Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 5, 2012


News Release An Immigration System That Works For Canadas Economy (CIC)
Today, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that by the end of 2013, Canadas 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.

Canada makes newcomers feel welcome: Poll (Shawn Jeffords, Toronto Sun)
An overwhelming majority of immigrants felt welcome when they arrived in Canada but had a hard time finding work, according to an Angus-Reid survey of newcomers. The nwely released survey — done in conjunction with the HSBC bank — polled more than 600 new Canadians who arrived within the last 10 years. It found 82% of respondents said they felt welcome when they arrived in Canada, but 62% indicated that finding work was the biggest challenge.

Canada Gearing Immigration Program To Be Slave To Canadian Labour Market (The Link)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney continued his aggressive overhaul of Canadas immigration system by announcing that by the end of 2013 the immigration system will be to the one that is responsive largely to the labour market. The critics are calling that system being a slave to the Canadian labour market and thus highly exploitative.

Why immigration limits hurt Canadas mid-sized cities (David Campbell, Globe and Mail)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently tweeted the following: In 2013 well keep immigration levels at ~250,000. The NDP says we should increase immigration by 40 per cent to at least 350,000.What do you think? He went on to further tweet that 90 per cent of Canadians oppose higher immigration levels. I wonder if those 90 per cent of Canadians understand just how important immigrants are to population growth across Canada particularly in the countrys growing mid-sized urban centres?

National News: Immigration policy should build a stronger Canada, not exploit the vulnerable (Northumberland View)
NDP Immigration critic Jinny Sims (Newton North Delta) is urging the Conservative government to invest in Canadian workers and reunite families instead of undermining the Canadian job market by exploiting Temporary Foreign Workers. There is no good reason for the Conservatives to be bringing in tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers when so many Canadians and newcomers are out of work, said Sims. Temporary workers from other countries drive wages down and are rarely permitted to remain in Canada. Instead of investing here, they understandably send most of their earnings back to their home countries.

Immigration reform key to Canadas economic future (Megan Harris, London Free Press)
Next year Canada will welcome more than 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. According to Kenney: Immigration is a (important) tool for our future prosperity. So in 2013, up to 10,000 applicants will receive permanent resident status thanks to the Canada Experience program introduced in 2009.

Jamaica T.O.: Peter Sloly, deputy police chief, on diversity, race relations (Toronto Star)
Sloly, 46, a slim, fit Jamaican-Canadian, and one of the youngest ever deputy chiefs with Toronto police, cuts to the chase. (Toronto police) do a very good job, but we also get ourselves into a lot of controversy that revolves around young black men, he says. He tells the youths theyre seated in chairs normally occupied by Police Chief Bill Blair and his top command officers when issues such as public safety, youth crime, black youth and black-on-black crime are being discussed. As his nearly two-hour address unfolds, the group gradually opens up as Sloly shares stories about himself.–jamaica-t-o-peter-sloly-deputy-police-chief-on-diversity-race-relations

Immigration changes solves one problem but creates another (Pradip Rodrigues, CanIndia)
I recently wrote about Canadas phantom jobs and questioned the idea of bringing in more immigrants to plug labour shortages at a time when our unemployment rate is stubbornly stuck at 7.2 percent. More troubling is the 16 percent unemployment rate among the 15-24 age group, many of whom are recent college graduates and post-graduate degree holders. Besides finding themselves unemployed after years in university, these degree holders are left making payments toward their student debt. Tuition at universities have jumped 300 percent in the last 20 years and by next year national student loan limit will hit the $15 billion dollar limit on outstanding federal student loans. Young Canadians and their parents are naturally angry and frustrated at this turn of events.

Immigrants altering Canadas cultural landscape (Baldev Padam, CanIndia)
Statistics of Canadas latest census report brought the issue of languages spoken in Canada to limelight. Interestingly the languages that some Canadians speak at home and at work places or in schools are different from English or French, Countrys two official languages. That was a fact known to many but the release of the report has prompted others to think afresh about this lingual paradox peculiar to North America in general and to Canada in particular. Nothing prima-facie moved in Canada without English or French but census report brought to the fore the hind side of this portrait unseen and unthought-of earlier by many.

