Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 13, 2013


CollaborAction: what we’re reading (Alejandra Bravo)
We’re little more than a week away from our CollaborAction conference and we’re getting excited! I thought I’d give you some more insight into what we’re reading, leading up to the conference.

NAAAP Toronto March Power Mixer Featuring…Elevate Your Career by Serving on Boards (NAAAP)
Features Maytree’s Cathy Winter. Serving on boards is often an overlooked and missed opportunity for many professionals. But the face of leadership is contantly evolving and now revealed…How you can be a part of these exciting changes. Amplify your career path and nurture your leader within at NAAAP Toronto’s March Power Mixer where a panel is presented on leveraging the incredible developmental and network building benefits from serving on agencies, boards, commissions and volunteer-based organizations.

On immigration, Canadians are welcoming but realistic (Lysiane Gagnon, Globe and Mail)
Encouraging immigration is a self-serving policy, not a philanthropic endeavour. Developed countries need immigrants, especially when they’re plagued with declining birth rates and a rapidly aging population. Germany desperately wants to increase its work force, and will benefit from the harsh austerity measures it has been forcing on Southern Europe, since it’s now receiving a flood of educated and unemployed young Spaniards and Italians driven into exile by the collapse of their economies.

Video: Debating Immigration (Sun News Network)
Reviewing recent immigration poll (focus on restricting immigrants), interview with John Robson

Christy Clark’s multicultural outreach outrage (Ken Macqueen, Maclean’s)
“Welcome to Bollywood East,” B.C. Premier Christy Clark enthused in January during a glitzy announcement that the province was spending $11 million to host the Times of India Film Awards in Vancouver. Clark dismissed insinuations the April 4-6 event was a sop to Indo-Canadian voters weeks before the May 14 provincial election, calling it “an incredible opportunity for us to sell our province.” But as a series of devastating leaks made clear in the past week, it also now appears part of an effort to buy ethnic votes for the B.C. Liberals with taxpayer funds.

B.C. Liberal Ethnic Vote Plan Is ‘Insulting’ Lip Service To Historical Wrongs (Huffington Post)
The multicultural outreach strategy of the B.C. Liberals is an intriguing read. There are definite issues about the separation of public and political party time, and the issue of “quick wins.” However I was struck by two related issues: the emphasis on apologizing for the Komagata Maru and the B.C. Liberals trying to find out if minorities use social media. As a South Asian growing up in Vancouver, the history and story of the Komagata Maru was something I had to come to terms with. The Komagata Maru was a ship carrying 376 passengers of Indian origin that was refused entry into Canada in 1914. It remained docked in Burrard Inlet as legal challenges and deliberate government inaction stalled the fate of the passengers.

Surrey trucker is a model immigrant, but now he’s trapped in Tacoma (Larissa Cahute, Vancouver Desi)
Satvir Singh is an “angel” by immigration standards — yet he has a deportation order tied to his name. And now the 26-year-old truck driver is stranded in Tacoma, Wash., scrambling for an official document that could get him back to Canada — but could take a year to arrive. Singh, who is originally from New Delhi, has been living in a basement suite in Surrey with his cousin and friend since 2010 and has lived in Canada since 2008. He works as a long-haul truck driver for Raffles Transportation Group and has a working visa valid until June. On March 8 he even received an email from Citizenship and Immigration Canada stating that his application for permanent residence was moving forward. “The thing is, he now can’t pick it up,” said local immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. “Worse than that — they have to cancel it because he has a deportation order.”

Respecting our diversity (Lethbridge Herald)
Diversity Includes All – that’s the theme for the third annual University of Lethbridge Respect and Diversity Awareness Week, which kicked off Monday. A number of guest speakers will grace the university this week, with the hope the themes, discussion items and topics examined will live on well past the one-week event, and spark some real thought and introspection surrounding just how diverse Canada, and Lethbridge, has become. Simply looking at the numbers, courtesy the 2011 Statistics Canada census, released last November, our country is a different place than it was even five years ago. Looking ahead, that change will accelerate. Today, 200 different ethnicities can be counted as Canadians and if predictions hold true, the landscape of our nation will be altered significantly in the coming years. According to projections, the percentage of visible minorities will rise from the 16.2 per cent reported in 2006 to about 30 per cent by 2031, and it is not going to simply in the big cities. Here in Alberta and Saskatchewan, workers from around the globe are attracted to the Prairies, with promises of steady employment, as the real possibility of an impending labour shortage looms large.

Record number of skilled workers came to Canada in 2012 (
The Canadian Experience Class, the country’s fastest-growing immigration stream, welcomed a record 9,353 newcomers in 2012, announced the federal government. “The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) makes Canada more competitive in attracting and retaining the best and brightest individuals with the skills we need. These are people who have already demonstrated their ability to integrate into the Canadian labour market and society,” said Minister Kenney. “The CEC allows these skilled and educated individuals to bring their skills and talents, contribute to our economy and help renew our workforce so that Canada remains competitive on the world stage.”–record-number-of-skilled-workers-came-to-canada-in-2012

Decolonization (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Jamaias DaCosta. She is a community organizer, and holds workshops about racism and colonization in Toronto. Later today, she will be at the Cat’s Eye Lounge at Victoria College as part of a panel discussion about “Idle No More”.

