Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 2, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

ALLIES Newsletter October 2012 (ALLIES)
In this issue:
• Now on to action: Testing new ideas with small and medium sized enterprises
• Telus joins the movement of employers championing immigrant talent
• A new approach to mentoring – in a group!
• Syncrude strengthens its workforce by recognizing foreign skills and experience
• RBC: Leveraging diversity is smart business
• Congratulations to the 2013 Top 100 Employers
• Councils @ Work
• Policy Update
• Resources
http://www.industrymailout.com/Industry/View.aspx?id=402245

Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2012 (CIC)
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into effect on June 28, 2002, replacing the Immigration Act of 1976. Under section 94 of the Act (see Annex), the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is required to table an annual report in Parliament on the Department’s immigration activities and initiatives. The report focuses on the selection of foreign nationals as permanent and temporary residents during the preceding calendar year. The legislation also requires an overview of federal–provincial/territorial agreements and joint initiatives, as well as a gender-based analysis of the impact of the Act. In addition, the report serves as a vehicle for announcing Canada’s immigration plan for the upcoming calendar year.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/annual-report-2012/index.asp

News Release — An Immigration System That Works For Canada’s Economy (CIC)
Today, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that by the end of 2013, Canada’s immigration system will be transformed from one that was plagued by backlogs into one that is fast, flexible, and responsive to the labour market. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today it will admit up to 55,300 persons in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) category in 2013. Combined with previous actions taken to manage the backlog, this means by the end of 2013 we will be able to process new applications as they are received – a “just in time” system – and aim to process them in less than a year, instead of up to eight years under the old FSW program. In addition, CIC expects to clear the FSW applications received to date by the end of 2014, three years earlier than originally expected.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-11-02.asp?utm_source=rss-media&utm_medium=rss-eng&utm_campaign=generic

News Release — An Immigration Plan that works for Canada : More immigrants who are already working in Canada to be admitted through Canadian Experience Class (CIC)
The Government of Canada will maintain record levels of immigration to support economic growth in 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “Our Government’s number one priority remains economic and job growth,” said Minister Kenney. “Newcomers bring their skills and talents, contribute to our economy and help renew our workforce so that Canada remains competitive on the world stage.”
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-10-31.asp

Editorial: Making room for the world’s best and brightest (Edmonton Journal)
Immigration has always played a vital role in Canada’s long-term prosperity and reasoned immigration policies are particularly integral today to buttressing our skilled labour force. After taking an increasingly harder line on potential immigrants with moves to curtail family sponsorships and discourage newcomers over 35 from applying, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and his government are on firmer ground in fast-tracking an immigration stream of young people with strong language and marketable skills. http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Editorial+Making+room+world+best+brightest/7478572/story.html

Immigration reform key to our future (Megan Harris, Toronto Sun)
Next year Canada will welcome over 240,000 new, permanent residents. This number is about the same level of newcomers Canada has accepted over the past six years, but many of these new Canadians will be a little different. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and the officials at Immigration Canada, the applications system is more efficient and newcomers are increasingly selected on the basis of their abilities to become net contributors to Canada.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/10/31/immigration-reform-key-to-our-future

Immigrants must integrate: Kenney (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
Despite recent honour killing cases in Canadian courts, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney shows little appetite for stricter screening of prospective immigrants to Canada. Asked about the issue on Wednesday, Kenney said he’s focused instead on making sure all immigrants know they have a duty to integrate into Canadian society.
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/10/31/kenney-immigrants-must-integrate

Immigration levels to stay the same in 2013, mix to change: Kenney (Stephanie Levitz, Vancouver Sun)
Canada will keep its intake of immigrants the same for the seventh straight year, admitting between 240,000 and 265,000 permanent residents in 2013, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday. Those numbers include a cut to the federal skilled worker program, with the government planning to admit fewer people under that policy.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Immigration+levels+stay+same+2013+change+Kenney/7476517/story.html

Tories can point to immigration policy as their one well-executed legacy issue (Globe and Mail)
If the Harper government were defeated in the House of Commons tomorrow and lost the subsequent election, it would have only one really big thing to show for its seven years in power: immigration reform. After all, the GST was probably the wrong tax to cut; the Conservatives managed the recession no better than a Liberal government would have; little of lasting consequence happened in health care or education; much of the crime legislation was probably unnecessary; abandoning the Kyoto Accord was nothing to be proud of; another government would no doubt have handled the winding down of the Afghanistan mission and the intervention in Libya the same way.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-can-point-to-immigration-policy-as-their-one-well-executed-legacy-issue/article4809017/

