Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 30, 2013

IMMIGRATION AND DIVERSITY

Languages Canada and Nova Scotia’s Accredited Language Schools Welcome New Legislation that Protects International Students (Languages Canada)
The Government of the Province of Nova Scotia is the first provincial government to act to regulate language schools. The Languages Schools Act, introduced on April 23, by Labour and Advanced Education Minister Frank Corbett, requires Nova Scotia’s language schools to offer a quality education to students and protect their investment if a school closes. Nova Scotia’s accredited language schools and their accrediting body, Languages Canada, welcome the legislation which creates the pathway to the designation required under changes to the International Student Program proposed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
http://www.languagescanada.ca/en/news/languages-canada-and-nova-scotia%E2%80%99s-accredited-language-schools-welcome-new-legislation-protects

Ethnic diversity, in Richmond but also across Canada: The truth can set us free (Albert Lo and Rubin Friedman, Vancouver Sun)
The recent controversy over languages on signs in Richmond B.C., when a 1,000 signature petition was submitted to ensure that 70 per cent of signs were in English and/or French in the municipality was seemingly ended when city council decided not to deal with the issue. It is clear, however, from followup articles and letters to the editor that a number of tensions continue to simmer below the surface and continue to be connected, in particular, to the use of Chinese. We need to look closely at how these tensions can be addressed without compounding them.
http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/story.html?id=8311429

Agency withdraws casting call for CBC show that specified ‘any race except Caucasian’ (Adrian Humphreys, National Post)
A casting call to hire a new CBC host that specifically said white people need not apply has been withdrawn, with the casting agent offering apologies for the mistake. The original ad for the host of a children’s show, posted on the casting agency’s website under a CBC logo and on Craigslist, said: “Please only submit [an audition tape] if you match the following criteria: Male between the ages of 23-35 years; Any race except Caucasian.” A new version of the ad removes the race reference, but maintains the sex and age restrictions and that applicants “must be able to carry a tune,” “ability to dance or move well is a bonus,” and should be “not afraid to show a silly side,” among others.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/04/29/cbc-no-caucasian/&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABAsL78iwVIAlAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=xZRwmRf4qV8&usg=AFQjCNF5CzRe0beCIw9aXALdRAk72eQ47Q

Intricacies of the law discussed at Rexdale Womens’ Centre conference (Cynthia Reason, Inside Toronto)
In recognition of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, nearly 150 Etobicoke residents attended the Rexdale Women’s Centre’s Making a Difference Conference – Understanding the Canadian Legal System last week. The all-day conference featured a panel of experts who spoke to all different facets of the law – immigration lawyer Matthew Jeffrey spoke about the recently changed rules around refugee claims, Rexdale Community Legal Clinic’s Alrica Gordon discussed the rights of tenants, and Const. Ryan Willmer of 23 Division talked about Crime Stoppers and the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), among others.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEUc8uKCaOeyLDOy9um4wLeihDVmQ&url=http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/2544275-intricacies-of-the-law-discussed-at-rexdale-womens-centre-conference/

Early Bird Tickets Are On Sale Now (Innoversity Summit 2013)
The 2013 Innoversity Creative Summit is your pass to network with media leaders and content creators, learn about diversity management from world-class organizations, pitch creative ideas and connect with others in your field.
http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c100cc5ab211c30502a5c87d9&id=2d07ede3dc

A Punjabi Broadcast Draws In New Hockey Fans (New York Times)
Harnarayan Singh and Bhola Chauhan sat at a desk in the CBC’s studio here last month, watching the first period of a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets on two televisions. Wearing a pinstriped suit with gold cuff links, a blue and white tie and a matching turban, Singh, a play-by-play announcer, called the end-to-end action in an animated stream of Punjabi, punctuated with English words like “linesman,” “icing” and “face-off.”
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/sports/hockey/chak-de-goal-a-punjabi-show-draws-new-hockey-fans.xml

Midwives support Toronto Board of Health Report, Medically Uninsured Residents in Toronto (Ontario Midwives)
Although many of us are unaware of it, Toronto is home to the largest number of “undocumented” people in Canada – people who live and work in the city without valid visas or approved refugee claims. Without access to OHIP, undocumented and uninsured people generally pay out of pocket to access health care, if they can. If they can’t, they suffer, and some even die because of their inability to access care. Midwives are provincially funded to provide care to residents in Ontario, including uninsured and undocumented women. We have seen first-hand the struggles and vulnerabilities of women who, for whatever reason, are undocumented. And we believe strongly that everyone should have access to health care. In fact, prenatal care is recognized as one of the most cost-effective strategies in health care as a whole. Adequate prenatal care leads to healthier babies and less expense on the health care system in the long run.
http://www.ontariomidwives.ca/blog/page/midwives-support-toronto-board-of-health-report-medically-uninsured-residen

