Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 29, 2012


Diversifying media in Toronto and Berlin (Tina Edan, DiverseCity Toronto)
Media is a critical part of any society. We invite journalists into our lives to inform how we look at the world, and ourselves. They cast powerful frames around what is important. They construct vivid images of who should be considered role models and influencers. But, there is a disconnect. We know that our demographic reality is often not reflected in their stories. There is an absence of visible minority representation in the media, both in the newsroom and in the news. This is as much the case in Toronto as it is in Berlin.

Canada Shows How U.S. States Can Fix Immigration (Shikha Dalmia, Bloomberg)
Republicans seem ready to play ball on immigration, if only to patch up their image with Hispanics. It would be a pity if this political moment — which comes only once every few decades — was squandered on minor and temporary fixes. U.S. immigration policy needs a fundamental rethinking. This isnt as daunting as it appears. For inspiration, Americans need look no farther than Canada.

OpEd: Why Alberta needs more international students (Joseph Doucet, Edmonton Journal)
The issue of international enrolment at the University of Alberta has recently made headlines. Given that the U of A and other post-secondary institutions are publicly funded, the composition of our student body and accessibility for Albertans is rightly of broad public interest. The global nature of Albertas economy, however, is also a key consideration. Our wealth and future prosperity are tied to our ability to operate effectively on the world stage.

Why the City Hesitated to Proclaim the Anniversary of the Nanking Massacre (David Hains, Torontoist)
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam got the 75th anniversary of the infamous atrocity put on the City’s official calendar, but she says doing so was unusually hard… Wong-Tam said Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough-Agincourt), a Governor Generals Awardwinning historian, told her before councils lunch break on Tuesday that its time for you guys to move on. When asked about the statement, which Wong-Tam called shocking, Kelly said he couldnt recall any specific exchange, but he didnt deny it. The Scarborough councillor, who taught a Chinese history course at Upper Canada College in the 1970s, added that he would support the proclamation of the 75th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre, but would prefer more awareness of Canadian history, like the treatment of Canadian prisoners of war during World War Two. [The massacre] is something that happened purely in an Asian context between two Asian societies, he said during an interview. Im not sure Canadian society is at a point where it has to be instructed about these things, he added, because I think we have values that preclude being attracted to behaviour like that.

CEO-CIIP Success: In conversation with Rizwan Kalim (Sydney Helland, Career Edge)
Three weeks ago, we blogged about our partnership with the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), which has already benefited both internationally qualified professionals joining the Canadian workforce and the employers looking for their skills and global experience. Last week, Career Edge Organization was proud to be the latest employer benefiting from the CEO-CIIP talent pipeline as we welcomed Career Bridge intern, Rizwan Kalim, to the team. Rizwan has joined the team in a Technical Writer/IT Support role, and brings with him extensive technical writing, business process analysis and IT support experience with some of the worlds leading consulting firms, including BearingPoint/KPMG and Mazars.

RFP: An Evaluation Framework for Toronto Library Settlement Partnership (LSP) Program (Settlement AtWork)
Toronto Public Library (TPL) on behalf of the Toronto Library Settlement Partnerships Steering Committee. The Toronto Library Settlement Partnerships (LSP) Steering Committee is seeking proposals from third party consultants to:
1. Develop an evaluation toolkit that can be used annually in the LSP program in Toronto to track service improvements and inform future service delivery, and
2. Contribute to the learning and understanding of how to respond to newcomer needs using best practices in the delivery of settlement services.

Harper wants end of Mexican visa, after Canada fixes immigration law (Mike Blanchfield, Winnipeg Free Press)
The end of a much-maligned visa for Mexican travellers to Canada would be a good thing for both North American countries, Prime Minister Stephen Harper affirmed Wednesday. Harper offered his government’s most conciliatory view to the visa that it imposed in 2009 to stop an influx of bogus refugee claimants. It came after his Parliament Hill meeting with Mexico’s president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto.

Canada should boost immigration levels starting in 2014, report says (Tobi Cohen, The Province)
After seven years of stagnating numbers, Canada should start boosting immigration levels starting in 2014, according to an internal government review obtained by Postmedia News. The study, dubbed a “Literature review and expert advice to inform Canada’s immigration levels planning,” suggests immigration levels should begin increasing six per cent a year to approximately 337,000 in 2018, after which levels should plateau until 2021, the end of the review period. According to the report, the short-term boost is needed to balance the labour market and is based on economic projections that take into account things like unemployment rates.

If they die waiting: Notable Quotables from This Weeks Canadian Immigration News (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
A summary of significant quotes from mainstream media sources.

