Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 15, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

Five inspiring ideas about the way we promote immigrant integration and inclusion (Alejandra Bravo, Maytree)
I just returned from a conference organized by by Spanish think tank MENARA, a project of Fundación Tres Culturas. This transnational conference was one in a series of meetings this year that examined themes like the relationship between entrepreneurship or citizenship and diversity. At the conference, I learned about the inspiring work of others, and shared what were doing at Maytree, in Toronto, across the country, and beyond. Here are five Toronto ideas that inspired MENARA participants in Spain
http://maytree.com/blog/2012/10/five-inspiring-ideas-about-the-way-we-promote-immigrant-integration-and-inclusion/

2012 Philanthropy Forum (Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough)
This fall, join us for interactive sessions, breakthrough thinking, networking and a celebration of philanthropy in Peterborough. You will gain valuable, practical, professional advice regarding non-profit storytelling, strategic partnership development, enhancing community profile, social media strategies and more… Sessions include: Option A: Diversity in governance: when more is more
Research shows that diverse boards are better decision-makers, fundraisers and lead more effective organizations. Discover tactics to foster and benefit from a diverse board in a small community. Facilitator: Cathy Winter, Manager, DiverseCity on Board, Maytree Foundation
http://cfgp.ca/forum/

Major step-back on Canadian immigration system Only those with Canadian experience need apply (CERIS)
On August 17, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) quietly unveiled a major overhaul of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the main economic immigration program commonly known as the points system. This announcement solidifies the changes to the immigration system CIC has been releasing for the past several months. In a recent report for the Maytree Foundation, Naomi Albiom and Karen Cohl argue that the new system implements a two-step process for potential immigrants, who are now required to enter Canada as temporary foreign workers and pass language and Canadian Experience tests before being eligible to become permanent residents. While the new FSWP targets a younger and more flexible workforce that is presumably able to adapt to Canadian society, these changes effectively disguise how the government is simultaneously admitting more and more foreign workers into Canada through temporary visa programs. Rather than somebody chosen on merit acquired abroad, the new immigrant in Canada will be selected based on country of origin, race, religion and culture. It sounds like the government is betting that employers are more enlightened than the rest of society as to who will make the best Canadians.
http://cerisontario.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/canadianexperience/

Art DeFehr: Immigration activist not an armchair CEO (Globe and Mail)
When Art DeFehr was a college student, he marched with Martin Luther King and protested against the Vietnam War. It was the 1960s, and as a young Winnipegger attending a U.S. Mennonite college, his political activities caught the attention of the FBI and it cost him a Canadian diplomatic career. Instead, he joined the family business, Palliser Furniture, and almost 50 years later, he remains an activist. While running Palliser, he has headed refugee programs in Africa, and was a catalyst behind Manitobas nominee immigration program, which has sparked a dramatic increase in the number of immigrants to the province since the late 1990s.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/art-defehr-immigration-activist-not-an-armchair-ceo/article4611845/

Jones denied entry into Canada for event promoting film (Joe Slezak, Press and Guide)
Terry Jones, the controversial anti-Islam pastor who demonstrated on the sidewalk outside Edsel Ford High School on Wednesday, was denied entry into Canada the next day for an event that evening in Toronto. The Windsor Star reported that Jones attempted to cross into Ontario at the Ambassador Bridge, but was detained, searched and interrogated for more than five hours before being denied entry at about 3:30 p.m. Jones and associate Wayne Sapp, who also attended the Edsel Ford rally, drove back to Gainesville, Fla., after the incident.
http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2012/10/12/news/doc50782314020af627269679.txt

Bordering on contempt of free speech (Ezra Levant, Toronto Sun)
Thats the problem with laws against hate speech, or even against hate itself. Hate is a natural human emotion, as much as love or sorrow, and it often accompanies those other two. Hate can come from a feeling of grievance, and there are many who have legitimate grievances against the more aggressive forms of Islam. Many of those with grievances are Muslim themselves. Silencing a man does not end his hate it likely causes it to grow. Many people find Jones views offensive. But many people find gay pride parades offensive too. Martin Luther King Jr. deeply offended many people, and so did the Famous Five suffragettes. We allow offensive people because we believe in freedom and todays hated idea may be tomorrows wisdom.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/10/12/bordering-on-contempt-of-free-speech

Language rules pose challenge for immigrants (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Starting next month, if you want to be a citizen, you better talk like a Canadian. For the first time in Canada’s history, people applying for citizenship will have to provide documented proof of their proficiency in either official language. It’s good for the country, federal government spokespeople say, pointing to studies linking language ability to income levels. But for a vulnerable minority, the new rules mean citizenship will be out of reach, say refugee advocates.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/language-rules-pose-challenge-for-immigrants-174142291.html

