Immigration & Diversity news headlines – April 8, 2013


Subway musician Achilla Orru eulogized as giant and thumb pianos King Achilla (Dale Brazao, Toronto Star)
A blind man who entertained thousands of commuters every day in the Toronto subway with a thumb piano was eulogized as a king, a giant and a visionary who used his musical talent, wisdom and wit to mesmerize everyone he met. Achilla Orru, blinded at age 6 in his native Uganda after a bout of measles, never let his handicap get in the way of his mission, to be the best lokembe player in the world, be it on the subway platform at Bloor and Yonge or concert halls around the globe, the 100 people who attended his funeral heard Saturday.

Saskatoons shifting linguistic landscape (Jeff Davis, Cassi Smith, Star Phoenix)
These days, more people in Saskatchewan speak Tagalog a language from the Philippines than Ukrainian. The 2011 census shows 16 languages spoken in the province that were not found here in 2006 evidence the provinces linguistic landscape is quickly shifting away from traditional norms. In years past, you would likely hear French, German, Ukrainian and First Nations languages on Saskatoon streets. These days, youll hear Macedonian, Chinese or African tribal languages.

Leaders meet to discuss reconciliation, racism prevention (
A coalition of community leaders have formed a working group to begin planning a series of dialogue sessions to address the theme of reconciliation and racism prevention in Nanaimo. This was the outcome of a dialogue session held Wednesday at Vancouver Island University. In the presence of VIU’s First Nations Elders, those in attendance addressed the theme of “Rising to the Challenge of Reconciliation: Building a Stronger Community.”

Canadian immigration’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ visa goes live (
Canada’s new Start-up Visa Program (SUVP) was launched on April 1st 2013. The new visa allows foreign entrepreneurs to pitch their idea to a panel of Canadian investors. If the investors choose to make ‘a significant investment’, then the entrepreneur concerned will be granted a permanent resident visa by the Canadian immigration authorities. 2,750 visas will be available in the first year.

Peel transformed from middle-class suburbia to income extremes (Rachel Mendleson, Toronto Star)
The communities that sit in the western shadow of the city have since undergone a dramatic transformation, as an influx of immigrants fuelled a population explosion and made Peel one of the most diverse regions in Canada. Yet as the region has grown, the economic status of many of its residents has significantly deteriorated, according to new research from the University of Toronto.

Immigration department unsure whether MP-backed visa visitors ever ultimately left Canada (Jennifer Ditchburn, National Post)
The Immigration department isnt sure whether dozens of people who got special temporary permits from the ministers office left the country when they were supposed to, even when the visitors were personally backed by MPs and members of cabinet. A newly released government chart shows each time Immigration Minister Jason Kenney granted a special temporary resident permit over the four years hes been in his post.

Quebecs Pastagate reveals latent racism (TroyMedia)
Short-lived as it was, Pastagate still served to remind us that racism and discrimination against French-Canadians and Québécois is still an accepted practice in Canada. Being a member of both the Anglophone and Francophone communities in Québec, a social and cultural hybrid if you will, I have a profound experience of linguistic discrimination and racism. These sinister and destructive sentiments are usually well camouflaged when thrust into the public eye, making them hard to perceive though they still work their insidious powers on the mind.

Wrong-headed worries about ?stigmatizing? criminal behaviour (Sun News Network)
Jason Kenney, the federal Immigration minister, continues to make changes to Canadas immigration and refugee laws that are so obvious most citizens probably shake their heads that the changes werent against the law already.

Stoking a fear of the Other (Anupreet Sandhu Bhamra, New Canadian Media)
In Hieberts defence (I dont know him), a researcher always comes in with a viewpoint into his investigation and builds or expands on his work against the existing available frameworks. Point noted. But why situate Metro Vancouvers situation with the Black-White racial framework in the USA? Or against immigrant enclaves in Europe? The situation of these frameworks is troubling. By situating the demographic concentration in Metro Vancouver against the Black-White framework in USA, what is being achieved or rather being said without actually saying it? I dont get it.

