Immigration & Diversity news headlines – October 5, 2012


Shaping the future: Canadas rapidly changing immigration policies (Maytree)
The pace and scope of change in Canadas immigration system in recent years leaves one breathless. 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, and more changes are proposed. While some of the recent changes are positive, many are problematic. 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 authors suggest that the public be engaged in a national conversation on what kind of country we want to be and how immigration can help us get there.

Study says reforms alienate immigrants (Globe and Mail)
Over the past four years, the federal government has introduced sweeping changes to Canadas immigration policy with unprecedented speed and with serious consequences for the countrys reputation, economy and nation-building goals, according to the Toronto think tank Maytree. In a report released on Thursday entitled Shaping the future: Canadas rapidly changing immigration policies, authors Naomi Alboim and Karen Cohl warn that the rapid reforms could threaten how potential immigrants perceive the country, deterring the people who are needed the most.

Maytree: federal immigration reform too much too fast (New Tang Dynasty Television)
Summary of report, with video of interview with Naomi, on New Tang Dynasty Television.

Immigration focus too short-term: report (Soo Today)
A new analysis of the sweeping changes made by the Conservatives to Canada’s immigration system suggests too much emphasis is being placed on short-term gains. The Maytree Foundation report says the government is focusing too much on immediate needs of the labour market and not enough on the long-term needs of Canada.

New report says Tories’ immigration policy too focused on short-term gains (Stephanie Levitz, Winnipeg Free Press – Note: This article was picked up, with the same text, in a number of publications across the country.)
A new analysis of the sweeping changes made by the Conservatives to Canada’s immigration system suggests too much emphasis is being placed on short-term gains. The long-term needs of Canada are being ignored in favour of an immediate economic focus, says the study by the Maytree Foundation, a private Toronto-based think tank. The study identifies six dozen changes made to immigration policy since 2008, from the creation of entirely new programs to tougher standards for citizenship. While some of the changes are positive, the overall approach to them is problematic, the study suggests.

Too much too fast: Immigration changes make Canada less welcoming (Herald Online)
New Maytree report, Shaping the future: Canada’s rapidly changing immigration policies, discusses the impact of the multitude of recent changes and proposes a national conversation on how to get immigration policy back on track.

Rapidly changing immigration policies making Canada less welcoming: Maytree (HR Reporter)
The pace and scope of change in Canada’s immigration system in recent years “leaves one breathless,” said the Maytree Foundation. From 2008 to , the federal government has made changes to every aspect of immigration policy, including the way in which reform is undertaken, and more changes are proposed.


As Toronto Questions the Diversity of Its Boards, a Conference on Board Diversity (Desmond Cole, Torontoist)
An international conference on the value of diverse leadership coincides with news that Mayor Rob Ford’s office interfered with City diversity policies.

Bill could exile thousands of permanent residents for minor crimes (Toronto Star)
Under a proposed new law, thousands of permanent residents could lose their status and be deported for minor convictions, from shoplifting to traffic and drug offences, warn Canadas top immigration lawyers. These are young children brought to Canada at a young age as permanent residents, raised and schooled in Canada . . . (but) never took out citizenship, lawyer Guidy Mamann told a news conference Thursday. It is unconscionable that a country like Canada, which has always allowed for second chances, to now embark on a new one strike youre out approach.–bill-could-exile-thousands-of-permanent-residents-for-minor-crimes

Ontario immigration strategy calls for more power to pick newcomers (Toronto Star)
Ontario needs to attract at least 135,000 newcomers a year, raise the ratio of skilled workers and take charge of immigrant selection to keep its economic engine running beyond 2014, says a government-appointed panel. The findings of the expert panel will be presented to provincial Immigration Minister Charles Sousa on Wednesday, seven months after it was appointed to tackle declining immigration to the province, skill shortages and the falling economic performance of newcomers.–ontario-immigration-strategy-calls-for-more-power-to-pick-newcomers

Attracting and Retaining Skilled Immigrants (Ontario Gov News)
In response to challenges with Canada’s current immigration system and federal cuts to Ontario’s settlement funding, the Ontario government established the Expert Roundtable on Immigration. The expert roundtable was created to assess how immigration can best support Ontario’s economic development and help immigrants succeed. Its role was to provide advice to the government to inform the development of the first Ontario immigration strategy. In developing the report, the roundtable consulted with some of Canada’s leading economists, researchers, and senior officials from both the Governments of Ontario and Canada.