Immigration 101: Growing number of foreign students offers benefits and risks for schools and Canada (Matthew Fisher, Vancouver Sun)
Canada stands to benefit greatly from an immigration program that, since 2009, has been fast-tracking thousands of prospective residents who have done post-secondary studies in the country. But there are perils for Canadian academia and for the excellent reputation of Canadian educators if some students are only seeking to exploit the new rules to avoid the usual immigration checks and enter Canada through a back door, rather than to gain an education. The question arises because foreign students now have the right to work while studying in Canada and for as long as three years afterwards and, for the first time, they can apply for permanent residency from within Canada.

Now cancer-free, Iranian UOttawa student to reapply for residency (Hugh Adami, Ottawa Citizen)
The last few years have been difficult for Fatemeh Kamkar, a doctoral student in cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Ottawa. Fatemeh, who came to Canada from Iran more than seven years ago, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2009. Then, in April 2011, she found out her 2005 application for permanent residency had been denied by Citizenship and Immigration Canada because of the illness. The rejection was troubling, as government bureaucracy had allowed her application to sit neglected for long periods. It should have been processed within two years, well before her cancer diagnosis.

CIC keeps on announcing old news (The Zielglers blog)
At this time of the year, with just merely 60 days for 2013, thousands of people around the world and in Canada are still waiting for the new Canadian immigration system to be revealed. We all know want to know how the new Federal Skilled Worker program will work, what the options will be, who is going to be in and who is going to be out. It is the most important immigration program in Canada and responsible for at least a quarter of the total immigration flow every year.

Feds freeze immigration (Tobi Cohen, The Province)
Immigration levels will remain frozen for the seventh straight year as the government shifts the makeup of newcomers to create more space for foreign students and skilled workers who want to stay in Canada permanently. After tabling his department’s annual report in Parliament Wednesday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Canada would admit between 240,000 and 265,000 newcomers in 2013 – a target that’s gone unchanged since 2006.

Toronto groups march against Harper governments immigration policy (Toronto Star)
A group of about 200 people protested outside the Royal York Hotel Sunday evening, where Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was being awarded an honorary degree. Following a rally at David Pecaut Square, the protesters marched through streets, blocking traffic and ending up outside the hotel at about 5 p.m. More than 40 groups, including No One Is Illegal and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, were involved in the protest. Signs and chants took issue with federal immigration and refugee policy, which protesters called exclusionary and racist.–protesters-snarl-traffic-in-downtown-core

Toronto protest condemns Harper government immigration policies (Calgary Herald)
Protesters took over an intersection in downtown Toronto late Sunday to decry the Harper government’s immigration policies. Banging drums and waving signs, the crowd chanted outside the Royal York Hotel where Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was receiving an honorary degree from Israel’s University of Haifa.

Faculty slam U of Haifa plan to award honourary degree to Jason Kenney (
It seems not everybody is happy about the University of Haifas plan to confer a honourary degree upon Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in Toronto this weekend. About 23 members of the Israeli universitys faculty have signed a letter of protest against it. They argue his governments policies toward the Roma in Canada make him unworthy of the honour.

Protesters gather as Immigration Minister honoured (City News)
About 300 protesters gathered outside the Royal York Hotel where Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was receiving an honorary degree from Haifa University in Israel. The group was marching in protest of the Conservative government’s immigration policy, which they call “stringent and unfair.” Protesters carried images of people who, they say, have lost their lives because of Canada’s immigration policies.

Climate change silence and Jason Kenney’s award: Signs of depressing state of our political discourse (Karl Nerenberg, rabble)
Immigration is another policy area where the sloganeers of simplistic nostrums have the upper hand. Canada’s Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, is a master at the game of turning complex policy issues into nasty bumper stickers. He is so good, in fact, that he has been nominated for a Best Cabinet Minister “award” by more than one Canadian newspaper. Kenney’s genius has been his ability to successfully court ethnic communities the Liberals once considered their chasse-gardée, while, at the same time, taking a tough stand on “queue jumpers, cheaters and bogus refugees.” This approach is quite outside what was once a Canadian political consensus.

In India, Harper shores up political gains back home (David Akin, Sault Star)
Twenty three years ago, Devinder Shory left India for what he thought would be a brighter future in Canada. He couldn’t possibly have known how bright it would be. On Sunday, Shory – now the representative of the 150,000 good people of Calgary Northeast in the House of Commons – returned to India for the second time in the company of his adopted country’s prime minister.