Canada Muslims Fight Violence Against Women (Muneeb Nasir, OnIslam)
In a new effort to fight domestic violence in their country, Canadian Muslims are championing a new campaign to end violence against women. This campaign will allow Muslim Canadians to reflect on the reality of violence against women, Imam Michael Abdur Rasheed Taylor, Co-Chair of the Muslims for White Ribbon Campaign, told We hope to challenge everyone, especially men and boys, to speak out and think about their own beliefs, language and actions.

The Frustration of Diversity (Forbes)
I found myself recently spending almost three days with an extraordinarily diverse group. Of the eight people with me, there was someone from Canada, America, Argentina, Japan, India, China, Germany and the UK; we ranged in age from 27 to 58; and in terms of specialism there was a psychiatrist, an international ice hockey coach, the head of HR for a global IT company, a couple of entrepreneurs and the provost of a major design college. I cannot image a more diverse collection of people spending time together. What had brought us from all corners of the world was the World Economic Forum in Dubai, where more than 1,000 experts had gathered to consider a range of global challenges. The focus of our specific council was the rather ambiguous question about the future of leadership. This extraordinary and rather frustrating experience gave me an opportunity to reflect again on what research has helped us to understand the power of diversity. For, while the experience was indeed deeply frustrating at times, the outcome of our time together was without doubt deeper and more profound than it would have been if we were a group of similar people.

Visible minorities take extra precautions after assault (Michael Purvis, Sault Star)
Students at Algoma University say a shocking hate-motivated assault earlier this month has put visible minorities on edge and has prompted more students to come forward with reports of racism and discrimination. Police are still investigating the Nov. 18 incident, in which someone in a passing vehicle pulled up beside a black student in her early 20s and soaked her with water while shouting, Go back to your own country. Since then, the Algoma University Students Union says more students have come forward to report discrimination, ranging from derogatory comments to physical assaults.

Canadian Boardrooms Need More Than Binders Full of Women (Rachel Decoste, Huffington Post)
Earlier this month, the Canadian Board Diversity Council released its annual report card on the representation of women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities on the boards of Canada’s 500 largest organizations. The 2012 independent research concludes that women hold 14 per cent of board seats. A survey further examined diversity beyond gender, revealed that visible minorities made up just 4.6 per cent of FP500 boards while they make up almost 20 per cent of the Canadian population. Aboriginals (1 per cent) and persons with disabilities (3 per cent) were also underrepresented. According to the CBDC, board directors claimed the lack of diversity was due to “a supply shortage of diverse candidates in the talent pool.” It seems the ocean of ethnically neutral board members is conveniently stricken with a bout of colour blindness and gender-equality deficiency. This predicament raises many issues — both for the FP500 boards and the future of our country.

Video: Are “Binders Full of Women” Needed? (The Agenda with Steve Paikin)
The Agenda hears criticism that there aren’t enough female guests on our programs. We’ve blogged about it. Producers have spoken about it online. Now, The Agenda asks: If women are half of Ontario’s population, why are they underrepresented in the media?

Five principles of integration: policies and inclusion (Ben Gidley, Compas Oxford)
In a recent blogpost here, Sarah Spencer commented on the new OSCE Ljubljana guidelines on the integration of national minorities. The guidelines include probably the nearest Ive seen to a clear definition of integration as we use the term at COMPAS: Integration is a dynamic, multi-actor process of mutual engagement that facilitates effective participation by all members of a diverse society in the economic, political, social and cultural life, and fosters a shared and inclusive sense of belonging at national and local levels. If we take that approach to integration seriously, there are a number of principles that need to be foregrounded, of which I want to address five in this blogpost.


Kenney fires back at Saskatchewan over refugee health care access (Sun News)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney fired back at the government of Saskatchewan on Wednesday after it suggested the federal government is downloading refugee health-care costs on to the provinces. “If the government of Saskatchewan thinks that illegal immigrants or asylum claimants or other foreign nationals deserve a higher level of care than … some Canadians through some provincial plans, they have the prerogative to provide such services,” Kenney said during a Wednesday appearance at a Commons immigration committee.

Mexicans, Sri Lankans no longer top asylum claimants (Kristen Shane, Embassy)
For the first time since the Canadian refugee board started in 1989, Sri Lanka is off the top-10 list of countries producing refugee claims in Canada, while Mexico does not appear for the first time since 1996. This suggests the governments policies to limit claims have worked, say analysts. While these usual countries are missing, new countries are cracking the top 10 such as North Korea, Croatia, and Slovakia.

