (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
When it comes to government clampdowns on Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or atheists, Canadians enjoy relative freedom. But for millions of immigrants to Canada. old-country memories are seared with harrowing rivalries over religion, often combined with oppressive state control of faith. A new survey of almost 200 countries by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has discovered religious troubles are rising to the point that three-quarters of the worlds population (seven billion people) now endure high government restrictions or social hostilities related to faith.
Moderate Voice (CBC Metro Morning)
Guest host Piya Chattopadhyay spoke with Raheel Raza, she is the president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and was talking about the launch of the organization this Sunday. It will take place at 5 p.m. in the North York Central Library auditorium.
White Supremacy Groups Ignored as Terrorist Threats (Kait Bolongaro, Schema Magazine)
Last week, Al-Jazeera published an article about white supremacist groups and their threat to American national security. Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has been focusing its attention on Muslims in its anti-terrorism campaigns. Muslim communities, especially in urban centres, are under constant surveillance and every personman, woman and childis a suspect. In their fanatical effort to harass people marked by differences, it seems US military, police and law makers have ignored those who are the biggest terrorism organizations in the US: white supremacist groups.
News Release Minister Kenney announces new language rules for citizenship applicants (CIC)
Most citizenship applicants will soon be required to provide up-front objective evidence of their language ability at the time they apply, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. This change will be implemented as of November 1, 2012. Currently, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) assesses the language ability of applicants, aged 1854, solely through interactions with CIC staff and by using the results of the citizenship knowledge test.
Immigrant students encouraged to get active (CBC)
The Greater Essex County District School Board is working to encourage more children of immigrants to take part in sports and healthy living choices at school. It’s part of a joint initiative with the City of Windsor and school boards to encourage more participation in physical education and healthy eating. Rachel Olivero, diversity officer with the board, said the board is going to be making it clear to immigrant families that their religious and cultural believes won’t get in the way of qualifying for sports activities.
Spurred by immigration in the West, Canadas population growth fastest in G8 (Globe and Mail)
Canadas population is growing faster than any other G8 country, driven largely by immigration, Statistics Canada says. And Saskatchewan has become a magnet for newcomers, with immigration fuelling a larger share of its population growth than any other province or territory.
Immigration a large factor in province’s population growth (Winnipeg Free Press)
According to a Statistics Canada report released this morning the population of Manitoba is larger than ever, at an estimated 1,267,003 people. The news was welcomed by Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson. “The provincial government has worked hard to keep Manitoba moving forward through uncertainty in the global economy and to make Manitoba an even better place for families to put down roots and build a life,” said Bjornson. “I’m thrilled to see so many more people choosing to call Manitoba home.”
Bring back the Canada we had 50 years ago (Cambridge Times)
Having read the letter by Mr. Brechun, I have to say that he is echoing the train of thoughts of millions of true Canadians. If only we had a Prime minister with the same train of thoughts, then we could have the wonderful Canada that we enjoyed 50 years ago. At that time, when immigrants came to this country, they stood on their own two feet. By that I mean that they found accommodation, found a job, and if they had to, learn the English language all at their own expense with no help from either the federal or provincial governments.
New book details experiences of Chinese Head Tax families (John Bonnar, rabble)
Even now, the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act invoke painful memories of the racist, discriminatory practices of previous Canadian governments that prevented Chinese people from immigrating to Canada. In 1885, a Head Tax of $50 was imposed to discourage Chinese immigration to Canada. Since the Canadian Pacific Railway was finished, the Chinese were no longer needed as a source of cheap labour to be used in the most dangerous railway construction jobs. In 1900, it was raised to $100. But Chinese people continued to immigrate to Canada. By 1903, the Head Tax shot up to $500, which experts estimated was worth about two years pay. But the Chinese continued to settle in Canada. So in 1923, the government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act banning all Chinese immigration to Canada. The Act was repealed in 1947.
Canada has not become ugly and intolerant (Jason Kenney, Guardian UK)
Jonathan Kaiman depicts an increasingly ugly and intolerant Canada characterised by wanton environmental despoliation and paralysing political soul-searching (Maple leaf ragged: what ails Canada?, 15 September). I suspect this verdict would surprise the nine out of 10 Canadians who recently told pollsters that “Canada is the greatest country in the world”. It would also confound the many observers who recognise Canada’s global economic leadership, with the strongest fiscal position in the G8.
