Immigration & Diversity news headlines – March 4, 2013


Temporary foreign worker program under review (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Ottawa is looking into restricting the inflow of low-skilled temporary foreign workers while opening the door for more to get permanent status in Canada, the Star has learned. In a background paper circulated to interest groups, the federal government warned that an increasing number of employers are using migrant workers to address long-term, structural labour gaps instead of meeting short-term needs. Some employers are using the program as a substitute for necessary adjustments such as investments in capital and (re)-training workers, or adjustments in wages, said the document, prepared by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), for the review of the Temporary Foreign Worker program.

Immigration stats counter Kenney claim on citizenship fraud (Kady O’Malley, CBC)
Efforts to combat citizenship fraud are creating lengthy backlogs for would-be Canadians while only slowly weeding out bogus citizens, statistics from the Immigration Department show. Last fall, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the government had already revoked 19 citizenships from more than 3,000 people under investigation for fraud since a crackdown was launched in July 2011. But his department now acknowledges only 12 of those revocations were explicitly connected to the fraud investigations.

Canadians Still Favour Immigration, But Many Want Stricter Policy: Poll (Huffington Post)
While most people in this country are in favour of welcoming new immigrants, a large portion of the population believes Canadas policy is too open. Thats the conclusion from an interactive voice response (IVR) poll conducted in February by EKOS Research. It found a majority of Canadians believe there are too few or about the right number of immigrants in Canada. Thirteen per cent believe the number is too low, while 41 per cent said it is about right. Canadians born outside the country were more likely to feel this way, with 19 per cent saying there are too few and 44 per cent that the number is about right.

Province Acts to Increase Number of Skilled Immigrants (Government of Nova Scotia)
Changes to the provincial immigration program will open doors for more families and skilled workers to immigrate to Nova Scotia. “The province is poised to take advantage of some of the greatest opportunities in our history, creating thousands of jobs for Nova Scotians,” said Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. “Ive been hearing from businesses and industries that we need to attract more skilled workers to help meet their growing needs.”

Bill on terrorist citizenship wins strong support (Tobi Cohen, Ottawa Citizen)
A Conservative private member’s bill that could end up stripping dual citizens of their Canadian citizenship should they commit acts of terror abroad is headed before a Commons committee for review after winning near-unanimous support Wednesday. Parliamentarians, including the New Democrats and Liberals, voted 276 to three in favour of sending the bill on for further scrutiny with only the Bloc Québécois and Green Party objecting. Sponsored by Devinder Shory, the two-part bill as it’s currently written would fast-track citizenship for permanent residents who promise to serve three years in the Canadian Forces. It would allow them to become citizens in two years instead of three.

Indo-Canadian B.C. Liberals say Clark made ethnic vote ‘a joke’, call for resignation (Jessica Barrett, Vancouver Sun)
A group of mostly Indo-Canadian members of the B.C. Liberal party are calling for the resignation of Premier Christy Clark for making the ethnic vote a joke in B.C. A news release Sunday says 89 members of the party from Surrey decided to call for Clarks resignation over her decision to spend taxpayer dollars on the Times of India Film Awards, which has no relevance in B.C. economy, culture or adaptation. The call comes as Clark is set to face her cabinet in an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon to address growing internal unrest over how she reacted to the scandal that erupted Wednesday over a proposed strategy to woo the ethnic vote.

Chinese community outraged at Liberal ‘ethnic vote’ plan (CBC)
Members of Vancouver’s Chinese community are calling the actions of the B.C. Liberal Party “immoral” after a leaked document revealed a wide-ranging plan to win ethnic votes in the upcoming provincial election. B.C. Premier Christy Clark apologized on Thursday for the language used in the Liberals’ “Multicultural Strategy” document, which outlines “quick wins” such as making apologies for historical wrongs. But Bill Chu, chair of the Canadian Reconciliation Society, said the apology was “not acceptable.”