Immigration Recommendations (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Mario Calla. He is the director of Costi Immigration Services.

Ontario needs to boost immigration by 135,000: Report (HR Reporter)
Ontario should increase its level of immigration to at least one per cent of its population or 135,000 people per year, according to a report from Ontarios Expert Roundtable on Immigration. And at least 65 per cent to 70 per cent of these immigrants should be economic class immigrants. The report outlines 32 recommendations meant to inform the provinces first formal immigration strategy. For the province to prosper and remain globally competitive, Ontario needs more skilled immigrants. The province also must ensure that effective programs and services are available to help improve settlement and integration for all immigrants, said the roundtable.

News Release Minister Kenney visits Ireland to meet workers looking for a chance to come to Canada (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney arrives in Ireland tomorrow for an official visit to promote Canada as a destination for international talent. On the Ministers agenda is a visit to Dublins Working Abroad Expo recruitment fair. He will promote Canadas strong economy and encourage talent from Ireland to apply for jobs to work in Canada.

News Release Creating Economic Opportunities for Canadian and Irish Youth (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today that Canada will seek to double the number of Irish youth that arrive annually through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Beginning in 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will increase the number of spaces available for Irish youth in the program by 1,000 to 6,350 and will seek to nearly double the current quota to 10,000 beginning in 2014.

Canada woos unemployed British graduates (Telegraph UK)
Canada is planning to woo unemployed British graduates in order to compete more fiercely with Australia for skilled young expats. Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney will travel to London next week as part of accelerated efforts to tackle acute labour shortages in his home country.

Opinion: Immigrant label fell away as we became Canadian (Anar Popatia, Vancouver Sun)
The refugees from Uganda, as well as those who followed from other parts of East Africa, generally knew very little about Canada. Many had never had a home outside of East Africa. Canada seemed far away and utterly foreign. And yet it was Canada that opened its doors to those forced to leave East Africa, and embraced all, regardless of national background, ethnicity, class or religion the immigrants from Uganda were Christians, Hindus and Muslims, diverse in a number of respects. Some of these immigrants still recall the assistance of the Canadian mission, and the kindness with which they were received.

Clunis named Winnipeg’s new police chief (Joyanne Pursaga, Winnipeg Sun)
Clunis was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada when he was 11. He will be the first member of a visible minority to hold the post in the city. Tim Smith, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said he couldnt recall any previous black chiefs of police in a major Canadian city. Smith said Canadians can expect to see more visible minorities filling top police positions. It will be something that we will see as a growing trend within policing, given that there are many more visible minorities going through the police ranks, he said.

Minorities mostly favour appointment (Aldo Santin, Winnipeg Free Press)
COMMUNITY leaders are giving a mostly positive reaction to the hiring of Winnipeg’s first police chief who’s from a visible minority. North Point Douglas activist Sel Burrows said Devon Clunis is one cop who can build on the progressive changes brought forward by outgoing Winnipeg Police Service Chief Keith McCaskill. “There is a small percentage of the Winnipeg Police Service that are out of control,” Burrows said, adding Clunis admitted at a public meeting two years ago the WPS has a problem with a handful of racists and bullies who wear the uniform. “He’s got a tough job but (Clunis) is an individual who is modern and progressive,” Burrows said.

Canadians shun hate mongers (Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan, Saudi Gazette)
IN Canadas multicultural society, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, followers of other faiths and those without faith, live in peace, harmony, respect and friendship. Intermarriages are also increasing, to the chagrin of people who feel that their traditional values face erosion. Some extremists are now trying to promote divisions and Islamophobia in Canada. They arent having much success. But given Canadas racist past, incitement by European and American bigots and the hate-mongering of Canadas own racists, Canadians need to insulate themselves from the virus.

After three-year battle, Immigration Canada rules Indian marriage a sham (Larissa Cahute, The Province)
After three years of marriage and a newborn daughter, Harpreet Sandhu just wants to live with her family at home in Surrey. But Citizenship and Immigration Canada wont allow it. Her husband, Harpreet Singh, has repeatedly been denied permanent residency in Canada. So Sandhu is stranded in India with her two-month-old daughter Kashvi just to unite her family. Its been three years, Sandhu said from India as she fought back tears. Our family needs to be together.