Why I Resigned as Editor (Yul Baritugo, New Canadian Media)
I would describe my own resignation as executive editor of a Filipino-Canadian magazine (Living Today) as nothing more than a tempest in a teapot. I had no financial dependency on a job that was more a mentoring exercise. I did not bleed when I cut clean. But I believe my resignation throws light on some dark corners. As a media professional, I observed that Vancouver-based Filipino Canadian newspapers have almost no independent content. Its a mash up of internet news culled from home with a sprinkling of local commentary from pretenders who probably had exposure to writing in a high school paper.

Toronto dad upset he’s not allowed to watch daughter’s swim class (Jenny Yuen, Toronto Sun)
A father living in Flemingdon Park area of Don Mills upset he can’t watch his nine-year-old daughter participate in public swim classes at the Dennis R. Timbrell community centre. (Jack Boland/Toronto Sun) When a single dad signed his nine-year-old daughter up for female-only swim lessons, he didnt realize he as a man was going to be banned from watching her practice. Chris (who didnt want his last name published) was shocked when he had the blinds to the viewing area of the Dennis R. Timbrell Recreation Centre pool in Flemingdon Park shut on him and then was told by staffers it was for religious reasons.

Immigrating: How To Avoid The Formation Of An Ethnic Ghetto (Syed Irfan Ahmed, Canadian Newcomer)
As human beings we tend to gravitate to those with any similarity to ourselves whether it is the color of skin, language, nationality or religion. This particular attribute of human nature plays a large part in forming communities and it is good to have strong communities – but they cannot survive as islands. The ethnic fibre of Canada and particularly Toronto, the largest metropolis, is made up of many small and large communities. Lack of communication between these communities contributes to mistrust and misunderstanding, which could be damaging. What is the solution? It is important to realize that for peace, stability and economic success, we need to maintain contact outside of our communities with our fellow human beings of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We need to form bridges between different ethnic groups so that we are able to communicate. Newcomers need to realize that they will have to exist with all different cultures and ethnicities. They need to be prepared to embrace the differences that exist between different cultures. Failing to do so could be disastrous in the long term.

Its time to celebrate Punjabi culture in Canada (NDP)
Petition – we call on the Government of Canada to recognize April as Punjabi Heritage Month.

Online translation on the rise, changing lives (Martha Mendoza, Yahoo! News)
You might use Google Translate to read a hard-to-find Manga comic book or to decipher an obscure recipe for authentic Polish blintzes. Or, like Phillip and Niki Smith in rural Mississippi, you could use it to rescue a Chinese orphan and fall in love at the same time. Google is now doing a record billion translations on any given day, as much text as you’d find in 1 million books for everything from understanding school lunch menus to gathering national security intelligence. It translates in 65 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish, and can be used on websites, with speech recognition and as an app on mobile phones even if there is no connection.

Is it time to get serious with Bollywood films? (CBC The Current)
Chaotic, tuneful and silly, Bollywood films are emblematic of India for millions of movie goers. And some in the Indian film industry believe that’s a problem. They believe India is a serious country with serious problems and Bollywood needs a shake up.

Silence in face of racism complacency (MerritHerald)
On March 27, the Nanaimo Daily News published Don Olsens letter to the editor, which basically asserted that First Nations people are stupid, lazy, uninventive, irresponsible, underachievers, incapable of taking care of themselves; whose only fix would be to make them equals by vetoing traditional use and cultural nonsense, educating their children to become modern citizens, discouraging them from finding their identity and source of pride from their ancestors, turning off the taps and letting them stand or fall on their own account.

Getting women on board (Frank Gunn, Ottawa Citizen)
There are plenty of good reasons for businesses to include more women on their boards of directors, including better decision making. But this one should make corporations and their shareholders sit up and take notice: More female directors usually means more money. Given that, it is surprising how deeply ingrained the old-boys network remains in Canadian corporate culture, as it does around most of the world. Women make up just 10.3 per cent of Canadian boards of directors, according to Catalyst, a non-profit organization that has studied the issue and promotes women in business.

