Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 31, 2012


Survey suggests Canadian hearts hardening toward immigrants (Hamilton Spectator)
Canadian hearts are hardening slightly towards the countrys immigrants, particularly when it comes to their impact on the economy, an internal government survey suggests. The latest results of the Citizenship and Immigration tracking survey conducted every year since 1996 to gauge public opinion on immigration suggest that national attitudes toward both the number and the value of Canadian immigrants are shifting. The 2012 survey, obtained under access to information laws, found the number of Canadian respondents who said they felt immigration was having a positive effect on the economy was 56 per cent a decline of 10 percentage points from the 2010 survey.–survey-suggests-canadian-hearts-hardening-toward-immigrants

Ottawa makes more room in immigration quota for fast-growing class (Globe and Mail)
Canada will hold immigration levels steady for the seventh year in a row in 2013, but will make more room within its quota for whats quickly become its fastest-growing category of newcomers. The Canadian Experience Class, launched only a few years ago, represents the future of Canadas immigration system under the Harper government where Ottawa places a hard-nosed emphasis on attracting the best and brightest skilled workers.

Kenney set to release 2013 immigration levels (CBC)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will announce Canada’s 2013 immigration targets today, meeting reporters at 11:30 a.m. ET on Parliament Hill to outline how many people will become permanent residents next year. Canada plans to admit 240,000 to 265,000 new permanent residents in 2013 the same annual target range it has set for immigration since 2007.

Immigrants shafted in coal mine deal (News1130)
The federal government has launched an investigation into the use of foreign workers at a coal mine in northern BC. The move is being welcomed by the BC Federation of Labour, which says the temporary foreign worker program is being abused. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” says BC Fed President Jim Sinclair. “But frankly worried that it’s only the government investigating itself, and we’d prefer to have an independent review.” Sinclair says the Temporary Foreign Worker program is being abused. The jobs being offered are not temporary in nature and there is an alterior motive in play.–immigrants-shafted-in-coal-mine-deal

Film festivals bring cultural diversity to local screens (Vancouver Courier)
If you feel like you let the film-loving part of yourself down by missing the Vancouver International Film Festival, don’t despair. Three film festivals will have you feeling cultured in no time from now until mid November. . South Asian Film Festival, Oct. 31 to Nov. 4

Canadian Centre for Diversity celebrates 65 years (Yonge Street)
The Canadian Centre for Diversity (CCD) has been active for 65 yearsa big feat for a small non-profit. While CCD’s annual fundraisers are always big productions, regularly attracting more than 1,000 attendees, they’re going all out for the November 8 anniversary event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Halloween 101: Avoiding Racist Costumes (Kait Bolongaro, Schema Magazine)
From demonic celebration to kids holiday, Halloween has changed throughout history. It is all about having a party with good friends and great costumes for North American university students, with the trend picking up across Europe and Asia. There are disguises of all kinds, some of them more offending than cool. In 2010, Ohio University student Sarah Williams went to a Halloween party and saw a person in blackface. She was angry and quickly snapped a photo. Williams decided to act with a group of students to do something about racist getups: create a poster campaign to spread awareness about costume choices around their campus.

Montreal Resident Files Complaint of Racial Profiling After Violent Incident with Police (CCLA)
CBC News is reporting a story of Mark Wiles-Simpson, a 19 year-old Montreal resident who claims to have been attacked by four police officers based on racial profiling. Wiles-Simpson claims that while he was on his way to work in Montreals St-Laurent neighbourhood, the police officers stopped him on the street, put him in a choke hold and punched him repeatedly because they suspected him of stealing from a nearby liquor store. Authorities later admitted that Wiles-Simpson was not the man they were looking for, but still charged him with obstruction of justice.

Review Reel Asian 2012 for Schema! (Schema Magazine)
It’s that time of the year, folks! The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival is back and Schema Magazine is recruiting volunteers to write previews, reviews and blog posts from the festival!

