Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 2, 2012


Toronto a divided city; second-generation immigrants feel left out (Toronto Star)
Since 2001, the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) has been reporting on Toronto’s vital signs, an annual check-up that spots trends, celebrates progress and issues alerts and challenges to improve how Toronto works for its citizens. Trends are often difficult to spot when viewed in 12-month increments. And scientific data often trails reality experienced on the street. Such is the case with one of the talking points accompanying the 2012 edition of Vital Signs, just released. Rahul Bhardwaj, CEO and president of the TCF, is more than a little anxious about moving Toronto towards an embrace, not simply an accommodation, of newcomers.–toronto-a-divided-city-second-generation-immigrants-feel-left-out

Unlocking Auckland’s Diversity (Cities of Migration)
In November 2010, the new City of Auckland emerged as seven authorities from the greater metropolitan area were consolidated into one unitary body, the Auckland Council, making it the largest local government reform in Australasia. These sweeping changes are grounded in the Mayor’s vision of Auckland moving up in the ranks of the world’s Top 10 Most Liveable Cities — and in the hearts of all Aucklanders. A large part of Auckland’s liveability is its diversity: 37% of Aucklanders and 46% of its working age population were born overseas. The city is the gateway to New Zealand and the place where most international newcomers, both immigrants and refugees, settle. The “world” at Auckland’s door has propelled the settlement and diversity agenda and its impact on the economy to the fore.

The Past, Present and Future of Racism in Toronto (Ethnic Aisle)
This week at the Ethnic Aisle, we’re exploring the past, present and future of racism in Toronto. Racism was and is part of Toronto. Moreover, our racism is evolving. This isn’t a value judgment so much as an observation: as the city changes, so too do our experiences with prejudice, both systemic and personal.

New “Welcome to Ontario” Kiosk Locations (OCASI)
There are 51 kiosks situated in schools, CIC offices, Newcomer Welcome Centres, Service Canada Centres, City of Toronto sites, and Settlement Agencies across Ontario.

For jobless youth, Canada’s search for skilled immigrants may sting (Gordon Isfeld, Financial Post)
“All the research, all of our studies and data, indicate younger immigrants do much better over their lifetime in Canada than those who come later in life. Which stands to reason,” Mr. Kenney said in an interview. “They’re more flexible, they learn the language more quickly. And so, we’re just following the data which shows us they’re more likely to succeed and contribute more in terms of taxes paid [and] wealth created. The central idea of our economic immigration reforms is to much better connect immigrants with the jobs that are available in the Canadian economy.” Trouble is, critics say, these changes are sure to aggravate the already-troubling unemployment problem for Canada’s existing youths. The target age group, for one thing, overlaps a significant portion of the country’s most desperate jobseekers — those between 15 and 24 — who account for more than one-third of all unemployed Canadians.

Opinion: Use existing residents to deal with Canada’s labour demand (Martin Collacot, Vancouver Sun)
According to the report, various native leaders have recently expressed concern over the impact that Canada’s high immigration levels (around a quarter of a million people a year) and recently expanded temporary foreign workers program (about 300,000 are now in the country) are having on potential native employment. This summer, for example, Betty Ann Lavallee, the national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples — which represents urban natives — said Canada needs to train and employ aboriginal youth, not bring in foreign help.

Bridging Diversity (Community Living Toronto)
Our vision for society is one where everyone belongs and we help each other reach for our dreams. In order to meet this vision, Community Living Toronto is committed to supporting diverse populations, attracting and retaining a diverse workforce, building and strengthening partnerships and fostering an environment free of discrimination and harassment in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. In doing so, we ensure that diverse communities are actively and meaningfully contributing to our organization.

Phone Interpretation (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Dr. Samir Sinha. He is the Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and the University Health Network hospitals.

The Somali Community of Windsor Providing Positive Change to Our West-End Community (Fabio Costante, Windsor Star)
As you may already know, many of our new immigrants reside in the west-end. They come from all walks of life and bring with them unimaginable experiences. Initially faced with a variety of struggles, many of these individuals ultimately succeed and provide a better life for themselves and their families in their newfound place. Notwithstanding the services that currently exist for newcomers in the west-end, the intent of this article is to simply build awareness around one community prevalent in the area and outline opportunities that could be sought to better meet the needs of its newcomer population.

Canada probes citizenship fraud in Middle East (Gulf News)
Dubai: Several hundred UAE residents who may have obtained Canadian citizenship fraudulently are to be stripped of their second passport, Gulf News has learnt. Ottawa believes that some 3,100 citizens, most from the Middle East or Gulf countries, have wrongly been granted citizenship because they gave inaccurate or fraudulent information about residency.