CERIS director and affiliate to launch new book on migrants and precarious legal status (CERIS)
CERIS Director Luin Goldring recently co-edited a book with University of Toronto Associate Professor and CERIS affiliate Patricia Landolt. Producing and Negotiating Non-Citizenship: Precarious Legal Status in Canada is a unique collection of studies of precarious legal status in Canada. The book will be of interest to researchers and students working on this topic, those working with individuals with various forms of precarious status, as well as the general public in interested in the widespread debate on contemporary immigration in Canada.

WTF Friday | TOIFA: Star-struck “brown” folks need not apply (Sadiya Ansari, Schema Magazine)
We haven’t done a ‘WTF Friday’ post for awhile but I thought I would sneak one in, in honour of the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) being hosted in Vancouver this weekend. CTV British Columbia reported that organizers for TOIFA directed contractors that they did not want “brown” people working the event including drivers, security guards and the like. This was based on the assumption these brownies wouldn’t know how to calm their shit around Bollywood stars and potentially kidnap them like one crazy dude did.

Race matters is it racist to think so? (Pete McMartin, Montreal Gazette)
Hong Kong Chinese: NO ROOM HERE! sticker on an Apartment For Rent sign in the West End, 1990. A small but vocal group of Richmond seniors were despondent Monday after city council rejected their call for a bylaw quashing Chinese-only signage in a city where more than half the residents are of Chinese descent. Vancouver Sun, March 19, 2013. In the front-page banner story of April 1, The Sun reported that projections in a study done for Citizenship and Immigration Canada showed that by 2031, whites will constitute a visible minority in Metro Vancouver. What was remarkable about this story wasnt so much about what happened next, but what didnt.

Watching the Watchdog: Who Dares Question Saint Paikin? (Tim Knight, Huffington Post)
Paikin has written four books, produced a bunch of excellent documentaries, won awards for his work in Canada, the U.S. and China and is so good at interviewing and hosting that he’s moderated five national and provincial election debates. So who the hell is this Hamlin Grange to tell Paikin how to improve the sainted Agenda? Right up front on his own program! Actually, I know who Hamlin Grange is. He’s an old friend and sparring partner who’s co-founder of the annual, non-profit, Innoversity Creative Summit (Motto: Innovation. Creativity. Diversity) dedicated to media diversity and inclusion. His day job is president of DiversiPro, a diversity training, coaching and consulting company. He was born in Jamaica and himself boasts a whole string of awards for public service. Let me paint the picture.,b=facebook

What Canadians think of Sikhs, Jews, Christians, Muslims (John Geddes, Maclean’s)
Canadians like to think of their country as a model for the world of how all sorts of people can get along together. But when it comes to the major faiths other than Christianity, a new poll conducted for Macleans finds that many Canadians harbour deeply troubling biases. Multiculturalism? Although by now it might seem an ingrained national creed, fewer than one in three Canadians can find it in their hearts to view Islam or Sikhism in a favourable light. Diversity? Canadians may embrace it in theory, but only a minority say they would find it acceptable if one of their kids came home engaged to a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh. Understanding? Theres not enough to prevent media images of war and terrorism from convincing almost half of Canadians that mainstream Islam encourages violence.

CBDC to Join Newly Created Federal Advisory Council (Marketwire)
The Canadian Board Diversity Council (CBDC) will join the newly launched advisory council to promote the participation of women on public and private corporate boards as an ex-officio member of the 26-member body. The council, created under the leadership of Public Works and Government Services and Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, will advise the government on how industry can increase women’s representation on corporate boards.

Chinese numbers in Vancouver, Toronto to double by 2031 (
The Chinese populations of Vancouver and Toronto are set to double by 2031, helping push whites below 50 per cent of the population in both cities, says a report for Canada’s immigration department. The study, released this week, is titled “A new residential order?”. It predicted that the populations in both cities would be more prone to segregate into racial enclaves with time.

