Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 13, 2012


Attitude adjustment needed to ease immigrants into workforce, author says (Hamilton Spectator)
Nice guys dont get any points in Canadas immigration system. Chosen by a system that values technical skills above everything, immigration consultant and author Lionel Laroche warns newcomers to this country often arrive with only half the tools theyll need to make a successful transition into Canadas workforce. Laroche told a Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion forum Monday success in Canadas workforce demands more than just being technically strong it also demands a set of soft skills, without which newcomers suffer on the job.–attitude-adjustment-needed-to-ease-immigrants-into-workforce-author-says

Abuse and exploitation inherent to Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program (Brad Olson, rabble)
As scandals rock the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, the federal government will begin a program wide review. Though the government hinted at it, they did not mention the endemic abuse that is inherent in the TFW program, and the global treatment of migrant workers. In the last month, the TFW program has made headlines after reports surfaced that migrant workers from China were being recruited to a coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. Even though according to the B.C. Federation of Labour, B.C. lost over 10,000 jobs last month, and over 300 Canadians applied for these jobs, all were denied as they didn’t have the right training or qualifications. One of the qualifications on the job description was that they be able to speak Mandarin.

Constructed categories (Syed Hussan, Briar Patch)
Every year about 300,000 people enter the Canadian labour market as temporary migrant workers, more than the 230,000 who enter as permanent residents on their way to acquiring full rights as citizens. By being categorized as migrant workers by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, these hundreds of thousands of people are denied basic rights that citizens often take for granted. As of April 2012, it is legal to pay migrant workers classified as low-skilled a wage five per cent less than the average, and migrant workers classified as high-skilled a wage 15 per cent lower than the average.

Theyre not lining up anymore: Policy must respond to need for skilled immigrants (Rebecca Walberg, Financial Post)
If youre an engineer in China or Brazil, you have a good life. Why come and freeze in Canada, right? Its a truism that Canada is a nation of immigrants, but in the years ahead, demographics an aging population and low birthrate and changing employment patterns, with increased demand for specific skills, indicate the role of immigrants in the Canadian economy will only grow. Currently, the country welcomes 250,000 newcomers each year, and by 2030, Statistics Canada forecasts that 80% of all labour market growth will depend upon immigrants. Attracting and retaining the right immigrants, and helping them realize their full potential as Canadians, is increasingly crucial to prosperity and economic growth.

Canadian courts make clear theres no place for family violence (Toronto Star)
The message, from the jury to the killer in the prisoners box, was a definitive declaration of guilty. But underpinning the conviction of Afghan immigrant Peer Khairi for the brutal 2008 killing of his wife nearly beheading her was a powerful statement on cultural acceptance in the country he chose as home. In Canada, there is no place for violent traditions that let men kill their wives or daughters in the name of so-called family honour.–canadian-courts-make-clear-there-s-no-place-for-family-violence

A Guide To Immigration Arrest, Detention And Deportation & Your Rights At Home, On The Streets And At Work – PDF (Immigration Legal Committee (ILC))
This guide aims to provide basic legal information to people without immigration status so that they will be able to better protect themselves from the risks of immigration arrest and detention.

Obama Won With Minorities. Marketers Should Too (Eddie Yoon, Harvard Business Review)
With Florida’s results now counted, the finally election tallies are nearly complete: According to the current estimate, President Obama beat Mitt Romney with a 3% margin in the popular vote and a 21% margin in the Electoral College. This electoral-to-popular vote ratio was the 4th highest since 1900. The result reinforces the message that anyone who reads Nate Silver knows all too well: It’s not enough just to win more votes, because you also have to win the right votes. Part of the President’s high electoral-to-popular vote ratio is due to his overwhelming victory with minorities, among whom he had a 93% of African Americans, 74% of Asians and 69% of Latinos margin of victory. Minorities are highly concentrated, especially in areas with lots of Electoral College votes. In some of these markets, minorities are in fact the majority. These “majority-minority” areas comprise 22 of the top 100 largest US metro/cities.

Americas diversity lesson (Colette A.M. Phillips, Boston Globe)
If there was ever a case to be made that diversity pays and pays big, it was made convincingly last Tuesdays election. It was a significantly diverse electorate that gave President Obama a second term and Massachusetts its first female senator in Elizabeth Warren. Those who viewed diversity only through politically correct glasses have come to recognize that it was President Obamas secret weapon. The Obama campaign tapped into the diverse groundswell that got him elected in 2008, particularly people of color, women, members of the LGBT community, young first time voters, Gen-Xers, and blue collar white men.

