Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 2, 2013


Welcome to Canada: New guide for immigrants highlights the Queen, the military and acceptable marriages (Tobi Cohen, National Post)
The new guide for immigrants just arriving in Canada emphasizes the country’s relationship with the Queen of England, the role of the Canadian Forces and the marriage customs that newcomers should consider forbidden. Getty Images // Canadian Forces The federal government will unveil Tuesday a new guide for immigrants just arriving in Canada that emphasizes the country’s relationship with the Queen of England, the role of the Canadian Forces and the marriage customs that newcomers should consider forbidden. More than double the length of its predecessor, the 146-page Welcome to Canada booklet produced by Citizenship and Immigration Canada is chalk full of colour photos and personal testimonies, unlike the previous incarnation introduced in 2007.

Applications Now Open for Canada’s Startup-Visa Program (
Hello Entrepreneurs of the World, It may be April Fools Day but this is no joke. As of today, Canada is now accepting applications from the world’s brightest entrepreneurs for their new Startup Visa Program. If you are serious about pursuing your entrepreneurial dream in one of the greatest countries on earth, the time is now. The Startup Visa Pilot Program will run for 5 Years and applications will be limited.

New visa program aims to lure top foreign entrepreneurs (Globe and Mail)
A new federal program kicks off Monday aimed at luring foreign entrepreneurs to set up shop in Canada, but investors warn the competition for funds will be stiff against homegrown startups. The Startup Visa Program is designed to fast-track permanent residency for immigrant entrepreneurs who are able to secure funding from designated Canadian investors, as well as meet certain language and education criteria.

How two Haitian friends became Quebec mayors (Globe and Mail)
They’re a long way from the Haitian campus where they dreamed of life abroad at a time when their homeland was under Papa Doc’s despotic grip. Former schoolmates Ulrick Cherubin and Michel Adrien, however, could have never imagined how far the future would actually take them. Today, the men, who separately fled the Duvalier regime to Canada four decades ago, are popular mayors of their respective cities in a pocket of Quebec’s hinterland. The last time an outlying Quebec town made headlines on the subject of integrating minorities, it was Herouxville’s story of controversy and discord. The two cities of Amos and Mont-Laurier, communities of roughly 13,000 souls each, tell a different tale.

Immigrants choose Metro Vancouver’s ethnic enclaves for support network (Windsor Star)
If Rick Dhaliwal ever needs a helping hand, he can find it within 10 minutes of his home in Panorama Ridge: Surrey’s most concentrated South Asian enclave centred around Scott Road and Newton. Not only do Dhaliwal’s parents live there, but his siblings, extended family and a whole community of immigrants who are ready, willing and able to help each other out. The network is so extensive, Dhaliwal said, that nobody considers daycare for their children because there is always somebody to watch them. “You want to be close to your family and friends,” said Dhaliwal, 33, manager of Columbia Collision Repairs Ltd. on 132nd Street. “Our culture is at the Sikh temple; that’s where we meet and get together and talk. It makes it so much easier. My cousins will drop all their plans to take care of my kids.”

Germany tries warmer welcome for immigrants (Deutsche Welle)
The aim is that all groups of newcomers would benefit from the cultural shift, according to the president of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Manfred Schmidt. But in light of the lack of skilled workers in branches like the electronics industry or in IT, Germany is particularly aiming to make itself attractive to highly educated workers. Although immigration procedures in Germany have already been relaxed, there’s been no boom in new arrivals of skilled workers. According to the International Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD), five to 10 times as many workers are preferring relocation to countries like Australia, Denmark or Canada, rather than Germany.

Systemic Racism & Transgender Discrimination in the Canadian Justice System (whatshouldwecallfeminism)
Frequent portrayals of the downfalls of the Canadian justice system have recently come to light in popular culture. Indeed, overrepresentation of multiple identities is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. This intersectionality plays a major role, it appears, in sentencing. By this, I mean that one’s gender, race, or class can have drastic impacts on one’s treatment within the justice system. We’ve all heard or witnessed cases of a young black male who was treated brutally at the hands of the cops, purely because of his ‘suspicious’ identity. This appalling fact has been made more apparent by recent calls to address overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples and other people of colour in the Canadian justice system, as well as transgender discrimination in our jails.

