Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 6, 2013


Work is needed to make Canadas leadership diverse, inclusive (Barj S. Dhahan, Vancouver Sun)
Last month, Kathleen Wynne became Ontarios premier after winning that provinces Liberal leadership race. There are now six women premiers in Canada. While it is a great sign of our progress on the path to gender parity in Canadian politics, there continues to be a general lack of diversity in that arena. Today, only 25 per cent of our provincially and federally elected officials are women, and less than seven per cent are from ethnic minorities. A similar critique can be made about government appointments to Canadas agencies, boards, and commissions. Each year, governments across Canada appoint thousands of people to serve on the boards of agencies such as Crown corporations, health authorities and post-secondary institutions. These boards make important decisions that affect all Canadians. It is therefore crucial that they represent the perspectives of the diverse citizens that they serve. Yet, an analysis of Canadas board appointments indicates a surprising lack of diversity.

Neighborhood Guides, Social Media, & Weather Talk: Orange Resources (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
This week Canadian Newcomer shared a collection of links to useful Canadian blogs and forums, here. Over the last half-year, the Orange Blog has created a number of resources for Canadian newcomers, covering topics ranging from neighborhood guides to social media platforms to making the most of your initial consultation with your immigration lawyer. Weve collected the most popular below.

Neighbours Friends and Families (NFF) Campaign (Settlement AtWork)
Neighbours Friends and Families (NFF) is a community-based public education campaign that is in place in over 200 towns and cities across Ontario. NFF teaches people how to recognize the signs of woman abuse and what they can do to help. The NFF campaign has been culturally adapted for different communities. There are Francophone and Aboriginal adaptations as well as a workplace-based campaign. The Ontario Womens Directorate is building on the 2010 NFF Immigrant and Refugee pilot projects with an Invitation for Applications (IFA) for local, regional and province-wide projects. In this round, priority will be given to province-wide projects in order to maximize the reach of the NFF message to immigrant and refugee communities.

CCLA Before Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on Bible Distribution in Schools (CCLA)
CCLA believes that schools can and should teach about religious beliefs and practices, but no school should impose beliefs on students or suggest a preference for one religious group over another. The policy of allowing Bible distribution in schools with parental consent requires that parents or students make a statement of faith to a public school board, and this is inappropriate. CCLA has intervened in the R.C. case to put forward arguments to ensure that provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code are interpreted in a way that respects the values enshrined in the Canadian Charter.

Human Trafficking Forum (Settlement AtWork)
The Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women invites you to a forum on Human Trafficking.

Human Trafficking (City of Toronto)
The Executive Committee requested the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration, in consultation with the Director, Strategic Communications, to develop a policy prohibiting the City of Toronto from advertising in publications that could reasonably be seen, and are generally acknowledged, to be used to market trafficked persons, and report back to the Executive Committee at its July 3, 2013 meeting.

Highlights Report of National Forum on Trafficking, 28 November 2012 (CCR)
2-pager highlights report of the CCR National Forum on Trafficking held 28 November, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario.

New book on immigrant children and families by former CERIS Director (CERIS)
Past CERIS Director, Dr. Judith K. Bernard of Ryerson University, has recently published a book entitled Stand Together or Fall Apart: Professionals Working with Immigrant Families, which directly reaches professionals working with immigrant children and their families. It is also appropriate for professors teaching courses related to this topic.

“Suddenly, Migration Was Everywhere” (Migration Information Source)
The fields of international migration policy and governance evolved substantially during the 1990s and 2000s. Since the 1994 Cairo conference, they became the object of several ambitious initiatives (see Box). International migration turned into a global issue, not necessarily because migration became more global, but rather in the sense that it was recognized as a topic worthy of increased attention at the international level. Along with the increasing complexity of human mobility, this created both opportunities and challenges for international organizations. IOM grew substantially, while other organizations had to adapt. UNHCR had to address mixed migration flows (composed of both refugees and migrants), while ILO struggled to maintain its rights-based mandate in a more governance-oriented context. Other agencies that were absent from this field joined in.

U.S. taking on Canada and others for immigrants (Andres Oppenheimer, Winnipeg Free Press)
U.S. President Barack Obamas immigration plan calling for a huge increase in visas for foreign science and engineering graduates will pose a huge challenge for China, India and Latin America: they will either have to do something to retain their best talents, or they will face the biggest brain drain in recent history. The global race for talent is already under way. Canada, Australia, Singapore, Brazil and Chile have recently adopted measures to attract highly skilled scientists, engineers and high-tech entrepreneurs.

Francophones are victims of soft ethnocide, says report (Toronto Star)
A report funded in part by the Parti Québécois says francophones across Canada are the victims of a soft ethnocide.

Planet Patricia: Media mogul expands brand to further represent diversity (Yonge Street)
Just weeks into the new year, magazine editor and television host Patricia Bebia-Mawa received the 2013 Martin Luther King DreamKeepers lifetime achievement award at an Ottawa ceremony attended by, among others, the U.S. Consular General. It was a milestone for Toronto-based Silvertrust Communications, the multimedia organization behind Planet Africa magazine and the internationally broadcast OMNI TV show of the same name, bolstering the citys klout as a dynamic multicultural producer of globally relevant media.