Buy good winter clothes: Readers write Canadas immigration guide (Globe and Mail)
We asked readers what information they would include in Canadas immigration guide. Here are some of their responses.

Speaking notes for The Honourable Jason Kenney – At a News Conference for the Unveiling of the Revamped Welcome to Canada Guide (Gov of Canada News)
I was just speaking to my friend Nick Noorani who helped us to edit this new guide, and Nick reminded me that many newcomers, when they arrive in Canada to use his words are terrified with the challenge that they face. And I often talk about that. Im always conscious that later on today, there will be some flights arriving at YVR from different cities in Asia, and on every one of those planes there will be people who walk up to the immigration secondary desk run by the CBSA at Vancouver Airport. And as they walk up to that desk, they will be filled with a sense of hope, but also uncertainty a certain sense of anxiety and trepidation, because this is their new life. Theyve perhaps been dreaming about immigrating to Canada for years. Theyve been planning for months, and now finally theyve arrived in this new land, having left behind everything and everyone thats familiar in order to take a chance, in order to take a risk on a brighter future for themselves and their children.

Why the fear around ethnic enclaves and fewer White faces in Metro Vancouver? (Anupreet Sandhu Bhamra)
My question is: why? Why is immigration so scary? In the first place, for argument sake alone, immigration is allowed and legal. All these numbers and projections are coming from legit sources. What did you think would happen when you allowed immigration? That people wont come? Or you wouldnt notice them when they did? Now when people from different countries are calling Canada home, why the numbers are being projected in a racially charged language? To begin with, isnt it the Canadian department of Citizenship and Immigration stamping visas in India and China and around? So do you want immigration? Or do you not want immigration?


Introducing the CARL Quarterly (Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers)
We are pleased to launch the inaugural issue of the CARL Quarterly. Get the latest updates on CARL’s litigation, events, student activities, and more!


Canadian Social Research Newsletter (Canadian Social Research Links)
Canadian content
1. Parliamentary Committee Study of Income Inequality – April 2013
2. Federal Support for Health Care Set to Grow from Record Levels in 2013-14 (Health Canada) – April 1
3. The Canada Social Transfer and the Deconstruction of Pan-Canadian Social Policy (Donna E. Wood, University of Victoria) – March 2013
4. Speaking of Vibrant Communities Calgary : Poverty Costs 2.0
5. Nova Scotia Provincial Budget 2013 – April 4
6. Federal and Provincial/Territorial Policy Monitors (Caledon Institute of Social Policy) – March 2013
7. Filling the Gap: Measuring Ontario’s Balance with the Federation (Mowat Centre) – March 28
8. Federal Budget 2013 analysis by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy – March 2013
9. Recommended resources for federal and provincial/territorial government budget 2013 analysis
10. Dépenses publiques au Québec : comparaisons et tendances (HEC Montréal) – Avril 2013
11. Brigit’s Notes, April 2013 + Letter from the Executive Director (Canadian Women’s Health Network) – April 2
12. PEF (Progressive Economics Forum) at the Canadian Economics Association meetings in Montréal (May 31 – June 2, 2013)
13. What’s New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:
— Labour Force Survey, March 2013 – April 5
— Study: Employment changes across industries during the downturn and recovery – April 4
— Summary Elementary and Secondary School Indicators for Canada, the Provinces and Territories, 1997 to 2011 – April 3
— Health indicator profile, by linguistic characteristic, 2009/2010 – April 3
— Study: Social participation of full-time workers, 2010 – April 2
14. What’s new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Ontario ACORN Works to Stop Predatory Gouging by Western Union, Moneygram etc. (Marketwire)
Ontario NDP MPP and critic for Consumer Affairs Jagmeet Singh, with the support of Ontario ACORN, will re-introduce a Private Member Bill to regulate Foreign Money Transfer fees. The Province of Ontario has jurisdiction over money transfer organizations like Western Union and Money Gram.

