Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 19, 2012


Less Access to Citizenship Means a Worse-Off Canada (Naomi Alboim, Huffington Post)
Canada’s immigration selection system has always been rigorous, in part because we have viewed immigrants as “citizens in waiting.” After three years of permanent residence, they are able to apply for citizenship and more than 89 per cent choose to do so, one of the highest naturalization rates in the world. But, recent and proposed changes to Canada’s immigration and citizenship rules are making it much more difficult for immigrants to become citizens.

Shaping the Future: Canadas Rapidly Changing Immigration Policies (hireimmigrants)
In this new Maytree report, Naomi Alboim and Karen Cohl describe how from 2008 to July 1, 2012, the federal government has made changes to every aspect of immigration policy, including the way in which reform is undertaken. The changes could have a dramatic impact on both the social and economic fabric of Canada and how the country is perceived by potential immigrants from around the world.

The paradox of immigration (Janet French, Star Phoenix)
The Social Science Research Laboratory at the University of Saskatchewan – the only facility of its kind in Canada – created the Taking the Pulse survey in its group analysis lab, which includes multiple departments from across the faculty of arts and sciences. Its survey found an overwhelming majority of Saskatchewan residents think their province is a welcoming place for newcomers. In the same breath, many people say immigration levels are too high. The more urban areas would like to see more immigration than other parts of the province. We share the personal story of an immigrant and her experience of being welcomed to Canada.

Canada to deport family of trafficking-ring victim (Globe and Mail)
After escaping the largest human-trafficking ring in Canadian history, Tibor Baranyai could have quietly returned to his native Hungary. Instead, he chose to help police and prosecutors take down the criminal organization that forced him to work as a virtual slave on construction sites. But the 44-year-olds decision came at a price. He can never go home again the gang he helped dismantle in Canada is still active in Hungary. He suffers anxiety and insomnia and has heart trouble. The mental stress is so great, he says, that he cant hold down a job. And now, his wife and stepdaughter are to be deported to Hungary. They say they have been ordered to leave Canada on Friday.

Toronto committee to look at licensing hookah establishments (Globe and Mail)
Health concerns about non-tobacco water pipe smoking in Torontos hookah establishments have led city licensing staff to pursue regulations. Cleaning and sanitizing measures, a ban on entry by minors and efforts to control air quality are among proposed new rules in a report going before the licensing committee Friday. Hookah, also known as shisha, narghile or goza, comes in either tobacco or herbal form and is smoked through a water pipe that heats the substance with charcoal and cools the smoke in a water chamber before it is inhaled through a hose and mouthpiece.

Air travellers to Canada from exempt countries to require electronic visas (Tobi Cohen, Vancouver Sun)
Visitors to Canada from visa exempt countries, including those from Europe, will soon have a new hurdle to clear if they want to fly to Canada, according to provisions laid out in the latest budget implementation bill. Part of a commitment Canada made when it signed the perimeter security deal with the United States last year, foreign nationals with the exception of Americans will now have to fill out an online form on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to find out if they have been red flagged for travel. Dubbed an Electronic Travel Authorization, travellers will punch in certain biographical information that can be quickly submitted and scanned.

Metro Morning, live from Cooksville (CBC Metro Morning)
On Thursday the 18th of October, our show came live from Cooksville, where we met recent immigrants who were about to be sworn in as new Canadians. Thanks to Rosemary Stiglic and the staff of TL Kennedy Secondary for welcoming us to your school!

Life Lessons From My Immigrant Parents (Gina Alexandris, Huffington Post)
Like most children, growing up I did not appreciate the tremendous influence that my parents had on shaping my values and beliefs. As an adult currently working with immigrants to Canada, I now realize just how much my parents and their experiences have impacted me.

Bring in the quotas: we need more than talk about women in politics (Ruth Davenport, MetroNews)
It may be time for Canadian jurisdictions to consider gender quotas in order to boost female representation in politics. Left to our own devices, humans arent great about addressing inequality. As Stephen Colbert pointed out this week, thats why Lincoln didnt sign an emancipation suggestion to end slavery. If a system is working for the ruling class, theres little chance theyll take positive action to end it no matter how wrong or oppressive it is.

