Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 5, 2013


Canada becomes retro-American on guns, immigration and intellect: Mallick (Heather Mallick, Toronto Star)
So Canada is at a low point in civil relations with the rest of the world. It is even planting billboards in Hungary warning that Canada rapidly expels failed asylum seekers. The Star reports that the billboards, aimed at Roma refugees, have caused huge upset in a country where both Roma and Jews face prejudice. Last year the far right in Hungary’s fragile democracy called for lists of Jews to be drawn up. And Canada posts Keep Out signs?

“Starting to Show Ourselves”: Notable Quotables in Canadian Immigration News (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
“There is an African saying, that it takes a village to raise a child. At Romero House, we say that it takes a neighbourhood to welcome a refugee.” – Romero house, a refugee center welcoming Canadian refugees into a space in which founder, director and a group of volunteers all live with the refugees

Significant findings: Few women and visible minorities among the decision-making ranks (Canada Newswire)
A recent study has brought to light important findings on the representation of women and visible minorities in senior leadership roles in Montreal… Women and Visible Minorities in Senior Leadership Positions: A Profile of Greater Montreal is the first report of its kind. It measures the level of representation of women and visible minorities in senior leadership roles, and suggests best practices for organizations to promote and benefit from diverse leadership.

Diversity personifies globalization (New Era)
DIVERSITY of societies and civilizations is a prominent feature of our ever more globalized and interconnected world. The need to respect and protect diversity in all its forms was the central theme at the 127th IPU Assembly hosted by the Canadian Parliament in Quebec City from 21 to 26 October 2012. There are few, if any, countries in the world that are without any kind of diversity, whether linguistic, ethnic, cultural, racial or religious, and no one experience is common to all others. Women belonging to racial, religious, linguistic and ethnic minorities are particularly vulnerable to political, economic and social alienation and discrimination.

Video: Newcomer Speakers Bureau (Mennonite New Life Centre)
In the spring of 2011, we offered a ten week public speaking training series in partnership with Voices from the Street. 20 newcomers from 13 different countries came together to reflect on their lived experience in relation to policy and social change. The training workshops created ample opportunity for reflection on shared challenges affecting immigrants and refugees from diverse cultural, religious and professional backgrounds, and the importance of speaking out to counter myths and stereotypes about new Canadians.

Benefits and Challenges of Working With Interpreters in Mental Health Care (Settlement AtWork)
Rachel Tribe, Professor at the School of Psychology at the University of East London talks about the benefits and challenges involved in working with interpreters in mental health care. Given that complex cultural constructs are communicated through language, Tribe puts forward suggestions on how mental health practitioners and interpreters can work together to provide the best care for their patients.

Lanark County needs immigrants to prevent economic decline (Your Ottawa Region)
Lanark County wants not only your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we also need your MBAs, your best and your brightest too. If we want to keep our economy going, that is. “Always the question is when we talk about newcomers is… why is diversity so important?” said Chela Breckon, project manager of the Local Immigration Partnership for Lanark and Renfrew counties.–lanark-county-needs-immigrants-to-prevent-economic-decline&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABA6qfAiAVIAlAAWABiBWVuLUNB&cd=ZC6shO9Rpco&usg=AFQjCNGd1unWZqV3MjKSS0gtJp6ZgBpb1g

RBC announces Black History Month Student Essay Competition scholarship winners (Canada Newswire)
Tonight, at a special event at the Four Season Centre for the Performing Arts, RBC announced the three winners of the 2013 RBC Black History Month competition.

DARPAN’S 10 – Q & A With MP Jinny Sims (Darpan Magazine)
10 questions with NDP Immigration critic, Jinny Sims.

Black History Month (CIVIX)
February is Black History Month in Canada. Black History Month was created to “honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present.” Black History Month began in 1926 as “Negro History Week” in the United States. The week became more popular over time and was formally acknowledged by the U.S. federal government with the creation of Black History Month in 1976.


Refugees not welcome (Nolan Matthews,
Last month, Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney released a list of 27 “safe” countries that drastically reduces the rights of people who hope to leave those countries as refugees. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Kenney claims the list was created to resolve the perceived problem that Canada is letting in too many refugees that would otherwise, in his mind, somehow overrun our country.

Thematic Focus: Older Refugees (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
List of new publications and related events.