BC Ethnic Vote Plan Inquiry: Liberals Release Terms Of Reference (Andree Lau, Huffington Post)
Premier Christy Clark accepted the resignation Friday of one of her closest advisers as the political fall-out over a leaked strategy aimed at wooing ethnic voters continued to rock the Liberal government. Kim Haakstad, who was Clark’s deputy chief of staff and has worked with the premier for years, resigned as the controversy over the ethnic vote courting strategy tore at caucus unity. “Kim reached her decision after much consideration of her roles and responsibilities,” Clark said in a three-sentence statement late Friday afternoon.

BC premier apologizes – again — for ethnic vote scandal (Jeremy Nuttall, Sun News Network)
Premier Christy Clark walked out of a last-minute cabinet meeting in Vancouver Sunday and into a state of contrition as she apologized personally for the ethnic vote scandal. Despite the uproar about a secret plan by the B.C. Liberals to apologize for historic wrongs aimed at winning votes from ethnic groups, Clark said more information about an apology to the Chinese community will be revealed within days. On Wednesday the NDP released leaked documents it said showed the Liberals used tax dollars to devise an outreach plan to court ethnic groups, in particular using apologies for past injustices to gain quick wins of support

Christy Clark launches review after document shows Liberals planned to woo ethnic votes with B.C. resources (National Post)
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has issued an apology and launched a review after a leaked document showed her government planned to woo ethnic votes with provincial resources. Deputy Premier Rich Coleman read the statement in the legislature Thursday and later said he should have a good idea within 24 hours of what went wrong and how. Some of the things that are in this thing are unacceptable. It blurs the lines, it goes beyond the lines, Coleman said outside the legislature as he promised to release a written report of the review.

Ethnic outreach scandal could end B.C. Premier Christy Clarks political career (Andy Radia, Yahoo! News)
In response to the public outcry to the ethnic outreach scandal, Clark at the urging of several disgruntled caucus members has called an emergency cabinet meeting for 4 p.m (PST) on Sunday afternoon in Vancouver, according to Global News. The scandal came to light last Wednesday when the opposition NDP revealed a 17-page multicultural outreach strategy outlining the Liberal party’s plan to win ethnic votes in the May election. The report, along with a spreadsheet leaked on Friday, suggests that the party was using staff from the premier’s office, other government staff and resources for crass political purposes.

Premiers Office staffer, senior caucus member helped draft ethnic-vote strategy, leaked email suggests (Cassidy Olivier, The Province)
A key member of Premier Christy Clarks office and a senior member of government caucus staff were directly involved in drafting a controversial strategy to woo ethnic votes ahead of the May election, fresh evidence suggests. According to a copy of an email leaked to The Province, longtime Clark loyalist Kim Haakstad who also serves as the premiers deputy chief of staff and Primrose Carson, the executive director of government caucus, offered advice and input during the drafting stages of the plan. The email was sent from the private account of David Ritchie, then an executive assistant to Harry Bloy and now a ministerial assistant in the Premiers Office, on Jan. 6, 2012.

Wooing the ethnic vote with quick-win apologies and taxpayers dollars (Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun)
The date was Jan. 10, 2012 and Premier Christy Clarks inner circle was hard at work on a strategy to capture the ethnic vote. Anecdotal reports suggest that some ethnic communities, particularly Chinese, feel that they are ignored by government between elections, wrote the premiers hand-picked deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad in a confidential memo to key staffers in the government. This plan outlines steps that will be taken to re-engage with ethnic voters and media, and includes accountability structures to ensure that the plan is sustained.

B.C. Liberals apologize for ethnic voters memo; Christy Clark launches investigation (Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun)
Deputy premier Rich Coleman vowed on Thursday to get answers about a confidential B.C. Liberal memo that explicitly called for government resources to be used for partisan purposes, saying he expects disciplinary action to be taken as quickly as today. This is just not acceptable. The language isnt acceptable and there will be consequences, Coleman said of the 17-page document, which was distributed in January 2012 by Premier Christy Clarks deputy chief of staff.

The Meaning of Hate (Sarah Miller, CCLA)
What began in 2002 as a conviction for littering has reached the Supreme Court of Canada. In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, six Supreme Court Justices have rewritten section 14 of Saskatchewans Human Rights Code. As it stood, the vagueness of section 14(1)(b) resulted in it unconstitutionally prohibiting freedom of expression, according to the Court, which is protected under section 2b of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. William Whatcott has been in Saskatchewan Courts several times over the last decade for picketing and distribution of anti-homosexual flyers. The flyers called the gay community filthy and linked homosexuality to pedophilia and sodomy. One of the flyers, entitled, Sodomites in our Public Schools, called for a prohibition on allowing homosexuals to become teachers in Canada.

