Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 3, 2013


Canada, far from a passive immigration system (Alan Broadbent, Ratna Omidvar, Maytree)
(also posted as a letter to the editor in the Globe and Mail) The Globe has it completely wrong when it says Canada has a passive immigration system which merely accepts people on a first-come, first-served basis which the current government is changing to one in which newcomers are chosen according to how they can benefit Canada (Ottawa to play matchmaker for foreign workers Jan 1).

Hamburg. My Port. Germany. My Home. (Cities of Migration)
The champion boxer. The celebrity chef. The star soccer player. Standing side-by-side with their naturalization pilots. These are the faces of a public relations campaign led by the City of Hamburg to promote German citizenship to long-time and well-integrated residents with a migration background. In a city of 1.8 million, about 400,000 more than 20% have a migration background. Of these, 236 000 do not have German citizenship although more than half meet the requirements for naturalization based on the length of their residence in Germany. Why? Many are hesitant or may need guidance to enter the process because of linguistic barriers, fear of the bureaucratic process or lack of understanding about the benefits of naturalization. Yet, there are many good reasons to naturalize. Freedom to choose where to reside in the EU, for example, to travel freely in almost every country in the world or the full right to vote, to name but a few. But naturalization means more: it is a commitment to Germany as a new home and its values.

Canada to play immigration matchmaker, but romance is not guaranteed (Matthew Coutts, Yahoo! News)
Instead of sitting in a queue for years, those workers could be a permanent resident of Canada within months of being matched with a job. As the cherry on top of the new immigration system, the idea tastes more sweet than sour. But there are inherent risks involved in luring workers to Canada with the promise of a guaranteed job. What if the person and job do not mesh well? Imagine if Plenty of Fish promised you a great date, but you have to move halfway around the world before you could meet the guy or gal. Chances are slim that all your dreams will come true. Kenneys plan would put the onus on the government to ensure a soft landing for anyone using the site. Would those workers, and their families, become wards of the state if the job doesnt work out? Would they be evicted, like a losing reality show contestant?

Jason Kenney has a very good idea (Lawrence Martin,
One online opponent of the plan griped that its like setting up a headhunting office or a fishing trip for Stephen Harpers corporate buddies. It will further undercut the Canadian middle class, said another. More great news for China, posted a third. Why not train young Canadians workers for the positions? Why arent we looking after our own? Isnt youth unemployment bad enough already? There were other grievances. What happened, responded one altruist, to the old humanitarian Canada that provided a new home for foreigners in need? Whats with the new selfish attitude where we try to brain-drain other countries? Were already cutting back on foreign aid. While there may be merit to some of the objections, there will be no stopping the new survival-of-the-fittest philosophy. The reform scheme is designed to make the Canadian economy more competitive by attracting the best and the brightest. It proposes to prevent the ghettoization of immigrants and to ease the demands on the welfare system.

Fast-track applications for immigrants have begun (Daniel Proussalidis, Owen Sound Times)
The door is now wide open for immigrants ready to take up Canadian blue-collar jobs. The new Federal Skilled Trades Program has started accepting applications from foreigners who can help fix the labour shortage in several areas.

Canadians oppose temp foreign workers competing for jobs (HRM Online)
Are Canadian workers losing out to jobs because of international competition? More than two-thirds of Canadians (68.8%) are opposed to allowing temporary foreign workers into Canada while Canadians qualified for those same jobs are looking for work. The region most opposed is British Columbia, where 76.5% of adults are opposed, – the CBC/Nanos survey of 1,000 adults found.

Harper government shows foresight in immigration reform (Chronicle Herald)
WHAT do immigrants want most from Canada? There are as many answers to that question as there are applicants, although freedom and prosperity are obviously top attractions. But what does Canada want from immigrants? In the midst of an overhaul of immigration policy, Ottawas unequivocal answer is skilled labour. Prime Minister Stephen Harpers response to skills shortages at home, and stiff global competition for skilled immigrants, has been to move from a passive system that operated on a first-come, first-served basis. Under the new activist paradigm, the priority is to receive, and even recruit, immigrants whose résumés correspond with Canadas economic priorities.

Yes to immigration. No to poaching! (Jane Philpott)
The deliberate seduction of highly skilled individuals away from the most resource-constrained countries in the world to address perceived gaps in the Canadian workforce is morally reprehensible. Our federal government is boasting profound changes to the immigration system. In a recent interview for the Globe and Mail, Prime Minister Stephen Harper describes a shift to an activist policy where we define what the immigration needs are that we want, where we actually go out and try and recruit immigrants. If the current government believes that this cherry-picking approach to immigration will endear middle-class immigrant voters, they are misinformed about the loyalty that many new Canadians retain to their country of origin. Not only would many new Canadians oppose this kind of queue jumping in the immigration line, neither would they want to see Canada steal away the most valuable resources that are produced in their countries of origin that is, the human resources.

Canada International Student Program, New measures proposed to prevent fraud (South Asian Generation Next)
New measures to prevent fraud in the International Student Program (ISP) were proposed today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. Attracting the best and brightest young minds from around the world is key to the continued success of Canadas economy and long-term prosperity, said Minister Kenney. But 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. These changes will help us better protect international students and the reputation of Canadas post-secondary education system by making sure that international students are coming to quality institutions that comply with basic standards of accountability.

