Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 22, 2013


Hong Kong Chinese leaving Vancouver by the thousands (Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun)
The gap between ethnic Chinese from Hong Kong and those from mainland China seems to be widening. The different attitudes displayed by people from Hong Kong and more recent arrivals from mainland China contributes to the tension in the city of Richmond over the expansion of Chinese-language signs, according to a report in The South China Morning Post. At the same time, bilingual Hong Kong residents (who can often speak both Chinese and English) have almost stopped arriving altogether in Richmond and Metro Vancouver. Indeed, the newspaper suggests thousands of former Hong Kong residents per year now seem to be going home or elsewhere. By far the greatest proportion of ethnic Chinese arriving in Metro Vancouver now come from The Peoples Republic of China.

Peel launches Canada’s first Diversity Charter (
The Peel Diversity and Inclusion Charter was launched this morning by the Peel Newcomer Strategy Group and the Regional Diversity Roundtable at Boaden Banquet Hall in Mississauga. “This charter is collectively defining our region,” said event co-host and RDR chair Varsha Naik. The charter promotes inclusiveness and equal access to opportunity in Peel, one of the fastest-growing and most diverse regions in the country.–peel-launches-canada-s-first-diversity-charter&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAEoATAAOABA7YTLiwVIAlgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=LomsIDllZ1w&usg=AFQjCNFfO8lIUvvdkic4s-lrtzh_9l5kxQ

Canada calls for skills (Business Standard)
Ananda Aisola, a newly minted permanent resident of Canada, moved to the country from the United States as a college student, and chose to stay. He’s the kind of migrant Canada increasingly hopes to attract as it revamps its immigration policy. While the process is geared towards aligning the immigrant inflow with the country’s economic needs, it could confer Indian immigrants with advantages over those from other countries.

The startup visa: Why Canada made it a priority & why the U.S. should too (Boris Wertz, Venture Beat)
On Thursday, March 28, Canada announced that a new startup visa program would begin accepting applications. Governments can be notorious for slow change, especially in the eyes of entrepreneurs who move at an incredibly fast-pace. But Canadas federal government moved impressively quickly to implement this new visa, which is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs from all over the globe to call us home. What does the startup visa accomplish?

B.C. political leaders woo the ethnic vote at Sikh celebrations in Surrey (Global News)
Vancouver-area politicians added their banners to the sea of colours worn by the thousands of people who are celebrating the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi today. Political party hues of blue, red and green are out in full force on Surrey streets, yet orange is the predominant colour in the exuberant crowd. While many of the orange turbans worn by South Asians are a religious statement and not a political one, many among the crowd shouted support for the NDPs provincial and federal leaders when they saw Adrian Dix and Thomas Mulcair.

Videos to help newcomers settle in Canada (Prepare for Canada)
New immigrants can now access two new videos at to help them navigate their way before and during their first weeks in Canada, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced. By providing newcomers with practical advice and information before and as soon as they arrive, we can help them integrate more quickly into the Canadian economy and their new local community, said Minister Kenney. These videos complement the new Welcome to Canada guide and provide newcomers with a practical checklist of things to do as they prepare to come to Canada and as they settle.

Live-in caregivers coma leaves her daughters future in limbo (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
Working in Canada as a live-in caregiver since 2008, Gerente, the breadwinner for the girls and her siblings, has been waiting to get permanent resident status in Canada since 2011. She was so close to fulfilling her dream. Two days after she went into the coma, immigration officials tried to contact her for an interview regarding her application. Her passing will put Leans and Saniels future in limbo.

Filipino janitors await immigration decision as border officials investigate employer (CTV)
Two dozen Filipino janitors are awaiting a crucial decision from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that will determine whether they can stay in the country, even though they have done nothing wrong. The Canada Border Services Agency is investigating their employer, Mantolino Property Services Ltd., after a person connected to the company was arrested last week. Until today, the company had contracts with the Halifax Regional Municipality that included cleaning the mayors office.