Analysis: Why we should worry about who were jailing (Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Toronto Star)
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah of the University of Torontos Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies analyzes why blacks and aboriginals are overrepresented in Ontario correctional system, and why this matters.

Unequal justice: Aboriginal and black inmates disproportionately fill Ontario jails (Jim Rankin and Patty Winsa, Toronto Star)
Race data obtained under freedom of information paints a disturbing picture of black and aboriginal overrepresentation inOntario youth and adult jails.

English classes on the decline (
The number of English classes provided by the Peel District School Board for adults trying to learn the language or improve their proficiency has been on a steady decline. The Board offers the classes free of charge to adults in the region. The lessons are funded by the provincial and federal governments. The latest census data indicated 3.9 per cent of Peel residents had no knowledge of an official language, up from 3.7 per cent in 2006, and English was the language most often spoken at home by 63.9 per cent of residents, down from 67.8 per cent in 2006.–english-classes-on-the-decline

Attitudes To Immigration And Visible Minorities (EKOS Politics)
The topic of immigration is extremely controversial in Europe and America but typically has been a more muted concern in Canada. In our previous release, we showed that over the past 15 years, that just as immigration and pluralism had burgeoned to make Canada more ethnically diverse than at any point in its history, attachment to ethnic group had dropped sharply and attachment to country had remained robust and much higher. In other words, as we became more diverse, ethnic identities diminished and national identity remained very strong.

Directory Offers Immigrants Info On Available Services (Times News Weekly)
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall announced last Thursday, Feb. 14, the publication of her Immigrant Services Directory, a comprehensive listing of services available to diverse newcomers to America who have made Queens their home. The 78-page publication features members of Marshalls Immigration Task Force, a network of non-profit organizations, government agencies, and legislative offices committed to promote immigrant integration throughout the borough.

The University of Toronto Challenge (Samuel Getachew, Huffington Post)
One of Canada’s most exclusive IVY league like Law School in Canada — the University of Toronto’s Law School — has an ambitious mission to help best reflect Canada’s diverse population among its future students. Earlier today, the Law School hosted its annual event titled See Yourself Here and invited “equity-seeking communities that have historically been underrepresented in law schools and the legal profession”. With the support of TD Bank — it sent out an invitation to Canada’s visible minority community to come for an open house – and 150 people showed interest making the event a sell out with a long waiting list.

Bar pro-Eritrean activist from Canada, group says (Carol Sanders, Winnipeg Free Press)
A group of Winnipeggers is trying to prevent a U.S. woman who made incendiary remarks such as “evil” Jews from entering Canada again. “I don’t know how the Canadian border agency would let this woman come again,” said Eritrean refugee Daniel Awshek. He attended an event in Winnipeg in 2010 where he said expatriate Eritrean Sophia Tesfamariam made the remarks and shamed people who had fled Eritrea, urging them to send the regime money. She is expected to visit Canada Sunday, starting with a fundraiser in Vancouver, said Awshek. The U.S.-based Tesfamariam does fundraising and public appearances throughout the Eritrean diaspora, promoting the government of Eritrea.

Racism In Canada Has A Cherry On Top (Dustin Parkes, The Score)
There exists a strange sort of arrogance in Canadian culture. Its one that helps us feel a meager measure of superiority over our larger, louder, more populous and far less concerned neighbors to the South. Its one that values the idea of a cultural mosaic above that of a melting pot, and it imagines that such a hierarchy of values rings true in the hearts of every Canadian. Its one that says: Hey there, Mr. and Mrs. Immigrant, theres a nice little place for you right here in the collective stained glass window of our nation. Its patently false. Were a country of ignorant and stupid morons who discriminate against people with differences just like every other nation on earth. Whats so maddening to me about Canadas xenophobia is that a) I live in this country and not others, where Im sure Id be equally disturbed by it; b) That we imagine ourselves to be so high above something that were not; and c) The continued platform given to Don Cherry by Canadas national broadcasting network.