Tories on defensive as controversial couple invited, then barred, from immigration meeting (Tobi Cohen, Calgary Herald)
The Conservatives were on the defensive Thursday after they abruptly barred a Montreal couple from testifying to a Commons committee the day before, when they found an interview with a white supremacist and references to Chinafication and crime by ethnicity on the couples website. Taken to task repeatedly during Question Period Thursday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney insisted a Conservative MP who originally invited the couple to testify was unaware of the totally inappropriate opinions promoted on their site, the Canadian Immigration Report, and acted immediately to halt their testimony once he learned of them.
Grandchildren are lucky and they know it (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
One segment of the population was scarcely visible in the national family portrait released this month by Statistics Canada. Grandparents received scant attention in the 2011 census. It looked at them only as caregivers, showing that a tiny minority of children 0.5 per cent are raised exclusively by their grandparents. All the other roles they play in the lives of their children and grandchildren were overlooked. The comprehensive look at the modern Canadian family said nothing about their contribution (ferrying grandchildren to and from daycare and school, giving them a second home, stepping in during emergencies, sharing costs and making life manageable for time-starved parents). It provided no data about how many Canadians are in or approaching this phase of their lives.
Jason Kenney halts womans deportation after claims shed be stoned to death in Iran (Tristin Hopper, National Post)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has stepped in to prevent the immediate deportation of Fatemeh Derakhshandeh Tosarvandan, an Iranian woman who feared she would be stoned to death if returned to her home country, a government source revealed Thursday. Ms. Tosarvandan, 41, was scheduled to be deported on Oct. 2 three days before she was eligible to present critical evidence of her alleged adultery charge to an immigration officer.
An Indo-Canadian Ambassador to Rio makes waves (CanIndia.com)
On August 15, 2011, Chowdhury was appointed Consul General of Canada to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from where we got him to talk exclusively to Can-India. Here are excerpts from that interview.
Like Canadian history? You must be a racist (Kelly Mcparland, National Post)
I like to make fun of the Toronto Star because it combines some really top rate investigative work with some utterly goofy politics. Having worked there for a short time I understand that its obsessive search for victims and automatic alignment with any left-wing crank out there is as much a business model a search for profits as it is adherence to the famous Atkinson principles of which it boasts. You think the Star sympathizes with struggling salaried workers? Try being on the other side when it negotiates a contract, lays off staff or tries to squeeze senior people into quitting so it can replace them with cheaper youngsters.
Muslim leader calls for peace, limits to speech over incendiary video (Graham Lanktree, Metro News)
After weeks of violence erupted over an amateur video criticizing the Muslim faith, members of Ottawas Islamic community will call for an end to the violence and limits to free speech at a meeting Saturday. It is against the teachings of Islam to burn flags, burn property and kill people including an ambassador, said Imtiaz Ahmed, an Islamic missionary and community leader. There is a fine line between freedom of speech and hurting peoples sentiments. When we hurt people we have to draw a line on freedom of speech.
What can us South Asians and Canadians learn from each other? (Baldev Padam, CanIndia.com)
It is clear that none would like to say goodbye to ones culture, yet people of all colors, shades and races, including the first nation, together could make Canada look like a bouquet made up of colorful flowers. Let Canada be like a comfy global village full of its diverse tolerant population living here in peace.
Strict language screening coming in November for would-be Canadians (Ottawa Citizen)
Would-be Canadians will be required to submit tangible proof of how well they speak English or French beginning this November. The new requirements were unveiled last year and will see citizenship applicants given three ways to prove their proficiency.
Well-educated Canadians earn less among OECD countries, study finds (Toronto Star)
Are vast numbers of Canadians over 55 finding themselves in lower-paying jobs, or taking buyouts to retire early? Immigration status was also a factor, said de Broucker, who discovered the Canadian paradox and brought it to the OECDs attention. This was true not only for recent immigrants but for those in Canada from 10 to 29 years, who were more likely to be earning way below their education levels. De Broucker raised these issues in the 570-page OECD report Education at a Glance 2012.