Dozens rally in downtown Hamilton to protest deportation of local man’s wife (CBC)
About 100 people marched in front of the federal building in downtown Hamilton on Friday afternoon, demanding the Conservative government halt the deportation of Wafaa Abdou, an Egyptian-born woman who is married to a local man. The crowd, which included seniors, families, labour activists and students, shouted chants like Let Wafaa stay! Deport Harper! and Wafaa needs her family! while marching in a circle.

Canada to entertain only 5000 applications under Skilled Worker Programme (Punjab Newsline)
Canada has re-opened the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) allowing people enlisted in 24 occupations list released today. In a press statement issued here today, Col BS Sandhu, CMD, World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS) said the Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Kenney made thisannouncement today under which the maple country will start taking applications from the enlisted people from May 4 onwards. The Canadian governments focus is on specific occupations, which are experiencing labor shortages in Canada, to boost its economy. The country is now looking for immigrants who come skilled and can gelwith the work culture of country as soon as they arrive.

Canadian Soccer Association Okays Sikh players Wearing Turban But Racist Quebec Soccer Federation Continues To Ban Turbaned Players (The Link)
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO)which has been fighting the Sikh headgear battle with the Canadian Soccer Associations was elated to learn that Sikh players wearing turban would now be accommodated on the soccer pitch after Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) directed to soccer associations and referees across the country stop banning turbaned players. But the elation was short lived as Quebecs racist Soccer Federation said they will ignore the CSA directive and continue to ban turbaned players WSO said it was disappointed by the refusal of the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) to adopt a direction from the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) to allow Sikh players to wear turbans.

Ontario announces new funding for immigrants (Teresa Smith, Ottawa Citizen)
New immigrants settling in Ottawa will have more access to services designed to help them fit in and find a job in the country they now call home. Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi announced Friday that newcomers to the capital would be able to take advantage of provincially funded settlement services, which aim to help people who have been in the country for some time but might still need help with language or job skills development. As part of a two-year, $14.9-million provincewide program, three community organizations in the city centre will receive a total of $600,000 over the next two years, with the caveat that the money be used to support newcomers.

Cultural producers call for cancellation of Border Security in open letter (Craig Takeuchi,
As part of a campaign to cancel the TV series Border Security, an open letter of concern has been signed by over 100 artists, calling for the show to be cancelled. Among the names who have signed are author Naomi Klein; documentary filmmaker and TV host Avi Lewis; actor and playwright Marcus Yousef; filmmaker Velcrow Ripper; actors Margot Kidder, Nicola Cavendish, and Maggie Wheeler; My American Cousin director Sandy Wilson; film festival programmer and author Amber Dawn; and media producer Sid Tan.

The In-betweens (Mary Nga Nguyen, CN Mag)
If you live in Canada, chances are you have heard of the first and second immigrant generations. While the concepts of these generations are straightforward, recent literature has begun to create further categories such as the 1.5 and 2.5 generations. These generations are being called the in-betweens because they do not fit into the already existing generations. To be a 1.5 generationer you would have been born outside of Canada, and immigrated to Canada before the age of 15. A 2.5 generationer is an individual who was born in Canada with one non-Canadian born parent, and one Canadian born. These generations differ from the first and second generation because the 1.5 generation has a combination of the first generation experience, such as living in their native country then immigrating to a new country, and like the second generation experience, growing up with culture clashes. The 2.5 generation also differs because these individuals have the benefit of one Canadian parent as opposed to two migrant parents, and these individuals are often biracial children.

Edmonton Oiler surprised at Sikh hockey broadcasters (CBC)
A tweet from Edmonton Oiler Nail Yakupov is causing some controversy among the city’s Sikhs after the right winger professed surprise at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast in Punjabi. Shortly before he hit the ice for practice Sunday morning, the player tweeted a message in Russian that translates roughly as “How can this be?” or How can this happen? Attached to the tweet was a picture of the hosts from CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi, which broadcasts two games every Saturday with commentary in the Punjabi language.