Province Celebrates Diversity, Social Inclusion with Grants (Diversity in the Workplace)
Health information for Nova Scotians in diverse cultural groups will be easier to understand and more relevant because of provincial investments. Part of what makes our province special is our diversity and the different populations who call Nova Scotia home, said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. These grants help ensure that we integrate cultural and social diversity in our day-to-day work. The Diversity and Social Inclusion Grants are available to all district health authorities, the IWK and provincial programs, to support health care delivery that respects a diverse population. The guidelines are for health care professionals and partners who include cultural identity and unique needs into health information, programs and services.

Stop advertising to newcomers: start marketing to cultural Canada (Diversity Marketing Services)
How many media planners and marketers have Thanksgiving on their promotion calendars? My bet is, many. But how many include celebrations like Diwali, Eid and the Garba? Anyone? Bueller ? Bueller ? For some time, weve been suggesting to clients and potential clients that they genuinely bring these cultural celebrations into their marketing mix. Why? They are more authentic activators in the South Asian community than Thanksgiving and happen at roughly the same time. The associated efficiencies allowing you to leverage infrastructure around Autumn promotions is a given; and, with the right planning, strategy and execution, this inclusive approach also makes the wider point that there is a difference between advertising to newcomers and marketing to cultural Canada.

Would-be immigrant investors suing feds over processing delays (
A half-dozen Chinese immigrant investors have filed a lawsuit against the federal government over lengthy processing delays. The would-be investors applied to the popular cash-for-visa program prior to September 2009 and want the courts to force the government to review their applications within six months to a year, according to documents filed in Federal Court this week. As the immigrant investor stream is currently under review by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, theyre also calling on the courts to bar the government from tossing their application should more stringent criteria be adopted and are seeking $5 million in compensation if in fact their applications are returned without consideration.

November 2012 e-bulletin (CCLA)
In this issue:
Thats Not Fair!
Courts release rulings on privacy in the digital age
TD Fellowship Nish City, a project on aboriginal rights
CCLA to federal parliamentary committee: strengthen the RCMP oversight bill
Social Cost of National Security Conference summary and video of keynote address
Canadian Artists for Civil Liberties
RightsWatch 2012 summary

At a Loss? Theres Always Canada (John Ortved, New York Times)
ITS a refrain heard every four years: If [insert
Republican name] is elected president, Im moving to Canada. The pledge comes mostly from left-leaning Americans who view Canada, with its universal health care and cultural progressiveness, as a liberal refuge from Red State America. Celebrities, in particular, seem prone to such declarations. Cher recently declared on Twitter (and later deleted) that she could not breathe the same air as Mitt Romney. Susan Sarandon and George Lopez have both cited Canada as a potential escape. But has anyone asked the Canadians what they might think of a sudden influx of lefty Americans?

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.

Iconic Canadian images were carefully selected for new ePassport (Dean Beeby, Windsor Star)
I would like to clarify several points concerning Canadas new ePassport for your readers, following a Canadian Press article that appeared in your newspaper. The article may have left the incorrect impression that the redesign unveiled on Friday did not represent all Canadians, more specifically, women and visible minorities. The Phoenix Strategic Perspectives Inc. study published on Oct. 30, 2012, found that many participants in the focus groups felt there should be more images of women, and more inclusions of Canadas diverse communities. Passport Canada did change some of the images to reflect the comments received in focus groups.

Book Review: Rumoured Muslim immigration tsunami really only a ripple (Ottawa Citizen)
In this new little book, Doug Saunders, the recently repatriated London correspondent for the Globe and Mail, does a fine job of debunking almost every plot point of the Eurabian boogeyman bed-time story. When it comes to numbers, in almost every case the fertility rates of Muslim immigrants quickly drop to levels equal to, or even lower than, those of the host country. As Saunders puts it, it isnt the West that is becoming Islamified through globalization and immigration, it is Muslims who quickly become modernized. And there is nothing more characteristic of the modern West than the refusal to have children.

The phantom censor: Professor banned from his own class when out-of-context statements deemed racist and sexist (Sarah Boesveld, National Post)
Michael Mason had been teaching for almost half a century 10 of those years spent at Queens University when his time was abruptly cut short. I didnt actually drop dead, but I might as well have, said the 74-year-old from his home near Kingston, Ont., Friday. It was a week before the final essays were due in his second-year history course on imperialism and neo-colonialism after the Second World War when Mr. Mason found himself banned from the class he had been teaching all term a class in which he was accused of making racist and sexist statements.

