Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 17, 2013


‘When new immigrants succeed, all of Canada wins…’ (South Asian Generation Next)
Murali Murthy is the author of the bestselling ‘The ACE Principle – 15 Success Principles to Absorb, Comprehend and Excel in every area of life’. A creative director and advertising strategist, Murali Murthy holds a Masters in Communications and has held senior positions at various agencies including JWT, TMP, Bozell and Bates in diverse markets across North America, Europe and Asia. He has also developed and directed award-winning sites and interactive projects for Rogers, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust and RIM to name a few. Murali also volunteers his time with CAMP (Communications, Advertising, Marketing Professionals), Canada’s one of the first voluntary organizations for the marketing fraternity. As the chairperson, he helps new Canadians integrate into the job market sooner by providing industry-tested tools, resources and mentorship. In a conversation with Generation Next, the author and coach extraordinaire talks about his role as a mentor and his passion for guiding people to success.

A Review of Immigration in 2012, Part 2 (CICS News)
2012 was an important year for Canadian immigration. Changes were made to almost all aspects of the immigration system, from the introduction of new Federal programs to the restructuring of North American visa offices. While some changes have already taken effect, others have not yet been implemented or are pending governmental approval. In our first article on the subject, CIC News explored changes that have been made to Canada’s major Permanent Residency programs. In this article, we turn our attention to other fields of immigration, including temporary work authorization, family class sponsorship, and student visas.

Nominee program faulted (Bruce Owen, Winnipeg Free Press)
An audit of Manitoba’s nominee program for business found some immigrants arrived in the province based on false applications. Auditor general Carol Bellringer said in a report released Wednesday the province also does not follow immigrants after they’ve settled to monitor the success of the program. She recommended the program tighten its procedures to verify application materials — banking information, employment history and asset holdings — more quickly and then reject it if it’s found to be false.

Learning English at Toronto Reference Library: The largest ESL collection in Toronto (TPL)
Did you know that the Toronto Reference Library is home to the largest public collection of ESL (English as a Second Language) materials in Toronto?

Kenny blames citizenship decline on ‘fiscal restraint’ (Sun News)
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney explained a 73% drop in the number of permanent residents receiving Canadian citizenship between 2005 and 2012 by saying the government’s “fiscal restraint” was leading to fewer people having to process more applications. Internal Citizenship and Immigration documents obtained by QMI Agency show only 2.9% of permanent residents who were eligible for citizenship in 2012 received it, down significantly from 76% in 2005.

Help from Chow’s Office: Immigrant Finally a Canadian (Olivia Chow)
Immigrants, like all Canadians, expect efficient and honest services when they turn to government agencies. But unfortunately, injustices occur, e.g. when applications are ignored or denied fo?r no valid reasons. Luckily, Ms. Perez Bautista, a resident of Trinity-Spadina turned to Olivia Chow’s office when Citizenship and Immigration Canada dropped her citizenship application. Ms. Perez Bautista had been living in Canada for years, a hard-working resident of Toronto eager to become a Canadian. Once her citizenship exam was complete, she was continuously given confusing and contradictory information from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The Ministry attempted to claim that Ms. Perez Bautista closed her application, despite her repeated attempts to get an update on her application status. While Ms. Perez Bautista was eagerly awaiting the date for the Citizenship ceremony, the Ministry simply closed her application for no reason at all.

DOLE: Canada’s new hiring system places importance on language proficiency (
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the Canadian government’s new hiring system for foreign workers places greater importance on age and language proficiency. According to Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Canadian Minister for Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney announced in December last year that the new selection system for their Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will start on May 14 this year. “The FSWP puts more points on language proficiency and youth as the two most important factors in the economic success of immigrants,” Baldoz noted. The new FSWP will accept a fixed number of applications each year, Baldoz said.

KKK In Canada (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Deanna Bowen, she is the artist behind “Invisible Empires” . And with Maestro Wes Williams, he plays the part of Civil Rights activist Reverend James Bevel in both the film and stage re-enactment of the 1965 interview on CBC’s program “This Hour Has Seven Days”. The exhibition opens this evening at 6 p.m. at the Art Gallery of York University.

Statistics Wednesday (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
A series of immigration related statistics.

Harper names Aga Khan an honorary citizen (Globe and Mail)
In a grand white tent on the site of a museum to be named in his honour, the Aga Khan formally accepted Canadian citizenship from Prime Minister Stephen Harper Friday. The Aga Khan, only the fifth person to be awarded honourary citizenship, described it as a generous and gracious gesture as he stood with the Prime Minister before a crowd of dignitaries and several hundred members of the Ismaili community. He joins a list of honourary citizens that includes Nelson Mandela, Aung San Su Kyi and the Dalai Lama, among others. “I have always felt very much at home in Canada, but never more than at this moment,” the Aga Khan said.

