Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 21, 2013


Strong Fence, Wide Gate: Canadas Changing Immigration Policy (Ralph Dzegniuk, the Epoch Times)
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, appears to be quite fond of metaphors. He has recently quoted the New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, on his conceptualization of the ideal immigration system as one with a strong fence, but a wide gate. As promising as this metaphor sounds, the question that many potential immigrants to Canada have is what would such an immigration system actually entail.

Agency wants to see more au pairs allowed into Canada (Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun)
Renee Kruger and Naoto Arikawa knew it would be difficult to find someone to look after their 22-month-old son Finley when Kruger decided to increase her hours at work. Finding child care in Metro Vancouver is a challenge at the best of times, one that was compounded for the Burnaby parents because they both work shifts, sometimes overnight or on weekends. Daycares are geared toward parents who work regular business hours and the babysitters they found on classified sites were only willing to work during the day, Arikawa said.

Edmonton council doesnt represent citys diversity (Terence Harding, Metro News)
Our current mayor remains cagey about what his plans are for the next civic election. Even the recent pay increase the mayor and councillors received wasnt enough for him to fess up. While we are waiting for his worship to make up his mind, its a good time to start thinking about what kind of city we want and need in the next 20 to 30 years. In Edmonton, we often tout our multicultural nature. Thats not surprising since we are in fact a multicultural city and we will become increasingly more so during the next few decades. All you have to do is spend a few minutes watching people walk by in the downtown to realize how much the ethnic makeup of this city has changed

Want Immigrants to Integrate? Don’t Complain When Minorities Get Political (Huffington Post)
Why is it when Canadians who are members of visible minority groups, or so-called “ethnic” communities, get involved in the political process, some people pull the security alarm switch and yell “intruder”? In Canada, we pride ourselves on being an open society where we treat everyone equally and respectfully. We consider our diversity to be a sign of strength and richness. We also encourage multicultural communities to break down any self-imposed barriers and to build bridges with the broader community. Yet, it seems, when members of multicultural communities choose to participate in a political discussion or election, they are viewed with suspicion.They are often accused of being representative of a homogeneous group motivated by foreign or sinister interests. Therein lies the hypocrisy.

50 Years of Impact: A Biographical Dictionary of Some Canadians of Cameroonian origin (50 Years of Impact)
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cameroon and Canada, the Cameroon High Commission in Canada commissioned a commemorative book entitled 50 Years of Impact: A Biographical Dictionary of Some Canadians of Cameroonian origin, to highlight the contributions of Canadians of Cameroonian origin to Canadian society. Members of the community were invited to propose the names of persons who, in their opinion, deserve to be featured in this publication. 420 names were received and 272 of these are featured in this ground-breaking volume.

Rick Dykstra: Showing Foreign Criminals The Door (Patrick Hickey, FAQMP)
Conservative MP Rick Dykstra has a message for foreign-born criminals: You are not welcome in this country. They make a mockery of our system. They make appeal after appeal after appeal. That is not going to happen any more. That is not the position we are taking. The position that Dykstra is referring to is Bill C-43, the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act. C-43 is aimed at providing Canada better protection from foreign criminals by streamlining Canadas deportation system and tightening restrictions on immigration applications. C-43 was first introduced by Citizenship & Immigration Minster Jason Kenney in June 2012 and has already passed its first two readings before the House of Commons. As Minister Kenneys Parliamentary Secretary, Dykstra has played a big part in guiding it through Parliament. In House debates and in meetings of the Standing Committee for Citizenship & Immigration, Dykstras voice has been a consistent defender of C-43.

Indian applicants face uncertain future as Canada tightens immigration laws (Economic Times India)
Canada’s new federal skilled worker programme (FSWP) is set to kick off later this year. This will have a huge impact on applications from India. India sends the third-highest number of immigrants to Canada. Currently the FSWP, which will provide a pathway for thousands of skilled immigrants from India to move to Canada, is on hold and closed for applications. Canada’s minister for citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, who was recently in India, believes that the changes to the immigration programme, under which 57,296 people were admitted to Canada in 2011, are geared towards linking economic growth of his country to providing the right kind of opportunities for skilled immigrants.

Chinese ‘birth tourists’ having babies in Canada (CBC)
A number of Chinese tourists are giving birth in Canada as a way to circumvent their country’s strict one-child policy and to get their child a coveted Canadian passport. There are even companies in some Canadian cities that specialize in bringing over pregnant women from China. Although the practice may seem deceptive, one lawyer says it is perfectly legal. CBC’s Catherine Mercier investigates the world of birth tourism.