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change responds to new immigration levels and mix numbers announcement (Yahoo!)
Syed Hussan, Coordinator, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change: “Minister Kenney is giving 10,000 immigrants the chance for permanency residency through the Canadian Experience Class, the problem is there are 300,000 temporary migrant workers coming to Canada each year. What happens to the other 290,000 immigrants?” “These new levels of immigration and mix came out of closed door consultations and an unethical online survey process that most organizations were not invited to and most people in Canada did not participate in. We have a government in Ottawa that speaks of family values but is setting up immigrants to be scammed by recruiters, exploited by bad bosses, separated from their loved ones and then sent back just as they’ve begun to lay roots.”

English Vinglish: Learning the language of life (Manpreet Grewal, Vancouver Sun)
The latest Census Canada results confirm the rise of foreign languages in Metro Vancouver and Canada, but even though North America is becoming increasingly multilingual there is no denying the power and influence which English still holds throughout the world. There is no doubt that English is the language which is going to enhance your confidence and participation in community life here, but interestingly it is also seen as a means to successful integration to urban social life in many other parts of the world. This is highlighted in a recent Bollywood production called English Vinglish. The main character, Shashi, a simple homemaker living in India, is married to a fluent, urbane and witty, English-speaking man.

Canadian Newcomer Financing: How does one turn a fistful of dollars into a fortune? (Tracy Nesdoly, Toronto Star)
On one hand theres the tale of an immigrant neurosurgeon now driving a cab, on the other is the Canadian newcomer who turned a handful of cash and a truck-load of initiative into a business empire. So how does one turn a fistful of dollars into a fortune? And what help is there for entrepreneurial immigrants with a business idea, and no financing? There are a slew of organizations offering mentoring and other services to small businesses and startups, including several founded by new Canadians. Financing, though, is harder to come by.–canadian-newcomer-financing-how-does-one-turn-a-fistful-of-dollars-into-a-fortune


5th Annual Howard Adelman Lecture (CRS)
The Centre for Refugee Studies presents The 5th Annual Howard Adelman Lecture Featuring Peter Showler “From Singh to C-31: What….Happened?”

Supporters say gay refugee claimant faces death back home if deported (CTV Toronto)
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.” He is scheduled to be deported Nov. 8 after his refugee claim was rejected.


What if the minimum wage was a living wage? (Behind the Numbers)
Increasingly, leadership for policy change comes from outside of government, not from within. Its why many Ontarians who are focused on reducing and eliminating poverty in this province have engaged in a broadening conversation about how to end working poverty through decent jobs, a better minimum wage, and a concept thats gathering force: a living wage. Heres how they relate to one another.

Government should help out young Canadians (Paul Kershaw, The Province)
There is a generational imbalance in Canada’s policy priorities. While Canadians under 45 face a precipitous drop in their standard of living, government spending prioritizes Canadians over 55 – the very generations that benefited the most from a national economy that has more than doubled in size since 1976. It’s time to adapt policy to find better balance.

Corporations prosper while food banks overwhelmed (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
The economics department of the Toronto-Dominion Bank had good news for investors amid a late-October downgrade of growth forecasts, heightened concerns about Canadas record level of household debt, gale-force winds and lashing rain. Canadian corporate balance sheets are solid as a rock, the bank assured its clients in a special report. Unlike households and governments, companies are less vulnerable today than they were heading into the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Food Banks Canada, which represents the nations 4,500 hunger relief programs food banks, soup kitchens, school breakfast initiatives issued a comprehensive report the same day. It was unremittingly grim.–corporations-prosper-while-food-banks-overwhelmed-goar

This was the time for good councillors to come to the aid of the people (Hamilton Spectator)
Its hard to believe I became a radical feminist after all the years I spent typing that drill for my dad who was teaching me the keyboard as a little kid. The phrase popped into my head earlier this week as I witnessed some amazingly compassionate councillors working for us at City Hall in an emergency and community services committee meeting. The beauty of municipal politics is there is no party to aid, only people. Our councillors were concerned with coming to the aid of the people: the people at the lowest economic side of our community; the 100,000 people in poverty who could pack Copps Coliseum five times if they all had funds for bus fare or gas to make it there.–this-was-the-time-for-good-councillors-to-come-to-the-aid-of-the-people