Canada’s National Immigration Museum expanding online (Steve Kaiser, Vancouver Observer)
The second largest country in the world expects to welcome close to 250,000 immigrants in 2013. Canada was built on the efforts of newcomers: Since 1869, Canada’s immigration programs have helped build a community of citizens valued around the world. Often referred to as Canada’s version of America’s Ellis Island, Pier 21 is a National Historic Site which was the gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. Today, Pier 21 hosts the Canadian Museum of Immigration — Canada’s only national museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Marco Rubio says only 6.5 percent of immigrants “come here based on labor and skill” (
West argued that some other countries such as Canada have already crafted policies to attract skilled and unskilled workers. Canada gives applicants points based on their field of study, education and employment experience. “Some 36 percent of all Canadian immigrant visas are in the ‘skilled-worker’ category, as opposed to only 6.5 percent in the United States,” West wrote. We contacted West to ask how he arrived at his figure.

Not racism (Martin Collacott, The Province)
The article reporting on demands by members of the Sikh community for a formal apology from the government for the 1914 Komagata Maru affair would have benefitted from more balanced coverage of the issues. While the refusal of Canadian authorities to let most of the passengers from the ship land in Canada is often depicted as an act of racism because they were from India, the fact is that they were refused entry primarily because B.C. workers were concerned about being overwhelmed by large numbers of workers from Asia prepared to accept much lower wages than Canadians could live on.

A message to Canadians: Don’t let the ignorant speak the loudest (Rhiannon Mcrae, rabble)
Why are we divided? Because we are spoon fed from an early age that that is the way it should be. That white Canadians should fear losing their culture to the influx of hard working immigrants, who are not only taking their jobs, but replacing Canadian culture with their own. That ‘visible minority’ immigrants should keep to their own kind, in their own section of town, because while a Canadian may be friendly to their face, they are secretly calling you vile names behind your back and that you will never be Canadian enough, no matter how many generations your family lives here. That all Canadians subsidize Aboriginal Canadians with their hard earned tax dollars. That all Aboriginal Canadians are lazy drunks, who live in squalor because they spend their welfare cheques on booze and tax-free smokes.

Federal skilled trades program begins accepting applications (Henry Chang, First Reference Talks)
On August 18, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) published proposed regulatory amendments (the “Proposed Regulations”) in the Canada Gazette, which (once enacted) would create a Federal Skilled Trades Program (“FSTP”). On January 2, 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney (the “Immigration Minister”) announced that CIC would begin accepting applications under the FSTP, effective immediately.

Ryerson study makes case for more local content in ethnic media (New Canadian Media)
Toronto Police spokesperson Mark Pugash told the Star of the force’s concern that misinformation has been so widely disseminated within Toronto’s Korean community of more than 34,000 people. But thanks to Jay’s original reporting in the Korea Times, the fallout from the false news was stemmed before it could do more damage. And it reinforces a Ryerson University journalism professor’s suggestion that ethnic media outlets will better serve their communities if they put more emphasis on reporting local news. At a recent presentation to ethnic media representatives, Professor April Lindgren said many media organizations that publish in languages other than English devote too much time and attention to homeland news that is easy to access online. Offering more local coverage would give ethnic media a competitive advantage, she argued, because it isn’t as readily available on the internet for people with limited English-language skills.


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

Canada’s growing culture of refugee exclusion (Lee Williams, Vancouver Observer)
Jason Wong came from China as a refugee in 1987 to avoid aborting his child, who was conceived out of wedlock – as family law at the time persecuted unplanned babies. That baby, born in Vancouver, is now a 25-year old student who currently supports Wong, as he cannot legally work in Canada since he was given a deportation order in 1989. His daughter, Susan Wong, said the Canadian government could not deport her father because his documents were lost within the non-digital system of the 1980s. “He couldn’t stay and he couldn’t leave,” Wong said. “So he doesn’t have identity in either places.”

CARL In The Courts: Ezokola V. Canada, A Primer (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers)
The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL) is intervening before the Supreme Court of Canada in Ezokola v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration). The case will be heard in Ottawa on Thursday, January 17, 2013. The case concerns the interpretation of Article 1(F)(a) of the United Nations Refugee Convention, as incorporated into Canadian law. Article 1(F)(a) is known as the “exclusion” provision in the Refugee Convention. It excludes people from refugee protection where there are serious reasons for considering that they have committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity.

