Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 23, 2012


Let your light shine (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
In recent years, many organizations have been focusing on the knowledge they have developed and accumulated over the years, often being surprised by how much they actually know. And once they have discovered that, they have become interested in sharing that knowledge with others. The value of this sharing is immense: it shortens the start-up time for people wanting to do similar work; it equally shares successes and failures, so helps others avoid failing approaches; it strengthens the narrative of how to deal with issues and problems, which raises general awareness and support; and it inspires people to take on big problems with confidence that solutions are at hand, and that they are not alone in the struggle to succeed. In early October, Maytree, along with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group, hosted delegates from 20 international cities in Toronto to learn more about the DiverseCity onBoard program and how to adapt it to their city context.

The effects of precarious legal status on immigrants economic outcomes are long lasting (Luin Goldring and Patricia Landolt, IRPP)
The incorporation of immigrants into Canadian economic life is a complex process with longterm consequences for immigrant workers, their families and Canadian society as a whole. This study calls for a reframing of the study of immigrant economic incorporation to pay closer attention to the relationship between migration status, legal status trajectories and employment outcomes, measured by job quality and not just by employment rates and earnings. Luin Goldring and Patricia Landolts conceptual framework redefines the migrant labour force to include permanent and temporary workers. It also recognizes that there are various legal status pathways that lead to migrants long-term settlement in Canada. The authors use their original Index of Precarious Work to measure economic incorporation in terms of job quality, and they consider migrants legal status as an explanatory factor. Tracking job quality and changes in legal status over time allows for an analysis of the effects of policy and labour market dynamics on newcomers.

Census 2011 release on languages: is multiculturalism stifling bilingualism? (Heather Scoffield, Vancouver Sun)
Have the two forces that have defined Canadian culture for the past 40 years multiculturalism and bilingualism turned on each other? The final release of 2011 census data this week will offer Canadians some insight into the answer. On Wednesday, Statistics Canada will publish language data showing how many people speak English, how many speak French, and how many speak a myriad of other languages a consequence of increasingly diverse immigration.

Allophones on the cusp of outnumbering francophones in Canada (Globe and Mail)
Canada is on the cusp of a historic shift, the day when allophones those with neither English nor French as a mother tongue surpass the number of francophones. The tally is expected to be very close when census numbers on language are released on Wednesday. With the proportion of allophones growing and that of francophones dropping, the trend is clear. The new figures will be seen as a watershed for a country in which so many institutions particularly official bilingualism are based on the historic dominance of French and English.

As Jamaican PM visits, Harper speaks of crime and community (Globe and Mail)
Stephen Harper is marking a visit of Jamaicas Prime Minister by reaching out to the diaspora in Canada: He spoke out Monday against linking Toronto gun crime to the citys Jamaican-Canadian community. Mr. Harper pulled out all the diplomatic stops in Ottawa to welcome his Jamaican counterpart, Portia Simpson Miller, including a 19-gun salute and a walk down Parliaments Hall of Honour, before they flew together to Toronto for a reception there. But this piece of personal diplomacy with a foreign leader was conducted with one eye to a constituency here the more than 230,000 Canadians of Jamaican origin, largely concentrated in Toronto.

Canada-Jamaica Joint Statement issued on the occasion of the visit to Canada by the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller Prime Minister of Jamaica and on the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and Jamaica (Gov of Canada News)
At the invitation of Canadian Prime Minister the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller is making an Official Visit to Canada from October 21 to 26. The Jamaican Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, QC and other senior Government officials. The visit provides an opportunity to express their best wishes on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between Canada and Jamaica. Prime Minister Harper also used the occasion to offer congratulations, on behalf of the people of Canada, to Prime Minister Simpson Miller and the People of Jamaica, on Jamaica’s attainment of fifty years of independence.

Parental Concern Over Regulation Allowing Religious Materials to be Distributed in Chilliwack Schools (Kayla Strong, CCLA)
The Chilliwack times and Vancouver Sun are reporting on the distribution of religious materials under School District No. 3 Administrative Regulation 518 (SD33). The issue arose when a local Chilliwack parent launched a complaint with the District Parent Advisory Council President after his daughter came home with an informational brochure from Giddeon International, that doubles as a parental consent form, to receive a free copy of the Giddeon Youth Testament. The brochure is alleged to be a form of religious marketing material and as providing preferential access to Christian marketing.