Immigration lawyer wins this round against CIC (Michael Mckiernan, Canadian Lawyer)
A Toronto immigration lawyer who claims Citizenship and Immigration Canada tried to drive him out of business has won a new review of his access to information request on ministry communications about him. CIC initially withheld more than 400 pages of the 509 it found mentioning Forefront Migration Ltd. owner Timothy Leahy, claiming they were protected by solicitor-client privilege. The ministry decision was confirmed by the office of the privacy commissioner and a Federal Court judge, but in a Sept. 4 ruling, a three-judge panel of the Federal Court of Appeal found shortcomings in the ministrys actions. The court found it was unclear who had made the decision to withhold the documents, and that there was no indication of how the determination was made.
We did it the Canadian way (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
Switlo, an Ismaili Muslim who now lives in Vancouver, was one of about 50,000 Ugandans of South Asian origin that the dictator had ordered out of the country a month earlier. However, Switlos family had been worried enough to start planning their exodus to Canada well before the infamous edict. Ugandas Asian community had initially been relieved when Amin overthrew Milton Obotes civilian government in a 1971 military coup, Switlo recalls. Many were encouraged by Amins reversal of a decision by Obote to take a 60-per-cent stake in the countrys many Asian-owned businesses.
John Halani: He fled Uganda as refugee; 40 years later, he represents that country in B.C. (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
When John Halani learned that Canada had offered to take in his family after Idi Amin ordered Ugandans of Asian descent out of the country, it was a bittersweet moment. Halani, his wife, two children and one of his sisters were accepted by Canada. His parents and two siblings were not. Canada was looking for people who were relatively young, spoke good English and would be able to find work easily, he explains. In Uganda, Halani was a 35-year-old business owner, local councillor and school board chairman; his parents were in their 60s and retired. The day before Halani left for Vancouver, he put his parents on a plane to London, where his sister lived. One day, he hoped, the family would be reunited.
‘Too Asian?’ anthology takes Maclean’s to task (rabble)
Not long before the banknotes incident, Macleans magazine came out with the infamous Too Asian? feature. It discussed demographic “asymmetries” on Canadian campuses, sympathetically portraying “white” high school graduates from private school backgrounds who were avoiding Canadian universities with reputations for being Too Asian. Too Asian?: Racism, Privilege, and Post-Secondary Education is a necessary antidote to such reckless journalism. It not only takes Macleans to task for propagating racist tropes against “Asians”; it also pulls the lens back to explore race and representation in Canadian higher education more generally. The collection of essays is divided into three sections: Myths of Meritocracy, Colonial and Imperialist Legacies and Race in the Classroom.
Canadian universities try to attract more diversity to law schools (Linda Nguyen, Brandon Sun)
Manning is one of 25 low-income students currently enrolled in a new, free LSAT preparation course at the University of Toronto. Other similarly available courses range from $500 to $1,000. Touted as the first of its kind, the weekly class, which runs from June to October, is taught by a recent law school graduate and covers everything from what to expect during the half-day test to how to apply for financial aid at a bank. It’s just one example of a number of measures Canadians universities have taken over the years to try to increase diversity in its law school programs.
34,880,500 and rising: Booming immigrant population makes Canada fastest-growing country in the G8 (National Post)
Canada is the fastest-growing G8 country thanks largely to immigration, according to new Statistics Canada data. Leading the charge is Alberta and Saskatchewan, which both grew more than 2% between July 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012. These numbers are very, very positive for the province, said Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. They speak to a province thats growing and attracting people, not just from other provinces in Canada, but from around the world.
Comparative study of 27 EU countries on right to asylum for unaccompanied minors (ImmigrantChildren.ca)
Recent report, from the Forced Migration listserv: Right to Asylum for unaccompanied minors in the European Union: Comparative study in the 27 EU countries (PDF) (France Terre dAsile et al, September, 2012).
Racism, Past: Canadas Troubling Legacy (Ethnic Aisle)
The question isnt Is Canada racist? Its When and how has Canada been racist. Though Canadas reputation is that it embraces multiculturalism and tolerance, our nations history isnt simply one of racial utopia. There have been the blatant examples, such as the Chinese Head Tax or Japanese internment camps, while some have been passed off as a joke. Torontos Holy Chuck Burgers had burgers called the Half-Breed and the Dirty Drunken Half Breed. That was in August 2012.
