Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 27, 2012


Video: Interview with Michaela Hertel, Fundación Bertelsmann (Cities of Migration)
Interview with Michaela Hertel, Fundación Bertelsmann
DiverseCity onBoard Learning Exchange, Toronto, October 1-3, 2012

New list of diverse board candidates to remove visibility barrier (Dan Ovsey, Financial Post)
Ask any successful salesperson about how best to close a sale and he or she will tell you that the key to doing so is eliminating the foremost reason for the buyer to say no. Thats exactly what the Canadian Board Diversity Council did this morning with the release of its Diversity 50 a list of 50 candidates who are either women, visible minorities or persons with disabilities, and who are willing, available and qualified to sit on corporate boards.

Canadian Board Diversity Council release – PDF:

2012 Diversity Index (Corporate Knights)
Since Corporate Knights began its Leadership Diversity Index six years ago, the conventional wisdom on gender diversity in the boardroom has shifted perceptibly. Lip service is paid to the benefits that result avoiding groupthink, increasing innovation and improving good governance while the hard evidence continues to mount that having more women on boards results in better financial returns. Dow Jones VentureSource released a study in October showing that between 1999 and 2011, successful start-ups had demonstrably more women in senior positions than unsuccessful ones. The Credit Suisse Research Institute determined that worldwide, for the past six years, large companies with female-friendly boards performed 26 per cent better than those with men-only boards.

Tories should listen on immigration (Leader Post)
It’s a sign of the times that Saskatchewan is these days at odds with the federal government over immigration and refugee issues rather than old fights over equalization payments. The reason is pretty simple – the economic boom has lifted the province out of equalization and into “have” status. No longer dependent upon equalization payments from Ottawa for a fair chunk of its annual budget, the provincial government these days is focused more on finding workers to address a growing labour shortage.

Marriage fraud law helps and hinders (Winnipeg Free Press)
Last month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced new rules to combat marriage fraud. Marriage fraud is a scam in which a foreigner pretends to love a Canadian or Canadian permanent resident in order to get married and immigrate to Canada. Once in Canada, the foreign scam artist abandons the Canadian spouse, leaving them heartbroken and out the money they spent on the foreign spouse’s expenses.

Provinces should have more control over immigration numbers (Marilla Stephenson, Chronicle Herald)
The provinces are not only all on the same page, they arent even asking for money. What, then, would prevent the federal government from agreeing to a united call, issued at the Council of the Federation meeting of premiers last week in Halifax, to give the provinces more autonomy over immigration. The provinces want more say over the numbers of immigrants they are permitted to draw, the job skills they will bring and where they will locate. Quebec, under a separate immigration accord with Ottawa, already has broad powers to make its own decisions on many immigration matters.

Honouring Ontario’s Champions of Diversity (Ontario Gov News)
Fourteen remarkable people and organizations will receive Ontario’s 2012 Newcomer Champion Award for significant contributions to cultural understanding, community building and promoting diversity in the province. Honorees include a range of Ontarians who champion voluntarism, proudly support newcomers and advocate for greater social and civic inclusion. Awards are given in three categories – Community Leader, Newcomer Champion and ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassador.

Newcomer Champion Awards: 2012 Recipients (Ontario Gov News)
Full list of 2012 Newcomer Champion Award recipients.

Making The City (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Diana Abraham. She is the chair of the Working Women Community Centre, and also one of the women featured in a new book titled “Making the City – Women Who Made a Difference”.

For specialty broadcaster diverse hiring means connecting to the community (Kathryn Boothby, Vancouver Sun)
APTN is the first and only national aboriginal broadcaster in the world. English, French and aboriginal-language programming is shared with viewers across Canada and around the globe. Diversity is a part of the very fabric of the organization: Sixty-nine per cent of employees are self-identified as having aboriginal ancestry such as First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. Visible minorities, non-aboriginal people, and people with disabilities are also represented. “One of the things we do well is to support diversity and culture within our workforce,” says Stott. That includes awareness and training in the workplace and support for those who want to pursue traditional activities such as vision quests and smudge ceremonies.