Philippines number 1 source of immigrants in Canada (Philippine Sun Star)
Filipinos now ranked as the top Asian immigrants in Canada, a parliament official said. Kevin Lamoureux, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North, who visited Pampanga over the weekend to foster cooperation between local officials here and discuss immigration policies, said the Filipino community in Canada has proven to be a vital force in local industries and sectors of the country.
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/pampanga/local-news/2012/10/15/philippines-number-1-source-immigrants-canada-248094

Canada: Mother has throat slit to spine for wanting kids raised as Westerners (Timothy Whiteman, Examiner.com)
Wife and mother Randjida Khairi wanted her children to be essentially raised like all the other children in her adopted nation of Canada. But for taking a stand contrary to her staunchly Islamic and Afghanistan-born husband, Peer Khairi, Randjida was found by Canadian police with her throat slashed wide-open, as well as her neck muscles, esophagus and voice box slashed open to the spine.
http://www.examiner.com/article/canada-mother-has-throat-slit-to-spine-for-wanting-kids-raised-as-westerners

Second generation immigrants pull ahead of mainstream Canadians in wages, prosperity (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
We always hear stories about how new immigrants to Canada aren’t fairing very well these days. The headlines tell us that they’re underemployed and that an increasing number of them are living in poverty. But according to a new study, we shouldn’t fret their grand-kids will do very well in Canada. In fact, they’ll do much better than the average ‘mainstream’ Canadian.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/second-generation-immigrants-pull-ahead-mainstream-canadians-wages-160629070.html

Ping pong passport: feds urged to fast-track athlete’s citizenship before Games (Steve Rennie, Brandon Sun)
The Canadian Olympic Committee urged Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office to fast-track the Canadian citizenship of a Chinese-born table tennis star in time for him to compete for Canada at the summer Games, a newly released document shows. A short time later, Eugene Zhen Wang, the top-ranked table tennis player in North America, was a Canadian citizen.
http://www.brandonsun.com/sports/breaking-news/ping-pong-passport-feds-urged-to-fast-track-athletes-citizenship-before-games-174098051.html

Indo-Canadian truck drivers from GTA caught in web of North American drug trade (Toronto Star)
For years, Indo-Canadian gangs in B.C. have been involved in cross-border drug smuggling, infiltrating the trucking industry and fighting turf wars that have often been bloody and vicious. But now, members of southern Ontarios Indo-Canadian community, in particular from Brampton and Mississauga, are increasingly being lured into the North American drug trade, according to Crown attorneys, lawyers, police and community leaders on this side of the border. It is not difficult to understand why. An estimated 60 per cent of Ontarios long-haul truck drivers are Indo-Canadian, making them logical targets for drug traffickers. They will gladly do long-haul jobs shunned by others that can mean being on the road for weeks. They dont mind sharing the close quarters of a cab with a co-driver, and the job requires little more than a commercial drivers licence.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1271225–indo-canadian-truck-drivers-from-gta-caught-in-web-of-north-american-drug-trade

Do Muslim immigrants really threaten the West? (Troy Media)
There has been no shortage of books about Muslims since September 11, 2001. Many of them have warned that recent waves of immigration have already turned countries such as France and Britain into Eurabia. On this side of the Atlantic, such migration is said to represent medieval authoritarianism that has no place in the democratic American environment. Others have alleged that the migrants religion directs them to treat Christians as servants and permits (them) to violate Christian women.
http://www.troymedia.com/2012/10/14/do-muslim-immigrants-really-threaten-the-west/

Immigrant entrepreneurs (The Economist)
Other countries see an opportunity. Canada, Australia and Singapore make it quick and painless for brainy foreigners to obtain visas to work or set up companies. Even Chile is luring some of the talent that America rejects. A remote emerging market with little tradition of innovation might seem an unlikely place to try to build a technology hub. But Start-Up Chile, a local programme to encourage entrepreneurs, is doing rather well, as our Silicon Valley correspondent reports from Santiago (see article). An entrepreneur with a good idea can get a visa in a couple of weeks. Since 2010, when Start-Up Chile began, it has attracted some 500 companies run by whizz-kids from 37 countries. Many of those who flock to Chilecon Valley, as it has been dubbed, would rather have gone to America, but couldnt face a decade of immigration humiliation.
http://www.economist.com/node/21564564

Transcend Releases Details of Newly Introduced Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) for Immigration to Canada (Equities.com)
Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced the Regulations amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in a bid to modernise Canada’s Immigration selection system. This 3-pronged approach includes introduction of a new Class – Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC). Details on some of the other changes can be found here. Transcend Consultants is offering Free Assessment for immigration applicants from across the world under the FSTC and other immigration programs. Applicants simply need to complete the Online Assessment Form on their website. The regulations are not final but proposed, and may be revised before implementation in January, 2013, based on public consultations.
http://www.equities.com/news/news-headline-story?dt=2012-10-12&val=589220&d=1&cat=headline

