Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 11, 2013


Peel Newcomer Strategy Group – Winter 2012 Newsletter – PDF (PNSG)
Q & A WITH RATNA OMIDVAR – President, Maytree Foundation
Ratna Omidvar is President of Maytree, a private foundation that promotes equity and prosperity through its policy insights, grants and programs. The foundation is known for its commitment to developing, testing, and implementing programs and policy solutions related to immigration, integration and diversity in the workplace, in the boardroom and in public office. Ratna also serves as a director of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance and is the chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Ratna is the co-editor of the book Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success. In 2006, Ratna was appointed to the Order of Ontario. In 2010, the Globe and Mail profiled Ratna as its Nation Builder of the Decade for Citizenship and in 2011 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

Why is citizenship a requirement for civic life? (Shawn Micallef, Toronto Star)
Last Friday, Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale spotted a late night post from former Blue Jays player and manic tweeter Jose Canseco musing about running for mayor of Toronto. Dale’s questions, and subsequent story, have led to a week of Canseco outlining what he’d do for Toronto if he was mayor, including tearing down the Gardiner Expressway and replacing it with a “waterfront Ballsino” for both the Jays and gambling. Though a fun diversion from Toronto’s usual politics, Canseco conceded his bid for mayor can’t happen because he isn’t a Canadian citizen. This raises a legitimate question: why does a person need to be a citizen to either vote or run in municipal elections? In big Canadian cities, where multiculturalism is so much a part of why we love them, this requirement seems odd.–why-is-citizenship-a-requirement-for-civic-life

White Males Become Allies for Minorities, Women (Sandy Hoffman, Diversity Journal)
As chief diversity officer at Cisco, my focus is on ensuring the engagement of our entire global diverse workforce. Evolving beyond required compliance efforts, our I&D approach focuses on promoting a creative, innovative, and collaborative work environment supporting employee engagement. “White male power” is a tired concept, leaving feelings of exclusion, anger, confusion, or indifference to their company’s diversity initiatives (Nikravin 2012). Successfully harnessing this majority power is critical for change but how to do this in a systematic way is constantly debated.

Research on the Challenges to Meet Immigrant Needs in Peel Settlement Services (Settlement AtWork)
CERIS Graduate Student Award recipient examines the challenges that newcomer-settlement-service providers face in delivering services. This research identifies systemic barriers (funding, inflexible mandate, service accessibility, etc.) and individual barriers (access to employment, lack of comprehensive settlement services, disconnection between health care services and settlement services).

May 15-17 2013 at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada (RCIS)
The 2013 RCIS conference “Immigration and Settlement: Precarious Futures?” is dedicated to advancing innovative and interdisciplinary research from diverse critical and institutional perspectives in the areas of immigration and settlement, international migration, integration, and diaspora and refugee studies. It aims to integrate theory with practice on international migration issues based on values of inclusion and respect for cultural diversity.

Care for Newcomer Child Requirements Now Available (Settlement AtWork)
CMAS (Childminding Monitoring Advisory and Support), regulator of childcare in the settlement sector, has published a resource entitled “Requirements for childcare newcomers.”

News Release — Canada Issues Record Number of Visitor Visas from Chandigarh (CIC)
Canada’s Chandigarh office has issued a record number of visitor visas in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. In 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) officials issued a record number of visitor visas in India’s Punjab region – approximately 17,608, almost three times more than were issued in 2005. As well, approximately 80% of visitor cases processed at missions in India in this year were finalized in five days or less, a major improvement over the 12-day processing time over the same period last year.

Canadian Immigrant Awards opens call for nominations (
Do you know an outstanding immigrant who deserves to be recognized? If you do, you can nominate that person for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards of 2013, presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine and supported by the title sponsor, RBC Royal Bank, and associate sponsor, Chevrolet. “What qualifies someone to be a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant? Any immigrant who has made the decision to embrace Canada and make it a better place,” said Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant magazine. “More than that, they are sources of great inspiration to others in this country, which is why we want you to nominate someone who inspires you.”–canadian-immigrant-awards-opens-call-for-nominations

English or French to immigrate: Short and long-term effects of emphasizing language skills – PDF (CERIS Research Summary)
Recent changes to Canada’s immigrant selection policy have put more importance on English and French language abilities. Research suggests that stronger language skills improve labour market outcomes of immigrants in terms of both the chances of finding a job and the wages they receive. However, less is known about how much language difficulties actually affect labour market outcomes of immigrants over the long-term, or if other factors exist that follow the next generation in the form of barriers for the children of non Anglo or French immigrants. In an international environment of competition to attract the best immigrants to fill specific labour shortages, a trade off from choosing language skills above another employment skill may have longer term implications. From an economic efficiency perspective of immigrant selection, language policies may still be short-sighted.

