Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 15, 2013


Shy woman saves man’s life on Malton bus (
Swarnjit Malhotra is trying to earn her Canadian credentials to become a nurse, a profession in which she excelled in her native India. Malhotra, 35, demonstrated her hands-on skills Friday morning, saving a man’s life on a Brampton Transit bus while on her way to Malton for an English class. “I reacted and just did what I thought I should do,” the Brampton woman said. Malhotra said she was en route to Malton Neighbourhood Services, where she’s enrolled in a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program, just after 8:30 a.m. Suddenly, as the bus was on Airport Rd., a 60-year-old man on board began convulsing and having a seizure. Malhotra immediately asked other passengers to tell the driver to stop the bus. Then, she sprung into action.–shy-woman-saves-man-s-life-on-malton-bus

Black flag shown to Canadian minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism in Amritsar (Times of India)
Canadian Backloggers Pre-2008 Association showed black flags to the Jason Kenny,Canada’s minister of citizenship Immigration and multiculturalism during his visit to Amritsar on Friday. About 150 protesters including women were stopped by police from getting closer to the visiting Canadian minister but they managed to show black flags to him near Golden Temple. President of Moga unit of Association Jagmander Singh told TOI that there were more than 3 lakh applications pending with Canadian government .

Minister Kenney concludes successful visit to India (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has completed a productive visit to India, part of a three-country trip that also includes Sri Lanka and Turkey. Minister Kenney’s six-day visit to India saw him travel through five of the country’s regions. “This official visit to India was a great opportunity to promote Canada internationally,” Minister Kenney stated. “Our two Commonwealth democracies share a deep and growing bond as many Indians come to visit friends and relatives or study in Canada, while others come to Canada to start new lives, through our new fast and flexible immigration programs.”

New Online Course Available on Working With Cross-Cultural Family and Child-Centred Care (Settlement AtWork)
The online course covers both the theory and practice behind topics that include family and child-centred care, diversity and bias, cross cultural child-rearing practices and communication, and building trusting relationships.

Accessibility Round Table Discussion – Toronto (Settlement AtWork)
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants in partnership with the Ethno- Racial People with Disabilities Coalition of Ontario (ERDCO) cordially invites Settlement Sector and Disability Sector employees to a round table discussion. The objective of the round table is to provide the disability and settlement sectors an opportunity to discuss the gaps that exist in serving newcomers with disabilities and to develop strategies on how we can effectively support these individuals.

Immigration Reform 2013: What Republicans Can Learn From Their Canadian Counterparts (Katie Robinette,
In 2006 and 2008, Conservatives, under the leadership of Stephen Harper, won back-to-back minority governments after over a decade of Liberal rule in Canada. In both of those elections, the Liberals were successful at painting the Conservatives as “scary” and warned Canadians that Prime Minister Harper would unleash a “hidden agenda” if given the chance. However, after five years of Conservative minority rule, all the opposition parties combined (Liberals, the New Democrats, and the Quebec-based Bloc Quebecois) failed in their “fear-mongering” and Canadians, in 2011, elected a Conservative majority. A significant factor in the Conservative Party’s electoral success in Canada has been its constant, consistent, and calculated cultivation of the immigrant vote. The Republican Party in the U.S. should take note.

‘All we’re asking for is an apology’ (Larissa Cahute, The Province)
After the Punjab government acknowledged the “unsung heroes” of Komagata Maru, Indo-Canadians are at a loss as to why Canada refuses to do the same. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced Thursday in Chandigarh, India, that those involved in India’s freedom struggle – including martyrs of the 1872 Kuka movement, Komagata Maru in 1914 and the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre – will be recognized and their families likely compensated. “Coming from the Punjab government … it’s great news,” said Surrey resident Jaswinder Singh Toor, whose grandfather was one of hundreds of Indians aboard the Japanese chartered ship en route to Vancouver.

New federal guidelines to protect international students, fight fraud (Zane Schwartz, The Varsity)
New guidelines, proposed by the federal government for international students, have been met with broad support from post-secondary institutions. The guidelines, released by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration in late December, outline new measures designed to safeguard international students from fraud. “There are too many stories of international students who pay a lot of money and leave their families back home to study in Canada, only to find out they have been misled,” said Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney.