Skilled worker immigrant backlog to be eliminated three years ahead of schedule (Tobi Cohen, Calgary Herald)
The government is expected to eliminate a controversial, years-old backlog of skilled worker immigration applications by the end of 2014 — about three years ahead of schedule, Postmedia News has learned. It means a plan to create a pool of would-be Canadians from which provinces and employers could cherry-pick newcomers based on labour market need as opposed to who applied first will also be in place sooner than expected. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is expected to make the announcement Friday.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/national/Skilled+worker+immigrant+backlog+eliminated+three+years/7485643/story.html

HSBC study reveals Canada’s warm welcome (Canada Newswire)
Canada may be known for cold weather, but 82% of new immigrants reveal they felt a warm welcome on arrival here. Montrealers, healthcare professionals and banks/financial institutions are cited as the most welcoming – and 84% of new immigrants confirm they would recommend immigrating here to family and friends. These are some of the findings of HSBC Bank Canada’s New to Canada survey released today, which polled over 600 new immigrants across the country regarding their relocation experience.
http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2012-11-01&val=660653&cat=finance

LifeView: HSBC study reveals Canada’s warm welcome (Northumberland View)
Canada may be known for cold weather, but 82% of new immigrants reveal they felt a warm welcome on arrival here. Montrealers, healthcare professionals and banks/financial institutions are cited as the most welcoming – and 84% of new immigrants confirm they would recommend immigrating here to family and friends. These are some of the findings of HSBC Bank Canada’s New to Canada survey released today, which polled over 600 new immigrants across the country regarding their relocation experience. The study reveals that, while Canada offers a friendly reception along with quality of life and natural beauty, the arrival and adjustment process is not without its challenges.
http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=18298

Vancouver least welcoming of Canadian cities: survey (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
Vancouver was ranked the least welcoming Canadian city in an HSBC survey released Thursday that polled immigrants about their relocation experience. While 73 per cent of survey respondents said they found Vancouver a welcoming city, it placed last behind Montreal (89 per cent), Calgary/Edmonton (84 per cent) and Toronto (79 per cent).
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Vancouver+least+welcoming+Canadian+cities+survey/7484035/story.html

Finding room for compassion (Edmonton Journal)
The case of two University of Regina students ordered deported to their native Nigeria for what appears to be a minor breach of their student visa rules grows more curious by the week. Victoria Ordu and Ihuoma Amadi found sanctuary in a Regina church on June 19 after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) ordered them deported. Their “crime” was that they briefly worked at Walmart in 2011 – under the terms of their student visas they are only permitted to work on campus.
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Finding+room+compassion/7473774/story.html

Two embassies temporarily banned from bringing servants to Canada (Global News)
The Department of Foreign Affairs recently banned two countries from bringing domestic servants to Canada to work in diplomatic households due to workplace abuses and labour violations. The temporary bans came this spring after the department’s Office of Protocol found evidence that private servants working in the homes of some diplomatic staff “have been the targets of workplace abuses and extensive labour rights violations.” A quarterly report from the office dated from March to June 2012 and obtained by Global News outlines the abuses, including unpaid wages, unilateral changes to contracts, excessive working hours and possible debt bondage.
http://www.globalnews.ca/politics/6442745741/story.html

New Passport Look Celebrates Canadian History while Boosting SecurityNew Passport Look Celebrates Canadian History while Boosting Security (South Asian Generation Next)
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada’s new ePassport will be full of iconic images that will make Canadian passports more attractive and more secure. “The new ePassport will be more reflective and representative of who we are as Canadians,” said Baird during an event at the newly renamed Canadian Museum of History. “These images showcase Canada’s history and the building of our great nation while adding essential new security features for the 21st Century.” The new images will also serve to keep the Can
http://www.sagennext.com/2012/11/01/new-passport-look-celebrates-canadian-history-while-boosting-securitynew-passport-look-celebrates-canadian-history-while-boosting-security/

Tweaked passport images mere tokenism, still don’t reflect diversity: critics (Dean Beeby, Vancouver Sun)
The Harper government awarded itself some wins and a loss Wednesday as it fended off criticism for erasing women and minorities from Canada’s past. Passport Canada came under fire this week after The Canadian Press disclosed that focus groups had complained that images chosen for new passports short-change Canada’s multiculturalism and the contributions of women.
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Tweaked+passport+images+mere+tokenism+still+dont+reflect/7478698/story.html

New Canadian passports depict the country as either dead or dusty (Kelly McParland, National Post)
Canadians have spent decades trying to counter the world’s impression of our country as a pleasant but dull expanse of geography located directly north of the much-more exciting United States. Then along comes Passport Canada to reconfirm all the prejudices. Last week the federal agency unveiled its newly redesigned passports, complete with “iconic” watermark images on the pages. The term “iconic” is applied so liberally these days it’s lost much of its meaning, but at Passports Canada it apparently stands for “a bit musty.”
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/10/31/kelly-mcparland-new-canadian-passports-depict-the-country-as-either-dead-or-dusty/