Local Muslims to participate in national campaign to educate Canadians about Islam (Chris Zdeb, Edmonton Journal)
Local Muslims will go door-to-door in Edmonton and Leduc this weekend as part of a national campaign to educate Canadians about Islam and dispel misconceptions about Muhammad made in an American anti-Muslim video. Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are responding to a call from their spiritual leader in England to peacefully protest The Innocence of Muslims, a video that outraged the Muslim world with its depiction of the Islamic prophet after a trailer of the film was posted on YouTube.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Local+Muslims+participate+national+campaign+educate+Canadians+about+Islam/7383441/story.html

University receives federal funds for religious diversity project (Ruane Remy, Catholic Register)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has granted half-a-million dollars over three years to the University of Toronto for its Religious Diversity Youth Leadership project. Launched in late September, the program investigates and acts upon the problems and possibilities of living in a religiously diverse society.
http://www.catholicregister.org/youth/ysn-news/item/15222-university-receives-federal-funds-for-religious-diversity-project

Muslim immigration weakens Canadas liberalism : political scientist (Ottawa Citizen)
When Salim Mansur, a political scientist at the University of Western Ontario, asked me to provide a promotional blurb for his 2011 book Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism, I was only too happy to oblige. Heres what I wrote: In an age of ideological conformity such as ours, it takes courage to speak against the prevailing orthodoxy. This is a courageous book. Professor Mansur exposes how multiculturalism corrodes the values and traditions that sustain Canada as a liberal democratic order. The result is a book to galvanize Canadians against the apostles of extremist progressivism.
http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2012/10/12/salim-mansurs-senate-testimony-close-the-borders-to-muslim-immigrants/

Ghomeshi recalls trying to fit in as a 14-year-old new Canadian (Carolin Vesely, Winnipeg Free Press)
The year Canada brought its constitution home, one of its future stars was trying to reconcile his own national identity. To that end, the insecure, “pathetically neurotic,” 14-year-old Persian-Canadian New Waver made a list of the things that mattered to him most. The 11-item list was bookended by the names David Bowie and Wendy. “Fitting in” appears twice.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/celebrities/ghomeshi-recalls-trying-to-fit-in–as-a-14-year-old-new-canadian-174001131.html

New Greek national party puts Montreal community on edge (CBC)
The presence of a new Montreal chapter of a right-wing nationalist Greek party is polarizing members of Montreal’s Greek community. Golden Dawn won 18 seats in Greece’s recent election. The party’s anti-immigrant stance is considered racist, anti-immigration and anti-Semitic by many in the international community. The party seeks to maintain “the Greek race” and wants Christian Greeks to reclaim the country, which they say has been taken over by illegal immigrants.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/10/13/golden-dawn-greek-montreal.html

Immigrants outperform mainstream populations in the US Canada and Australia, study says (Sun News Network)
Second-generation Chinese and South Asian immigrants in the U.S., Canada, and Australia are more successful than third- and higher-generation whites, a University of Toronto study says. Sociology professor Jeffrey G. Reitz and PhD candidate Naoko Hawkins and Heather Zhang from McGill University examined survey and census data to compare the achievements of immigrants and their children. Their conclusion appears in the journal, Social Science Research.
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/world/archives/2012/10/20121013-130327.html

Your kids will have a better life if you move to Canada (Gus Lubin, Meredith Galante, Yahoo! News)
Worried your kids will have a bleak future if they live in America? Maybe it’s time to leave. HSBC’s fifth annual Expat Survey identified Canada as the best place for expats to raise kids. Canada was the cheapest place to raise a kid, and it ranked in the top four for safety, education, and childcare. Kids in Canada play more sports than anywhere else, and rank near the top in time spent with parents, and lack of time in front of the TV. A full 97 percent of expat parents in Canada said their kids were enjoying living there.
http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/kids-better-life-move-canada-202214295.html

Liberals Celebrate 41st Anniversary Of Multiculturalism (The Link)
Liberal Multiculturalism critic Jim Karygiannis celebrated 41st anniversary of Canadas policy of multiculturalism by reciting a quote from the father of Canadas multiculturalism Pierre Elliot Trudeau. In a speech to the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress on October 9, 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau stated, A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate. A society which eulogizes the average citizen is one which breeds mediocrity. What the world should be seeking, and what in Canada we must continue to cherish, are not concepts of uniformity but human values: compassion, love and understanding.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=23155

Canada Muslims Face Threats With Education (Islam Online)
Cutting through misconceptions about their faith, Canada Muslims in the eastern Canadian city of Charlottetown have reached out to their society, educating them about what they really believe. “We hope this to be part of a process of dialogue and outreach to people from different faiths and cultures, so that we can share with them our beliefs,” Zain Esseghaier, a spokesperson for the Muslim Society of Prince Edward Island (PEI), told CBC News on Friday, October 12.
http://www.islamonline.com/news/articles/2/Canada-Muslims-Face-Threats-With-Education.html