Khalsa Day Takes Over the Downtown Core (Torontoist)
Sikhs from across Southern Ontario gathered downtown on Sunday to celebrate the twin holidays of Vaisakhi and Khalsa Day. The celebrations included a parade (called a Nagar Kirtan) from the CNE to Nathan Phillips Square, as well as a massive feast (in the square) with food donated by Sikh places of worship across the province. Vaisakhi is a harvest festival, celebrated by people of all faiths across the northern half of the Indian subcontinent. It was on Vaisakhi in 1699 that the final guru of Sikhism, Guru Gobind Singh, revealed the Khalsa, or code of conduct, for practicing Sikhs. Khalsa Day marks the anniversary of that event.
http://feeds.gothamistllc.com/click.phdo?i=c1271aa98093b0eed3cbaca7e4f92507

Video: Diversity in Canada (Adobe Youth Voices)
This film was made by students from Oaxaca, Mexico and Ottawa, Canada during an AYV visit to Ottawa, Canada. The students saw that their film-making group was incredibly diverse and represented seven countries among the seven team members. This inspired them to create a film which represented the diversity they saw in their group and reflected the diversity of Canada as a whole. The students profile the diversity of their group while explain why people came and come to Canada, and what they achieve there. The highlight of the film is that the students realise that Canadian people from all cultures come together in peace and work together to create a multicultural and happy environment in which to live.
http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-youth-voices/diversity-in-canada/

Nova Scotia Looking to Increase Immigration to Province (CICS News)
Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s Maritime provinces, is seeking to increase the number of skilled immigrants that settle in the province, according to a new provincial strategy announced earlier this year. The Maritimes region of Canada, which includes Nova Scotia, has suffered from chronic economic malaise over the last two decades, with the highest unemployment rates, the fastest aging population, and the lowest population growth rates of any region in the country.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEtThdyGnmoCnZLOOeCmqGL3h6voA&url=http://www.cicsnews.com/?p%3D3802

Indo-Canadian man alleges racism at club (Busines Standard)
An Indo-Canadian man has alleged that he was denied entry to a graduation party in a Vancouver club purely on the basis of his skin colour. Manjinder Gill claimed before a human rights tribunal that he and a group accompanying him were denied entry to Langley Shark Club Dec 9, 2011, after they arrived 15 minutes late for the 9 p.m. party even as Caucasians were allowed to go in in front of them, The Province newspaper of Vancouver reported Monday. According to Gill, he and his friends were told by a bouncer at the club that the club was full even as they saw Caucasians being let in.
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/indo-canadian-man-alleges-racism-at-club-113043000253_1.html

REFUGEES

Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months in military prison after deportation by Harper government (nlgmltf.org)
On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonourable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada. Under the terms of a pre-trial agreement, she will serve 10 months of that sentence.
http://nlgmltf.org/library/iraq-war-resister-kimberly-rivera-sentenced-to-14-months-in-military-prison-after-deportation-by-harper-government/

University of Ottawa Refugee Assistance Project (UORAP) Training Workshop (Settlement AtWork)
The University of Ottawa Refugee Assistance Project (UORAP) invites you to register for our upcoming training workshop on Tuesday, May 14th, 2013. This workshop will be held at Falconer Hall, University of Toronto Law School (on Queen’s Park Crescent, right next to the Museum subway station: map). The purpose of this training is to assist you as a community worker to help refugee claimants prepare for their refugee hearing. UORAP’s materials and training can help you to understand a refugee’s claim and what evidence is needed to prove it; to help claimants gather evidence and submit it to the Immigration and Refugee Board; and to give claimants information about their refugee hearing.
http://www.settlementatwork.org/_event_/98344

