Immigration & Diversity news headlines – February 8, 2013


Webinar recording: Big Ideas: Chicagos New Americans Plan: Building a Thriving and Welcoming City (Cities of Migration)
The Chicago New Americans Plan identifies 27 initiatives that will make Chicago the most immigrant friendly city in the nation. The first of its kind in the U.S., the Chicago Plan highlights the economic impact that can be achieved when cities support the creation and expansion of immigrant-owned businesses and develop strategies to attract and retain talent and expertise from other countries. Over the next three years, the Plan aims to bolster Chicagos status as a vibrant, welcoming and international city.

Stripping Canadian wrongdoers of citizenship is knee-jerk folly (Editorial, Toronto Star)
Stephen Harpers government is wrong to consider stripping Canadian dual citizens of their citizenship for committing treason and terror, because that would create two classes of citizens in this country.

Getting it all wrong: Kenney proposes revoking Canadian citizenship in cases of terrorism (Monia Mazigh, rabble)
Of course, this project fits perfectly with the “law and order” agenda of Harper’s vision for Canada but it hides a discriminatory and a two-tier system that Canada has been gradually adopting: a health system for Canadians and a second-class one for refugees, a legal system for the rich and a legal system for the poor, open trials for Canadians and secret trials for immigrants and refugees; the list is long. Three main questions come to my mind. First of all, why do we need to introduce such a law and why now? And, why do we need a law especially directed at dual citizens, and finally why is Mr. Kenney targeting acts of terrorism exclusively?

People not workers build countries (Mayank Bhatt, New Canadian Media)
Immigration in Canada is an issue which everyone admits requires an urgent redress but nobody quite knows what exactly is to be done about it. Generally speaking, a majority of Canadian politicians favour immigration, which by itself is commendable considering the rising tide against immigration all across Europe. But even as it favours immigration, Canada really doesnt have a clue what do with newcomers. Two illuminating events a lecture and a panel discussion highlighted the indifference to newcomer integration in Canada.

Pier 21 show probes cultural diversity (Chronicle Herald)
Pier 21 has twinned a groundbreaking national show about African-Canadian identity with a complementary exhibit about African-Nova Scotian identity.

Marriage to Cuban leaves Brampton bride brokenhearted and broke (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Erin Standen says the man she met in April 2010 vanished three days after finally joining her in Canada an all-too-familiar story for Border Services.

Bob Rae on how to fix the skills gap: first fix immigration (Globe and Mail)
Complacency is the enemy. That’s the message from interim federal Liberal leader Bob Rae when it comes to fixing this countrys skills gap. For Canada to compete globally in terms of growth and innovation, he says, we first must address misguided immigration policies, a young yet vastly underused native work force, a non-existent national childcare strategy that forces talented women to stay home, and an education system in which a quarter of our students drop out of high school. Mr. Rae talked with The Globe and Mail about the issues around one of the factors the Canadian Chamber of Commerce identified as a blockage to Canadas competitiveness.

Women on Top: On Empathy & Jason Kenney (Victoria Hetherington, Orange LLP)
Linda Taylor asserts that we elect women because they behave differently, which, I believe, involves a heightened capacity for empathy and worldviews rooted in alternative subjective experience: a woman leader might produce better approaches to issues like affordable daycare, for example. Kenneys exploitative approach to the ethnic vote is devoid of empathy for the radically different experience of others; addressing the plights of vulnerable populations are what thinkers like Taylor seem optimistic about when considering the new abundance of women leaders.

The double standard in judging Harinder Takhar: Siddiqui (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto star)
Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Harinder Takhar was unfairly judged by media.