Sikhs Have A Distinguished Military Tradition And Will Make Canadian Forces Proud With Sikh Cadets (Ken Herar, The Link)
Having a cadet group called the (Surrey Sikhs) would fit into a history of loyal military service. Sikhs have had a long proud military tradition and using the word Sikh to identify a regiment within the Canadian military would prove to be an asset for the forces. Doing some research on the Sikh military it becomes very obvious that the Sikh military has existed for centuries and has stood proud in many wars including, Battle of Sargarhi. The Sikh military tradition dates back to the time of the founders of their religion with the 6th Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind (1595 to 1644) when Sikhs fought their first battles against Mughal oppression. Highly skilled Sikh soldiers were quickly integrated into the British Indian Army and proved invaluable and loyal. Sikh regiments have served in the British army in battlefields around the world including: Sudan, fighting slave traders in Central Africa, in Persia and the Middle East.
http://thelinkpaper.ca/?p=23202

The Journey to Inclusion Project (CIVMS)
The Journey to Inclusion project will match nine artists with nine community members to create a collaborative public art exhibit, giving voices to those who have been marginalized.
http://www.cvims.org/diversity-program/embrace-bc/the-journey-to-inclusion-project/

Canadian diplomats in Saudi Arabia worry about polygamist immigration applicants (Sun News Network)
Canadian diplomats in Saudi Arabia say there may be a political tempest brewing as many oil-rich polygamist men look for ways to resettle here with their many wives. Diplomatic officials said theyre flooded with applications from well-heeled Saudi men with one or more wives and have asked Ottawa for guidelines on whether the spouses should be given visas for Canada. Bigamy and polygamy are crimes in Canada, but not here in Saudi Arabia, said Jeff Rogers, the first secretary of the Embassy of Canada in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/world/archives/2012/10/20121013-145149.html

Canada immigration confusion: Multiple wife visa requests by Saudi men (Emirates 27/7)
The Canadian embassy in Saudi Arabia says it has found itself in an awkward situation after it was flooded by applications from Saudi men seeking visas to visit the western country along with more than a wife. The embassy says while polygamy is permitted in Saudi Arabia, it is a punishable crime in Canada. The Canadian embassy in Riyadh said it has sent a letter to its government asking for clarification regarding visa for Saudi men having more than a wife, the Saudi Arabic language daily Sabq said on Monday.
http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/canada-immigration-confusion-multiple-wife-visa-requests-by-saudi-men-2012-10-15-1.479033

Anti-Semitic posters raise alarm (Nick Martin, Winnipeg Free Press)
An alarming variation on last month’s anti-Semitic posters has appeared in the heart of downtown — this time with the names of 13 people crossed off. Featuring a reference to Hitler embellished with a dollar sign, the poster on a pole in the middle of Broadway lists 13 people — most of them Jewish — and talks about cliques, corruption and organized crime. “That, to me, links it to anti-Semitism,” David Matas, senior counsel to B’nai Brith, said Friday night. “The police have to take this very seriously.”
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/anti-semitic-posters-raise-alarm-174001611.html?device=mobile

Vic Toews’ Assault on Religious Freedom (Father Malcolm French)
Earlier today, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, the Honourable Vic Toews, announced that all non-Christian chaplains in federal penitentiaries would have their contracts cancelled and that all chaplaincy services would be provided by the remaining Christian chaplains. The following is my email to Vic Toews, with copies to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, and my local Member of Parliament, Tom Lukiwski.
http://simplemassingpriest.blogspot.ca/2012/10/vic-toews-assault-on-religious-freedom.html

Award Recipients (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Samira Kanji and Atiyya Bacchus. They are recipients of the Women Who Inspire Awards. The awards will be handed out by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women this Sunday.
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2012/10/12/award-recipients/

Ontario Needs More Skilled Immigrants (Victor Mario Kaisar, Radio 106.9)
A report by Ontario’s roundtable on Immigration outlines 32 recommendations that will form Ontario’s first Immigration strategy. Ed Corrigan, certified specialist in Citizenship and Immigration says that the city of London already has skilled workers who are forced to drive cabs instead of practice in their specialized field. Corrigan says that most of these skilled workers are doctors and engineers whose international credentials are not being recognized in Canada because of strict rules that are in place.
http://www.1069thex.com/news/ontario-needs-more-skilled-immigrants

REFUGEES

Event Nov 7: Your Money Or Your Life (World Premiere) (Volunteer Clinic for Medically Uninsured Immigrants and Refugees)
Your Money Or Your Life will have its world premiere at the Royal Theatre in Toronto on Wednesday, November 7th at 7PM. For more information go to www.ichannel.ca The documentary Your Money Or Your Life follows the life and death struggle of Duncan McCorkell and other immigrants and refugees in Canada. Most believe this country has universal healthcare. But according to the federal government there are an estimated half a million people in Canada with no public health insurance.
http://ymoyl.eventbrite.ca/