Tweaked passport images mere tokenism, still don’t reflect diversity: critics (Global News)
The Harper government awarded itself some wins and a loss Wednesday as it fended off criticism for erasing women and minorities from Canada’s past. Passport Canada came under fire this week after The Canadian Press disclosed that focus groups had complained that images chosen for new passports short-change Canada’s multiculturalism and the contributions of women. The series of more than a dozen iconic images, printed as watermarks in the pages of the new passports, include landmarks and famous white men but show little human diversity, said the focus groups consulted for the agency in April.
http://www.globalnews.ca/health/canada/tweaked+passport+images+mere+tokenism+still+dont+reflect+diversity+critics/6442745040/story.html

ePassport Images Under Fire For Lack Of Diversity (Michael Bolen, Huffington Post)
The Harper government awarded itself some wins and a loss Wednesday as it fended off criticism for erasing women and minorities from Canada’s past. Passport Canada came under fire this week after The Canadian Press disclosed that focus groups had complained that images chosen for new passports short-change Canada’s multiculturalism and the contributions of women. The series of more than a dozen iconic images, printed as watermarks in the pages of the new passports, include landmarks and famous white men but show little human diversity, said the focus groups consulted for the agency in April.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/31/epassport-canada-photos-images_n_2051975.html

Chris Selley on the new Canadian passports and the colour of money (Chris Selley, National Post)
“If there is one lesson to be learned from this it is that the bank would be best served by leaving people off the bills, save a historic figure being commemorated,” Queen’s University marketing professor Ken Wong told the Financial Post at the time. I disagree. The one lesson is that if your focus group makes a really dumb observations, ignore them. Neither lesson has been learned. This week, the government unveiled the new Canadian passport, each page watermarked with some Canadian monument, activity, landscape or historical figure. I think they’re quite lovely, and the online reaction — even from people for whom a rose from Stephen Harper would smell of rotting flesh — seemed similarly enthusiastic. The only misstep, I thought, was the somewhat perfunctory side-by-side depictions of kids playing football and hockey, with the Grey and Stanley Cups, respectively, hovering above them.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/02/chris-selley-on-the-new-canadian-passports-and-the-colour-of-money/

Canada’s census statistics raise questions about official language policy (Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun)
New statistics on the number of French speakers in Canada are triggering a debate about the future of official bilingualism. In B.C., 70 per cent of residents report English as their mother tongue while a scant 1.3 per cent cite French, according to census data released last week. Meanwhile, 26 per cent of British Columbians report their mother tongue is neither English nor French.
http://www.vancouversun.com/Census+statistics+raise+questions+about+official+language+policy/7485229/story.html

‘Why wouldn’t I love her?’: Killer who slit wife’s throat rejects Crown’s honour-killing theory (Megan O’toole, National Post)
Peer Khairi has a habit of answering questions with questions. When the Crown on Thursday asked the Afghan immigrant — accused of murdering his culturally permissive wife to preserve the family’s Muslim honour — whether he expected his children to adhere to Islamic dress codes, he became indignant. “To whom did I say that?” Mr. Khairi replied, hunched forward in a dark suit jacket, brow furrowed.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11/01/why-wouldnt-i-love-her-killer-testifies-he-had-no-problems-with-his-wife-before-he-slit-her-throat/

Afghan immigrant denies killing wife over honour (Toronto Star)
An Afghan immigrant who stabbed and nearly decapitated his wife denies she enraged him by asserting her rights and tarnishing his honour. Peer Khairi rejected repeated suggestions Thursday he killed his wife Randjida, 53, in a murderous fury over her increasing independence and support for their children’s Western ways. “You said that Randjida was informed that women in Canada have a lot of rights and that’s when she started acting out and insulting you,” prosecutor Amanda Camara suggested in her cross-examination.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/crime/article/1281447–afghan-immigrant-denies-killing-wife-over-honour

Federal court backs rejection of immigrant accused of spying for Soviets (Stewart Bell, National Post)
Dmytro Afanasyev’s application to immigrate to Canada went well at first. The Ukrainian was a strong candidate, with a master’s degree in international law and a certificate as an English translator. But then Canadian immigration authorities found out about the time he had spent in the Soviet Army’s 82nd Special Communications Brigade in East Germany, eavesdropping on the military bases of Canada’s NATO allies during the Cold War.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11/01/federal-court-backs-rejection-of-immigrant-accused-of-spying-for-soviets/