Time to expand paralegal rights? (Yamri Taddese, Law Times)
Lawyer Raoul Boulakia, a member of the executive of the Refugee Lawyers Association, says it’s “disturbing” that the law society would consider a motion like this one. “It really trivializes what we do,” says Boulakia. “Having refugees represented at the refugee board or the Refugee Appeal Division by non-lawyers is very risky for the refugee claimants. It basically means they’re being represented by someone who is not going to be able to assert their procedural rights or even many of the legal concepts.” Asked if any training could equip paralegals to practise immigration law, Boulakia replies: “Yeah, that would be law school.”
http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201304299783/Headline-News/Time-to-expand-paralegal-rights

Refugee health care cuts worry Calgary doctor (CBC)
There is growing concern that refugees in Alberta aren’t getting the healthcare they need since the federal government scaled back their entitlements last June. A physician in Calgary said the reduced coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) is leading to confusion and outright denial of care.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2013/04/29/calgary-refugee-health-concerns.html

Statelessness isn’t a new problem (Ottawa Citizen)
Immigration minister Jason Kenney expressed shock recently at the fact that Raed Jaser, one of the accused in the rail bombing plot, managed to remain in Canada despite his criminal convictions. But Jaser’s case is not that unusual. Canada, like other countries, has long had difficulty deporting stateless people. The problem isn’t kicking out people deemed inadmissible for whatever reason. The problem is that some other country has to admit them. Many of the world’s stateless people are, like Jaser, of Palestinian origin (although he was born in the United Arab Emirates).
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/touch/story.html?id=8310597

POVERTY / HEALTH / HOMELESSNESS / SOCIAL INCLUSION / POLICY

The Real Harper Agenda (demarchy.ca)
Every time someone tells you that the Harper government’s big plan is to muzzle scientists, or suppress watchdogs, gut environmental assessments, to axe oversight bodies or defund opponents — they’re all wrong. Dead wrong. This is the debate that Harper loves. Harper does all those things, sure, and they’re often objectionable, but they’re not the grand scheme. They’re the actions with the worst optics, especially for those on the left of the spectrum — silencing scientists is bad for climate change, fighting watchdogs means you’re guilty, cutting off divergent groups is worrying for freedom of speech. But those actions are usually the ones with the least relevance or the easily constructed counter-narratives, especially for those economic-minded or right-leaning voters — scientists work for the government and shouldn’t be doing press junkets, watchdogs should mind the books not feed the opposition, hippy-dippy NGOs shouldn’t be getting taxdollars. Few have gotten to the heart of the Harper agenda — death by a thousand cuts.
http://demarchy.ca/post/49244101415/the-real-harper-agenda

The People’s Budget (OFL)
I am writing to encourage your government to adopt the recommendations contained in the People’s Budget: Towards a Fair Ontario. This paper, released on April 15th by the Ontario Federation of Labour, is the culmination of an extensive public consultation process that included meetings in 9 communities and submissions by more than 135 Ontarians. As your government prepares to set policy priorities and make important funding decisions with the release of the 2013 Ontario Budget, I urge you to consider the negative impacts of recent fiscal choices on the province’s economy, and particularly our most vulnerable citizens.
http://ow.ly/ky7Lg

“Streaming” (CBC Metro Morning)
Matt Galloway spoke with Annie Kidder. She is the executive director of the research and advocacy group .
http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/episodes/2013/04/29/streaming-1/

Ontario must stop educators from limiting low-income students’ options: Editorial (Annie Kidder)
Not everyone will grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, or even attend university, but all students deserve the opportunity to excel at their highest possible level. As wise educators know, students thrive when adults believe in their potential. And that’s why a new report by the advocacy group People for Education is so troubling. As the Star’s Kristin Rushowy reports, it shows that teens from low-income homes are being sent into the non-academic credit programs when they enter high school, limiting their options for post-secondary education. It’s a shame to restrict kids so early in life.
http://bit.ly/12OmgxJ

Housing policy in three city blocks (Joy Connelly, Opening the Window)
What are the policy solutions that could keep downtown Toronto affordable for the next generation? That’s the topic of my Jane’s Walk, Where will the next generation live?” It’s a two-hour tour along the street I live on, and a couple of others – ordinary, working class streets that are rapidly becoming unaffordable to anyone making less than $100,000 a year.
http://openingthewindow.com/2013/04/29/housing-policy-in-three-city-blocks

Jobs and Opportunity for Youth (Gov of Ontario News)
The new Ontario government launched its comprehensive Youth Jobs Strategy, which would help more young people find jobs and make sure employers can hire the skilled workers they need to thrive in today’s economy. A highly skilled and adaptable workforce is critical to Ontario’s continued economic success.
http://t.co/XL1ziwp96D

