Immigration & Diversity news headlines – November 9, 2012


News Release Minister Kenney addresses regulators conference on need to help newcomers succeed in Canadian labour market (CIC)
The Government of Canada needs the cooperation of regulators to help trained newcomers find meaningful work in Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said today. Our Governments top priorities are job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity, said Minister Kenney, speaking to the Canadian Network of National Associations of Regulators Conference. Attracting and retaining the best international talent to fill skills shortages in key occupations is critical to Canadas economic success. Our regulatory partners are vital to ensuring newcomers can start working in their fields faster.

New points system for immigrants coming in 2013 (Daniel Proussalidis, Toronto Sun)
The New Year will usher in some major changes to Canada’s immigration system focused on one key issue – getting a decent job. In January, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will introduce a revamped “points system” to assess people applying to set up a new life in this country. “As a result of our reforms you’ll see a higher and higher share of the economic immigrants either already working here or being invited by employers,” Kenney said Thursday. The changes include placing new emphasis on having employers invite immigrants to Canada, placing them in a job on arrival.

Canadian Bar Association We see little evidence of abuse to justify the amendments in Bill C-43 (Net Newsledger)
The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) welcomes an amendment that would allow more temporary entrants to Canada, it says the majority of the proposed changes to Bill C-43, Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, are unnecessary and unjustified. We see little evidence of abuse to justify the amendments in Bill C-43, says Michael Greene of Calgary, member of the CBAs National Immigration Section. The law goes farther than needed, extending to areas that are not justified by the harm it is seeking to address. We urge the government to withdraw or substantially amend the legislation.

Steelworkers Welcome Review of Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Canada Newswire)
The United Steelworkers (USW) is welcoming the federal government’s plan to review its temporary foreign worker program after the union raised concerns about Chinese-owned mining companies’ plans to import Chinese workers to mine coal in B.C. The government has confirmed it will review the program after it looked into the USW’s allegations that Chinese-owned firms posted ads in Canada requiring mine workers to speak Mandarin and agree to work for far-below prevailing domestic pay rates.

Controversy over Chinese miners in B.C. prompts review of foreign worker program (James Keller, The Province)
Controversial plans to hire 201 Chinese workers at a proposed mine in northern British Columbia have prompted Ottawa to announce a review of its entire foreign worker program, with the government suggesting the case has revealed deeper problems with a system designed to fill short-term labour shortages. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley issued a statement Thursday saying the Conservative government isn’t satisfied HD Mining Ltd. followed all the rules when it sought foreign worker permits for its proposed mine near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., which she said raises broader questions about the program.

Canada’s controversial Temporary Foreign Worker program to be reviewed (Ottawa Citizen)
The Harper government is set to announce a review of the controversial Temporary Foreign Worker program following its investigation of the hiring of 201 Chinese nationals for a northeast B.C. coal project, The Vancouver Sun has learned. The government is expected to indicate that it hasnt been satisfied that sufficient effort has been made to hire and train Canadians to begin work at the proposed Murray River underground mine near Tumbler Ridge, which is at the environmental review stage.

Chinese-backed Mining Firm in Early Talks to Train in BC (Migrants Canada)
Opponents of temporary foreign workers in British Columbian mines say one firms assertions it wants to help train local miners after it already filled jobs with non-Canadian labour shows the company wasnt prepared for its projects.

Migrant Workers Alliance responds to new immigration levels and mix numbers announcement (South Asian Generation Next)
The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change comprises Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention, Asian Community Aids Services, Canadian Auto Workers, Caregivers Action Centre, IAVGO, Justicia for Migrant Workers, KAIROS, Migrante Ontario, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Social Planning Toronto, United Food and Commercial Workers and the Workers Action Centre. Syed Hussan, Coordinator, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change has reportedly said, 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?