Respect for All (Safe Harbour)
Click here for a radio interview with host Samantha Letourneau, the Diversity Coordinator with the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, as she talks with Lindsay Marsh, AMSSAs provincial Coordinator for Safe Harbour: , and Katrin Roth von Szepesbela, the Diversity, Equity, and Human Rights Advisor at Vancouver Island University.

News Release Minister Kenney pays tribute to black Canadians in law enforcement (CIC)
As part of Black History Month, all Canadians are invited to take part in recognizing the achievements of black Canadians who work in law enforcement, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. Black Canadians have made significant contributions to all areas of Canadian life, and this year we are focusing our celebration on the contributions of past black pioneers and present leaders who have done so much to serve and protect our communities, said Minister Kenney, at the Canadian War Museum for the launch of Black History Month.

Terrorists from Canada??? (Guardian PEI)
The worrying news of late is that 2 separate Canadian Passport holders were involved in acts of Terror. The Algerian hostage taking, and the Bus bombing in Bulgaria, used by an Israeli tour company. It saddens me to HEAR the media say Canadians. It is a term that although correct, is at times referred to as Dual Passport holders. No where do we hear that Jihadists carrying Canadian Documentation are involved simply CANADIAN.

Canada: The HR Space: More Changes In The Canadian Immigration System (Louise Béchamp,
Winds of change keep blowing on Canadian immigration lands. In July 2012, we discussed several steps taken by the Federal government relating to the rules and processes applicable to temporary and permanent immigration applications. More changes have been announced in the recent months. These changes aim to allow more foreigners into Canada to meet growing labour shortages.

Eight for Marley award in Canada (Jamaica Observer)
EIGHT Canadians are to receive Bob Marley humanitarian awards at City Hall in Toronto today. The Toronto City Council had proclaimed February 6 Bob Marley Day. “This marks the 22nd year that the City of Toronto has official declared Bob Marley Day (which began with former Mayor Art Eggleton),” said Courtney Betty, chairperson of the Bob Marley Day Committee.

Federal Court of Canada rules in favour of U.S. war deserter (Tobi Cohen,
The Federal Court has ruled in favour of another United States war resister and has ordered Jules Tindungans case be returned to the Immigration and Refugee Board. According to his lawyer Alyssa Manning, this is the 11th time since 2008 that the courts have ruled in favour of U.S. war resisters. Its the first time, however, that the courts have not simply been moved by evidence they wouldnt get fair treatment in the U.S. thanks to an outdated military justice system and the fact that punishment tends to be tougher the more vocal and political the deserter. In this case, she said, the court was also compelled by evidence that the U.S. military has violated international conventions on warfare.

Annual Report on the Operation of The Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2011-2012 (Settlement AtWork)
The Canadian Multiculturalism Act recognizes the diversity of Canadians as a fundamental and historic characteristic of Canadian society, and reaffirms the importance of the distinctly Canadian conception of multiculturalism through three broad themes:
Recognizing diversity;
Promoting understanding; and,
Promoting equality of opportunity and eliminating barriers.


Canadian Council for Refugees E-Chronicle Vol. 7 #10, 5 February 2013 (CCR)
BC Supreme Court strikes down human smuggling law
When are you guilty of a war crime?: The CCR says its piece before the Supreme Court
Concerns about accessing citizenship in Canada
Participate in the CCR’s Working Group meeting discussions, 22 and 23 February 2013
Other important dates in 2013

Refugee claimants underwent ‘survival of the fittest,’ prosecutor tells hearing (Keith Fraser, The Province)
Tamil refugee claimants detained after arriving in a ship off the B.C. coast in 2009 survived a “Darwinian” process during their travels, a prosecutor says. The 76 men aboard the MV Ocean Lady took various routes as they travelled from Sri Lanka to staging areas in Indonesia and Thailand, a bail hearing was told in 2011. “Many of the migrants said that numerous Sri Lankan Tamils were caught by authorities in Thailand or Indonesia and sent back to Sri Lanka,” said federal prosecutor Charles Hough. “I suggest there was a Darwinian process – survival of the fittest.”

Order of Ontario and Diamond Jubilee awards for Windsor nun (Sharon Hill, Windsor Star)
Sister Helen Petrimoulx has helped so many refugees, her name and Windsor address are known among the desperate in different countries in Africa. Now the Windsor advocate against human trafficking, who was a lifeline for hundreds and perhaps thousands of refugees, will be recognized Wednesday with both the Order of Ontario award and Queens Diamond Jubilee medal. The Windsor nuns compassion and hard work on behalf of refugees fleeing danger was by its very nature confidential but it is right that it is now being recognized, Rosemary Halford, a volunteer who has known Petrimoulx for 10 or 15 years, said Tuesday. Refugees who may have been raped or watched their relatives die arrive emotionally scarred to a country and system they know little about.