Housing And Homelessness In Ontario’s Budget: 5 Things To Look For (Michael Shapcott, Wellesley Institute)
The Ontario government has an opportunity in its next provincial budget to make a substantial down payment on a much-needed provincial affordable housing plan. Housing and homelessness experts will be looking for programs in at least five key policy areas in the May 2nd provincial budget.
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/housing/housing-and-homelessness-in-ontarios-budget-5-things-to-look-for/#.UX6W895F850.twitter

Silencing Voices and Dissent in Canada (CIVICUS)
In the past six years, civil society in Canada has witnessed a broad and deep decline in the space afforded to organisations working on the progressive side of the policy agenda. Since 2010, Voices-Voix, a Canadian civil society organisation (CSO) coalition has been documenting this phenomenon, and has published one hundred case studies, about half of which are about civil society organisations, activists and human rights defenders.
http://socs.civicus.org/?p=3825

Open letter: Thou shalt not commit sociology (or critical thinking of any kind) (Straight.com)
The anti-intellectualism of Stephen Harper demands a reply. In face of global capitalism’s mounting crisis, critical interrogation of social phenomena, causes and consequences is urgently needed. We invite Canadians to ‘commit sociology’ and indeed ‘history’, ‘literary criticism’, ‘philosophy’, ‘political science’, ‘anthropology’, ‘critical legal studies,’ ‘political economy’, and ‘feminist studies’.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEQVjNPpEg3NJD7yUyza19gXqD6Sg&url=http://www.straight.com/news/376826/open-letter-thou-shalt-not-commit-sociology-or-critical-thinking-any-kind

Use the tax system to fight poverty (Ed Broadbent, National Post)
Canada has an inequality problem. Middle-class incomes have stagnated and poverty has risen as the income share of the top 1% has risen dramatically. How much inequality we are prepared to tolerate is a matter of political choice. Some countries have done better than others, and Canada has not performed well. Tuesday is the deadline for filing our personal income tax returns. As millions of Canadians sit at their computers and at their kitchen tables working to remit their paperwork, it’s an appropriate moment to consider how changes to our tax and income transfer system could move us to a more equal Canada.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/04/30/broadbent/

EMPLOYMENT & WORKERS

Harper Government announces reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Ensuring Canadians have first chance at available jobs (Gov of Canada News)
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today announced reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). “Canadais experiencing significant skills shortages in many sectors and regions, and Canadians must always have first crack at job opportunities when they become available,” said Minister Finley. “The purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is to help fill genuine and acute labour needs and we have been reviewing the program to ensure that goal is met and Canadian workers are never displaced.”
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do;jsessionid=ac1b105430d88e41fa4fd2144da9910dabfc9bded675.e34Rc3iMbx8Oai0Tbx0SaxmSbxz0?crtr.sj1D=&crtr.mnthndVl=1&mthd=advSrch&crtr.dpt1D=420&nid=736729&crtr.lc1D=&crtr.tp1D=1&crtr.yrStrtVl=2008&crtr.kw=&crtr.dyStrtVl=26&crtr.aud1D=&crtr.mnthStrtVl=2&crtr.page=1&crtr.yrndVl=2015&crtr.dyndVl=4

From Last Resort to First Choice: How the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is flooding the market, not filling a need (Alberta Federation of Labour)
During the recession, Alberta lost tens of thousands of jobs. Yet, we brought in tens of thousands of Temporary Foreign Workers.
In 2011, the economy recovered and began creating jobs. But there was a Temporary Foreign Worker present in Alberta for three of every four jobs created.
http://www.afl.org/index.php/Press-Release/temporary-foreign-workers.html
http://www.afl.org/index.php/Download-document/847-Temporary-Foreign-Workers.html (PDF)

Foreign worker program gets new rules, higher fees (CBC)
The federal government is making it more difficult and more expensive for companies to turn to foreign workers to fill job vacancies in Canada. A number of changes to the temporary foreign worker program were announced Monday by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The program is jointly managed by his department and by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

(Note: page includes full video of yesterday’s announcement)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/04/29/pol-temp-foreign-workers-changes.html