Non-Christian prison chaplains chopped by Ottawa (CBC)
The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned. Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canadas penitentiaries. Toews made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C.

Racism, Future: Racial Profiling & the Toronto Police (Septembre Anderson, Ethnic Aisle)
In 2002, a team of Toronto Star journalists sorted through mounds of police data from over 480,000 incidents to put together the Race and Crime series. The collection of articles, profiles, maps and statistics unveiled an unsettling trend in the Metropolitan Toronto Police culture: racial profiling. For Torontos black communities, the Star series was just quantitative evidence of their qualitative experiences. In the rest of Canadas most populous city, the numbers on racial profiling caused an uproar. Julian Fantino, then chief of the Toronto Police Service, denied the Stars allegations, and in 2003, the police union launched a $2.7 billion class-action libel suit against the Star (which it eventually lost).

Canada a leader in tolerance (Vancouver Sun)
Good for Jason Kenney. In a political environment that so frequently descends into polarized hyperbole, it’s nice to see the immigration minister use his time and intelligence to persuade rather than attack. And it’s nice to see anyone call nonsense on some of the ludicrous claims being made about Canada these days. In a recent op-ed for the British newspaper The Guardian, Kenney responded to an analysis in the same paper by Jonathan Kaiman. Kaiman claimed “there’s trouble brewing in Canada.” He linked the Bank of Canada’s removal of an Asian-looking woman from the $100 bill, the shooting at the Parti Québécois victory party in Montreal, Pauline Marois’ selective secularism and Kenney’s immigration reforms to “a deep-rooted, yet widely ignored undercurrent of racism in Canadian society.”

Blasting honorees bias (Lynn Hutchinson Lee, Roma Community Centre)
The University of Haifa insists on giving an honorary degree to Canadas minister of citizenship and immigration, Jason Kenney, despite his well-documented bias against Roma refugees. Arnie Aberman, chair of the Toronto committee organizing the award, says Kenney is being honored “for his steadfast position against anti-Semitism and for his solidarity with the State of Israel.” But according to Canadian Friends of Haifa University, the award also recognizes his steadfast position against racism and intolerance. Is it tolerance that Mr. Kenney has shown in labeling as bogus Roma refugees fleeing persecution by neo-Nazis in Hungary? Extreme-right hate groups are growing in popularity (the far-right Jobbik has 47 members in the Hungarian parliament), becoming more violent, carrying out pogroms in Roma neighborhoods — and are targeting Jews as well as Roma.

Racism, Future: Sci-Fi Authors Riff (Jef Catapang, Ethnic Aisle)
If you read a fair share of sci-fi (written by someone other than Octavia E. Butler), you might be prone to feeling like all this flesh-wringing about race will be looked upon as nothing more than a quaint marker of our times. A lot of sci-fi teaches us that race just wont be an issue in the future. Besides, if there is still such thing as racism in the future it will be directed at robots, so who cares? Not us. It doesnt matter how sexy you are, robots. Were not buying it. To get a deeper sense of how science fiction has dealt with the possibilities of human interaction and diversity, we called up some of Canadas most intelligent and most out-there imaginations to talk sci-fi, race and the future of us.

Racism, Future: Lets Mix it Up (Denise Balkissoon, Ethnic Aisle)
Officially, Toronto is way multicultural. In my experience, its increasingly segregated. Aside from the subway at rush hour, I see deepening cliques and enclaves. Some of them dont bother me as much as othersthe white crowd at a Neko Case show is no biggie, the white crowd at the National Magazine Awards very frustratingbut the overall effect isnt the city where I want to live. Weve long known that Toronto is split geographically by income, and that the growing low-income areas tend to be majority non-white. Poverty is definitely racialized in this city and its impossible to talk about racism without noting that all of the ways that people can be marginalized are infuriatingly linked. Remember, ethnic segregation in Toronto isnt just about povertymiddle-class and affluent people often live in ethnic enclaves long after theyve earned enough to have wider housing choices.

TESL Ontario announces GTA student, two teachers winners of creativity contest (Canada Newswire)
The Teachers of English as a Second Language of Ontario (TESL Ontario) today announced the winners of its province-wide, multi-category creativity contest to celebrate ESL education. GTA student, Madlin Eisho, an ESL student with Caledon Community Services in Bolton, Ontario, won the grand prize for her photo entry. In the instructor category, two ESL educators, Anne Marie Guy and Baye Hunter, who teach at the Victoria LINC Learning Centre in Toronto, won the grand prize for their video entry.