Immigration: New citizens improve Canada and benefit the economy (David Kilgour, Yahoo! News)
Attitudes are quite different in Canada, where we have had one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world over the past 20 years. During this period, we accepted about 250,000 permanent immigrants each year. By 2031, almost half of our population over the age of 15 is expected to be either foreign-born or have at least one foreign-born parent. The non-European-origin communities will double and make up the majority of the population in our larger cities, particularly Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. A study by Jeffrey Reitz for the independent Institute for Research on Public Policy last year found that majority support nationally for high levels of immigration is continuing. The view is under-girded by widespread pride in multiculturalism and a conviction that newcomers benefit the economy.

5 Diversity Thought Leaders You Should Be Following on Twitter in 2012 (Diversity Best Practices)
Twitter’s power as a communications tool is constantly increasing. If your experience watching the 2012 Olympics has been spoiled by stumbling across the tweeted result of a yet-to-be-aired event, youve experienced this power first hand. Theres a growing number of diversity thought leaders who are leveraging the power of the tweet to share best practices and new thinking about workforce diversity and inclusion. Last year, Diversity Best Practices released its inaugural list of 5 Diversity Thought Leaders You Should Be Following on Twitter. Weve identified five more for 2012.

Toronto Lawyer Joins Diversity Program (Law Times News)
Baker & McKenzie LLP partner Donna Walwyn is the first Canadian participant in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversitys fellows program. The council, a U.S. organization involving top general counsel and managing partners, launched the fellows program as a structured mentoring effort aimed at identifying high-potential lawyers from diverse backgrounds. The goal is to encourage a diverse generation of promising lawyers with strong leadership and relationship skills and a commitment to diversity at their firms and within the profession. We are proud to have Donna represent our office and our firm in the prestigious LCLD program, said Kevin Coon, managing partner of Baker & McKenzies Toronto offic

Award-winning B.C. programs champion multiculturalism (First Perspective)
Two unique B.C. programs were honoured at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Awards of Excellence in Halifax last week for their work in promoting multiculturalism and challenging racism. The B.C. Hate Crimes Team (BCHCT) is the only provincial program of its kind in Canada. It was recognized for its outstanding work in challenging racism and hate crimes through the creation of a more collaborative and integrated approach, which draws on the skills, experience and best practices of experts from legal services, policing agencies, victim services, community development and engagement workers, and anti-racism educators.

Canada Think Tank highlights board diversity (Matthew Scott, Corporate Secretary)
Corporate Secretary held its Canada Think Tank 2012 at the TMX Broadcast Center in Toronto last week, and a number of key takeaways came out of the full day of panel discussions and peer-to-peer networking with corporate secretaries and governance professionals. For a full write-up covering the entire day of panels and networking discussion, check the Corporate Secretary website in November. Picking up on the move toward diversity gaining strength in the US and Canada, the morning panel, Mandatory quotas in the boardroom & the corporate secretarys role in promoting boardroom diversity offered participants the following advice…

Customizing advice for newcomers (Dwarka Lakhan, Investment Executive)
IF YOU ARE HOPING TO expand your practice to include newcomers, a good place to start is by becoming familiar with the growing array of services now available just for them. Banks are leading the way with services and products ranging from no-fee chequing accounts to specialized consulting services. When assessing the immediate needs of your newcomer clients, the first step is to get a picture of their individual level of preparedness.

Students Beat CBC Journalists in the Are You Smarter than a 10th Grader? Citizenship Challenge (CIC)
Grade 10 students brought Citizenship Week 2012 to a close this morning by beating two CBC journalists in an interactive game show quiz that pitted their knowledge of Canadian citizenship and history against the knowledge of two well-known Parliamentary Press Gallery members. The event, hosted by the Historica-Dominion Institute, challenged CBC Inside Politics journalists Kady OMalley and Laura Payton to match wits with students from Immaculata High School at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

The Ties That Bind: Building the CPR, Building a Place in Canada (Multicultural History Society of Ontario)
The Ties That Bind: Building the CPR, Building a Place in Canada examines the struggle of the Chinese Canadian community to establish an identity and roots in Canada. Through archival evidence and research of the men who came from China to build the transcontinental railroad in the 1880s, and the use of oral testimony of their descendants, The Ties That Bind preserves a seldom told part of Canada’s history. The online virtual exhibit explores the history of the Chinese Canadians from their presence in Canada before Confederation and during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, through more than 60 years of legislated discrimination under the Head Tax and Exclusion Act, to the present.

