Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 23, 2012


Supplier diversity not advanced in Canada: Study (CivicAction)
The Royal Bank of Canada has a mentorship program to help businesses owned by minority groups to bid for its supply contracts. At the Toronto Dominion Bank, bankers take part in educational events for small- and medium-sized companies to join its diverse supply chain. Even the YMCA, a not-for-profit group, now asks its potential good and service suppliers about their own diversity program before giving them its business. However, the supplier diversity practices at these three Greater Toronto-based organizations are the exceptions rather than the norm, says a new report released Wednesday by the DiverseCity initiatives, a joint project by the Maytree Foundation and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance.

Language And Culture Barriers (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Arthur Cheung, his father and mother-in-law both live with Alzheimer’s disease, and Bonnie Wong. She is a social worker of the Caregiver Education and Resource Centre at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, the Centre just launched a two-week Alzheimer’s and dementia awareness campaign called “Welcome Home”.

News Release — Paul Yuzyk Award Winner Announces $20,000 Grant Recipient (CIC)
Bridget Foster, named the 2012 recipient of the Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism, has selected the Association for New Canadians (ANV) to receive a $20,000 grant from the Government of Canada. The ANV is an organization dedicated to supporting all aspects of newcomer integration in Newfoundland and Labrador. For over 30 years, the organization has delivered services in settlement, language learning, skills development and employment.

An Expanded Canadian Experience Class (Raj Sharma)
Earlier this week I was a panellist on Alberta Prime Time discussing the expanded Canadian Experience Class. The increased processing – expected to be 10,000 applicants for 2013, is a “no-brainer”. Canadian Experience Class applicants are already in Canada, already have education and (skilled) work experience in this country, and are proficient in English or French. The only issue in my mind is why the CEC only comprises a fraction of the 250,000-260,000 permanent residents we welcome to Canada every year.

Jailed G20 activist claims Vanier prison violates Ontario Human Rights Code (The Record)
A jailed G20 activist alleges mental disabilities, physical challenges, citizenship, poverty and skin colour are unfairly confining some inmates of the Vanier Centre for Women to maximum security. Amanda Hiscocks also maintains her political beliefs as an anarchist and anti-capitalist led to discrimination. The charges, to be filed Thursday, come in an application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. They target the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the provincial prison in Milton.–jailed-g20-activist-claims-vanier-prison-violates-ontario-human-rights-code

New video for immigrants (Craig Gilbert, London Community News)
Abood spoke to the London Community News Wednesday (Nov. 21) at the launch of a new video designed to welcome international newcomers to the city. She and five other new Canadians — from Bhutan, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Bosnia and Liberia — starred in the seven-minute film. They each told their stories and described the support they received from the video’s producers, the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP), the London & Middlesex Immigration Portal and the City of London. The idea behind the video is to make integrating easier for immigrants who choose to settle here. The video can be found on YouTube; search for “City of London Immigration.”

Privy Council spending $463K on ethnic media monitoring (Evan Solomon, CBC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada isn’t the only federal department spending hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping a keen eye on the country’s ethnic media. The Privy Council Office, the bureaucracy that supports the prime minister, spent $463,300 last January on a two-year contract with the same ethnic media monitoring company that Citizenship has paid almost $750,000 over the past three years. The CIC contracts, obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information laws, make clear that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ethnic outreach minister Jason Kenney consider ethnic media critical sources of intelligence.

Ontario immigration, immigrant outcomes (Nick Noorani)
While one can talk about hiring barriers being a contributory factor to immigrant unemployment, one cannot assume all immigrants have equal skills! Research points to language skills and age being contributory factors for successful immigrant outcomes. The proposed changes by the federal government are in complete alignment with this and should help us have an immigration system that factors outcomes on the same level as skills!

Devinder Shory: Drop the Indo from Indo-Canadian (Kevin O’Keefe, ichannel)
On #FAQMP this week is Calgary-Northeast MP Devinder Shory who speaks passionately about a number of issues that may not surprise you and a few that may. First up, Shory is quite outspoken about immigrants getting their foreign credentials recognized. A lawyer in his native India, Shory struggled to get qualified when he immigrated to Canada in 1989. For nearly 10 years he worked a series of low skill jobs, including driving a taxi, before he reestablished himself as an attorney in Calgary.


