Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 14, 2013


Webinar April 10: Cities at Work: Recruiting and Managing a Diverse Workforce (Cities of Migration)
As major employers, cities are in a unique position to model a positive approach to hiring immigrants and managing a diverse workforce. Join Cities of Migration to learn how recruitment strategies developed by the municipalities of Saskatoon (Canada) and Bremen (Germany) are not only creating a workplace where equity and diversity are valued they are building cities for future growth and shared prosperity.

Cities try a new strategy with immigrants: embrace them (Jessica Reeder, CS Monitor)
So how can modern cities be sure theyre welcoming immigrants reaping the benefits of diversity instead of creating tension and danger? Cities of Migration has the answers. A showcase of successful integration projects from cities around the globe, Cities of Migration hopes to provide not just inspiration but a set of tools that any city government can use to build a strong, diverse community. Some of solutions go well beyond what youd expect, with surprising effectiveness.

Access Without Fear: Building a City of Sanctuary (Cities of Migration)
On February 21, 2013, Toronto became the first Canadian municipality to formally provide a sanctuary for non-status or undocumented immigrants. While the City of Toronto has long had an informal Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy that meant city staff could do their jobs without asking about immigration status, it is now implementing a formal Access Without Fear policy. As Toronto Star reporter Nicholas Keung wrote, Councils vote was significant at a time when the undocumented population is expected to surge in 2015, when many legal but temporary foreign workers will see their four-year work permits expire under a new federal law and potentially move underground.

News Release Innovators recognized for work in foreign credential recognition (CIC)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada presented the first International Qualifications Network (IQN) Awards today to 14 Canadian innovators of foreign credential recognition programs and projects. For too long, too many newcomers have found themselves unemployed or stuck in survival jobs despite possessing impressive educational qualifications, work experience, and language skills. This has deprived both the newcomers and the Canadian economy, said Parliamentary Secretary Rick Dykstra, who attended the event on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney. The Government of Canada is committed improving the process of foreign credential recognition and helping newcomers to integrate better into the Canadian labour market and Canadian society. The International Qualifications Network is instrumental in achieving these objectives by bringing together organizations across the country to improve the process of foreign credential recognition, he added.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada cautions against preparing Federal Skilled Worker Program applications until key details are announced (Henry J. Chang, First Reference Talks)
As previously reported, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will begin accepting applications as of May 4, 2013. A temporary pause on the acceptance of new FSWP applications (subject only to limited exceptions) has been in place since July 1, 2012. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently reminded applicants who may be preparing to submit applications that it still expects to announce three important elements of the FSWP in April 2013, which will have a significant impact on who can apply under the program.

Guest Post: On Reflecting Diversity (TVO The Agenda)
On Monday, The Agenda aired an episode looking at how media, including this program, can go about better reflecting the increasing presence of visible minorities and other forms of diversity in society. You can watch that program above. Following that program, we received a message from Carlo Dade, a senior fellow at the School for International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. Dade has been on the program several times to comment on the United States and the politics of Latin America. Dade did not altogether agree with the reasons the guests gave for the lack of diversity often seen in media and the solutions they proposed to address it. So we asked Dade if he’d be interested in writing a guest blog post for us on the subject. Below is what he sent us.

Important Federal Skilled Worker Announcements to Be Made in April (CICS News)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has revealed that three long-awaited announcements regarding the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will be made sometime in April. The announcements will concern the following subjects:
A cap on the number of applications to be accepted this year;
A list of priority occupations; and
Information on designated educational assessment organizations

‘Single issue can’t define us’: Researcher responds to ethnic vote scandal (Geoff Dembicki, The Tyee)
If anyone understands the complexities of the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, where hundreds of boat passengers of Indian origin were denied entry to Vancouver, it’s Naveen Girn. The locally-based cultural researcher spoke to descendants of the ship’s passengers for an online exhibition of the event produced in part by Simon Fraser University. But in a blog entry on Huffington Post Canada, Girn argued the incident informs only part of his identity.

CBSA raid on migrant workers, complete with TV camera crew, raises concerns in Vancouver (Jessica Barrett, Vancouver Sun)
An ordinary day on a condo construction site in east Vancouver took a turn for the dramatic Wednesday when Canada Border Services agents burst in searching for illegal migrant workers all while being shadowed by a camera crew apparently recording footage for a reality TV show. The raid, which took place at the Porter development on Victoria Drive near 20th Avenue, was one of about 10 that reportedly occurred throughout the city Wednesday. A site foreman for the condo developer Cressey said two CBSA officers arrived around noon hunting for two Honduran nationals who were quickly located. A short time later, as many as 17 officers surrounded the building and began sweeping the construction site floor by floor, checking identification.