A number is never just a number : Canada’s gender pay gap (rabble)
Percentage, on average, that women earn less than men in Canada. That means that on average, a woman makes only 68 cents for every dollar a man makes. It varies by province. For instance, in Ontario it’s 28 per cent.

Ontario shortchanged by equalization payment rules (Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star)
Ontario is deeply in debt roughly $265 billion and has a massive annual deficit, now about $12 billion. It is slashing government services and freezing public-sector wages. Oh, and we are still giving away big money $11 billion at last count to our fellow Canadians. Thats the tally released this month by the Mowat Centre, a local think tank bankrolled largely by the Ontario government to get the provinces message out in hopes of keeping our cash from leaking out.

New TDSB survey shows how family income can impact student education (CTV)
A new Toronto District School Board parent survey reveals an alarming trend on how cultural and social-economic factors can impact a childs elementary school education. The second-ever census, released Friday, shows that while many of the 90,000 parents surveyed reported being satisfied with the kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum, there seems to be a troubling gap between students of low and high income families.


RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers (Kathy Tomlinson, CBC)
Dozens of employees at Canadas largest bank are losing their jobs to temporary foreign workers, who are in Canada to take over the work of their department. They are being brought in from India, and I am wondering how they got work visas, said Dave Moreau, one of the employees affected by the move. The new people are in our offices and we are training them to do our jobs. That adds insult to injury. Moreau, who works in IT systems support, said he is one of 50 employees who facilitate various transactions for RBC Investor Services in Toronto, which serves the banks biggest and wealthiest institutional clients. In February, RBC told Moreau and his colleagues 45 of their jobs with the regulatory and financial applications team would be terminated at the end of April.


Ottawa to probe RBC job outsourcing (Globe and Mail)

RBC scrambles to explain hiring practices to Canadians after contentious report (Macleans)

RBC defends plan to replace 45 Canadians, outsource their jobs (Karissa Donkin, Toronto Star)

Canada Examines RBCs Use of Foreign Workers Contracted by iGATE (Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg)

Royal Bank foreign worker “scandal” just business as usual (D. Neumann)

National News: RBC clarifies recent media reports (Northumberland View)

RBC denies that it replaced laid-off Canadians with new arrivals from India (Marc Weisblott,

RBC denies it’s replacing Canadian staff with foreign workers (Errol Nazareth, Toronto Sun)

RBC plans to discuss hiring practices with government after temporary workers report (Vancouver Sun)

RBC in damage control over use of foreign workers (Newstalk1010)

Report questions ‘genuineness’ of Chinese mining firm in B.C. to hire Canadians (CTV)
An internal federal review of a decision to grant permits to a Chinese company to bring temporary foreign workers from China for its British Columbia coal mine found the company met or exceeded all requirements. But the November report notes that the sequence of events in HD Mining’s application to bring 201 miners over from China for its Murray River coal mine leaves some questions as to the “genuineness” of the company in its search for Canadian workers. The File Review Report obtained by The Canadian Press through Access to Information found that due diligence was performed on the applications.

Global Anti-Semitism Increased by 30% in 2012 (
The report, which was presented on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, showed there were 686 violent acts and vandalism, up from 526 in 2011. They include 273 attacks on people, including 50 with a weapon, 166 direct threats on lives, and the desecration of 190 synagogues, cemeteries and monuments. France had the most attacks with 200, up from the 114 in 2011. Next was the United States with 99; the United Kingdom, 84; Canada, 74; and Australia, 53.–in-/

Oilsands employment to balloon: report (Vincent Mcdermott, Fort McMurray Today)
When the budget was released in late March, Fort McMurray-Athabasca MP Brian Jean said a significant number of those jobs will be in the oilsands. However, a number of these new jobs will go to skilled immigrants, and Ken Chapman of the Oil Sands Developers Group says the region can be more accommodating to foreign workers. The last census saw about 15% of the population here came from outside of Canada. That should be sufficient to have, at least on a visiting basis, immigration counselling so workers can deal with immigration issues here, not in Vancouver, Edmonton or Calgary, Chapman told Today in January. We need to give them more flexibility, make it easier to become citizens, easier for their families to come over if theyre here long-term.