Canada’s Israel Lobby Criticised on Refugees : Inter Press Service (Paul Weinberg, IPS)
Canada’s major Israel lobby organisation is running into conflict with critics who say it is betraying the historical liberal legacy of this country’s 380,000-member Jewish community. The barely two-years-old Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is supporting restrictive Canadian refugee legislation, Bill C-31, that has sparked opposition from traditional human rights groups including Amnesty International, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers and the Canadian Council for Refugees. For prominent Toronto Jewish refugee doctor, Dr. Philip Berger, CIJA is rejecting traditional sympathy in his community in Canada for people fleeing oppression. This included fellow Jews escaping Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s, when an earlier Canadian government under Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King enforced a “none is too many” policy towards people seeking refuge from Nazi rule.

York receives $6.2 million from CIDA for international research projects (York U)
Giles of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and Dippo of the Faculty of Education, both associated with the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, will lead Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER), an international project that engages multiple Canadian and Kenya-based institutions. It will receive more than $4.5 million in CIDA funding over five years and could serve as a model in other marginalized communities throughout the world that seek to achieve access to higher education.


Rising poverty rates for children, seniors a stain on Canada’s social standing (Don Cayo, Vancouver Sun)
Canada has some substantial social strengths, but we don’t do a good job of spreading around the advantages they bring. This, in a nutshell, is the message of a new Conference Board of Canada analysis of the country’s social performance. Our world-leading rankings in several categories are dragged down by persistent failure to reverse rising rates of both poverty and income inequality. Canada’s overall mark is a B, seventh-place on a list of 17 highly developed countries that are led, in order of ranking, by Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria. The United States finished dead last, a notch ahead of Japan. This country fared worst — 15th out of 17 — on poverty indicators for both children and working-age people.

Canada’s ‘social’ score dragged down by poverty, inequality: Conference Board of Canada (Financial Post)
A new report says Canada’s social fabric is being torn by rising income inequality and stagnant child poverty rates. The Conference Board of Canada report compares Canada with other developed countries on 16 “society indicators” including unemployment, voter turnout, life satisfaction and economic and cultural yardsticks.

Child Care Watch : New Premier, New Outreach Campaign, New funding formula, and all your child care news. (Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care)
In this edition:
NEW: OCBCC launches our parent survey as part of our campaign for affordable child care
Advocacy in action: Ottawa students fight back against subsidy policy that excludes graduate students
Ontario has a new premier: Kathleen Wynne
New funding formula for child care in Ontario
How to work with your CMSM/DSSAB to protect child care in your community
Going to a Supervisor’s meeting? Here’s what to take.
Update on Canada’s national child care organizations
Recognizing excellence in early childhood education programs
Advocacy in Action: Sudbury social services committee dismisses staff recommendation to close their only public child care centre
Clyde Hertzman appointed to the Order of Canada for research on the early years
VIDEO: check out clips from Sharon Gregson’s presentation on the BC campaign for $10/day child care as well as her full presentation.

Latest Media and Policy News: 4 Feb 2013 (ISAC)
A round up of Canadian policy and poverty news.


Global connectors move in when advice isn’t enough (Globe and Mail)
With a relatively small domestic market, many Canadian small businesses need to expand to other countries to grow, but language barriers, visas, taxes, and cultural differences can make it risky, time consuming and costly. Business councils, chambers of commerce and trade organizations can help bridge the gap. Individuals with knowledge and contacts in specific countries are also emerging as major players. Marco Abdi, founder and president of Abdi International Inc., which connects Canadians in the oil-and-gas technology industry with business leaders in the United Arab Emirates, says it is especially difficult to enter a foreign market that already has a tight-knit business community. “You do business in Calgary because everybody knows everybody. Same thing down there (in the UAE).”

Working at a gas station? No way, Jose (A.j. Cordeiro, The Concordian)
While the saturated colors of animation provide a wonderful escape, it does not change the fact that immigrants do not often get the choice of leaving their education by the wayside. In a recent publication in the peer-reviewed journal ISRN Economics, Concordia University professor Dr. Mesbah Sharaf confirmed what many immigrants know all too well as a reality. Immigrants must take up lower paying jobs and, more importantly, jobs that do not match their educational training in order to survive. His findings discovered that there was an “over-education mismatch among recent immigrants to Canada,” with the numbers clocking at 76.3 per cent for males and 71.8 per cent for females. According to the study, “these figures did not improve much after four years from arrival, when 70.4 per cent of the males and 64.6 per cent of females were over-educated.” “It’s a big problem — it’s a big waste,” said Sharaf. “It’s a huge loss to the economy. It has implications at the micro level and a huge cost at the macro level as well.”