Federal refugee health cut ‘unbelievable’ (Star Phoenix)
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is criticizing a federal decision to deny chemotherapy to a refugee claimant as “unbelievable” and un-Canadian. “It’s unbelievable that some of the decisions that have been taken federally are having this impact on people who are clearly the most vulnerable, refugees who are obviously fleeing something quite terrible — that’s why they’re refugees,” Wall told reporters in Regina Thursday. “On the face of it, you just consider the case of this particular gentleman or others who, for example, as it was pointed out . . . might need prenatal care, this is just common sense. You just do this. “This is the kind of country we are. You cover it.”

Saskatchewan premier says impact of federal refugee health cuts ‘unbelievable’ (Jennifer Graham, Winnipeg Free Press)
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is criticizing a federal decision to deny chemotherapy to a refugee as “unbelievable” and un-Canadian. Wall says he doesn’t understand the rationale behind the move. “It’s unbelievable that some of the decisions that have been taken federally are having this impact on people who are clearly the most vulnerable, refugees who are obviously fleeing something quite terrible — that’s why they’re refugees,” Wall said Thursday.

Who pays for a SK refugee’s cancer treatment? (CBC Morning Edition)
While a refugee claimant battles cancer in Saskatchewan, politicians have been sorting out who paid for it and who ‘should.’

Cancer patient, a refugee, needs health coverage, Sask. NDP say (CBC)
The NDP Opposition wants the Saskatchewan government to help refugees who lost their drug, dental and vision coverage because of federal cuts. New Democrat Cam Broten said Wednesday that refugees, including a man in Saskatoon with cancer, are falling through the cracks. According to Broten, the man received chemotherapy but he couldn’t afford medication for the side effects and nearly quit treatment.

Hard line on refugees hurts Tories (Murray Mandryk, The Leader-Post)
If you have ever wondered why the Saskatchewan Party seems destined to govern longer than the Conservatives, contrast how each handled the case of a refugee applicant suffering from cancer. Examine the compassion from provincial Health Minister Dustin Duncan or the “common sense” wisdom from Premier Brad Wall. And compare it with not only the silence we are hearing from federal Conservatives, but also the intolerable meanness in Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar MP Kelly Block’s refugee mailout last month that achieved no other public purpose other than to incite anger with misleading information. It was truly as mean-spirited as it was politically stupid.

A SEA OF TROUBLES: Part 2 (Katie Derosa, Ottawa Citizen)
“The government has been demanding more proofs of identity than usual, investing significant energy and resources in a search for adverse information about the passengers, advancing weak arguments for inadmissibility based on tenuous alleged connections with the LTTE (Tamil Tigers), vigorously opposing release by the Immigration and Refugee Board, and contesting orders of release in the Federal Court, even in cases involving children,” the council wrote in a statement. “In the case of the Sun Sea, there was a lot of political strategizing around these cases,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “They weren’t just treated in the normal way according to the law and normal processes; there was a decision being made on how to treat them in a different and special way.”

Harper Supports Malala, Shuns her Sisters Worldwide (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
The October 8 murder attempt left Malala in critical condition. An uncle described her as being in excruciating pain and unable to stop moving her arms and legs. Days later, Malala was whisked away to the UK to receive the best possible medical care. Like many refugees, Malala needed medical assistance because of the life-threatening circumstances in which she fled her homeland. As many refugees will attest, the unrestricted medical care they receive in their new country will strengthen their health and it will also strengthen their sense of gratitude towards the people, the nation which opened their doors to them. Perhaps Malala might want to stay in a country that affords healthcare and rights to all its inhabitants while supporting women’s rights abroad. Sadly, that country isn’t Canada.


Why Poverty? (TVO The Agenda)
A groundbreaking cross-media event reaching more than 500 million people around the world. TVO is proud to be one of 70 participating broadcasters kick-starting national and global debates about poverty in the 21st Century.

Guest Post: Five Reasons Why Income Security Should Remain A Priority (Pedro Barata, TVO The Agenda)
The ink was barely dry on Frances Lankin and Munir Sheikh’s Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario final report when the inevitable questions about “political priorities” began emerging: what kind of attention can social assistance really muster in the context of ongoing debates on jobs, the economy, deficits, party leadership, and election scuttlebutt? “As much as possible” is the answer that the commission has convincingly offered in its case for welfare reform. In fact, to decouple social assistance reform from our political, economic, and fiscal challenges is to miss the whole point of the discussion. Scratch beneath the surface of this oft-forgotten and ignored area of social policy, and a surprising number of dots begin to connect in a wide range of areas that should matter to every Ontarian.