Changes to the Interim Federal Health Program: Position Statement – PDF (Canadian Healthcare Association)
The Canadian Healthcare Association (CHA) believes that:
1. Policy decisions regarding health should be made on the basis of available evidence about
health and health services.
2. A health impact assessment of the changes to the Interim Federal Health Program would
provide information that could help to clarify the validity of concerns that have been raised
and provide a more robust basis for reform of refugee health services provision in Canada.

Refugee Health Cuts- Impact on Universal Health Coverage (CHNET Fireside Chat)
This fireside chat will consider:
– What effect have IFH changes had on refugees and refugee claimants needing health care?
– Are some people being refused health care to which they are actually entitled because of confusion about the new policy?
– What will happen when Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduces a planned designated countries of origin (DCO) list, drastically limiting IFH coverage for refugee claimants from these countries?
– What are the options for physicians, public health officials, and hospital administrators when faced with refugee claimants who have no medical coverage except for conditions threatening public health or safety, not even for medical emergencies?

Des réfugiés sont privés de soins de santé (La Presse)
Depuis qu’Ottawa a mis la hache dans les soins de santé offerts aux réfugiés, l’été dernier, des cliniques de la région de Montréal refusent de soigner des demandeurs d’asile qui ont pourtant droit aux traitements, ou les forcent à payer pour des consultations avec un médecin que Québec s’est engagé à rembourser. Démunies et mal informées, des dizaines de personnes se retrouvent ainsi privées de soins importants. Sur le terrain, la grogne monte.
(English: Refugees are deprived of health care
Ottawa has been axed in the health care provided to refugees last summer clinics in the Montreal area refuse to treat asylum seekers who have yet right treatment, or force them to pay for consultations with a doctor that Quebec is committed to repay. Poor and uninformed, dozens of people are deprived of care and important. On the ground, the growl rises.)

Refugees don’t eye Canada for health-care benefits: lawyer (Karin Yeske, CJME)
An immigration lawyer in Saskatoon says refugees aren’t coming to Canada to abuse its health-care benefits. The issue has come to the forefront because Ottawa denied chemotherapy to a refugee claimant in Saskatoon. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a refugee claimant ask me, “Oh, when do I get my health-care benefits? That’s not the reason they are coming,” said Chris Veeman of Veeman Law.


Task Force releases Eleventh Annual Report (Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity)
Ontarios prosperity gap with peer jurisdictions persists. The time to push for the economic growth Ontario needs is now. As the recession recedes, the Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress calls on all Ontarians to build on the provinces strengths and make the decisions and investments needed to achieve the 2020 Prosperity Agenda. The Task Force singles out the dead cash on the balance sheets of Ontario businesses as an opportunity to enhance the provinces prosperity.


Finding skilled workers a tough job all over the world, not just in Alberta (Global TV Edmonton)
Indeed, according to a study issued this month by the McKinsey Global Institute, virtually every region of the world will face labour shortages in the years ahead, due to mismatches in skill sets as well as major shifts in demographics and labour force requirements. The study, based on an analysis of 70 countries that collectively account for 96 per cent of global economic output, highlights four key areas of concern.

Mentorship: A Wayfinder (Doug Piquette, ERIEC)
I can think of a number of people, family, movies, events and books that had a profound influence on my life and I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I not crossed paths with those important influences. I can recall the teachers that were inspirational and supportive of my inquiring nature. As a teen I remember certain books that inspired me, changed the way I perceived the world and helped to motivate me in some way. I was to discover that mentors can come in all different shapes, sizes, and voices.


Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Rob Ford, City Hall, Plastic Bags, TTC and Other News.

We Are Every Corner of the World (
The TEDxToronto 2012 event featured a wonderful opening video about the city we Torontonians call home. What makes our city so dynamic, vibrant and alive are our people, our stories and our multiculturalism, all wrapped up into one metropolis. Lets make Toronto a hub for collaborative living. We are diverse, full of stories to share and knowledge to be learned. Unstash is part of a greater movement, we are a platform for sharing stuff and for sharing those things in life that arent stuff moments, ideas, movements.

Toronto A City Divided? (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Shawn Micallef. He is an editor, columnist, and the author of “Stroll: Psycho-Geographic Walking Tours of Toronto”. After that, we heard from some of our listeners through the Vox Box.


Time to donate beyond disease charities? (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The Vancouver Sun had a revealing story yesterday about how donors give untold millions of dollars to three major charities two of which are focussed on cancer and one of which is B.C. Childrens Hospital Foundation. Meanwhile, the article suggests, thousands of other worthwhile charities struggle, and many are barely surviving. Tara Carmens story confirmed for me the fickle nature of philanthropic giving. At its best it can be fabulously creative, but it can also be hit-and-miss in how it spreads around social good.

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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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