Nun honoured for refugee work (Nick Brancaccio, Windsor Star)
Sister Helen Petrimoulx has helped so many refugees, her name and Windsor address are known among the desperate in different countries in Africa. Now the Windsor advocate against human trafficking, who was a lifeline for hundreds and perhaps thousands of refugees, will be recognized Wednesday with both the Order of Ontario award and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.


Conference Board findings on poverty, inequality should spur change: Editorial (Toronto Star)
Canada may bask in its five-star image as a nation where the roads are paved with silver, if not gold. But for many of us the reality is less rosy, the Conference Board of Canada finds in its latest report on How Canada Performs. In fact, our national performance is downright troubling for a wealthy country when it comes to some key social indicators including the rich/poor gap, and the number of working-age adults and children living in poverty. Canadas middle of the pack ranking means it is not living up to its reputation or its potential, the board found after surveying 17 industrial nations.We earned a B average and a middling 7th place ranking.

Google Canada donates $100,000 for tech resources in Regent Park (Yonge Street)
Thanks to an $100,000 donation from Google Canada, Toronto high school students living in the Regent Park area will have better access to the technology that’s often essential to succeeding in high school and post secondary education. In a press conference yesterday, Pathways to Education Regent Park announced that Google Canada will provide funds to outfit a new technology hub and meeting space to be housed at Daniels Spectrum building located at 585 Dundas Street East.


Canada facing critical engineering market skills shortage on Environmental Expert (
A study recently released by Engineers Canada on the engineering labour market in Canada shows that Canada is facing a short supply of engineers with more than 10 years of specialized experience. The report projects 95,000 professional engineers will retire by 2020. Canada will face a skills shortage because the workforce cannot be replaced fast enough by incoming Canadian or experienced internationally trained graduates. The report found that supply and demand imbalances are becoming more serious. While engineering labour market conditions vary from region to region, markets must find ways to strike a balance between retiring workers and training incoming graduates and international engineers interested in working in Canada.

Ontario crash that killed 10 migrant workers was driver error, coroner says, declining inquest (Globe and Mail)
Ontarios chief coroners office has decided against holding a public inquest into a road crash that killed 10 farm workers and a truck driver last year, concluding one of the provinces deadliest-ever collisions was solely the result of driver error. Dan Cass, interim chief coroner, said Monday the decision was made after reviewing the deaths and consulting with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Labour.

Dont wait until the last minute to settle at the Tribunal (Stringer LLP, First Reference Talks)
Employers face a choice when confronted with a human rights application from an employee or former employee: settle or defend. An interesting issue arose in a recent hearing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. After the hearing had commenced, the respondent employer said it was willing to pay the full amount of financial compensation requested by the applicant and asked the Tribunal to dismiss the application. The applicant refused to consent. He put a high value on the public interest aspect to his application and wanted the Tribunal to make a determination of whether there had been a violation of the Code. The Tribunal refused the respondent employers request.


Wednesday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage of New Budget Chief, Toronto Casino, Woodbine Live, Term LImits for Councillors and Other News.

Newsstand: February 5, 2013 (Casey Irvin, Torontoist)
Kitten Day isnt a thing, but if it were, wed suggest that today be the day. In the news: turf-war puns abound at U of T, terrible cab drivers, donate some marrow, and casinos are bad for your health.

TO2015 launches IGNITE campaign to support grassroots initiatives (Yonge Street)
In the summer of 2015, Toronto will host the 17th Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. It may be two years away and will last less than two months, but it will leave a mark on the city long before, and long after, the athletes have packed and gone home. The games’ organizing committee (TO2015) is hoping that a big part of the games’ legacy will be the way it engaged diverse groups of Torontonians. The event’s tagline is, afterall, “the people’s games.” Last week, as part of its overall strategy, T02015 officially launched the TO2015 IGNITE program, an initiative that invites grassroots organizations to become affiliated with the upcoming games.

CivicAction CEO receives Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (CivicAction)
CivicAction is thrilled to share that Chief Executive Officer Mitzie Hunter has been named a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medal commemorates Her Majestys Diamond Jubilee, and it honours contributions and achievements made by leaders and citizens across Canada. Mitzie Hunter receives her medal at a gala ceremony hosted by the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and Mrs. Ruth Ann Onley, on February 6, 2013 at Roy Thomson Hall. The ceremony marks the end of the Diamond Jubilee Year and the 61st anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the Throne.


Media Release: Imagine Canada launches Grant Connect (Imagine Canada)
Grant Connect is a searchable database with detailed information on all Canadian grantmaking foundations, hundreds of corporate community investment programs, government funding programs as well as American foundations that fund Canadian charities. The breadth of research offered through Grant Connect strongly supports Canadian charities. One of the biggest issues charities face is finding sustainable, diversified sources of revenue, says Marcel Lauzière, President and CEO of Imagine Canada. With Grant Connect, any organization can instantly analyze every major Canadian funding source and see comprehensive details on each funder. With Grant Connect, collaboration with colleagues and funder tracking are made incredibly simple with relationship management tools that are often too expensive for many charities.

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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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