It’ll take more than window-dressing to fix the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Jim Standord, rabble)
Labour advocates and immigration agencies have warned for years about deep flaws in Canada’s rapidly growing migrant labour program. Employers enjoyed wide leeway to tap desperate pools of foreign labour to fill Canadian jobs, paying below-market wages and accessing a more vulnerable, compliant workforce. The resulting surge of guest workers (who must leave Canada when their jobs end) gobbled up a substantial portion of the few new jobs being created in Canada’s labour market. In fact, over one in five net new jobs created in the entire economy from 2007 through 2012 went to one of these temporary foreign workers. And employers, not surprisingly, wanted more; so Ottawa expanded the program with new measures (buried deep in last year’s omnibus budget bill) making it even easier and cheaper to bring in lower-priced foreign help. Indeed, the program spawned a new and odious cottage industry of migrant brokers: middlemen with a vested interest in promoting temporary foreigners instead of Canadians.
http://rabble.ca/columnists/2013/04/itll-take-more-window-dressing-to-fix-temporary-foreign-worker-program

Conservatives crack down on abuses of foreign worker program (Les Whittington and Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star)
The federal government is overhauling the much-criticized Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in an attempt to keep Canadian companies from abusing the plan by favouring foreign employees over Canadians and paying them less than workers here. “These reforms will require that greater efforts be made to recruit and train Canadians to fill available jobs,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said. “They will also help ensure the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is only used as intended — to fill acute skills shortages on a temporary basis.”
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/04/29/conservative_government_reverses_course_on_temporary_foreign_worker_program_after_public_outcry.html

Foreign worker program changes include higher fees (CBC)
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney defended the temporary foreign worker program as he unveiled changes to it Monday that include imposing a new fee on employers who want to bring workers in from outside Canada. The amount of the fee is yet to be determined, Kenney said at a news conference in Ottawa.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/04/29/pol-temp-foreign-workers-changes.html

Federal government will close wage gap for temporary foreign workers (Tobi Cohen, Canada.com)
Changes to the ailing temporary foreign worker program unveiled Monday are little more than an admission of error and fall short of the massive overhaul the Conservative government promised, critics say. The federal government announced it was dropping the confusing and seldom used 15-per-cent wage differential for foreign workers introduced in the last budget and temporarily suspending a controversial fast-track process brought in a year ago as a means of improving the program. Effective immediately, employers will have to pay temporary foreign workers the prevailing regional wage average Canadian workers doing the same job earn because a plan to build in flexibility to account for experience and performance didn’t work.
http://www.canada.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=8309978

Federal government will close wage gap for temporary foreign workers (Tobi Cohen, Edmonton Journal)
The federal government says it will drop the 15-per-cent wage differential for foreign workers introduced in the last budget and temporarily suspend a controversial fast-track process in a bid to fix Canada’s ailing temporary foreign worker program. Effective immediately, employers will have to pay temporary foreign workers at the same level as Canadian workers doing comparable work. The Accelerated Labour Market Opinion process introduced last year to speed up the issuing of work permits was meant to better meet labour market demand in high skilled fields. Now, that will also be suspended pending a review of the program to make sure it’s not been used to fill low-skill service jobs at, for example, Tim Hortons.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNEOX_86YGhL89m_mkEL_P5WOz7cLg&url=http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/national/Federal%2Bgovernment%2Bwill%2Bclose%2Bwage%2Btemporary%2Bforeign/8311745/story.html

Employers fume as Ottawa tightens foreign worker rules (Globe and Mail)
The federal government has reversed course on its temporary foreign worker program, upsetting business groups – and Alberta – with measures to make it tougher, and less economically attractive, to import short-term labour. Calling it the biggest change to the program in over a decade, Ottawa announced several measures aimed at addressing criticism that the program is suppressing wages and allows employers to skip over Canadians in favour of foreign workers. But labour groups say the changes don’t go far enough.
http://m.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/employers-fume-as-ottawa-tightens-foreign-worker-rules/article11622324/?service=mobile

Hiring foreign workers: Royal Bank of Canada and beyond (Times of India)
A huge hue and cry is being raised in Canada these days, on the issue of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) hiring foreign workers to replace Canadian workers in highly skilled jobs. Reams of paper and computer server memories have been filled with comments from angry ‘locals’ about their threat to boycott the RBC, about the jobs being lost to third world countries, read mostly to India in fields like IT. Were it not a reflection on the state of Canadian society of today, this whole thing would have been a farce for any world citizen?
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNGHCrkG7SyL8eqNtrhMjP9IwAZBqw&url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/contributors/contributions/devanshu-narang/Hiring-foreign-workers-Royal-Bank-of-Canada-and-beyond/articleshow/19786959.cms