Company favoured foreign workers over qualified Canadians (CBC)
Two trades unions that obtained the resumes of hundreds of rejected Canadian applicants for a controversial mining project in northern B.C. said the documents show there were numerous qualified candidates. The unions had taken HD Mining to court over the company’s plan to employ 201 temporary foreign workers from China at the Murray River project near Tumbler Ridge, B.C., because the labour groups say Canadians should have had the first rights to such jobs.

Launch of the Temporary Agency Worker Association! (Migrants Canada)
A group of Temporary Placement Agency Workers raging from undocumented workers, from agency workers in hotels, day laborers working in greenhouses, to factory workers in distribution centres, to other where-house workers, and low wage workers In the health care sector came together to launch the Temporary Agency Worker Association. The association aims to create a framework to campaign for the labour rights of agency workers. To end the situation of workers who do not even have same basic rights as many other workers. Temporary workers are no longer “temp” but becoming “temporarily” permanent.

The Canadian Immigrant Labour Market Report, 2008-2011 (IECBC)
Using data from the Labour Force Survey, this Statistics Canada report examines the labour market situation of immigrants during the 2008-to-2011 period. The report focuses on the rates of employment and unemployment, with references to the gap between immigrants and the Canadian born.

Alberta Farm Workers ‘Exempt’ From Basic Rights (Daphne Rodzinyak, CCLA)
CBC News and Lethbridge Herald: Child labour issues on farms in Alberta again came to the forefront when the problem made an appearance in the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (WRAP) annual general meeting earlier this year. Concern for the civil liberties associated with farm workers has been an issue for many Albertans in the recent past. In Fall 2012, Philippa Thomas, a farm worker injured at work, “called on the provincial government to change workplace laws.” She said the government has “discriminated against farm workers by not allowing them to be protected […] I mean others are protected [and] do far less dangerous jobs.” Furthermore, Alberta’s child labour laws do not apply on farms.


Tuesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage of City Council and Other News.

Newsstand: February 5, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
So when’s that early spring coming, groundhog? It’s been three days. In the news: the NDP wants lower car insurance rates; a rookie Toronto councillor wants term limits; GO riders heading to Barrie want some quiet; and a Toronto blogger wants only what the internet is willing to provide.


John Fraser on the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer (Laura Butcher, Edelman)
We were honoured to have John Fraser, Master of Massey College and Canadian author and journalist as our panel moderator at the Canadian launch event for the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer. John engaged our esteemed panellists in a thought-provoking discussion around the state of trust in Canada. In the following video, John elaborates on some of the highlights from the event, including the finding that companies headquartered in Canada are the most trusted among informed publics surveyed worldwide (see slide 12), which can be an important advantage for Canadian companies operating abroad

AFP Toronto seeks speakers and presenters for Congress 2013 (CharityVillage)
The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter is currently accepting proposals from those interested in speaking and presenting at their annual congress taking place in November. Educational sessions into four types: workshop, presentation, case study, and discussion. Interested speakers are asked to imagine how to best engage their prospective audience within those categories, and the red, yellow, and green audience targeting process helps to ensure that speakers are working with audiences best suited to the presented material. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2013.

JusticeNet is bringing affordable justice to all (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Five years after Heidi Mottahedin launched JusticeNet, an online directory for people who need — but can’t afford — legal representation, it is still going strong. Would-be clients are flocking to the website and finding lawyers, paralegals and mediators willing to take their cases for discounted fees. Anyone whose net family income is less than $59,000 qualifies for the service. Participating lawyers charge $100 to $150 per hour (compared with a market rates ranging from $243 per hour for a junior lawyer to $438 per hour for a veteran, according to Canadian Lawyer magazine.) JusticeNet’s paralegals charge between $40 and $80 per hour. Some of its professionals will waive their fees for clients who can’t afford even the reduced rate.

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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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