Passport images panned for failing to reflect Canadas diversity (Adrian Wyld, Calgary Herald)
The iconic images on Canadas new passports, unveiled with fanfare last week, short-change women and multicultural communities, says a report ordered by Passport Canada. The passport agency hired a survey firm to disaster check more than a dozen of the watermark images on the pages of new passports being introduced next year, to ensure nothing offensive would be released. Eight focus groups assembled in four cities last April found nothing inappropriate or disturbing, but almost all said the choice of images failed to reflect Canadas diversity.

Canadians less enthusiastic about immigrants, survey finds (Fred Chartrand, The Province)
Canadian hearts are hardening slightly towards the country’s immigrants, particularly when it comes to their impact on the economy, an internal government survey suggests. The latest results of the Citizenship and Immigration tracking survey conducted every year since 1996 to gauge public opinion on immigration suggest that national attitudes towards both the number and the value of Canadian immigrants are shifting.

Have fun – eradicate prejudice (Anna Borowiecki, St. Albert Gazette)
For the 19th year the annual Unity in Diversity Celebration Concert at the Arden Theatre will be filled with global colours and accents. It could be said that the concert has its roots as a gathering of many cultures under one roof. But there is also a bigger vision at play. Its to celebrate the diversity of humanity, but also that we are one and we have a lot in common, says St. Albert Bahai committee organizer Renie Zeitz.

Kenney misses Sask.’s reality (Star Phoenix)
For someone who took his high school just 50 kilometres south of Regina, federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney seems to have absorbed little from his Saskatchewan experience. And for someone who has used department officials to pose for citizenship ceremony photos as new Canadians and has shown a penchant to throw vulnerable immigrants as red meat to his party’s conservative base – something so ferociously devoured and disseminated by Saskatoon – Rose-town – Biggar MP Kelly Block in her Thanksgiving week mail-out – Mr. Kenney sure has an odd notion of how to keep politics out of his work. On Tuesday, as he did on Monday, Regina – Wascana Liberal MP Ralph Goodale asked the minister to reconsider deporting two Nigerian students attending the University of Regina for the crime of working two weeks off-campus at a Walmart. “We do have a problem of many foreign students working illegally in Canada,” Mr. Kenney said Monday. “This has been raised with me by Canadians who are concerned that their kids cannot find work while foreign students are taking work illegally.”

FACL Conference 2012 (Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers)
The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers is proud to host its 6th Annual Conference. With the theme, Raising the Bar, the Conference will celebrate the achievements of Asian lawyers who have broken barriers in the past, and also highlight the progress that still needs be made in their quest for advancement: first Asian lawyer in Canada, the breakthrough of Asians in politics, Asians as leaders in public service, Asians in the judiciary. The bar for success was once set at ensuring recognition of our basic human rights and freedoms. Where to now? The time has come to raise the bar even higher: Asian lawyers succeeding at the highest levels of law, public service, politics, and in the business and corporate world.

U of T Study on Local Immigration Partnerships (Settlement AtWork)
The University of Toronto (U of T) has published a study on funding cuts and amalgamations affecting the Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPs), the network of organizations and agencies working together to coordinate settlement services for recent immigrants. The report, entitled Balancing the Budget but Whos Left to Budget the Balance: A Visual Representation of Professional Networks Within Toronto East Local Immigration Partnership, was conducted by the U of T Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work in partnership with consulting firm Meta Strategies and WoodGreen Community Services. The study examined delivery of services for Torontos newcomers in the Toronto East neighbourhood, which includes the eastern portion of the Old City of Toronto and the district formerly known as the City of East York.

