Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 26, 2013

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY
Mentoring skilled immigrants works – new ALLIES-Accenture report shows (ALLIES)
Mentoring is an effective program to assist newcomers find jobs that match their skills and talent. Mentoring is built on a simple foundation: connecting an internationally-trained professional with their Canadian counterpart. But what is the impact? We know that mentoring is vital to finding employment. An effective mentoring relationship opens networks, builds relationships and increases social capital. It is an investment with significant return. We now have the evidence to confirm the positive impact of mentoring on newcomers and our economy.
http://alliescanada.ca/mentoring-skilled-immigrants-works-new-allies-accenture-report-shows/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mentoring-skilled-immigrants-works-new-allies-accenture-report-shows

Canada to immigrants: get ready for your unwanted close-up! (Natalie Brender, Toronto Star)
Lots of good news these days if you’re hoping to break into show biz: British music mogul Simon Cowell is now accepting YouTube auditions for his global talent search. And the news is even better if you’re a newcomer to Canada and are yearning to be discovered. Merely through your presence on Canadian soil, you stand an excellent chance of landing on the latest hit show, “Ottawa’s Got Talent.” That exuberant clicking and whirring of camera lenses across the land is our federal government seeking out people with interesting immigration situations to help burnish the Harper team’s image and become media stars at the very same time.
Immigration Reforms in Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 (Settlement AtWork)
Overview of Economic Action Plan 2013 items related to immigration.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_news_/97948
Lights! Camera! Immigration action? (Jennifer Nees, Canadian Lawyer)
The premise is simple. Set up shop at a border crossing. Focus cameras on people crossing into the country, film pieces of the inspection process, and watch the hilarity unfold. Or as the show’s web site states: “Every day twenty thousand passengers request entry into Canada by way of Vancouver International Airport. . . . Welcome to Border Security – a revealing look at life on the front lines of national security. Follow Canadian border services officers as they intercept suspicious characters and contraband from around the world in an effort to keep us safe, and our health, workforce, and ecosystem secure.” Sounds intriguing and like a great PR campaign to solicit new officers. Who doesn’t want to be involved in protecting not only the country’s collective health and workforce, but the ecosystem? People are going to be lining up around the block for these jobs.
Don’t let Canada end up like a Kardashian sister, says immigration lawyer in response to raid filmed for reality TV (Vancouver Desi)
The controversial filming of a raid on illegal workers for National Geographic Channel’s Border Security: Canada’s Front Line has the legal fraternity buzzing, says a top immigration lawyer. Jennifer Nees, a Toronto-based business immigration lawyer working with Egan LLP, writes that this reality show feeds “that xenophobic, anti-immigrant attitude you read in the comments section of any online news article about immigration.” The federal government is facing criticism on several fronts for its approval of the TV show focusing on border security after camera crews filmed the arrest of several men in Vancouver last week by officers with Canada Border Services Agency.
Open Letter to The Honourable Vic Toews (Amnesty International)
Amnesty International is deeply concerned that filming and broadcasting immigration raids may endanger the lives of some of the people in question, as well as those of their families. Some of the individuals who are filmed in the course of these raids might have attempted to seek asylum in the past, or may be intending to seek refugee protection in the future. If such individuals are subsequently removed from Canada, they may face an even greater risk upon return to the countries they were fleeing, because of the publicity of their case through the television broadcast. This risk could also apply to family members who are deported, or who had remained in the country of origin. In AI’s view, because of the possible presence of refugee claimants or other individuals who may face a risk of human rights violations in their country of origin, filming and broadcasting immigration raids is inherently and unpredictably dangerous.
http://www.amnesty.ca/news/open-letters/open-letter-to-the-honourable-vic-toews
Crime & Difference: What I want to say to our new local Toronto Police superintendent (Diane Dyson, Belonging Community)
This is the nub of the challenge our new superintendent will face: the tensions that arise among those who are different from each other, among those who do not have an easy understanding of each other and a code of behaviour to smooth things over. It will take a sharp mind and a good heart to negotiate these waters, but I’m sure she’s up for the job of catching criminals, of resolving local disputes, and, as they say, of knowing the difference between the two.
Empty Condos and foreign investors: Sign of the times or synonyms for racism? (Nathan Crompton, rabble)