Immigrants and Innovation: How to Measure the Return on Your Investment in Immigrants as Innovators (Conference Board of Canada – full report $175)
Immigrants and Innovation: How to Measure the Return on Your Investment in Immigrant Innovators demonstrates the positive value to companies of strategies that deliberately tap the innovation talents of immigrant employees. It explains why organizations should make investments in immigrants as part of an innovation strategy and provides guidance on how to measure innovation contributions made by newcomers. This executive action includes a tool—the Immigrant Innovation Capacity Checklist—which businesses can use to access how successful they are at leveraging the capacity, skills, and talents of immigrant employees.

Americans top the list of illegal foreign workers caught by CBSA (Global TV)
The United States was the number one source of unauthorized foreign workers in Canada last year, at least of those who were caught. Statistics from the Canada Border Services Agency show 54 Americans were found working without authorization in 2012. The U.S. was also the top source country of foreign workers in general in 2011, the last year such statistics were available. The Philippines ranked second when it came to the number of foreign nationals reported working without authorizations, with 36 people from the country apprehended by CBSA last year. Filipinos were the sixth largest group of foreign workers in Canada a year earlier. While it was on the 25 on the list of sending countries in terms of foreign workers, Israel came in at the number three spot with 33 of its nationals found working in Canada without the proper paperwork. Other countries represented by high numbers on the list of apprehended foreign workers include India (22), Ireland (19), Mexico (19), and China (15).

Senator Oliver on Diversity and Discrimination (CBC Maritimes)
Senator Donald Oliver joins us to talk about the ‘business case for diversity,’ and how we can do better at cracking down on racism.

In defence of human rights tribunals (Elliot Leven, National Post)
Contrary to some recent media coverage, human rights commissions still play a vital and constructive role in Canadian society. Firstly — full disclosure — I have been a commissioner on the Manitoba Human Rights Commission for 11 years. I have been a lawyer in private practice for 20 years. Being a commissioner is not my full-time job, but it is one that I am proud of. While no system is perfect, our human rights commissions and tribunals are something Canadians should be glad they have access to. Critics complain that some human rights complaints are frivolous; that respondents to human rights complaints have to hire expensive lawyers; and that human rights tribunals, unlike courts, don’t award costs against unsuccessful complainants. Critics also complain that human rights tribunals use more informal rules of evidence than courts.


Canada doubles funding for program that helps human smuggling victims abroad (Tobi Cohen, Ottawa Citizen)
A spike in the number of illegal migrants caught up in human smuggling operations, stranded in West Africa and in need of assistance prompted the federal government to double funding for a project that returns those willing to give up their fight for asylum to their country of origin free of charge. Documents obtained through access to information show Foreign Affairs approved a $4-million funding boost in July 2012 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which manages the program, bringing Canada’s contribution to $8 million.

Video: Minister Jason Kenney a no-show as Torontonians protest Harper cuts to refugee health care (rabble)
Video from a protest outside a store in Toronto’s Chinatown where the Conservative government was making an announcement.

CCR Spring Consultation, 30 May – 1 June 2013, Vancouver (CCR)
Refugees come to Canada seeking safety for themselves and their families. How do we make sure that refugees and other newcomers feel safe and secure? How do we offer a warm welcome to all? Join us at the Canadian Council for Refugees Spring Consultation on the theme of Promoting Security and a Warm Welcome to explore these questions and more.

Thematic Focus: Children/Education (Force Migration Current Awareness blog)
UNHCR has published a new global review, this time on displaced youth. And more publications.

Thematic Focus: Human Trafficking & Refugees (Force Migration Current Awareness blog)
Reports and related articles.

Kenney ‘bluffing’ on refugee health changes: Doctors group leader (Embassy – subscription required)
‘He has bluffed from the very beginning. I think he’s been caught out, which is why it seems that what we’re saying, which is the truth, is getting under his skin.’


Canadians can have budgetary cake and eat it too: think-tank (Vancouver Sun)
Canada’s leading left-wing think-tank believes Canadians can have their cake and eat it too in the next federal budget – more spending to create jobs while still moving toward balancing the books. The proposals are contained in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ annual alternative federal budget, being released this morning, which Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has already dismissed out of hand, sight unseen. Flaherty said on Friday he has no intentions of ramping up spending to stimulate the weak economy, and instead plans to trim further in order to meet his 2015 balanced budget target.

“Finding Savings In Government” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Armine Yalnizyan. She is our business commentator on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

How to curb bureaucratic empire-building (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Organizational expert Donald Savoie explains why public payrolls grow while service levels drop.


Strong Immigration Helps Canada Meet Labour Needs (Andrew Heaton,
As huge oil and resource construction projects continue to soak up labour, immigrants continue to pour into Canada as the nation recorded its highest sustained level of immigration on record for the seventh consecutive year last year. Last month, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced the nation had welcomed 257,515 permanent residents in 2012, well within the government’s target of 240,000 to 265,000 new Canadians for the year.