Gujarati entrepreneurs fuelling growth in Canada (Economic Times of India)
Canada has identified Gujarat as its fastest growing immigration source from India. The country’s minister for citizenship, immigration and multi-culturism Jason Kenney said here on Saturday that Gujaratis with their entrepreneurial skills are fuelling the Canadian growth. Canada is one of the partner countries for the ongoing summit. He was addressing a seminar on “Canada-Gujarat Business and Trade Opportunities” as a part of the ongoing Vibrant Gujarat summit. Pointing that Gujaratis have acquired a large number of hotels in the country, Kenney said, “They have absolutely tenacious work ethics.” The minister said that both Canada and Gujarat have a lot to gain by coming together in the field of business and investment. He pointed that Canada aims to be an important supplier of uranium for India’s civil nuclear programme. The two countries had entered into a nuclear pact in 2010. Gujarat’s minister for energy and petrochemicals Saurabh Patel said that Canada is a natural choice for a partnership for Gujarat. Pointing to Gujarat being a nerve centre of energy investments, he said, “We need economically priced gas that is de-linked from the crude oil prices.”

What Jason Kenney doesn’t want you to know about Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Karl Flecker, rabble)
Once again, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been in the national news. This time, members of the Canadian labour movement questioned the integrity of the program when it was exposed that a mining company had been approved to bring in 200 of potentially 2,000 coal miners from China to work at a site in northern British Columbia. Labour brokers based in China, recruiting for mining operations such as this one, were charging up to $16,000 dollars from interested applicants and, on their job postings flyers, had listed being able to speak Mandarin. In addition, the labour brokers cited wages significantly lower than the base rate wage for miners in B.C. The Canadian Labour Congress questioned the government’s process to grant approval for this operation. Among the many serious concerns raised was the fact that Statistics Canada data, for nearly five months, has shown that tens of thousands of workers skilled in mining are available in the country. How was it possible for a company to claim that Canadian workers were not available?

Social Media Platforms & Professional Newcomers to Canada (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
Last week’s post on “cultural fit” highlights an enormous roadblock professional newcomers have encountered for years. Research shows that in Canadian workplaces and hiring practise, Canadian work experience and official language skills (i.e., French/Canadian fluency) are valued as crucial, and affect the economic and social integration of newcomers even after a job is secured. As you work through English classes or a night course, however, an expert use of professional social media can supplement your job prospects, facilitating “the art of selling yourself” through heightened professional visibility, access to networks, and emphasizing your particular strengths.


Apply For A Speak Up! Grant With The Ccr Youth Network (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees Youth Network is offering funding and support to groups of newcomer youth from across Canada to develop creative public education or advocacy resources designed to communicate the realities and concerns of refugee and immigrant youth. IMAGINE if your group was given the money and support to work with people in your community to develop that ONE tool you really need to get through to people around you… What would you create? Oh, the possibilities…

Canada to resettle thousands of Iranian and Iraqi refugees (
Thousands of displaced Iraqi and Iranian refugees will be relocated to Canada from Turkey over the next five years in an attempt to help those Canada couldn’t get out of Syria before violence forced the government to close its visa and immigration office in the country. The announcement to combine parts of two resettlement programs will also help Canada get closer to its 2009 commitment to resettle 20,000 Iraqis who fled their country for safety in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. So far, about 12,000 Iraqi refugees have been resettled in Canada, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Canada will only take “bona fide” refugees — essentially those the United Nations has certified as requiring resettlement. Many are living in rural villages in Turkey, Kenney said.

B.C. judge declares human smuggling law too broad (Hamilton Spectator)
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has taken the bluster out of the Conservative’s campaign against illegal migrants by striking down a section of the law targeting human smuggling, putting at least two high-profile prosecutions in limbo. In February 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to toughen asylum laws as he stood aboard one of the ships used to bring Tamil migrants to Canada in 2009 and 2010. Now, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman suggests the government go back to the drawing board on a key section of the legislatio–b-c-judge-declares-human-smuggling-law-too-broad

Human Smuggling Canada: Law Struck Down, Putting Tamil Cases In Limbo (Jesse Ferreras, Huffington Post)
Canada’s human smuggling law has been struck down by the British Columbia Supreme Court, leaving two high-profile prosecutions in limbo with a judge’s advice that the federal government go back to the drawing board. The decision comes during the defence of four men accused of ferrying dozens of Tamil migrants to B.C.’s west coast in fall 2009. The ruling also has implications for a second prosecution in connection to a boat of migrants that arrived the following year and any future potential cases of human smuggling.


#Ottiwapiskat takes on stereotypes (Mia Rabson, Winnipeg Free Press)
The stereotypes of First Nations Canadians which flood newspaper website comment sections, Twitter, my email inbox every time I write a story about First Nations, and very likely, dinner conversations across this country, are rampant. The stereotypes are also ridiculous: all chiefs are crooks living high on the hog while their people suffer, First Nations people are all lazy and would rather live in poverty on welfare than get an education and a job, etc.