It first has to be acknowledged that comments by Garossino and Sutherland exist in a larger context, not a vacuum. If we listen to the people worst affected by racism, the situation is worsening and today there is a palpable feeling of rising anti-Chinese racism in Canada, recently voiced by members of the Chinese community. According to Bill Chu, “the dislike of Chinese people has only lain dormant and is apparently being roused by recent events.” Earlier this month a mob of 1,000 residents asserted their “Canadian identity” by calling on Richmond politicians to reduce the number of Chinese-language signs in the city. This month immigrants are being rounded up in raids by the Canadian Border Service, producing a culture of fear for people deemed “illegal” by Canada’s — and Vancouver’s — expanding police apparatus.
Thursday: Budget, Manitoba Grandmother, CBSA Raid Complaint, Roma apology – too little too late? (CBC As It Happens)
A real person who doesn’t want to be a real character. After a raid by Canadian Border Services agents is filmed by a reality-TV crew, one worker caught on camera files a complaint. A rant recanted. Six months ago, Sun News host Ezra Levant delivered a diatribe about Roma people, and now he’s belatedly apologized — but not everyone is buying it.
Sun News VP Kory Teneycke on Levant Apology (CBC As It Happens)
Last fall, we told you about a Toronto police investigation based on complaints made against broadcaster Ezra Levant — concerning comments he made on his Sun News Network show, The Source, in a segment entitled: “The Jew vs. The Gypsies”. Last week he apologized. Then we spoke with a member of the Roma Community Centre who told us the timing of Mr. Levant’s apology suggested an effort to avoid prosecution. Now, the Sun News Network has asked us for a chance to be heard. Kory Teneycke is the Vice-President of the Sun News Network.
http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/features/2013/03/25/sun-news-vp-kory-teneycke-on-levant-apology/
Hate speech, Ezra Levant and the Office of the Ontario Attorney General (Dr. Dawg)
A second complaint of hate speech against Ezra Levant for his infamous racist rant against the Roma people delivered on national television last Fall is before the Ontario Attorney General—or so a little bird tells me. I posted about the apparent fate of the first complaint here. I may have been a little rough on Attorney General John Gerretson: I am reliably informed that these decisions are really made by his deputy, Patrick Monaghan, who attended a meeting with representatives of the Roma community in Toronto on that occasion and told them it “wouldn’t be in the public interest” to prosecute Levant, despite the view of the Toronto police that a clear case had been made out.
http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2013/03/ezra-levant-and-the-office-of-the-ontario-attorney-general.shtml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_term=%23cdnleft++%23ndp+
Caribbean African Multicultural Association of Canada Board Members (Net News Ledger)
The Caribbean African Multicultural Association of Canada is looking for new members for Board of Directors. The new members for appointment to the Executive Board have the opportunity to make a real difference here in Thunder Bay Board positions are on a volunteer basis. Please take the next step up to community service and leadership!
WelcomePack Canada Unveils Innovative New-Immigrant Marketing Initiative at Marketing Magazine’s 5th Annual Multicultural Marketing Conference (Marketwire)
WelcomePack Canada Inc., a Toronto-based company, has announced its plans for an innovative ‘Welcome to Canada’ program for new immigrants. This value-driven, year-round program commences with the delivery of 30,000 welcome gift packs to new immigrants, for free. Each gift pack is replete with over $1,000 of branded products and special offers from leading Canadian brands. More than 60 newcomer settlement services centers located across the GTA will be distributing these packs. For Canadian brands, this is a significant opportunity to gain market share with this fast growing newcomer population.
Neutrality and racism: What can journalists do? (Paul Berger, Chronicle Herald)
Thunder Bay’s Anti-Racism Advisory Committee produces this monthly column to promote greater understanding of race relations in Northwestern Ontario.
Human Rights Legal Support Centre Spring 2013 Newsletter (Settlement AtWork)
The focus of this 2013 spring issue of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) newsletter is accommodation, in employment, housing, and services.
The story of an Afghan translator & his efforts to emigrate to Canada (CBC The Current)
Esmatullah Meherzada is an Afghan man who passed all the security checks the Canadian forces put him through to allow him to work with our soldiers in Kandahar, only to fail the one that could get him to a new life in Canada.
Ottawa’s biggest racial profiling study to date in Canada (CBC The Current)
With preparation for a landmark study on racial profiling by Ottawa police underway, we’re revisiting the incident that triggered it and we’re asking if a study considered flawed even before it begins will be enough to confront concerns raised in various cities. We hear from Halifax police who say they’ve found a way to confront the problem and to others who say it extends beyond police.
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/03/26/ottawas-biggest-racial-profiling-study-to-date-in-canada/