Changes to immigration rules are a boon to international student recruitment (Rosanna Tamburri, University Affairs)
International students have become an increasingly integral part of Canadas immigration strategy as a result of ongoing changes to federal regulations aimed at recruiting more highly skilled newcomers to the country. The federal government has made incremental revisions to immigration rules in recent years designed to tap into this desirable pool of potential immigrants, said Harald Bauder, academic director of Ryerson Universitys Centre for Immigration and Settlement. Its been a creeping transition away from a system that assesses would-be economic migrants on a points system towards a two-step process that admits international students and foreign skilled workers on a temporary basis before allowing them to transition to permanent residency status.

Canada mirroring immigration laws south of the border (Manjit Singh, Cambridge LLP)
The Advocate Daily recently had me featured in a piece speaking about changes in Canadian immigration laws. Our immigration laws are becoming stricter in regards to sponsorship of spouses. This rule will be effecting couples that have been together for 2 years or less and have no children during the time of application. The new condition states that the partners need to be in cohabitation for the required time. If this is not the case his/her status must be revoked and will be forced to leave Canada. This change of rule is very similar to what currently exists in the United States.

Vancouver housing draws Chinese (China Daily)
Chinese buyers have become an active force in the Canadian city’s housing market where high prices have deterred many other buyers. For China Daily Vancouver, home to one of the largest populations of Chinese immigrants, is hoping that buyers from China can help reverse a lull in the local real estate market even though prices remain sky-high. In February, residential-property sales in the city and its immediate surroundings fell below their 10-year average, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The trade group said 1,797 properties changed hands last month, a 29.4 percent decrease from February 2012.

MP Karygiannis says that he disagrees with Mr. Housakos comments (South Asian Generation Next)
For too long, political parties have been content to only rely on certain ethnic or cultural groups to vote for them. It is time to stop this practice and truly integrate multicultural communities as full partners in the decision making of Canada. What we need to do is make sure that all Canadian, regardless of where they come from, the color of their skin or their religious beliefs, become full participants in the political life of Canada as civil servants, political staff, candidates and Members of Parliament, both federal and provincial. We need to ensure that all Canadians are fully engaged in the great experiment we call Canada. Multiculturalism is alive and well in Canada and it has its rightful place in our country. We need to Respect our fellow Canadians as equals. We need to Accept them as full participants in all aspects of Canadian life. We need to Celebrate their full participation in our communities. We need to Embrace where it will take us. We need to come together as Canadians and show the world that we are all part of the human RACE.

Ratika Goel: Seek Out Mentors (Samuel Getachew, South Asian Generation Next)
Ratika Goel is a Toronto family physician who has become a vocal and eloquent voice for leading social issues on immigration and refugee rights. The young South Asian was trained at McMaster University and earned her Master of Public Health graduate degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the United States. Generation Next caught up with the young activist doctor as she reflects on medicine, human rights and why mentorship is an important journey in finding a fulfilling career.

Video: Muslims in Canada facing extreme racism (Press TV)
Quebec has the second largest Muslim population in Canada. The census bureau says about 200,000 Muslims live in Quebec. It is perhaps the fastest growing religion in Canada and is expected to triple within the next 20 years, but critics say with all of its diversity, Quebec is also perhaps one of the most Islamaphobic provinces in the country. The President of the Muslim Council of Montreal is setting the record straight.

Canadian immigrants should be pleased with new pope (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
Although some Canadians are disappointed Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet was not elected pope, those who yearn for a fresh breeze from the Vatican are pleased with the new Latin American pontiff. A new Catholic focus on the developing world began Wednesday with the historic elevation of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the first Jesuit ever elected as Supreme Pontiff and the first from the Americas. Canadian immigrants, as well as Catholics who care about the plight of the disenfranchised, are feeling hopeful about Bergoglio, 76, who has adopted the name, Pope Francis, out of respect to the famous Italian saint who turned his back on luxury to follow a simple life.