Skills training plans recommends partnership with IEC-BC for integration of immigrants into the NE workforce (IECBC)
The Northeast and Northwest Regional Workforce Tables have completed their regional skills training plans which identify key opportunities to help ensure northern B.C. communities have skilled workers to fill jobs, both today and in the future. The Northeast Skills Training Plan recommends an implementation group partner with IEC-BC and others to support integration of immigrants into the NE workforce.

Maximizing the potential of newly hired immigrants (Denise Deveau, Financial Post)
As organizations look to build their employment ranks, new Canadians are becoming an increasingly integral part of the business landscape. The shortage of labour on all fronts — from engineers to bricklayers — is in large part a driving factor behind the interest in foreign workers. But there are also a number of additional business benefits that come with having a diverse workforce. For a global consulting firm, for example, it can strengthen its growth efforts in international markets. For a retail operation, ethnic diversity could translate into improved service for regional consumer populations. While businesses and governments acknowledge the value of immigrant workers, there is a myriad of well-publicized challenges to be dealt with, from onboarding and assimilation to cumbersome immigration processes. However, the rewards can far outweigh the inconvenience for those that do it well.

World’s domestic workers toil in penury and danger (The Record)
The International Labour Organization calls it the “invisible” workforce. It is huge. It includes caregivers, housekeepers, maids, servants, gardeners, drivers and other domestic staff. They work behind the closed doors of private households, shielded from scrutiny and often unprotected by national labour laws. They toil long hours for low wages facing a high risk of physical, mental and sexual abuse. Eighty-three per cent are woman. Most are migrants. Officially, the head count is 53 million. But that excludes child workers (roughly 7.5 million) and undocumented immigrants. When they are taken into account, the figure balloons to almost 100 million, according to the International Labour Organization. The agency’s mission is to tear away the veil of secrecy and win support for an international treaty requiring all nations to set a wage floor for domestic workers, ensure them decent working conditions — including one day off a week — and protect them from human rights abuses.–world-s-domestic-workers-toil-in-penury-and-danger

Video: Migrant Workers in Canada: Why we migrate (UFCW)
Part One of a four-part video testimonial series on the hardships, challenges, discrimination and dangers faced by migrant workers in Canada.For more information on migrant workers in Canada, see


Newsstand: January 15, 2013 (Torontoist)
Get ready for the budget debate! In the news: Mayor Ford is confident about the 2013 budget; looks like a political glass ceiling is about to be broken in Ontario; the TDSB has to pick an interim leader; the skilled-trades union may not get free rent from the school board for much longer; Toronto’s city planner continues to speak her mind; and Milos Raonic is through to the next round at the Australian Open.

Canadian Youth Business Foundation Appoints Julia Deans as New CEO (Marketwire)
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation’s (CYBF) Chairman John Risley and the Board of Directors has named Julia Deans as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer effective today. “As CYBF’s new CEO, Julia brings with her extensive management experience and a profound understanding of entrepreneurship – through creating and spearheading a business in Singapore, to building a series of successful regional initiatives in Canada. Julia’s leadership will advance CYBF’s standing as the premier gateway for young and emerging Canadian entrepreneurs and strengthen its industry-leading mentor-matching program. We are very pleased to have Julia on board,” said Risley.


Meet Social Spark: A non-profit organization that empowers today’s youth to tackle societal problems (Sissi Wang,
Social Spark is a youth-driven non-profit organization that empowers youth, at the university level, to tackle pressing societal problems. How do we accomplish that? We provide one-on-one mentorship, funding, education, and exclusive networking opportunities to young people to train them to become our next generation of promising social entrepreneurs and leaders. At Social Spark, we believe that young people have the potential to not only be leaders of the future, but also change-makers of the present if empowered through appropriate training and guidance. Social Spark grew from our co-founders’ experiences with youth leadership, social change efforts and entrepreneurship. We believe that businesses have responsibilities extending beyond shareholders to include the communities they operate in, and recognize that our generation wants more than a stable job. Social entrepreneurs work towards a social objective measured by a positive return in society as opposed to business entrepreneurs whose primary objective is to increase the amount of profit generated. At Social Spark, we believe in taking part in jobs that provide a meaning for us and can positively impact the world.

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy. (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
We think that what is necessary today is a strategy that breaks free of static plans to be adaptive and directive, that emphasizes learning and control, and that reclaims the value of strategic thinking for the world that now surrounds us. Martin acknowledged this point at the Skoll World Forum in 2010 when he said: “Every model is wrong and every strategy is wrong. Strategy in a way helps you learn what is ‘righter’. People think you can prove a strategy in advance. You can’t.” The approach we developed in working with our clients at Monitor Institute is what we call adaptive strategy. We create a roadmap of the terrain that lies before an organization and develop a set of navigational tools, realizing that there will be many different options for reaching the destination. If necessary, the destination itself may shift based on what we learn along the way.

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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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