Little Mosque star Zaib Shaikh on why hes backing Justin Trudeau (John Geddes, Maclean’s)
When Justin Trudeau holds a rally in Mississauga, Ont. this eveninghis Liberal leadership campaigns first stop in the Toronto suburbs so coveted by strategists of all partieshell be introduced by Zaib Shaikh, the actor best known as a star of CBCs Little Mosque on the Prairie. Shaikh also has a role in the new movie Midnights Children, Canadian director Deepa Mehtas adaptation of Salman Rushdies celebrated novel. But he will bring more than a touch showbiz to Trudeaus event. In keeping with Little Mosques themes, and his own background as the son of immigrants, Shaikh is active in groups that encourage diversity. As well, after his marriage last year to CBC English services executive vice-president Kirstine Stewart, he is half of a notable Toronto power couple.

Rally backs students facing deportation (David Fraser, Leader Post)
A group of about 40 people stood outside the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) office in downtown Regina Wednesday chanting, “let them stay!” They were supporting two University of Regina students from Nigeria who are facing deportation. The students, Victoria Or-du and Ihuoma Amadi, are facing deportation after illegally working at Walmart for two weeks.

Orientation to Ontario: Update to Ontario Settlement Service Providers (Settlement AtWork)
Orientation to Ontario / LOntario, cest chez moi is a joint federal / provincial initiative designed to ease the transition of newcomers by providing access to standardized information about settling in Ontario and connecting newcomers to community services shortly after arrival. Orientation to Ontario / LOntario, cest chez moi is a modular course containing 12-15 hours of curriculum developed by George Brown College and available in workshop, online and print formats. Key topics covered include housing, language training, employment, health care, education, judicial and banking information. Orientation to Ontario / LOntario, cest chez moi is currently in the pilot test phase of the program. COSTI Immigrant Services is leading the pilot, in partnership with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), George Brown College and Collège Boréal.

A clash of values within the public education system (Diane Dyson, Belonging Community)
While much of the recent media headlines have been on Premier McGuintys Putting Students First Act (Bill 115), another storm has been brewing on the edges of school board, one which is much more fundamental to the ideals we hold for our public education system. Religion, politics and education are never good friends, was the response of one committee member at the recent TDSB Equity Policy Advisory Committee meeting. Bill 113, the Accepting Schools Act (2012), has caused a furor among those who are strictly religious. The Act focuses on reducing bullying, specifically To encourage a positive school climate and prevent inappropriate behaviour, including bullying, sexual assault, gender-based violence and incidents based on homophobia, transphobia or biphobia. Its an important public statement.

Garba: Good for Canadian Culture (South Asian Generation Next)
Garba is good for culture inCanada says Varun Panchal, a photographer who has a degree in Business Finance fromCentennialCollege. It is an opportunity for all communities to come together and dance on one floor, he told Generation Next. Born inCalcutta, Mallika Kapur is now studying to be a doctor atMcMasterUniversity. She wanted to be a lawyer initially, only to discover that I didnt really like arguing with people, however she was also not sure if she was ready for the commitment to study long and hard to be a doctor.

Places That Matter: North Americas first Sikh temple (South Asian Generation Next)
Many Vancouver residents would be surprised to discover that a quiet street in Kitsilano is the site ofNorth Americas first Sikh temple, built in 1908. The Second Avenue Gurdwara (temple) was located on 1866 West 2nd Avenue and was a hub for Vancouvers growing Sikh community from 1908 to 1970. Though apartment buildings now stand on the site, the temple was recently commemorated with a plaque as part of the Vancouver Heritage Foundations Places That Matter project.

Mark Persaud: Canadian human rights legislation lack teeth to protect minorities (Samuel Getachew, South Asian Generation Next)
Mark Persaud has had a storied Canadian life so far. The noted lawyer and social activist have been involved in many worthwhile causes in Canada and abroad. Generation Next caught up with the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal winning citizen as he reflects on his immigration to Canada, his many activism work in the community and the many challenges he has faced in the past.