Are ‘fat and happy’ Canadians too chicken to invest in growth and innovation? (Dan Ovsey, Financial Post)
One of Canada’s saving graces may be its imminent influx of immigrants, many of which come from more risk-tolerant cultures. Yet, what remains to be seen is whether or not those immigrants influence Canada’s overwhelmingly risk-averse culture to be more risk tolerant, or if they will simply assimilate to Canadian complacency. “There are some amazing Indian [immigrant] success stories,” says Mr. Paradis. “But then there are those who just open a little store and do well for themselves and then start thinking about putting kids through school and buying a bigger house or sending money back home, and they lose that entrepreneurial spirit.”

Important Updates on the Federal Skilled Worker Backlog Court Case (Canada Immigration Newsletter)
As many readers of CIC News are aware, recent changes to Canada’s immigration legislation have called for the closure of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) files submitted before February 28, 2008. Campbell Cohen law firm has been at the forefront of challenging the legality of these changes. Currently, Campbell Cohen is representing 897 pre-February 2008 applicants and their dependents, and along with other lawyers has brought this issue before the Federal Court of Canada.

Proposed deportation law under fire (Tom Godfrey, Sault Star)
The federal government is plowing ahead with a controversial U.S.-style “one strike and you’re out” deportation policy that has drawn fire from immigration lawyers and others who work with newcomers. If passed, the proposed bill — brought to Parliament last week by Immigration Minister Jason Kenney — will force the deportation of non-Canadians who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to six months or more in jail.

Share Thanksgiving
Want to make your Thanksgiving even more special this year? What about sharing your Thanksgiving Dinner with a new Canadian family? Thanksgiving Dinner is a classic Canadian tradition where we celebrate the abundance in our lives. Imagine what it would mean for a new Canadian family to be welcomed into your home to share this tradition. Share-Thanksgiving-Dinner is a volunteer-run service to help make these meaningful connections happen!


Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 7 #6, 1 October 2012 (CCR)
Changes to the refugee system: Bar on presenting new evidence (Pre-Removal Risk Assessment) is being felt
What the Supreme Court ruling on public interest cases means for refugees and immigrants
Made in Canada: The CCR welcomes report on migrant workers’ insecurity
Register now! CCR Fall Consultation, Toronto, 29 November – 1 December 2012
Become a CCR Youth Ambassador! Apply by 8 October
Upcoming CCR webinars

Citizenship language requirements mean extra burdens for refugees (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees today expressed its concern that the new citizenship language requirements will place additional burdens on refugees and other vulnerable newcomers. Starting November 1, applicants for citizenship will have to provide proof of their English or French skills, at their own expense. Currently the Government of Canada assesses applicants’ language competencies.


SPECIAL REPORT: How to transform Hamilton (Hamilton Spectator)
Look, most of us are aware that poverty remains a huge problem in Hamilton, particularly in the lower inner city. We’d all like to see a solution. No one is pro-poverty. But it’s a tricky subject. The discussion about poverty makes people uncomfortable — it even makes people feel guilty. It’s easy to see it as someone else’s problem, or at the very least, a problem so entrenched that a solution seems beyond reach.–special-report-how-to-transform-hamilton


New Resources Support Employers in Assessing the Value of Immigrant Talent (IECBC)
Two new workshops and an immigrant resume assessment tool called the New Canadian Assessment Tool jointly developed by IEC-BC and the BC Human Resources Management Association (BC HRMA) are highlighted in the fall issue of the BC HMRA magazine, People Talk. The resources support hiring managers and HR practitioners in understanding how to overcome common challenges in recruiting skilled immigrants and in finding the immigrant integration strategies that will work for their organization.

The TRIEC Campus Roadshow: Peel Region (TRIEC and HRPA Peel Chapter)
On Thursday, November 22, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) in partnership with the HRPA Peel Chapter invites you to attend the launching of the TRIEC Campus.

City recognizes five immigrant entrepreneurs (580 CFRA News Talk Radio)
The first annual Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards were handed out this morning to five local business people. The ceremony was part of the city’s first immigration forum, organized by the Ottawa Local Immigrant Partnership. The event is held to showcase the benefits immigrants bring to the city and discuss how successfully immigrants are integrating into our community.


Tuesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Transit, City Hall, TDSB, Mirvish/Gehry and Other News.

Vital Signs Toronto (Special Section, Toronto Star)
The Toronto Community Foundation issues its annual Vital Signs report, a check up on the city’s social, economic and civic health.