Santa Claus Fund: A Muslim refugees first Christmas started a tradition of giving (Josh Tapper, Toronto Star)
They were untrammeled but destitute, a family of seven political refugees living in a Vancouver motel at the onset of their first Canadian winter. Before arriving in October 1972, Naznin Lakhas family had been given 90 days to flee their homeland of Uganda, gripped at the time by the repressive rule of Idi Amin. They were ethnic Indians and religious Muslims emigrating from a predominantly black, Christian African country. So naturally, one of the 15-year-old Lakhas first encounters with Canadas tightly wound multicultural knot was Christmas, after a local family arranged a festive dinner through a church adopt-a-family program.–santa-claus-fund-a-muslim-refugee-s-first-christmas-started-a-tradition-of-giving

Lessons from the Happy Too Asian Conference in Vancouver & Toronto (Rice Paper Magazine)
As Gandhi once said, if we perform repeated reactionary responses, it disempowers us. Perhaps this is why the Happy Too Asian conference was organizedto create a space for people to be proactive rather than be reactive. Two years after the Too Asian? article ran in Macleans magazine, SCAAAR (Solidarity Committee Against Anti-Asian Racism) created a space to celebrate activism against racism in the media. The emerging theme from the conference was the role of media in the traditional union between race and law. We live in this age of constant, up-to-the-minute media. Moreover, increasing number of us are using social media to rally behind an issue, or to simply communicate media stories to our friends. So it is important that we use these tools to challenge conventional media, and hold them accountable for discrimination. Furthermore, media can become a platform on where we can have a respectful conversation about these taboo issues. Because the only way we can move forward is if we rise above our fears and have a much-needed conversation.

Fall 2012 newsletter (Connect Legal)
In this issue:
Connect Legal on Rogers TV
Volunteer Workshop Facilitators Needed!
New Initiatives
“Connect Legal’s Most Promising Entrepreneur” Contest
Workshop Program

Invisible minorities do not have to stay that way (Nick Noorani, Vancouver Desi)
I see them everywhere. The huddled masses. Staying close to their own ethnic groups. Speaking in their own languages and staying away from others. They hover outside schools twisting their fingers, nervous that someone might talk to them! I hear so many stories of Canadians who reach out to these immigrants, inviting their children over for a party or a play date and their friendliness is looked on with such suspicion that could almost be considered rude! I understand that many newcomers feel some uncertainty and fear when it comes to connecting with people outside their culture. But I truly believe that there is no way you are going to achieve your dreams if you stay in an ethnic silo. Desis have their own form of provincial segregation. You are Punjabi, Bengali, Tamilian, Maharashtrian etc. And then we have religion-based segregation: Hindu, Brahmin, Sikh, Christian, Muslim etc.


WUSC trying to raise refugee awareness (David Fraser, Leader Post)
Refugee life isn’t easy, and this week members of Regina’s World University Service of Canada (WUSC) are trying to show university students that through a mock refugee camp set up on campus. WUSC sponsors refugees who excel in school but have little chance of escaping a camp. Kay Niedermayer is a WUSC member who planned this year’s event. “There’s no ability to leave the camp without the sponsorship of WUSC. It’s kind of their only way out of the camp to get a greater education to have more opportunities in life,” she said from inside one of the tents set up. Each tent has pictures and descriptions of refugee camps from around the world, with blankets and other props for added effect.

Saskatchewan premier decides to cover health care of ailing refugee (Globe and Mail)
Saskatchewan is covering cancer-care costs for an ailing refugee, as Canadas prairie province offers a distinctly different vision for how the country should treat those who come here from afar, many of them needed to buttress the Wests rapidly expanding economy. For Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, it is the latest move in a years-long effort to shape his province into a sort of alternate model of North American conservatism, one that has sought to maintain a broad public appeal through an unusual confluence of strippers and chemotherapy.

Refugees may turn to province for health needs, officials say (CBC)
Jason Kenney, the federal minister responsible for immigration, says it is OK for provinces like Saskatchewan to provide health benefits for people who are not covered under programs for refugees. Kenney was responding to concerns raised after a Saskatoon man, in need of drugs related to chemotherapy, discovered the federal government would not be footing the bill due to his status as a refugee claimant. Saskatchewan, however, has since stepped in to cover the man’s health care costs. Kenney said Monday the province’s move is fine by him.