A Retrospective on the NHL and Ethnic Diversity (Bob Dawson, Box Score News)
The National Hockey League (NHL), as we know it today, was founded on November 26,1917, in Montreal, Quebec following the demise of its forerunner, the National Hockey Association, which had been founded in 1909. Through a series of expansions, contractions, and relocations over the years, the NHL is now composed of 30 teams.

Information Session: Visible Minority Librarians of Canada (UBC)
Are you a member of a visible/ethnic minority group? Or are you interested in learning about serving minority and multicultural patrons in your libraries? If so, join the BCLA/CLA student chapter for an enlightening discussion with Deb Thomas (Branch Head, Bobbie Prittie Metrotown Branch Library / Deputy Chief Librarian, Burnaby Public Library) and Aditi Gupta (Reference Librarian, Bobbie Prittie Metrotown Branch Library). Deb and Aditi will share with us information about Visible Minority Librarians of Canada (ViMLoC), a CLA network approved in December 2011.

Guy Talk: Why A Straight Man Like Me Cares About Transgender Rights (Dan Solomon,
Over the weekend, the UKs Guardian published an editorial about transgender people that crossed a bunch of lines. Its not really worth repeating the things that the author wrote, but they included the sort of slurs that, if used against, say, black people or women, would make your eyes pop out. The Guardian has since removed it, but it was full of N-word level stuff, with an editorial tone dripping with self-righteous, if you dont want to be called these things, stop being the way you are privilege. It was gross, in other words. I tweeted about it throughout the day on Sunday, when it ran, as I learned more about the author or different things occurred to me. Most of the rest of my tweets from that day were about football, which meant that I got some confused replies from people who follow me because they like when I make fun of Matt Schaub. Im not transgender, and I dont have any close friends or family who are, so why was I treating that editorial like it was personal? I am a dude who is straight and cisgender (that is, someone whose gender identity matches their biology) and who seems to have no stake in this fight. Heres why I take transgender issues personally

Winnipeg man says he’s ‘proud’ of alleged anti-Semitic posters (Kevin Engstrom,
A Winnipeg man has stepped up and claimed responsibility for circulating posters critical of this citys mayor that some considered to be anti-Semitic. Gordon Warren outed himself to media Friday as the person behind the posters, which began appearing throughout the city just prior to the Rosh Hashanah Jewish holiday last September. The posters accuse Mayor Sam Katz and several prominent Winnipeggers most of whom are Jewish of questionable business transactions.

Morris Mirror’s Racist Cartoon And Editorial Prompt Non-Apology (Huffington Post)
A racist cartoon and editorial published in Manitoba’s Morris Mirror have prompted a stunning non-apology from the paper’s editor. The cartoon depicts an aboriginal man fanning a smoke signal and is captioned “Before they were partially wiped out by white men’s diseases, the Canadian Indian had a highly evolved society built around the world’s first cell phone.” The cartoon is accompanied by a “thumbs down” editorial, in which editor-in-chief Reed Turcotte denounces First Nations people protesting the government as part of the Idle No More movement for behaving like “terrorists.” Turcotte goes on to state that “Indians/Natives want it all, but corruption and laziness prevent some of them from working for it.”

Unprecedented Power: This Week in Canadian Immigration News (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
A list of significant news events from the past week in Canadian immigration news.

Q&A: Pierre Moreau talks scrapping CÉGEPs, immigration issues (CBC)
Q: Let’s talk about your views on Quebec’s selection process for immigrants. You’re thinking about some changes having to do with language and the way we score language in terms of attracting immigrants. Can you just explain that? Moreau: The best way to have a good integration of people who are coming from abroad is to make sure that they could get a good job here in Quebec. There has to be a link between the idea of asking people to come here and to make sure that they will be active in the workforce in this province. So the best way to do it, is to make sure that we have [well-educated] people that are responding to what are our needs as the workforce are concerned. And then, if they are courageous enough to leave their country of origin and to come here, I think they will be courageous enough to learn French once they are here. So the rating system has to be reviewed, first.

Analysis: Why Qadri must renounce Canadian citizenship (Niaz A Shah, Tribune Pakistan)
Dr Tahirul Qadri sought asylum in 2008 in Canada. The gist of the asylum claim, according to this newspaper, was based on alleged threats to his life from groups such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba. The presence of Allama Sahib in Pakistan raises two issues: legal and moral.