Merulla is the canary in the coal mine (Andrew Dreschel, Hamilton Spectator)
Merulla has been Hamilton’s canary in the coal mine on this file. He has been arguing for years that the transfer of provincial services and programs onto the backs of municipalities is having a devastating financial impact on Hamilton’s ability to address its infrastructure needs. Even after the McGuinty government began uploading some of the services downloaded by the Harris government, Merulla never ceased criticizing the “financially abusive relationship.”–merulla-is-the-canary-in-the-coal-mine

Child Poverty (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Armine Yalnizyan. She is our business commentator on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Supporting Food Banks (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Gail Nyberg. She is executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank . Its holiday fundraising campaign kicks off today and runs until the end of the year. And Gail will be back with us on Friday, December 7th when we celebrate Sounds of the Season at Glenn Gould Studio.

Let’s not lose an opportunity to use campaign technology for good (Alison Loat, Huffington Post)
As Canadians respond to allegations about the misuse of robocalls in the 2011 federal campaign, it’s critical that such technologies are not confused with tactics. The public debate must consider the potential these technologies offer political leaders to more effectively reach the citizens they serve. As the recent US election demonstrated, technology and data are changing the way campaigns are fought and won. As several articles detailed, Barak Obama’s team’s superior ability to mine data on voters’ demographics and psychological preferences, and target campaign messages accordingly, appears to have had a decisive impact on the election result. Research also suggests these approaches can also get more people to the polls, a welcome occurrence to anyone concerned about the generation-long decline in voter turnout.

Happy National Housing Day 2012: Three important things all Canadians should know! (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
Happy National Housing Day 2012, Canada! November 22 is recognized by the federal government, and in communities across Canada, as a day to mark the importance of affordable housing in the health and lives of individual Canadians and in the population and economic health of the entire country.

Another National Housing Day (Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation)
It’s November 22nd, 2012. Another National Housing Day. What do we have to show for it? We have a federal government that continues to ignore calls for a national housing strategy and that, other than the odd stimulus blip, invests less and less in housing and homelessness programs. Don’t believe what they say about “belt tightening” and sacrifice. The money is there. It’s all about priorities.

B.C.’s poverty rate ranks 2nd worst in nation, report says (Dirk Meissner, Times Colonist)
British Columbia must target child-poverty reduction with the same gusto it devotes to its jobs creation strategy, says a report that finds B.C. has the second highest child poverty rate in Canada. First Call BC, a child and youth advocacy coalition of more than 90 provincial organizations and 25 communities, says the latest Statistics Canada numbers peg B.C.’s child-poverty rate at 14.3 per cent, with the Canadian average at 13.7 per cent.

Poverty up, not income (Sara Williamson Vice-chair, Poverty Free Thunder Bay)
This is not about old ideologies. The Cold War ended in the ’80s. We are in different times. Today, the average CEO takes home 250 times the income of the average Canadian, while a generation ago that ratio was 25 times the average. While the highest income earners have enjoyed large income increases over the last generation, the bottom 40 per cent have seen stagnant or declining incomes, despite putting more hours into the workforce each year. Many people are working two or three part-time jobs. A full-time worker on minimum wage is trying to support her or his family on $1,777 a month before deductions. Ontario now provides less funding than any other province in Canada for all our public programs and services (health care, education, justice, disability benefits, etc.). Ontarians are paying for poor public program funding through mushrooming user fees and reduced services.

Look at me, I’m Mr. Rags-To-Riches! (John Moore, National Post)
According to the analytical framework employed in a new study from the right-leaning Fraser Institute, I pulled myself up from society’s lowest rungs. I am living the Horatio Alger myth. That study — lauded by Jesse Kline — claims to turn everything we know about income inequality and income mobility on its head. Its authors, Charles Lammam and Neil Veldhuis, insist their research “overthrows the claims of Occupy protesters.” Indeed, they argue that the story of income inequality and stagnating wages is “a great fictional tale.” So how did they arrive at this conclusion? They crunched the earnings of a million Canadians over a period of 19 years, and discovered that 83% of us moved up the income ladder over that period of time. That’s impressive. As a statistical parlour trick.

Latest Media and Policy News: 22 Nov 2012 (ISAC)
A round up of media on poverty and policy from ISAC.

Applying a Social Inclusion Lens to Electoral Boundary Changes in Hamilton (Sara Mayo, Raise the Hammer)
The 2012 Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario is currently working to change electoral boundaries to reflect population growth. In Hamilton, some concerns were raised about the first set of proposed boundaries, including residents in Hamilton’s West Mountain who voiced that they did not have a community of interest with Ancaster. “Community of interest” is one of the primary criteria in the legislation that sets out how ridings are to be re-drawn. In light of these concerns, the Boundary Commission released revised maps for the five proposed ridings for Hamilton.