Messages on inequality, from sources far and near (Ted Schrecker, CHNET-Works)
Closer to home, on October 24 a commission that had been asked to review social assistance in Ontario released its report with an almost total absence of media attention apart from the Toronto Star. (Readers and viewers to whom social assistance might actually matter are not highly valued by the managers of commercial media, but even the CBC missed this story.) Among other findings, the report recommended an immediate increase of $100 per month to the lowest rate category, single adults receiving Ontario Works, as a down payment on adequacy while the system undergoes transformation. This report should serve as an overdue starting point for moving public health advocacy beyond tanning beds, Red Bull and salt to consider underlying distributional issues such as income adequacy. We know, for example, that eating a healthy diet while keeping a roof over your head in much of Ontario is arithmetically impossible if you are paying market rents.

2012 recipient of 3M Health Leadership Award announced (Health Nexus)
Health Nexus and 3M Canada are pleased to announce that Noor Din, founder of Human Endeavour is the 2012 recipient of the 3M Health Leadership Award. Now in its second year, the 3M Health Leadership Award honours the outstanding range of leaders who have a significant impact on the health of their community in Canada. These leaders demonstrate an ability to create change and inspire others with the goal of improving the health of their community by addressing the social and economic factors that influence well-being.


Construction demographic time bomb may delay oil and gas projects (Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post)
Canada has vastly improved its immigration policies, and trade certificates held by foreign workers are now considered equal to post-secondary education. TD Bank economists estimate Canada will have to raise its annual immigration target from 250,000 to at least 350,000 after 2016. While older workers are delaying retirement and Baby Boomers remain a strong force in the workforce, by 2016, the economy could start facing an acute shortage. At this point, labour force growth grinds to a halt and higher levels of immigration are likely necessary to sustain a modest pace of labour force growth, Craig Alexander, co-author of the TD report, said.

RBC Foundation supports Greater Halifax Partnership initiative to help businesses looking to hire (Greater Halifax)
The Greater Halifax Partnerships idea to connect local businesses with new talent through speed-interviewing has been fast tracked thanks to $50,000 in funding from RBC Foundation. Recent results from the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) predict a need for an additional 74,700 workers in Nova Scotia from 2011-2016. This speed-interview initiative will expose small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to a large number of applicants at one time maximizing their chance of hiring qualified candidates.

Special insurance helps widow of AWA member (Migrants Canada)
Linda Marlene Alvarez Mendez, widow of Crisanto Jimenez Gomez, has received a $2,500 insurance benefit following the accidental death of her husband earlier this year in Canada. As a member of the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA), Mr. Gomez was automatically covered by a no-cost accidental death policy issued by the American Income Life Insurance (AILI) company the result of an historical agreement reached between AILI and UFCW Canada in September 2011. Mr. Jimenez was a migrant farm worker who had been working each season for the past six years in Canada under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). He was killed in July 2012, in a tragic road accident near Leamington, Ontario.

Work Ready Online Communication Tools (CCLB)
CCLB has created tools for professionals in the employment sector (community and social services sector), HR/recrutement, settlement, and education and training who work with older immigrant workers and immigrants preparing to work in non-regulated skilled or semi-skilled occupations.

Join special reception with Minister Jason Kenney November 9 in Burnaby, BC (IECBC)
The Burnaby Board of Trade, in partnership with IEC-BC, is presenting a special reception with the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. Join an intimate group for a light lunch reception featuring a special address from Minister Kenney on the recent work of the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism—and what it may mean for Burnaby and the business community.

Canada targets UK Poles to fill labour shortage (Emily Dugan, Independent UK)
Canada is facing a shortage of labour, particularly in construction and transport, and hopes that Polish migrants from Britain will be easier to integrate than people coming directly from Poland because they already speak English. Canada’s Immigration minister called a meeting with representatives of the Polish community at the Canadian High Commission in London last month, to discuss ways that Poles living in the UK could be poached. Canada plans to set up a trade show in Manchester next year, promoting the country’s existing Polish community, and tempting the UK’s Poles to move there.


Monday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Mayor Rob Ford, TTC and Other News.

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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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