Till marriage fraud do us part: More changes to Canada’s immigration rules (Maria Kari, rabble)
Fresh off efforts cracking down on “bogus refugees,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney turned his eye to “bogus unions,” declaring on October 25, 2012 that the jig on marriage fraud is over. For several years now the Conservative majority has deemed marriage fraud a serious threat — one that has steadily moved from calamity to catastrophe, attacking the very integrity of our immigration system. In response to this perceived crisis, Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) has made amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, introducing a probationary period for sponsored partners (akin to Australia, the U.S. and the UK).
http://rabble.ca/news/2012/11/till-marriage-fraud-do-us-part

TDSB Student and Parent Census (TDSB)
The TDSB’s mission is to help our students reach the highest levels of achievement possible. So far, our efforts are working, with overall student achievement across the TDSB improving significantly. However, achievement gaps still exist among students from different backgrounds. We believe that, with the right support, every student can achieve their full potential, and it is our goal to identify the gaps and provide the appropriate supports.
http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=310&menuid=4410&pageid=3755

Newcomer Success Stories: Francis Atta (Tory Hetherington, Orange LLP)
This week the Orange Team sits down with the extraordinary Francis Atta, who speaks with us about difficulties facing disadvantaged youth, the Canadian immigrant experience, and the tremendous importance of volunteering. Born in Ghana and growing up at Jane and Finch, Francis has enacted significant social change with his company K.E.Y.S., has won countless awards and scholarships, and was a recipient of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2012 Award.
http://orangellp.ca/blog/?p=653

IMMIGRATION: Mind your language! (Nick Noorani)
The past few days have seen such a flurry of articles on the front pages of dailies and other news media about English not being spoken in immigrant homes. Well duh! Seriously? Is this something new? We did know at least a year ago that almost 20 per cent of the population was born outside Canada. We also knew for the last decade that immigrants are coming from countries where English is NOT the first language. Why then are we SO surprised that they would speak their own language or “mother tongue” (as it is appropriately called) at home? I am surprised people (or should I say the 80 per cent) are surprised!
http://www.vancouverdesi.com/bloggers/immigration-blog/immigration-mind-your-language/

Kenney set to fast-track foreign students for immigration (CBC)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced that he wants to admit more foreign students currently studying in Canada as permanent residents and potential citizens, though he also plans to maintain Canada’s overall immigration level at the same tally that’s been in place since 2007 — between 240,000 to 265,000 people.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/10/31/pol-immigration-levels-2013.html

Canada to keep same immigration levels for 2013 (Toronto Star)
Ottawa will keep the same immigrant intake at between 240,000 and 265,000 people for 2013, but won’t say how the annual quotas will be split among the economic, family and refugee streams until later. Since the Conservative government came to power in 2006, the number of immigrants admitted to Canada has averaged at 250,000.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1280343–immigration-levels-to-stay-the-same-in-2013-mix-to-change-kenney

Immigration delays lead some workers to desperate measures (Robson Fletcher, Metro)
Foreign workers are sometimes so desperate to stay in Calgary that they will divorce their spouses overseas and marry Canadians decades older than themselves, says a prominent member of the city’s Filipino community. “This is quite common now,” said Marlon Antonio, founder and CEO of Great Life Financial, a company that helps new arrivals to Canada navigate the country’s economic and social systems.
http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/424248/immigration-delays-lead-some-foreign-workers-to-desperate-measure/

Photo-ops, big business and a nod to Indo-Canadian community during Harper trip (Jennifer Ditchburn, Canada.com)
On Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s upcoming trip to India, both the host and the guest will be handling a little baggage. The six-day visit which begins on Sunday is a mix of photo opportunities, trade and business talk, and of course the requisite nod to Canadian domestic politics — namely the more than one-million-strong Indian-Canadian community.
http://www.canada.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=7478554

CBC News Hosts Earn Cover Story of Diversity Magazine (CBC)
Congratulations to CBC News Toronto’s dynamic duo, Anne-Marie Mediwake and Dwight Drummond, who earned a cover story in the first issue of Diversity Magazine! The new magazine highlights diversity, harmony and innovation in Canada by profiling outstanding recipients from the 2012 Diversity Awards and the Top 25 in Diversity list as selected by Silvertrust Communications, the magazine’s publishers.
http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/community/mt/2012/10/cbc-news-hosts-earn-cover-story-on-diversity-magazine.html

Sentence no comfort to bilked immigrant (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
A four-and-a-half-year prison sentence handed to a Winnipegger who bilked poor foreigners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars is no comfort, says one of his victims. “For me, it does not make any difference if he will be sentenced to death or life in prison,” said Yadu Pandey. “He devastated 111 people.”
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/sentence-no-comfort-to-bilked-immigrant-176542341.html