New Voices – Summer 2012 (Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto)
Summer 2012 issue of New Voices magazine.


Webinar – After Bill C-31: Changes to humanitarian and compassionate applications (CCR)
This webinar is for anyone interested in learning about the new rules for applying for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds after Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, received Royal Assent in June 2012. Laïla Demirdache and Heather Neufeld, immigration and refugee lawyers… Oct 29.

Refugees work hard (Sarah Scarff, Leader Post)
I am an English-as-an-additional-language teacher in Regina, working with refugee populations. I consider them one of the best parts of my life. Refugees bring culture to our society, opening up the minds of our people. Refugees contribute to the economy. Though the government does support newly arrived refugees in many ways, some of that support is a loan – a burden they take seriously. After settling into society, refugees work hard, usually in jobs that Canadians do not wish to take. I have had many students who worked full time while attending school full time. Refugees strive to become contributing members of Canadian society. Isn’t it Premier Brad Wall’s goal to soon have 1.2 million people in Saskatchewan in order to have our society thrive? Canadian people are not having many children. In order to grow, we need refugees.

Eritreans still tapped for tax, refugee says (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
Eritrea promised Ottawa it would stop, but Winnipeggers say they’re still being shaken down to pay a two per cent tax to a regime they fled. Last month, the Canadian government threatened to expel Eritrea’s consul if the country continued to collect a two per cent tax on Eritreans living in Canada. Canada adopted United Nations sanctions to stop the flow of money to Eritrean defence forces linked to terrorist groups. Eritrea agreed to stop collecting the diaspora tax from Canadians. But members of the Eritrean community in Winnipeg say they were told at a closed meeting recently they still have to pay it, just not through local channels.

Changes to refugee health care and immigration policy: a session for service providers (Social Planning Toronto)
An informal discussion with community workers, health providers and refugee lawyers. Learn about provisions in Bill C-31 and changes to refugee health care. Share information and collaborate to improve conditions. November 9th, 10:00 am 12:30 pm.

Petition: Health professionals demand Ontario government provide health care for those seeking refuge (Health for All)
Ontario, too, could follow the lead of Manitoba and Quebec in providing health coverage that was once available and it could further pressure the Federal government to reverse the cuts. This sends the message that despite the actions of the Conservative government, Ontario supports the rights of all those seeking refuge to live with health and dignity. It would also be in line with evidence that suggests treating health through primary care in the community is less expensive than treating the resultant emergencies in hospitals. We strongly encourage you to make the socially responsible decision and fully fund healthcare for all those seeking refuge in Ontario.

Biased immigration officials kept Libyan torture victim from returning to Canada (Toronto Star)
Canadian immigration officials showed a troubling level of bias when they prevented the return to Canada of a torture victim and his family on humanitarian grounds, the Federal Court has ruled. In a ruling released Monday, Justice Mary Gleason slammed Canadian visa officials in the Rome embassy for their lack of objectivity. She ordered that a different visa office review the case within 90 days and awarded the claimant, former Mississauga resident Adel Benhmuda, $5,000 in court costs. Its a rare ruling that takes aim at what some lawyers describe as an all-too-common attitude, one that robs too many asylum seekers of a fair hearing.—biased-immigration-officials-kept-libyan-torture-victim-from-returning-to-canada


Smith apologizes for tweet on handing out beef to poor (Darcy Henton, Bryan Weismiller, Calgary Herald)
Danielle Smith says she made a mistake suggesting in a weekend tweet that XL Foods meat should have been delivered to Albertas poor rather than tossed into a landfill. But the Wildrose leader says she misjudged the publics lack of understanding and awareness that 5.5-million kilograms of XL Foods beef had passed inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and could be safely consumed. I would have to say that if you cant explain something in 140 characters you shouldnt try to talk about it on Twitter, Smith told reporters at the legislature Monday. I have learned a lesson there. It was a mistake to re-tweet it quite obviously when you look at the reaction of the public.

Equity in Action: Planning Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Programs for Marginalized Communities (Canadian Mental Health Association)
Explore the intersection(s) of equity and anti-racism with physical activity, healthy eating, and mental health. This forum is intended for decision makers, program managers and frontline workers in community agencies serving marginalized communities, including leaders in the mental health, settlement, nutrition, and physical activity sectors. Nov 20.