Report of the Ontario Human Rights Review 2012 – PDF (Andrew Pinto, Attorney General)
The purpose of this Report is to provide my findings, advice and recommendations with respect to the implementation and effectiveness of the changes to the human rights system in Ontario. In order to effectively address the many issues that were raised over the course of the Review, I have divided the Report into 8 parts. Part I includes the introduction and a brief summary of the changes to the human rights system. Part II provides a summary of the feedback I have received from individuals and various organizations during the consultation phase of the Review. Part III provides an analysis of a number of key issues related to the Tribunal, including recommendations for improvements to the Tribunal. Part IV sets out an analysis of key issues related to the Centre, including recommendations to enhance the Centre. In Part V, I discuss the Commission and its new role in the human rights system. I offer several recommendations to help the Commission strike the appropriate balance between engaging in litigation and partnering with other organizations that promote human rights. Part VI includes a discussion of issues that impact all elements of the human rights system, including accessibility and public information on human rights. Part VII sets out my general observations and conclusions on the human rights system. Finally, Part VIII sets out a summary of my recommendations for the Tribunal, Centre, Commission and the Ontario Government. A number of Appendices follow containing information and statistics pertaining to the Report.

New direction for Ontario immigration (CanIndia)
Although Ontario is a top destination for immigrants, global competition to attract the best and brightest coupled with its aging population and low birth rate is causing concern. Ontarios Minister for Immigration Charles Souza announced the Immigration Strategy that focuses on bringing in skilled immigrants and their families. In order to do that, the province requires that the federal government provide it with an expanded role in economic immigrant selection. It needs to increase the proportion of economic immigrants coming to Ontario to 70 per cent and it needs to increase our nominations under the Provincial Nominee Program to 5,000 from 1,000 to help build a skilled labour force. The strategy also looks at how we can more effectively support immigrants and their families, and welcome them into our strong and diverse communities.

Harper pays visit to Philippine ‘tiger cub’ (Matthew Fisher, Ottawa Citizen)
What Prime Minister Stephen Harper brings to the Philippines on Friday is his presence. That counts for a lot in the Philippines. It has been a sleepy hollow since long before Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were pushed from power in 1986 by Corazon Aquino’s “People Power” revolution. As a consequence, few foreign leaders have bothered to stop by. Harper’s visit to the Philippines, which provides Canada with more immigrants than any other group, comes at an opportune moment and is of considerable importance to his hosts.

Hundreds of PNP applicants still awaiting visas (Teresa Wright, The Guardian PEI)
It has been four years since P.E.I.s immigrant investor program was shut down by the feds, but close to 400 immigrants nominated by P.E.I. for permanent residency are still awaiting their visas. Information obtained from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) shows a total of 102 Provincial Nominee Program applications from P.E.I. were still not yet processed by immigration officials as of July 3, 2012.

No Citizenship for NS Man Born on Vacation (David Gruber)
A warning for parents to be: Your childrens citizenship may be in jeopardy if they are born abroad. The CBC is reporting that a Halifax man born to Canadian parents has been unable to get Canadian citizenship. Jarrett Power was born while his parents were vacationing in Florida.

South Asian community by 2031 would almost double (South Asian Generation Next)
Prime Minister Stephen Harpers wooing of the Indo-Canadian community paid dividends as additional seats in the Greater Toronto Area and led to his previously minority Conservative government securing a majority in the Canadian House of Commons. What was more significant was that Harper had to connect with the community since it is fast emerging as a major demographic group in Canada, with projections indicating it could become the largest ethnic group in the country by mid-century.

Lawyers field calls about leaving country (UPI)
Like clockwork, immigration lawyers in other countries say they field inquiries from Americans concerned about the outcome of the presidential election. But in the end, one immigration lawyer in Canada said, Americans don’t cross the border unless it’s for a relationship or work, CNN reported Thursday. “That’s the amazing thing, when they speak on the phone. They’re adamant. They feel very, very strong[ly] about it,” David Cohen, a Montreal immigration lawyer, said in a telephone interview. “‘This government doesn’t speak for me’ is the language that we often hear.”