Kenney set to fast-track foreign students for immigration (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has announced that he wants to admit more foreign students currently studying in Canada as permanent residents and potential citizens, though he also plans to maintain Canada’s overall immigration level at the same tally that’s been in place since 2007 — between 240,000 to 265,000 people. Flanked by young foreign students from Carleton and the University of Ottawa, and fronted by a large sign that said “Faster Immigration,” Kenney said Wednesday he is expanding the number of admissions under the Canadian Experience Class, which aims to recruit and retain international students who have studied and graduated in Canada as well as temporary foreign workers who speak one of Canada’s official languages and already have Canadian work experience.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/10/31/pol-immigration-levels-2013.html

An Immigration Plan That Works for Canada: More Immigrants Who Are Already Working in Canada to Be Admitted Through Canadian Experience Class (CIC)
The Government of Canada will maintain record levels of immigration to support economic growth in 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “Our Government’s number one priority remains economic and job growth,” said Minister Kenney. “Newcomers bring their skills and talents, contribute to our economy and help renew our workforce so that Canada remains competitive on the world stage.”
http://uspolitics.einnews.com/pr_news/121299554/an-immigration-plan-that-works-for-canada-more-immigrants-who-are-already-working-in-canada-to-be-admitted-through-canadian-experience-class

Canada, India and the rise of maple leaf migration (Anirudh Bhattacharyya, Hindustan Times)
In April last year, less than a month before general elections in Canada, the country’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper campaigned in the Toronto suburb of Brampton with an unusual figure: Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. The Prime Minister’s wife Laureen Harper also briefly danced with the actor. Harper’s wooing of the Indo-Canadian community paid dividends as additional seats in the Greater Toronto Area and led to his previously minority Conservative government securing a majority in the Canadian House of Commons, the country’s equivalent of the Lok Sabha. What was more significant was that Harper had to connect with the community since it is fast emerging as a major demographic group in Canada, with projections indicating it could become the largest ethnic group in the country by mid-century.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/AnirudhBhattacharyya/Canada-India-and-the-rise-of-maple-leaf-migration/Article1-953065.aspx

English family trapped by immigration rules (Robert Mangelsdorf – Maple Ridge News)
Lee and Lynn Dennis have given up on the Canadian dream, understandably considering how the country has given up on them. Lee, his wife Lynn, and teenage daughter Becky came to Canada from the U.K. three and half years ago under the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program . The program fast tracks the permanent resident application process for skilled workers, provided they are sponsored by an employer. For B.C. businesses, the program allows them to recruit skilled workers from around the world to fill positions in high demand.
http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/176871951.html

REFUGEES

Pitting citizens against refugees: Canadians know better (CCR)
Canadians are proud of their healthcare system, and the way in which it endeavours to treat everyone equally and fairly. Refugee healthcare has long been an important part of this healthcare system, reaching out to provide basic, urgent medical coverage to a vulnerable group. Which is why, on October 20, hundreds of concerned citizens gathered in front of an office in Saskatoon to express their support for refugee healthcare, and their frustration with changes being made to it.
http://ccrweb.ca/en/pitting-citizens-against-refugees-canadians-know-better

Strategies for opposing Bill C-31: panel discussion (FCJ Refugee Centre)
The Canadian Council for Refugees, the Southern Ontario Sanctuary Coalition, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers present: A panel discussion STRATEGIES FOR OPPOSING BILL C-31.
http://www.fcjrefugeecentre.org/?p=2975

Acceptance rates for refugees to Canada decline substantially since 2006 (Toronto Star)
Canada’s 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.
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1281250–acceptance-rates-for-refugees-to-canada-decline-substantially-since-2006

Vancouver demonstrators mourn cuts to refugee health care at Day of the Dead vigil (Straight.com)
Demonstrators with painted faces marked Day of the Dead with a protest against changes to health-care coverage for refugees that came into effect earlier this year.
http://www.straight.com/article-825391/vancouver/vancouver-demonstrators-mourn-cuts-refugee-health-care-day-dead-vigil

Help for refugees… with strings attached (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
A faith group that has helped hundreds of refugees get settled in Winnipeg hopes the courts will make the federal government sing a different tune. Hospitality House Refugee Ministry took the federal government to court when ended coverage for dental, prescription drug and vision care for privately sponsored refugees after June 30. That left the sponsors, mainly church groups, responsible for covering costs it argues the government promised and was under contract to provide. The refugee ministry hopes the law is on its side. For now, it has some musicians drumming up support for its work.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/help-for-refugees-with-strings-attached-176913661.html