2011 National Household Survey (NHS) Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada (Statistics Canada)
Information to be released May 8, 2013
Immigration and Citizenship
Place of birth and Place of birth of parents (generation status)
Ethnic origin (ancestry)
Visible minority groups
Aboriginal peoples (please refer to the Concept Brief: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit)

Calgary chief awaits new law to deport criminals faster (Katie Schneider, Sun News)
The city’s police chief is applauding a move by Canada’s immigration minister to deport criminals faster with a new law expected to be passed this spring. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, likely to become law this spring, will address lengthy delays that are causing criminals ordered deported to remain detained on the taxpayers’ dime. They include 11 criminals ordered deported, some several years ago, still in custody in Calgary. The new law would remove a right of appeal for criminals with a sentence of six months or more.


Iraqi refugees finally beat the odds (Michael Swan, Catholic Register)
The Meera family have endured two wars, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution and a lot of bureaucracy, but with the help of a Catholic parish in Brampton, Ont., the six Iraqi Christian refugees have fought their way into Canada. The Meeras arrived at Pearson International Airport April 8 after seven years living as refugees in the poor Jermannya neighbourhood in Damascus, Syria. The big surprise waiting for them at the airport was a noisy, excited welcoming delegation from St. Anthony of Padua parish, the Meeras sponsors. We never thought there would be that love, that support, said the Meera patriarch, 57-year-old Habeeb Meera. The Meeras beat the odds over and over on their way to Canada.

Removals to Libya have re-started (Stewart Sharma Harsanyi Immigration Blog)
CBSA advises that they have lifted the Administrative Deferral of Removals to Libya, imposed in February 2011: “please be advised the CBSA has reviewed the situation and has determined that removals can resume. This is to inform you that the ADR to Libya is lifted effective immediately.”

Country Reports on Human Rights Practice (Forced Migration Current Awareness blog)
A service highlighting web research and information relating to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other forced migrants; provided by Elisa Mason.

Improving access to healthcare for newly arrived refugees – PDF (Josephine McMurray, Katherine Breward, Michael Breward, Rob Alder and Neil Arya, CERIS)
Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) often arrive in Canada after long periods spent in refugee camps around the world. This can lead to complex health issues. Despite this, refugees experience further barriers when accessing healthcare in Canada due to language difficulties, limited knowledge of local doctors about exotic diseases, and refusals from clinics to accept these patients because of confusion regarding federal billing procedures. The Centre for Family Medicine Refugee Health Clinic (RHC) in Kitchener was established in 2008, partnering with the Reception Centre, in an effort to improve access for refugees in an under-serviced Ontario community. It aims to provide newly arrived refugees with access to timely, high quality, and appropriate health care services.


Canadian Social Research Newsletter : April 21, 2013 (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Two videos : guaranteed annual income and working poor (Senator Hugh Segal, John Stapleton and Michael Menezes) – February 28, 2013
2. More thoughts on Ontario social assistance caseloads (Open Policy – John Stapleton) – April 2013
3. Forty-Seven Submissions to the Parliamentary Committee Study of Income Inequality – April 2013
4. 2013 Call for Nominations for 3M Health Leadership Award (Health Nexus) – April 18
5. Manitoba Budget 2013 – April 16
6. Income, Wealth, and Inequality : report / fact sheets (Citizens for Public Justice) – April 15
7. Parliament losing power to keep tabs on government: Tory MP Michael Chong ( – April 15
8. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— The Consumer Price Index for March 2013 – April 19
— General Social Survey on Families, 2011 – April 19
— Employment Insurance, February 2013 – April 18
— Study: Productivity and Economic Growth in the Canadian Provinces, 1997 to 2010 – April 17
— Job vacancies, three-month average ending in January 2013 – April 16
9. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Harper gradually tightening screws on government, advisor says (Toronto Star)
Perhaps the most significant act of the Harper government is being conducted so slowly, steadily, and silently that it has raised barely a whisper of public debate. After three Conservative budgets, the Government of Canada has been made financially incapable of offering costly new social programs or significant tax cuts for the foreseeable future. Remember the national day-care plan the Liberals talked about when the country was awash in $13-billion annual surpluses? Or the Kelowna treaty to deal with aboriginal poverty? Those surpluses are now almost gone.