MP’s refugee mailout angers constituents (Jason Warick, Leader Post)
A mailout from a Saskatoon MP condemning “unfair” health benefits for Canadian refugee claimants has angered many of her constituents, who call the mailout misleading and “racist.” Saskatoon Rosetown Big-gar MP Kelly Block said in an interview Saturday that the mailout “wasn’t meant to be divisive,” but others disagree. “It’s very disappointing,” said Dr. Mahli Brindamour, who received the mailout late last week at her Riversdale-area home. “It’s biased and misleading. It’s trying to pit Canadians against this vulnerable group.”
http://www.leaderpost.com/health/refugee+mailout+angers+constituents/7389839/story.html

Canada vows to continue deporting Hungarian asylum seekers (Politics.hu)
Canadian Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney issued a statement to clarify a recent report in Hungarian media about mass deportations in light of tougher immigration rules he discussed during his visit to Hungary earlier this week, according to the Canadian Embassys statement. In the statement, a copy of which was sent to MTI, the minister stated that while Canada does not engage in mass deportations, it will continue to remove Hungarian asylum claimants whose claims are rejected by our independent refugee board. He noted that new reforms of Canadas asylum system will make the removal of failed Hungarian asylum claimants back to Hungary much faster, adding that claimants from countries such as Hungary will receive less generous health and social benefits.
http://www.politics.hu/20121015/canada-vows-to-continue-deporting-hungarian-asylum-seekers/

Roma in Hungary feel persecuted but they have nowhere to turn (Rick Westhead, Toronto Star)
They called themselves a neighbourhood watch. On March 1, 2011, at least 2,000 members of a right-wing paramilitary group called the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future rolled into this sleepy former coal-mining village 80 kilometres east of Budapest. Wearing black uniforms and hats, they pledged to help police maintain law and order and stamp out Gypsy criminality. About 450 of Gyongyospatas 2,800 residents are Roma, members of a nomadic tribe believed to have immigrated to Europe from northern India perhaps a thousand years ago. With their dark skin and cloistered culture, Roma have struggled to fit in across the continent.
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1270708–roma-in-hungary-feel-persecuted-but-they-have-nowhere-to-turn

Right-wing hate, the Roma people and Jason Kenney’s trip to Hungary (Karl Nerenberg, rabble)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a tweet can be worth at least a 100 carefully crafted news releases. Take the following tweet, for example: “…now get them the f — outta here cuz most are false asylum seekers. They had their free vacay, now it’s time to go!” That came from someone who styles herself as “Future Chaos @MissManiac88”. It was in response to a series of tweets from Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Kenney has been busy tweeting about his current visit to Europe, in particular to Hungary.
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/karl-nerenberg/2012/10/right-wing-hate-roma-people-and-jason-kenneys-trip-hungary

Canada wont force Roma to return to Hungary: Balog (Budapest Times)
There will be no mass return of Hungarian Roma once Canada implements stricter immigration rules, Minister of Human Resources Zoltán Balog told state news agency MTI on Monday. He was speaking as Canadas Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney visited the country ahead of the implementation, expected this year, of a new Canadian immigration act designed to tighten the rules against bogus asylum claims and people smugglers.
http://www.budapesttimes.hu/2012/10/15/canada-wont-force-roma-to-return-to-hungary-balog/

September 2012 Annual General Meeting and National Conference Webcast (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers)
We are pleased to offer the September 2012 Annual General Meeting and National Conference webcast to everyone. Please note that in the future webcasts will only be offered to those who have paid for the conference.
http://www.refugeelawyersgroup.ca/2012webcast

Failed refugee claimants find sanctuary in churches (The Record)
Refugee activists in Toronto are quietly canvassing churches across the province, seeking sanctuary for failed refugee claimants facing deportation. Four Toronto churches have agreed to hide asylum-seekers whose refugee claims have been rejected and others say they are considering the request, the Toronto Star has learned.
http://www.therecord.com/news/canada/article/817329–failed-refugee-claimants-find-sanctuary-in-churches

Government sponsored refugee youth get special program to help them adjust (Hamilton Spectator)
Children and teenagers who are government sponsored refugees in Hamilton are getting a program to help them adjust to life in Canada. Wesley Urban Ministries — which took over the government-funded Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) after the collapse of the Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO) — is starting a two-year pilot youth support program next month according to Wesley director of newcomer services Stephanie Taylor.
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/816442–government-sponsored-refugee-youth-get-special-program-to-help-them-adjust

Plagiarism alleged in some Canadian refugee board decisions (Globe and Mail)
A sense of déjà vu came over Toronto immigration lawyer Michael Battista as he read a recent decision denying refugee status to a 24-year-old client who feared becoming a target of homophobia back in his native India. Checking carefully, Mr. Battista found that paragraph after paragraph was identical to a decision another federal Immigration and Refugee Board adjudicator had rendered several months earlier. In a letter to the IRB last week demanding a fresh hearing for his client, Mr. Battista said that copying passages from other decisions has no place in decisions involving potential life and death.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/plagiarism-alleged-in-some-canadian-refugee-board-decisions/article4610522/