Comment on BC Supreme Court ruling striking down smuggling law (CCR)
The Canadian Council for Refugees welcomes the recent decision by the BC Supreme Court striking down a section of the immigration legislation, on the grounds that it criminalizes humanitarian acts to protect refugees. The section has been a grave concern to refugee workers in Canada, particularly since charges were laid five years ago against Janet Hinshaw-Thomas, a representative of a refugee support organization in the US. Although the charges against her were eventually dropped, people across Canada who work with refugees felt intimidated, because they knew that the law was so broad that it criminalized many activities to assist refugees.

Kenney defends human smuggling law in wake of court smack-down (Tobi Cohen,
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was on the defensive Wednesday in the wake of a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Canada’s human-smuggling law as “unnecessarily broad” earlier this week. He said the legislation now in question has nothing to do with Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act which, among other things, contains the government’s much-hyped anti-human smuggling reforms.

Human Smuggling Law ‘too broad” (South Asian Generation Next)
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 legislation

Legal Resources for Those Seeking to Make a Refugee Claim (Settlement AtWork)
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has published useful resources for the new process of asylum in Canada. The following documents explain what to get for clients’ asylum support, important deadlines, and other useful resources.

Top court hears refugee case of diplomat deemed complicit in war crimes (Natalie Stechyson, Edmonton Journal)
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case Thursday that grapples with how to determine just who is culpable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Rachidi Ekanza Ezokola, a former high-level diplomat with the Democratic Republic of Congo, was originally denied refugee status after he fled to Montreal with his family because he was found to be complicit by association with the crimes committed by the war-torn African country.


TO housing wait list grows to 87,486 households as Council debates cuts to housing and homelessness (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
Toronto’s affordable housing wait list was a staggering 87,486 households in December 2012, up 6.5% from the 82,138 households in December 2011. Toronto Housing Connections, which maintains the wait list, reports that the December number includes 161,602 women, men and children. The latest numbers confirming a severe shortage of affordable housing come as Toronto City Council is in the final hours of debating its 2013 municipal budget, which includes a 50% cut in funding for new affordable housing and other cuts to housing and homelessness services and funding.


Video: How to Manage a Diverse Workforce (
Representatives from large corporations – CIBC, KPMG and Pitney Bowes as well as smaller companies – Questrade, Advanced Precision and XEA, identify several ways in which they set themselves apart from other employers and retain and promote immigrant talent.

Building Capacity for Immigrant Employment A Five-Year Success Story 2006-2011 – PDF (hireimmigrants ottawa)
As Co-Chairs of the Employer Council of Champions (ECC) we are proud to present this report describing the activities and accomplishments of Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) since its inception five years ago. The cumulative result is impressive: Participating organizations have hired more than one-thousand immigrants into skills appropriate positions in the Ottawa region since the Council was launched in 2007. But even more important, the HIO initiative has brought together the collaborative efforts of local employers and numerous community partners and stakeholders to help foster systematic change within our workplaces – changes that will have lasting impact in the ability of employers to hire the best available talent. By improving our recruiting and hiring practices, adopting innovative mentoring and coaching programs, enhancing our cross-cultural competencies, sharing our lessons learned and celebrating our success stories, together as employers we are laying a foundation for long-term success — with a diverse and inclusive workforce that is key to our community’s prosperity and cohesiveness

London stabbing thrusts Asian grocery stores under spotlight (Kate Dubinski, Kelly Pedro, The London Free Press)
It sticks out like a sore thumb — more than a dozen people packed into a house built for a single family in a quiet London suburb. Next door, there’s another just like it. But the portrait that’s slowly emerging behind the two London houses — of Chinese workers brought to Canada to work in Asian supermarkets, living in cramped conditions — is being painted in several London neighbourhoods. It was a stabbing Tuesday that thrust the two Beaverbrook Ave. houses under the spotlight.

What would happen if….??? (ERIEC)
This is ERIEC’s third annual conference, which was formerly known as the “Career Mentorship Symposium”. It will include the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada – a major sponsor of ERIEC and the conference – and a mix of plenary and breakout sessions. Other conference sponsors include Western Union, Enbridge and the Government of Alberta. The Bredin Institute, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, ASSIST and Alberta Human Services will continue to support this annual event.

Canadian experience: the newcomer services’ view (Gerard Keledjian, The Immigrant)
By 2015, 100 per cent of all labour growth in Canada will come from immigration. Still, recent statistics show that GTA unemployment rates, for example, stand at 5.4 per cent for Canadian-born workers, while they’re almost double for immigrants, at 9.6 per cent. If we just look at those who arrived in the past five years, the figure is as high as 14.2 per cent. In an an effort to study the employment barriers faced by immigrants and the effective strategies used by Canadian companies to take advantage of their skills, University of Toronto academics joined community and corporate leaders in “Beyond Canadian Experience.” Authors of the 2011 study agreed that the request for “Canadian experience” is one of the most significant barriers preventing immigrants from contributing their skills to the national economy.


Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Budget Chief Del Grande Resigns, Toronto Budget 2013 and Other News.

Newsstand: January 17, 2013 (Brendan Ross, Torontoist)
Today is Thursday. If you aren’t familiar with calendars, have a great start to the week! In the news: the budget chief resigns after the 2013 budget passes, the TDSB names a new acting director, animal rights activists take on the Bowmanville Zoo, and Idle No More protesters take to the British Consulate.

TDSB trustees choose acting director, if she accepts (Newstalk 1010)
Trustees at the TDSB have chosen an acting director of education. Donna Quan is being asked to fill the role for an unknown length of time. She still has to accept and sign a contract. As for when a search for a permanent director will begin, chair Chris Bolton says that is still a point of discussion.


Upcoming Tamarack Learning Opportunities (Tamarack)
Communities Collaborating Institute Edmonton, Alberta: October 7-11, 2013
Free Tele-Learning Events!

Rescind cuts to funding (Karine Levasseur, Winnipeg Free Press)
Imagine being an executive director of a local charity whose grant from the City of Winnipeg may suddenly be reduced by 10 per cent. Now, imagine you have already spent or allocated that funding and have to replace it in a competitive funding environment. This reduction is exactly what happened last week to many non-profits and charities. In an effort to reduce expenditures, the 2013 budget announced plans to reduce annual grants to certain non-profits and charities. Organizations such as the Manitoba Children’s Museum, St. Boniface Museum, United Way of Winnipeg, Poverty Action Strategy and Winnipeg Harvest face reductions of $2,000 to $45,000.

Judge raps Justice officials for treatment of whistle-blower (Globe and Mail)
Ottawa is crafting legislation that risks running afoul of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms without informing Parliament, a federal lawyer charges. In a highly unusual case, Department of Justice lawyer Edgar Schmidt is challenging his own department in Federal Court and revealing details about the internal guidelines used by federal lawyers. The department accuses Mr. Schmidt of violating his duties as a lawyer and public servant and has suspended him without pay. Some of the centrepieces of the Conservative government’s legislative agenda – including mandatory minimum sentences and reforms to Canada’s immigration and refugee laws – are expected to run into Charter-related legal challenges, according to many legal experts. Just this week a B.C. Supreme Court judge struck down sections of a law targeting human smugglers, which has been a priority issue for the Conservative government. The judge ruled that a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act infringes on Charter rights because it is “unnecessarily broad.”

TechSoupCanada Content survey 2013
Welcome to our 2013 content survey! This is your chance to let us know what content you would like to see and what you would like to learn about in 2013, so we can make sure what we’re sharing is useful and relevant.

Microlending for Women in Ontario Program (Settlement.Org)
The government of Ontario has created a new Microlending for Women in Ontario program. Across Ontario, 6 not-for-profit organizations will receive funding to support low-income women who want to start their own business. The organizations will offer financial literacy training, entrepreneurial mentoring, skills development and life skills support.

Social Finance Connects (Tristina Sinopoli,
In partnership with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Stephanie Robertson and Tessa Hebb each recently published a report on social metrics. This webinar will feature important findings from their respective reports.

Canadian law firms give generously (Drew Hasselback, Financial Post)
It’s time to sort out some unfinished business from last year. In the Fall of 2012, the Toronto offices of 10 law firms collectively donated more than $20,000 to our favourite charity here at the paper, Raise-a-Reader. As we’ve done in previous years, we said we would repay this generosity by devoting a few lines in this column to each donor firm and its favourite charity… Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP — which next month becomes known as Dentons — is the first law fir?m to be a corporate partner of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Mentoring Partnership program. FMC’s lawyers have been doing pro bono work for the organization for about five years. One of the things the firm helped TRIEC do was obtain charitable status. Beyond this, more than 50 FMC members have participated in the TRIEC program as mentors.

New twist on credit-seeking philanthropy (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
The idea occurred to him during the ribbon-cutting for George Brown’s state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre last fall. His family’s life had been touched by a selfless caregiver. Wouldn’t it be great, he mused, to honour someone like her? From the college’s point of view, it would provide a role model and affirm the career choice of students training to be personal support workers. From the city’s perspective, it would be a vote of thanks to the nannies, elder-care aides and home-care workers who make life manageable. He approached a couple of well-off friends. They liked the idea. They pooled their money to make it feasible. Since then, it’s been a matter of picking the room, pinning down details and trying to keep de Vera calm.–goar-new-twist-on-credit-seeking-philanthropy-goar

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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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