Dim or brighter prospects for welfare reform? (Joe Fiorito, Toronto Star)
Ted McMeekin is not a flashy man; he was, at one time, the minister of agriculture in Ontario. But he has a pretty good understanding of social issues, and he is a committed volunteer, and now he is the minister of community and social services. It is in this latter capacity that he came to make some closing remarks at a recent conference on welfare reform, held in Oakville. McMeekin took the podium to a smattering of polite applause, but before he had a chance to say how happy he was to be there, someone in the audience yelled at him: Reject austerity. He was taken aback.


York Region 2012 Toronto Star Award for Excellence in Workplace Integration (TRIEC)
The Regional Municipality of York wanted to be inclusive to all applicants, including skilled immigrants who possess foreign credentials and experience. Not able to find a tool elsewhere to help them, the Region developed one of its own.

How to curb precarious employment (Susan McIsaac and Matthew Mendelsohn, Toronto Star)
There has been a growth in precarious work in Ontario in the past decade. This affects us all. Beyond the anxiety itself that comes with vulnerable work, many in the labour market do not have the same social and legal protections and security that other workers enjoy. This needs to change. Precarious employment is now found in all sectors of our economy and in every occupation. According to recent reports by United Way Toronto with McMaster University and the Law Commission of Ontario, barely half of us have stable jobs with benefits and security. Perhaps most surprising, insecure jobs have crept into middle- and high-income groups that were previously immune to this type of employment.

CFIB head defends foreign-worker program (Dan Kelly, Globe and Mail)
It seems fairly clear that what happened at RBC has much more to do with outsourcing jobs overseas than it does with the TFW program, which brings in foreign workers for jobs in Canada. Canadians who dont like the idea of a profitable bank outsourcing jobs overseas have every right to comment, but lets at least stick to the issue at play: outsourcing jobs overseas. What has happened instead is that unions and others have twisted the issue into an attack on Canadian small-business owners that bring in TFWs to fill desperately needed entry-level, semi-skilled and trades positions in Canada. What is most frustrating is that small employers who are doing everything right may get caught in the crossfire of heavier regulations, more fees and further delays. The fact is, small businesses particularly in low-unemployment, higher-wage areas of western Canada rely on the TFW program to fill jobs many Canadians, for whatever reasons, dont seem to want to do. Its not that they are bad jobs, and lots of Canadians do them. Its simply that there arent enough Canadians to fill them.

Stop importing temporary workers into Canada (Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star)
Canada limited the use of temporary workers. Seasonal farm workers come from Latin America or the Caribbean and go back home, mostly under the supervision of their sponsor. Foreign nannies come on contract but, unlike the fruit and vegetable pickers, are allowed to apply for and get landed immigrant status. Now Canada is flooded with temporary workers 338,189 as of December 2012. In fact, there may be more. Ottawa has no way of knowing how many stayed behind at the end of their temporary visas. Canada has no exit controls. They were all brought in ostensibly because of extensive skilled labour shortages.

Immigration Minister calls for tighter rules, higher standards for foreign workers (Katie Schneider,
By admitting too many foreign workers who cant meet Canadian standards, the government has been part of an underemployment problem, says the federal immigration minister. But in launching new reforms to what has become a dysfunctional system, Jason Kenney says help is on the way.

