Immigration & Diversity news headlines – January 8, 2013


Canadian minister ‘not contemplating’ scrapping immigrant investor program (
The Canadian Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, has told Canadian press agency Postmedia News that he does not intend to scrap the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program (IIP). The program was suspended in July 2012 with a backlog of cases that could take up to ten years to clear. There had been press speculation that Mr Kenney might cancel all the undecided applications and change the rules. The Canadian Immigrant Investor Program until 2010 allowed foreign nationals with CAN$400,000 to invest and total assets of CAN$800,000 to apply for permanent resident status. In 2010, the rules were changed so that applicants had to meet a higher investment requirement of CAN$800,000 and had to have CAN$1,600,000 in assets in order to be eligible to apply under this immigration scheme.

Architect Films’ new documentary on Toronto immigrants from countries in conflict (Gerard Keledjian, The Immigrant)
Architect Films is developing a documentary about immigrants living in Toronto who come from countries that have suffered through conflict in recent years. The documentary will tie together the stories of individuals who experienced violence firsthand in their homeland, and have since escaped to Toronto, the most multi-cultural city in the world. If you have lived in a country that has suffered through conflict or oppression within the last 10 years and would like the chance to tell your story, we would be very interested in speaking with you.

Canada stuck with an undeportable criminal after Tehran refuses to take back Iranian repeat offender (Paul Cherry, National Post)
In 2004, Canadian border officials loaded Ashkan Forsat on a plane to Tehran, thinking they had finally rid themselves of the 26-year-old Iranian who had been holding up convenience stores almost from the moment he set foot in Canada. Nine years later, Forsat is still in Canada, his rap sheet keeps getting longer, and immigration officials are still trying to figure out how to get rid of a man that Iran refuses to take back.

#CdnImm Event #11 – Working with LGBTQ+ Newcomers (Settlement AtWork)
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) newcomers are an integral, though often invisible part of immigrant, refugee and LGBTQ+ communities. Experiencing marginalization within cultural communities and mainstream LGBTQ+ communities often leaves individuals feeling that there are few options for obtaining services.
Recognizing that good practices already exist in the sector, this event will bring together service providers from agencies and organizations from across the GTA with the aim of sharing resources and increase our capacity to more effectively serve LGBTQ+ newcomers.

Editorial: Time to fix Ontario’s interpreter shortage (Glenn Kauth, Law Times)
Despite years of criticism over the lack of fully accredited interpreters in court, it appears the Ontario government has yet to fix the problem. Judges in two recent rulings, in fact, rejected the proposed interpreters for criminal trials. In R. v. Akaeze, Anyiam, Superior Court Justice Thomas Bielby considered two proposed interpreters for an accused drug trafficker whose first language is Ibo. One interpreter, Blessing Omere, was born in Nigeria and speaks Ibo at home but has little experience in the criminal courts. The Ministry of the Attorney General hasn’t accredited her for interpretation of Ibo, although she has handled some matters in the provincial offences court and at the Immigration and Refugee Board. The other interpreter has conditional accreditation for Ibo. He has much more experience in criminal matters but scored low marks on the accreditation test. According to Bielby, there are reportedly only four Ibo interpreters in Ontario.

New website: ESL Literacy Network
This month, the Network launches Education Opens Doors, a video featuring the Bridge program at Bow Valley College. Designed for immigrant youth ages 18 – 25 with interrupted formal education, the Bridge program opens doors and provides pathways to further education for this unique and resilient group of learners.


Important changes in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (CCR)
Since its beginnings in 1979, Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program has provided protection and a new home to more than 200,000 refugees. Countless Canadians have also benefitted from the program, through the opportunities it offers for personal relationships with people who have survived persecution in various corners of the globe. Through the years, private sponsors have come to value certain principles that traditionally underlie the program.

Launching KM in Forced Migration (Refugee Research Network)
Welcome to the New Scholars Network blog about Knowledge Mobilization in Forced Migration, created and run by graduate students of the RRN.

Bureaucrats forced into last-minute pitch to save some refugee health benefits (Globe and Mail)
Civil servants in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration had to scramble to make the case for preserving some refugee health-care benefits destined for the government’s cost-cutting axe, newly released documents show. And they were forced into a last-minute pitch to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to save part of the interim federal health program, despite having argued some eight months earlier that the proposed policy was flawed. The series of emails and memos released under Access to Information laws seem to contradict Mr. Kenney’s assertion in June that benefits for resettled refugees were never meant to be axed.