Philippine President Also Discussed Immigration Issues with Harper (Sam Dixon, Oye! Times)
The Philippine have now grown to be the largest source of immigrants to Canada, also making Tagalog the fastest growing second language of the country. Majority of the Filipino-Canadian community were hoping that the joyous and rare visit of Harper to Philippines will address some issues related to the labor and other foreign temporary workers from Philippines, who have settled in Canada. The workers are so far totally dependent on their sponsoring employers to be responsible of their contract, which raises big questions of labor abuses going unreported.

South Asian Sexuality (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Nisha Ahuja. She is a queer actor, writer, and educator, celebrating Diwali by working and performing with Toronto’s South Asian LGBTQ community.

From There to Here: Mayank Bhatt on how he was welcomed in Toronto (Toronto Star)
Mayank Bhatt, a 51-year-old former journalist at Business India, as well as a former media advisor and trade officer for the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, came to Canada with his wife and son in 2008, after a six year wait. He grew up in Mumbai and spent most of his formative years there, moving to the suburbs with his parents when he was 10 years old. He calls his immigration to Canada one of the riskiest gambles in his life: I dont think I would be this person here that I am today at age 51 had I not moved to Canada.–from-there-to-here-mayank-bhatt-on-how-he-was-welcomed-in-toronto

“Too Asian”? TALK BACK (Facebook)
We are a community of Canadians who are concerned about racism in media.

CBC smear campaign: State broadcasters attack on Canadian Forces no laughing matter (Ezra Levant, Toronto Sun)
Maybe the jokes werent particularly funny. But thats not what the CBC was outraged by. It thinks its horrendous that our soldiers, who put themselves in harms way fighting against Muslim fundamentalists in Afghanistan, might actually make fun of bin Laden and some of the things al-Qaida and the Taliban do, like use car bombs. The most common word in the CBCs report was offensive. But thats not reporting. Reporting is telling the facts. Saying, again and again, that a video was offensive, is offeringits opinion. What exactly was the problem? That a soldier wore a beard and painted his face brown to pretend to be Osama bin Laden? Isnt that what you do when youre pretending to be bin Laden?

Three Diversity “Best Practices” That Hurt Women (Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, Harvard Business Review)
The issue of gender balance in corporations often seems unnecessarily complicated. A lot of the trouble has been caused by the legacy of a couple of decades of well-meaning but ineffective solutions. These solutions are still too often presented as ‘best practices’. Yet they don’t work, and their repeated application makes many managers incredibly gender fatigued and frustrated.


Acceptance rates for refugees to Canada decline substantially since 2006 (Toronto Star)
Canadas acceptance rates for refugees have declined substantially since 2006 when the Conservative Party took office. And with new regulations to be laid out by the federal government in mid-December, some critics worry that the changes will make it even more difficult for refugees to seek shelter when they arrive at Canadian borders. Data from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) recently released to the Star shows that in 2011, the overall acceptance rate for the top 10 source countries which include Hungary, China, Colombia, Pakistan, Namibia, Mexico and Nigeria was 31 per cent, roughly 4,800 claims accepted out a total of more than 15,500 cases.–acceptance-rates-for-refugees-to-canada-decline-substantially-since-2006

Refugee lawyers alarmed at LAO proposals (Yamri Taddese, Law Times)
Legal Aid Ontarios proposed changes to how it provides services to refugee claimants is troubling some lawyers who are calling the organizations cost-saving plans both ineffective and unjust.

Our message to the Roma: Your money or your life (Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star)
There was something said, at the Roma Health Forum a month or so ago, that made my jaw drop, and that remains with me still: Hajnalka Klein, a settlement worker, told the story of a Roma woman with a risky pregnancy who was refused treatment at a Toronto hospital because she had no money and hospital staff were apparently unsure if, as a refugee claimant, the woman was covered. It occurred to me that Ms. Klein might have more to say, and so we met some days later at a school in Parkdale where she works helping Roma kids and families.–fiorito-our-message-to-the-roma-your-money-or-your-life#.UKEXFMFzUI8.twitter

Panel addresses cuts to refugee healthcare (Cem Ertekin, Hera Chan, McGill Daily)
The Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at McGill organized a panel last Thursday entitled Stop the Cuts! regarding budget cuts and changes to the Conservative governments Interim Federal Health Programme (IFHP), which provides temporary healthcare coverage for refugees. According to the IFHP website, the program applies to those who are not eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance plans and where a claim cannot be made under private health insurance, including resettled refugees, refugee claimants, certain persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and other specified groups.