Community animators to seek ideas on Thorncliffe Park tower renewal projects (Mike Adler, InsideToronto)
Tower renewal has begun in Thorncliffe Park, Torontos largest welcome mat for new Canadians, but its not clear yet exactly where it will be or how far it can go. Residents and landlords of the aging East York highrise neighbourhood formed working groups last week and, through the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, will hire two community animators to canvass buildings for improvement ideas.–community-animators-to-seek-ideas-on-thorncliffe-park-tower-renewal-projects/

How MBA programs are supporting diversity beyond the classroom (Caitlyn Coverly, Financial Post)
When Federico Ramirez chose to move from his lifelong home in Mexico City to the breezy shores of Vancouver, he did so for two key reasons: the citys multiculturalism and its high quality of living. Now a second-year international MBA student at the University of British Columbias Sauder School of Business, Mr. Ramirez has taken it upon himself to go beyond his programs curriculum and immerse himself in Canadian student life by way of serving as the manager of the schools MBA House a student-run residence and gathering point.

MBA programs leveraging cultural diversity to enhance scholastic experience (Denise Deveau, Financial Post)
Whenever DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University hosts a diversity workshop, seminar or speaking session, it draws a capacity crowd. Usually attendance at our professional development sessions is hit and miss depending on how busy students are, says Dr. Milena Head, acting director, MBA Programs at DeGroote. But if diversity is the focus, we know theres always going to be a full room. Diversity is becoming an integral part of the MBA experience. Whether its baked into the curriculum or part of monthly social networking activities, students and faculty are recognizing the need to see the business world through others eyes.

Graphic Novel Review: Escape to Gold Mountain: A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America by David H.T. Wong (Blog Critics)
Escape to Gold Mountain : A Graphic History of the Chinese in North America by David H.T. Wong is a graphic novel telling the story of the Chinese immigration to the United States and Canada. Mr. Wong is an Asia Canadian activist and an architect in Vancouver.


Tamil asylum-seekers still await decision (Douglas Quan, Vancouver Sun)
More than two years after a boatload of hundreds of asylum-seeking Sri Lankan Tamils arrived on the West Coast – sparking a vow by the Harper government to crack down on what it called immigration “queue jumpers” – the vast majority of the migrants remain in Canada waiting for a decision on their refugee claims. Two have been removed from the country. An update on the status of the migrants was tabled in the House this week by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews in response to a question put to him in June by NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan.

Honouring Mama Hawa (CBC)
We started this segment with the children at the Galkayo Education Centre for Peace and Development in Somalia. If they’re singing with enthusiasm, it’s because they have a lot to be enthusiastic about. The Centre’s founder has won the Nansen Refugee Award by the United Nations High commission for Refugees, recognizing her work on behalf of the forcibly displaced.

Stiff Sentence for immigration fraud (Kevin Engstrom, Winnipeg Sun)
A Winnipeg man who victimized hundreds of foreign nationals hoping to move to this country has received what is believed to be the largest sentence ever handed down against a supposed immigration consultant. Bradley Jacobson, 38, was sentenced this week to four and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to six offences under the Criminal Code and three under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for targeting would-be immigrants from nations such as Nepal, India, and the Philippines.

New students in Canada: Immigration changing Regina classrooms (Adriana Christianson, Newstalk 650)
Imagine coming to a school in a new country where everyone speaks English and you don’t. With the new wave of international immigration to Saskatchewan, the latest census shows that 12 per cent of Regina’s population now names a different language as their mother tongue. These changes are opening up a new world for students and teachers at schools across the city.

Compassion a foreign word to immigration bureaucrats(Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen)
She and her husband of 33 years, Mohammed Elsaraj, are desperately trying to bring to Canada her half-sister, Mona, from Egypt. She is the closest female relative, a homeland soulmate, and would surely boost Magdas spirits as she helps to keep the household running. But Mona and her four-year-old daughter were denied a travel visa by Canadian immigration officials. The answer provided, which makes no sense, is that there was concern that they would try to stay here permanently and possibly be a burden on the state.


Food bank use in Canada still above 2008 recession levels: report (Hamilton Spectator)
The number of Canadians depending on charity for food continues to grow, a new study being released Tuesday has found. More than 882,000 Canadians used a food bank in March 2012, up 2.4 per cent from last year, says the annual study by Food Banks Canada.–food-bank-use-in-canada-remains-well-above-2008-recession-levels-report


Is there a payoff from top-team diversity? (McKinsey Quarterly)
There are many reasons companies with more diverse executive teams should outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a companys strategic perspective, for example. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.