Event April 19 – Celebrating Seventeen Years of Immigration and Settlement Research: Achievements and New Directions (CERIS)
After over a decade and a half of generating knowledge and connecting research to policy and practice, CERIS is celebrating its history as a Ontarios pioneer immigration and settlement research network. At the same time, we are also taking this opportunity to talk about future collaboration and knowledge sharing in the province. Given recent policy changes at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, the goal of the symposium is to bring together a range of stakeholders to discuss key issues affecting the landscape of immigration and settlement in Ontario.

Event April 29 – From Poverty to Power: Racial Justice, Making Change (Colour of Poverty / Colour of Change Campaign)
Roundtables will be discussing:
Intersectionality of Oppression
Political Participation and Representation
Small group strategy sessions on the following topics:
Employment Equity
Income Security
Colours of Politics
Criminal Justice and Policing
Immigration Policy and the Changing Face of Canada
Federal Fiscal Policy
Education: Access and Opportunities


‘Poverty in 5’ Contest Vote (TVO)
Here are the finalists for the Doc Studio short documentary contest. These five docs were chosen by our expert panel of jurists. Now it’s your turn to select a winner! Watch the docs below and vote!


Who exactly is the new trades immigration program for? (Steven Meurrens, Canadian Immigrant)
On Jan.2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) opened the federal skilled trades program (FSTP). CIC will process up to 3,000 FSTP applications in 2013. For certain people, the FSTP will be an attractive alternative to those who fall through the cracks of the federal skilled worker program and the Canadian experience class (CEC).

Québec farm workers win right to collective bargaining (NUPGE)
Farm workers employed on small farms in Québec have won the right to bargain collectively, based on a decision by the Québec Superior Court yesterday. The ruling by Justice Thomas M. Davis found that Section 21 of the Québec Labour Code, which stipulates that agricultural workers are excluded from collective bargaining on farms that have three employees or less working on a year-round basis, is constitutionally invalid.

Ottawa companies awarded for employer excellence (Michelle Nash, EMC Ottawa South)
Kivuto and Chikaishi were honoured on March 6 for employer excellence at the 2013 Employer Council of Champions Summit, organized by the local organization Hire Immigrants Ottawa. “I’m honoured and pleased to be part of this company and to receive this award,” Chikaishi said. The event took place at the National Arts Centre as part of a two-day summit to help promote diverse workplaces. Henry Akanko, the director of Hire Immigrants Ottawa, said the awards handed out at the summit are a way to encourage more employers to consider hiring recent immigrants. “The value is to raise the profile of why it’s important to have diverse workplaces,” Akanko said. “These awards help us tell successful stories to organizations who may be thinking of expanding.”

Best employers for new Canadians for 2013 (Globe and Mail)
List of employers.

#startupchats March 13 – Entrepreneurship for Immigrants (Startup Canada)
Relocating to Canada is a challenge in itself, and the barriers facing immigrant entrepreneurs can be significant.

Where the Jobs Are in Canada (CICS News)
Public discussion has been growing over a report recently published by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). The report indicates a growing divide between the number of high-vacancy job fields in Canada and the skills of the Canadian workforce. To combat labour shortages, Canadian employers and government officials are increasingly looking beyond their own borders to find the employees they need. In addition, the government is taking ambitious efforts to secure skilled foreign workers, on temporary or permanent bases, to close employment gaps across the country.


Newsstand: March 14, 2013 (Brendan Ross, Torontoist)
Well, that whole papal conclave sure flew by, didn’t it? In other news: Ford still says no to new taxes for transit, the city’s lobbyists could have a curfew, activists plan to take on police “carding,” and thousands attend a memorial for Stompin’ Tom.


New report compares nonprofit sectors in sixteen countries, including Canada (Charity Village)
A new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies reveals that nonprofit organizations are major employers and major sources of employment growth in countries throughout the world. The report draws on new data generated by statistical offices in sixteen countries that have implemented a new United Nations Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions. This Handbook calls on national statistical offices to report on the economic scale and composition of nonprofit organizations in their countries for the first time.

Canadian startup Media Spot Me launches; helps journalists find experts (Tamara Baluja, J-Source)
When Stavros Rougas was a producer at “The Agenda” in Toronto, he says the biggest challenge was chasing down authorative experts to appear on the show. “It was always a risk – you never knew whether they were the best in the field, if they were media-savvy,” he says. That’s why he co-founded Media Spot Me, a Waterloo-based startup, that he says gives journalists short on time instant access to reliable interview sources. The website launched on March 11 and has over Canadian 6,000 university academics registered. So far 60 journalists from Reuters, The Globe and Mail, CBC and Huffington Post.

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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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