Jumpstarting Venture Capital in Canada: Is It Possible? (Elisheva Paton, Techvibes)
Here are some of the lessons I learned, some of which may make it difficult to replicate the Israeli success story here in Canada: 1. Attracting highly-skilled, motivated and innovative immigrants is necessary, and the Russian wave of immigration in the early 1990s fit this bill perfectly, and undoubtedly played a key role in the rapid growth of Israeli technology sector. The Russian immigrants were desperate to escape the Russian motherland, and Israel was an attractive destination, as it was handing out generous financial benefits to new immigrants. These immigrants often used Israel as an interim layover, taking advantage of many of these significant initial financial incentives and benefits, en route to their dream destinations of the United States and Canada. At the end of the day, the initial financial incentives were not enough to keep many of these immigrants in Israel, and policies that are not sustained over the long term can create a revolving door of immigrants rather than a sustainable ecosystem.

PQ backtracks on daycare language comments (CBC)
The Parti Québécois is backtracking on a comment mady by one of its cabinet ministers that Bill 101 will be extended to daycare centres. On Thursday, Family Minister Nicole Léger told a reporter a new version of the language law would be applied to daycares. Today, Léger refused to answer any questions after meeting with the Premier and the rest of the cabinet. Diane De Courcy, the language minister, said daycares are an extension of home and one’s mother tongue. Kathleen Weil, a Liberal member of national assembly expressed her opposition and said “why would one want to limit the rights of people to expose their children to different languages?” Critics point out even attempting to impose Bill 101 in daycares would be nearly impossible because they are not classified by language as public schools are.

Barring foreign crackpots is a waste of time and effort (Chris Selley, National Post)
Terry Jones, the mad pyromaniac Floridian pastor, was denied entry into Canada last week. This seems to have been to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenneys liking: In a conference call with reporters this week, he expressed a desire to keep out of Canada those whose hateful attitudes, if given expression in Canada, could potentially lead to hateful actions or violence. In fact, he thinks Pastor Jones rebuff supports his case for a proposed law allowing the Minister himself to deny entry to undesirables on as-yet unspecified public policy grounds. This raises an obvious question: If Mr. Kenney wanted Mr. Jones kept out, and Mr. Jones was kept out, then whats the problem?

Does Saskatchewan put out the welcome mat for immigrants? (CBC)
They come from countries around the world, leaving almost everything they’ve known to start a new life here. But is Saskatchewan a welcoming place to immigrants? According to the University of Saskatchewan’s Saskatchewan either somewhat or strongly believe the province is a welcoming place to new immigrants. Yet for immigrants themselves, it’s a complicated question.

The Ethical Implications of Assisted Migration (CBC The Current)
History shows we have little control of nature once we have changed it and there are often negative and (mostly unintended and unforeseen ) consequences to our meddling with nature in as effort to conserve it. Today, we look at the experiments in assisted migration that raises ethical and moral concerns. And debate how to deal with shifting habitat caused by our changing climate.


Cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program for Refugees: How do they add up? (CCR)
When the government announced massive cuts to refugee healthcare under the IFH program, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney boasted that the cuts would save Canadian taxpayers $100 million over five years. But how do the numbers add up?

Scrutinizing Roma refugee crime brings CBSA agents into touchy territory, but theyd be fools not to investigate (Matt Gurney, National Post)
If youre a Hungarian Roma, youve got to ask yourself one question: When does racial profiling stop working for you and become something you resent? Its a tricky question, brought about by backlash among some refugee law experts and members of Canadas Roma community to a report by the CBC. As revealed by the broadcaster this week, the Canadian Border Services Agency conducted a study last year codenamed Project SARA that tracked Hungarian Roma who had relocated to the greater Toronto area since 2008, when Ottawa lifted the requirement for Hungarian citizens to obtain a visa before travelling to Canada. They were focused on allegations of crime and welfare fraud, and, the report states, there was reason to be concerned.

Video: Up in Arms: Doctors protest for Refugee health care (Global)
They are unlikely protesters doctors unaccustomed to yelling slogans. They say its the biggest, political action in Canadian medical history and theyre up in arms for what they say is a case of pure government bullying of the most vulnerable people in Canadathe refugees seeking asylum here. Carolyn Jarvis reports.