REFUGEES

Vol 28, No 2 (2011): General Issue (Refuge)
Articles
A Refugee Camp Conundrum: Geopolitics, Liberal Democracy, and Protracted Refugee Situations
New Approaches to Urban Refugee Livelihoods
Welcome to Ireland: Seeking Protection as an Asylum Seeker or through Resettlement—Different Avenues, Different Reception
Debate on Asylum Policy
Special Section on South AfricaFrom the 2012 Conference organized by the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Conference
Asylum seekers fight for free Canadian healthcare (Anna Bressanin, BBC)
Since the 1950s refugees seeking asylum in Canada have had access to free healthcare from the moment they arrive. Supporters view the generous benefits as an example of Canada’s spirit of generosity to the persecuted and vulnerable. But critics say they have made the country an attractive destination for economic migrants seeking a better life. In December 2012 the federal government changed the eligibility requirements for the refugee healthcare programme. Now, only those officially granted refugee status receive free care. Those awaiting rulings in their cases and those whose applications have been rejected must pay for treatment.
Refugee health cuts causing confusion, say Hamilton health workers (Anqi Shen, The Silhouette)
Sue Grafe and Nikki Bozinoff have a first-hand look at how last year’s changes to the federal health care program affect refugee health care in Hamilton. Grafe is a nurse practitioner at REFUGE, a Hamilton refugee clinic, as well as a nursing professor at Mac. Bozinoff is a McMaster medical student and member of Hamiltonians for Migrant and Refugee Health. Along with Mac economics professor Michel Grignon, they discussed the impact of last year’s refugee health cuts Tuesday at a panel hosted by the Global Citizenship Conference.
Thematic Focus: Human Trafficking (Forced Migration Current Awareness)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.
More on “Crisis Migration” (Forced Migration Current Awareness)

Following on from my earlier post: I was introduced to the term “crisis migration” in this recent paper by Jane McAdam. The paper is actually a preprint for a chapter in a forthcoming book entitled Migration and Humanitarian Crises: Causes, Consequences and Responses (Routledge, Feb. 2014). The book, in turn, is just one of many outputs of a research project on humanitarian crises and human movement spearheaded by the Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM).

Thematic Focus: Statelessness (Forced Migration Current Awareness)

A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.
http://fm-cab.blogspot.ca/2013/03/thematic-focus-statelessness_26.html



POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION / POLICY

It is time for a national focus on housing (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
What do you think the reaction would be if everyone who lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland, or Kingston, Ontario, or Kelowna, British Columbia couldn’t find a decent, affordable place to live? What would happen if the people in those cities put their names on a list for a home for their family, but nobody did anything about producing a place for them to live? There would be an outcry, and those cities would be on the doorstep of their provincial legislatures demanding that the province either produce the housing or the funding for the housing so the city could build it. The federal government would likely tweak existing transfer programs to create some revenue flow for the production of housing, particularly if there were electoral seats to gain or protect.
http://maytree.com/spotlight/time-for-national-focus-on-housing.html