Racism, Past: Torontos Bygone By-Laws ( Chantal Braganza, Ethnic Aisle)
This piece began with a simple premise and kind-of crude headline: A History of Racist Bylaws in Toronto. It presumed the existence of such bylaws, that there were enough of them to constitute a history (possibly a timelinehow readable!) and that they were as easy to find as a sushi shop on Bloor. Surprise: its really not that simple. Happily (with one major exception) Toronto doesnt have a history of enacting obviously prejudiced municipal rules. What we do have is a habit of going through municipal proceedings without considering all the different types of people who live here, who might not have certain Anglo-Saxon values or whose community-specific practices might be considered undesirable (whatever that means).
Welcome to VancouverDesi.com (Larissa Cahute, The Province)
The Province newsroom today officially launched Vancou-verDesi.com – a comprehensive news website aimed at informing, engaging and entertaining one of the nation’s most influential and diverse ethnic groups – Canada’s South Asian community. VancouverDesi.com already has more current local and inter-national South Asian content and commentary than any other Canadian site. Desi is a popular slang term for the people, culture and goods whose roots are from South Asia or the Indian subcontinent
Tapestrama promotes diversity and understanding (Matt Gardner, PA Herald)
Prince Albert Multicultural Council assistant executive director Alice Zhang, left, and language teacher Chantal Chalecky illustrate two ways people could show their heritage at Tapestrama Show Us Your Roots nationality stickers and a map to… The annual event organized by the Prince Albert Multicultural Council (PAMC) has the mission of promoting multiculturalism. Organizers and vendors alike agreed that allowing people to experience different cultures was the best way to tear down the walls that divide us.
PRESS RELEASE: Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) Sept 24, 2012 (CARL)
The Supreme Court has issued a landmark decision that opens the door for public interest groups to assert the legal and constitutional rights of disenfranchised Canadians where they themselves cannot do so. In the Downtown Eastside Sex Workers decision, the court has introduced a more flexible standard for lower courts to allow public interest groups to intervene in important cases that affect the lives of disenfranchised Canadians who cannot always speak for themselves. The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, jointly with the Canadian Council of Refugees, was an intervener in the case and made written submissions to the court.
Ottawa purgatory for immigrants and refugees (Jamie Liew, Ottawa Citizen)
For residents of Ottawa, lean means non-existent. It was recently reported by the Citizen that the Immigration and Refugee Board is embracing “lean” business efficiency practices to deal with applications and appeals more expeditiously. The Immigration and Refugee Board plans to close its Ottawa offices in April 2013. Without any consultation, the federal government has decided there is no need for a board in Canada’s capital. The board serves myriad per-sons and conducts various types of hearings. Most notably, it conducts refugee hearings, appeals on immigration applications, admissibility hearings, and detention reviews on persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Gays shocked by Jason Kenneys invasion of their privacy (Toronto Star)
Be careful what you send to Ottawa. Gay Canadians were shocked last week to receive an email letter from Citizenship and Immigration Minister trumpeting his governments protection of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) refugees from Iran. Their first question: How does he know Im gay? The next question: How did he get my email address? None of us have ever signed up to receive email from your office and we wonder how our names ended up on your propaganda spam list, Johannah May Black of Toronto shot back in an open letter to Kenney. Other recipients called the electronic missive scary, invasive and disrespectful.
Refugee claimants still hiding out in churches despite lack of sanctuary laws (Tristin Hopper, National Post)
Last year, Victoria Ordu and Ihuoma Amadi, two Nigerian students in their third year at the University of Regina, took jobs at a local Walmart. The jobs turned out to be a breach of their student visa, which Ms. Amadi discovered when border agents arrived at her till to arrest her for working illegally. Removal proceedings followed and in June, with a deportation order looming, the women fled to a Regina churc
Ottawas changes to refugee health coverage compromising care: critics (Globe and Mail)
The call came 35 weeks into her pregnancy, right around the time her abdominal cramps began. It was the receptionist from her gynecologists office saying the governments changes to the Interim Federal Health Program meant her prenatal care was no longer covered. Thats when Tiffany started to panic. I asked, `What am I supposed to do?… I got scared, recalled the 27-year-old, originally from the Caribbean. She told me that if I come and see the doctor I would have to pay the doctor a fee. The Toronto resident who wouldnt give her full name for fear it would affect her application to live in Canada has valid IFH papers and had been going for regular prenatal check-ups until that call.