Make good on pledge to help Turkey with Syrian refugees, Conservatives urged (Mike Blanchfield, Ottawa Citizen)
The NDP and Liberals urged the Conservative government Thursday to make good on its pledge to help Turkey foot the bill for the influx of Syrian refugees, which topped 100,000 this week. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird publicly offered Canada’s financial assistance to Turkey almost one month ago when he welcomed his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutolu, to Ottawa. But Canada has yet to offer Turkey any money, acting ambassador Gulcan Akoguz said Thursday.

Protest Against Refugee Health Cuts – Oct 22 (Concerned Students for Refugees and Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care)
We are protesting MP Kelly Block’s inflammatory letter to her constituents. We feel that it is propaganda used to pit Canadians against refugees. It also uses misinformation to polarize Canadians on this issue. As citizens, we expect honesty from our politicians. More importantly, we are protesting the recent cuts to refugee health care. We believe in a Canada that provides health care to even the most vulnerable of the world’s populations – refugees claimants. Join us! Let us stand together as students concerned for refugees! Check back for updates on where we will meet on Monday October 22nd


Housing insecurity and homelessness set to rise in Toronto as funding cut for homelessness prevention and housing programs (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
Big cuts to homelessness prevention and housing programs will lead to an increase in housing insecurity and homelessness in Toronto. On October 5, the Wellesley Institute reported on $22 million in cuts to Toronto housing and homelessness programs mainly due to cuts from the provincial government. The Toronto Star, in a , carried more news on the Ontario cuts to Toronto programs. The Hardship Fund, which provides medical support to some of the poorest and most vulnerable Torontonians, is also back on the chopping block after a one-year reprieve.

Moving made easy (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
After the tragic shooting on Danzig Street, three Toronto Community Housing residents told the media they wanted to move out of the neighbourhood. They could have a long wait. TCHC tenants who want to move (and keep their housing subsidy) must apply to join the Internal Transfer list the list that allows them to move to another TCHC unit. [1] Simply living near a murder site wont put you at the top of that list. Top priority is given to victims of domestic violence. Then come tenants who are over-housed.


Start with Why Hiring Internationally Educated Professionals (Peter Levesque, Knowledge Mobilization)
The Internationally Educated Professionals Conference: Adapting your Career and thriving in Canada Explore Opportunities, Make Connections, Establish Roots brought together employers, new Canadians, resource people, and various community leaders into a forum that discussed a broad range of issues affecting employment of Internationally Education Professionals in Canada. These included: Career convergence; Adjusting to Canadian business culture; Transferable skills; What Canadian employers want; and, a series of combined Francophone sessions.

Too Many People of Color Feel Uncomfortable at Work (Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Harvard Business Review)
“The corporation for me is a theater, and I try to remember to stay in character.” That’s the blunt response from one African-American executive to a dilemma that dogs many people of color in American workplaces: Even as multicultural fluency is increasingly prized in today’s global business environment, the very people who represent that diversity feel shut out. People of color too often feel that they have to hide their true selves at work, according to “Vaulting the Color Bar: How Sponsorship Levers Multicultural Professionals into Leadership,” a new research report from the Center for Talent Innovation. More than 35% of African-Americans and Hispanics, as well as 45% of Asians, say they “need to compromise their authenticity” to conform to their company’s standards of demeanor or style. Forty percent of African-Americans and a third of people of color overall feel like outsiders in their corporate culture, compared with 26% of Caucasians.