Meeting the Demand for Skilled Talent: BC Employer Solutions (IECBC)
BC is facing a looming skills shortage and skilled immigrants will be crucial to filling the gap. This 5-minute video frames the labour skills challenges facing employers today and highlights solutions from a small and medium-size employer who have successfully recruited and retained skilled immigrant talent to meet their labour demands. The video is part of IEC-BCs focus to provide employers with knowledge and tools on how to attract and retain skilled talent.

Good News Report (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Michael Hlinka. He is our business commentator on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Recognition Counts-Micro Loans for the skilled Immigrants (Briefing Wire)
Manitoba offers Micro Loans to Skilled Immigrants to meet their re-accreditation and training requirements in an attempt to make them settle down faster. Recognition, a pilot program would be for theduration of two years and will extend loans up to $10,000 to the skilled Immigrants. Supporting Employment and Economic Development (SEED) Winnipeg services will be used to apply for the loans and make financial plannings along with chalking out the career plan. The program will be extended to immigrants of various professions like dentists, engineers, nurses and even drivers.

B.C. government investigates claims by Chinese recruiters looking for miners (Jeremy Nuttall, Vancouver Sun)
The provincial government is investigating after the B.C. Federation of Labour complained an employment agency has been advertising for Canadian jobs, offering miners in China a chance to work here in exchange for exorbitant recruitment fees. The investigation was launched because it is against the Employment Standards Act to charge a foreign worker a fee for information about employment or help them find a job in the province. Workers also cannot be forced to pay back any costs associated with recruitment to the company or agency. “It is a serious allegation,” said Jobs Minister Pat Bell of a news release issued by Jim Sinclair, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour.

Score Manitoba nominee program as silver, not gold (R. Reis Pagtakhan, Winnipeg Free Press)
Last month, the Free Press published an article (Is Manitoba’s immigration ‘success’ worth crowing over?) that indicated our immigration program is failing. But is it? A closer look at the program reveals that while it is not perfect, it has generally been a success for Manitoba businesses, families and immigrants who move here. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, designed to allow Manitoba to select desirable immigrants, has been adapted by virtually all Canadian provinces and territories. The main criticisms of the program revolve around the income levels of Manitoba immigrants. In one study, it was found that, from 2005 to 2009, the average employment income of Manitoba immigrants was lower than in other western provinces and did not keep pace with average employment earnings for non-immigrants.


Tuesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Rob Ford, TTC, Gardiner, Health and Other News.

What Toronto Needs Now: Richard Florida offers a manifesto for a new model of leadership (Richard Florida, Toronto Life)
Over the years, the federal government and provinces have downloaded many costs and obligations to the cities, but little authority. As the philanthropist and Maytree Foundation chair Alan Broadbent has pointed out, Canadas cities essentially rely on the kindness of strangers, notably the provincial and federal governments. This, he suggests, leaves cities with essentially no control over their destinies. Canadas cities need to become more like provinceswith real power and real revenue to solve their problems and build their economies.

Video: Highlights from CivicAction’s Regional Transportation Media Briefing (October 10, 2012) (Civic Action)
Whether people drive, take transit, cycle or walk, one thing is clearquality of life in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is suffering due to our outdated transportation system. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can do something to make it so much better.It’s time to change the conversation from what’s wrong with the system to what’s possible.


Five Good Ideas: Social Media for Non-Profits (Bhupesh Shah, Maytree)
Social media is the shiny new toy that everyone seems to love but few have figured out how to play with safely. Even fewer know whether its worth the investment. However, not playing with this toy could have a negative effect on your brand. Getting your non-profit message retweeted or having numerous Facebook likes is one aspect of social media but how can it be effectively used across functional areas within your non-profit? Who are the innovative users of social media? How can non-profits learn from for-profit approaches? In this session, Bhupesh addressed these questions and shared insights on the whys and hows of curation, challenges of using social media, and current and future trends.

Behind the headlines: How to get your nonprofit in the news (Charity Village)
The story made headlines across the country: low literacy rates affect access to justice in family courts as the number of people acting as their own lawyer increases. Lawyer and freelance journalist Valerie Mutton originally wrote the story for The Lawyers Weekly after winning ABCs Peter Gzowski Life Literacy Fellowship, a research grant of $3,000 to write about adult literacy in Canada. Then Canadian Press picked up the story, and it spread. Its a story that may not have been told without the media fellowship, says Nikki Luscombe, ABC Life Literacy Canadas communications manager.

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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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