Workplace Expectations (
The expectations at work in Canada may be very different than the expectations you have had in your home country. These activities will give you a chance to look at the rules and practices of workplaces in Canada.

HRPA Webinar Alternate Route to Certification for International Educated Human Resources Professionals (Settlement AtWork)
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) is Canadas largest professional body devoted to human resources (HR) management, representing nearly 20,000 professionals in 28 chapters across the province. We regulate the HR profession in Ontario, a role granted to us by the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario Act, 1990. We also grant the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the standard for excellence in professional human resources management.

Harper creating own brand of migrant workers (South Shore News)
In early January, CBC News Network aired a story regarding a companys plan to open a powdered milk processing plant in Scarborough, Ontario. The plants opening will create 350 new jobs and the products manufactured through their operations will be exported directly to China. The business reporter stated that the jobs will initially be occupied by 350 temporary Chinese workers. As this example illustrates, and as the Conservative Party of Canada has repeatedly told Canadians, our country is currently experiencing a labour shortage a low-paid, Canadian-born, migrant labour shortage. The recent changes made to the EI program, in combination with the advent of EI integrity officers, confirm that the Harper Conservatives EI agenda is to create a pool of underpaid, Canadian, migrant workers using tactics rooted in intimidation and herd psychology.

When It Comes to Diversity, White Male Managers Not Doing So Hot (Amy Langfield, CNBC)
How are white male managers doing when it comes to diversity? Great! At least that’s what the white male managers said in a recent survey. What do the non-white, non-male managers think? Not as upbeat. But according to the study, it’s not entirely the fault of white male managers. What we have here, it claims, is failure to communicate.


Newsstand: April 8, 2013 (Terri Coles, Torontoist)
Today would be a good day to carry an umbrella, according to the forecast. April showers, right? In the news: Mayor Ford releases an open letter touting a downtown casino; Canada heads to the Davis Cup semis, thanks largely to a particular Torontonian (no, it’s not Drake); one city councillor wants protective shields in cabs; and the Winter Classic game between the Leafs and the Wings is back on.

April 17th Forum: CivicAction’s call for an adult discussion on gridlock and transit (CivicAction)
Next week, Wynne has scheduled a major speech outlining her vision to Torontos board of trade a right-leaning business audience that has become the biggest ally of this left-leaning politician. Last month, the board issued its own roadmap showing how to bankroll $50 billion in long overdue investments by tapping into special transportation revenues: parking fees, gas taxes, a regional sales tax and optional tolls for premium express lanes. Next up, in mid-April: CivicAction, an umbrella group of progressive NGOs will weigh in with its own call for an adult discussion on gridlock and transit, without which ordinary Torontonians will be stranded.


Tides Canada Unveils Top 10 (J.W. McConnell Family Foundation)
On March 6, Tides Canada unveiled the Tides Top 10 honorees for 2012, recognizing Canadas most innovative leaders and leading social change initiatives.

Google Canada Offering Community Grants to Local Organizations That Support Technology (Knowlton Thomas, Techvibes)
Google wants to help Canadian nonprofit organizations. Google Canada is offering community grants for local organizations that are making a difference in helping improve access to technology, encouraging young Canadians interest in science and tech, or working to build a cleaner, greener world. The software giant says that its grants support initiatives with a focus on closing the digital divide by helping ensure access to technology to underserved communities or populations; reducing our carbon footprint or carbon emissions, including by promoting alternative transportation programs; supporting digital adoption by training non-profits or small businesses to use online tools and technology; or encouraging science, technology, engineering, and math education for students.

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Daily Reads/Micro Thoughts Summary

Shared 28 links. Kim Jong Un - i wish to thank the nra canadian gun lobby for their suppo Immigration...