Jumping the diversity hurdles (Yonge Street)
There’s so much learning out there sitting on a shelf, that can make the lives of employers and potential employees much easier. For businesses and charities located in the Greater Toronto Areaperhaps the most culturally varied region in Canadaexpanding the diversity of their staff and learning to deal with the sensitivities of different communities is essential to success. And for new immigrants searching for work, finding employment can be a matter of survival. A new program from the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) aims to make a painful, time-consuming and expensive process much smoother. Its new online “campus” to help companies and skilled immigrants integrate, gathers collective wisdom and insight and provides it for free.

Financial Post: Cultural quotient test tells much about individual (TRIEC)
Self assessment has become a mainstay of todays business world. Walk into any progressive office and youre bound to find employees intimately familiar with their attributes and shortcomings characteristics they often describe through colour-coded or alphabetical evaluations that represent specific communication styles, work preferences and core values.

JDR 2012 : La CRÉ de Montréal annonce le recrutement dun 200e mentor pour son programme Mentorat Montréal (CRÉ de Montréal)
Organisée dans le cadre des Journées de développement régional 2012, en collaboration avec la Banque Scotia et Radio-Canada, la soirée de reconnaissance « Les mentors 2012 à lhonneur » a permis dhonorer lengagement de professionnels qui font la différence dans la carrière des personnes issues de limmigration. Près de 120 personnes se sont rassemblées pour cette soirée, pilotée par lanimateur de Radio-Canada, monsieur Philippe Fehmiu. Ce dernier est dailleurs le 200e mentor recruté par Mentorat Montréal.

IEC-BC launches new employer-to-employer ad to raise awareness of the business advantage skilled immigrants offer (IECBC)
IEC-BC is launching an employer-to-employer ad to raise awareness of the business advantage skilled immigrants offer. The ad, which will run in business and industry publications, features Metro Testing Laboratories President and General Manager Harry Watson and his employee Ali Boromand, who manages the Concrete Lab at Metro.

IEC-BC Leaders Summit demonstrates momentum to tap into new skilled immigrant talent (IECBC)
The proceedings of IEC-BC’s 2012 Leaders Summit on Immigrant Employment is now available, along with selected content from the Summit.

10,000 skilled workers attend Irish job fair (Journal of Commerce)
BCCA vice president Abigail Fulton and BCCA trade consultant Matthew Stevenson (on her left) talk to a class of roofers at Reid Kerr College, which is in Paisley. It is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Scotland with more than 20,000 students.–10000-skilled-workers-attend-irish-job-fair

Syncrude Strengthens its Workforce by Recognizing Foreign Skills and Experience (hireimmigrants)
As the worlds largest producer of crude oil from oil sands, Syncrude realizes it needs to have the most talented workforce in the field. It is doing this by hiring skilled immigrants that bring a wealth of skills and experience and they are also retaining them by providing an inclusive working environment.


Wednesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Sandy, TCHC, Ombudsman’s Contract Extended, Ford Apology, G20 Compensation, City Hall and Other News.

Redefining the citys vital signs (Maytree blog)
In early October, Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) released its yearly Vital Signs report. It provides a great snapshot of how our city is doing in a number of important measures of city livability. How are we doing? The answer from TCFs President and CEO, Rahul K. Bhardwaj, is: not too bad. But, those living the most precariously among us are not faring well. There is still much to do to make our city a better place to live for all of us.

News Profiling Neighbourhood (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with April Lindgren. She is head of the Local News Research Project at Ryerson’s School of Journalism.


October Newsletter (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
Vibrant Communities: Inspired Learning
L’Abri en Ville receives National Mental Health Award
Upcoming Webinar: Evaluating Social Innovation
Spotlight on New Grants

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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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