New mental health program at London Health Sciences Centre, Childrens Hospital aimed at immigrants (Angela Mullins, Metro News)
London Health Sciences Centre and Childrens Hospital have received $1.3 million to break down barriers faced by immigrants in need of mental health care. The Royal Bank of Canada donation will launch a program focused on children and adults who have witnessed violence or been forced from their native countries. Studies have shown that immigrants often dont know how, or are afraid, to get help with mental health issues, officials said. Over the past several years, referrals to LHSC have reflected the problem, said Beth Mitchell, director of the hospitals mental health care program.

Couple fined $120,000 for immigration fraud following government crackdown (Stewart Bell, National Post)
When Reha and Ecehan Ozcelik landed at Montreals Trudeau airport on Sept. 17, they told the border officer who questioned them they were permanent residents of Canada and lived in Montreal. And yet, they couldnt answer basic questions about the city where they claimed to reside. On Wednesday, the Canada Border Services Agency announced the Court of Quebec had fined the Turkish couple $120,000 for immigration fraud.

As an Immigrant, I Get More Respect than Canada’s Aboriginals (Obert Madondo, Huffington Post)
The upcoming 7th annual Ottawa Sisters in Spirit (SIS) vigil is a special event for me as a recent immigrant to Canada. It offers me the opportunity to reflect on what it means for my adopted country to embrace and heal me, while neglecting the perennial issue of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The Native Women’s Association of Canada estimates that more than 600 have either gone missing or been murdered since 1990. The vigil, spearheaded by the Families of Sisters in Spirit and partners, is one the hundreds of SIS vigils happening across the country on October 4. The vigils bring together concerned Canadians and Aboriginal communities to honour the victims’ lives, and support the families touched by the racialized and sexualized violence.

Man who fought the monarchy oath dies without becoming a Canadian (Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press)
A man who refused to take the oath of citizenship, because of his opposition to the monarchy, has died with his decades-long dream of becoming a Canadian unfulfilled. Toronto civil-rights lawyer Charles Roach, who immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago more than half a century ago, died Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 79.


Who Are You Calling Bogus? (Canadian Dimension)
On February 17, 2012, in Ottawa, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was discussing the arrival of one group of refugee claimants, most of whom are Hungarian. He was not pleased. Our government is very disturbed by the recent rise in requests from democratic countries that respect human rights, he remarked. The rising number of bogus requests from democratic states of the European Union just makes this problem worse. Kenney first used the term bogus in 2009 to describe Roma claimants and has favoured it ever since. He inspired the Toronto Sun to run this headline on October 27, 2011: Feds vow crackdown as Pearson flooded with bogus Hungarian Roma claims. Why are the Roma fleeing Hungary? What is the basis of their refugee claims? Why, despite so much evidence to the contrary, does Kenney insist that Roma refugee claims are fraudulent?

Tory embrace just for show (Danny Glenwright, Xtra!)
When politicians change their minds on a major issue, especially something of a social nature, it is usually for political or financial reasons. Either they have miscalculated the views held by their electorate, overplayed their hand with budgetary commitments, or the winds of change have left them in the dust and they are trying to catch up. These changes of heart quite often come after elections, when promises made cannot be promises kept. They are referred to as flip-flops, U-turns, what Europeans call volte-face an about-face. So it is with some suspicion that many queer Canadians now look on the Conservative partys belated embrace of our community and its international needs.

Registration Open for Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues (Centre for Refugee Studies at York University)
The Centre for Refugee Studies at York University is offering the Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues from May 13 May 19, 2013. The Summer Course is a seven-day, non-credit course for academic and field-based practitioners working in the area of forced migration. It serves as a hub for researchers, students, practitioners, service providers and policy makers to share information and ideas. All participants who complete the full course receive a York University Centre for Refugee Studies Summer Course Certificate.

Baptists Open Doors and Hearts to Refugees from Burma (ABPNews)
As North American Baptists welcome fellow Baptists from Burma in their congregation, these refugees bring new life, new vitality, and a new sense of missional engagement. It is mutual ministry. As congregations minister to the refugees, the refugees minister to the congregations.

Repercussions of federal cuts to refugee health care program: confusions, costs and compromised care (NUPGE)
The IFH Program is in disarray and being mismanaged and the health of all refugees is being placed at risk, said Dr. Philip Berger, Chief of Family and Community Medicine at St. Michaels Hospital. Ottawa (05 Oct. 2012) – An investigation by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care over the last three months has uncovered some disturbing findings regarding the impact of the changes to the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) announced by the federal Conservatives in June.