Joint seminar series looks at refugee law in Canada and UK (York U)
Yorks Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) in collaboration with the University of Londons Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) in the United Kingdom has developed a new joint seminar series that will bring together prominent speakers from both countries. The Challenge of Change: Confronting Asylum Law and Practice in the UK and Canada seminar series will feature Alison Harvey, secretary-general of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association in the UK and , deputy chair of the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, as its first speakers.
http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2012/10/10/joint-seminar-series-looks-at-refugee-law-in-canada-and-uk/

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

Ed Broadbent: Wealth Gap Is a Health Hazard for Rich, Too (Crawford Kilian, The Tyee)
The Occupy movement did us all one big favor: It brought income inequality into the public debate. After close to 40 years of gradual income and wealth erosion, North America’s middle and working classes now understand that they’ve been had. While most of us were trying to make a living and a life, a very small number of well-tailored pickpockets were pilfering much of what we made. Then they had the chutzpah to blame us for not succeeding the way our parents and grandparents had, in the 30-year golden age after the Second World War.
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/15/Ed-Broadbent-Inequality/

Canadians should demand action to challenge inequality (Ed Broadbent, rabble.ca)
Canada is in the process of destroying decades of progress. We are developing limited, American-style access to social programs, our Employment Insurance system is being slowly starved to death, tuition fees are skyrocketing — all in the name of “austerity.” Is this the kind of Canada we want to leave to future generations?
http://rabble.ca/news/2012/10/canadians-should-demand-action-challenge-inequality

Canadas politicians are failing the poor (Toronto Star)
ISARC is the acronym for the Interfaith Social Action Reform Coalition. It describes itself as faith communities in action against poverty. A few days before Thanksgiving that this year coincided with the week-long Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, it held several vigils across Ontario. The event I attended at Queens Park had both substance and symbolism. But perhaps the most powerful symbol wasnt planned. The imam scheduled to be there on behalf of the Muslim community was unable to attend. He had, therefore, asked his colleague, Rabbi Stephen Wise of Oakville, who spoke on behalf of the Jewish community, to represent him. This is Canada at its best: instead of engaging in proxy wars, these religious leaders and their communities are living in neighbourly friendship and mutual support.
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1271032–canada-s-politicians-are-failing-the-poor

Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. What If Charities Go Silent? (Trish Hennessey, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – October 13
2. Towards A More Equal Canada (Broadbent Institute) – October 9
3. [British Columbia] A Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning : $10 a Day Care a Key to Ending Family Poverty (Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC) – October 4
4. Latest Media and Policy News: 12 Oct 2012 (By Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
5. Invest New Brunswick : Is it really investing in a new perspective? (New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice Inc.) – October 2012
6. A Living Wage As a Human Right (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – October 4
7. Youth Employment and Un(der) Employment in Canada : More Than a Temporary Problem? (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives) – October 4
8 .Equal Time : Margaret Somerville on abortion and the politics of female feticide
9. UPDATE on the National Council of Welfare website archive – October 14
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour productivity in the business sector: Historical revision, 1981 to the second quarter 2012 – October 12
— Adult correctional services, 2010/2011 – October 11
— Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2010/2011 – October 11
— Youth correctional services, 2010/2011 – October 11
— Youth correctional statistics in Canada, 2010/2011 – October 11
— Criminal court statistics, 2010/2011 – October 9
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/personal/news141012.htm

Latest Media and Policy News: 12 Oct 2012 (Income Security Advocacy Centre)
A poverty and policy news roundup from Income Security Advocacy Centre.
http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=095b12c98935ecaadd327bf90&id=2bb4adc1e2&e=17b62befd7

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Connector program changes lives (Martha Wilson, Chronicle Herald)
You know how it feels when youre on a trip and find yourself thinking, Hey, I like this place. I could live here. It may be a new city or province. Rarely is it an altogether different country. But that has been the life-changing experience of Dongsheng Li, who came to Halifax from China to study accounting and is now thinking he might just settle here permanently. His intention when he arrived last year was to gain some overseas learning experience before returning to China to find a job, he says.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/148428-connector-program-changes-lives

Hire Immigrants Ottawas Employer Excellence Awards winners and employers recognized for their promising practices around the integration of skilled immigrants into their organizations (Hire Immigrants Ottawa)
Hire Immigrants Ottawa is accepting entries for the 2013 Employer Excellence Awards from employers in the National Capital Region. In its sixth year, the awards recognize local employers for their innovative policies and practices in the recruitment and retention of skilled immigrants into their organizations. The Awards will be presented at the Employer Council of Champions (ECC) Summit in March 2013. This event is attended by senior executives and human resources professionals from leading Ottawa businesses and organizations, civic leaders, key stakeholders and the media.
http://www.hireimmigrantsottawa.ca/English/Employer%20Awards/apply.php