Too few Canadians being educated to work in jobs where demand is strong (The Record)
Young adults looking for work are facing particular difficulties. Youth unemployment rates have risen sharply in many countries since 2008 — and have reached truly frightening levels in parts of Europe. Canada has also seen youth unemployment rise, albeit at 13.6 per cent the rate is much lower than in the distressed parts of Europe. Nonetheless, young job seekers here are not having an easy time of it. Regardless of the state of the economy, young people commonly encounter barriers to accessing and advancing in the labour market. Lacking prior relevant work experience, they are often at a disadvantage when competing for vacant positions. Plus, they have a greater chance of losing their job when the economy turns down (“last in, first out”). And if they do become unemployed early in their careers, young adults may be at increased risk of experiencing subsequent spells of unemployment, and/or of becoming stuck in low wage jobs — a phenomenon known as “scarring” in the academic literature.–too-few-canadians-being-educated-to-work-in-jobs-where-demand-is-strong

Solution to Labour Shortage is in Ireland (VOCM)
The Canadian ambassador to Ireland, Loyola Hearn, spoke to members of the St. John’s Board of Trade today where he made the case for the country’s labour shortage to be filled by skilled workers from Ireland. Ireland and Canada have many things in common — both share the same language and have similar cultural traditions – that’s one of the reasons why Hearn believes the Irish could be the solution to Canada’s labour shortage. Hearn says that there is an abundance of educated, skilled workers in Ireland who want to come to this country to work. With mega-projects like Muskrat Falls, there is a desparate need for skilled workers in this province. Hearn believes Irish workers, many of whom are architects, engineers and heavy equipment operators, could be the answer. However, Hearn says it’s not as simple as inviting the workers to come over, as there are a number of regulations that need to be worked through first.

City of Vancouver honoured as one of Canada’s best diversity emplyers (Steve Bosch, Vancouver Sun)
The City of Vancouver has been selected one of Canada’s best diversity employers for 2013. In making the announcement Tuesday, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the national award recognizes the city’s work through its advisory committees with disabled people, women, seniors and the LGBT communities. Toronto’s Mediacorp, in partnership with Globe and Mail, made the selection which was sponsored by BMO.

Best Employers for New Canadians – Employer press releases

Ernst & Young – Apply within: Harnessing the power of diversity key to growth locally and globally

BDC New Canadians and Diversity people practices recognized at national level

For third consecutive year Loblaw earns distinction as one of the Best Employers for New Canadians

KPMG – Cross-cultural mentorship at work

NTT DATA Recognized as a Top Employer in Canada – Three award honors acknowledge workplace best practices

City of Mississauga Recognized As One of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians (TRIEC Mentioned)

National Bank Recognized as One of the Best Employers for New Canadians

RBC recognized as one of the Best Employers for New Canadians

Dalhousie named one of Canada’s Best Employers for New Canadians

Quebec Superior court grants right to unionize to migrant workers! (Migrants Canada)
In a major victory for migrant workers, the Quebec Superior Court, asked to review a decision of the Quebec Labor Relations Board dating back to April 2010, has upheld the right for migrant workers to unionize.

UFCW voices migrant worker concerns at federal roundtable on Temporary Foreign Worker Program (NUPGE)
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada recently participated in an “invitation-only” roundtable regarding the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The meeting was held in Ottawa and was chaired by Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism and Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. The federal government is conducting ongoing consultations that it says are aimed at improving the TFWP following complaints that employers are using the program to exploit migrant workers who lack sufficient employment protections, benefits, and compensation.


Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Wednesday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Toronto Casino, Construction Worker Dies, Garbage Collection, Animal Cruelty and Other News.

Newsstand: March 13, 2013 (Casey Irvin, Torontoist)
Today we celebrate 232 years of knowing about Uranus. Yay. In the news: Recycling keeps getting garbaged, Luminato gets to talking, a construction worker died on the job, and Margaret Atwood has a new Twitter muse.

Community Meeting on City’s Affordable Housing Campaign (Social Planning Toronto)
In its 2013 City budget, Toronto City Council voted to allocate $40,000 toward an advocacy campaign directed at getting the provincial and federal governments to invest in affordable housing and child care. The reserve funds for Toronto’s existing social housing will run out this year.


Stop devaluing community social services (Darryl Walker, Vancouver Sun)
Every day throughout British Columbia, some of our most vulnerable citizens need assistance with basic life issues — women and children fleeing domestic violence; immigrants and refugees looking for jobs or coping with language and settlement issues; people with disabilities who need help with speech, occupational or physical therapies; parents who need child care or infant development assistance; people living in poverty, or those with addiction issues, who need supported social housing or counselling; and aboriginal families, who have culturally specific needs around one or more of the above. When people need this kind of help, they turn to community social services provided by various of our provincially funded agencies. Most of us know someone who at some time has had to rely on these services just to keep house and home together, to maintain basic health, or even to survive. But community social services cannot survive without a commitment from government to recognize the vital role that these services—and the workers who provide them—play in our communities.

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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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