Media advisory – Federal Immigration policy changes lack enough protection for migrants (Migrant Workers Alliance)
The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC), a coalition of migrant worker groups and community, faith, and labour allies who have worked directly with migrant workers for decades believes that the minor changes introduced today do not respond to the key concerns migrant workers have identified in the program and are mostly cosmetic. “We are not stealing jobs, but filling the ones that Canadians do not want due to the long hours, low pay, and live-in requirement,” insists Kay Manuel, a live-in caregiver and member of the Caregivers Action Centre. “The biggest problem with the migrant worker program is that we don’t have the same rights as citizens, the only solution is full immigration status for all workers.”
http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/04/29/4816328/media-advisory-federal-immigration.html&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABAi539iwVIAlAAWABiBWVuLUNB&cd=W-t12wB0LQA&usg=AFQjCNGhlxdTYuoBSP3rwLLCwEzlcuL5Iw

Changes to foreign worker program expected today following RBC’s hiring controversy (National Post)
The Conservative government is expected to announce changes to the foreign workers program Monday to make employers focus on hiring Canadians first before looking elsewhere. The foreign workers program has been a political hot potato since it was learned an outsourcing company working for the Royal Bank had brought in foreigners to do jobs that had been held by about 45 Canadians at the bank. RBC chief executive Gordon Nixon later apologized and the government defended the program while, pledging to reform the program to ensure foreigners are not brought into the country for jobs already held by Canadians.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNHti9T94ZOIz_ySfZY5DQ6A75CRPQ&url=http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/04/29/changes-to-foreign-worker-program-expected-today-following-rbcs-controversial-hiring-moves/

Media Advisory: CLC Officers Available for Media Comment on TFWP Announcement (Marketwatch)
The TFWP was originally designed to import migrant workers in those cases where real and proven labour shortages existed, but the federal government is using the program for purposes it was never intended to serve. The number of migrant workers in Canada has risen from 101,000 in 2002 to 338,000 in 2012. Between 2007 and 2011, 30% of all net new jobs went to migrant workers. The key to today’s announcement is enforcement. Some of what is likely to be announced is already on the books but the federal government has failed to enforce the rules.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.marketwatch.com/story/media-advisory-clc-officers-available-for-media-comment-on-tfwp-announcement-2013-04-29&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgBIAAoATAAOABAkpn7iwVIAlAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=4GIpiGujP9k&usg=AFQjCNH_niIfO43b9E1tj4w3dxlf6zyQaw

iGate visa row impact: Canada to clamp down on temporary foreign worker programme (Economic Times of India)
The Canadian government was set to announce tighter rules on Monday to prevent employers from using its temporary foreign worker programme to squeeze Canadians out of jobs, acting after two high-profile cases tarnished the program’s reputation. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley have scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon to announce reforms to the program, which the Conservative government was expected to present to Parliament in its budget implementation bill on Monday afternoon.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/nri/visa-and-immigration/canada-to-clamp-down-on-temporary-foreign-worker-programme/articleshow/19787367.cms&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABAp537iwVIAlAAWABiBWVuLUNB&cd=QUSomYzAz7g&usg=AFQjCNHXuGegevt3mw6RM_VYIQlXQjN6uA

Tories to introduce latest budget bill, including changes to worker program (Stephanie Levitz, Winnipeg Free Press)
The Conservatives are set to introduce legislation today to implement their 2013 budget. The bill will include changes to the temporary foreign workers program already outlined in the budget, which was unveiled last month. The Tories have been musing about overhauling the program for over a year, but their work has taken on greater urgency amid growing concerns the system is being abused. Most recently, the Royal Bank of Canada came under fire for using a supplier whose foreign workers allowed the bank to cut Canadian jobs.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/tories-to-introduce-latest-budget-bill-including-changes-to-worker-program-205245211.html

Tories reverse course, tighten up foreign-workers program (Stephanie Levitz, Globe and Mail)
Amid a public outcry, the Conservative government is reversing controversial changes it made last year to the temporary foreign workers program. The government announced Monday that employers will no longer have some flexibility to set the wages for foreign labour, calling a halt to what was known as the 15-per-cent rule. That rule allowed businesses to pay foreign workers up to 15 per cent below average wages for a job. The Conservatives are also hitting pause on a program that fast-tracked the ability of some companies to bring in workers from outside Canada through what’s known as an accelerated labour market opinion.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-reverse-course-on-foreign-worker-program-after-public-outcry/article11616303/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=HootSuite&utm_campaign=Spring