Job Skills agency eases way for immigrants (Toronto Star)
Pulling up stakes and moving to the other side of the world can be overwhelming, and asking for help to make the transition easier intimidating. Yianjoo Low knows how it feels. Not that long ago, she and her husband left their comfortable life in Malaysia to start an uncertain one in Canada. There were difficult times and days she questioned the life-changing decision to emigrate. The couple arrived three years ago in Western Canada and in time, moved to the Greater Toronto Area to put down roots. Were it not for the support she received from new friends at her church and Job Skills, a York Region agency, theres no saying where the couple would be today.–job-skills-agency-eases-way-for-immigrants

Justicia for Migrant Workers & Windsor Workers Action Centre welcoming Gueatemalan delegates (OPIRG Windsor)
Justicia for Migrant Workers and the Windsor Workers Action Centre will be welcoming three delegates from Guatemala to Windsor this Sunday, Oct. 21st at 1pm. The delegates are: Jose Sicajau, a former agricultural worker who was expelled and blacklisted from Canada for his advocacy on behalf of a fellow workers safety, who has since formed an advocacy group back in Guatemala; Father Juan Luis Carbajal Tejeda , who works with the migrant community in Guatemala, and who has also worked with seasonal agricultural workers in Ontario and BC; and Diego Lorente, a lawyer who is the Coordinator of Forced Uprooting Program of Project Counseling Service (PCS), an Inter Pares counterpart with offices in Guatemala as well as Peru and Colombia. While in Canada, the delegates will be visiting several cities in order to build relationships with migrant justice groups in Canada and raise awareness of these issues. You can read more about the tour on our associated

Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Canadas Skills Crisis: What We Heard (hireimmigrants)
When it comes to confronting Canadas skills and labour shortages, there are four key priorities, according to a Canadian Chamber of Commerce report, including ensuring immigration policy is aligned with local labour markets and employers needs.

New Immigrant? Meet Small Business (hireimmigrants)
Bridging program at York University focuses on on encouraging small businesses to hire new Canadians.

IEC-BC: Meeting the Demand for Skilled Talent (hireimmigrants)
In this video, Prince George employers, service providers and government agencies talk about their experiences in attracting skilled immigrants to the north of British Columbia.

Clarification on Alberta firm fined under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Calgary Herald)
In a story Oct. 9, The Canadian Press reported on an Alberta firm, Kihew Energy Services Ltd., that had been fined $215,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The story said the company was owned by an Orthodox priest, though it also noted there was more than one owner, including Father John Lipinski. In fact, the agreed statement of facts in the case specified Lipinski was not the majority owner. It said Calvin Steinhaur and John Lipinski are the sole shareholders and directors with Steinhaur being president and holding 51 per cent of the issued shares and Lipinski being vice-president and holding 49 per cent of the issued shares.

Video: Scotiabank on Hiring Skilled Immigrants (ALLIES)
Denis Jackson, Senior Executive with Scotiabank, talks about the importance of Ottawas culturally diverse immigrant talent pool, and how Hire Immigrants Ottawa supports employers leverage the skilled immigrant talent.

Abuse of process to file human rights application after executing a full and final release (Christina Catenacci, First Reference Talks)
I recently read a case where a human rights claim was dismissed. After an employee had signed a full and final release with the employer and then filed a human rights application, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that it amounted to an abuse of process. As the complaint covered the same subject matter as the release, the result was that the human rights claim was dismissed.


Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit, City Hall, Zoo, Gardiner.


Increasing the effectiveness of high-impact initiatives in Toronto through one-time strategic capacity-building grants (Toronto Community Foundation)
Vital Ideas grants are awarded to high-impact programs or organizations that have a solid track record of success making Toronto a better place to live, work, learn and grow. What activities do Vital Ideas grants support? Vital Ideas grants support strategic activities that help make the impact of an already high-impact program or organization more sustainable. The Vital Idea grant is not program funding but is a capacity-building grant to be used to increase the effectiveness of a program or organization and to position it for even greater impact in the future.

Philanthropy in the Age of Networked Intelligence (Don Tapscott, AFP Toronto)
As we enter the networked age philanthropy is going through a profound change. This has big implications for fundraisers and donors alike. In the old model, not-for-profits sought funds from individuals and institutions. Donors were courted and if successfully seduced, they provided funds, and were thanked. But today because of a number of factors, most notability the Internets slashing of transaction and collaboration costs, charities can now build deep relationships with philanthropists. Donors today can become more deeply engaged with causes. All parties become part of a network and therefore can view themselves differently. Donors become more like investors in social innovation, and are looking for a return on their investment. Charities can view themselves as participants in complete networks for solving problems, with more sustainable funding.

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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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