Were not as poverty-proof as we think (Rick Goldman, National Post)
Andrew Coyne finds it strange that the media is obsessed with the richest one percent, whereas we should be more concerned with the bottom 10%. (The problem isnt giving people money when they dont work its taking it away when they do, National Post, November 16.) Surely if there is a problem that merits our concern, he writes it is not that we have too many rich people, but too many poor. Coyne is treating the rich getting richer as disconnected from the poor doing poorly. In fact, the two are, of course, directly related.

TD Economics says child care should be a top spending priority for governments after deficits eliminated (Toronto Star)
Public investment in child care should be a top priority when Canadas fiscal books are balanced, says one of the countrys top bank economists. The widespread and long-lasting economic, social and health benefits for children, families and society far outweigh the costs, says TD Bank Chief Economist Craig Alexander in the first-ever analysis of the issue by a Canadian bank. It is very much an economic topic, Alexander said in an interview. If you are concerned with skills development, productivity and innovation, you should really care about this subject.–td-economics-says-child-care-should-be-a-top-spending-priority-for-governments-after-deficits-eliminated

Boost child care spending for big payoff, bank urges (Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen)
A new report from TD Bank urges federal and provincial governments to invest heavily in the child care sector once the economy improves, but leading advocates say children and families desperate to find spaces in quality programs now shouldnt have to wait that long. The report by TDs chief economist Craig Alexander confirms what proponents of early childhood education have said for more than two decades. Quality child care programs lead to superior cognitive and language development, as well as improved numeracy. Children who enter the school system after being in child care repeat grades less often, usually graduate on time and have a higher likelihood of attending college or university.

Seen and Heard: John Stapleton, the Janeiro Donelson Perez Lecture on Inequality (Natalia Segal, PPG Review)
John Stapleton is a writer, instructor and Innovations Fellow with the Metcalf Foundation. He has worked for the Ontario Government for 28 years in the areas of social assistance policy and operations, and was Research Director for the Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults in Toronto. On November 15, 2012, John spoke at the School of Public Policy and Governance as part of the Janerio Donelson Perez Lecture on Inequality. Inequality is a negative abstraction, John argues. People think of proportionality between groups. How do we work out that proportionality and how do we put meaning to it?

The answer to poverty isnt simple (Diane Dyson, Imagine the City)
The answer to poverty seems simple. Get a job, we say. Get a haircut Get an attitude adjustment! Oh, if it were so simple Incentives to join the workforce can be pretty darn small. The changing shape of the labour market has created dead-end, low wage jobs where even those who work full-time are still poor. Reports like John Stapletons The Working Poor show low-income earners work just as hard as many of us while earning far less. An upcoming report from United Way is looking at how precarious so many jobs are, too.

Income mobility is still a problem in Canada (Michael Wolfson, Globe and Mail)
The Fraser Institutes recent study on income mobility claims it is turning conventional wisdom on its head. In a nutshell, they say income inequality in Canada is not a problem because more people have incomes that have been going up than down, particularly among the poorest earners. This reasoning, if it were conceptually and empirically correct, would certainly provide an important caution to the Occupy Wall Street concerns about the dramatic growth in incomes of the top 1 per cent. The Fraser Institute study does use the best data available to examine income mobility in Canada a large Statistics Canada sample of individuals income tax returns linked from one year to the next. Unfortunately, its results are misleading.


Chinese-born engineer appreciates workplace diversity (Barry Horeczy, Calgary Herald)
Chinese native Haiying (Helen) Qu knows first-hand the benefits of workplace diversity. “I am fortunate … it helped my career,” she says of the Female Engineers in Enbridge program, “and it benefited my personal life because I feel good about my work.” Qu emigrated to Canada in 2001 after enduring difficult working conditions as an engineer in China. “I was sent to work in very harsh environments that were physically draining,” she says. “The elevation was over 3,000 metres above sea level in the desert. “The air is very thin there and I had trouble breathing. Because the atmospheric pressure is so low, the water boils at 70 C, so the food can’t be fully cooked. I had constant diarrhea and lost 12.5 kilograms in a year.”

