Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 24, 2013


New Website to be Virtual Community Hub for Ottawa (Settlement AtWork)
The Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) launched its new Partnership Portal site. The Portal offers a platform for the OLIP Partners and stakeholders to share information on collaborative initiatives; events; successes; and various local developments linked with action on improving immigrants’ settlement and integration. OLIP is a community-wide collaborative initiative founded in 2009 by the City of Ottawa and Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI) with the goal of improving local capacity to attract, settle, and integrate immigrants.

First Annual Ottawa Immigration Forum (Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership)
On October 1, 2012, the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership hosted the first annual Ottawa Immigration Forum. The Forum took place in Ottawa, and theme was “Valuing and Leveraging Immigrant Contributions for Greater Prosperity, Vitality, and Inclusion.”

Citizenship application process blamed for growing wait list (CBC)
A rise in citizenship applications and a process some say has become too complicated have created a growing backlog of permanent residents awaiting word on whether they can become Canadian citizens. Close to 350,000 permanent residents are on the waiting list to become citizens, according to the latest Citizenship and Immigration Canada numbers from September 2012. By comparison, the waiting list was 189,886 in 2007.

Crackdown on immigration scams blamed for growing backlog of citizenship applications (Steve Mertl, Yahoo! News)
The Conservative government has trumpeted its 40-per-cent reduction in pending immigration applications but now we’re hearing those who do come here and want to become citizens are also facing a longer wait. CBC News reports almost 350,000 permanent residents of Canada are waiting to swear their oath of allegiance, according Citizenship and Immigration Canada statistics from last September. That compares with just under 190,000 in 2007, the year after the Conservatives took power.

Morgan Freeman to take part in Q&A at tribute to anti-racism efforts (Ottawa Citizen)
Actress Shirley Douglas and CBC Radio personality Jian Ghomeshi are among the Canadians celebrating U.S. actor Morgan Freeman. The Canadian celebs appear in a video promoting an upcoming tribute to the Oscar-winner for his efforts to combat racism. Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will bestow The Key of Knowledge Award at a gala May 6 in Toronto.

TCU Muslim group hopes event can promote harmony (Todd Unger,
The TCU Muslim Student Association and other Muslim groups are hoping an event scheduled for this week on campus to denounce radical Islam will also help foster a better understanding of the religion. U.S. officials have said both the suspects from the bombing at the Boston Marathon and a thwarted terror attack through Canada were motivated — at least in part — by radical Islam influences. The event on Thursday night aims to provide a better insight into the religion.

Worshippers at terrorist suspect’s mosque shocked (CTV)
Toronto Muslims were shocked to discover a terror suspect accused of plotting an attack on a Via Rail train in Canada worshipped at their mosque. Raed Jaser, one of two suspects arrested by the RCMP on Monday, attended a Masjid Al-Faisal in Scarborough five days a week to pray. “It’s a shock, actually,” worshipper Hidayat Gul told CTV Toronto. “It’s really a shock because you don’t expect a Muslim, a person from Islam — which means peace — to be doing those kind of things.”

Muslim groups thank police for foiling terror plot, denounce distortion of Islam (Montreal Gazette)
A national Muslim group and community leaders are thanking police for foiling an alleged terror plot against a Via Rail train. The plot had nothing to do with the Muslim community as a whole, said Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the Canadian version of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We would like to praise the law enforcement authorities involved for thwarting this alleged terror attack,” Gardee told a Parliament Hill news conference with local Muslim leaders.

Video: Muslims Denounce Plot (The Record)
A national Muslim group is denouncing the recent alleged plot to attack a Via Rail train and thanking police for their work. They say such plots are not in line with Islam nor the the Canadian Muslim community.–muslims-denounce-plot

How Toronto’s Muslim Community Uncovered the Would-Be Train Bombers (The Atlantic)
After last week’s deadly bombing in Boston, news that Toronto foiled its own terrorist attack might have come as a relief. A plot to blow up a rail line between Canada and the U.S. was thwarted on Monday, and Canadian police have arrested two suspects, Chiheb Esseghaier, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, of Toronto. But the most surprising part of the story might be how the suspects were discovered: They were turned in, reports say, by leaders of their own community.

Muslims Helped Foil Canada Terror Plot (Muneeb Nasir, OnIslam)
A tip-off from the Muslim community in Canada has led to the arrest of two men suspected of planning to carry out a terror attack on a transcontinental passenger train. “This is something that I hope all Canadians understand, that the Muslim community in Canada is a partner in making Canada more safe and secure,” Muslim leader Hussein Hamdani told on Tuesday, April 23. “And this arrest, but for the cooperation of the Muslim community, would not have happened.”

E-newsletter – Spring 2013 (CIC)
Budget funding will help ease rising temporary resident, citizenship streams
New Entrepreneur Visa Program in the Works
New Asylum System Up and Running
Transformational Change and Serving People
Canada to Start New Biometric Screening Program
New! Changes to CIC Manuals and Operational Bulletins
Applications Arriving for Skilled Trades Program
Teaching and Remembering the Holocaust
Historical Recognition Program Winding Up

Starbucks recognizes Gowlings with diversity award (Jennifer Brown, Canadian Lawyer Magazine)
Starbucks has named Gowling LaFleur Henderson LLP as the recipient of its International Excellence in Diversity Award for 2012 — the first Canadian firm to receive the award. Presented by the coffee company’s law and corporate affairs department, the distinction recognizes Gowlings for its efforts to enhance diversity and promote inclusion — both within the firm and across the legal profession. “In all categories, Gowlings consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to diversity,” said Lucy Lee Helm, Starbucks’ executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary in a statement. “In 2012, the firm’s percentage of women attorneys and partners was best in class among our international law firms. Their efforts are deeply impressive and demonstrate true leadership in enhancing diversity and creating critical opportunities for diverse legal professionals.”