Feds reform controversial foreign worker program (Michelle Zilio, ipolitics)
(Note: This article if for subscribers only)
The Canadian government announced Monday numerous changes to the controversial temporary foreign worker (TFW) program, after a recent case involving TFWs at a major Canadian bank opened the floodgates of criticism to the program. The changes will remove a previous rule granting employers the flexibility to pay TFWs less than Canadians. Prior to the changes, high-skilled TFWs could be paid as much as 15 per cent lower than the prevailing wage while low-skilled TFWs could be paid as much as five per cent lower. The changes will also force employers who rely on TFWs to have a plan in place to transition Canadian workers into the positions over time.
http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/04/29/plan-to-reform-controversial-foreign-worker-program-expected-monday/

Ottawa set to unveil sweeping changes to foreign workers program (John Ibbitson, Globe and Mail)
The federal government will announce sweeping changes to the temporary foreign workers program Monday, aimed at ensuring non-Canadian workers are employed in this country only after every effort has been made to put Canadians in the jobs first. A key reform, The Globe and Mail has learned from a government official speaking on background, will require employers to put plans in place to transition to domestic workers before permits to hire foreign workers are granted.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/ottawa-set-to-unveil-sweeping-changes-to-foreign-workers-program/article11601857/#dashboard/follows/

At a glance Temporary Foreign Worker Program (Montreal Gazette)
As of Dec. 1, 2012 there were 338,189 temporary foreign workers in Canada, more than double the number of temporary workers present a decade earlier. To compare, Canada welcomed just 257,515 immigrants in 2012. It suggests an increased reliance on temporary labour without the burden of having to grant permanent residency. Last year, about 160,000 immigrants arrived through the federal skilled worker program.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada/GLANCE+TEMPORARY+FOREIGN+WORKER+PROGRAM/8314586/story.html

The Intra-Company Transfer & Temporary Foreign Workers (CBC The Current)
The whistleblowers are speaking up and exposing a scheme they say involves everything from kickbacks to falsified resumes to delays and cost overruns for Canadian companies. It involves companies based in India allegedly abusing a system to bring in foreign workers called the Intra-Company Transfer. It is a program that has survived intact and untouched by the changes Ottawa announced yesterday to the Temporary Foreign Worker program. The CBC’s Kathy Tomlinson documents the problem.
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/04/30/the-intra-company-transfer-temporary-foreign-workers/

Federal Skilled Trades Program: The Big Lie (The Zieglers blog)
So the thing is I decided to write to every single Provincial and territorial body in Canada related to trades. I started from the Red Seal website and its list of Provincial & Territorial Contacts. I looked for the Media Contact in every site and wrote a note to them saying I was from a website, that I was writing a story about the FSTP and that I needed to know how the Province/Territory was going to help those people abroad that wanted to obtain their certificate and be able to apply to the Program. Only a few of them wrote back. None had an adequate solution to the problem. If you want to apply for the Certificate of Qualification, you have to be in Canada. That’s it. Come to Canada, spend a few months here, pay a lot of money, go back to your country, apply. How is that possible? Do they really think that an electrician, a welder, a a plumber has enough money for that? Not in the Third World as I know it.
http://thezieglersblog.com/2013/03/federal-skilled-trades-program-the-big-lie/

Improved job grant program leaves provinces with an expensive mess (John Ibbitson, Globe and Mail)
(Note: This article if for subscribers only)

As Ottawa gets ready to launch the Canada Job Grant program, the centrepiece of Jim Flaherty’s 2013 budget, employers appear to be as happy with the new scheme as provincial politicians are unhappy. There is general agreement that the new grant will do a better job of matching workers to employers than many of the efforts now in place. But the new program commits the political sin of reneging on a funding agreement with the provinces. Stephen Harper used to rage against such perfidy. Now he’s guilty of it himself.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/globe-politics-insider/improved-job-grant-program-leaves-provinces-with-an-expensive-mess/article11627496