National Forum on Trafficking 2012 (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) invites representatives of NGOs to a National Forum on Trafficking in Toronto. The forum will provide a space for networking, information-exchange and strategizing among NGO’s on best practices, emerging needs and policy development priorities to meet the needs of trafficked persons. The Forum will be held the 28th of November, the day before the CCR Fall Consultation, 29 November – 1 December 2012. There will also be a Workshop on the morning of Thursday, November 29th to allow for dialogue with government representatives, law enforcement and other interested parties. Join us for both!


Our problems are Ottawa problems, too (Hamilton Spectator)
Of Canadas three levels of government, one has a markedly more dramatic impact on the day-to-day lives of citizens than the other two. And yet the one that has the most impact municipal has the least amount of power. That irony is why Canadian cities find themselves stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Its also why Hamilton city manager Chris Murray is sounding reasoned but serious alarms about our citys ability to manage ongoing and growing financial challenges in the absence of a more equitable approach.–our-problems-are-ottawa-problems-too


City to recognize participants of mentoring immigrant program (City of Toronto)
Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport), City Manager Joe P. Pennachetti and Joan Atlin, Interim Executive Director, Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) will recognize members of the Toronto Public Service and Toronto residents for their participation in the City of Toronto’s 2012 Profession to Profession Mentoring Immigrants Program.

Competition for immigrants has Canadian companies looking to the U.S. for workers (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
‘Move north young man, move north.’ According to a weekend story in the L.A. Times, employment recruiters from Alberta’s oil sands industry have descended upon the state of California in a big way.

No Rights (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about undocumented workers, with Chantal Desloges. She is a lawyer specializing in immigration and refugee law.


Tuesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Mayor Rob Ford, City Hall, Jarvis Bus Lanes, Schools, Transit and Other News.

Event Dec4 : WTF is up with the City of Toronto Budget? (TOPoli Collective)
People are exhausted with the silly sideshows at Toronto City Hall. Between the gaffes, scandals and blustering rhetoric any sane perspective about Toronto’s fiscal position has gone right out the window. If you’re interested in finding out city financing actually works and that if Toronto is actually the next Greece come to the Tranzac December 4th to arm yourself with the truth, unobscured by the headlines. Panelists include Alejandra Bravo.

Soundbites e-Bulletin : November 9, 2012 (Social Planning Toronto)
This issue
Riding Profile Launch
SPT Member Forum: 2013 City of Toronto Budget
Recreation Works campaign readies supporters for release of city report
Save the Date! SPTs December Research and Policy Forum: “In School out of School-time”
Scarborough Youth Awards, Forum on November 24
Commitment to Community Ward Coordinators Complete 3 Week Training
Worth Repeating: Poverty pockets growing in suburbs (Toronto Star)


Corporate Canada begins the search for (social) returns (Globe and Mail)
Can the private sector and market-based models play a bigger role in the traditional turf of charities and government, tackling issues like youth unemployment and childhood obesity? The head of Canadas largest bank thinks so. So does the federal government, which last week asked charities and corporations to submit ideas on how to get businesses more involved in funding government social programs. One idea is social finance, capital geared to initiatives that deliver both a social return like reducing homelessness or improving air quality and an economic return.

Harper government to increase privatization of social services (Press TV)
Poverty and privation is spiraling out of control in Canada, with a recent study showing that almost a million Canadians now use food banks. Yet the Harper government is calling for more privatization and deregulation, not less, stating this week that private corporations are to take over from government in the funding and deliverance of many social services. Critics say that the kind of public-private partnerships being championed by the Harper government usually benefit private corporations more than the public. Such critics wonder why a country with as much resource wealth as Canada would have to go cap in hand to corporations to ask them to fund social programs when nationalizing Canada’s resources would provide the public with limitless funds.

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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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