The Skilled Budget (Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson, Caledon Institute)
Skills and training comprise the centerpiece of the federal Budget 2013. But the federal document is also a skilled Budget. The government has been training Canadians for quite some time – to dampen our expectations. The purpose of creating a scarcity mindset is to set the stage. The ground work was so carefully laid that Canadians were primed to expect doom and gloom. Any announcement actually made is hailed as nothing short of miraculous. On the positive side, there are significant areas of spending related to manufacturing, community infrastructure, Aboriginal Canadians, social housing and employment measures for persons with disabilities. Because of lack of detail in the Budget, however, it is impossible to know how much of the proposed expenditure is ‘new’ money or how much will be diverted from other programs.
CCPA Budget Analysis (CCPA)
Despite government claims to the contrary, the CCPA finds that the federal budget actually reduces infrastructure spending and will only further slow Canada’s struggling economy. Read the CCPA news release in reaction to the federal budget, here. The following CCPA staff, research associates, and Alternative Federal Budget partners have posted their budget analysis on our blog and on their own websites.
Andrew Coyne on decoding the budget: What Jim Flaherty didn’t want you to know (Andrew Coyne, National Post)
Over the years we’ve grown used to seeing finance ministers shuffle spending forward and back in time, or claim that a spending program is really a tax cut, or re-announce old programs as if they were new. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a budget quite so opaque as this one. It isn’t just the many significant details it omits — for example, the content of the government’s spending plans. It’s that what is included is so maddeningly misleading, not to say vexingly vague. The sheer emptiness of the budget, indeed, led many reporters to assume there was nothing in it. We should have known. This government has a peculiar gift for understatement. When it wants to claim credit for something, it is careful to call attention to it in the best way it knows how: by leaking it to a member of the press. But when it has something controversial to announce, it whispers it in Swahili at the bottom of a well.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/03/22/andrew-coyne-on-decoding-the-budget-what-jim-flaherty-didnt-want-you-to-know/


EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Internships in Ontario: A checklist for employers (George Vuicic, Ottawa Business Journal)
Internships are playing a growing role in the skills development and integration of our city’s labour market entrants. These experiences offer advantages to job-seekers as well as host- organizations, presenting an excellent opportunity for highly skilled newcomers to gain familiarity with the Canadian workplace culture, and strengthening host-organization mentoring culture and training programs, while bolstering the talent pipeline. In human resources lingo, internships tend to be loosely classified as ‘formal,’ ‘informal,’ ‘paid,’ and ‘unpaid’. Organizations can sometimes be perplexed when it comes to understanding their responsibilities when entering into an internship relationship, especially with regards to compensation. I was recently approached by Hire Immigrants Ottawa (HIO) to clarify some of the regulations which govern organizations as they plan an internship for newcomers to Canada, as well as what factors can contribute to a successful experience for both parties.
HIO Communiqué : Spring Issue 2013 (hireimmigrants Ottawa)
Contents:
2013 Employer Council of Champions Summit
Ottawa’s Employers of Excellence
2013 Summit Presentations
Cross-Cultural Competency Training
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=344d94c6bba3a6e6b277400a2&id=0ba86d6245
Help for new Canadians: Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital honoured (Sheryl Smolkin, Toronto Star)
Innovative program for new Canadians at St. Mike’s hospital helps internationally-educated professionals
Ontario’s migrant workers fly under health radar (Bruce Gould, Hamilton Spectator)
Fitzroy’s choice was simple — tell his boss a tractor had run over his foot and he needed a doctor, or grit his teeth and keep on working. In the end, he chose to keep working, knowing if he didn’t, there was a good chance he’d be sent back to Jamaica before the harvest was over, and that would mean a hungry winter for his family. Choices like that are made every day by the estimated 30,000 foreign workers Ontario imports annually to tend Niagara’s vineyards, to pick Leamington’s tomatoes and harvest Norfolk’s field crops.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNFgyL8fY47i0pI8M0qAyE0jQNK8OQ&url=http://www.thespec.com/news/business/local/article/908390–ontario-s-migrant-workers-fly-under-health-radar
Foreign workers easier route than Canadian apprentices: AFL ( Fort McMurray Today)
The latest federal budget is “an insult to Canadians,” says Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan, who says the government’s promise to promote Canadians over the Temporary Foreign Worker program will not encourage the private sector to hire more Canadians. “It has become far too easy for companies, especially construction companies like in Fort McMurray, to choose foreign workers over the next generation of Canadian workers,” says McGowan. “In its current form, it’s way too easy for employers to fill positions with foreign workers as opposed to taking on apprentices.”
Construction industry group calls for government crackdown on ‘unscrupulous contractors’ in Metro Vancouver (Jessica Barrett, Vancouver Sun)
A group of construction professionals is pressing the federal government to crack down on “unscrupulous contractors” they say have made it impossible for law-abiding companies to compete in the industry. In a letter sent to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews last week, Wayne Cox, executive secretary-treasurer of the B.C. Regional Council of Carpenters, said the problem of unethical payroll practices and illegal workers in the Lower Mainland is rampant.
New Regulatory Colleges (Settlement AtWork)
Starting in April 1, 2013, the Ontario government will open 2 new regulatory colleges. The College of Kinesiologists of Ontario and the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practicioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario will regulate and oversee the services of these practitioners in Ontario.
Canada-Australia Roundtable on Foreign Qualification Recognition (FQR) (Settlement AtWork)
The Roundtable brought together approximately 70 Canadians and Australians representing government, professional regulatory authorities, employers, academia and immigrant serving organizations, to discuss current issues in FQR, share best practices, strengthen professional linkages, and work towards enhanced labour mobility.
Environmental Stewardship Program Available for Foreign-Trained Professionals (Settlement AtWork)
An intensive eight-week certificate workshop on the community environmental sector begins next month for new Canadians. The course is part of a joint initiative between Conservation Halton and FutureWatch EDEP that offers training opportunity for foreign-trained environmental professionals in Halton.
Virden job fair attracts many newcomers (Graeme Bruce, Brandon Sun)
Immigrant workers filling labour gaps in the area’s service and processing industries are making a push to the province’s growing oil fields, but because of language barriers, for many it’s an illusion. “They have to realize they have to be safe on the job site,” said Debbi Kish, employment adviser for the Virden Employment Skills Centre. “And having a language barrier for them is really, really harsh. They (the oil companies) just won’t hire them.”
Learn the latest! — Responding to human rights harassment complaints: Guidelines from the HRTO (Stringer LLP, First Reference Talks)
You are an employer that has just received a harassment complaint from an employee. The complaint is against a valued employee who you do not want to lose. But you are also worried that you will be faced with an expensive human rights complaint or lawsuit. What do you do? Below I discuss two decisions of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. In Szyluk, the employer failed to properly investigate and respond to harassment allegations. In Shreve, the employer complied with its legal duties to investigate and respond. By comparing and contrasting the approach taken by each employer, we can derive best practices when responding to harassment complaints.
http://blog.firstreference.com/2013/03/26/learn-the-latest-responding-to-human-rights-harassment-complaints-guidelines-from-the-hrto/#axzz2OeZ5kWiO



CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Tuesday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Toronto Casino, Transit and Other News.

Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Monday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Toronto Casino, Transit and Other News.
http://spacing.ca/toronto/2013/03/25/torontos-urbanism-headlines-monday-5/



SOCIAL INNOVATION / NONPROFITS

CollaborAction: How Technology Can Help Organizing (Bryan Heal)
This past week’s CollaborAction conference was the latest offering of Maytree Foundation’s Building Blocks initiative and was an impressive opportunity to network and learn with organizers in Toronto and from across Canada. With so many meetings and conferences veering toward the snoozing-inspired where you attend for the networks amidst disappointingly substance-free content – I am happy to report that this was not the case on Wednesday!
http://bryanheal.blogspot.ca/2013/03/collaboraction-how-technology-can-help.html?spref=tw
Finding standard Census 2011 products (Community Data)
The Statistics Canada website has made standard Census products easy to find and download at any given geographic scale and file format. Because these products are now free and open, we won’t worry about bringing them into the Community Data Catalogue — at least not for now. For this reason, this blog post explains how to find standard Census products on the Statistics Canada website.
http://communitydata-donneescommunautaires.ca/node/7705
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marco

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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