Canada pledges acceptance of 265000 immigrants in 2013 (Emigrate UK)
In a statement signifying the largest sustained immigration level in the history of Canada, the countrys parliament has disclosed plans to admit over 250,000 permanent residents during 2013. The decision was announced by Transcend Consultants and taken from Citizenship and Immigration Canadas 2012 annual report following its recent tabling in the Canadian parliament. The high numbers indicate the continuation of the seven-year immigration target noted as the highest total in the countrys history.

Toronto Islamic school will not face charges over anti-Jewish curriculum: police (Stewart Bell, National Post)
A Toronto Islamic school whose teaching curriculum disparaged Jews and encouraged boys to keep fit for jihad will not face criminal charges but police said they had identified curriculum materials they found concerning.

Multiculturalism in the Asian Century (Nick Bryant, Lowy Interpreter)
Recently, multiculturalism has come under fire in Europe. David Cameron believes it has ‘encouraged different cultures to live separate lives’. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared it ‘dead’. Here in Australia, their arguments have found an echo from conservative commentators, like Greg Sheridan of The Australian and Gerard Henderson of The Sydney Institute. However, a new book from Melbourne academic Tim Soutphommasane, Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From, argues not only that it works, but also that Australia has come to rival Canada as the world’s most successfully multicultural country. Just as Australia’s economic model has proven unusually robust, the same is true of its multicultural model. ‘Australian governments have always balanced the endorsement of cultural diversity with affirmations of national unity,’ writes Soutphommasane. ‘The freedom to express one’s cultural identity and heritage has been formalised as a right…but this has been balanced by civic responsibilities.’ It’s a winning formula, he says, and gives Australia an in-built advantage at the start of the Asian Century.

The secret behind Obamas success? Harnessing the power of the new diversity coalition (Globe and Mail)
President Barack Obamas re-election was a victory for diversity in a changing America and a changing world. His narrower victory than the one he obtained in 2008 belies an enormous victory for what propels diversity in America and indeed in the whole world. But the Obama re-election also points to the fact that the triumph of diversity often is accompanied by deep divisions in American and other heterogeneous societies.

Canada cuts immigration quota for skilled workers (Telegraph UK)
Canada is cutting the number of people given permanent residency through its most popular immigration scheme by nearly 2,000. The federal skilled worker programme, a points-based system for skilled migrants, is being squeezed next year to make way for 3,000 more people who have worked or studied in Canada for at least two years.

Lincoln Alexander Was A Model For Young People (Kathleen Tilly, Joyce Grant, Teaching Kids News)
Lincoln Alexander was the lieutenant-governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991. He was the first black person to hold that post in the countrys history. He was also Canadas first black Member of Parliament. Lincoln Alexander died on Oct. 19, at the age of 90. He was given a state funeral, which is a high honour. Alexander died in Hamilton, Ont., where he had lived for many years. Throughout his career, Alexander supported youth leadership and he fought racism.

Military investigates video of racially charged skit (CBC)
The Canadian military has launched a formal investigation after a racially charged video was leaked to CBC News. The video features an unidentified member of Canadian Forces Base Greenwood in Nova Scotia. The man is in brown makeup and wearing a turban, pretending to be Osama bin Ladens brother. The video was produced for a formal dinner on the base in January 2010, a time when Afghanistan was still a combat mission for Canada and there were about 2,800 Canadian military personnel serving there.

Canada Military Investigates Racially Charged Video (VIDEO) (Charmaine Noronha, Huffington Post)
Canada’s military is investigating the circumstances surrounding a video played during a formal dinner that featured an unidentified member of the Canadian Forces pretending to be Osama bin Laden’s brother, the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force said. Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Thursday that he was recently informed of complaints that the video was inappropriate and culturally insensitive. He said those involved may face administrative, disciplinary or corrective action.