Nanny in coma granted permanent resident status in hospital (Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star)
As Maricon Gerente lay unresponsive in an Oakville hospital bed, an array of IV and feeding tubes keeping her alive, two immigration officials unexpectedly entered the room. Gerente, the Filipino nanny who dreamed of obtaining her permanent residency and then bringing her two young daughters to Canada, had no idea the first part of her wish was about to come true. In a rare and possibly unprecedented move, Citizenship and Immigration dispatched two officers to Oakville-Trafalgar Hospital Tuesday, days after the Star published a story about her tragic circumstances.


Maytree Whither Evidence? (Alan Broadbent, Maytree)
When it was revealed last week that the federal government was ending its funding of the Health Council of Canada, there was outrage but little surprise. In the wake of other cutbacks to agencies which collect and share information, new such announcements have lost their shock value. The end of the long gun registry, the elimination of the long form census, the termination of the National Council of Welfare and its critical poverty reports, the non-renewal of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and the cutbacks in Statistics Canada reports all signal what is now clear: the federal government does not feel it has an important national role to collect and report data and information.

Confronting Inequality In Ontario With A Public Service Budget (Sheila Block, Wellesley Institute)
In yesterday’s speech, Finance Minister Sousa pledged to keep taxes at their current levels, and hold government spending growth to 1 percent. This was a profoundly disappointing announcement. There is no fiscal or economic reason for this policy stance and a different approach will have both economic and social benefits.

Provincial Budget (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Armine Yalnizyan. She is our business commentator on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Latest Media and Policy News: 23 April 2013 (ISAC)
Round up of news related to poverty and politics in Canada.


Dreaming of Diversity (HR Professional)
New Canadians have a lot to offer a workplace; now it’s just a case of making them feel welcome.

Foreign workers program must be temporary, aimed at high skills: Carney (Ottawa Business Journal)
The central banker told a Commons committee that even at the higher-skill levels, the program should only be used to fill gaps until employers have sufficient time to train Canadians to fill the work. Mr. Carney says a government review of the program is also looking at the same objectives. There are some shortages of some skilled trades, he says, but he also notes that Canada has one of the most flexible labour markets among advanced countries. If there is a shortage of workers to fill unskilled, low-paying jobs, he says it’s important that over a reasonable time the market and wages adjust rather than try to solve the problem by bringing in foreign workers.

Why BC’s Lower-wage Workers Are Struggling (Marjorie Griffin Cohen, David Fairey, The Tyee)
B.C. has acquired the dubious “distinction” of being home to Canada’s largest income gap, highest poverty rate, and second highest child poverty rate. It also has greater employment insecurity and lower hourly wages than the national average, even though B.C. is the province with the highest cost of living in Canada. How has this occurred in such a rich province, where many are clearly doing very well?

Defrauding immigrant workers lands ex-supervisor 12 months in jail (Sherri Zickefoose, Calgary Herald)
A former supervisor with building maintenance company Bee-Clean was sentenced to 12 months in jail for taking money from workers with false promises to bring their relatives into the country from China. Buu Buu Ly, 62, earlier pleaded guilty to defrauding three subordinate employees out of $38,200 by getting them to pay for 10 of their relatives to come work for the company. None of the relatives was ever brought to Canada or hired.

Migrant farm workers inhabit precarious working world (David Goutor, Toronto Star)
The uproar over RBC’s outsourcing scheme has put Canada’s temporary foreign worker program in the spotlight. RBC has issued apologies and promised to find jobs for the employees targeted for replacement, while Stephen Harper’s government is moving quickly to reform the system. But if politicians, business leaders and pundits want to get beyond instant analysis and quick fixes, and if they particularly want to know about life — and death — in one of these temporary foreign worker programs, a golden opportunity is waiting for them right now in Toronto. The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal is currently hearing an application on behalf of Ned Livingston Peart, a worker brought from Jamaica in the seasonal agricultural workers program (SAWP) who was killed on the job at an Ontario farm in 2002. Peart was crushed to death when a 450-kilogram metal bin fell on him. Peart’s family received conflicting information about how the accident happened, and the police report provided few satisfactory answers.


Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Monday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Earth Day, Transportation and Other News.

Maximum City
Maximum City believes that young people can be key contributors to the understanding and shaping of our urbanizing world. They have their eyes on the future, are creative risk takers, have fresh ideas, and are eager to join the conversation. Through the Maximum City program, students gain a specialized understanding of how things are built, planned, and governed in our city from a team of leading experts and teachers. They work side-by-side with these experts and contribute their own perspectives and ideas through hands-on lessons, authentic learning, modelling, charrettes, and field visits. The goal of the program is to formalize urban studies curricula at the high school level.

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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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