UBC and a consortium of Canadian and Kenyan universities are looking to improve education for students in refugee camps (Arno Rosenfeld, The Ubyssey)
Mustafa Ibrahim Ahmed came to UBC from a refugee camp in eastern Africa five years ago. He and his family, fleeing from war, walked hundreds of miles from their home on the coast of Somalia to a semi-arid patch of desert across the border in a Kenya—Dadaab refugee camp. Ahmed was one of just eight students selected for a scholarship to attend university in Canada. Now, UBC and a consortium of Canadian and Kenyan universities are looking to improve education for refugee students who are unable to qualify for the few scholarships provided by World University Service Canada (WUSC).
http://ubyssey.ca/news/refugee-camp-543/

Coquitlam woman who lived in Iraq refugee camp sheds weight and breaks barriers (Phylicia Torrevillas, Metro)
From refugee camp to centre stage, Marrianne Mino has come out on top in her battle with weight and cultural oppression. The 24-year-old Coquitlam resident was born in a refugee camp in Iraq then her family immigrated to Canada when she was only two months old. Growing up, Mino saw her family struggle with finances, her parents separate and her mom endure difficult situations just to provide for her and her younger brother. Mino also had low self-esteem and struggled with her weight. At her heaviest, she weighed 200 lbs. “People always made me feel that my weight was wrong for me,” Mino said. “I wasn’t a good enough person because of my weight.” But she decided to take control of her life earlier this year and was inspired by her 40-year-old mother, a fitness buff who has placed in the top five at two international bodybuilding and fitness competitions, to start training and pursue her own interest in the sport.
http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/424157/coquitlam-woman-who-lived-in-iraq-refugee-camp-sheds-weight-and-breaks-barriers/

Oh Canada… Not So True or Free (Patheos.com)
Over the past few months, doctors and citizens in Canada have actively responded in opposition to the Conservative Government’s cuts refugee and refugee claimant’s health care. Much like other countries in North America and Europe, Canada is experiencing a new tide of anti-immigration sentiment. Recently, the Canadian government has been making revisions to immigration policies, creating “safe lists” of countries that are deemed to be democratic, or in a stable condition, basically creating a system where refugee claims by individuals and families can be refused, because their country is deemed “safe.” The effort and campaign to buff up the prison/carceral system to reflect the failed approaches implemented in California, Texas and France are being incorporated into an already unjust justice system. Yet where do Muslim women fit in all of this?
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mmw/2012/11/oh-canada-not-so-true-or-free/

Why are Harper and Ford pulling up the welcome mat? (PostCity)
The extraordinary influx of immigrants and refugees has been critical to Toronto’s success. These newcomers have brought the city new energy and ideas, new connections to the world and new sources of labour. As Doug Saunders writes in his recent book, Arrival City, Toronto has provided a welcoming and nurturing environment. But, that reputation is currently under threat.
http://www.postcity.com/Post-City-Magazines/November-2012/Why-are-Harper-and-Ford-pulling-up-the-welcome-mat/

Supporters say gay refugee claimant faces death back home if deported (CTV)
Supporters are speaking out against the scheduled deportation next week of a Toronto man they fear will be killed if he’s returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Augustas Dennie came to Canada two years ago to flee what he says was anti-gay violence that left him in a coma for a week in 2009 and resulted in brain damage. “They discovered I was gay. I tried to ignore my bullies, but they did not like it,” said Dennie, describing his most brutal attack in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “They took a big rock and hit my head with it. My right side was paralyzed. I was in a coma for a whole week and my friends thought I was dead.”
http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/supporters-say-gay-refugee-claimant-faces-death-back-home-if-deported-1.1021494

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION

The next 20 years of policy in Canada (Maytree)
For the last 20 years, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy has played an essential role as an independent and critical voice, providing rich, evidence-based research and analysis to inform public opinion and policy. At its recent 20th anniversary celebration, Caledon’s three principle policy consultants – Ken Battle, Michael Mendelson, and Sherri Torjman – presented a look back, with a look forward, at Canadian public policy.
http://maytree.com/blog/2012/11/the-next-20-years-of-policy-in-canada/

Webinar: Housing as Settlement: Issues and Solutions in Housing for Newcomers (CHRA)
With 250,000 immigrants and refugees arriving annually, immigration is an important feature of the Canadian landscape. Upon arrival, however, one of the greatest challenges newcomers face is finding adequate, affordable housing in neighbourhoods where they feel safe and have access to services. This webinar will present the latest knowledge on the intersection between immigrant settlement and housing. In particular, the distinct housing needs of newcomers will be explored, as will be the impact on newcomers of the shortage of affordable, rental housing that characterizes many of Canada’s urban centres. After looking at housing issues as they relate to newcomer settlement broadly, this webinar will share the experience of one organization – Winnipeg-based New Journey Housing – whose work focuses on supporting newcomers to find and maintain housing. With newcomers increasing steadily in recent years to levels that exceed 15,000 annually, the services provided by New Journey Housing have never been more valuable. From developing a ‘housing resource centre’, to providing housing workshops, rental housing counseling, in-home visits, referrals and other resources, the experience of New Journey Housing will be helpful for any housing provider whose client base includes newcomers, as well as settlement agencies looking at how they can best support their newcomer clients access and maintain housing.
http://www.chra-achru.ca/en/index.php/news-events/events/webinar-housing-as-settlement-issues-and-solutions-in-housing-for-newcomers/