News Release — Minister Kenney Voices Concern for Human Rights in Sri Lanka (CIC)
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney reiterated Canada’s strong concerns about human rights, government accountability, and post-war reconciliation in Sri Lanka during his recent visit to Colombo. “Canada wants to see a successful 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, but as host of the event, Sri Lanka is under close scrutiny for its adherence to Commonwealth values and principles,” stated Minister Kenney. “Canada’s level of representation at this meeting will depend on real progress on political reconciliation and accountability, including an independent investigation of allegations of human rights violations endured by civilians at the hands of both sides during the civil war,” Minister Kenney stated.

Now Canada warns illegal Lankan migrants (Sri Lanka Defence ministry)
The Canadian government yesterday reiterated that persons seeking greener pastures in Canada illegally will only be wasting their money since it has taken every possible step with other countries abroad to identify and prevent human smuggling operations targeting Canada. According to Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny who is on a visit to Sri Lanka, the Canadian law enforcement agencies continue to work with their counterparts abroad to identify and prevent human smuggling operations targeting Canada. Speaking at a press conference in Colombo yesterday, Kenny said that any person relying on human smugglers to get into Canada will waste their hard earned money.


Trending jobs for Canadian immigrants in 2013 (Lisa Evans, Canadian Immigrant)
You’ve made the choice to relocate to Canada, but the hardest decisions are still to come. Identifying employment prospects and evaluating the lifestyle they can afford you and your family are the most important steps toward achieving success and stability in your new country. Canada is a vast country with many opportunities available in each of its provinces and territories. Daisy Wright, career adviser and author of the book No Canadian Experience, Eh?, advises newcomers to research job prospects in all of Canada’s regions. “The competition for jobs in the larger cities is fierce. Looking at other areas around the country can reveal greater opportunities,” says Wright, pointing to the federal government’s Working in Canada online tool as an excellent resource that allows jobseekers to identify wages, qualifications and educational requirements for various professions. It also allows you to compare how much you could earn in your chosen profession in different provinces.

Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner speaks at city hall on Thursday (Morning Post Exchange)
The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, the Fairness Commissioner of Ontario, is coming to Kitchener City Hall on Jan. 10, to speak about fair practices in the registration process of internationally trained professionals. Internationally educated professionals in our community often face barriers preventing them from gaining access to their profession after immigrating to Canada. Dr. Augustine will speak about the importance of objective, impartial and fair practices in the licensing and registration of new Canadians entering the regulated professions in Ontario.

Imported Workers Fight Back (Krystle Alarcon, Today,
The convenience of the serene new Canada Line SkyTrain in Vancouver transporting cheerful strangers from the airport to downtown painted a pretty picture of Canada as a host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. But the celebration of multiculturalism came at a hefty price: approximately $3.57 per hour. That was how much two international engineering corporations initially paid the Latin American workers hired to build the Canada Line, according to testimony by some of the labourers who said they received a net average salary of $1,000 USD for their first two months, on 60 to 70-hour work weeks. Crane operator Franklin Mora, from Costa Rica, got paid $1,280 a month for April and May, which amounted to $3.89 per hour. The Latin Americans performed the same backbreaking work as Europeans on the project, but were paid a fraction of what their counterparts made.


Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitor December 2012 – PDF (Caledon Institute)
The Caledon Institute of Social Policy ( 0H ) regularly scans provincial and territorial government websites in order to follow policy developments related to our core work and interests. A partial list includes: Disability, Education, Health, Housing, Income Security, Poverty Reduction, Recreation, Seniors and Youth. This tracking is intended to inform our analysis of policy trends.

The sound of silenced scientists ( Bob Carty, J Source)
As a journalist, I see a lot of protests on Parliament Hill. But none like the one last July. Oh, it had the usual trappings of a protest — placards and passionate speeches, even some theatrics with the entrance of a coffin draped in black accompanied by a scythe-wielding Grim Reaper. But what was extraordinary about last July’s demonstration was that the 2,000 protesters were scientists. That’s right, scientists — from government and academia — dressed in white lab coats and assembled in mock mourning for the “death of evidence” under the Harper government.

What Board Members Need to Know About the AODA (Settlement AtWork)
Accessibility Ontario invites you to a webinar: What Board Members Need to Know About the AODA. Accessibility Ontario has designed a new webinar series specifically for Board Members/Directors to give them essential information about the AODA and their role in meeting the current and upcoming compliance requirements.

TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund now accepting applications for funding (Charity Village)
The TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund is now accepting grant applications. Administered by Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI), the fund provides grants to charitable and nonprofit organizations that support and promote financial literacy for low income and economically disadvantaged people in Canada. Grants will be awarded to organizations across Canada with priority given to projects in the following areas: Innovation; Research and Development; and Strategic Program Development. Grants generally range from $25,000 to $100,000 and projects may be up to two years in length. The deadline for applications is January 31.

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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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