Anti-poverty protestors buck ‘social cleansing’ (CBC)
Members of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty continue to look for ways to address social issues in the downtown core. Wednesday the group held a “Panhandling for Panhandlers” event in downtown Sudbury a demonstration that was originally organized to protest a controversial poster campaign created by the Greater Sudbury Police, Crime Stoppers and the Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Area.

Panhandling posters taken down (CBC)
Posters that say “it’s okay to say no to panhandlers” have been removed from downtown Sudbury after they caused a stir among community action groups. The posters also gave tips on how people can avoid confrontations with panhandlers, and encouraged them to donate any money to services rather than individuals asking for spare change. “People were pretty upset, said David Dubois, a member of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty, also known as S-CAP.

Canadians Give Themselves a Clean Bill of Health, but not All Groups Feel the Same Way (PR Newswire)
Canadians say they generally feel healthy, but significant groups in the population are much more likely to consider their health as just fair or poor, according to the results of a survey, released by The Conference Board of Canada and EKOS Research Associates. When asked to rate their health, half of respondents answers that their health was excellent (16 per cent) or very good (34 per cent). Nearly a third of respondents (32 per cent) cautiously rate their health as good. A sizeable percentage of respondents, however, were considerably less optimistic, rating their health as either fair (14 per cent) or poor (four per cent).

Welcome the new, keep the old (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
I walked through the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centres Open House on September 22nd with a lump in my throat. Little girls danced in one room, while professional-calibre adults rehearsed down the hall. Locals displayed their creations at ArtHeart, while fledgling entrepreneurs eyed some of the few office spaces still available in the Centre for Social Innovation. The entire building was filled with life and vitality city-building at its best. The centre has been named Daniels Spectrum to recognize the Daniels Corporations $4 Million contribution to the building not to mention the companys contribution to the entire Regent Park development. If it had not stepped forward when other companies shied at the risks, Regent Park would not be what it is today.

Hamilton’s faith leaders want re-think of social program cuts (Flannery Dean, CBC)
A collection of Hamilton’s faith leaders gathered at City Hall Tuesday afternoon to call upon both the provincial and municipal government’s to reconsider planned cuts to social assistance programs. We’re here to bring notice to the issue of poverty right before the season of harvest, said Deidre Pike, one of the organizers, and a senior social planner for the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton. The group, which calls itself Faith Leaders Against Poverty or FLAP, came together as part of a province-wide vigil taken by Ontario’s faith communities. Representatives from the Anglican Church, the aboriginal community, as well as the Bahai and Muslim communities, among others, spoke before a small crowd.


OHRC launches survey into Canadian experience requirement in employment (OHRC)
A new survey launched today by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) asks job seekers and employers to describe how Canadian experience requirements in the Ontario job market have affected them. In our conversations with newcomers, they often talk about the requirement for Canadian experience as a big barrier to their entry into the workforce, commented OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, We want to learn more about how this requirement plays out in real life.

Diversity makes good business sense: TD Bank boss (Toronto Star)
Canadian corporations not only have a moral responsibility to embrace diversity in hiring, it makes good business sense, the head of TD Bank Group says. Most progressive corporations understand that this is one of those instances where what you think is the right thing to do and what is in your business interest, cross over perfectly, Ed Clark, president and chief executive officer of Toronto-Dominion Bank said in an interview. Public companies have a responsibility to shareholders to hire the best and the brightest, and doing that in a country as multicultural as Canada means that inclusive hiring practices are a must, Clark said.–diversity-makes-good-business-sense-td-bank-boss

New immigrant? Meet small business (Globe and Mail)
Andrey Bolgov assumed he would be a desirable candidate for a job with a big Canadian company when he immigrated to Canada in 2009. But despite having an MBA in marketing from a German university, fluency in several languages and seven years of experience in marketing and finance for companies in Germany, Italy and Belgium, he got no response to the résumés he sent to potential employers. By the spring of 2010, he was reaching a dead end. I didnt know who else to apply to and I didnt have any networking contacts to refer me to potential jobs, he recalled. At that time, York University in Toronto was launching a bridging program for internationally educated professionals that was putting an emphasis on the hiring needs of smaller employers.