It’s time for Ezra Levant to apologize or explain his hateful Roma commentary (David J. Climenhaga, rabble)
It’s 2013, and it’s time for Sun News Network commentator Ezra Levant to either apologize for or explain his comments on Sept. 5, 2012, about the Roma. Now, Levant appears to be the kind of young man for whom a phrase like “never apologize, never explain,” would take on mantra-like authority. Nevertheless, it’s time, or certain conclusions about Levant’s views about the Roma people will be impossible to avoid. More important, the same unhappy conclusions will be unavoidable in the case of the Sun News Network, which continues to employ Levant.

Ontario Government Funding Services and Tools for Immigrants (Bernadeen Mcleod, Business Insider)
The Federal and Provincial Governments offer numerous services and Ontario government funding incentives to help new Canadians find meaningful and valuable work experience. The following list of programs is only a small selection of the Canadian Government funding support available for internationally trained immigrants and foreign workers.

Infographic: Migration Patterns 2012 (Atlas Van Lines)
The annual Atlas Van Lines Migration Pattersn study provides a snapshot of relocation patterns. Shipments noted for Canada are cross-border to the US or from the US (not inter-provincial).


A guaranteed income for Canadians would eliminate poverty (Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun)
While a Canada without poor people may sound like a pipe dream, in fact it is an achievable goal. So says Conservative Sen. Hugh Segal, who makes an argument for a poverty-free country in the Literary Review of Canada. It’s worth noting that Segal, a former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney appointed to the Senate by Paul Martin, is more Red Tory than Harper-style Conservative. Accordingly, the Ontario senator argues, a guaranteed annual income is as worthy a Canadian project as Medicare.

Canada lands in Top 10 of best places to be born in 2013 (Toronto Star)
Canada pulls in at Number 9 in The Economists ranking of the best places to be born in 2013. Its a slight slip from the fifth place Canada held in the magazines slightly more whimsical 1988 list. A quarter-century ago, The Economist gave Canada maximum bonus points for scenery and having the most desirable passport, as well as good marks for lack of cultural poverty. Canada got a predictably low score on the yawn index in 1988. This time, the magazine said, its scores have turned deadly serious. Rankings are calculated through a mix of wealth, crime rate, trust in public institutions and the health of family life.–canada-ranks-in-top-10-of-best-places-to-be-born-in-2013

The mean test: Have we stopped caring about Canadas most vulnerable? (Toronto Star)
As we enter 2013, how is Canada doing? How do we stack up against other rich countries? Emerging from the year of the 50th anniversary of medicare, the 30th anniversary of the Charter, are we making progress? Do we even have any shared notion of what progress would look like? How we measure our success as a country matters. It tells us a lot about what we value most. It shapes what we ask of our politicians and how we judge the performance of our governments. It shapes politics and policy.–the-mean-test-have-we-stopped-caring-about-canada-s-most-vulnerable

Canadas new politics of discord could carry a heavy price (Michael Valpy, Toronto Star)
Call 2012 the year of The Cleavage, the year when the fractures in Canadian society gaped wide enough to threaten the legitimacy of our democracy, of our political trust in one another and much of what remains of our common national imagination. Day by day these past 12 months, when Canadians might have been collaborating with one another to build for the common good, to respectfully acknowledge and find room for each others thoughts and beliefs, weve advanced resolutely in the opposite direction toward suspicion and loathing and marginalization and the rejection of a communal public life. Willing collaboration is the definition of social cohesion. Ours is battered. American commentators write regularly of the United States unravelling. We, too, are unravelling, being rent by demographic fault-lines of age and education yawning over the past two decades toward chasms.–canada-s-new-politics-of-discord-could-carry-a-heavy-price#.UORV9N6J1hw.twitter


Workplace Inclusion Conference (Settlement AtWork)
This conference will help further equity and inclusion practice for non-profit and public sector organizations, and will help you put theory and policy into practice. Workshops and panel discussions will meet the needs of individuals at all levels of the organization, including senior managers, line managers, human resource staff, Diversity Officers, as well as staff who serve on Diversity Committees.
Thursday, March 21 Friday, March 22, 2013


Thursday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Toronto Police and Other News.

Social Planning Torontos 2013 Symposium (Settlement AtWork)
Social Planning Toronto (SPT), along with partner organizations, Toronto Neighbourhood Centres and the City Wide Agency Network, invites you to its 2013 Symposium at the Metro Central YMCA. This years Symposium, Happily Ever After? Shotgun Weddings, Arranged Marriages, and Friends with Benefits: Evolving Relationships in the Community Services Sector, will focus on responses and alternatives to consolidation and standardization in the community services sector.

Enabling City releases three new editions of its publication (CSI)
The Enabling City released three new versions of its Creative Commons toolkit, The Enabling City: Place-Based Problem Solving and the Power of the Everyday, in the French, Spanish and Italian language on Dec. 18, 2012. We wanted to translate the toolkit because we realized that too many enabling initiatives were getting lost in translation, said Chiara Camponeschi, author and founder of Enabling City. Diversity and inclusion are a big part of place-based creative problem-solving and it is our hope that these publications will get more of us exploring and experimenting together.

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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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