Refugees in Canada have poorer access to health care than in refugee camps (Drs. Wendy Lai, James Maskalyk and Raghu Venugopal are emergency physicians; Drs. Roy Male and Catherine Oliver are family physicians; Vanessa Wright is a nurse practitioner, Toronto Star)
Has the day come when access to basic health care is worse in Canada than in a refugee camp? It has, thanks to cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program. Refugee claimants from 27 designated countries of origin, announced on Dec. 15, will now be denied almost all health care services. We never thought we would see this day. As health-care professionals experienced in working overseas with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), we have seen the stark realities of refugee camps. We have struggled to provide basic medical care when water is scarce and living conditions crowded. Infectious diseases like measles run rampant because it is hard to get adequate supplies, maintain vaccines at the right temperature, and keep our staff safe. Two of our colleagues were kidnapped from Dadaab camp in Kenya, more than 14 months ago. Their whereabouts are still unknown.–refugees-in-canada-have-poorer-access-to-health-care-than-in-refugee-camps

Advocates wonder if Canada should be more welcoming (Catherine Solyom, Montreal Gazette)
On Saturday morning, armed border guards escorted the Reyes-Mendez family to a secure area inside the international departures terminal at Trudeau airport, away from the prying eyes of their supporters and the media, to make sure they got on a plane bound for Mexico after almost five years in Montreal. They are the latest, but certainly not the last, of a long string of Mexican families shown the door by Canada, some of whom have made the headlines, some who haven’t. But as the stories of torture and decapitation, extortion and assassination in Mexico pile up as the by-products of that country’s seemingly endless war on drug cartels, advocates here wonder whether Canada shouldn’t be more welcoming of these “narco-refugees” until the violence lets up.

Canada warns would-be asylum seekers in Miskolc of expedited deportations (
Billboards have been put up in the northeast Hungarian city of Miskolc to inform locals that Canadas refugee system has changed, a local MTI correspondent reported on Saturday. Mayor Akos Kriza, of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrats, criticised the Canadian embassy and said it was shocking that the campaign about immigration policy was launched only in Miskolc. The billboards read To deter abuse, Canadas refugee system has changed. Asylum claims are evaluated within weeks instead of years. Applicants with unjustified immigration claims are sent home faster.

Political refugees filled with hope for fresh start (Gabrielle Giroday, Winnipeg Free Press)
They’re a refugee couple from Equatorial Guinea who can’t always afford milk or fruit for their five children. They keep their kids away from school activities that require supplies they don’t have. But, after overcoming jail and political persecution, 43-year-old Alberto Ntutumu and his 28-year-old wife, Remedia Ayingono, say they hope their lives will get better in Winnipeg. The couple and their young children are trying to make ends meet on the less than $800 per month they have after paying rent.

Editorial: Refugees still need protection (Times Colonist)
The federal government tried to get tough on human smugglers, but a judge got tough on the government for using a law that could catch too many people in its net. After two boatloads of Tamil migrants arrived off Victoria in 2009 and 2010, the federal government promised to crack down on illegal immigrants and on human smugglers who prey on desperate people. There is no question that we must halt human smuggling by criminal gangs bent only on profit, but in its eagerness, the government risks criminalizing both the desperate and those who want to help them for humanitarian reasons.

Refugee Claim Flow Chart (ClickLaw BC)
This flowchart explains the process of seeking refugee protection in Canada. It outlines the steps for people who make a claim upon arrival and also for those who are already in BC. The chart also notes when and how to contact legal aid.

Mississauga family deported to Libya for torture will be allowed back into Canada (Toronto Star)
The tortuous journey of the Benhmuda family is over. They can finally come home. The family learned Friday that Canadian immigration officials have decided to allow them back into Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. It ends more than four years of exile, which began when the Mississauga family lost its bid for refugee status and was deported to Libya in 2008. This is a victory, said Adel Benhmuda, 44, now living in Malta. We were all crying and screaming with joy.–mississauga-family-deported-to-libya-for-torture-will-be-allowed-back-into-canada

In the spirit of Dr. King, a call for refugee sanctuary (Matthew Behrens, rabble)
In the past year, numerous documents produced from the hands of the Harper government have demonized refugees as “bad-faith travellers,” spongers off the federal health system, and security threats, among other iterations of “the enemy.” One could be forgiven if, after reading this country’s fear-mongering refugee and immigrant legislation, you conclude it’s actually designed to protect against toxic waste or small pox rather than to welcome those fleeing rape, war, and torture. The overkill on refugees has prompted protest from unusual corners, such as the medical profession, as well as those who’ve traditionally spoken up, especially in faith communities. But despite the protests, the ramped up efforts to detain and deport thousands of so-called “failed” refugee claimants — at a cost of over $100 million a year — is condemning a growing number to a future of fear, intense hardship, torture and, in numerous documented cases, death. (The United States is notably playing the same game: in 2012, according to the Migration Policy Institute, they spent more on “immigration enforcement” than all other federal law agencies combined.)