Does Canada Need More Visible Minority Librarians? (ALA)
As Canadas demographics change and immigration plays a significant role in the population increase, the public face of Canadian librarians have remained largely unchanged as minority librarians make up only 7% of the library workforce. Not only are minority librarians underrepresented in libraries, they are also less likely to occupy senior administrative or management positions. Canadian visible minority librarians face unique challenges within the profession. Join the discussion as three motivated and passionate minority librarians argue their case for why Canada needs more visible minority librarians and the need for the establishment of a national network for minority librarians (ViMLoC).

Remembering Vancouver’s First Race Riot (Jesse Donaldson, The Tyee)
This past Sunday marked an overlooked but instructive 126th anniversary. On Feb. 24,1887, a little over a year after it was incorporated, the city of Vancouver experienced its first full-scale race riot. It was a sudden explosion of violence as much economic as it was xenophobic; a group of close to 300 white workers, fearful of losing work to inexpensive foreign labour, and whipped into a frenzy by inflammatory speeches delivered from within the city municipal building, marched on a camp of Chinese labourers at the foot of Burrard Street, destroying more than $2000 in property, and running hundreds of workers out of town.

Message from the Minister (Canadas Office of Religious Freedom)
I am very pleased to welcome you to the online home of Canadas Office of Religious Freedom. Opened on February 19, 2013, the Office has been created to promote freedom of religion or belief as a Canadian foreign policy priority. The Office will be an important vehicle through which Canada can advance fundamental Canadian values, including freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide. The Office will advance policies and programs that support, promote and defend the right to freedom of religion. Canada is uniquely placed to protect and promote religious freedom worldwide. Ours is a pluralistic country of many cultural heritages and religions. But Canadians and people around the world share a common humanity. As such, it is our common duty to defend the rights of the afflicted and give voice to the voiceless.

Corner stores are disappearing, but for immigrants they represent a new lease on life (Randy Turner, Winnipeg Free Press)
For the Lees, the modest North End corner store is their home, their business and their stake in a new country. It’s their present and future. Yet corner stores, once a staple of urban existence, are disappearing from the city’s ever-evolving landscape. Since the turn of the century, corner stores had been a sentimental and necessary form of local commerce, at first providing all kinds of groceries to neighbourhood families, many of whom didn’t own vehicles.

Column: Racism tarnishes Canada’s squeaky clean image (Doug Cuthand, The Star Phoenix)
The past several months have revealed the dark underbelly of racism in Canada. The reaction by some media organizations to peaceful protest has been over the top. I was appalled at the reaction that sprang up all across Canada to the peaceful protests. Flash mobs in shopping centres and information blockades were peaceful and put aboriginal issues in front of the public. Chief Theresa Spence, who went on a 44-day fast to raise awareness of issues, was demonized with personal attacks, and the audit of her band administration was “leaked” to the media. Media jumped on it like dogs on a bone, forgetting the facts and the obvious timing of the leak.

Citizenship Fraud Crackdown Nets 12 Bogus Citizens (Lauren Strapagiel, Huffington Post)
Efforts to combat citizenship fraud are creating lengthy backlogs for would-be Canadians while only slowly weeding out bogus citizens, statistics from the Immigration Department show. Last fall, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the government had already revoked 19 citizenships from more than 3,000 people under investigation for fraud since a crackdown was launched in July 2011. But his department now acknowledges only 12 of those revocations were explicitly connected to the fraud investigations.

Loss of immigrant settlement funding a concern: school board (Wanda Chow, Burnaby News Leader)
Burnaby school board chair Baljinder Narang knows first-hand it’s not easy coming to a new country, even if you speak the language. “I remember as a new immigrant to Canada it was difficult to know the system. I spoke English but I knew my English from England was different from the English spoken in Canada. It’s a huge learning curve even if you don’t have the other learning challenges our families have.” It could become even more difficult next year once the federal government changes the way it funds immigrant settlement programs.