Seed capital: How immigrants are reshaping Saskatchewan’s farmland (Globe and Mail)
While most of the other farmers in the café have been tilling soil in the area for decades, Mr. Zou is a newcomer to farming, to Ogema and to Canada. He immigrated from China in 2008, an entrepreneur with a background in engineering and a brief history of running a broadband company in the U.S. Mr. Zou, 40, was at loose ends at first, shuttling between Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto looking for a business opportunity. But during a drive across Saskatchewan, he became enchanted with the Prairies, and the investment possibilities of farmland. He took the plunge a year ago, putting down $1.5-million to buy 4,000 acres near Ogema, roughly 115 kilometres south of Regina. Soon he moved to Ogema with his wife Linda, daughters Jennifer and Angela, and friend Alice Jin, who was so new to Canada she had notes with English words plastered around her apartment in Regina. Ms. Jin bought the Rolling Hills Restaurant while the Zous became farmers.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/seed-capital-how-immigrants-are-reshaping-saskatchewans-farmland/article4610589/

Four Steps to a More Diverse Corporate Board (Huffington Post)
The number one issue in corporate governance is the diversification of boards. Despite their claims otherwise, corporations are not doing a good job with diversifying boards. Boards are a self-selected and homogenous group. Nomination committees prefer people who are known to them or are drawn from within existing contacts. Furthermore, lack of turnover on boards slows any diversity initiatives. Furthermore, as a Spencer Stuart survey discovered, two thirds of corporate directors stated that they are challenged with “balancing all the interests at hand with those they believe are most important when looking to fill a board seat and responded that there is a lack of qualified candidates.” The results confirm this as the Canadian Board Diversity Council found. Only 150 out of 1000 Canadian companies had any diversity on boards.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/mobileweb/deborah-nixon/diversity-workplace_b_1962374.html

Baffling plea agreement does nothing to help exploited Polish workers (Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal)
It was an illegal scheme, a headline-making immigration fraud that raised public awareness about the plight of temporary foreign workers in Alberta. The victims were three dozen welders from Poland, lured here in 2005 and 2006 by ads in Polish newspapers. They believed they were here on legitimate work visas, to work for Kihew Energy Services, owned by Rev. John Lipinski, a Ukrainian Orthodox priest, and his partner Calvin Steinhauer. But the workers actually arrived on student visas, procured by Paul Myshaniuk, then general manager of the business unit at Lakeland Colleges Strathcona County campus. Kihew paid Lakeland $215,000 creating the false impression the welders were students.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Simons+Baffling+plea+agreement+does+nothing+help+exploited+Polish+workers/7371041/story.html

Fine should go to Polish workers, not college, lawyer says (CBC)
An Edmonton lawyer says the fine paid by a company convicted of immigration fraud should go to the Polish workers who were illegally brought to Canada seven years ago, not to a northern Alberta college. Earlier this week, Kihew Energy Services, a company co-owned by Ukrainian Orthodox priest John Lipinski, pleaded guilty to one count under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The judge fined the company $215,000, which is to be used for foreign worker training at Lakeland College. But Sol Rolingher, the lawyer representing 30 of the workers, believes the college should not accept the cash.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2012/10/12/edmonton-kihew-money-workers.html

B.C.s low-wage migrant coal mining jobs send us back to the future (Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star)
Early on in the 20th century, the silver and gold mines of Northern Ontario imported thousands of foreign workers. The mine owners said they were filling a labour shortage. But their real reason was to keep wages down. So when native-born, anglophone miners went on strike in Cobalt or the Porcupine region, the owners shipped in French-Canadians. And when they went on strike, Finns were brought in and, after them, Ukrainians and Poles and Italians and Englishmen from Cornwall. In every case, the point of the exercise was to bring in workers who were less likely to make common cause with those already there and who, therefore, would be willing to work for less.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1270570–walkom-b-c-s-low-wage-migrant-coal-mining-jobs-send-us-back-to-the-future

“Skills Shortage” Is Code For “Cheap Labour Shortage” (and also we need another head tax). (Canadian Immigration Reform blog)
Continuing on the topic of the skills shortage myth comes this Toronto Star column on the Chinese owned (but Canadian headquartered) Canadian Dehua mining company’s intention to import Chinese miners into north-eastern B.C. to work in the coal mines. The question being raised is are there not enough workers available in Canada right now to necessitate the importation miners from China?
http://canadianimmigrationreform.blogspot.com/2012/10/skills-shortage-is-code-for-cheap.html

Chinese miners raise spectre in Canada (Vancouver Sun)
Canada now has roughly 300,000 temporary foreign workers, about double the number before the Conservatives came to power in 2005. The burst of interest in the arrival of Chinese national coal miners has provoked discussion about whether this trend is something to fear. Specialists agree there will always be a need for a small number of temporary foreign workers, to fill skilled or semi-skilled positions for a short time. Employers often claim they need temporary foreign workers because there is a shortage of Canadians prepared to fill the jobs. But critics say what the employers really mean, in many cases, is there arent enough Canadians to do such work for poor wages and conditions.
http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/10/13/chinese-miners-raise-spectre-in-canada/