Debunking The ‘Myth Of The Muslim Tide’ : NPR
The Myth of the Muslim Tide by Doug Saunders rebuts right-wing fear mongers, by Charlie Smith — “The Myth of the Muslim Tide may calm fears about women in hijabs and niqabs.”
Saunders approach is refreshingly levelheaded and fact-based An invaluable contribution to the contemporary debate over Muslim immigration into Western communities. Kirkus Reviews

The Culture Bucket (Ethnic Aisle)
In recent weeks, as stories about Idle No More or rape in India have populated our news media, Ive been reminded yet again that differences in culture cant be boiled down to pat clichés about cuisine, but are instead about ways of understanding the world. The tension lingering around divisions between cultural groups seems more present than usual, and I half expect that at any moment the citys ethnic groups might break out into 1950s-style street fight replete with switchblades and greased hair. What has me perplexed though, is that the solution to these problems seems pretty clear. Immigrants and people in developing countries need to learn to put certain parts of their culture aside and think clearly. Tucking your bias away and looking at things objectively is the only way things will ever change, right? So Im not sure why these silly people arent using their Culture Buckets.


How we’re creating an illegal workforce (Sandro Contenta Laurie Monsebraaten, Toronto star)
Foreigners in Canada on temporary work permits are being pushed into Toronto’s underground economy by the recession and a controversial federal program that leaves them vulnerable to abuse, a Star investigation has found.

Sending home foreign workers hurts B.C. (Philip Hochstein, Vancouver Sun)
British Columbias labour leaders may be calling the homeward-bound trip for 16 Chinese temporary foreign workers a success, but they are celebrating an empty victory that hurts everyone in B.C. The 16 jobs in question at HD Minings Murray River Project near Tumbler Ridge were highly specialized and the Chinese workers had those skills. It was the start of something bigger and a total of 200 specialized miners to do preparatory mining at the site and see if it was feasible. They were slated to train Canadian workers in new underground skills. Local workers would have learned new skills something that will really help as demand for skilled workers ramps up across B.C., Canada, and the globe.


Friday’s headlines (Spacing Toronto)
A round up of mainstream media coverage of Snow Storm and Other News.

Newsstand: February 8, 2013 (Brett Lamb, Torontoist)
Grab your snow pants and hop on a toboggan because you dont have to go to work today. Whats that? You do? Well, we sincerely hope you still get to go tobogganing in your line of work. In the news: snow, snow, snow; carbon paper is still a thing; carbon paper is still a thing; the Competition Bureau takes the wireless industry to task; and the public reaches out to TCHC.

Its an urban century. Canada needs a department of cities (Globe and Mail)
Canada used to be an international leader in urban thinking and creative mechanisms at the federal level. When it came to cities, Canada thought about where the puck was going to be as Wayne Gretzky used to put it. But as cities have gotten more important globally, our federal thinking hasnt just taken its eye off the puck weve lost site of what game were playing. If positioned, led, and funded properly, a ministry of cities could be the place where a new national strategy on transportation, both within and between cities, could finally be born. A place where a true, long-overdue visionary approach to national urban housing could be re-built. A place where everything from smart taxes, urban mobility and infrastructure deficits, to urban sprawl, better suburbs and inner-city transformations could be better understood and debated.


Announcing the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing Fellowships (Adam Jagelewski,
The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (CII) is looking for the next generation of impact leaders. This distinguished fellowship program provides individuals with exposure to the emergent impact investing market in Canada, and provides hands-on opportunities to work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, social ventures, and other engaged players in a variety of strategic and operational roles. The CII has both short-term (four to five months), and long-term (eight months to one-year) fellowship opportunities available to individuals who have achieved academic excellence and have displayed a commitment to, and passion for, social impact.

Parliaments around the world: lessons from abroad (Leora Smith, Samara Canada)
Throughout February, well be posting an idea-a-day on the theme of Redesigning Parliament. We’ve asked academics, think-tank leaders, politicians and Samara volunteers to send us their ideas, and there was one topic that came up a lot – political parties and their control over MPs. According to a Globe and Mail article today, party discipline might be more strict in Canada than in any another functioning Parliament. In response, todays post comes from International Parliamentary Advisor, Kevin Deveaux. He shares some of the best ideas he’s seen in Parliaments around the world that could give citizen voices more presence, and push MPs to get off the party script.

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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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