Africentric grade school grads not opting for high-school program (Caroline Alphonso, Globe and Mail)
One of Canadas first Africentric high-school programs will open its doors for the first time this fall in Toronto, with more than a dozen students planning to attend. So far, none of them come from the Africentric grade school. Jacqueline Spence, principal of the Africentric Alternative School, said she is not concerned that her first graduating class of Grade 8s 13 graduates in total will not necessarily be making the transition to the Africentric high school. Students are still deciding where they want to attend high school, and may be unwilling to make the commute from the north end of the city to Winston Churchill Collegiate in Scarborough, where the high-school program is housed, she said. That will never diminish the experience that they had at this school, Ms. Spence said Thursday.

March 2013 E-bulletin (CCLA)
McInnes Cooper to be Atlantic Canadas law firm for Canadian Civil Liberties Association
Yet another reason to put that password on your cell phone
Government of Canada confirms that it has imprisoned and may continue to imprison people for alleged offences committed by others
CCLA Stands Up for Democratic Participation and Wins!
Introducing CCLAs 2012 TD Fellowship project: Smog Signals
Apply for the CCLA RBC Fellowship!

Canada Welcomes Record Number of Immigrants through Canadian Experience Class (Marketwatch)
Canada’s fastest-growing immigration stream welcomed a record 9,353 newcomers in 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “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.”

Canada’s golden immigrants from China remembered (Meagan Fitzpatrick, CBC)
The golden history that links British Columbia and China is on display through a new exhibit of photographs that opened in Hong Kong this week. Titled Who Am I? Bridging the Pacific from Guangdong to Barkerville and Back, the collection of portraits and snapshots showcases the Chinese immigrants who left home in the late 19th century, arrived on Canada’s shores and helped settle communities such as Barkerville in the foothills of the Cariboo Mountains.

Immigration Status (Settlement AtWork)
Newcomers enter Canada through various immigration programs, as refugees, temporary residents or without any legal status at all. Settlement workers need to have a basic understanding of the different immigration statuses their clients fall under in order to serve them effectively.

Muslims in Canada facing extreme racism (PressTV)
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. Although, he says, a large portion of Quebecers are kind, religious tension is a well-known part of Quebec’s history. Elmenyawi believes bad seeds exist in the community ….and after 9-11, Islamophobia heightened and became acceptable.


Ex-chairman raises bias concerns as refugee board seeks new leader (Wayne Cuddington, Montreal Gazette)
As the federal government seeks a new boss for the Immigration and Refugee Board, one former chairman is raising concerns about the potential for bias. The job, which pays as much as $266,000 a year, is a cabinet appointment and Peter Showler argues that opens the door to patronage since theres no mechanism to ensure transparency or accountability. More importantly, he said, it means the government could select somebody who ultimately shares its perspective on refugees. Theres been no government as outspoken about the merits of refugee issues as this government, he said, adding Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has repeatedly expressed his frustrations about so-called bogus refugees from Hungary and Mexico. The Conservatives, Showler has argued, have generally been less receptive to asylum claims made in Canada.

Refugee Health Care: Impacts of recent cuts (CCR)
On June 30, 2012, the federal government implemented cuts to its Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program, which covers basic health care for refugees, refugee claimants and certain other non-citizens. Now that the changes have been in effect for several months, what have the impacts been?

Refugee health care cuts challenged by doctors, lawyers (Andrew Russell, Humber News)
The federal governments refugee health care policy violates the Charter and contravenes international obligations, said a group of lawyers and doctors in a court case launched this week. Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and three patients brought forward the court challenge in the Federal Court of Canada on Monday asking the court to deem cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program illegal and unconstitutional. In June 2012, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration eliminated health care coverage for refugees whose claims are rejected and refugee claimants who come from countries designated as safe.

Kenney faces court challenge over callous refugee policy: Goar (Carol Goar, Toronto Star)
Desperate to stop the government from denying health care to refugee claimants, doctors and lawyers launch charter challenge.

From civil war in Yugoslavia to Burnaby (Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now)
Maya Mihajlovic and her husband came to Canada after civil war broke out in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Mihajlovic has a background in science and teaching, and has two children who went to Burnaby’s Maywood Community School. She struggled to adjust to her new life in Canada and now facilitates programs to help other immigrants and refugees with school-aged children.