Diversity programs touted as key to a good business strategy (Derek Abma, Ottawa Citizen)
Sunday Asha had 15 years of experience in banking when he arrived in Canada from Nigeria in 2006 but found it difficult to land a job in the sector in his new homeland. “Even though I was highly qualified – I had the experience that was key from back home in Nigeria – I had a lack of Canadian experience,” says Asha, 50. But in 2007, Asha began working for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as an intern through a third-party program known as Career Bridge. Today he is a full-time client-relations partner for CIBC in Toronto. “They saw that I could leverage my experience from home, and I used it as much as possible here,” Asha says.

The dos and donts of overseas recruitment: Canadian focus (Daniel Hirschkorn, Pipelines International)
Over the last decade, recruiting foreign workers has gained popularity due to the shortage of skilled workers in the Canadian oil and gas industry. Here, Western Canadian Immigration Services explains how best to go about hiring foreign employees. What is a temporary foreign worker? A foreign national in Canada working is a temporary foreign worker. A company interested in hiring a foreign worker would apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). The Canadian Government Body Service Canada handles these applications and assesses the impact a foreign national would have on the local labour market. A positive or neutral determination would result in an approval for the company.

Finding skilled workers a tough job all over the world, not just in Alberta (Gary Lamphier, Edmonton Journal)
With the lowest jobless rate and the fastest-growing economy in Canada, Alberta is again grappling with labour shortages. The situation isnt yet as severe as it was at the height of the last boom, but if existing trends persist, a repeat of 2006-2007 may be just a year or two away. Which is why Alberta government and business leaders have spent the past year pounding the table, warning of a looming shortage of more than 100,000 workers by 2020. What is less well known, however, is that Albertas labour challenges are hardly unique. If anything, the global competition for qualified workers will get far tougher in the years ahead


Tuesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Rob Ford Out, The Verdict, Other Rob Ford News and Other News.

CollaborAction: Building Blocks Learning Exchange (DiverseCity Toronto)
Are you working to promote civic engagement and participation in Toronto? Join us on March 20, 2013, for CollaborAction: Building Blocks Learning Exchange. Were holding a one-day event to engage and support leaders who want to make change in our highly diverse, low income communities. Our two participatory workshops will focus on two themes: Examples of good practice; Building leadership and tools for engagement.

CivicAction Celebrates 10 Years Of Collective Leadership On Toronto Region’s Toughest Challenges (CivicAction)
After a decade of driving collective action to tackle our region’s toughest economic, social, and environmental challenges, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance marks its tenth year anniversary at a breakfast event this Tuesday. The event will also name ten “Faces of CivicAction” – leaders from across the Toronto region and from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors who symbolize the rich cross-section of volunteers that have contributed to the impact CivicAction and its initiatives have had on the region’s prosperity.

CivicAction Celebrates 10 Years Of Collective Leadership On Toronto Region’s Toughest Challenges (Canada Newswire)
After a decade of driving collective action to tackle our region’s toughest economic, social, and environmental challenges, the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance marks its tenth year anniversary at a breakfast event this Tuesday. The event will also name ten “Faces of CivicAction” – leaders from across the Toronto region and from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors who symbolize the rich cross-section of volunteers that have contributed to the impact CivicAction and its initiatives have had on the region’s prosperity.

Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance recognizes volunteers who make a difference (Jessica McDiarmid, Toronto Star)
The Faces of CivicAction are 10 volunteers who represent a cross-section of people working with the group that brings together community leaders to tackle the regions social, economic and environmental problems. Being one of the 10 is amazing, said Capponi. So often, were just sort of shoved under the rug or kept out or excluded, and this is quite something. Im very, very pleased with this. CivicAction, which sprang from former mayor Mel Lastmans 2002 summit on Torontos future, was called the Toronto City Summit Alliance until December 2010. Its projects include Luminato, the international arts festival launched in 2007 that draws over a million people to Toronto, and Toront03 Alliance, which raised and invested more than $11 million for tourism recovery after SARS.–greater-toronto-civicaction-alliance-recognizes-volunteers-who-make-a-difference


Webinar Dec 11: Branding and Naming Things: The Ultimate Personal Policy Brand (Settlement AtWork)
Essential Skills Ontario invites you to a webinar: Branding and Naming Things: The Ultimate Personal Policy Brand. This is the third in a series of six webinars on policy with John Stapleton from Open Policy Ontario.

November News (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
In this issue:
Community News
Spotlight on ArtsSmarts
Webinar: Building on Failure
The Stop Featured in Canadian Business

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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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