Canadian Social Research Newsletter – January 20, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. A Ball Player, a Cop, a Janitor, and a Welfare Recipient [income inequality] (John Stapleton, Broadbent Institute) – January 16
2. Why high-quality universal child care is part of a more equal Canada for all of us (Martha Friendly, Wellesley Institute) – January 16
3. [Ontario Social Assistance Review] UPDATE on the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (Income Security Advocacy Centre – ISAC) – January 18
4. Media and Policy News [mostly
Ontario] for 18 January 2013 (By Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
5. [Ontario] Paths to Prosperity: Welfare to Work (PC Party of Ontario) – January 16
6. Affordable Housing in Canada: Needs, Costs & A Way Forward (Citizens for Public Justice) – January 14
7. Microlending for Women in Ontario Program (Ontario Women’s Directorate) – January 2013
8. Rethinking disAbility in the Private Sector (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) – January 2013
9. Action to End Poverty in Alberta Email Update – January 2013
10. [Peel Region, Ontario] Homelessness in the Suburbs : Engulfment in the Grotto of Poverty (Studies in Social Justice [journal], University of Windsor) – December 2012
11. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Employment Insurance, November 2012 – January 18
— Summary Elementary and Secondary School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 2006/2007 to 2010/2011 – January 17
12. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Food Debit Card? (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke about Tim Hudak’s proposal, with Gail Nyberg. She is the Executive Director of the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Whats wrong with earmarked debit cards and lower benefits for long terms social assistance recipients? (John Stapleton, Open Policy Ontario)
Nothing as long as they are not earmarked! Whats wrong with restrictions on debit cards e.g. no liquor or cellphones? 10 things that are wrong.


The Case Against Racial Colorblindness in the Workplace (Forbes)
Experimental research by Harvard Business Schools Michael I. Norton and colleagues shows that trying to overcome prejudice by ignoring race is an ineffective strategy thatin many casesonly serves to perpetuate racial bias. Norton discusses the problems with attempting racial colorblindness in this article by Carmen Nobel, which first appeared on the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge website.

A Fair Way to Go: Access to Ontarios Regulated Professions and the Need to Embrace Newcomers in the Global Economy(Settlement AtWork)
The Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) released a report which analyzes progress and challenges in fair access to occupations between 2007 and 2012, summarizes the key findings of the assessments of the regulators performed by the OFC in 2011-12 and proposes a route to further progress.

Other factors that influence and impact an immigrants employment opportunity (CERIS)
A recent seminar hosted by CERIS examined how gender, language and other factors impact immigration employment outcomes. Although the two presentations did not examine the same factors that affected applicants and subsequently recent immigrants, immigrant employment trends were researched as a result of gender and language capability. Dr. Rupa Banerjee and Dr. Mai Phan examined how dependent applicants (those who are not considered the primary applicant on an immigration application) are most often women and take less prestigious jobs compared to their pre-immigration employment. The women who are considered dependent applicants often prioritize their family over their careers; thereby taking a low-paying job to keep the family afloat and looking after the kids. Unlike their previous lives prior to immigration, in Canada, these women often lack the social and family support of hired help and relatives. However, even males who were listed as dependent applicants also experienced greater occupational displacement.


Newsstand: January 21, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
I’m gonna pretend I didn’t even see what the temperature is going down to tonight. In the news: Ford says you want casinos, folks; Thundersnow would be a great name for a band; Chris Spence’s troubles, somehow, increase; the Leafs throw some money around; and a scary landing at Pearson is fortunately not injurious.

January 19 Wellesley Institute Post-Budget Analysis : In a period of historic low interest rates, with a yawning infrastructure deficit, the administrations focus on reduced debt and financing capital out of operating expenditures is incomprehensible. (Social Planning Toronto)
Its the untold story of the 2013 City budget Wellesley Institutes Sheila Block provides important analysis on how Councils new approach to capital financing is costing us all in vital City services.

IMFG releases report that examines the Fault Lines at Toronto City Hall (IMFG)
A report by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) looks at local government in Toronto in the wake of the tumultuous recent events at City Hall. The paper, by the IMFGs André Côté, examines three of the fault lines that are causing friction.

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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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