Volunteer clinics overwhelmed by refugees with no health care (Toronto Star)
Both the Scarborough Community Volunteer Clinic and Muslim Welfare Centre Clinic the citys two mainstays for uninsured patients have reported an influx of refugee patients as a result of the cuts. At the Scarborough clinic at Markham and Ellesmere Rds., which opens for only four hours two evenings a week and is staffed mostly by volunteer doctors and nurses, the patient load has more than doubled, from 10 to more than 25 per shift. At the Welfare clinic, which operates for three hours, three times a month, also staffed by volunteers, the monthly patient volume has doubled from 25 to 50.
VIDEO: Hamilton protests cuts to refugee health care (Hamilton Spectator)
Hamilton for Refugee and Migrant Health, a group of healthcare workers and community members, gathered at Bayfront Park at 1 p.m. Saturday to launch national We refuse to cooperate campaign against cuts to refugee health care.
Canadian Council of Refugees Fall Consultation 2012 (Settlement AtWork)
The Canadian Council of Refugees invites you to their 2012 Fall Consultation titled; Our Vision: A Fair and Honourable Future for Refugee and Immigrant Families.
Op-Ed : Hollande disappoints on Roma integration (Raluca Besliu, Digital Journal)
Near Lyon, Paris, Lille and Marseille, Roma camps were dismantled and over 550 Roma were forced to fly back to their home countries. The authorities have tried to hide the expulsions under the mask of voluntary repatriation, by claiming the Roma voluntarily decided to leave after receiving payments of $370 for each adult and $184 each a child. This strategy was applied in order to avoid any national and international scrutiny of the actually not so voluntary returns. Roma deportations from France are certainly not new. In 2010, the then President Sarkozy dismantled around 300 Roma camps across France and ordered the Romani peoples expulsion to Romania and Bulgaria, by emphasizing that the camps threaten national security, as sources of trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution. Just like now, in 2010, the Roma were offered payment to return, in order to cover the expulsions.
Electronic bracelets for refugees urged (Douglas Quan, Montreal Gazette)
The House of Commons’ public safety committee has issued a report recommending the government consider the use of electronic ankle bracelets as a way to curb the number of denied refugee claimants who fail to comply with removal orders. Opposition critics, however, say expanding the use of such technology for immigration purposes would be a waste of money since most rejected immigrants and failed refugee claimants pose “little or no risk” to the public.
Doctors say refugee health cuts creating chaos, confusion in medical system (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
Changes to federal health benefits for refugee have resulted in confusion and chaos in the medical system and compromised care, according to a national group of doctors advocating for refugees. Doctors for Refugee Care released the results of a three-month online monitoring project on Thursday in which it collected examples of health-care lapses involving refugees since the federal government eliminated benefits to several categories of refugees on July 1. The report cited several dramatic cases, including a man with chest pains unable to receive a chest x-ray, pregnant women not receiving prenatal care, and refugees unable to pay for essential medication for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Cuts to health care starting to hit refugees: doctors (Global News)
Pregnant women are bearing the brunt of the Conservative governments cuts to refugee health care, which have left many patients confused and without assistance, according to a group of doctors protesting the changes. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care has monitored the Interim Federal Health Program since Ottawa rolled back supplemental health coverage for some refugees three months ago. Doctors say they are already seeing the impact of the cuts, and it isnt pretty.
The impact of Kenney’s refugee health care cuts being seen (Impolitical)
The group Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care has done a report at the three month mark on the impact of the Harper government’s refugee health care cuts.
POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION
Posters a declaration of ‘war’ on the poor: Group (Sudbury Star)
Anti-poverty activists say a poster campaign launched by Sudbury police and businesses is nothing less than a declaration of “war against the poor.” In a release, the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty said it is disappointed in the anti-panhandling posters and plan to fight back. “The posters use language that encourage people to see panhandlers as dangerous outsiders,” the coalition said. “In the context of the poster’s inflammatory message, the statement ‘the downtown belongs to all of us’ merely implies that those without homes or money are not a part of society.