The Spectator’s view: Hamilton city council says no to misguided cutbacks (Hamilton Spectator)
Critics of Hamilton’s city council — ourselves included — are never slow to criticize. Too often we are less responsive when they do the right thing. This week council did exactly the right thing when confronted with unfair, unreasonable and undemocratic downloading of social service costs on to the municipality by Queen’s Park. Without any meaningful consultation, the McGuinty government announced it would drastically reduce support for discretionary health benefits paid to Ontario Works (OW) recipients. These include funerals, glasses, dental care, prosthetics cribs and baby supplies. Also at play are cuts to the Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit program (CSUMB), which helps low-income people struggling with housing to access rental deposits, clothing and household goods, transportation and utilities.
http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/article/829025–the-spectator-s-view-hamilton-city-council-says-no-to-misguided-cutbacks

Video – The monster in the closet: Income inequality (rabble)
An illustration of a scary problem haunting Canada — income inequality. This video is part of NUPGE’s ‘All Together Now’ campaign for public services and tax fairness.
http://rabble.ca/rabbletv/program-guide/2012/10/best-net/monster-closet-income-inequality

Recession’s legacy has food-bank usage soaring in Canada (Globe and Mail)
A record number of Canadians visited a food bank this year, an indication the recession’s legacy continues to bite. More than 882,000 people used a food bank this March, a 2.4-per-cent increase from last year. Demand is now 31-per-cent higher than before the recession, a study to be released Tuesday says.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/recessions-legacy-has-food-bank-usage-soaring-in-canada/article4748510/

Video: Generation Now: 2012 David Lewis Lecture (CCPA)
On October 4th, the CCPA proudly hosted the 2012 David Lewis Lecture, a series that examines the future of democracy in Canada. This year’s lecture featured “Generation Now,” four emerging voices on the Canadian political landscape: Vancouver’s Emma Pullman (SumOfUs) and Jamie Biggar (Leadnow), and activists Brigette DePape and Ben Powless.

Video of “Action On Poverty” Riding Profile Launch Event is now available (Social Planning Toronto)
The Action on Poverty Riding Profiles are a joint initiative of the Durham, Hamilton, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York social planning councils. Individually, they offer a ‘snapshot’ of the extent and nature of poverty in 53 of the provincial/federal ridings in the ‘Golden Horseshoe,’ as well as an example of a positive initiative that addresses poverty at the local level. Viewed collectively, these profiles paint a portrait of poverty across the region, and offer an impressive array of responses to this critical challenge to our region.
http://www.socialplanningtoronto.org/reports/video-of-action-on-poverty-riding-profile-launch-event-is-now-available/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Check Your Cultural Biases at the Door to Uncover a Candidate’s True Capabilities (hireimmigrants.ca)
Your own unconscious cultural biases can have a major impact when conducting interviews. Understanding these biases and cultural differences in communication will help you evaluate skilled immigrant candidates more objectively.
http://www.hireimmigrants.ca/etips/check-your-cultural-biases-at-the-door-to-uncover-a-candidates-true-capabilities/

Foreign workers shouldn’t get jobs Canadians can do: Kenney (Kristy Kirkup, Edmonton Sun)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday he wants to ensure the temporary foreign work program operates “on the basis of Canadians first” in light of concerns raised about permits granted to Chinese miners at a B.C. coal mine. “Companies cannot access foreign workers unless or until they have demonstrated to the government that they have advertised the job in Canada, offering it to any qualified Canadians,” Kenney told QMI Agency.
http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/10/31/foreign-workers-shouldnt-get-jobs-canadians-can-do-kenney

New immigration rules could ease Alberta labour crunch (Adrian Wyld, Calgary Herald)
An opportunity to do advanced research in biomedical engineering lured PhD student Pierre Wijdenes to Calgary from France two months ago. Wijdenes, 24, isn’t sure if he’ll remain in Canada when he finishes his research and his student visa expires, but a federal announcement on Wednesday has cleared the way for a greater number of highly skilled foreigners like him to stay as permanent residents if they want. Wijdenes grew to appreciate Canada’s cultural diversity and Calgary’s proximity to the mountains during a prior internship in the city, and those things may yet play a role in getting him to settle here.
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/immigration+rules+could+ease+Alberta+labour+crunch/7479316/story.html