Empowering girls through international action (The Record)
Farah Mohamed is of Indian descent, born in Uganda and fled as a refugee to Canada as a toddler with her parents and sister. The familys journey so deeply impacted Mohamed she has devoted her life to helping young women become empowered as founder of G(irls)20 Summit, an annual event that brings girls together from around the world, mirroring the G20 Summit. Mohamed was the keynote speaker at the annual International Womens Day breakfast, held Friday morning at Kitchener City Hall Rotunda and her message was clearly about how countries must respect what girls and women can bring to the table and nurture those talents and ideas.–empowering-girls-through-international-action

Kenney defends taking Iran, Iraq refugees over Syrians on trip to Turkish camp (Mike Blanchfield, Montreal Gazette)
The NDP and a Syrian Canadian group are questioning why Immigration Minister Jason Kenney chose to accept Iraqi and Iranian refugees when he visited fleeing Syrians in Turkey last month. They accuse Kenney of misleading the Canadian public by touting his visit as being in support of Syrian refugees, which currently number about 200,000 in Turkey, when Canada opted instead to take 5,000 Iraqis and Iranians.

NDP questions handling of Syrian refugees (Chronicle Herald)
The NDP and a Syrian-Canadian group are questioning why Immigration Minister Jason Kenney chose to accept Iraqi and Iranian refugees when he visited fleeing Syrians in Turkey last month. They accuse Kenney of misleading the Canadian public by touting his visit as being in support of Syrian refugees, which currently number about 200,000 in Turkey, when Canada opted instead to take 5,000 Iraqis and Iranians.

Refugee hearings move to Montreal as Ottawa office closes (Louisa Taylor, Ottawa Citizen)
A group of Ottawa immigration lawyers is lobbying the federal government to change its plans to close the local office for refugee hearings, saying it will make it harder for claimants to receive a fair hearing. The Immigration and Refugee Board has several hearing rooms for refugee cases at its national headquarters on Slater Street, says Mike Bell, one of several lawyers representing more than 30 colleagues who regularly represent refugees in Ottawa. He says the lawyers were told in January that the board will move the hearings to Montreal at the end of this month and use the Ottawa space for other purposes. Bell said its his understanding the move is part of cost-reduction efforts demanded of all government departments by Treasury Board.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Strengthening Families for Ontario’s Future [Child poverty report card for Ontario] (Ontario Campaign 2000) – February 28
2. Manitoba poverty reduction consultations taking place from March 4 to March 22, 2013
3. Albertas Social Policy Framework : The final report – February 28
4. National Housing Strategy for Canada : Bill C-400 defeated by Harper Government
5. Media and Policy News [mostly Ontario] for February 28, 2013 (By Jennefer Laidley, Income Security Advocacy Centre)
6. CPJ Justice ENews : February 2013 (Citizens for Public Justice – CPJ)
7. Recent releases from Finance Canada:
— Department of Finance Releases Annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report + Main Estimates – February 25
— Release of The Fiscal Monitor for December 2012 – February 22
— Minister of State (Finance) Hails Pooled Registered Pension Plans as an Idea Whose Time Has Come – February 20
8. Social Services in Ontario, from 1791 to the early 2000s – Powerpoint (By John Stapleton, Open Policy) – June 2007
9. The trouble with austerity: Cutting is more about ideology than economics (Alex Himelfarb in the Toronto Star)
10. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics
— Study: Worker Reallocation in Canada, 1976 to 2011 – March 1
— Employment services, 2011 – March 1
— Private and public investment, 2013 – February 27
— Payroll employment, earnings and hours, December 2012 – February 26
— Violence against women, 2011 – February 25
11. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Latest Media and Policy News: 28 Feb 2013 (ISAC)
A round up of policy and poverty news.

Conservatives destroying safety nets (Chronicle Herald)
We, the Atlantic caucus of the New Democratic Party, are greatly concerned about the effect recent changes to employment insurance will have not only on individual recipients, but also on the communities in our region. The Conservatives failed to hold consultations or study the long-term consequences of gutting the EI system before making changes that compromise the financial security of entire industries and the communities that depend on them. Vulnerable Canadians are being pushed even deeper into poverty and this means that the federal government is offloading its responsibility onto provincial social assistance services. Currently, a record low of four in 10 unemployed Canadians are eligible for EI. Even for those few who are eligible for EI, many will be affected by the Conservatives abrupt cancellation of the program giving five extra weeks of benefits for claimants in high unemployment areas.