The Impact on Redistribution on Income Inequality in Canada – PDF (Centre for the Study of Living Standards)
The objective of this report is to provide an overview of trends in income inequality, defined as the Gini coefficient, in Canada and the provinces over the 1981-2010 period and to investigate the impact of redistributive policies namely, taxes and transfers on these trends. Income inequality is measured in terms of market income, total income, and after-tax income, with the latter considered the most important from a well-being perspective. T
EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS
New project seeks to integrate Francophone immigrants into work force (Guardian PEI)
Prince Edward Island is looking to find a soluton to the problem of finding work for new francophone immigrants. Thanks to a seven-month project from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, RDÉE, the provincial francophone economic developlment council, will first develop promotional tools, programs and partnerships to assist these immigrants. The project is aimed specifically at supporting those who have attained the status of permanent resident and who are legally allowed to work in Canada, explains Christian Gallant, the RDÉE economic development officer overseeing the project.
Growing attention to precarious work and wage theft (Workers’ Action Centre)
Precarious work an d the issue of wage theft is drawing increasing attention. The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) recently released an Interim Report on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work. The LCO report confirms what the Workers Action Centre has been saying; that work today has become less secure, lower paid, and provides little protection against workplace abuses and injury. The report confirms workers need new protections to address the growing crisis of wage theft.
Annual Report of the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (Settlement AtWork)
The Office of the Fairness Commissioner has just released its 2011-12 annual report, Licence to Succeed: Five Years of Progress. The Office ensures that certain regulated professions in Ontario have registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
Integrated Womens Mentorship Program helping deal with labour shortages (Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald)
With growing concerns about a looming labour shortage in Alberta, a unique program by Immigrant Services Calgary is helping to re-establish careers for skilled immigrant and refugee women by connecting them with established professionals in the same or related occupations. The Integrated Womens Mentorship Program was established as a pilot project in April 2008 and today has about 360 active participants each year with about 60 mentors each year as well.
CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Monday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on City Hall, Toronto and Other News.
Toronto Ombudsman: Mayors Office Compromised the Public Appointments Process (Steve Kupferman, Torontoist)
Mayor Rob Fords office interfered to an unprecedented degree in the process of appointing new citizen members to the Citys arms-length boards, apparently in an attempt to exert greater control over the City budget. This, according to a report released earlier today by Fiona Crean, Torontos ombudsman. The 45-page document, based on a months-long investigation, alleges that the mayors office first delayed the appointment process, then used the mayors influence to speed it up. The reason for the hurry, according to unnamed Ford staffers Crean interviewed, was that the mayors office wanted the new appointments in place before the 2011 budget process. This was so the new citizen members would be the ones approving the budget submissions of those agencies. Crean also reports that the degree of influence the mayors office exerted during the process was unusual, and, in some respects, harmful.
Ombudsman Report: An Investigation into the Administration of the Public Appointments Policy: http://ombudstoronto.ca/ombudsman-report-investigation-administration-public-appointments-policy
Citizenship in the Canadian City (U Toronto)
Who belongs? Who governs? Who decides? Examine the concepts of citizenship, public space, political membership, civic responsibility, and belonging. Address topics such as Aboriginal sovereignty claims, urban multiculturalism, public housing, and greening the city. In 2011-2012, Citizenship in the Canadian City has focused on citizenship, multiculturalism, participation and belonging. We have worked through some complex debates about citizenship: is it just a formal political status, or is it more about the things we do and the ways we engage with our communities? We have had some heated debates about the current state of politics in Canada, and in the city of Toronto in particular.
SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS
Should Ontario non-profits or charities be worrying about the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA)? PDF (Global Philanthropy)
To really have a meaningful discussion within a non-profit or charity about the ONCA, there is a lot of material needed that is not out there yet. Soon the Ontario government will release a simplified plain language guide to the ONCA, along with regulations, forms and a draft default by-law. In addition, a more detailed Non-Profit Incorporators Handbook will one day be released. While some matters can be determined by looking at the ONCA legislation, others cannot be known until the regulations and other documents are released. For most organizations, it makes little sense to jump into the finer points of the ONCA at this point in time with so much information still in the pipeline. Having a discussion with only 70% of the information is a recipe for frustration.
The politics of advocacy: Are charities apathetic or afraid? (CharityVillage)
Too political. Its an accusation thats been tossed around by politicians and organizations since the Conservative government announced last March it would set aside $8 million over two years to ensure charities follow the rules around political activities. The David Suzuki Foundation was among the charities to come under fire, with Ethical Oil, an organization advocating for the Canadian bitumen industry, leading the attack.
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