A Measure of Work (Tiff Macklem, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada)
Good morning and thank you for the invitation to speak here today. I am pleased to be in Winnipeg, a city that is boldly preparing for the job market of the future. From programs that help new immigrants, to connecting job opportunities with older workers, Winnipeg and Manitoba are providing innovative solutions to the challenge of matching workers with jobs and jobs with workers. My remarks today will also focus on jobs. The mandate of the Bank of Canada is to mitigate fluctuations in the general level of production, trade, prices and employment, so far as may be possible within the scope of monetary action, and generally to promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada.

Strict occupational licensing requirements used to restrict competition (Ben Eisen, Troy Media)
Canadas future economic success will depend partly on its ability to attract skilled immigrants. Our population is aging, and the Canadian economy will require a steady stream of new immigrants whose taxes can help pay for the rising costs of government programs. However, Canadas efforts to attract highly productive immigrants will be hindered unless we adopt policy reforms ensuring that occupational licensing bodies recognize the legitimate credentials of foreign-trained professionals.

Canadian employers struggling to find right talent (Mario Toneguzzi, Edmonton Journal)
Many Canadian employers are struggling to find the right talent for specific jobs amid a growing skills shortage, says Randstad Canadas latest Global Workmonitor report released Wednesday. The report described Canadas 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.

More equitable compensation needed for vulnerable workers (CCPA)
In Canada, many workers do not earn a living wagethat is, sufficient income to afford the basics of lifebecause of discrimination. Women workers and those who are racialized, immigrant, Aboriginal, living with disabilities or similarly disadvantaged are all segregated into low wage job ghettoes whilst their work is systemically devalued. A new report from the CCPAs Ontario Office, A Living Wage As a Human Right, articulates the need for governments and employers to deliver more equitable compensation incomes for vulnerable workers. It also explores how we can close discriminatory pay gaps, so that this basic human right the right to work and to earn pay free of discrimination is realized for Canadas low-paid workers.

Persistence pays off for immigrant physiotherapist (Prepare for Canada)
Nada Khairallah was a successful physiotherapist in Lebanon, but she was looking for more. And she believed that she could find new opportunities in Canada. She applied for immigration in 1999 and was on her way to a new life in Canada. When dealing with the Canadian embassy, she was informed that to work in Canada as a physiotherapist, she would have to go through a credentialing process before she could practise. Undaunted, she contacted the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators to enquire about the steps she would have to take.

Mentors and Mentees are the Heart of ERIEC (ERIEC)
Mentors and mentees are the heart of ERIEC and of our Career Mentorship Program. Last week our Fall cohort began the program. I asked a new mentor from TELUS some questions about her participation in our program. Karen, an HR Recruitment Consultant, was matched with Nimaya, an HR professional from Sudan. You can see them below, with big smiles on their faces at their first meeting!

Canadians increasingly becoming entrepreneurs and small business owners (Matt Lundy, Canadian Business)
In the coming decade, immigrant entrepreneurs will continue to play a crucial role in the small business community. StatsCan reports that nearly 20% of immigrants were self-employed by the end of the 2000s, compared with 15% for their Canadian-born counterparts. Meanwhile, Industry Canada says that high-growth firms can be found in every sector. That said, the professional services and construction sectors have shown the greatest employee growth. But despite these bright developments, the male/female split of startups is hardly balanced. In 2010, Industry Canada estimated that only 17% of small businesses were majority-owned by women. On the other hands, StatCan reports that 46% of small and medium-sized businesses had some level of female ownership, while roughly 910,000 Canadian women were self-employed, good for one-third of the national total.–canadians-increasingly-becoming-entrepreneurs-and-small-business-owners


Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Plastic Bag Ban, TDSB, TTC, City Council, Transit Funding, Toronto Zoo and Other News.

Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Plastic Bag Ban, Toronto Zoo, City Hall, TDSB and Other News.


Strengthening Organizations: Webinar Series for Charities and Nonprofits. 12 Practical Webinars! (Imagine Canada)
With top-of-mind topics selected to complement each other, this set of webinars is intended to help your organization assess and minimize its risk in key areas. If you are thinking of participating in Imagine Canadas Standards Program, these webinars will also help get you ready. Keeping your busy schedule in mind, each webinar is one hour in length and includes a Q&A session where you will gain valuable insights from topic experts. All webinars will be recorded access them whenever you want from wherever you want.

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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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RT @maytree_canada: Expanding Our Routes To Success: The Final Report By Ontario's Expert Roundtable On #Immigration ... RT @chrisbrogan:...