EI reforms, an attack on fraud or the unemployed? (Chris Hall, CBC)
One of the most difficult things in government is selling a negative. Ask any cabinet minister or MP who’s tried to convince voters of the benefits of slashing budgets or cutting services people use. It may be the right medicine, but it leaves a bad taste. That’s the situation that Stephen Harper’s government faces as it defends its effort to crack down on employment insurance fraud. Human Resources Minister Diane Finley says EI fraud costs ”hundreds of millions of dollars” each year, hurting those people who are legitimately out of work and in need of benefits. The opposition, of course, is buying none of it.

Opposition parties accuse Tories of unloading unemployment burden onto provinces (Allison Cross, National Post)
Opposition parties sustained their attacks on Stephen Harper in the House of Commons today, accusing the Prime Minister of using unprecedented tactics to root out fraud in Canadas employment insurance system and force out-of-work citizens to go on welfare. The Harper government has been the target of criticism amid a crackdown on EI claimants that includes sending government inspectors to peoples homes and establishing annual dollar quotas for EI investigators. This is unacceptable, said interim Liberal leader Bob Rae during Question Period.

Ontario off track for child poverty reduction, annual report card says (Alex Ballingall, Toronto Star)
Campaign 2000 report warns frozen minimum wage and delayed hike for Ontario Child Benefit could put targeted 25 per cent child poverty reduction in jeopardy.

Campaign 2000 Releases its 2012 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario (Campaign 2000)
Campaign 2000 released its annual Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario on Thursday, February 28th 2013 in Toronto. The 2012 report card, entitled Strengthening Families for Ontarios Future, calls on Ontarios minority government to reduce child and family poverty in the 2013 Budget. Policy recommendations are offered to all political parties to redress the persistence of child poverty in Ontario.


Forest sector seeks skilled immigrants (Vernon Morningstar)
Funds to help attract skilled immigrants into B.C. are assisting a local company. The Immigrant Employment Council of B.C. says Tolko Industries is one of 11 organizations to be awarded funding to help develop initiatives and resources to attract and integrate skilled immigrants into B.C. workplaces. The Tolko project will involve the development of a multilingual recruiting website targeted at immigrants and the creation of an inclusive onboarding program to support immigrant integration with the company.

Minister Raitt Promotes Workplace Diversity, Health and Safety at the Canada 2020 Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector Conference (Marketwire)
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Labour Minister, spoke to participants at the Canada 2020 conference on Skilled Trades in the Energy Sector about the value of workplace diversity and occupational health and safety. “Workplaces across the country should provide all individuals with the opportunity to achieve their full potential and contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity,” said Minister Raitt. “Everyone-employers, employees and governments-has a role to play when it comes to promoting inclusive, safe and healthy workplaces.”

Denny’s Settles with Filipino Migrants (Krystle Alarcon, The Tyee)
After more than two years of fighting his employer for having been punitively terminated for complaining against abuse, Alfredo Sales received justice — together with 67 other migrant workers. Their employer, Denny’s Inc., appeared at the Supreme Court of B.C. today to settle a class action suit that the migrant workers launched in January 2011. Sales was the first to blow the whistle on the transnational corporation for not having paid his and other migrant workers’ airfare, overtime and recruitment agency fees and not being given their promised contract hours.


Torontos Urbanism Headlines: Friday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Rob Ford, Schools, TTC and Other News.

Newsstand: March 4, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
Bundle up this morning! Here’s hoping the “lion” part of March is short-lived. In the news: Ontario tuitions should rise by a little bit less this year; Toronto got a lot of development money; the city planner is on cyclists’ side; pothole repair is about to begin in earnest; and don’t hide in safes at parties.

How to make Toronto public transit sexy (Dave Meslin, Toronto Star)
To fix public transit in Toronto, we have to use creative techniques to convince people it’s a public good worth paying for.

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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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