Vital Signs 2012: Toronto (CharityVillage)
So what does the report tell us about the state of Canada’s largest city? A blend of progress, opportunity and indisputable challenges, Toronto seems to stand at a crossroads. On the one hand, data indicates that by the end of 2011, Toronto’s economic momentum was at its highest level in ten years, with 189 high-rise developments under construction at the start of 2012 (versus 97 the year before) and personal bankruptcies at their lowest since 2000.

Toronto’s neighbourhood need effective leaders (Toronto Star)
Growing up in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood gave Tamara Balan an education in urban change. The area, centred on the Keele-Dundas intersection, was rapidly gentrifying. Hip restaurants, bars and art galleries sprouted in the dishevelled former manufacturing and meat-packing hub. Balan experienced the transformation first-hand, as well as its impact on residents and community life. “I saw how neighbourhoods can change, the benefits and challenges.” That sparked a passionate interest, which led to a degree in urban studies and political science from the University of Toronto, a job with the Canadian Urban Institute, and her current work with the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.–toronto-s-neighbourhood-need-effective-leaders

Toronto Chief Planner Launches New Blog (Toronto Standard)
“Welcome to my new blog, Own Your City. Own Your City is an invitation, to you. It’s a request for your presence, for your participation, in taking ownership over the city that you call home.” She goes on to say, “[Own
Your City] will provide a different layer of insight and perspective, and at times respond to media, current issues, and your postings.” On her second post, “Toronto is not a stop over,” readers can get a taste of some of the issues Keesmaat hopes to address with the blog: “Many of our walkable neighbourhoods with avenues, main streets or other retail areas make it possible to shop, go to the doctor, attend an event — all on foot. Having worked over the past decade in municipalities across Canada and beyond, I can assure you, this is the exception, and not the norm” — the city’s walkability is an issue that was examined at length.


Vital Signs Canada
National and City findings for 2012. Find all the reports here.

Vital Signs 2012: Halifax (CharityVillage)
Today the CFNS releases their fourth Vital Signs report, an annual check up that measures the vitality of communities, gathering and publishing data on social and economic trends and making recommendations in critical areas. This report is the first to focus on the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), the largest municipal region in Atlantic Canada and economic driver of the province of Nova Scotia. While the report examines 12 different but interconnected issue areas that are critical to the well being of the HRM and its residents, we highlight three key areas here.

Vital Signs 2012: Montreal (CharityVillage)
Montreal’s Vital Signs report touches on a number of important issues, highlighting both new and ongoing concerns in the city. A huge takeaway from the report, and a reality that sets the city apart within Canada, is that Greater Montreal has the highest poverty rate in the country. In 2010, 14% of residents were living in poverty, compared to 9% in Canada overall. The report tells us that, while employment numbers have grown in Canada from 2010 to 2011 (by 1.6%), during this same period Greater Montreal experienced a decline in employment of 1.1%. The problem is accentuated among youth, and job losses have been greatest in the area’s North and South shore communities.

Vital Signs 2012: Calgary (CharityVillage)
The purpose of the 2012 Calgary Vital Signs report is twofold: to ask Calgarians to grade their quality of life, and to publish indicators and trends in the key issue areas that have been graded. Now in its sixth year, the Vital Signs report shows steady optimism about life in Calgary: 90% describe themselves as happy, 89% are surrounded by loving family, companions and friends, and 73% feel optimistic that Calgary is a good place to raise children now and in the future. If it is true that the mayor sets the tone for the city, some of Calgary’s high spirits could be a reflection of its ebullient, social media savvy mayor, Naheed Nenshi. Calgary Foundation VP Communications Kerry Longpre noted, “We’ve elected an optimistic, outgoing, visionary mayor” who has certainly impacted the civic attitude with such initiatives as 3 things for Calgary, a “better your city” project. Overall, Calgarians rated their quality of life at a B+, leading the report authors to note, “We’re good, but how can we be great?” Three of the Vital Signs categories that might have the greatest daily impact on Calgarians are finances, housing and transportation. It is in these areas that some curious contradictions emerge.

J.W. McConnell Family Foundation announces community service learning awards (Charity Village)
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is now accepting submissions for the 2012 Community Service Learning (CSL) Awards competition. CSL is a model of experiential learning that combines classroom learning with volunteer work to achieve community goals and instill in students a sense of civic engagement. The awards recognize successful community initiatives supported by robust community service-learning programs and highlight innovative approaches that have — and will continue to — transform relationships, structures, policies, and/or mainstream practices. A total of $30,000 is available for up to four awards of $7,500 each. Community organizations and post-secondary institutions are invited to jointly submit an application by January 31, 2013. Award winners will be announced in June 2013.

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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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