In the Field Newsletter Volume 5 (OCASI)
Debbies observations on change happening in the sector.
OCASI Member Feature
OCASIs New Youth & Citizenship Project
United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child Fall 2012 – Submitted by OCASI
Making Ontario Home (MOH) Research – Key Finding
Sector happenings

November newsletter (
Winter is here!
I Failed my Literacy Test, Now What?
What are my Rights as a University/College Student?
Where can I Learn French in Ontario?
I’m Being Bullied, What Should I Do?
Réussir ses études: Ta liste de contrôle pour terminer les études secondaires en Ontario

News Release Minister Kenney announces citizenship judge reappointment (CIC)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today announced the reappointment of Citizenship Judge Wojciech Sniegowski. First appointed to the position in August 2009, Judge Sniegowski has been reappointed for a three-year term. Judge Sniegowski graduated from Jagiellonian University, in Poland, with a Masters degree in Administration, before immigrating to Canada.


Canadian doctors speak out on the impacts of cuts to refugee healthcare (CCR)
Doctors across Canada are working tirelessly to provide proper medical care to refugees and refugee claimants, despite recent cuts. They are also working to have adequate refugee medical coverage reinstated, having organized themselves as Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care. The campaigns and protests run by Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care are called bold, noisy interruptions for an invisible, silent population in a Global TV video on doctors treating refugees in Toronto health clinics.

Feds need extra $27M to fight failed refugees, deport criminals (Tobi Cohen, Vancouver Sun)
The government wants more money to crack down on so-called bogus refugees and others who may be inadmissible to Canada on security grounds, according to supplementary spending estimates tabled in the House of Commons Thursday. The Canada Border Services Agency and Justice Canada have asked for an additional $4.5 million to support further investigations of refugee claims and legal proceedings aimed at revoking the status of or removing individuals whove either already returned to their country of origin, are no longer deemed in need of asylum or have fraudulently obtained refugee status. The funding is meant to deter abuse of Canadas refugee protection system.

Documentary: Your Money Or Your Life (ichannel)
Canadians take pride in this countrys system of universal health care. But is it really as universal as we assume? If youre a new immigrant or a refugee, the answer is no. Thats the troubling message of Your Money Or Your Life, a new ichannel documentary that investigates the suffering newcomers to Canada face when they try to access the countrys health system. Until now, new immigrants and refugees have typically been fearful to speak out publicly on this issue. But their voices will be heard clearly when ichannel presents the world television premiere of Your Money Or Your Life on Friday November 9 at 9 pm and Midnight ET.


We must be loud and strong (Hamilton Spectator)
Stuck between a painful rock and an immovable hard place, our city councillors made the best decision they could in unanimously agreeing to support two critical programs for vulnerable Hamiltonians for the first six months of next year. It is by no means a happy outcome for the city to put out $3.35 million to temporarily fill a gaping hole left by provincial cuts to anti-poverty programs. But to do otherwise would have been, in the long run, simply bad economics.–we-must-be-loud-and-strong

City manager sounds alarm (Hamilton Spectator)
For a low-key kind of guy, city manager Chris Murray did a pretty fair job of scaring people shirtless about the future of Hamilton the other day. Responding to a question from Councillor Chad Collins about the need for a stronger intergovernmental relations strategy, Murrays fingers all but brushed the panic button. He suggested the city is in dire need of a tripartite agreement with the federal and provincial governments in order to tackle the financial challenges facing Hamilton, including a $200 million a year infrastructure shortfall and a serious affordable housing shortage.–city-manager-sounds-alarm


Conference Dec 3-4: Workplace Diversity and Inclusiveness Forum: Inclusion, Innovation, and Immigration (Conference Board of Canada)
Conference Overview Diversity is one of the defining characteristics of your future workforce. Chances are your workforce is becoming more diverse. As the population ages, more skilled talent is retiring, making greater diversity and inclusiveness essential to fill roles and maintain performance. One of the key sources of new skilled talent is immigration, and the challenge is to take full advantage of this diversity.