Foreign worker program exploitive, dysfunctional and not the ‘Canadian way’ (Medicine Hat News)
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is quickly becoming this generation’s version of the head tax. The only difference is the 21st century version is far more effective in preventing immigration to this country. The “temporary” in the title of this exploitive method of utilizing cheap foreign labour should be noted as it only provides a short-term solution to a looming worker shortage. The program is well utilized to import Filipino long-term care workers, Thai vegetable pickers, Mexican farm labourers and Chinese miners to Canada only to send them on their way once their usefulness is gone.
http://www.medicinehatnews.com/opinions/foreign-worker-program-exploitive-dysfunctional-and-not-the-canadian-way-10132012.html

Speaking notes for the Honourable Diane Finley to announce Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Pilot funding to Supporting Employment and Economic Development (SEED) Winnipeg (Gov of Canada News)
According to the latest census, Canadas population has grown by almost 2 million people since 2006. Over the past 10 years, immigration has accounted for two-thirds of our population growth. By 2031, its estimated that immigrants will account for more than 80 per cent of Canadas overall population growth. And they are moving to cities like Winnipeg for good reasons ? for jobs. This is increasingly significant due to the current needs of Canadas job market.
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do;jsessionid=ac1b105430d89f8c2de55e074cce830587b153c326be.e34Rc3iMbx8Oai0Tbx0SaxmObNr0?mthd=ntnl&crtr.page=2&nid=700599

Loans aim to help immigrants return to skilled fields (CBC)
A new program has been launched to help Manitoba immigrants who were dentists, nurses, engineers or other skilled workers in their home countries get back into their professional fields. The two-year pilot program, Recognition Counts! Micro Loans for Skilled Immigrants, will offer micro loans of up to $10,000 to low-income, skilled immigrants and provide career and financial counselling to help them meet Canada’s re-accreditation and training requirements.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/10/12/mb-micro-loans-immigrants-manitoba.html

Micro-loans coming for Manitoba immigrants (Winnipeg Sun)
Immigrants who were dentists, nurses and engineers will get help to be re-certified and practice their professions in Manitoba, thanks to a new micro-loans program. New Manitobans will be eligible for loans of up to $10,000, with payments as low as $10 a month to start, under Recognition Counts! Micro Loans for Skilled Immigrants, a two-year pilot program.
http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/10/12/micro-loans-coming-for-manitoba-immigrants

Olympics inspires London hotel’s diversity and customer service training programme (David Woods, HR Magazine UK)
This month as HR magazine unveils the results of its Diversity Survey, 2012 one of the main findings to come out of the study was that not enough HR directors are putting strategies in place to attract a diverse customer base. But Nadia Simmonds, HR manager at the Strand Palace Hotel in central London, has put diversity and customer service together in a training package for the hotel’s 250 employees. “Customer service is a key part of training here,” she said. “We deliver in-house disability awareness and have a diversity culture in our training. This has been in our inductions for many years.” But the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games gave the hotel the opportunity to enhance its training, using People 1st’s ‘WorldHost’ training programme. People 1st has secured the licence from the Province of British Columbia, Canada, to deliver a package of customer service training, used to train staff and volunteers at the successful 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1075008/olympics-inspires-london-hotels-diversity-customer-service-training-programme

‘Temporary’ foreign workers likely here to stay, says expert (Peter O’neil, Vancouver Sun)
The hundreds of “temporary” foreign workers coming from China starting this autumn to work in northeastern B.C. coal mines will end up staying for years, if not decades, predicts the president of a B.C.-based employment agency. And some of them may end up getting ripped off and even going home in caskets if the B.C. government doesn’t ensure proper regulation, said Kael Campbell, president of the Red Seal Group, a Victoria firm that helps match companies with skilled trades-people across Canada.
http://www.vancouversun.com/Temporary+foreign+workers+likely+here+stay+says+expert/7390311/story.html

Employers beg for talent (The Province)
Many Canadian employers are struggling to find the right talent for specific jobs amid a growing skills shortage, says Randstad Canada’s latest Global Workmonitor report released recently. The report described Canada’s growing shortage of highly skilled labour as critical and predicted shortages in the manufacturing, automation and energy and utility industries with Calgary one of the regions experiencing this issue. Jan Hein Bax, president of Randstad Canada, said many businesses are experiencing difficulties finding skilled workers to meet their specific needs.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Employers+talent/7362899/story.html

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Monday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Casino, Urban Planning, TDSB and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/10/15/mondays-headlines-253/

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

The awful truth about social programs (Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail)
The evidence to date such as it is suggests that many, perhaps most, social programs do not make a difference, except to the legions of administrators and social workers who are directly and indirectly employed in delivering them. This is not a conservative conclusion. It is the conclusion of independent groups such as the Brookings Institution (a non-partisan think tank) and the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, which are part of a growing movement to make social spending more accountable.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/margaret-wente-the-awful-truth-about-social-programs/article4610262/

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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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Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 12, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY When was the last time you thought about what it means to be Canadian? (Gillian Hewitt Smith,...

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