Five recommendations to move us toward voter equality (Maytree)
Every ten years (after each full census) federal boundaries commissions redraw the electoral districts to reflect changes in the population. In practice, the goal is that all electoral districts should all have about the same number of voters. A nationwide public hearing process looking at the redrawn electoral districts recently concluded. On November 15th, the Mowat Centre presented its formal submission to the Boundaries Commission for Ontario. The submission, authored by Michael Pal and Melissa Molson, argues that although the proposed map moves somewhat closer to the principle of voter equality, it stands in contrast to the proposed maps in comparable provinces, which took the principle of voter equality more seriously than the Ontario Commission.


Now on to action: Testing new ideas with small and medium-sized enterprises (Maytree)
ALLIES research initiative, Global Talent for SMEs: Finding Solutions, is bearing fruit through creative action! Our research examined ways to better understand the hiring needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to develop strategies on how to better support them in attracting immigrant talent. The study made several recommendations on how to connect SMEs with unemployed or underemployed skilled immigrants. As a direct result of this research project, new and innovative strategies and programs are being initiated to connect SMEs and immigrant talent in Calgary, Halifax and Toronto with support from the RBC Foundation.

KAIROS Receives Award for Outstanding Migrant Justice Work (Canada Newswire)
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives ( was the recipient of a UFCW Canada Agricultural Workers Award, along with four others, in recognition for its outstanding contributions to improving the lives of agriculture workers in Canada. The award was presented at a ceremony in Toronto on November 21, 2012. From left UFCW National Representative Stan Raper, hands the award to KAIROS representatives Migrant Justice Program Coordinator Alfredo Barahona, Executive Director Jennifer Henry, Board Member Adele Finney and Asia-Pacific Program Coordinator Connie Sorio.

Workplace Diversity: Nine Steps To Increase Diversity Without Offending Your Staff (Huffington Post)
Huffington Post UK has spoken to a variety of companies in an attempt to provide a list of practical steps all businesses can take to ensure they’re doing their utmost to encourage diversity in senior positions.


Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Mayor Ford, Parking Tickets, TDSB, TCHC and Other News.


Ontario Becomes Latest Province to Launch Open Data Portal (Taryn Mcmillan, Tech Vibes)
Ontario residents are getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the place they call home. This month, Ontario became the latest province to launch an open data portal. Currently, the database contains 63 files on various topics, including roadwork, geology, and tourism in the province. The online portal is easy to use and files can be downloaded directly from the website onto a PC.

Charity Fraud (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with forensic accountant Edward Nagel.

Innoweave’s First Impact & Strategic Clarity Workshop (JW McConnell Family Foundation)
On Friday, November 16, Innoweave welcomed its first round of participants in the Impact & Strategic Clarity module. Hosted by PricewaterhouseCoopers Foundation, this workshop provided an opportunity for participants to delve deeper into articulating their intended impact and theory of change. Led by the Bridgespan Group, participants joined in conversation about what their organizations were are trying to achieve, their strategies for getting there, and gave input and feedback to each other. As noted by some participants, these discussions were both challenging and rewarding, complicated and meaningful. Innoweave commends the passion and commitment of the 14 participating organizations and wishes them the best as they continue through this six-month journey!

Innoweave: What’s Your Theory of Change? (JW McConnell Family Foundation)
The Innoweave Impact and Strategic Clarity module focuses on an approach to strategic thinking that eludes many non-profit organizations. Rather than focusing on what we do (activities), a theory of change requires us to think about the ultimate goals we are trying to achieve (outcomes) and how, through our activities, we achieve those goals. Though it sounds simple, this is actually a fairly challenging exercise – so much so that Innoweave is putting 14 organizations through a 6-month process to develop their intended impact statements and theories of change. For organizations with a wide range of programs, a long history, or that operate on a system-level, defining a single intended impact for the organization is no easy task. But doing so can help organizations better understand what activities are most effective in achieving that impact, and therefore make more strategic decisions about where to focus their efforts in a resource-scarce environment.

Charity Intelligence releases annual top charity report (Charity Village)
Charity Intelligence has released their annual report of top charities, Top Picks 2012, which identifies 45 charities from across Canada and from a wide range of sectors. On their website, Charity Intelligence suggests that, “Just as a financial analyst researches potential stocks to find the best investment opportunities, Ci uses similar research methods to find exceptional charities for donors.” For more information, and to view the full report, visit

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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.

One Response to “Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 23, 2012”

  1. UK Immigration – Imperial Visas

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