LIPC, chamber hosts employers’ workshop (EMC Smith Falls)
The Smiths Falls Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Project is partnering with the Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce in organizing a free workshop for employers on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Entitled “Leveraging the Skills of Internationally Educated Professionals Why you should do it and how you can do it well”, the workshop will be facilitated by Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO). “Employers will learn the business case for integrating immigrants into their organizations/businesses, and strategies and resources on how to more effectively leverage the full potential of a diverse workforce,” explains Kelly McGahey, Senior Manager, Stakeholder Relations, HIO.,+chamber+hosts+employers’+workshop

Skills training must be made to match industry needs (Peter Jeffrey, Vancouver Sun)
I am responding to Don Cayo’s Oct. 30 column Marginalizing immigrants costs Canada. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) totally agree with the concerns Cayo raises, especially as we are going to have to rely more and more on immigration to fill the skilled labour gap we have here, in British Columbia in particular. Already we are being told by more than 60 per cent of our membership that the growth of their companies is being impeded by the fact they cannot find the skilled labour they need.

Boardroom Diversity (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Nisha Patel. She is a reporter with CBC Business, and was filling in today for our regular business commentator, Armine Yalnizyan.


Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Mayor Ford, City Hall, Schools, Christie Plant and Other News.


Seven nonprofit agencies receive Donner Awards for excellence in delivering social services (Charity Village)
Seven nonprofit social service agencies from across Canada were recognized as the best-run in the country and shared $60,000 in prize money at the Donner Canadian Foundation Awards for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services. Community and Primary Health Care Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville of Brockville, Ontario won the $20,000 William H. Donner Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services, the award for the highest-performing agency overall. Community and Primary Health Care Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville also won the award in the Services for Seniors category, which came with a $5,000 prize.

Call to action for nonprofits to put greater focus on diversity (Allison Jones)
While diversity is not a new issue, Ive come across some compelling calls to action lately on what it means, what it takes, and why we need to focus on diversity in our organizations. A Call to Action First, it was a report from stating that by 2020 46% of the workforce will be Millennials. Next, it was Rafael Lopez, Associate Director at the Annie E. Casey Foundation at the Net Impact conference noting how only 19% of nonprofit employers are nonwhite and more than 90% of philanthropy leaders are white, making us more out of touch with many of the communities we serve. Then, it was a compelling article from Harvard Business Review about the alienation many people of color feel in the workplace. Yesterday, it was a piece from the Chicago Business, again, noting how the lack of diversity at nonprofits and foundations remains unaddressed.

Tories turn to private sector to help fund social services (
Private dollars wont replace public funding for social services, the government said Thursday in announcing it wanted to find new ways for businesses to partner with charities to fund social programs. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said the government has already started signing pay-for-performance agreements, which would see public dollars cover premiums to businesses that invest in social services, one of several moves being considered to push not-for-profit organizations to find new sources of funding.

Feds introduce controversial social impact bonds to fund social services (Toronto Star)
The Harper government is introducing a controversial new approach to funding social services called social impact bonds that can turn a profit for private investors. Social finance is about mobilizing private capital to achieve social goals, creating opportunities for investors to finance projects that benefit Canadians and realize financial gains, the government said in a statement announcing the financing mechanism. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley commented, The government recognizes that we must take steps to enable communities to tackle local challenges.–feds-introduce-controversial-social-impact-bonds-to-fund-social-services

The Mindful Socially Innovative Organization (Cameron Norman, Tamarack)
Most human-centred social ventures spend much of their time in the domain of complexity. What makes these ventures complex is not the human part, but the social. Social engagement, innovation and community action all require interactions between many people. As we interact with our myriad beliefs, attitudes, bases of knowledge, and perceptions we lay the foundation for complexity and the emergent properties than come from it. It’s why we are interesting as a species and why social organizing is such a challenge, particularly when we encourage free-flowing ideas and self-determination. Because of this complexity, we get exposed to a lot of information that gets poorly filtered or synthesized or missed altogether. Yet, it is in this flotsam and jetsam of information that keys to future problems and potential ‘solutions’ to present issues might lie. This is the power of weak signals. But how to we pay attention to these? And what does it matter?

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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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