Demographic data not black and white (Ricky Leong, Calgary Sun)
Our society’s long-running obsession with tracking language and ethnicity has always baffled me. Every five years, we tell federal census-takers about what languages we’re able to speak, what language we speak at home, what our mother tongue is, where our family tree can be traced back. I regret, however, how demographic data can be misconstrued, leading to news stories about people of non-white descent overrunning our cities, subtly implying Canadian identity is somehow being bent out of shape.

The joys and rigours of converting to another religion (Noor Javed, Toronto Star)
The diversity of the GTA and its influx of immigrants make it fertile ground for religious conversions.

From There to Here: Cameroon civil engineer living his dream (Debra Black, Toronto Star)
Desire Waffo has a dream of setting up his own civil engineering firm. Canada is helping make that dream come true.

Ralph Klein: Before he was a politician, he was a friend to Calgary’s Chinese community (Petti Fong, Toronto Star)
Western Canada Bureau Chief Petti Fong recalls her childhood memories of Ralph Klein, before he was mayor, as a regular customer of her parents’ grocery store in Calgary — a customer who became a close friend. Klein died Friday at 70.

Legal challenge fuels confusion over Chinese medicine crackdown (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Unlicensed Chinese medicine practitioners are urged to continue to practise after new regulation takes effect April 1 until court case settled.

Canada’s tough-guy cop to ‘aid’ world’s poor (Toby Leon Moorsom, Al Jazeera)
In recent years Canadian corporations have benefited from the myth of Canada being a kind and benevolent country. The Canadian government has supported this myth by propagating heroic immigrant narratives that overshadow genocidal policies toward native populations and ill-treatment of immigrants and refugees. Since the World Wars, our soldiers in foreign military adventures have been branded “peacekeepers”, despite their atrocious activities in Somalia and Afghanistan. Recent actions by the current Canadian government and Canadian corporations are, however, seriously undermining the country’s international reputation. Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto should itself be enough evidence of the utter disdain the country’s leadership has for the plight of the world’s poor.

Another embarrassing week in the House (SGNews)
On Tuesday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced to the House that his government had cut the immigration backlog by a third. He didn’t explain, though, that he’d done that by simply eliminating people from the list. As the NDP’s Jinny Simms said, Kenney “hit the delete button on close to 300,000 skilled workers applications… The fact is he has closed applications.” We’re a long way from the Canada where an honest person could come and carve out a life by working hard.


Canada planning for Syrian refugees, says Immigration Minister Jason Kenney (Stephanie Levitz, Metro News)
Government officials are bracing for the possibility Canada is asked to take in people fleeing the ongoing conflict in Syria, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Wednesday. But a large-scale resettlement program won’t resolve the growing refugee crisis, Kenney admitted. “We’re talking about millions of either convention refugees or non-registered de facto refugees or internally displaced persons in Syria,” Kenney said after announcing the expansion of a resettlement program for Bhutanese refugees.

Tamil questions that can’t be asked (Mark Steyn, Maclean’s)
The other day, one of the least soft-headed of Canadian columnists, Lorrie Goldstein, wrote a piece in the Toronto Sun called “Protest backlash unearths racism”: “Let’s not pretend that much of the condemnation of Tamils in Canada for protesting the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka isn’t racist. “Any journalist who’s been around knows what’s going on and we have an obligation to speak up.” I’ve been around. Well, okay, I’ve been nearby, as Mary Tyler Moore liked to say. And, insofar as I feel an obligation to speak up, it’s only to wonder at how far even the remarkably tensile concept of “racism” can be stretched.