Foreign workers and federal priorities (Lana Payne, The Telegram)
It is a program that is rife with abuse. Its rules are regularly broken. And it was designed that way; legalized exploitation. No one should be surprised that Canadas temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) has been used and abused by employers to suppress the wages of Canadians. After all, the rules actually allow employers to pay migrant workers 15 per cent less than prevailing wage rates. No one should be surprised that migrant workers are often afraid to speak out if their workplace rights are violated. Speaking out has drastic consequences for them, a return-trip home and lost wages for them and their families. This power dynamic makes them susceptible to all kinds of worker rights violations.

RBC slammed for migrant workers (Hermione Wilson, Humber Etc)
The Royal Bank of Canada came under heavy criticism after laying off 45 Canadian workers and then forcing them to train their replacements. We think that what RBC has done is insensitive [and] unjust, said Dennis Gruending, media relations coordinator for the Canadian Labour Congress. While the Royal Bank subsequently apologized and said it would review its practices, Gruending said over the last few years, the federal government has opened up the temporary foreign worker program, making it easier for employers to bring in labour from overseas. One human rights lawyer said foreign workers are paid considerably less to do the same job than a Canadian would be.

Another Step Forward For Rights Of Quebec Agriculture Workers (UFCW Canada)
In the wake of a historic victory at the Quebec Superior Court, UFCW Canada Local 501 has welcomed the announcement by the Quebec government that it will not appeal the March 11, 2013 decision. The legal fight, to uphold the rights of seasonal agriculture workers to unionize, was commenced almost five years ago. The successful outcome, and the governments decision not to appeal, means that seasonal agricultural workers in Quebec will have the same rights to unionize as all other workers in Quebec. In its ruling, the Superior Court gave the Quebec government twelve months to amend its legislation to conform to the courts March 2013 decision.

Online dating? Nope, its online mentoringand its going global (Shawn Mintz)
A sneak peek of our upcoming announcement. A growing number of people are posting their profiles online, browsing candidates and making connectionsbut theyre looking not for mates, but for mentors. MentorCitys online mentor-matching site connects mentees with a mentor and guides them through the mentoring process. My mentors advice was extremely helpful, and something I couldnt have come up with on my own, says Harpreet Sahota a 3rd year university student, who found her first career mentor on

Ottawa cracks down on employers who abuse program for foreign workers (Bill Curry, Globe and Mail)
The federal government will enact new regulations this summer to give officials the power to inspect and penalize Canadian employers who misuse the temporary foreign worker program. The regulations are separate from changes to the foreign-worker program promised in the March budget. The new rules will update an existing enforcement regime that was launched in April, 2011, after a critical 2009 report on the program from the Auditor-General. The 2011 changes centred around a Citizenship and Immigration Canada website that promised to publicly list all employers who have been banned from the program for failing to offer foreign workers substantially the same wages, working conditions and employment they originally promised. More than two years later, however, not a single employer has been listed on the site.

Where Canada Stands in the Global Race for Talent (Jonathan Stoller, The Globe and Mail)
When Debarshi Nandy moved to Toronto from Calcutta, India, in 2004, he saw Canada as an ideal place to pursue the kind of career that his talents afforded. I wanted to live in Toronto. Its a diverse, multicultural city, he says. With a PhD in finance from Boston College and fluency in English, the 40-year-old is the kind of job candidate that many nations are trying to attract. Countries are looking at what others are doing, says John Shields, professor in the department of politics and public administration at Ryerson University in Toronto. Theres definitely a trend among [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries in terms of competition for immigrants.


CivicAction turns up heat on area politicians over transit funding (CivicAction)
The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance turned up the heat on Toronto and area politicians, calling on them to show their public support for new transit revenue tools during a forum Wednesday, April 17. At a forum organized by the regional advocacy group, CivicActions chair John Tory and CEO Mitzie Hunter unveiled a pledge for supporting dedicated revenue tools a suite of new fees and taxes Metrolinx is researching to pay for future transit. Hunter said the pledge would be sent to every politician in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

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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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