Five ways companies can address a shortage of skills (Globe and Mail)
A looming shortage of skilled workers in Canada has been top of mind for business leaders, who need to figure out how their companies can improve the situation, says Michael Denham, managing director for Accenture in Canada. Forecasters say more than 500,000 unskilled workers “won’t be able to find work in the next decade – even as 1.5 million job vacancies go unfilled,” Mr. Denham pointed out in a recent speech to the Toronto Board of Trade. “This is a real and serious issue that has the potential to undermine the strength of individual companies, and the broader prosperity of Canada itself.
http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNFqzNWnH1zECxBb7_KMbVpuGJ8iAA&url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/careers-leadership/five-ways-companies-can-address-a-shortage-of-skills/article11616220/

Help us raise the minimum wage! (Workers’ Action Centre)
In March, communities across Ontario came together to launch a campaign for a minimum wage increase. Creative actions took place in 15 different cities, calling for a raise in the minimum wage to $14. The message was clear, we need an increase now! As we get ready for the 2013 budget to be announced on May 2, we are calling on the government to raise the minimum wage to $14 and not to delay with an advisory panel or commission.
http://us2.campaign-archive.com/?u=b32b33961fd1e65272919d8a6&id=eac0cac36d

No more delays, we need a minimum wage increase now! (Workers’ Action Centre)
Help us send a strong message to Premier Kathleen Wynne – no more delays, no commissions, we need a minimum wage increase to $14 now! In March, communities across Ontario came together to launch a campaign for a minimum wage increase. Creative actions took place in 15 different cities, calling for a raise in the minimum wage to $14. The message was clear, our communities need an increase now! As we get ready for the 2013 budget to be announced on May 2, we are calling on the government to raise the minimum wage to $14 and not to delay with an advisory panel or commission.
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WorkersActionCentre/~3/ykuBERTNLSY/

Improve Your Job Search in Halifax (Greater Halifax)
Our Connector Program can help immigrants, international students, and young and emerging talent grow their professional network, and connect with job opportunities in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
http://www.greaterhalifax.com/en/home/ourprograms/connectorprogram/improveyourjobsearchinhalifax.aspx?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=CPC&utm_term=networking%2C+participants%2C+connector&utm_content=Connector+-+YETs&utm_campaign=Connector+-+YETs+Promoted+Post

National Day of Mourning: Past Sacrifice, Present Struggle (Behind the Numbers)
Weekends aside, there’s still a lot to thank unions for. Maternity leave top-up. Employment Insurance. Child labour laws. Numerous studies—past, and more recent—have identified the degree to which unions have contributed to more equitable, safer societies, and jobs where the normally stubbornly persistent gender pay gap has been virtually eliminated. But on the eve of the National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace, it’s important to address in very concrete terms why unions are so important. Because they save lives.
http://behindthenumbers.ca/2013/04/26/national-day-of-mourning-past-sacrifice-present-struggle/

CITY OF TORONTO / CITIES / CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Toronto’s Urbanism Headlines: Monday (Spacing Toronto)
A daily round up of mainstream media news on Mayor Rob Ford, Transportation and Other News.
http://spacing.ca/toronto/2013/04/29/torontos-urbanism-headlines-monday-9/

Newsstand: April 30, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
Where’d our sunshine go? In the news: Scarborough councillors want Ford’s support for a subway, the city ponders what to do about Bixi, Toronto may force restaurants to post calorie counts, and the Royal Canadian Mint is looking into electronic money.
http://torontoist.com/2013/04/newsstand-april-30-2013

Wanted in the GTA: Honesty, Boldness and Big Thinking (John Tory, CivicAction)
It is of great concern to me as a Torontonian that, over time, the thinking of leaders responsible for the future of the Toronto region has become increasingly short term, focused on a meeting next week or an election next year instead of a focus on the next decade or the next generation. I often use the Gardiner expressway as an example. Our city leaders presently have in front of them a proposal to spend 500 million dollars or more patching up the Gardiner expressway with popsicle sticks and glue. I used to think maybe that’s all we could do. Then I started to ask myself, what will people think of that decision in 25 years? Will they be talking about how bold we were, how farsighted we were, to invest all of that money in a makeshift repair job? Or might they give us a bit more credit for city-building if we used our imagination and the ingenuity and money of the private sector to find a new way to maintain an important transportation corridor, but at the same time get rid of the existing structure which has a lot of things going against it, including obsolescence.
http://www.civicaction.ca/wanted-gta-honesty-boldness-and-big-thinking

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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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