A taste of home for a Ugandan refugee (Corey Mintz, Toronto Star)
Corey Mintz makes dinner for a homosexual Ugandan refugee who fled his homeland because gays are killed there.


Scrapping Welfare (Hugh Segal, LRC)
Imagine that you are a recently trained trauma nurse working in an emergency ward. A severely injured patient is wheeled in. You see the bleeding and want to stop it as colleagues do an assessment of the patient’s vital signs. However, you are prevented from proceeding. “Don’t you think we should find out what the patient’s nutrition standard has been over the years—and the kind of housing that person has?” one team member asks. “And what about the patient’s parents, work/life balance? How did the patient do in school?” says another. You are dumbfounded because you just want to stop the bleeding. What if there were 800 rules that defined whether you could or could not treat the bleeding first? And what if, when you asked why, the response was “Because you are spending public funds and that is the policy set by the government!” This would strike any thinking Canadian as absurd. Yet this is exactly how our governments address poverty.

Filling the Gap: Measuring Ontario’s Balance with the Federal Government (Noah Zon, Mowat Centre)
This Mowat Note examines the balance between what Ontarians pay to the federal government and the amount returned in services and transfers to Ontario and Ontarians. We find that based on the latest available figures, Ontarians transfer approximately $11B on net to the rest of Canada. This transfer is equivalent to 1.9% of the province’s GDP.

Income inequality: A matter of life and death (Andrew Jackson, Globe and Mail)
Most Canadians would agree that all citizens should be able to develop their individual talents and capacities and to meet at least their basic needs. We may differ on just how much economic inequality we are prepared to tolerate, but we generally agree on the importance of equalizing opportunities for all of us to live meaningful and healthy lives. There is probably no single better indicator of how we are doing as a society than life expectancy. This varies a lot among countries at different levels of development – and differs to a surprising degree among the rich advanced industrial countries.

Video: The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Jim Stanford: Is Austerity Harming Ontario? (The Agenda)
A recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report finds that austerity measures put in place by the Ontario government in 2012 have harmed the province. Is it time to reverse the trend? CCPA author and CAW economist Jim Stanford sits down with Steve Paikin.


“La Belle Saison” to Unionize (Geoffrey, Vendeville, The Link)
This could also prove to be a very significant year for migrant farm workers and support centres in Quebec in another respect. The latest turn in a complicated five-year legal battle over seasonal migrant farm workers’ right to unionize came on March 11, when the Quebec Superior Court upheld an earlier decision by the Commission des relations du travail, which effectively gives temporary workers on farms the right to form or join a union. The ruling nullifies a section of the Quebec Labour Code that had previously prevented workers on farms with fewer than three permanent employees from being able to unionize. The court’s judgment states that the contentious section of the Code represented a “significant hindrance on their [seasonal agricultural
workers’] ability to exercise their fundamental right of freedom of association.”


Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Monday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on TTC, Mayor Rob Ford and Other News.

Newsstand: April 2, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
OK! Blue Jays! Let’s! Play! Ball! In the news: Metrolinx will unveil it’s money-raising ideas; the Board of Trade unveils a new transportation-centric ad campaign; teachers could take weeks to ratify a new agreement; the Toronto Blue Jays open up their 2013 MLB season at home; and a local chef passes away suddenly.


Breaking ONCA news: Proclamation delayed, support for transition process and commitment to review amendments (ONN)
ONN is very pleased to announce immediate and significant developments on the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA) for Ontario’s nonprofit sector.

CRA develops new resources exploring political activity (Charity Village)
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has developed a series of pages on their website to help charities understand and comply with the requirements regarding political activities. These pages explain and highlight key elements from Policy Statement CPS-022, Political Activities. Generally speaking, the CRA will focus on whether a charity is operating exclusively for charitable purposes and devoting substantially all of its resources to charitable activities when assessing whether a charity has complied with the requirements of the Act. If a charity satisfies this obligation and continues to meet the various other regulatory requirements for registration, it is free to engage in non-partisan political activities in support of its charitable purposes.

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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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