6 niqab legal controversies in Canada (CBC)
In recent years, courts and lawmakers have had to address issues around wearing a niqab, a veil worn by some Muslim women that covers all of the face, except the eyes. The issues have divided Canadians and even the Muslim-Canadian community, which debates whether the niqab has any religious significance under Islam. Here are six controversies from the last five years, where the niqab was at the centre of the debate.


Year in Review: Changes in 2012 for refugees and other newcomers to Canada (CCR)
2012 brought many important and difficult changes for resettled refugees, refugee claimants and other newcomers to Canada. These changes mean that Canada is slipping in its respect for the basic rights of refugee and newcomer families. The mostly negative rhetoric accompanying the changes also makes Canada a less welcoming country.

Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 7 #9, 10 January 2013 (CCR)
Year in Review: Changes in 2012 for refugees and other newcomers to Canada
New Report: Important changes in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
New Refugee System and ‘Designated Countries of Origin’
Upcoming Events: Save these dates in 2013


12 ideas to stop wage theft (Workers’ Action Centre)
People from across Ontario responded to our call for action. Over 500 messages were sent to the Minister of Labour calling for stronger protections for workers in Ontario. And, thanks to your solidarity, two workers who shared their stories won their wages! On the 12th day of action, we released 12 simple measures that the government can take to stop wage theft. In case you missed it, here are our 12 ideas:

Helping underemployed foreign-educated professionals takes time, Fairness Commissioner says (The Record)
Omkalthoum Khalafalla took a trip from her home in Breslau to Kitchener City Hall Thursday, hoping an audience with Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner would relieve some of her frustration. Khalafalla, who moved to Canada from Sudan in 1998, wanted to ask the provincial advocate for foreign-trained workers why her British-educated husband, holder of a master’s degree in economics, has spent the better part of 15 years looking for work in his field. “Up until now he’s never held a job in Canada,” Khalafalla told Jean Augustine, a former Liberal member of Parliament charged with the task of advising 40 of Ontario’s professional regulatory bodies on how to accept more workers with foreign credentials.–helping-underemployed-foreign-educated-professionals-takes-time-fairness-commissioner-says

The Role of Testing in Professional Certification for Newly Arrived Foreign-Trained Professionals to Canada – PDF (Liying Cheng, Melisa Spaling, and Xiaomei Song, CERIS)
Testing for licensure and certification, as one of the essential components for professional licensure and certification, is utilized as a powerful decision-making tool to include or exclude internationally educated professionals from their respective professions in Canada. This report examined the role that testing plays in professional licensure and certification from the perspectives of newly arrived, internationally educated professionals (IEPs) – medical doctors, nurses, engineers, and teachers, and their respective professional associations. Face-to-face interviews were employed as the method of data collection. Interviews with IEPs were conducted in two settlement environments, Kingston and Windsor, in Ontario, Canada. The findings of the study illustrate the complex role that testing plays in successfully supporting internationally educated professionals to continue to practice as an essential and integral part of Canada’s accomplishing its long-term social and economic goals.

Migrant workers add $15M to regional economy (CBC)
Migrant workers are arriving in Leamington for the greenhouse growing season. Close to 3,000 workers are expected in the Windsor-Essex region this year, up five per cent from last year. Their arrival means a big boost to the local economy, particularly in Leamington. “For every Mexican that comes here, he’s spawning at least five or six more jobs in our community because of the local businesses that are involved in our industry,” said Anthony Cervini of the Foreign Agricultural Resource Management. That translates into an estim


Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on TDSB, Casino Consultation, Teacher’s Strike, Photo Radar 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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