Pilot project seeks to streamline recruitment of professionals (Stephanie Wilson, ICTC)
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), in collaboration with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges – Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (ACCC-CIIP), is very pleased to announce a new initiative, the Global Talent Connection. This will help Canadian employers recruit overseas ICT and non-ICT workers who are already in the process of moving to Canada and can help fill a critical need for skilled employees here. We’re running a pilot program until March 2013 that will match employers with internationally educated professionals (IEPs) before they arrive in Canada. ICTC and ACCC-CIIP will work together to help employers in need of highly skilled ICT and non-ICT workers find qualified candidates, screen them, and even facilitate virtual interviews. These professionals, already in the process of immigrating here, are typically highly educated and have multiple years of experience.
http://www.ictc-ctic.ca/?p=8538

Racial Inclusion Doesn’t Happen if Organizations Ignore it (Hannah Miller, Triple Pundit)
In the Harvard Business Review a few weeks ago, a post explored survey results that showed more than 35 percent of African-Americans and Latinos and 45 percent of Asian Americans felt they had to hide their own personalities and selves to fit in at work. In the survey, race and ethnicity accounted for a much higher rate of African Americans (40 percent) and people of color in general (30 percent) feeling like outsiders at work, compared to twenty-six percent of whites. The study, by the HR think tank the Center for Talent Innovation, is called “Vaulting the Color Bar: How Sponsorship Levers Minorities into Leadership.” In prior studies, CTI found even worse numbers, that only a third of Asian-Americans felt comfortable being their authentic selves at work and were avoiding talking about or wearing anything perceived as “too ethnic,” and high numbers of African Americans and women struggling with racial and gender stereotypes about management and communication styles. In managerial positions, a full 37 percent of people of color felt uncomfortable expressing themselves on the job.
http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/11/racial-inclusion-in-the-workplace/

Ottawa investigating foreign worker permits for Chinese miners in B.C. (James Keller, Winnipeg Free Press)
Ottawa is investigating controversial foreign worker permits that will allow as many as 201 Chinese miners to work a proposed project in northern British Columbia, a government spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday. HD Mining International Ltd. has obtained permits for miners from China to conduct exploration work at its proposed Murray River project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., located about 200 kilometres west of Grande Prairie, Alta. The company insists there aren’t any Canadian workers trained in the specialized skills it needs.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/ottawa-investigating-foreign-worker-permits-for-chinese-miners-in-bc-176479201.html

It’s all about cheap labour (Terrace Standard)
The first 200 Chinese workers are arriving in Canada, they represent 10 per cent of the expected numbers. Pat Bell, the Minister of everything is telling us that they are needed to work and teach Canadians because we do not have trained miners. British Columbia has a long history of hard rock mining and have lots of skilled people. Traditionally new miners are trained in the mines not the classrooms. It takes a day or two for new employees to learn to operate mining equipment, but the most important knowledge, how to stay alive is what the experiences miners hands down to younger miners.
http://www.terracestandard.com/opinion/letters/176114561.html

Why I came to Canada – A Mentee’s Story (ERIEC)
Nimaya Lodu is a mentee in ERIEC’s Career Mentorship Program. I asked him if he was willing to share with our readers why he chose to come to Canada. This is what he wrote.
http://eriecedmonton.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/why-i-came-to-canada-a-mentees-story/

TIEDI Labour Force Update – October 2012
This monthly report provides up-to-date labour market data on immigrants, relying on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The report includes labour market data for the Toronto CMA and Canada as a whole.
http://www.yorku.ca/tiedi/labourforce.html

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Rob Ford, City Hall and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/11/02/fridays-headlines-269/

Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Sandy, Ford, Dogs and Other News.
http://spacingtoronto.ca/2012/11/01/34532/

SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

Upcoming Webinar: Evaluating Social Innovation (JW McConnell Family Foundation)
On November 14 at 1:00 p.m. (ET), tune-in for Evaluating Social Innovation: Insights from the Field, a webinar with Foundation Strategy Group‘s (FSG) Hallie Preskill and Tanya Beer of the Center for Evaluation Innovation, in conversation with Meg Long, Deputy Director at the OMG Center for Collaboration, and John Cawley, Director of Programs and Operations at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. The discussion, based on FSG’s recent publication Evaluating Social Innovation, will focus on the successes and challenges that funders and evaluators have experienced in successfully implementing Developmental Evaluations of complex social innovations.
http://www.mcconnellfoundation.ca/blog/news/upcoming-webinar-evaluating-social-innovation

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marco

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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